Hit by a Semi-Truck and here to tell the story is about the life changing event in “a Blink of an Eye!”
“In the blink of an eye, something happens by chance – when you least expect it – sets you on a course that you never planned, into a future you never imagined.” Nicholas Sparks
So Tracy is here to talk tell us her story. She is a corrective exercise specialist with her own company called the work pain free program, giving women the tools to eliminate pain when no other methods have worked. Well. She has two little ones, a baby and a three year old. So she’s a very, very busy mom, with her job and her job at home. It never stops for us moms. And I’m so thankful and blessed to have you come on our show today. Tracy, thank you so very much.
Thank you so much. I’m so happy to be here. And yes, I am in my car right now. Because my my baby is currently in my office sleeping. It all works. We do we we are the best at changing our plans. That’s true. Yeah.
So Tracy, you have quite the story that all of us are so excited to hear about. What did it What happened? And and how did that really change your life?
And and what did you see from that point on?
Yeah, so I was driving one day in 2014. And I was driving across state, I was happy. I was listening to music. I was thinking everything was easy, breezy. And I was passing a semi truck on the freeway. And he didn’t see me. And it was one of those really big semi trucks. It’s like the three trucks that my truck Oh, and he didn’t see me and he started coming into my lane. And I just remember yelling like, Hello, no, no, don’t come into my lane. And he just, you know, basically smashed my vehicle. And when we ran a road, we went to the side of the road, I just remember him running out of his semi truck and just saying you’re alive, you’re alive. And that’s, you know, one of the most impactful moments of my life is, yeah, I was alive. And I recovered pretty quickly, about six months, it took me to recover from the injury from that accident. But then I would say a year and a half later, two weeks into my marriage with my husband, my wonderful husband, the injury relaxed and I was disabled for about a year.
Do they have reasons for that? Tracy?
How does that happen?
Where you have you work on yourself, and then it doesn’t progress continually?
Yeah, so what’s happening there is that your nervous system has a pathway that it goes down. It’s like a hiking path, right. So the more that your nervous system goes down this pathway in its relationship with your muscles, it digs deeper and deeper and deeper into that pathway. So when you are healing yourself, when you’re recovering from an injury, you’re teaching your nervous system, a new pathway with your muscles, a new pathway that doesn’t involve inflammation that doesn’t involve, you know, recurring chronic pain, but it always remembers the old pathway. So in that old pathway is pretty deep, right?
Because it’s gone down that road. So when relapses happen, basically your nervous system gets reminded of that old pathway through maybe something that you’re lifting, or you’re not listening to your body or not listening to warning signs, I call them the check engine lights. And then your nervous system goes, Oh, we’re going to the old pathway now. And it reverts back to that. And when that happens, you never know how bad the injury can be. So usually it happens because we push past the check engine lights or warning signs that our body is saying Hello, I’m having pain, I’m having tension, and then that relapse or that big injury can happen at any point when we’re in that kind of space. And that’s what happened to me. I wasn’t listening to my body at the time.
Yes. And and I think we all do that at some point even with or without an injury. But when so the truck driver was you know, running to your car and your car was did it turn and flip or did you I’m so glad that didn’t I’m so lucky it didn’t we were right next to an area where it could have flipped over. But it did not. So I just I was able to pull to the side and basically get out of my car. And at the moment, and I know you’ve been through an accident to see my relate to this at the moment, I didn’t feel my injury, because that’s what happens when we go through trauma. And when we’re in shock. So it took about two days for me to actually feel what had happened.
So they even offered me, you know, some imaging or to go to the hospital. And at the time, I said, I’m fine. I was just really shaken up. And then about two days later, it’s set in, I was like, oh, okay, my back is injured.
And this is how I’m not supposed to feel. This is not supposed to feel this way. Did you have any head injuries as well, Tracy?
You know, I’ve had had head injuries in my life, but not from this. So that’s my answer. Injured quite a bit in my life, but not a head injury from this accident now.
So you were very, very lucky. You were, you’re being watched over for this particular because it could have been any, anything. Yeah, it I very well could have died. And I remember that day, when that happened. Just being in that shock, that state of shock. And walking around, I think I drank way too much wine. When I finally I think the tow truck drove me to where I was going, you know, all the way to Colorado to visit my friends. I arrived, I knocked on the door. And she opened the door and I was just a mess. And I was just like I was just hit by a semi truck. You know, I was just so shocked. And then proceeded to drink too much wine and went to Olive Garden. You know all of this with a bad injury that I had no idea that I had. It’s so strange when a gentleman can do to us. Yes. Yeah. And but the thing that was playing around in my head just over and over again, is I have to do something with my life. Because I’m here, I have to do something important because I survived something that most people wouldn’t survive.
Absolutely. So that was a real wake up call for you.
When do you think the light bulb went on? Like immediately?
Or was just after you realized what you had to happen?
Yeah, it happened in layers, because I that was a trauma response for me was that, that just like, survivors response of, you know, I’ve survived this, I need to do something, I need to do something. And then in layers, like an onion, I think it slowly just became almost like that movie Inception where they I don’t know if you’ve seen that before, but they have to get the idea like way down deep. For it to really become something. I think that is what happened for me is that it went deeper and deeper and deeper. And now it’s pretty much the core of who I am.
That’s awesome. And it’s like nobody told you that it just came from within. Because it made you realize it’s unfortunate that it takes us sometimes these tragic moments to make us realize how precious life is. So where did it take you from that point to to realize that, did you think, Okay, I’m going to work in this area to help people
that really so once the injury relapsed, so I was in fitness, I’ve been in fitness ever since I was old enough to be in fitness, I’ve always, I’ve always loved it. And I was always a functional fitness expert, right? We’re we’re making the body feel good and feel pain. But once I was disabled, I tried going everywhere. I went to the physical therapists office, I mean, I was barely able to walk in. And I went to the chiropractor, which sometimes injured me worse. I you know, not to say anything against these types of healing, because they’re very effective.
But it did not work for me specifically. And it was a very frustrating and disheartening time, where, you know, I even remember, like we could not I could not stand up for any length of time. At a certain point, I could not even sit up for a certain length of time. And I just remember being so disheartened that nobody seemed to know how to heal my body. And I found out that I actually have something called hypermobility, which means that the body is less stable than the, you know, normal person. So that was one of the reasons why these people weren’t able to fix what was going on. So that’s when I became a CES and I determined I was determined to heal my own body because nobody else seems to know how. So I delved in and became an expert myself, and that’s when I was able to heal what was going on probably within six months. And that’s not to say that relapses don’t exist and that flare ups don’t exist because they do which is you know, a Good image for most people healing from pain that that does happen. But, you know, I’ve had two babies since then, you know, I’m living my life. It’s, it’s much, much different than it was.
That’s awesome to think. But also just to work with someone like yourself to know that if you can get better. And then, because I was wondering myself, you know, I felt really good last year, and then this year, I feel like I can’t do as much as I could last year.
So it’s strange, how sick How do I get myself back to that? Better feeling again? Yeah, yeah, there’s, I mean, there’s so much that needs to be addressed. ergonomics, how we’re sitting, how we’re standing, our repetitive motions, how we’re sleeping, and then all of the muscular imbalances throughout the body that are pulling your joints and vertebrae out of place, causing pain. So it really is a whole pain pie, where if you’re only getting one piece, you don’t correct the problem. I mean, that’s right nutrition nutrition matters, all of these things matter with how inflammation works in the body. So that’s like, my goal in life as a professional is to fill in those gaps of the pain relief industry and why people aren’t healing. That’s my mission in life. So that’s usually the people who come to me are the people who are like, Okay, what I’m doing hasn’t worked, I need something that actually works. And they might even be discouraged thinking, there is nothing that works. And I’m here to wave my flag and say, That’s not true. You just need to do the right things for your body, in a tailored approach to make it work.
For you, um, I realized that I had a concussion or brain injury from the accent accident as well. But in some cases, you know, what they teach you when you go to the clinics is, it’s just, it’s not permanent, it will gradually get better, don’t worry. But they don’t help you like you do, what you’re saying is, you could feel like it’s getting a little bit better, but it might fall backwards a little bit. And then you might go forward a bit and then fall backwards a little bit. They don’t talk about all of that. It’s a travesty. It’s a travesty. It’s so sad to me, that people are not getting educated. Because the way that you heal is to actually know your body and what’s happening in it, you don’t heal.
If a person just shows you how to do a certain movement. If you don’t know how your body is supposed to be functioning with it, or how it’s supposed to be feeling, you’re going to do it wrong nine times out of 10, you’re not going to experience that healing, you don’t heal if you don’t understand the way that inflammation works, and how to deal with it long term. So that’s another thing I’m really passionate about. We need to be educating people to really know their own bodies and what’s happening and how to deal with it. Because you’re right. If people don’t understand the inflammation cycle, if a flare up comes up, it’s very disheartening, scary, and you’re not going to know how to recover from a flare. Because no, you don’t even think that it would happen. You don’t know you don’t understand what what that looks like.
So you’re so right, that I think that it’s such a overpacked system, the pain relief industry is just so over packed and turns into this, you know, cycle of get people in the door and get them out of the door. And it’s really lacking, unfortunately, in in what it takes to have long term lifelong feeling.
Yeah, I can totally see that. Because I know with my issues, it flares up and then it brings you back down again. Because you you’re starting to recognize the good or the good or feeling.
Feel like a little kid the good or feel better.
It’s true, it isn’t good or feeling. And, and the bad, better feeling. And, and they and they really, and it’s it’s true, because it’s honestly, they push you keep saying you know, you’re improving, and you’re getting better and and you start feeling better, and then you drop down again, and I’m not really sure they don’t talk about that stuff. And they don’t assist you. With Oh, it’s you know, like, it should be a gradual? Yes. So is this gonna continue forever?
Right? That’s, I mean, are you asking me if it’s going to my members? That’s what you have, in your own mind. Like, is this going to continue? Right? Yeah.
And we really need to be setting people up with a long term plan for this. That’s one of the goals about my program is to set people up so they get to keep the program after they’re done. With you know, we do six months. be doing intensive work so that people have all of that education, they have all of that understanding they, they know how to move forward confidently, they know the risks, when they move forward, they know what’s probably going to happen with flare ups. And when that happens, they can pull back out their program, and they can use that and they can reach out for support, knowing what tools they need, after they’ve reached that point of maintenance mode and of recovery, because you’re so right, we are just constantly, you know, putting getting people into the office, giving them the immediate tools that they need, telling them, they’ll be fine and then saying goodbye.
And that’s really, that’s it. And so people are so confused, is this going to last forever? What’s happening? Why am I not healing and people just get convinced that they can’t heal, right? Usually the mindset that that brings forth and that kind of inner narrative. And if you don’t believe you can heal, then you’re probably not going to do the things required to take care of yourself. You don’t even know what those things are. It’s just it’s such an unfortunate way that things happen. Yeah. So sort of dealt with that. It’s a it’s Yeah, it’s very cyclical, for sure.
Well, I’m sure there’s lots of people out there have different strains of accidents, that’s for sure. And we just had three generations of a culture in Ontario, Canada, just get hit by us truck, a pickup truck. I think it was on Sunday. I think it happened on Sunday. They were all going for a walk together a family. And this pickup truck went and hit them. Yeah, I didn’t know if you heard that on the news. hadn’t heard about that. So yeah, that’s um, after being hit, you cannot feel bad for anybody that gets hit. That’s just not, it’s not fun. Not fun if you’re walking, and it’s not fun if you’re in a car. And that’s not fun if you’re on a motorcycle. So yes. So how did that change your life with your husband? Because you were fairly newly married at that point? Or not yet, where you weren’t married? At that moment?
We had your accident? The accident, I didn’t even know my husband. But the relapse, which really, that for me is that traumatic moment, right? Where you’re in bed for a year. That’s like the big that almost feels like the accident to me. When the relapse happened. That’s I was two weeks into my marriage when that occurred. So, you know, what do you think you did that change that I pushed past my body’s boundaries, my body was telling me Hello, this doesn’t feel good, you know, my nervous system was going to that old pathway. And then I push through it every time. And every time that I push through it, it just made it worse and worse and worse until the relapse happened. And when the relapse happened, I was doing something very simple. I was just reaching for something, you know, picking something very light up. And then it and that’s what I like to tell a lot of people is when you’re not listening to your check engine lights, it can happen at any time. And it’s you never know.
Um, yeah, China was a lot of your focus to these things can happen at any moment. And we have to be prepared, we have to be listening. So when it happened, when that relapse happened, my husband and I, we, our lives were transformed. And it was the hardest time of our lives. It really rocked every belief that we had, it rocked, you know, it really put us into this place of isolation, where I remember in the time I told people when I was talking on the phone with people, you know, I was just like, I’m just in a dark room all the time. It’s just so lonely. It was so lonely and so much pain and you know, nobody who could help me. It was so hard. What were you struggling with? So, you know, as far as mentally or physically, both, both. So physically, I was having spasms that would not heal just everywhere. And so even if I tried to sit up, the spasms would happen.
And I don’t know if you’ve ever had spasms, but they are debilitating. They It was so painful. And then degeneration in my desks, you know, where it was just this really intense pain where we were like, is this what childbirth feels like? You know, that’s kind of the question I was asking myself. And now I know No, that wasn’t quite that bad, but close. And then just yeah, loneliness, depression. You know, there’s a lot that happens to you mentally when you’re in bed, and you don’t move. You don’t get those endorphins from movement. You don’t get sunshine, you don’t get all of the things that you mean. So it was it was just so much and then you know, isolation. We were in A new area we had just moved when this happened. And so we really didn’t have anybody coming to visit us very often, we did have some who were just phenomenal. But you know, it was just very lonely, very lonely. And really, yeah, very challenging, very traumatic. But when that happened, we, I think we talked about this before, before we started recording, the mindset of this is happening for us, not to us, really became my foundation in life, you know, and that’s everything that has happened ever since when COVID hit, when everything has happened, we’ve just repeated that this is happening for us, not to us, and that has really brought our lives out of the pits, and into this amazing, blessed life where everything has been used for good, you know, this injury, now I get to heal.
So many women, I mean, and men, I’ve, I’ve seen people not be able to function, and then all of a sudden, that pain is eliminated, and they’re able to live their lives. And it’s amazing what has happened. And I think that that mindset was a really big piece of it that this is for our good. And we don’t know what that looks like yet, but we trust it. And then as life progressed, it absolutely worked out. And I think a lot of that was, you know, having wisdom and being prepared. And a lot of what you focus on, really does help bring life into that place of goodness and, and knowing moving forward that if something were to happen, we’re prepared, and we know what to do about it.
Yes, because I think with your relapse, it brings you to this dark space that you can’t explain, it doesn’t matter who comes to visit, you really, I think it gets to the point where you have to get yourself out. And in a lot of my shows I talk about when you go into that space, and you feel like you’re in a really dark room. And you just want to see the light, like literally, that that’s probably used a lot. That statement, but it’s so true, because you want you want brightness, you want happiness, and you want to see the light. And I remember feeling like you just want to walk and you’re touching the walls and you’re touching all around this dark room trying to find this door handle for this door that you know is in that room.
And all you have to do is turn it and then you see a crack in the light of of the door. That’s how I personally felt. Yeah, um, and as soon as you can see the light, it gives you some confidence and some strength to feel. Okay, now I can pull the door open further. Now, oh my goodness, when you see what’s on the other side of that door, it’s everything like you were talking about with your husband, because it gives you this rehab, feeling that Oh, my, you know, it’s everything that you wish for is on that other side of that door. You know, whatever that looks like? Is it a farm? Is it a meadow, you know, is it an ocean, a beach, whatever that looks like, for your personal experience. And I remember that feeling of, of being locked in this room of darkness. But then when I actually saw the door open with the light, it just felt like your brain brought up into oh my gosh, this is where I’m supposed to be going. That’s so good. I don’t know if that made any sense.
Good that hit home. 100%. Really, like that’s still where we’re at. Like, I feel like we are going in levels and then layers with that whole process. Because I think that’s what looks, what it looks like to come out of trauma is to, you know, you see the crack. And so you pull over the door and it’s almost like you can only pull it up and so far each time. And each time you get more hope and you get a more understanding that there’s light in that you can open the door and you get strength and you get revitalized, but I still feel like we’re opening the door. It’s just, you know, which is a wonderful process. I really, really firmly believe it’s a wonderful process. But yeah, I feel like we’re still doing that but just in such a great way where like I see a lot of the light now. Like it’s a lot of light now, but I’m still, you know, opening it further and further.
Yes, and I think jumping into it, but always feeling like oh, I might have to go back inside that door a little bit to get some more strength to to when you relapse like you know and it’s funny what hits you to relapse. You know, sometimes it might be a day. Sometimes it feels like it might just be a week. Sometimes it It feels like it’s a month. It’s very interesting how it fluctuates, and the relapse makes you feel, I can totally see where people can slide into addictions and some sort of rehabilitation of an addiction because it’s so easy to fall into anxiety and depression. Super, super easy.
Yeah. And I don’t think that people have the right tools when they’re going into an injury relapse. I don’t think they do. Because when you have the right tools, hopefully a month would not be the case. Like Yeah, matter what if you’re, if you’re recovered, and then go into an injury relapse, if you have the right tools and the right support, you know, my my general guideline, and everybody is different. But my general guideline is it takes about a week for and everybody’s different. But even for really chronic pain, it takes about a week of doing all of the right things, and it’s kind of an intensive process, but all the right things to get onto the other side of that of that flare up or of that relapse, or whatever it is.
And if it’s a more severe injury, it might take longer. But, you know, I think that before I felt very much like a victim to pain, I felt very much out of control of pain, like it could happen anytime it wanted to. And I had nothing I could do about it, except for just to do some practitioner ping pong, and maybe that would help a little bit. And what I love to tell people is you do not, you have more control than what it seems like we have more power over this inflammation cycle than it feels like, it’s just a very in depth process, to be able to mitigate what’s happening with the body. And number one, the number one thing we need to do is to listen to the warning signs, because that is telling you that a relapse is coming if you do not listen. So when you’re sitting and you feel that back pain, even if it’s like a little bit of tension, that’s a check engine light, that’s that check engine light that your nervous system is trying to jump to that old pattern that’s going to cause a relapse. Or when you feel that neck tension, we need to get up and move we need to ice and heat depending on what the age and area of the injury is we need to rest we need to you know, do something called self myofascial release, we need to, you know, shift things up so that we’re not pushing past and I think so many times when we’re busy, we just push, we just say Shush, body, I’m not listening to you, you don’t matter. That’s not what’s happening in the forefront of membranes, but that’s what we’re saying to our bodies. And then our body say, Okay, I tried to warn you, and then it happens.
Well, that’s really hard to do that to your brain. Yeah. Because, you know, I found it easier when I broke my foot in the accident and tore my meniscus in both my knees because I’m, it’s a physical thing. And so you when you get up and it’s so where you’re like, Okay, like, it’s okay, I’ll work on it. But with your head. You, you don’t feel like you work can work on your head, like you don’t realize it. And so you really have to become aware of your body, like you’re saying, to be aware of how you’re feeling and what’s triggering your head. What what are you having trouble? It’s so so hard.
I so I, I have a disease disease, I don’t know what you would call a chronic illness called postural onset technique. cardia syndrome, which affects how the blood flow can get to my brain. It’s called pots. Okay, yeah, you don’t want to say that fast too many times. Yeah. So when when this hits, like I can be in bed, you know, unable to talk unable to get up unable to do anything, because my brain is not getting enough blood flow. my nervous system isn’t flowing. And it’s the same thing. It’s the same thing where it’s, it’s a brain issue, it’s a heart issue. But my body tells me, my body gives me warning signals.
You know, it tells me Hello, this is my little warning signal to you. And when I don’t listen to it, that’s when things get bad, right? I mean, now, with so many things that we’re dealing with, with brain injuries, with musculoskeletal injuries, with chronic illnesses with all of these things are parties are always talking to us. And our bodies really want to be listened to. And it’s kind of this respect and kind of relationship that you know, it is ourselves but our bodies want to have this relationship with us where our bodies talk to us, and we listen. And then our bodies are like, oh, okay, we’re okay. And then we talk to our bodies, and our bodies.
Listen, because there’s that relationship. But when we don’t listen to our bodies, what happens? Our bodies lash out, you know, they’re like, Well, you didn’t listen. So now I got to do something more. So you listen to me. And then when we try to tell our bodies to do something, our bodies are like you didn’t listen to me. I’m not gonna listen to you. There’s no connection and relationship. And that’s when flare ups of all different shapes and sizes happen. And so that’s one of the biggest components of my coaching with people surprisingly is having a with your body again and being able to listen to your body, which is all much harder than it seems like it would be. It seems like the easiest thing in the world. But you, you know, sit in front of your computer with a million projects and a million things you need to do. And then you tell me that it’s easy.
Yeah. When your body talks to you, then you tell me, it’s easy. It’s not easy.
I wouldn’t want to be in your boat with two little kids and having all those issues. Because you? Do you take time for yourself, then do you really take moments to Oh, you, you better believe that actually, today, I dumped self care day, I dubbed it a holiday. And I actually shared it on my stories. I was like, this is a holiday everybody. Everybody do stop what you’re doing and do some self care. Because that’s the only way for me, with my body, which is so sensitive. That’s the only way. And my husband is the most incredibly supportive human being in the world. And I even told him, you know, what are you doing for self care today, cuz he’s so supportive of me doing that, I have to tell him, you know, you plan out your self care, so that you get that too, because we all need it so much. But in the mornings, I have my time for movement, I have my time for reading, I have my time for meditation, I have my time for nutrition. You know, it’s so important to me that I have that schedule in place. And I have that structure where I am taking care of myself, I’m doing corrective exercise for my body, because it will always need it. And then I set my day with a priority, which my priority is being well, first and foremost.
And then it’s taking care of my family and loving on my family. And then it’s my business and taking care of my clients, which I love so much. And they’re so such a high priority for me. But if I don’t have those priorities set, then what happens when my children start screaming or crying? Because they’re the baby and a toddler. They’re wonderful, but they have emotions. They’re human. Yeah. So what happens when they start doing that? And I’m, you know, and I’m trying to get my project done, and I’m stressed, okay, well, I need to make sure I’m well first. So I need to take a moment and breathe and determine what I need. And then my family is second. So if I need to move something, or shift something, they’re important, they are my priority, and then my project, and that helps to really clear things up so that I’m taking care of myself, my family gets taken care of, it doesn’t feel so muddled and overwhelming and complicated, right?
Because the kids can really push push those buttons, you know, for you So, and I, I like to think of it as it really helps me to think of it as they’re human beings with valid emotions. And they’re just trying their best to tell me what they need, they just don’t know how to tell me.
So that really helps me to not feel like they’re pushing my buttons so much as they’re just they have a need, and they don’t know how to explain it. And so that really helps alleviate some of that stress or even like, yeah, it’s not always there. I mean, it’s definitely I have my moments.
That’s for sure. Yeah. Yeah. Cuz it’s hard to get away from them to to get some quiet time for you for yourself. It’s always a struggle for a mom to put themselves first, which is the toughest thing ever. It is so important. But yeah, not even after but yeah, but doable when you’ve had an injury and you have no other choice.
And now that I’m out of the injury, I know how important it is.
Yeah. Did. How did it change for your outlook? Because the trauma with your first relapse when once you got married, seemed to be the worst of the whole time? How did that make you feel about being prepared? You know, are you have you really changed your mindset? Now, because when you’re young, and beautiful, and you’re living your best life, and you have no worries in life, and I remember those days, and you just think you’re invincible, and nothing’s gonna happen to you.
Yeah. And we were talking earlier about this. But it’s such a beautiful thing to realize that we’re not invincible. It really changes the way that we make our decisions. And I think it makes our lives Fuller. And it it just, I don’t know, I think it brings in more gratitude. I think it brings in more wisdom. I think it brings in, you know, more for our children so that when you know if something happens, they’re taken care of. So absolutely. When this happened, it really affected my mindset. It showed me that and I think for me, one of the biggest pieces of being prepared for me is to always take care of my body. And that may seem like a very abstract way of being prepared, but I have to always be prepared for something happening for my body and always take care of it and that’s how I thrive but I I have a condition where it’s called Ehlers danlos Syndrome, I have all this stuff going on where you know, things can fall apart in my body.
And I always have to be prepared with that and always just be on top of it. So I’d say that’s number one for me is just always being prepared for potential of relapse potential of instability in my body potential of chronic pain, and, you know, not in a stressful way, but always taking care of myself and listening to my body so that I’m not getting to that point. And then beyond that, you know, with COVID, hit with all these things have happened, we actually had fires here in the northwest, I think you may have had, I don’t know where you may have to, but when that happened, you know, really became apparent that we’re vulnerable to whatever happens around us, we’re really, you know, at the whim of nature, with this type of stuff. So we formed plans for having our generators having you know, we’ll be moving soon, so that we have more land so that we can have our garden and be you know, more sustainable and have our chickens and have our food and, and so it really did cause us to form backup plans in so many areas of our life, so that we’re not so vulnerable, and we really can be more sustainable within ourselves.
I like how you were able to be better prepared for your family. And you also spoke about being better prepared in your business as well.
Yes, and that’s a big thing for us is we care so much about our clients than if you know, if anything were to happen to me, even with health things, or anything else, we actually hired on a full team of physical therapists or economists, corrective exercise specialists, so that it can still be a well oiled machine functioning and running. You know, if, if I have something happening with my health, it can still be just a beautiful, beautiful team, doing their job healing people. So that’s definitely always in my mind is how can I set things up to be sustainable?
We talk about that in some of the shows as well for entrepreneurs. Because if something happened to your hands, something happened to you not feeling well, if something took you down for a day, or a week, or a month, or whatever that looks like, how can your job? or How can your business continue operating? And we talk about sometimes lining up that other person that could you could work in conjunction with, like another physio therapist with another physio therapist. So if they go on holidays, or if they get sick, the other person can look after that side of things. And I don’t think we do that enough. Because we don’t think anything’s gonna happen. So the problem comes is when you don’t have something hat when you have something happen and you’re not prepared, then who are you going to rely on? You’re going to be calling your clients and saying, I’m sorry, I can’t see you this week or next week? Yeah. But you, you know, then they go off looking for their own person. And now you’ve lost them as a client. It’s like a hairdresser.
I don’t know about you. But when you want your hair done, you want your hair done. Yeah, like you can’t wait a month, you can’t wait two months. When you want your hair done. That’s an end your specific, I don’t know, most people are very particular about the physiotherapist that they see. Or their chiropractor, or hairdresser. They’ve built a relationship with them. And when you aren’t there for your customer or your client. They’re gonna find someone else. Yeah, so yeah. So that’s awesome. How you were able to implement that. So well. What about your personal stuff? What about your family stuff? Have you I’m sure it made you realize a little bit different in that field area area of things, too.
I, I am not as good at this as I should. And I, you know, we have our paperwork together. But we definitely need to do a better job of getting copies to our family, getting a copy of our key to our family members doing more of those things. So I was actually thinking when you were talking about your app, I’m kidding. Go on your app, and look at what you are talking about there and see what else we need to do. Because we’re just in this process. And I think we’re always growing in it. Especially busy life. I mean, I want to say to anybody watching, if you have a busy life, I get it. I get it. And it can be hard to be prepared when you’re busy. And so we try to take it in steps as realistic as we can. And so I’d say that’s probably the next step for sure is yes. delving more into that because we have some we have some of that taken care of, but we need more.
Yes. And sometimes we just need the education like you offer in your business. To understand why do I need that? Yeah. So and then it becomes easier to do it when you Know why, absolutely. But if you don’t know why everything’s like, Oh, I don’t want to do that. It’s like income tax. I don’t want to do that. And can I do it? Like, well, it is what it is like, Oh, well, but it’s not that way. When it happens, it’s like, why didn’t I do that?
Yeah. Yeah, that’s so true. And knowing your why is so important. Absolutely. And knowing that these things can happen. And I don’t think it’s a scary thing, it’s not something to be scared with. It’s not something to be stressed or worried or anxious about, because I, you know, I don’t think that that always leads to positive, change your behaviors, either. I think it’s just having the wisdom of knowing we’re not invincible. That’s a good thing. You know, we just have to be wise about it. And we have to be prepared as much as we can be. And, and Dave Ramsey, I don’t know if you’ve ever listened to him. But he always says, you know, it’s funny how the people who have the emergency fund don’t often need to use it, because something just tends to happen when we’re, when we’re prepared.
It’s Dugard, but things tend to be, you know, less emergency-ish. Yes, things tend to happen when we’re prepared. Absolutely odd thing.
Yeah. And and some people say, well, we’re, I don’t want to do that, because that’s like setting it up. Right happen. But it doesn’t. Yeah, I think, you know, and that’s, I do believe that mindset has so much to do with how our lives form. And I don’t want to go whoo poopoo with that, but I do think that our mindsets do help us create circumstances. And so that’s why I’m just so adamant about you know, it’s not a fear based thing, this is no being afraid that things are just going to constantly happen to us.
This is just knowing that you want to have the best life possible. So how can you form that? How can you make your life just so bulletproof and so solid, and it’s really just such a positive way of life, knowing that you’re taking care of your children or taking care of, you don’t believe that that’s the case, and that that will happen, but you’re ready for anything, I think it’s just a great way of living well, and it feels good, and it feels empowering. Just like what you would empower, you’re giving the tools in a toolbox to someone to empower them to take over their own life. And that’s super, super important when you’re injured, as well as mental and mental injury of some sort, as well as a physical, but also for planning planning gives you that empowerment. Because if you like I was so sorry to hear this morning, that your mom had a stroke, lots of love and prayers out to her. But it also makes you remind you that you could be prepared in your own life, in your own between your partner in you. But maybe you should start having those family conversations with your mom, or your dad, or your brother or your sister to find out.
Do they have their stuff organized? Do they have a plan? Because I’m going to be the one having to look after that point. And time when something does occur? Yeah, yeah. So it makes it more sensible to have a worksheet to be able to have that conversation. And, and find out what their wishes are, you know, whatever that looks like and help them get their stuff together as well. So it helps everybody all around. really does, what kind of final messages Would you like to give our listeners today?
I think that anybody listening in who thinks they have pink doesn’t think who has pain, who has this ongoing, you know, chronic pain or any type of pain, what I want to leave behind is just, you know, you don’t have to live that way. That isn’t life, that even if you’ve tried multiple things, and it hasn’t worked, that’s not the way that life has to be. And you know, the biggest thing that I would say to do is to listen to your body to start listening to your body. And then as far as pain goes, as far as injury relapse goes, as far as all of those things, even you know if you have never had an injury but you have pain that could lead to a really big injury. That’s typically how it happens. So without all of that the biggest way that you can be prepared is to listen to your body when it talks to you and do not push past those check engine lights, do what you need to to listen to your body and respond to it and that relieves pain and protects you to such a high level.
Thank you That’s that’s really beautiful because it could be fiber mile myalgia or it could be all sorts of different things that are causing you the pain in whatever area that is. And it’s, it’s understanding your body and knowing the signs? And is that what you really help with this, to help people understand the signs, we help with everything. I mean, our program really is built to fill in the reasons why people haven’t been able to heal, and the reasons why people keep having pain. So a part of that is coaching them through understanding what is happening with their bodies and how to stop it. That’s a big part of the coaching. But then we also do ergonomic evaluations, creating a pain free workspace, right, because that’s a big root of the problems. Or if people sit in their cars or sit on the couch, we do ergonomic coaching for those things. We do physical therapy, we do corrective exercise where we’re correcting every pain point head to toe, because so often people can only get one pain point covered in a physical therapist or a physiotherapy office.
So we make sure that we’re correcting everything happening from head to toe. And then we also give that video tutorial program where people can keep that for the rest of their lives to fix all it’s happening from head to toe in a really specialized process. And then we also ship massage tools to them so they can do self massage, they can release those angry muscles. And we do a lot of a lot of coaching around the mental, the mental issue of you know, just not listening to our bodies and not being able to respond the way we need to. So it’s very comprehensive, but it’s wonderful and and we love the process of seeing our people.
That’s awesome. Yeah, that’s really awesome. Well, thank you listeners. I’m Thank you, Tracy for coming on today. From beautiful Vancouver, Washington. You’re only a hop, skip and a jump away from me today. No, we’re close by. Yes, absolutely. And we’re both in Vancouver, but a different country. Different Vancouver. So funny. Oh, thank you. And listeners, please like, share and subscribe. Take that moment and really think about maybe you could be sending this video to somebody that you know that struggling. Tracy’s information I have made sure that we’ve put down below in the description box. Because as you know, as we’ve talked about in our show today, nobody’s Superman, and no one is getting out of this life alive. And I hate to say that, I did want to say one thing really quickly I was interrupt, you know, anyone is having pain, you can join my facebook group where I share tutorials, free education resources, like the whole goal there is that no matter what you have a path forward and you have education, you have resources. So that’s on Facebook, the work pain free community, feel free to join everybody’s welcome. So that’s a really great resource.
So I wanted to add that in.
Awesome. Okay, I’m sure I have that link as well down below for everybody. So that might be a start for everyone to join and then get the feeling of the community and, and pursue it from there. That’s awesome. Thank you so much. Stay tuned for for the next podcast or live video that your backup plan and talking taboo with Tina. That sounds a lot of tease. And that’s what we’re all about. We talk about the real raw conversations, the taboo subjects that we don’t normally speak about. And that’s what we’re all about. So I really appreciate Tracy you coming on our show. Thank you, our listeners as well for listening. And I always end our show with Carol Burnett because she’s just a wonderful, wonderful person. So I’m so glad we had this time together just to have a laugh or sing a song. Seems we just get started. And before you know it comes a time we have to say so long. So so long listeners.
Thank you, Tracy. Much love to you and your mom sent her love lots of love and wishes from us. And all our listeners send out prayers to Tracy’s mom for her struggle with her stroke. I hear she’s doing well. So let’s keep that road going there for her. And for our COVID people. I hope you’re recovering well and stay safe. Lots of love. And if you are listening to the show today, and you are thinking about someone special in your life, please send out a message. Pick up the phone, send them a text, tell them how much you love them. Because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. You don’t know how that might change tomorrow. So do that today. Stay Safe Be Kind till next time
TRACY RODRIGUEZ WITH WORK PAINFREE COMMUNITY
Re-write your Story and make it happen, our interview today with Paul Forchione, a Mindset coach that focuses on self help. He has a guide on his website. He was born with cerebral palsy. And I’m so blessed to have you on our show. very honored that you came on to our show to talk more about your journey.
“Cerebral Palsy slows me down, but it ain’t stoppin’ me!”, Unknown
So that other people that are struggling with with family friends themselves. That, you know, there there is a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. So would you like to start with? Where’s it all started for you, Paul?
Well, first off, Tina, thank you so much for allowing me to be on your show. I’m so excited to be here.
I love live, you know, anything can happen live. So I love that. So thank you very much. So you alluded to me having cerebral palsy. And if your viewers don’t know what cerebral palsy is, it’s lack of oxygen to the brain at labor. And as a result of this lack of oxygen to the brain and labor, it can leave one side of the body paralyzed and affect your speech. Can you no slow up everything. And this is permanent, this does not go away. Well, when I was born, I wasn’t moving the right side of my body very much. And obviously my mom was concerned. So she took me to the doctor’s for testing to see what was going on with me. And after some testing was done that I was tested for having cerebral palsy. And at the time, the doctors thought it was so severe that they thought I would never ever be able to walk and when I got to a certain age, it would be a good idea to get me in a wheelchair because that was going to be my life going forward. Well, thank goodness for great mom. She didn’t go with that diagnosis. She got her their opinions, found a physician that thought they could help me. And that’s all my mom needed. So from then on physical therapy every single day. And with this physician’s help, I was able to walk at age three. I don’t really remember that. But obviously that was a huge feat because these other doctors thought I would never ever be able to walk and I was walking. So right then and there. That was awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Like I said, I remember it. So it affected your right arm and your right leg or both. Yeah, or halfway through my body. Thank goodness never affected my speech. But it affects my right my right side of my body from my arms all the way up to my legs. Yes. No, my right legs, told my right side of my body. Yes. That is correct. So so to walk if you were alright with your left leg, but you just, it wouldn’t coincide with your right side, I guess.
Yeah, I mean, I walked with a little bit of a limp and I hold my right arm a little bit differently. But overall,
I’m pretty pretty mobile. Yeah, awesome. That’s amazing. Um, as I was, as I described, I had a cat who had cerebral palsy and his both back legs wouldn’t work. And so he was like, he was a skater. And he moved his front paw up and he took over and he could get around like crazy. He even almost ran, but he couldn’t go to the washroom very well standing because he’d fall over. But yeah, so I understand. I understand.
Yeah. So like I said, I don’t really remember walking at three. But obviously that was a huge Feat. But I do remember being put into soccer when I was five or six years old. And at the time, I probably could run about 25 to 50 yards. And obviously these other kids can run laps around the soccer field. They’re actually playing soccer. I’m basically staying there and I remember seeing my mom, this is ridiculous. I’m basically standing here these other kids are playing soccer around me and I’m just standing it I don’t want to play soccer anymore. I want to quit. And I’m I remember my mom telling me this. She said if you don’t wanna play Software anymore, that’s fine. But you need to honor your commitments.
So we need to finish out the soccer season. And after soccer season, if you don’t want to play soccer anymore, that’s your prerogative, but we need to finish out the season. So that’s what that happened. I’m 40 years old. I’ve never played soccer since. But I did finish out that soccer season. So I got a big break, when I was about six or seven years old, I got surgery on my right foot to tighten up the tendon in my right foot. And give me a little bit more spring in my step and kind of take away the pain that I was feeling when I was running, and then test this out yet. But I remember switching schools around this the same time, I was probably in first grade, I believe. And I remember my first day of physical education. And we did our stretches. And the teacher said, Okay, guys, now run a lap. And I’m thinking to myself, here we go again, I’m going to run 25 to 50 yards, and I’m going to have to stop and these kids are going to see it. And they’re going to start to tease me because that’s all I could do. But because of my surgery, it was different. I remember going past that point where I normally have to stop. And I remember seeing myself, come on, Paul, you got this. But keep going keep going.
And I finished the lap with these other kids on the outside. But I kept it nice and cool. But on the inside I was like yes, yes, yes. The first time in my life where I just fit in. I didn’t stand out like I normally did. And because of the surgery, things got easier for me, but I would not consider me easy. I switched schools, and middle school junior high. So my 12 or 13 years old. And that’s a tough age period just being you get alone. That’s a tough age, because they already had their cliques. They’ve already been to school together for years and years. They don’t have any they don’t have any time for any new kids. So I was a new kid. Plus I had a disability I walk with a little bit of lip, and I hold my right arm a little bit differently. So it was brutal getting into the school. Very as bullied.
Well, yeah, because kids will pick on every single day and they can pick on anything right for you. They’ll find something to pick on. Oh, yeah.
Absolutely. And I was an easy target. I was an absolute easy target. They were picking on me. And I was raised Catholic. So my mom wanted me to go to Catholic High School. So around the same time, I take an assessment test to see where I was at academically to see where they were going to place me when I got to high school. Well, I must have bombed the test is when I met with the principal and my and my and my mom, the principal says to us, we’re going to put Paul at the lowest level possible. And I don’t expect much from him. He does not seem like he’s college material. Yeah. So I go back to school. The next day, I go back to school I was in the weekend when I took the test and that met with the principal, go back to school Monday, I’m defeated. I’m bullied and teased, you know, now I feel like I’m stupid to on top of this, right? And I’m crying myself to sleep pretty much most nights going, Why me? Why do I have to be different? Why can I just fit in? Why can I just be one of the other kids. I don’t know what really came over me. But I was sick and tired of feeling anger and sad all the time. Because those are my go to emotions. And I knew deep down they were not my go to emotions.
But because of the environment I was in those were the emotions that were coming up most of the time for me, and I was tired of it. So I thought to myself, what can I do distract me from these feelings? What if I set a goal for myself and I could focus in on the goal. And I could kind of ignore the noise that was happening all around my my world. So I thought what could I do? What? What goal Can I set for myself? And at the time, I love baseball. So I said okay, what if I tried to make my varsity high school baseball team? So I said, Okay, let’s go. So I played fall ball, winter ball, spring ball. And if I wasn’t doing that I was throwing a tennis ball against the wall. And I was doing this constantly. I’m students over and over and over again. And the beautiful thing about this, Tina, I know this now, I didn’t know this when I was doing it. But I know this definitely happened now, I changed the energy that I was putting out to these other kids. I had my shoulders back my head up. And as a result of this new energy that I was that was showing to these kids. In turn, they were giving me a different energy back. Instead of bullying and teasing me they start rooting for me. So my my middle school to junior high career was much different from my high school all because of my energy shift all because of I changed the way I perceived myself as a person. And as a result of this hard work and this new energy shift.
I was able to make my varsity baseball team as a junior and a senior. Yeah. Yeah. And I graduated, I graduated high school. And I started to really think about what that principle said to me many, many years earlier about not being college material. Because when I played when I was in high school, I pretty much mailed it in I just did enough to stay eligible to play baseball because I thought to myself, well I’m not college material. Why waste my time studying any harder. It’s wasted time just do enough to get by and graduate. And that’s exactly what I did. But I started to really think about that goal I set for myself, being a varsity baseball player. And I was able to accomplish that when I made that goal in junior high Middle School. I thought it was near impossible. I thought I wasn’t going to do it. But I did. So I thought to myself, What if I set another goal for myself? What if I made a goal to say to myself that I am college material. So I enrolled into a junior college because that was the only place that would accept me at the time. And I got myself a math tutor, I got myself a regular tutor, I went to the map, I did this, I did everything I needed to do to increase that GPA. So I took my 2.0, barely 2.0 all the way to 3.5, where it was out able to transfer to a four year university where I was able to graduate college.
And I so wanted to go back to that principle and say, see, see, you’re wrong. I am college material. But you know, in the end, I should probably think this principle because in my head, I don’t know if I would have had that motivation to really go after and I had her voice playing in my head, when I would have these dark moments like this is too hard. This is too hard. And having her voice saying I’m not college material. I’m not college material. And I just wanted to do it so bad. So I did it. And so she gave me the motivation. So I thank her for giving me that motivation. And it was it was huge, huge in my life. Now I graduate college, I have no life experience whatsoever. I have no idea what the heck I want to do with myself at all. No clue, no clue. I had a family friend who was a CEO of a bank. And he said, Why don’t you become a mortgage loan officer, I’ll hire you. And I’m like, why not? I got nothing else going on my life right now. Let’s try it. Let’s go for it. So I get in. And right off the bat, no one wants to talk to me. Oh,
I’m going back to my days in junior high. I feel what the heck, nobody wants to talk. Yeah, like this is crazy. And I quickly realized the problem, why they didn’t want to talk to me. And the reason why they didn’t want to talk to me is because they knew I knew the CEO. So they knew was the name.
I knew it wasn’t because of my talents. So what they were going to do is they were going to chew me up and spit me out because I had no business being there. So I thought, Okay, well, let’s dig in and prove them wrong. So I had, I had a great attitude. I never complained about the workload, I did whatever needs to be done to get the job done. And from afar, because they didn’t want to talk to me, I was observing what the top loan officers did on a daily basis. And I remember my first day of wanting to go out in the field and get loans for the first time. And the CEO, my family friend stops me goes, What are you doing? And I’m like, I’m gonna go out and get loans. And he has a concerned look on his face and says, No, no, no, no, no, you are definitely not ready yet. We need to get you some more training, which is more training, then we’ll send you out in the field. I’m like, No, no, no, no, no, no, I’ve got this. Let’s go. Let’s go. So he’s like, All right, go. So I want and I fell on my face constantly.
I didn’t know. He was right. I needed way more training. But I just kept going falling on my face. I was getting used by these sites. I had no idea really what I was doing. But slowly but surely, I started to figure out the value I could add to these clients. And once I started to learn that slowly, but surely, I started to get loans, loans, loans, loans, loans. And two years later, I became a top producer in this company. And the people that didn’t want to talk to me when I first got there. And now coming to me asked me questions on how he was able to get so many loans at such a short period of time. It was such a great feeling. And I really, really enjoyed the mortgage interview for many years, but then 2008 2009 hit, the economy just tanked. I would get a job. And the whole company would go belly up, I get another job and the whole company would go belly up. So I was really losing the luster of being in this industry. And I remember one of my last places I was at, they hired this motivational speaker to talk to our sales team to kind of motivate us get us get our sales numbers up. And the guy blew me away. The guy was awesome. So I made a point to talk to him after to tell him how great of a job he did.
And he told me he started as a life coach, my life coach, what Matt heck is that? And he explained it to me and I’m like, you know what, maybe that’s what I want to do. Maybe that’s where I want to go with things right? So on the off time of being in the mortgage industry, I was getting my coaching certificate I started telling people Hey, I want to start to get into this coaching and then people just your me ago okay life coach, go out and save the world. But make sure you get some loans at the same time. But yeah, so this was going on. But then things got really serious, right, I got all my licensing. I got my website up and I was gonna do it on the side to get get to Get going at it. And I remember the legal team coming to me and goes, What? What are you doing?
And I explained what my plan was. And I’m like, this could be a conflict of interest, we’re gonna have to get back to you. I’m like, oh, that does not sound good. And they came back this five page report of what I couldn’t couldn’t say, while I was working at this bank. And I thought to myself, there’s no way I’m going to get any traction in the coaching world, if I follow this to the tee. So I’m going to have to make some changes. So I spent a year changing the way my spending habits paying off my debts knowing full well that if I’m doing this, I’m not going to make money for quite a while. So I changed all that up. And then I quit. And people were like, what in the heck are you doing? You just made president’s club at the at this bank, one of the highest honors and you’re quitting? I go, yep, I’m quitting. They’re like, this life coaching thing. This ain’t gonna last man, this is a flash in the pan, you’ll be back and I’m like, okay, so so I left and and for a while. I wasn’t doing well at coaching at all. I it was, it was very, very hard. And I thought they were right, I’m gonna have to go back.
Then I really had this realization of how am I allowing these people be vulnerable with me if I’m not going to be vulnerable with them? See, Tina, the story told you about having cerebral palsy. I wanted to bury that story. I want to tell anybody that story. Because all through growing up, all I wanted to do is fit in I didn’t want to stand out. I didn’t want I just want to be treated like everybody else. So just even bringing up the cerebral palsy almost put me to tears because I just didn’t want to go there. didn’t want to go there at all. And when I walked with a lip, I made up some stupid story like, oh, softball, injury, something silly. That works. Yeah, exactly. And, but but I thought, you know what, the only way I’m gonna do attraction in this business is if I’m vulnerable, if I share my story and where I’m coming from. So I started doing that. And the amazing thing about that is I remember my first client, my first client comes up to me goes, Paul, I don’t have cerebral palsy. But I have this. And I feel like you can help me, because you’ve been there before. I want your help. And it just built from there from just being vulnerable. And that brings me to today talk with you.
Yeah, it’s not the truth, though. I mean, what did you like about doing the mortgages? What part of that business Did you like?
I’m a people person. So I thought it was so cool. That on a Monday morning, I was driving to place to place not in a cubicle selling, you know, and I thought, Oh, this is this the best. These other people are in a cubicle Monday morning. But no, I’m driving around la trying to get loans, seeing different places. It was amazing. I loved it.
You have the freedom? Yes. Now, did you find people prepared with their crap? did you die? Because my clients? Yeah, cuz then.
No, no, no. I mean, it was. But yeah, a lot of them were not prepared. Yes, I agree with that. Yes.
They don’t know what they’re spending. They don’t know what they have for documents. They don’t know where their last T for slip is for their employment. They don’t know where, what their last income tax assessment was. I mean, I could, the list goes on. I’ve helped so many people. I’ve never sold mortgages, but I have sold real estate and I’ve sold insurance. And I’ve talked this to people all the time people ask me, Well, what do I need to have ready to ask about a mortgage? Like, what do I need to ask, what do I need to have prepared? Oh, I don’t know where that stuff is. So yeah. And so what did you find about 80 90% of people are like that?
Well, it was just really sad. Because part of the record part of the requirement that we required at the banks that I worked at most of them anyway, you had to have at least two two months reserves. So in other words, if you were to lose your job, you’d be able to make your your your mortgage payment, property taxes and insurance for two months while you’re looking for other work. And the sad thing that that I found, when I’ve asked these people that, you know, I need bank statements showing two months of this, and a lot of them said, we don’t have that. And I thought, wow, that’s sad. Because what like we talked about backstage was, you know, that backup plan, if something were to go wrong, what do you do, and if they don’t have two months to pay their mortgage, if something were to go wrong, they’re going to be in a lot of trouble. They’re probably going to have to sell their home.
Well, not only That, Paul, but just think of it if if one of them ended up in the hospital with COVID, unable to talk, and how does how do people if you have no money in in a reserve to be able to pay those bills that need to be paid? So when you come out of the hospital, your world is still there, as you know it. You know, can you imagine if, if somebody is not going to be looking after that stuff?
I yeah, it’s just it’s a scary thought. But unfortunately, they’re, you know, they’re so focused on the right, this moment that they just can’t go there, they can’t go there. They’re just looking right in front of them. And they’re not gonna look any further. And and I find that a common theme with a lot of my clients are great people. They’re great people great, love them great family, people love their family, and do anything for the family. But they’re just not thinking ahead.
Right? No, that’s awesome. And I’m sure you enjoyed that part with working with the people that I love.
I love talking with different people from different backgrounds, you know, we talk about food, talk about sports, whatever, you know, just got to know where they’re coming from. And it was really cool. You get another perspective in life it was right. Now, that’s awesome. how you’ve been able to go from possibly not walking to being one of the top sales people to now switching and coaching? And how do you think that’s affected people that you work in working with? Now? How do you find that? Does it always come out with you with every single client?
I mean, it’s such a passion of yours really. And truly, even though you didn’t want to talk about it, because it had a lot of hurt. Yeah, with it. Um, but now, look at you go. Look at how much you’ve accomplished. So amazing. And to be able to help others, right. Yeah. And I think that Oh, yeah, yeah. And I think that the thing that that I have that’s helped me is, is that empathy factor that they know, I’ve been through the struggle. So when they, when I’m talking, they know where it’s coming from, it’s coming from the soul and the heart like I’ve been there, I’ve gone where you’re where you’re at right now, I know how hard it is. So that empathy factor is huge on when I talk with them. And then when I have to be strong with them, because, you know, sometimes I have to snap them out of it.
You know, they get in this pattern of negativity, and I need to snap them out of it. They know where I’m coming from, they’re coming, that I’m coming from a place of love. Because I’ve been there I’ve been with the negative thought thinking too. And I have done things in my life to help me with that negative thinking when that happens, what I need to do, and I now now give that information to my clients, because it’s daily is something that you never master. It’s something that you have to work on every single day. And it’s so so important. self love, what you tell yourself on a daily basis is extremely important. Because if you’re not right there, how are you going to be able to take care of your family? How are you going to be able to accomplish your goals, because when I’m angry, and I’m sad, I’m not very productive at all. So I’m not well ready to take on my feet, help out my family, or go after the goals I want to go after are given a real goal at my job or start my own business, whatever, whatever it is for that person. I’m not there if I’m always angry or sad.
And that’s true, you can’t think you’re working at a very different functional level. What do you find now with working with people? does it bring up? I mean, you probably work with it every day, of course, this mindset, but I remember going to a baseball camp. And a coach told us once because when you go up to bat, it’s like life. You might be scared of that pitcher, they might have switch pitchers on you. And now I can hear all the kids yelling Oh my god, she’s so good. You know, when my girls were playing, and I say stop worrying about her and start worrying about yourself. Don’t Don’t even think like think the ball is super slow. It’s a beach ball coming at you think that she’s the worst pitcher ever? And and just change your mindset when you go up to bat like you’ve got this. And yeah, it’s funny how I always come back to hitting the ball at that point, because it’s all what’s in your mind.
It’s almost not anything of what you do with the bat. I know it is but you have to of course hit it in the right place and everything but, um, but it’s just so much more with your mindset. And I remember this coach was saying Oh, Hey girls, if you you put 10 dimes in your right pocket in the morning. And that night, you see how many of those coins are switched to your left pocket. And by doing that, every time you have a negative thought, you take one of those times and you move it into your left pocket. And so you become more aware of your negative thoughts and trying to switch them. Because you know how darn hard that is to first recognize that you’re thinking negatively. And secondly, how do you get through that negative thought, and that’s what you’re talking about, is trying to be more positive thoughts. And I don’t know if you’ve ever heard that before. But that was one baseball coach that gave us that tip.
I love that I think that’s a great little exercise to do, and I see what it’s doing. Because it’s all about awareness. That’s what you were saying, right? There’s aware, hey, I have these, these thoughts in my head, you know, well, maybe I shouldn’t have these thoughts in my head, maybe I should change it. But the first thing that has to happen is you need to be aware of these, this negative thinking that you’re thinking about yourself. That’s number one. And once you start to be aware of these thoughts, then you can change that pattern of thinking. And I love what you said about the baseball because you’re so right. You can’t control who they put out as pitcher, you can’t, they could be the best pitcher wherever they could be the worst pitcher, whatever, you can’t control that. But what you can control is your mindset, you can control what you do at the plate.
Well, how you handle yourself. So how I handle myself at the plate was you know what I’m going to do. And if I strike striking, out swinging, and that’s how it’s going to go down. And I can hold my head up high, because I did what I had to do. And you know what? It got me this time. But you know what? The second at bat, it’s going to be a different story. Right? Because now you’ve seen it. So now you can hit it. Right? Absolutely right. Yep, that’s exactly right. You’re right. It’s funny how it everything comes back to sports, isn’t it? Well, for me it does, cuz I love sports. But yeah, I mean, so that’s the analogies that come up when I’m talking with my clients. So I have one client, and she’s awesome, but she doesn’t know sports at all. And I’ll bring it up these analogies to the sport, start with the sports. So it’s kind of fun. We have a kind of a fun little dancer about it.
Yeah, but I find it does. I I’m not really sure why it does. But it does for business it does for your personal life. Everything that I’ve learned over the years, it’s all seem to have come from sports. It’s very strange how that happens. Next, sports. Yep. So you focus on self help. So that Sure. So you’ve been able to either help people with their relationship moving forward because of self help. And you’ve been able to help people with their own business or whatever your whatever you’re finding with clients.
You know, it’s the funniest thing about the whole thing is, they’ll come to me for whatever, you know, their business or relationships or whatever, but down deep, and all starts with that the person inside themselves. And when they start doing that, when they start to evaluate themselves, and start to change the way they think about themselves. All the other stuff comes into play, they start to have better relationships with their family, they start to do better at their work or start a new business they have they have, they have the motivation to do it. Because it all starts within ourselves. And it’s it’s huge. I like to use this analogy. You know, when you’re going on a plane, and the students goes over the safety things, they say, make sure you put on your mask first, before you help anybody else. And that’s the same thing in life. You got to make sure you’re right first before you start to do anything else. Because if you don’t do it that way, you’re going to be going in quicksand, it’s not going to be very productive. So you need to stop what you’re doing and worry about yourself. It’s not being selfish, it’s unnecessary to get to where you need to be Take care of yourself first, and everything else will fall into place. After being a mom.
I think that that’s a hard concept. Because as a mom when you have little kids anyways, you don’t think of yourself first at least I know I didn’t. That was obviously mistaken. part because I think that you can only be as strong as you are for yourself for your relationship. And then for your family. I guess it goes like that. But you don’t want to analyze it like that when you’re in it. You know, you don’t think, Oh, I’m not doing my own stuff for myself today, because you’re, you’re just you put all your efforts as a mom to your kids. And I, I’m not really sure how you can do you have clients like that, where it’s a struggle.
Being a mom, I’m a man, I’m not a mom. But that’s one of the hardest jobs to be as a mom, I bottom line, it is very, very hard. But one thing that I know that that helps, is stop feeling guilty when you take care of yourself, if you can stop just doing that. So stop feeling guilty, things will come into play, and you know what your kids will be in a better spot. If you do it that way. It is truly the case. When you feel good about yourself down deep. Your kids will see it they feed off your energy, especially when you talk about little kids, they feed off that energy so that they know mom’s not right, that affects them too. So it’s super important that moms take care of themselves, get that massage that you’ve been putting off, don’t do it, don’t put it off, get it go on that vacation with your with your with your husband, for the weekend or whatever, do it. Do those things, because it’s gonna make a huge difference in your child’s life.
Yes, I sometimes tell the story as a mom, because I remember my daughter, I think my youngest one was about I want to say 10 or 10, I guess. And I remember one morning and she said Oh mom, my girlfriend, my my friends coming over to play. And I said okay, well, I didn’t realize that having my flannel pajamas still on. not sexy at all. And here she comes in the door with her mom, all dressed to the hilt, black leather jacket, you know, black pants, black leather pants, like, high heels off. And I’m just like, oh my god, I have to go and hide. I can’t see her with my yucky flannel pajamas on and see her out the door. And I just, I just did it anyways, I had no choice, I had nowhere to hide. So at that point, that was kind of a wake up call to me to be honest, to say, Why do I feel so bad? Even in flannel pajamas? What’s wrong with me? You know, like, you don’t have to be all dressed up all the time. You don’t have to, you know, um, but yeah, that was a hard learning curve. For me. And I think a lot of moms probably feel the same. Because I don’t know, if you’ve experienced this, but going to the school and you see it, there is a true quite a few movies about Bad Moms. And they all have to do with school. Because we are we’re always always trying to compare ourselves to others. And I think you have to stop doing that as well.
You can’t compare yourself to anybody else, it’s just impossible to do, you do not know where somebody starting line is. And you do not know where their finishing line is. So stop comparing. Just try to be the best person you can be. And if some if you feel like somebody is ahead of you ask for help and say, Hey, how’d you get to that level? What did you do to get there? And because most of the time they’re gonna be flat, and they’re like, oh, why don’t you think I’m at a high level? Because in their head, they’re like, well, I don’t feel like I’m at that high level. And then but they’ll they’ll be like, Oh, well, I’m going to help you. And they’re going to feel good about helping you. So it’s, it’s so important than to throw that out. That’s it goes back to the self help self esteem. Don’t compare yourself to anybody else. You just just don’t know where they’re, you don’t know where they were their heads out, you don’t know what’s going through their head, they have their struggles that you do not know about. So don’t go there. Right now, the best person you can be and things will come into play.
Yeah, absolutely. And that’s hard to do course as a mom and all the stuff that you have to do but I wish I would have known you way back then. To to make my life easier, that would have been lovely. And so moving forward. Do you get a lot of people with their own businesses because that’s like having their own other family on the side and that’s a that’s a struggle for time management, their own life and working their business.
Yeah. I get a lot, I get a lot of people, a lot of other coaches, that they come to me that they’re starting their business, and they want to know how I was able to do it, how they how they can implement it. So that’s, that’s a huge thing. And a lot of them are running their tail around, you know, because they’re, you know, they’re struggling, they don’t have that many clients. So they want to do everything for their client, and they’re not making any money, and they’re spending eight hours, 80 hours a week, and they’re not making any money. And, and that’s the wrong way to do it. We got to set plan the boundaries, set boundaries, that you know what, at 7pm, that’s when I have dinner with my family. And that’s not negotiable, I have dinner with my family, I don’t care what the client needs at 7pm, I have dinner with my family, whatever that boundary is for that person. But there needs to be set boundaries and set times of work. You know, like some of these people want to get into business because they you know, they want to have spend more time with their family, well, then you know what you need to schedule that into your into your book. So then when a client calls you and says, Hey, I want to schedule a call, or schedule an appointment at 3pm, on a Friday, are you available, you look at your book and say, unfortunately, not I have an appointment. And that appointment, you know, they don’t need to know, but that appointments with their family or whatever, whatever it is, that needs to get linked into it. And when you when you do that you become more efficient in that time period. Because you know, this is the time where I need to work. And I need to make it happen, because this is the time I set forth on it. So that’s a huge difference is is is good time management, setting up a schedule and setting up boundaries.
And that’s super hard within the social marketing world. Because you know how long it takes to do your marketing portion, if you’re doing it yourself and not handing it over to a person to do it for you. Especially for people that are listening that have new businesses. It seems like you’re constantly doing the social media. So you have to take time and block that off as well, I guess because otherwise you’re constantly doing it.
Absolutely. And one of the other things I want to mention about social media, I have clients that like are terrified to do videos, they actually make it 100% perfect. And I tell them stop with the perfect and get it done. Because when I watch videos, you know those idiosyncrasies are what makes me catch my eye when it’s too perfect. I’m like, Yeah, I like things to be authentic. And when there’s a little off, you know, if something goofy happens, and they’re able to laugh it off them as a human being and I think that’s important. So if anything about the social media aspect of it, stop trying to be perfect and just do it and not worry about what other people are thinking about you. Because the right people will connect with you. If you’re authentic yourself. There’s going to be people that are want to connect with you because you’re authentic to yourself. So you’re telling me that all my goof ups, other viewers, because you’re you’re you’re being human, that’s what we want, especially in podcasts, we want to see who you are as a human being. We talked about this earlier about being vulnerable. And I think if you were loot to is you want people to be human. You know, we’re not superheroes, nobody can relate to superheroes, because we’re not. So we want to connect with people. We want to know them. You know, warts and all. And when you see somebody here, here’s somebody warts and all, you’re like, you know what, I can connect with that person because I went through a similar struggle I can relate to that, where the person is going through or if I gaff Oh, I get to you know, I had a presentation where I gasped, so it all connects. So yes, all the all, although all those little goof ups make who you are.
And it’s it’s a beautiful thing.
Oh, thank you. It just reminds me when I do confer up to try to see that Irish accent I I’m going to try and do it in front of the mirror a few times to see if it comes out. Right? You have it in your head and it just doesn’t come out the way you want. But go for it because you can laugh at yourself. That it’s all fun, right? People were like, Oh, you know what, I tried to do an Irish accent and I couldn’t do it too. So your Irish accents better than mine. So it’s the sorts of dialogue.
Um, what do you think that men in the world can do? Do you get a lot of men clients? Are you getting a lot of women clients?
You know, it’s funny, we talked about the 6040 women men thing and it’s, it’s for me, too. I have even though I’m a man 60% of my clients are women. And I think it’s what you’re alluded to is I think women are more accepting of their feelings and are willing to go deep. But you know what, what I’m finding out though, is you know, we bash on the millennial generation a lot for various reasons. One thing I want to give the millennial generation a props on is the man is they are a little bit more in touch with their feelings than other generations of men. And I think that’s a good thing. So some of my millennial clients that I talked to, are very in touch with their, with their, their feelings. And I think that’s a good thing. I think that one thing that the millennial generation, I think is doing a great job of is they’re, they’re highlighting mental health. Other generations I don’t think highlighted as well as the millennial generation has done it. And I think that’s huge. I think that get the elephant out, talk about the elephant in the room, you know, talk about suicide, talk about these issues. Because the more we talk about it, the more we can help each other.
Well, because they’re out there, you can’t, you can’t avoid it now. I mean, there’s suicides, there’s overdoses, there’s childhood issues, I don’t know, where what do you say that you work on the most with people childhood issues, or relationship, or tragic things that have happened to them in their life, you know, it’s all a various different things for different people. But it all comes back to their limited belief inside their head, it’s all starts right there. And that’s what happens to work out there. They come from me for all different things.
But when we, when we tear off the onion, it comes back to to self love. And that that limited belief that we need a break. And once we start breaking that limited belief, then we can really dive into whatever goal is because the funny thing is, when we after we break that limited belief, then all of a sudden, their goal is actually something different, because they come to me with some modest thing that they want to do, because they don’t want to tell me what they really want to do. Because they’re telling me that so they, they tell me this mid level goal that they want to do. But really they want to, they want to climb Mount Everest. And now that I broke that limited belief, now they feel more comfortable. Say, you know what, Paul, that really is not my goal. And I go, okay, what’s really your goal, and it’s something much, much higher. And that, to me is very rewarding, that we peel back that onion, and we’re gonna really go after the things that we really want to go after.
Yes, because you can’t go after it. If you don’t have focus towards it, I guess is really truly
What do you feel? Is has it been difficult with any certain type of clients to actually find and dig down deep inside to find out what is the real issue?
Yes, I find that some clients if they had the self sabotage, where like, we feel like we’re going down the right road. And then I talk and then we have another call. And then they’re like, but I, but um, this but I’m that I’m this. And this set, the self doubt talk, like, we talked about this, we’re not that these are all just thoughts, these are not your reality. They’re just things that come in your head, don’t make them reality, your mind doesn’t know what’s reality or not. So if you focus in on what you want to focus on, your mind’s going to go there. I use this example all the time. When you buy a car, and all sudden, you’re driving that car down the road, all sudden, you see that same car that you just bought all over the place. Because your mind’s looking for it. It’s the same thing with the positive and negative mindset, your mind goes with what you’re thinking about. So it’s, it’s all about training our mind focus in on what we truly, truly want, and the positive things that that happen, you know, that could happen in our lives? Absolutely.
And that’s so true. Because if somebody said, Oh, did you hear about that new app out? Or? or whatever it might be? And you say, No, and then all of a sudden you see it everywhere? soon as somebody mentioned.
Yeah. Um, what?
How do you rewrite your own story?
Are you rewrite your story, it all starts with, again, with us. On You know what? giving ourselves grace and knowing that, you know, we’re not perfect people, and we’re going to fail, but be okay to fail and keep moving forward. The reason why I talk about rewriting your story is because from from obviously, as an infant, somebody wanted to take the pen from me and write the story they thought I should be doing, right. And all through my life. I refuse to give up my pen, because I wanted to write the story that I wanted for my life. And that’s what I want for my clients. Take back that pen and start writing the story that they want for their lives, not for their spouse, not for their kids, but for who they want to be. And these you start doing that. All these great things are gonna start happening. Oh, that’s beautiful.
What do you feel that people have beliefs when you’re talking to them that it’s just too high of a goal? Like you need to make steps towards that goal? Or do you find people are limiting? Or do you feel that sometimes people have too high of a goal to reach?
Well, first of all, I’m forever ever to say to anybody that they have a too high of a golden reach, you know, who am I to tell them that they can’t reach that goal? Heck, no. But we need what we need to do is we need to start to break that big goal down into smaller goals, step by step by step by step so we can reach the top of the goal that we want to reach. If we just go, Hey, I want to climb Mount Everest, and that’s what I want to do tomorrow, you’re gonna have a rough COVID. But if you practice for six months of, you know, climbing other mountains and and getting your body prepared for it, then the task is not so daunting, because you did the work you put in the time. And that’s what it’s all about is is just, what’s that next step? Are you okay? You got that big goal? I love it. Let’s go, what’s next step? What’s the next thing that we need to do? What is that, and that’s what we need to be focused on. It’s good that we have the end goal. But after we have that goal set, then it’s just step by step by step and to be patient. So often, we are not patient, we are not, we want things right away, we want things instantly. And you know, what if it’s, if it’s a lofty goal, it might take years to get, and you got to be okay with that. What you need to do is enjoy the journey. Enjoy the now getting there. I use this analogy. I love analogy.
So that’s why I throw out a lot at you. When you see a kid building Legos, right? The most fun they’re having is when they’re actually building the Legos, building something, you know, they may have fun, after the fact to show their parents what they built. But when they’re having the most joy is actually when they’re in the moment building Legos. And that’s what we need to do. When we have a goal, we need to enjoy building those Legos. That’s the that’s that’s the secret sauce. It’s not actually the goal. It’s the journey to get there. That’s the that’s that’s where you build the character is going after it and and setting that goal and taking action. Because I’ve set so many goals in my life where you know what, I didn’t reach it. But you know, and now looking back, though, and you know what? I’m glad I didn’t reach it, because because I went through this journey. And now I want to go this way. And I wouldn’t have I wouldn’t have thought of that if I didn’t go through this journey path.
What about people that want to get to those goals, but they’ve had so many times of failures before that’s such a hard, because your mind automatically goes back to those previous failures, like every time you go up to bat, and you strike out, you know how some people, I don’t know if any listeners are out there that have played baseball, or softball, but you go up to bat and you get into these funks of not hitting the ball. I don’t know what happens. But obviously your mind focus isn’t there. Because you wouldn’t be in a funk. You just, you’re just struggling with life. Every time I get up there, I can’t do it. So you can’t do it. Right? It’s just keeps on occurring. Just keeps on Well, my past history says I failed at doing that. So I can’t go down that road.
So how do you do that?
So you look at anybody that you think, quote unquote, is successful. And whatever that is, it could be in relationships, it could be in business, it could be in anything. And I’m going to tell you right now that every single one of those persons, people failed over and over and over again, probably more than other people failed. But you know what, they were okay with it. They were okay with failing and getting back up, because it one step closer to their goal, one step closer to going you know what I learned from that? Thomas Edison. I, you know, I don’t know how many inventions he had. But there was 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of 1000s of failures for him. But he kept learning from those failures. And I think that’s extremely important that we that we that we know that that we all fail, if you’re not failing, you need to set a higher goal for yourself. Because that’s where that’s where the learning, that’s where the growth comes into play is failing. Because you learn so much failure when things go right. You really don’t learn that much. But when things don’t go right, you learn so much more. So I challenge you to get uncomfortable and set these lofty goals and have failure be an option.
Be just part of the journey. That’s right. Yeah. Did you have any final notes that you would like to mention to the listeners? You’ve had many, many good ones. But yeah, well, I developed a Facebook group called rewrite your story. And we, we have people all over the world. And we have a safe space where people can tell their stories with no judgment. Please, just help each other and push each other up.
And we do monthly meetups, where we get together, we have a topic, and we just lift each other up, and we’d be vulnerable with each other. We tell people, you know, what, this month has been really good for me, this is what I’m going through. And what is discovered is another person will say, you know what, I went through that a year ago, and this is what I did. And you’re like, Oh, really, I’m not alone. Other people go through this. So it’s a beautiful thing. And people are developing friendships out of it. People are developing professional relationships. They’re doing business with each other. So it’s a great thing. So if you’re in the Facebook world, rewrite your story, we’d love to have you The more the merrier.
Oh, that’s beautiful. Because I think people need that support. You know, he definitely need to know that you’re not the only one struggling or not the only one to fall down on their knees and, like, beg for mercy sometimes. Please, please listen. Yeah, so no, thank you for sharing that. And I have included that in the description box below for everybody, as well. Oh, you remember that? You? Yeah, remember the grip? I think? Yeah. See ya. And I think by talking with others from around the world, it just shows that you can feel those feelings and that you can move through them, I guess, you could say, and that you have people behind you doing the same thing. That’s, that’s awesome. Yeah. Awesome. Thank you so very, very much for sharing your unbelievable story that you, you know, you struggle with on a daily basis. But I shouldn’t say struggle, because you don’t. You don’t allow it to inhibit you. You don’t allow yourself to struggle with it. You think of it as a moving part that turns?
I guess, I don’t I don’t know how to explain that. But. But, yeah, I just find it fascinating. And you’re so motivating and inspiring. I hope that all our listeners have, you know, can overcome their tweets I’ve talked to I’ve had a lady on who had a leg amputated from cancer. I’ve had people that have been raped, and I’ve had people on the show that have been mentally abused, and car accidents and so many wonderful things have come come out of issues. And I did want to mention that having a backup plan. like Paul here had many different choices. And part of it isn’t always just financial, but it’s spiritual. And it’s about loving yourself and being able to win once you love yourself, you’re able to do many things in your career in your relationship, and possibly in your backup plan because you’re going to feel a little bit more secure in yourself to to be better prepared for those that love you. Because everybody has people around them that love them. And they want to be better prepared because they know they’re not Superman, even though they think they are. So thanks so much, Paul, for coming out to our show today. You’re a delight to have on I feel honored that you’ve come out and I’m looking forward to more fun things in the group on your Facebook group and, and listeners, please like share and subscribe down here below. Paul’s gonna make me sing my song about clicking the bell. Ring that bell ring that bell down there in the corner. Ring the bell and push the subscribe button. There you go. I did it just for you.
Thank you, thank you. song from a 70 ring. He just need that little background music to go along with it.
Well, people don’t realize that you know they don’t realize they can like the button and share it And they don’t realize that there’s this bell I know my sister even said what are you talking about? What’s the bell? So there you go.
Thank you so so very much for coming out to our show today. I hope that we’ve inspired you. You can be the Superman but only when you’re prepared for the unexpected because everyone has a story that will bring you to your knees and be the survival guide. And that’s what Paul’s doing for everybody. He’s had a quite a story that is brought him to his knees and now he’s out there helping others accomplish their goals and their missions and their passions in life. Thank you so very much, Paul, thank you so very much. So stay safe everyone. Be kind. Till next time. Bye.
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Family Bonds that can hurt or heal, our interview today with Mirinda Kossoff, and she’s an author and a writer of the Rope of life- A Memoir is a memoir is a daughter’s story told with love and compassion. Absolutely beautiful.
“In truth a family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share, by the the commitment of time, caring and love you show to one another, and by the hopes for the future you have as individuals and as a unit.” Marge Kennedy
And we all need that right now in our lives with the pandemic. Absolutely. So if please like, share, and subscribe this channel with all of your friends and family. Your Backup Plan APP brings your life all in one place. So that in case of any unpredictable circumstance, what does that mean? What are those unpredictable circumstances? Well, that could be a car accident, a hurricane, a tornado, earthquake, a flood, losing your wallet or passport while you’re traveling? What’s in your wallet? What happens when you go into the hospital for surgery?
Or COVID? All of a sudden, and who’s gonna look after your cat? How do they know what cat food to pick? How do they know who your vet is? How do they get into your home? How do they pay your electricity bill so that when you come home, it’s still on an operating? How do they do all of these things so that you can actually recover and Get home safe and sound and not have any of those stresses or worries. And it doesn’t have to be on death. Of course we talk about death as well because there’s so many different things. Around the death part, that if you don’t have all your T’s crossed, and your eyes dotted, it can be very, very messy, very unsettling. Lots of family feuds, lots of family fights.
And it’s not just for the average person. It’s also for celebrities, because they’re in the news all the time as well, that they didn’t have their crap together as well. Robin Williams, Michael Jackson, Johnson, and Johnson, all sorts of singers, actors, actresses, all sorts of people that did not have their plans in place. And that’s just not just the documents, it’s everything. What do you want it to look like? What do you want to have happen? All of those kinds of things we talked about, as well as the fun part of the treasure box in in module number 12.
So anyways, let’s get this party started here. And enough about the app and our discussion here. One thing you know, and and that’s why we get people to expect the unexpected, because you don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring. And I’d like to mention our wonderful United States listeners, thank you so very much. We love you. We send lots of love and light to you guys. You’re one of our biggest listeners, Canada’s next and we love you as well. And Germany is our next upcoming listener, community. And Ireland is next. And I did a really poor job of my Irish accent. So I’m definitely going to need some assistance with that. And the next one is Sweden that’s coming up in the ranks. And I’m also want to thank Ireland for listening. We love you and Sweden. We love you as well. Let’s get this party started because I’m going to have to have some assistance with the Swedish part as well. So thank you guys. Thank
you. Thank you. Thank you.
So let’s get our guest on here. Mirinda Kossoff. She is here for us. There she is.
Hi, Tina. I’m delighted to be here. Oh, thank you, Mirinda, thank you so much for coming. Mirinda is coming to us from North Carolina, beautiful North Carolina today. I wish I was there with you. She’s an author and a writer. She just finished the rope of life and then more of a daughter’s story told with love and compassion. I’m so excited to hear about how this all started for you. And your beautiful story that can help others because we all don’t have that perfect family. And I don’t know who does. But they all seem to appear on Instagram and Facebook. Like they are all perfect families. That we all know that that’s not really the truth. But we can have love and compassion anyways in our family. And yours is no different. Where would you like to start? Like, let’s start from the beginning. Mirinda, let’s start right from the beginning.
Well, there are several beginnings to start from, um, maybe I should mention since the role of life is primarily about my father in my relationship with him and how that influenced my choices as I got older, especially my choices and men that my father was a Jew who grew up in New York, and at 19. He enlisted in World War Two. He flew a b 17. He was a top turret gunner and Flight Engineer and flew 26 missions over Germany.
And the the death rate among the Army Air Corps was about 50% so he was lucky he got back alive. And to make this story I’m spooling out not too long. I’ll just say that he met and married my mother. When he was stationed in Greensboro before North Carolina before he shipped out. I’m sorry he didn’t marry her before he shipped out. He married her when he came back. And my mother was a Southern Baptist, a fundamentalist Southern Baptist. So the two couldn’t be further apart. She was also almost a decade older than he. But he came back this handsome, dashing war hero, and my mother at that time, he was 21. And she was 30. And she was bordering on at that time being an old maid, because all the available men had were at war during those years.
So the to married in December of 1945. And then I was born Three years later, my father converted to my mother’s religion. And he was all in he became a Baptist, a deacon in the Baptist church. He supported the missionaries, he was very fond of Baptist missionaries. And he tried generally to pass as a good old Southern boy, which was difficult in the town. I grew up in Danville, Virginia, which in history is best known as the last capital of the Confederacy. When Jefferson Davis fled from Richmond, he set up confederacy headquarters in the old Sutherland mansion in Danville, Virginia. And so Danville took pride in its place in history as the last capital of the Confederacy. Now, I think we would look at that and say, nothing to be proud of there.
But this gives you a sense of where he was trying to fit in was the Jim Crow South. The blacks in our area, were demonstrating for their civil rights, Martin Luther King visited three times in 1963. So there was a lot going on that was swept under the rug. My father, fairly typical of men of his era was not very emotionally available. I never saw him cry. My mother said the only time she saw him cry was when he took the dental board to practice in North Carolina because that’s where they wanted to settle to be near my mother’s twin sister. And he was flunked and my mother found out through some channels that he was flown on purpose because they didn’t want another Jew practicing in North Carolina. So that’s how we ended up in Danville, Virginia, there was an opening for a public health dentist, he passed the boards in Virginia, handily, and he settled there.
And he, he was a man of many, many talents. He he was a wonderful dentist, he his patients loved him, he would tell jokes, and he would make funny lyrics to songs that you you knew, like I Dream of Jeannie because I was called Jean. He was saying I Dream of Jeannie with the light brain skin, and, and other things like that. That was just typical of him. He used humor, to both connect to people and also to keep a distance. And he did that with me. And he did that with my three siblings. I’m the oldest of four. And to fast forward, he ran for city council and last and then he bought land in the county surrounding Danville, ran for county commissioner and lost. And my mother in a letter to me because I was in college at the time, said he, he said he was a failure.
And here was a man who had built the home of his dreams on 126 acres, built up a hangar had his own airplane, had his pilot like pilot’s license and a pool house with a pool so he could swim because he had a bad back. And he sort of devolved into a chronic pain patient who we could tell us also depressed. And my book opens with a flight I took with him when he was about 50. And I was I was about 29 or 30. And he he had lost his daring do because he was very nervous flying the plane which made me very nervous. Being in the passenger seat, it was a single engine Cessna. And I realized at that point that my father was not as old self, so can do, can do anything. Brilliant self, he was a man who was slowly falling apart. And it was a Gordian knot of reasons why this was happening. And partially, I think it was a subtle anti Semitism.
He experienced and, and, and I as his daughter did, even though we weren’t going to Baptist church regularly. So he committed suicide at age 55, he was on the psychiatric wing of University of Virginia hospital, under 24 hours suicide watch. But knowing my father, and knowing that my father could solve any problem could get around any obstacle. Um, I wasn’t surprised that he was able to do that, even though we thought he was safe. So it was, we were gutted. It was it was a shock, even though, you know, he had talked about suicide. And we knew how depressed he was. He blamed it on his chronic pain, but I think it was so much more than pain. There was a lot of psychological pain and pain that he could not share with anyone. So my book, the book has been in me for 20 years, and prior
was what puts him in the hospital. Miranda did some incident happen.
Well, he had been in four other hospitals. for back pain, he had two back surgeries, and neither did any good. And he felt only made his back problem worse. He’d been in the VA hospital in Durham. He’d been in hospital in Winston Salem, he’d been in the Danville Memorial Hospital.
And what’s wrong with his back? I mean, um, I have, they didn’t know as much as they know about, well,
he had herniated discs. And they did a laminectomy, which means, you know, they trim the disc material that’s bulging out, I have the same disease process in my back that he had. Oh, wow. And I can tell you, it’s very painful. But I can also tell you that people live with it. And that, I don’t think it was the pain alone, that made him want to leave us. Um, I think it was so much more. So throughout my life, I’ve always, my career was in communications.
I was at Duke University for 15 years. And I wrote a lot of essays and pieces about my father, I just couldn’t. I couldn’t set it aside, his suicide was such a seminal moment in my life, that I thought about it, I wrote about it in various ways. And then I finally decided to write a book about it. When my mother died in 2000. I thought, well, I know she wouldn’t be happy about me writing this. But now that she’s gone, I can start this and I wrote an essay that was published in a book of women’s essays. And one of my sisters got wind of it. And it didn’t like the fact that I had written about dad suicide. And I didn’t mention my siblings in this essay, it was about me and my father and my reaction to a suicide. But she, there was pushback that was such that I, I stopped writing I had done a few chapters 20 years later, you know, it’s, it’s now 20 2019, I would say or late 2018. I just had this insistent voice inside that that said, You have got to write this. You’ve got to write this book. You have to write you have to write and I kept trying to ignore it, because I know what’s going on. My family upset the remaining family, my three siblings. And I was with a friend. And, and I was I had tears in my eyes and I said, I feel like I’m going to die if I don’t write this book. And she said, write it.
And at that time, I realized that writing it for me would be a catharsis and it would lead me to understand better my father, his choice, my relationship with him, and how his his relationship to me pushed me to make the choices I made unconsciously in my first marriage, and I always joked that if you put me in a room with 30 men, I would gravitate to the one who was the most emotionally unavailable, or the most screwed up. And I would have this kind of radar, there’d be bows going off and be like, Oh, yes, I have to be with this person. And that was not a good model for for picking a spouse and, and so that relationship lasted seven years. And I had identical twin sons as a result of that relationship. But it was a mutual agreement to part ways. I had said before we were married, that I want a career, I’m not going to be a stay at home wife, and I don’t want children. The career is what I is really what I want. And I think that was the authentic me speaking. But he turned 30 and a friend and had a baby and waxed eloquent about watching the birth of his daughter, then my ex husband got the baby bug. And he pushed it and talked about it. And I was afraid if I didn’t get pregnant, that he would leave me and find somebody who would. So I did what was against my my nature, given that my parents were not I would not call them loving parents. They provided they guided, they were strict. They had rules. They brought us up with a sense of values, but I never felt loved. I was never told. I love you. Do you think common though during that era? Yeah. I think it probably was, though. I had friends whose whose fathers had pet names for them like kitten, Marquis, Sparky.
And yeah, cute things. And my my father called me Cruella after the bill in the 101 Dalmatians movie. Well, that was nice. Yeah, I it was a blow when he came out with that, and it’s sort of stuck. And he called me that. Um, and I still remember standing in the vestibule of the church getting ready to walk down the aisle for that first marriage. And my father was going to walk me down the aisle, I had a bouquet that had baby’s breath in it. And I was shaking, I was nervous. And the baby’s breath was quivering, trembling, and instead of saying what you would hope, like, I’m sad to give you away today, but I want this to be I want the best thing are some, he teased me about being nervous. He said, Look at those flowers, and he was laughing and I was just, it was like, he cut me off at the knees.
And my sisters who were my bridesmaid said when I was walking down the aisle that I looked like I was going to my execution and he did not set the tone very well. So that was my dad, a brilliant man but a man who didn’t know himself who didn’t wouldn’t know feeling if it slapped him upside the head. And do you think he struggled with PTSD from from the war? I think he probably did. He talked about it a lot. Instead of bedtime stories when I got you know six or older, he told me stories about the war about the plane being so shot up that he didn’t think they would make it back to base they had been in a dogfight with Mr. Smith’s. And he told me that that was when he converted, he prayed to God, that if he said I will become a Christian if you get me in the cruise safely back to base. So that’s what he did. And I knew the names of all of his crew members, boggy, Bev Fletcher and stoop names, but he talked about the war incessantly. And you know, there may have been some of that. And I think, as life went on, there would never be any feelings as intense as those that he had then both fear and being so alive because death is right there. And also the camaraderie with people you are relying on for your life and you support each other.
So I think that was that world war two was, was loomed large in his life for years and years and years. So yes, it may have been Benson PTSD. Did he lose some crew members from his group? No, they all survived. It’s not nice. 26 missions. Yeah, because they stayed together. But he told me, he would be very sad when he would come back to the Quonset hut, that was their bunk. They were stationed in England. And there will be empty bunks, men who didn’t make it back, and he said that every time he came home from a mission, there was another empty bunk and someone else had been killed. So So that’s another aspect of him.
As you can see, man, yeah, kind of gives you that eerie feeling. Because it’s it’s a fact. It’s, it’s an acknowledgement when he was in that situation. of the fact of of you may not make it.
Yes, yes. And he talks back, he never talked about. He never talked about fear, or any of his other emotions, or that might have been involved in being in that situation. He only mentioned fear. When he decided to become a Christian, you know, he was afraid they wouldn’t make it back. But weren’t me every time I got in that plane. I’d be terrified. Knowing that might be coming. Right.
Did you feel I mean, there’s a lot of there’s quite a few celebrities that got on pain medicine. Like he probably did for his back. Michael Jackson. had that issue.
Yeah, protocol is what he overdosed. So yeah, as a dentist, so he could prescribe he prescribed for himself. Yeah, that wasn’t good. No. But the pharmacist finally wised up and refuse to fill the prescriptions my father wrote for himself. So that was kind of the end of that.
What do you really think was the reason that he killed himself? Yeah. Do you think I mean, someone has to be really unhappy?
I think it was the split from his heritage, giving up everything he grew up with. He stayed in touch with his parents, my grandparents who were a big influence on me. Though I didn’t see them very often. I think it was that he failed to be accepted the way he wanted to be accepted in this southern town. He did not, he was not able to blend in and become a southerner and become accepted for the man that he was the man that he had become, rather than the man he or the person he was born as. Because he was referred to by some people as that Yankee Jew. When he was running for city council, someone told my mother who didn’t know that she was who she was married to, that I know one person I’m not voting for for city council and set Yankee Jew Kossoff.
And my mother push they were at the Five and Dime lunch counter and my mother pushed back and said, Well, I’m as you Kossoff and I, you know, I’ll be voting for him. And I’m sure the man mumbled something and then walked off. I hope you felt bad. It was that kind Have you know, like a death by 1000 cuts these these incidents? And people would say, oh, Kossoff. That’s an unusual name where y’all from. And I’m so I’m from here just like you. I was born in Greensboro and I grew up in Virginia, and born in Greensboro, North Carolina, I grew up in Virginia. And even in Sunday school, they would ask me to explain the Jewish holidays to the other students.
And I said, Well, I’m Baptist, just like you, I don’t know. So I think my father with some self hatred, and feelings of failure and not being able to confront or deal with his emotions, the psi head psychiatrist at UVA, I talked with him after my father’s death. And he said to me that your father was the most difficult patient I ever had, he said that I was not able to begin to get to the core of his deep despair. So in some ways, it will always be a bit of a mystery. But for me, in writing the book, I put together all of these pieces and it gave me a bigger picture of my father. A bigger picture of why I expected so little from the men in my life.
Because I, I got so little growing up my father, when I was a girl played with me, but then the other kids were born, and a son was born. And then when the sun came along, that was it, you know, and did your dad grow up died? I’m not sure if you had mentioned this.
Did he grow up in that area as well? Or did he he grew up in Manhattan, and then Mount Vernon, New York. My, his father, my grandfather, Hermann Kossoff, was a concert pianist. And he was immigrated from Russia as a child. And he spoke five languages fluently. He, he could talk like a professor, like a college professor, he was so erudite. And I love that about him. And, and he stoked my love of travel, and my love of language and of France, in particular, because he taught me my first French phrase sitting on his knee.
Mamsa whose specialty, Madam, you’re very kind, and I would use that, you know, whether appropriate or not, I would use that in different circumstances. But I was, I was very close to him. And my mother’s side of the family, we’re I’m not well educated, working class people who had a lot of racism. And I, I knew early on, that wasn’t right. And we’re
both from Russia. Sorry.
We’re both of them from Russia, or, or were my father’s parents. Yes. Though. My grandmother Satie was born in the US, but her her parents came from Russia as well. Because from them, they’re both Jewish. Yes. And my father was brought up Jewish, he was bought Bar Mitzvah, and I have a prayer book. And, and my grandfather’s prayer book.
Oh, cool. It sounds like they were almost like in Poland, because I know a lot of the Jews from Poland tried to, you know, go elsewhere as well. I’m not sure about the Russia part.
And I know the Berlin Wall was there. It was quite the, the big episode back at that time, I think. No, not then. We’re talking about under the rule of Tsar Nicholas the second. There were pogroms against the Jews in Russia, and Nicolas was incredibly anti Semitic. And the story I don’t know if it’s apocryphal, but the story of my family is that my great grandfather Isaac, was in the Czar’s army and Jews retreated terribly. But he wounded himself with his own saber in order to get out of the army and eventually made his way to the coast to get a boat to come to America. And okay, he brought my grandfather and his wife had some of the other children stay behind.
But they came a few years later. So many, many Russian Jews came over during the turn of the century, late a majority of them going to United States or did they go in other parts as well?
Well, so, so went to Canada, and I think my my grandparents came, my grandfather came through Canada when, when they came to the, quote, new world. So they were very assimilated, like my my grandparents, and they weren’t orthodox, and they were not particularly observant. They were more secular Jews, culturally, they were Jewish. And they observed the big holidays, like Yom Kippur War, and Passover. So I knew enough I knew about those from my my grandparents. But the other side of my family, my mother’s side were all they had own slaves. And they were wealthy at one time, but after they lost everything after the Civil War, and I don’t feel sorry for them for that. And, and they were native North Carolinians, that my lineage on my mother’s side is English and Irish with a little bit of Swedish, because her maiden name was Whitfield. So I was very much attracted to the Jewish side of my family.
Because they were the artists, the musicians, the the smart people. And my cousins on my mother’s side, use the N word. And I was afraid of them. I didn’t like being around them. But they were the ones that I saw the most unfortunately. Right. Did do you think that is deep stuff was from growing up? Do you think? When you’re thinking back now, do you think part of that was from earlier on? Growing up years?
It may have been, I’m not sure. What kind of a father My grandfather was, um, he was a terrific grandfather to me. But I do know that he went to Europe every summer. And he quite often would leave my grand mother and my dad back in New York. And he had lots of friends in Europe. He would, he spoke German, and Italian and French, and some Russian, and Spanish. And he had friends all over Europe. And I don’t, I think a child would just be in the way. And I knew that about him as I got older. But the contrast between the two sides of my family was so huge, in my mother’s eyes. My being close to my Jewish grandparents was a betrayal of her, because they did not want my father to marry her. And they tried to stop it. They want him to marry a Jewish woman. And, and perhaps someone secular, but for him to go off and marry someone. So polar opposite was something they had a hard time with. And so my mother resented that, and she often compared me to my grandfather, I would make a gesture and she’s she would say, You look just like grandpa Herman when you did that. And that was not a compliment in her mind, and it was her way. I think she marginalized me in the family because I’m the one who looks the most like the Jewish side of my family. I’m the one who was the most interested in my siblings, my siblings, excuse me, didn’t have any interest in Judaism or that side of the family. I was on who I would take a bus or train up to New York to visit my grandparents when I was in my teens, I would go by myself. So all of all of this came together in this book awesome.
It and helped me figure out a lot about myself about the like I said the choices I made in men and fortunately, myself second marriage has been really wonderful and I until recently didn’t understand why I did this. But when I met my current husband, we dated we went out for six months, never kissed, didn’t touch. And. And I think, in retrospect, I kept, he told me that he just felt I was kind of frosty. And he didn’t want to push it with me. And I think I was keeping it a distance because here was a real live man who could be emotionally available. Oh, my God. How do you do with that? Well, yeah, what do I do with that? I was scared. And finally, you know, I listened to my gut, which I didn’t listen to the first time around. And my gut was saying, yep, do it. This is a really good man. This is a stand up, man. This is a man who will be there for you. This is a man who won’t try to leave you. And so I’m very grateful for the lessons that I’ve learned. And the place I’ve wound up. I’m now a grandmother of two. I have my one of my twin sons is married and has these two wonderful grandchildren. Five and 10 years old. My other son has not married and, and my husband has two grandchildren. Through his his daughter, he has a son and a daughter, who are grown up and have extremely interesting professional lives once a physicist, the others have violinists with the Cincinnati orchestra. My husband was, was up as soon as with the North Carolina Symphony, but also has a PhD in physics. So his children got a flavor. And my two sons both have their own businesses, because they heard me kvetch about work and working for somebody else. long enough, they decided that they were going to work for themselves. So so we have a blended family. And we we visit each other’s grandchildren, my grandchildren live close by.
So I see a lot more than than we do my husband’s grandchildren, because they live in Cincinnati, Ohio. That’s quite a distance from you. It is and we actually had gotten them together. When there was only one. We got them together with my granddaughter, his granddaughter, and my, my granddaughter who is considerably older, but when they visited with her, we all got together, which was really nice. And I hope we can do that with she has my stepdaughter has a son now who’s 18 months, and my grandson is five, and her daughter’s five. So my daughter is 10. So, you know, looking to the future. I think that my husband and I will distributed distributed evenly our estate among our each grown children equal shares, and with the provision that in the instance that they have, that they’re no longer live, it would go to the grandchildren.
The next ones. What about your dad’s? Did he pass away in the hospital then a suicide? Or he did? And what? I guess it must be pretty hard to conjure up suicide when you’re in a hospital.
Yeah, well, he was a determined man. And he used the the tie to his bathroom to hang himself. He looked at over the hook on the bathroom door and look the other end around his neck. Now that hook my father was six feet tall. That hook was not taller than he was. So he had to actually slump on the floor against the rope. It wasn’t like stepping off a chair. And that’s it. You can’t go back. You’ve done it. He He was so determined that he leaned slumped against that tide and cinched it so tight, that he has succeeded himself. And that takes a will to that, to me is unfathomable. I can’t. Yeah, it’s so strong that you would think that He might, you know, clawed his throat and stand up to take the pressure off. Yeah, but you didn’t. And my brother saw the autopsy. Well, the photos of him in the hospital before they took his body away, I didn’t see them. But my brother said his eyes were open.
And I didn’t want to know any more about that. But we did see him. He had a Southern Baptist funeral. So there was an open casket for people to file by before the service, and then it was closed. And I write about that my book too. That’s onion hard. And then things came full circle. Um, I don’t know if we have time for being mentioned this, but the last chapter of my book is about ashes from the Holocaust. My, my cousin, on my mother’s side, the racist cousin, who also collected Nazi memorabilia, he had a swastika hanging on his bedroom wall, and often wondered what my father thought, when we visited of that, seeing that? Well, after both his parents were dead, and his older brother, who was a sexual predator, was dead. He contacted us and told us about these ashes his father had brought back from Dhaka, he had gone to Dachau to he was a courier to deliver something. And the camp had just been liberated a few days earlier. So a former prisoner took him around the prison camp and dock him and gave him a scoop of compacted ashes, and said, Take this, so you will never forget what happened here.
And my grandpa, my uncle, never talked about it. And when he was dying, he had heart failure. He told my cousin, the youngest of his two sons about the ashes, and the story of how he came to have them. And then my cousin kept them hidden in a drawer for 20 years. And this cousin is the only one left of the entire family. And he has had three heart attacks. So he decided he better tell us about the ashes, because if he died, and we cleaned out his place, we might throw it away, not knowing what it was, and I was so bad. And he had asked my sister who lives in Washington, and she couldn’t. And so she gave them to me. And I said, I’ll find because he wanted a burial for these ashes with with Jewish rights. And so I was able to do that through a local to local rabbis and a woman who found it was a co founder of the Holocaust, speaker’s bureau, here in the triangle region of North Carolina, where I live.
And so I was on the committee with the two rabbis and a couple of other people to play on this service. And it was attended by the mayor, all the news organizations, and one of my jobs on the committee was to put out a news release and let everybody know about the service. And some kind soul drove my cousin from his little trailer in the mountains where he lived to the service, so he could be there. But he was in a wheelchair, he’s very overweight. And so they gave me the honor of carrying the ashes in a wooden box, with a Star of David carved on top, to the grave site that that had been dug for these ashes. And as we filed by, there were Holocaust survivors at the service. And I heard them say, for my mother, for my father, for my sister, for my brother, and I picked up some dirt, and I put it inside, on top of the little casket and I said, for my father and for my grandfather.
And it was like, things that come full circle, the two sides of my family, the Jewish side and the Gentile side, in this last chapter, come together through these ashes. And it was very moving my husband who is not well, neither of us is are believers. We don’t have religion isn’t a part of our lives. But he said he was the only other than my cousin, the only non Jewish person sitting under the tent watching this. And the cameras pan that we saw, we saw the people under the tent on TV, and my husband was crying. He said I was the only because I was the only guy crying on camera and, and I was like, I wasn’t even belonging there. Right. But that tells you the kind of man he is people. When he’s moved, the tells you how inspiring and moving that whole thing was. It’s it was it. For me, you know, I’ve always felt like, Oh, well, I think of Adrienne Rich’s essay called split at the root. She had a Gentile mother and a Jewish father. And I always felt that that I had one foot in each camp, but belonged fully to neither. My siblings all feel their Southern Baptists, and they’re still very, very much practicing Southern Baptist. But in the ceremony, it pulled the two halves together, temporarily. And I felt a sense of wholeness within myself, even though I didn’t feel like I could really be a Jew. And I knew I couldn’t be a Southern Baptist, I left that behind a long time ago.
So because you were torn in between. I’m sorry. You were torn in between both worlds.
Yes, in the Jewish world was much more fascinating to me, just because my cousins, my second cousins on that side of the family were so accomplished. They were ballet dancers, they were they became one is an orchestra conductor. Another one worked for Broadway. And that they’re they’re all extremely interesting and accomplished. And I can’t say that about the other side of my family. My cousin is still alive. He still lives in the mountains in a trailer. And it’s amazing that he’s still alive. But we talk. We have completely different belief systems and political beliefs, and political views, which can create huge rifts. But because he’s alone, and he has no one else. We talk and he talks with my siblings, and I tell him, I love him. Because partially because he he brought those ashes to light. And he was a big enough man. Realize that what he thought and felt as a younger man was wrong.
I asked him once, why did you collect Nazi memorabilia? And he said, I don’t know. I just did. So he’s never, he was never able to tell me what was the fascination with that. But in today’s political climate, now you can see a fascination
with it. Right? Right. I I’ve been to a couple concentration camps in Germany. And it’s something you can never get out of your eyes. Right, those things once you see it, you cannot get it out. You can never unsee it.
That’s right. I went to Theresa and start. I took my sons to the Czech Republic, when they were 19, because I thought that might be the last time they’d be willing to travel with me. And I took them to. It’s also called terracing, which was the show camp, you know, the Nazis used it in propaganda, say, look how well these people are treated. And they actually gave them toothbrushes and gave them things that they normally didn’t have just for this film. But they were shipped off from terrorism to the death camps. And there are also a lot of people political prisoners shot there. And I was standing between a couple of the buildings, one that has the, the barracks where all the prisoners slept, you know, in tears have like, three or four bunk beds high and, and the yard and I thought as I was standing there, in this soil is the blood of people who were shot by the Nazis, for being Jewish, for being against what The Nazi Party believed in for acting on their beliefs. There’s blood under my feet in the soil. And that was so penetratingly deep and awareness for me that I’ve carried it with me and my sons are now 42.
So this was quite a long time ago. So I understand what you’re saying about. You can never forget when you see that, no, you know, that ceramic tile table that they would do surgeries on to test things. And the troughs that they had for the blood to drip down into buckets. Yes. And the showers that they had in the concentration camps that everyone thought they were lining up to go in for a shower, and it was a death your gas sentence. And it wasn’t just what you saw with your eyes. It’s it’s the environment. It’s the feeling it’s the energy is still there. The the, I don’t know, it’s like going to an old horror house like a haunted house kind of feeling. It’s an eerie, eerie feeling even in the nicest place in there. Yes. Still.
Beautiful day. And yeah. I think you’re right there is Ms. Smells
like there’s still the smell is still lingering there. And it’s very moving and very poignant to to even comprehend. What actually happened is unbelievable.
Yes, my son’s couldn’t take it. I mean, they. They wanted to leave. And I and I said, Well, if you if you don’t want to go through these carts, you can sit out you’re on a bench until I’m done. But they they couldn’t handle it. Yeah. No, it’s very moving.
Something you’ll never forget. That’s for sure. And the feeling is, um, I just don’t understand how anyone can can do. That movement was unbelievable. The strength of that group. Unbelievable. Thank goodness, it’s all behind us now. And we’ve learned so much, I guess is what we were supposed to do. I’m not really sure But well, father’s lots of maths. I mean, he was a dentist. He had a business. He was working. He had income. He had a plane he had property was when he committed suicide was a stuff in order, like did he have it planned?
I don’t think so. I think my mother had to do a lot of work on your state. We also had a cottage at Lake about an hour’s drive away. And he bought for lots because they dammed they dammed up a pass and he knew that that lake would be very popular recreational property. And right now, you nobody could afford a lot up there. And he bought for three as an investment and one to put our own family’s cottage on. But my mother, she didn’t consult with us. Because I would like to have maybe gone in with my siblings and kept that cottage but she sold the three lots and the cottage and had she held on to them just for maybe another decade, she would have quadrupled the investment for sure. He was a very smart man. He was he was brilliant that way. He was brilliant in so many ways. And he had so much to give and so much life left. And what hurt me the most was my grant, my son’s never got to know him as a grandfather. He saw them once when they were six weeks old.
And then yeah, that was it. And he treated them like little space aliens. He was just, you know, he wasn’t there. At that point. He was so far gone, that I put one of my son’s in his lap and he just sat there and didn’t say anything and I was afraid he’d let the baby slip off his lap so I quickly snatched up my son And it was heartbreaking because yeah, I said, Don’t you want to take a fishing? Like I’d love to hunt and fish? I said, you can teach another generation how to fish these, these boys will adore you. But yeah, nothing could keep them on this planet
now obviously had something else to do something bigger to to accomplish obviously. Sounds like he, he had it in him to leave it just not really sure what all that was about, but I don’t think we ever know. Even with the celebrities, do we ever No, no, no.
I mean, I think with Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I think happening both in the same year that that raise the profile of suicide because these two people, they were at the peak of their careers. Yeah, they had everything to live for just like mine. And yet, and we’re smart and intelligent and successful and just doesn’t make sense. Really? Yeah.
Those of us left behind, or left to grapple with that. Yeah, yeah.
Yeah, it’s not fair in so many ways, I guess, what kinds of things what, what kinds of things now that you have a blended family? You have to look at your life now, in a better viewpoint than what your dad didn’t do. He was so smart in so many ways, and then just didn’t put the pieces of the pie left together for everybody. And right now, um, what kinds of things? You know, are you concerned about? having it all in place for you guys, because blended families, and you’re older as well. So it’s not like, you know, you have little kids or anything?
Um, yeah, I bought a book. It has a funny title, but it’s actually very important. It’s called, now I’m dead. What you need to know. And in it, there’s space for you to put all of your bank account numbers, everything, everything to do with your state, who your attorney is. And both my sons have my Living Will my my health care? My husband is my health care power of attorney. But both my sons also have that. And so yeah, I think, and that book will stay in a very obvious place. Because your children don’t want to talk about it. Yeah, you know.
And we’re, I find our generation wants to talk about it more than our parents. Did. Our parents wanted to keep everything a secret for some reason. Exactly. Yeah. But it is getting better. But I think our kids don’t want to talk about it, because they don’t want to think that it might happen. Right? So it’s just not up for a discussion. But luckily, in our program, we have worksheets to have hold family conversations, either with your friend, family member, brother, sister, mom, dad, whoever, but it helps you with a worksheet to be able to go down the worksheet and actually make tic marks about, you know, if I did get sick, what do I want that to look like? Where do I want to live? Do I want to live in someone else’s a family member’s home? Do I want to go into a care facility of some sort? What do I want that picture to look like all of those kinds of things, not just death. But if I got sick if I couldn’t see if I couldn’t pay? Or if I if I couldn’t get around? What kinds of things do I want it to look like? And it’s so complicated in a blended family?
Because you want to be fair to both sides. Right? So yeah, it’s definitely something to think about for our listeners to to start thinking about, you know, you can have your Will you can have your power of attorney. But what if we’re immobile on eyes? If what if you weren’t both in your right frame of mind? You know, there’s so many different instances of something happen. You could be in a car accident tomorrow. Yeah. And be in a wheelchair or Not being able to move around for a year or two. What do you want that to look like? So yeah, I appreciate your story. Because after being in Europe and seeing that for myself, no wonder someone wants to commit suicide after. Because those, that world was definitely something very scary. Very scary. And I’m so glad it’s behind us that the Holocaust is but anti Semitism is on the rise and be around forever. But it’s it’s pretty scary right now. Yeah.
We just had a 20 year old on Sunday. And Ontario, drive up in a pickup truck that was definitely meant to happen. It wasn’t a mistake. They say it was it was a terrorism terrorist act. Hit a family going for a walk three generations, five people four died. And the nine year old son is living in the hospital so far
without a family.
So and they were all Muslim, religious background. And it’s just so sad to think that someone would want to do that. I, you know, it’s uncomprehending, especially in this time of the world. But like you said, there’s weird things going on. Yeah.
I mean, we see it in the rise of Asian hate crimes because of the Coronavirus. And, and I’m glad you brought up Muslims, because there’s certainly a lot of anti Muslim sentiment in the United States. And Jews, you know, minorities, but of course, blacks. Yeah.
Yeah, Black Lives Matter. Yeah. And now we’ve in Canada, we just had the residential school, find out one of our cities that there’s 215 bodies of children buried with no, no idea of how they died. And no, indigenous. Yeah. And that’s all from the Catholic religious schools. So crazy, crazy things happening all around the world. And it’s no different. It sounds like them, what your wonderful dad had to put up with and all of that struggle. It must have been beautiful for him to be up in that sky, though. Maybe he really liked to be flying in that sky to feel like he was up above everything.
Well, he did love flying, and he renewed his pilot’s license. And he would fly to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for fishing weekend. So he had an old car. But he kept at the Outer Banks.
So when he landed there, he parked his car at the little airstrip there. And he had his fishing weekend and then he fly back home. I mean, he had everything he ever dreamed of. Yeah, he made it happen. Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade. Yes. Robin Williams. Well, Robin is more understandable. Because he had a brain disease. Oh, did he body Lewy body dementia. And he knew it. And it’s a terrible, a terrible brain disease. And I can understand his suicide because he didn’t want to burden anyone and become, you know, become a shell of himself and not have any of himself left and I have a good friend whose partner develop Lewy body dementia. And she kept him at home as long as she could. But eventually, she had to put him in a care home and I went with her as support to visit him and I didn’t even recognize him. It was really beautiful. And she felt that it would have been better had he died much sooner because he wasn’t living and such was in this constant state of grace. grief and wanting the best for him. And it was terrible. So I can imagine somebody wanting for themselves when they get the news that that’s going to be their future.
Yeah, that’s true. What about? What kind of final note do you have for our listeners?
Oh, well, um, as I think back about what I’ve written and the choices I’ve made, I say, always listen to that internal voice you have. I learned at my excuse me, I learned at my peril. All right, I ignored it at my peril. And when I learned to listen to that voice, then I usually was doing the right thing. So there’s a part of us that knows that is true and deep and real, and loving and kind. And if we can stay connected to that part of us, then life is so much better, regardless of how old you are, or what physical ailments you’re dealing with.
That’s really, really beautiful. Thank you. And we should and I think the younger we are, the more we don’t write. It’s not till we’re older that we realize that there’s these two. I call them little people on our shoulders. One that kind of says, oh, Tina, it’s fine. And the other guys other one says, No. So those are my inside. people that come out and talk to me. sounds really weird. Doesn’t that when I set it out? Well, I have my critic that sits on my shoulder when I’m writing like, that’s no good. You know, start over again. This paragraph sounds terrible. Yeah, and I, you know, I can go back and get I gotcha.
Yeah. Isn’t that the truth? No. Well, thank you so much. I really, really enjoyed your story. I think so many will, because it resonates with their lives, I’m sure. In some culture, some religious background or or if you’ve been in Europe, I mean, you can feel that I definitely feel it. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for writing the book.
Thank you. Thank you for speaking with me. I’ve enjoyed it.
Oh, thank you. Well, listeners, oh, my goodness, it’s that time again. And I just want to continue with our story. Miranda’s story is just so beautiful her information in the box down below. For anybody who wants to grab one of her books, or reach out to her I’m sure she’d be happy to do that. Thank you again, Miranda for coming out. Thank you for watching listeners. Till next time, stay safe. Thank you, everyone. You’re welcome. Be kind, lots of love bye