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Lori: It's exactly like building the plane while you're flying it. A lot of our life experience can't be fixed until you start breaking something. If you don't get started, you can't improve as you go along. So, it's a matter of accepting that you're going to suck in the beginning. Just get your head to a place that you are, alright, I'm going to suck. Can you wrap your head around, yes, you're going to suck? Most people probably aren't even going to notice because they're too busy focused on themselves. So, once you can start from that place, and accept that you'll get better as you go along.
Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis, a podcast for people navigating the complexities and possibilities of life's second half. Join your hosts, Billy and Brian, a couple of average dudes who will serve as your armchair life coaches, as we share our life experiences — both the good and the bad — in an effort to help us all better understand how we can enjoy and make the most of the life we have left to live in a more meaningful way. Take a deep breath, embrace the present, and journey with us through The Mindful Midlife Crisis.
Billy: Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. I'm your host, Billy. As always, I'm joined by my good friend, Brian on the Bass. Brian, how are you doing over there, man?
Brian: I'm thrilled, Billy. How about you?
Billy: I am also thrilled. We were just featured on Twin Cities Live. Thanks to our wonderful past guest and good friend, Kristen Brown. We'll add a link in the show notes, so you can see Kristen talk about how amazing our podcast is.
Brian: I mean, she was right.
Billy: She is absolutely right, and she also did a stellar job of selling the podcast. I believe she described us as devastatingly handsome, wildly intelligent, and very, very funny.
Brian: I think she also said there's going to be a lot of competition for the Sexiest Man Alive this year. Did she say that? I heard that.
Billy: I think I heard that, too. If she didn't say that, we'll just dub that in. That sounds great. So, we're feeling a little better than fine today, which is absolutely fitting. Because our guest today wants you to be more than just fine. She works with people to turn them from fine to fantastic. Our guest today is Lori Saitz. Lori is the CEO of Zen Rabbit, and the host of the podcast FINE is a 4-Letter Word. She's an award-winning writer, speaker and broadcaster, and a nationally recognized expert in using gratitude and meditation as shortcuts to success.
The most difficult thing she's ever done is leave a 22-year marriage. That experience inspired her transformational Fuck Being Fine Program. That is my favorite program name of all time right there. We are going to talk to her about that. Through it, she guides corporate teams and private clients who are finished living in a dumpster fire to a place of unprecedented clarity, peace, and productivity. She is very funny, too. When she's not working, you can find Lori in her sanctuary, aka the weight room at the gym. She also loves cupcakes, Thai food, and classic rock.
Billy: Welcome to the show, Lori Saitz.
Lori: Thank you so much for having me.
Billy: Absolutely. Brian and I very much love rock and roll. So, who are your classic rock go-tos?
Lori: Oh my gosh, so many. Tom Petty, Van Halen. Although, I got to admit, I like Van and Hagar. I do.
Billy: I do, too.
Lori: I like Sammy.
Billy: I am, too. I think he's the better singer. I think Dave is easily more entertaining.
Brian: He's a better performer.
Billy: But Sammy, in my opinion, is the better singer. That's a controversial take, but I feel validated that the three of us are on board with that one.
Brian: Well, I think Sammy had a lot more contribution musically to Van Halen than Dave could ever do, because Sammy is a guitar player.
Lori: Right. Sammy alone is good. Just Sammy, on his own. Amazing.
Brian: Oh yeah. Even starting at Montrose, you know?
Lori: Yeah, and if you've ever seen Sammy in concert, he goes two and a half, three hours straight. Just beautiful.
Billy: I'm guessing you've seen Sammy Hagar.
Lori: I have. Several. A couple of times.
Billy: Did you get to see Tom Petty before he passed?
Lori: I did not. That is one of the biggest regrets.
Brian: I played with Tom Petty one time.
Brian: Summerfest. When we were at Summerfest, Tom Petty was in the Marcus Amphitheater. I mean, we were on the side stage completely, but I can technically say we played with Tom Petty. I remember driving out. I was sitting backstage and listening. Because we had to roll to the next show, so I was listening to Tom Petty. We were driving overnight to Iowa or something like that, and listening and thinking, wow, I wish I could actually be out in front and listen to it. But we were in a stupid van.
Billy: In my wallet, I have a pick from Mike Campbell — Tom Petty and The Heartbreaker's guitar player. Because I was lucky enough to be in the third row when Pearl Jam opened for Tom Petty. Mike Campbell threw a pick out. It hit me in the chest, and then I caught it. Eric grabbed it off the ground. Yeah, the rest is history. I was actually practicing the ukulele with Mike Campbell's pick the other day. Interestingly enough, it did not make me a better ukulele player. So, it's not the pick of destiny. But what have you.
So, Lori, we like to ask our guests, what 10 roles they play in their life? So, what are the 10 roles that you play in your life?
Lori: Number one is friend. That's always been at the top, and will likely always be at the top. Then we've got daughter, sister, aunt, coach, entrepreneur, cat servant, baker, health wellness and fitness enthusiast, and number 10 is connector.
Billy: I like that one. I want to talk about cat servant. How far away are you from becoming a crazy cat lady?
Lori: Okay. So, the husband, he would only allow me to have two. So, I only have two. I don't know what qualifies as crazy cat lady, but I don't think it's two. I think it's many more than two.
Billy: I'm going to say three is teetering, and four you're there.
Brian: You're there. Yeah, you're there if four.
Billy: So, you're still safe. Two — it's because they need a friend, right?
Lori: Right, they need someone to beat up on.
Billy: So, what are the three roles that you are most looking forward to in the second half of life?
Lori: Yeah, that's a tall order. I can't pick three. Do I have to pick three? Definitely, friend. No question. I don't know how I would have made it to my life at this point without being and having friends. But I mean, really, I see myself in all of those roles moving forward, except, possibly — I mean, I will always be a daughter. But who knows how much longer my dad will still be alive? So, that one might drop out. Then I would love to add partner to my list of roles.
Billy: So, I brought up connector before. I'm curious about that. What do you mean by connector?
Lori: Networking. Like connecting people, not just networking. Who can I put together? Who can I introduce, and how can I build connections? My feeling is, we live in a society, in a world, where people feel so disconnected. So many issues that we are looking at, that are going on are, I believe, because people just don't feel connected to other people. So, this role of connector to me has several meanings. It's, one, who can I introduce you to on a business level? Or who can I introduce you to, just because I think that you two would be cool friends or something like that? But then also, how can I help people feel more connected to other humans?
Brian: It's really interesting. Because, first off, you're right. I think people feel more disconnected from other people these days. But I'm wondering. The question that popped into my head while you were talking is, why do you guys think that is when we have so many more ways to communicate that you can't go anywhere without somebody being able to find you now, but yet we feel disconnected?
Lori: Because we are connected on a surface level. We're not connected at a heart level.
Billy: That's what I was going to say. I feel like those connections are more superficial.
Billy: The one thing that I really like about your podcast is you have an array of guests on your show, and they're from all over the place. So, I feel like, yeah, you are a connector because you're reaching out to people from all parts of the world — not just the United States, but all parts of the world. You're connecting with people. I saw that you had a guest on there from Australia. So, I imagine that your role as a coach really lends to being able to build connections with other people.
Lori: It does. In fact, within the Fuck Being Fine Program, it's called the Trilogy for Success. The trilogy is gratitude, connections, and courage. Connections is extremely important just as being a human.
Billy: Yeah, and you brought up that Fuck Being Fine. Once again, my favorite program name ever. So, what we're going to do is we're going to take a quick break. And when we come back, we're going to let Lori talk about what that Fuck Being Fine Program is, just so I can continue saying fuck being fine. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis.
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And now, let's take a minute to be present with our breath. If you're listening somewhere safe and quiet, close your eyes and slowly inhale for 4, 3, 2, 1. Hold for 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Slowly exhale for 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Let's do that one more time. Inhale for 4, 3, 2, 1. Hold for 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Slowly exhale for 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Go ahead and open your eyes. You feel better? We certainly hope so. And now, back to the show.
Billy: Welcome back to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. We are here with transformational coach, Lori Saitz. You can check her out at www.zenrabbitcom. Listen to her podcast, FINE is a 4-Letter Word. Lori, I'm going to ask you a question that you're familiar with from your podcast, but I'm going to put a little twist on it here. So, what are the values and beliefs that were instilled in you as a child? But how have those values and beliefs evolved into this Fuck Being Fine Program?
Lori: Okay. You turned the tables on me. The values and beliefs that were instilled in me, a couple of them — one was, education is important. That is always, and always will be one of the values that I carry. Because, again, as humans, growth and development, that's what our soul needs. A lot of times people get stuck at FINE because they're not growing. Their soul is crying for more. That's where they get stuck. So, other beliefs. My mom used to tell a story about me at six years old coming home from first grade in tears, because I got a 96 on a spelling test. 96 not 100.
Billy: Oh, man.
Lori: She didn't know where that came, like where did that perfectionism come from? Somewhere, that belief was instilled in me — that I had to be perfect. I had to be better than everyone else. Not from an egotistical place, it's just because that's how I felt I had to be. It's okay if you got a 96, but it's not okay if I got a 96. So, I have evolved from that. Now I'm at a place where I'm more like, okay, done is better than perfect. Let's get to it. Because otherwise, I'm standing on the sidelines, which I did for many years. I was looking at everybody else playing, let's say, and not jumping in because I wasn't sure I could do it perfectly. I was missing out. Let's just go already.
Billy: I'm glad that you said that. Because it reminds me, there's a great program here in the Twin Cities called Youth Frontiers. Youth Frontiers works with teenagers. They do retreats and stuff like that. One of the messages that they have is celebrate the 97 right. Forget about the three wrong but celebrate the 97 right. I struggle with perfectionism. Anybody listens to the show knows that I struggle with perfectionism. Brian definitely knows I struggle with perfectionism.
Brian: He does. I can confirm that. It is confirmed.
Billy: But I think you're right. There was a point with this podcast that there was just a, "You know what? It's good enough. We're going to put it out there, and this is going to happen." We were able to put it out there, and now we're building momentum. Though it sometimes feels like we're building the plane while flying it, I feel like we have a good structure in place. So, how do you keep that in check, then, when you're working with your clients?
Lori: It's exactly like building the plane while you're flying it. A lot of our life experience can't be fixed until you start breaking something. If you don't get started, you can't improve as you go along. So, it's a matter of accepting that you're going to suck in the beginning. Just get your head to a place that you are, alright, I'm going to suck. Nobody's going to care. Like, can you wrap your head around, yes, you're going to suck? Most people probably aren't even going to notice because they're too busy focused on themselves. So, once you can start from that place, and accept that you'll get better as you go along.
Billy: They're probably stuck thinking about themselves in the 'I also suck.'
Billy: They're self-conscious about that, so they're too busy worrying about their own suckyness to think about your suckyness.
Brian: I had an example of this this week, in fact. My oldest child, we were sitting down. He wanted to learn how to play guitar. I gave it to him, and then I see the guitar laying around later. I'm like, "Well, have you picked it up?" He's like, "No, I stopped because I suck at this." I'm like, "Well, what do you expect? You're just starting to guitar. You're going to suck. You're going to suck for a long time, but you'll get better if you keep sucking."
Billy: I remember trying to teach my students mindfulness. There was one student in particular. She really struggled with perfection. She would say, "I'm just not doing it right. I'm not doing it right. I can't get these thoughts out of my head, da, da, da, da. I can't focus on my breath." It was just like, "Listen, when you're practicing mindfulness, you're doing it right." Mindfulness is all about failure. You're constantly failing during a meditation. You're constantly failing during mindfulness practice. That's the point. The point is to recognize that, hey, I'm not thinking about my breath anymore. So, let me turn my attention back to my breath. Let's see if I can go a little bit longer stretched this time thinking about that. You really incorporate gratitude and meditation and visualization into this toolbox for your program. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
Lori: Yeah, well, we're talking about connection, the connection piece of the trilogy for success. All right. Starting with the gratitude piece, which is its own pillar. Gratitude is the highest vibration, energetically, that you can be at. Love and gratitude are the highest. So, if you can get yourself into feeling those emotions, then you just feel better. It feels better to be vibrating. Let's just not even go into the energetic vibration thing. That may be too woowoo. But even just emotionally feeling love and gratitude, it feels so much better than being stuck down in anger, resentment, frustration, overwhelm.
To be fair, if you are feeling any of those emotions, go ahead and feel them. I'm not saying cover them up and pretend they don't exist. Feel them. My point is though, when you can feel gratitude, then feel it. Express it. Share your gratitude with other people. Let them know that you're grateful for them.
Now you're taking it to the next level, biochemically. The changes that happen in your brain and in your body when you are feeling grateful, it's incredible. Right now where people are talking about immune system more than ever, when you are in a state of gratitude and feeling that emotion, your body is flooded with the feel good chemical — serotonin and dopamine — which boosts your immune system. So, it's not just, "Oh yeah, I feel good," like you're on some kind of drug. You are actually affecting your physical and biochemical systems.
Billy: So, you talked about gratitude. You enjoy baking, and you launched this Zen Rabbit baking company and started what you call 'gratitude cookies.' So, what are these? What role does gratitude play in the work? Did these gratitude cookies then add to that sense of happiness for you? I'm kind of looking at it from a love languages point. Are your love languages or is one of your love language acts of service or gifts to tie that all together?
Lori: Yeah, my love language is acts of service. Good call. When I started the baking company, that was my first venture into entrepreneurship. That business was, I was making and selling gratitude cookies, which were based on a family recipe. We used to make them for the holidays. As an adult, when I started making them, people would say, "Oh, my gosh. These are so good. You should sell these," like every food entrepreneurs' story. So, I turned it into a business, but not to be the next Mrs. Fields. I have a background in marketing and communications. So, I looked at it as how can I make this a marketing tool for businesses to say thank you to their clients. I ran that business for 11 years. I couldn't quite scale it the way I wanted to, and shut it down. But that is what drew me into the whole world of gratitude. Because when I was running that business, I was talking a lot about gratitude — how gratitude in business affects success.
Billy: You also have your courage as part of this framework. You just talked about the gratitude cookies and starting that business. You've done the Zen Rabbit. You're doing the podcast. These things take courage, because you're putting yourself out there. You're taking risk. We talked to John Wessinger about re-examining our relationship with risk. So, talk about how does courage work into this framework.
Lori: Yeah, well, I skipped over. You had asked me earlier about the connection piece of the thing as it ties into meditation. So, one of the key pieces of the connection pillar is connection to yourself. That's where the meditation part comes in. So, you can be super grateful. You can be in that state of gratitude. You can be very connected and still not take action, because you need the courage piece.
So, I think that kind of ties into the name of the program, of the Fuck Being Fine. Because you get to a point where you're just like, "Oh, I cannot take being fine one more day." You could have been fine for 20 years. Some people stay at that place for that many, many years. Then one day, you just snap. Not in a killer psychotic way, but you just snap. I'm thinking of the show. There's a show. There used to be a show called Snapped. I think it was on the Oxygen channel. Do you remember? It was about killers.
Brian: Yeah, it's a true crime show. Yeah.
Lori: Right. True crime show. Anyway, one day, you just go, "I'm done. I cannot stay at fine any more." That is why I named the program that. Because you're just like, "I'm done."
Billy: So, what was the moment for you when you realized fuck being fine?
Lori: It was a gradual process, as it is for most people. I mentioned I shut down that business, the baking company, because I couldn't scale it the way I wanted to. I had decided already that I was going to shut it down. Then at the same time, my mom was diagnosed with an acute form of leukemia. She passed away about six weeks later. That was in 2014.
So, those two things — as I was going through mourning the death of my business and my mother — got me to start thinking about, okay, do I want to live the next 20 years the same way I lived the last 20? Not that those 20 years previous had been terrible. They hadn't. They were fine. She was only 73 years old. So, how much time do I have? Nobody knows. What do I want to do moving forward? It still took me another four years before I decided to leave my marriage. Because, again, it was fine. There was nothing. He's an amazing human, and we still have a lot of love and respect for each other. Not the right relationship for either one of us to stay in. It wasn't serving either one of us. But because it's fine, it's hard to jump out of that. Like, why would you jump out of something that was good enough when it could be worse on the other side? You don't know. That's why people stay stuck. That's why it requires that courage. So, at one point, I just went, okay, we have to rip off this band aid.
Billy: You asked one of your guests this question. When you asked it, it hit me like, oh, wow. I wonder if Lori is asking this because she thought this. The question you asked was — you actually alluded to it a little bit before, too, when you were talking about the 96 right — did you think it was okay for other people to get divorced, but not you?
Lori: Yes, 100%. Lots of my friends, my parents had divorced. Both my parents divorced twice. Now my dad's been married for 30 years successfully. But yeah, friends, other family members, I have no issue with it. But yes, not for me. I was committed.
Billy: So, you've talked about how leaving that marriage was the hardest thing you've ever done. But it also sounds like it was a catalyst for reinvention. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Lori: Absolutely. It was the hardest thing. Because, as I said, there's still a lot of love and respect, and there is till this day. We were together for almost 30 years. So, that was pretty much the entirety of my adult life. There's so much history, and the inside jokes and stuff. That was so difficult to leave. At the same time, none of the things that I'm doing now would have ever happened had I stayed. Other people who have known me for a very long time have seen that same transformation, too. They know, too. It wasn't serving either one of us. I was feeling a lot of guilt for leaving that. Because I was the one who instigated it, started it.
Lori: Initiated. Thank you. That's the word. So, I felt a lot of guilt for a couple of years. At one point, he said to me, "We would have to compromise too much of who we are to ever get back together." He said that to help me get through that. It's so true. I think about that all the time now. I see it in other people's relationships playing out. Yes, relationships require sacrifice and compromise, but compromising on where you're going to dinner, not compromising who you are at your core. That's not okay.
Billy: That story really resonates with me. I wasn't with this person for 30 years. I was with her for five and a half. The relationship was fine. It was actually more than fine. It was a great relationship, but there were certain things missing from that relationship. It was just one of those things. It was like, we had a conversation. She said something similar to what your ex-husband said. She was just like, "If you're not getting what you need out of this relationship, then you should go and be with somebody who can give you those things." It was a great gift. That's why we're still friends to this day. I think that's another thing, too, just kind of hearing your talk about that.
I think it's important for people to recognize that you need to say to yourself, "Fine isn't enough." As you were talking about that, it made me reflect on how many things I stuck out just because I was fine. I've been fine with my job. I've been fine with my relationships. Fine in this, fine in that. But that wasn't good enough. Those things are holding me back. Like you said, that there were things holding me back.
Now I've had this opportunity, because I'm on leave to do the traveling that I've always wanted to do, without saying, "You know what? There's more out there." I just want to go and look at it. I don't know that I would have sought out these kinds of opportunities. So, I think your message of saying to yourself, "Being fine is not enough" is really, really powerful. Then in continuation, the idea that you can still have an amicable relationship with someone that you love very deeply, but you recognize that love was just fine for an extended amount of time, and then you had to move on.
Lori: One of the catalysts or things that I recognized that really pushed me to finally make the move was not for my own best interest, but for his. It wasn't fair to him to be in a relationship with somebody who wasn't 100% in.
Billy: Yeah, sometimes I have a hard time with that. Because if someone has said that to me, I'm like, "Well, you don't know what's best for me." But sometimes, you're so stuck in the belief that "No, we can make this work. No, we can make this work," and you just need for someone to say, no, it's done.
Lori: That's another great point. As an entrepreneur, especially with my background, entrepreneurs are told you never give up. Keep going. Yes, it's going to be hard sometimes. But you just keep going, keep going, keep going, which is one of the things that kept me in the first business for 11 years. Because you don't give up. You figure it out. At the same time, sometimes you do need to say, "Alright. This window is closed, but another window might be open. So, I need to look around the room instead of keep beating my head against this closed window."
Billy: At some point, you just got to say enough is enough.
Billy: So, what we're going to do is we're going to take a quick break. When we come back, we're going to continue talking to transformational coach, Lori Saitz. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis.
Thanks for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. We will do our best to put out new content every Wednesday to help get you over the midweek hump. If you'd like to contact us, or if you have suggestions about what you'd like us to discuss, feel free to email us at email@example.com or follow us on Instagram @mindful_midlife_crisis. Check out the show notes for links to the articles and resources we referenced throughout the show. Oh, and don't forget to show yourself some love every now and then, too. And now, back to the show.
Billy: Welcome back to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. We are here with transformational coach, Lori Saitz. Lori not only does individual transformations, but she also does some corporate programs as well. So, Lori, do you want to talk about your corporate programs and your workshops for that?
Lori: Sure. There are a couple of different ways to go inside corporations. I'm still working my way through. But there are two different ways. One is the sales department. So, I was having a conversation with somebody I met at a networking event a couple of months ago. We were talking about what is the biggest challenge that you face with your team. He said they're always looking for a shortcut. If I tell them to do something in five steps, they want to do it in three. If I tell them it's three steps with a worksheet, they want to get rid of the worksheet. I thought, oh, okay. We kept talking. We kept talking about books we've read, a whole bunch of stuff, and the whole mindfulness and meditation, and all the things. We got to the end of our conversation. He said, "Would you come in and talk to my team about this stuff?" I said sure. So, we did that. But it's a matter of—
Again, we live in a society where the key to success is hard work. Most people are already working as hard as they can, and they're not at the level of success that they might like to be. So, what else have you got in the toolbox? That's where that gratitude and meditation piece comes in. The highest performing business leaders in the world all practice meditation. They will tell you that they will credit their success to that practice. We're talking about people like Ray Dalio, Arianna Huffington, Bill Ford — Chairman of Ford Motor Company — and Richard Branson. If they're practicing meditation, and you want to be a successful business person, why would you not practice meditation? There's more to it, and there's boatloads of science and research behind how and why it works. But a lot of business people still don't know. So, I'm bringing this into the sales. Yes, you still need to do the work. You're not going to meditate on the couch, and buckets of money are going to fall from the sky. However, if you could shortcut your success by adding in gratitude and meditation, why wouldn't you want to do that? So, I am on this quest to bring this to corporate now.
Billy: And that is one of the beauties of your podcast. Because not only do you do your interviews, but you also have meditations. They're 8- to 12-minute meditations. So, if you're looking for a place to start, that's a good place to start. It's Lori's podcast. Again, it's called FINE is a 4-Letter Word. I am a little disappointed that you didn't go with Fuck Being Fine as the name of your podcast. That's okay. But you can get those meditations there. I was listening to a meditation on the way here because I'm a spaz, and I need to settle in. Meditations help me do that.
In fact, Lori, I kind of like your style because I feel like you have a lot of energy. I feel like there's an intensity about you as well. Yet, you practice mindfulness. My joke is, I practice mindfulness to stay at this level of intensity. You recognize the importance of it. I said, "Lori, I like it so much, I almost feel like I want to steal this idea and make it part of our podcast." You said, "Go for it." Why?
Lori: Because we need more people who are coming from a place of groundedness, a sense of peace and calm, in the world. This is how you make rational decisions. This is how you make decisions — from a place of responding instead of reacting. Look around us. Everybody is like hair on fire all the time. That is not a place to live from. It's not healthy, in any sense of the word. So, the more people we can get introduced to mindfulness and meditation, the better off our entire world is going to be.
Billy: That's one thing that I've always said. It's that mindfulness might not solve all the world's problems, but it will just make the world's problems a little bit easier for us to manage.
Lori: Or we will be better at solving the problems because of the place where we're coming from. So, this is one of the things that I've been practicing for years — meditation. Around the time that my business and my mom passed away, that's when I really started doing it consistently. But there is nothing. I said leaving my marriage was the hardest thing I ever did. But meditation, I'm doing it every single day. I do it before I get out of bed in the morning. There's really not a lot that can rock my world permanently. I am very grounded. There's chaos. There can be chaos going on around me, but I am the calm in the eye of the storm. Everybody I know knows that about me. It's to that credit. Because 20 years ago, that was not me.
Billy: You also have some educational experience in that you were a pre-GED and adult literacy teacher. So, since this focuses on reinvention, what has your experience as an adult educator taught you about people looking to reinvent their lives?
Lori: Yeah, that was a great experience. I'm a very big proponent of literacy. I mean, who's not? But I can't imagine. Because I taught myself how to read when I was five. I can't imagine not being able to read, especially now with all of the technology and the way the world is now. So, being able to teach other people how to read is something that's really near and dear to my heart.
My first adult literacy student was mentally challenged. She was starting at zero. She didn't know how to read. She didn't know the alphabet. This is where a lot of people start. Her reason for wanting to learn how to read was so that she could read the Washington Post on the bus. I don't know if it was a bus or a train. I think it was the bus that she took to work every day. She wanted to be able to read the Washington Post, so that other people on the bus wouldn't think she was stupid. It was unlikely that she was never going to get to that level. But I love that she had that goal, and that she was willing to put in the work to do it, to start it, and to keep at it. Because really, no matter what goal that you have, you have to start it. We talked about that earlier, about you got to jump in and start somewhere. You have to stick with it even when it's gonna get difficult. Because it is going to get difficult every single journey. Moving off of fine is going to be hard. It's going to suck hard, especially in the beginning. Then it gets better.
A lot of the guys in the pre-GED class that I taught had been incarcerated. They were young. They were like older teens, in early 20s. But they came to that class because they wanted to make a change in their life. They didn't want to be criminals for the rest of their life. They had a lot stacked against them, which is probably why they didn't make it through school — knowing how to read at any level. But, again, they wanted to reinvent themselves to become better humans. That's so much satisfaction being able to help people, whether it's learning how to read or whether it's learning how to reconnect that voice inside of you, your own intuition through meditation. Again, either one of those journeys or any other journey that you're going on, it's just so important to have, one, have somebody along to help guide you, and two, to have somebody to offer you encouragement.
Billy: You've kind of alluded to this here. But how did that experience then shaped the work that you do as a transformational coach?
Lori: Growing up, I always said I wanted to be a teacher, because that was one of the roles that I saw. That's something my mom did before she had kids. But back then, I was thinking of myself standing in front of a classroom of elementary school kids. Now I see what it really is. It's teaching and guiding, and coaching, which I have naturally done my entire life, doing that on a different level and with different lessons.
Billy: So, we've had a lot of guests on this season who value fitness, and you are no different. When we talked to Greg Scheinman a couple episodes ago, he talked about the importance of fitness in midlife. Later on this season, we're going to be talking to a personal trainer, gym owner and endurance athlete, Aaron Boike, about how we can put our healthiest foot forward. It sounds like you're a disciplined gym goer, despite being a very busy person. So, what motivates you to continue going to the gym as you navigate midlife and all the commitments and responsibilities that go along with being our age?
Lori: I love that you used the word discipline, because that is a word that has often been applied to me in disbelief. Like, I can't believe you're so disciplined. Yeah, I am. I just am. I started going to the gym when I was 17. I got my driver's license, and joined a gym. It's totally crazy because neither one of my parents worked out. Nobody else in my family, really. I don't know where that came from, but I just jumped into it. The weight room, as you mentioned in the introduction, is my sanctuary. That's where I go and put on my music. Just the weight room. Don't ask me to run 100 miles in cardio. No. But give me some weights. Give me a squat rack. It's about being strong. It is about health and fitness. Yes, I'm not going to say there's no part of it that's about vanity. There is. I would challenge a lot of 30-year-olds. If you want to come do a workout with me, you're not going to keep up. That's all I got to say. I think, to me, now it's so engrained. My dad's funny. So, I've been working out since I was 17. He still at times will say, "So, you still working out?" Yeah, dad. I still brush my teeth, too.
Billy: Lori, I really enjoy talking to you. Because, like I said, you have that intensity. There is a crackle, and there's a certain bravado that you bring to a conversation. Even when we were exchanging emails, I'm like, "I'm going to enjoy talking to this woman right here." Because you really have a personality, and it shows. I imagine people enjoy working with you because they know what they're going to get. So, how do you screen people when they are looking to work with you? Are there things that you tell them? "Hey, this is who I am," and you need to buck up or saddle up? Do you go at it a different way and meet them where they're at?
Lori: It's kind of a combination of both. But there are attributes that I look for. One of them, interestingly enough, is, are they involved in volunteer activities? Where are they coming from in that regard? What's their involvement in their community? Then a lot of it is intuition. Because I'm very in touch with that. How do I feel when I'm talking to this person? Like you guys, I'm having a great conversation. I would love to continue having conversations with you.
Do I feel like it's just not a good fit? That's okay. Not everybody is going to be a good fit. One of the things that I've evolved into is, I will tell you what I think. When I grew up, I was a very shy child. So, I was afraid to say the wrong thing. But I'm at a point now where I'm like, if I think it's going to help you, I'm not going to be mean about it. But if I think it's going to help, even though it might sting a little bit, I'm going to tell it. I'm going to say it. Because you're probably not hearing it from anybody else, and you need to hear it. I will tell you.
Billy: Well, if you think Lori is a good fit for you, I strongly encourage you to check out the podcast FINE is a 4-Letter Word. Go to her website www.zenrabbit.com. You can follow her on Instagram @zen_rabbit. We'll put all this stuff in the show notes. Be sure to take a look at that right there. Lori, we had a blast talking to you. Thank you for joining us.
Lori: My pleasure. Thanks for having me, Billy, Brian on the Bass.
Brian: Thank you.
Billy: And thank you for sharing in the glorious moment of us making our television debut today. We really appreciated that. It was fun to share that moment with somebody else.
Lori: Congratulations on that.
Billy: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for bringing all that mojo into the room. So, for Lori, for Brian, this is Billy. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. May you feel happy, healthy, and loved. Take care friends.
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