COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.

S1 Ep15: Laura Solomon

May 24, 2023 NICOA DUNNE CORNELIUS Season 1 Episode 15
S1 Ep15: Laura Solomon
COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.
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COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.
S1 Ep15: Laura Solomon
May 24, 2023 Season 1 Episode 15
NICOA DUNNE CORNELIUS

Let me know what you think of this episode by sending me a FAN MAIL message!

* TRIGGER WARNING * SUICIDE * ADDICTION * RESOURCES BELOW *
Join Nicoa as she holds space and engages with the beautiful soul Laura Solomon who shares some traumatic life circumstances that have shaped HER way of Being and HER Life By Design! As the mother of a recovering addict and a compassionate, informed intake detox counselor and Trauma Specialist, Laura has seen the miraculous transformation and recovery of 3,600+ patients at Advanced Rapid Detox as well as within her own family. She is a sought after author and speaker on the subjects of domestic abuse and suicide, a devoted wife, and a mother of nine children ranging from 25-36.

She is obsessed with sharing experiences about grace, hope, and possibility for change. It is her honor and privilege to help patients get their lives back and our honor to speak with her on Coffee With Nicoa.

RESOURCES:
In Crisis? Call or Text 988
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT)
A hybrid therapy known for its efficiency in discovering the root of a client's issue and helping them let it go for good. Anxiety, stress, a lack of self-esteem and addiction are just a few of the many ailments RTT can help alleviate.
Contact NICOA for formal sessions.


Buy your copy of YOUR LIFE BY DESIGN: A Coffee With Nicoa Self-Care Coaching Journal
on Amazon today! 

Support the Show.

Follow COFFEE WITH NICOA on Instagram @CoffeeWithNicoa for archived episodes & to see more of Nicoa's Life By Design! And now on TikTok @NicoaCoach


Want to have Coffee With Nicoa as a podcast guest? Or, do you know someone she'd love to have a caffeinated chat with? Or maybe a great ESPRESSO SHOT idea? Message her directly at Nicoa@CoffeeWithNicoa.com

Interested in coaching with Nicoa? Check out her coaching referral page here.
Interested in taking one of Nicoa's e-courses? Check them out here.

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Show Notes Transcript

Let me know what you think of this episode by sending me a FAN MAIL message!

* TRIGGER WARNING * SUICIDE * ADDICTION * RESOURCES BELOW *
Join Nicoa as she holds space and engages with the beautiful soul Laura Solomon who shares some traumatic life circumstances that have shaped HER way of Being and HER Life By Design! As the mother of a recovering addict and a compassionate, informed intake detox counselor and Trauma Specialist, Laura has seen the miraculous transformation and recovery of 3,600+ patients at Advanced Rapid Detox as well as within her own family. She is a sought after author and speaker on the subjects of domestic abuse and suicide, a devoted wife, and a mother of nine children ranging from 25-36.

She is obsessed with sharing experiences about grace, hope, and possibility for change. It is her honor and privilege to help patients get their lives back and our honor to speak with her on Coffee With Nicoa.

RESOURCES:
In Crisis? Call or Text 988
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT)
A hybrid therapy known for its efficiency in discovering the root of a client's issue and helping them let it go for good. Anxiety, stress, a lack of self-esteem and addiction are just a few of the many ailments RTT can help alleviate.
Contact NICOA for formal sessions.


Buy your copy of YOUR LIFE BY DESIGN: A Coffee With Nicoa Self-Care Coaching Journal
on Amazon today! 

Support the Show.

Follow COFFEE WITH NICOA on Instagram @CoffeeWithNicoa for archived episodes & to see more of Nicoa's Life By Design! And now on TikTok @NicoaCoach


Want to have Coffee With Nicoa as a podcast guest? Or, do you know someone she'd love to have a caffeinated chat with? Or maybe a great ESPRESSO SHOT idea? Message her directly at Nicoa@CoffeeWithNicoa.com

Interested in coaching with Nicoa? Check out her coaching referral page here.
Interested in taking one of Nicoa's e-courses? Check them out here.

***BUY NICOA A COFFEE
**COFFEE WITH NICOA MERCHANDISE SHOP
*SHOP NICOA'S COFFEE WITH NICOA AMAZON SHOP

|| Coffee With Nicoa Copyright 2023 ||

Nicoa Coach:

Grab your coffee and join me Nicoa For a caffeinated conversation about life. I'll be talking to people who have chosen to walk their own paths and just like me, are creating a life by design. I hope it will give you the inspiration you need to do exactly the same. Welcome, welcome Laura Solomon, it's so great to have you as a guest on coffee with Nicoa.

Laura Solomon:

Well, thank you so much for having me.

Nicoa Coach:

And how weird is this, that you are actually the sister of our first coffee with Nicola podcast guest Caroline Keeler.

Laura Solomon:

She is my sister by design. She had her own two sisters and I, and she moved in across the street for me as a child, and she became my little sisters. So I got the sister without my mother having to do any of the work. So

Nicoa Coach:

that's right. And she has been so braggadocious about you, she loves you so much. And she knows you've been through an amazing life experience. I mean, you really signed up for it didn't Yeah.

Laura Solomon:

If I had to sign up, I probably would have signed up for something totally different.

Nicoa Coach:

Exactly. It worked out. So that's what we're going to talk about today. So let me give the quick overview, you gave me a nice little bio, I'd like to read that to everybody just so they know who Laura Solomon is. And then we're going to dig deep on anything you want to highlight, and then talk about the massive transformation you've had over the last few years. So let me introduce everyone, you are the mother of a recovering addict, and a compassionate and formed intake counselor and trauma specialist. You've seen that miraculous transformation and recovery of over 3600 patients at Advanced rapid detox, where you're working, and you are part of their intake counseling and Director of Patient Services. Is that right? Correct. You have been a sought after author and speaker on the subjects of domestic abuse and suicide. You are a devoted wife, and wait for it everybody. You thought I had a lot of kids by marriage, I got three of my own and three with my husband, our lovely friend, Laura has nine kids ranging in age from 25 to 36. You are an amazing person. And it sounds like you also have lots of experiences about finding your own values of grace and hope. And you really see the world as a possibility for change for the better, which makes you an ideal life by design candidate. And that's why we're so excited to talk to you today. And it's really an honor and a privilege for me to be able to hear your story or ever you want to start it.

Laura Solomon:

Well, I'm going to start by saying you only have six kids. So you are all up because you're young. Well,

Nicoa Coach:

I think it's cool that yours are 25 and up and mine are 25 and under. So I'm looking to you Mama, I'm going to be calling you for advice

Laura Solomon:

anytime. And it just so happens that today is my oldest son's 36th birthday and Caroline. That Suzanne so you know, she texted me first thing this morning to wish him. It's a good day to be here.

Nicoa Coach:

Yes, happy birthday to your 36 year old. Wow. That's amazing. Yeah. And you don't look a day over 36 yourself.

Laura Solomon:

If it's lucky, we're not on camera, so. So tell me what I can tell you.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, I'd be very curious. I mean, like we we, we were a little light hearted. But I want to indicate that the topics that we might be talking about today, just as a heads up for anyone could be triggering, we will put resources in the show notes to make sure that if any of this is something that hits home, that you have access to support and resources, but I'd love for you to share with us kind of the traumas that you think have most informed you have creating a life now that you don't need a vacation from that you actually are healthy in and hold in. Tell us the stories that really have transformed you.

Laura Solomon:

So I guess I'll start at the what did I read this morning? The original wound. So I would say up till maybe 20 My life was pretty normal. And I don't know. Let me preface this by saying I don't think there's such a thing as a normal life. Yeah, okay. Um, and at about 211 I started noticing that my mother or was she was not a very present mom, I was really raised mostly by my dad. And my mother wasn't extremely present. And I never knew why other than she was a, you know, a professor and, you know, was extremely busy and working. And she started experiencing some very significant depression, when I was about 21. And at 22, I got a call on a Wednesday night in the middle of wheel of fortune, that she had killed herself. And I was already out of the house, married and had to, you know, walk into that situation, and never really understood, you know, at that time how you go from being a beautiful, intelligent, educated, professional, married with a child, matter, child and young adult, to beautiful homes. Plenty of everything. How do you go from that to killing yourself on a Wednesday? Wow. And having to deal with the aftermath of, you know, finding her seeing her like that, you know, and then having to take care of my dad, who had always taken care of me emotionally. I had to step in and take care of him. And I had come to find out that during a 10 year period of time, well, let me back up. I went to a therapist,

Nicoa Coach:

good. Ah,

Laura Solomon:

to say, how did this happen? And the therapist said to me, Well, I mean, you you can't blame her. After all. She was having an affair for seven years. Oh, my God, and couldn't pick at the end. couldn't pick between your dad and Mr. Affair guy. Wow. And I said, What a fair guy. What are you talking about? And she be that my mom had been having an affair for seven, with her officemate. And I always wondered why this guy gave me a$2,500 set of pots and pans when I got married. And you know, now it makes, um, but she couldn't choose. And this was sort of a pattern for her, she could never choose which pair of pants to buy or which color paint or which color nail polish, she could never decide anything. So it made sense then why she couldn't decide between him and my dad. And her out was just to kill herself.

Nicoa Coach:

Wow, pretty shocking. And talk about a big T trauma right versus minor once you have been derailed at this stage of your life.

Laura Solomon:

So that was the original. And it also made sense as to why she was never around because she was leading a double life. So that was the original. And it took me probably 20 years, maybe 30 years. I don't know, it's been almost 40 years since then. To figure out that when we look at suicide, there's a couple features. One is that when I was young, and I'm turning 61 When I was young people never said the word divorce. They never said the word cancer, they would whisper it you know she has cancer, you know, or they're getting divorced. Nobody. I hope today everybody yells out divorce and cancer. Nobody cares. It's a common conversation.

Nicoa Coach:

You know that my mother's father had cancer, but my mother's mother and the doctor kept it from him and he didn't know why he felt so bad. Thank you. Same thing with my grandpa. Yeah, so wild. Thank God for HIPAA. Right?

Laura Solomon:

My grandfather had colon cancer and nobody told him he shouldn't worry, you know? Okay. So in the same respect, in my generation, no one also talked about suicide. Well, now it's less stigmatized. But back then, you know, it was just, you know, Marcia died, but nobody was really talking about it. So I made it my mission to really yell about it. And you're not gonna help anybody including yourself by keeping something that is truly, literally a life and death situation a secret? Yeah. So my motto became, you're as sick as your secrets. Ah, and so I have none at all. Nothing, nothing's off the table. Anybody can come to me at any time with any thing. And I it is because of the trauma I had originally. Nothing is a blip in the radar

Nicoa Coach:

at all right? Authenticity, it becomes honesty and truth are something that people still have a hard time with. Right? Because they're so worried about what other people think. And yeah, I like this model. Yeah.

Laura Solomon:

did what anyone thinks so it's all good. So I also learned from that trauma, that we can never take a lot of time trying to figure out why somebody kills themself. Because as people only do that when they're in a position of severe emotional pain, or physical pain, and we can't understand it, because we're not in their physical or emotional pain. And obviously, they feel even an intelligent, educated professional, didn't feel there was another way to get out of it. She knew about medication. She knew about psychiatry, she knew about whatever options were available 40 years ago, just like people know today, but we can't untangle someone else's. We can only move forward with what's next.

Nicoa Coach:

Did you try to untangle that for a very long time? Did that burden you?

Laura Solomon:

Yeah. I mean, I was like, why would she do this? Well, at one point, I just realized that I'm never going to understand why a person does what they do. Other than I'm not mentally unstable today. And she was in significant enough emotional pain, that that was the only choice and I have to let it go from there. Because for me to get unwell by trying to spend a lifetime figuring it out is not productive for me or anyone else.

Nicoa Coach:

No, and that's a good life lesson. How long did it take you before you realize that after the age of 22,

Laura Solomon:

probably 30 years, right? But now, as a opiate, detox counselor, it helps me understand, you know, I get people who say, you know, why is somebody doing this? And I can easily say, they're doing it because they're in physical or emotional pain. And you're never going to understand how somebody can self harm to this degree because you're mad at them. So what can we do? All we can do is help them get out of this situation, and then address the root cause issues that took them there in the first place.

Nicoa Coach:

Exactly. And the root causes us are typically things that we numb out or avoid. I said this the other day that I think people are afraid of one thing more than anything, it's not death. It's not public speaking. It's sitting alone with their own thoughts. i When

Laura Solomon:

accurate and their own thoughts for the patients I see their own thoughts for most people are physical, emotional, or sexual trauma.

Nicoa Coach:

And so when you are having these conversations with people, and I mean, because really, when we talk about a life by design, you most of our guests have been people who weren't addicted, weren't avoiding, they had somehow had a conscious decision making. But how do you speak with someone who is in those one of those areas of pain and create the hope for them that they actually could create a life by design that they loved?

Laura Solomon:

Well, I think that for half of our patients, I mean, without getting into too much patient down, half, were put on OB by their doctors, and when the DEA changed the laws, and they couldn't get pain medicine, they didn't want to be sick and withdrawal. So they chose to use illegal pain meds. The other half of the patients had enough trauma that they began to use to numb out the emotional, physical or sexual trauma. But all of them have the same problem which is no one's using opiates to have fun. They're using it because if they don't use it, they'll be physically ill with withdrawal. So here's why. And once we can get them through the withdrawal symptoms while they're sleeping, which is what we do, we put them under sedation. And while they're under sedation, they go through withdrawals, they wake up there, they have no opiate in their system, then we can use the resources, social work, therapy, meetings, groups. In intensive outpatient, we can get them on the right track to address the things that got them in the spot in the first place. Beautiful.

Nicoa Coach:

And I love that you share. First of all, what a great option. I didn't know there were facilities that offer such detox options. So under sedation as an option, it's if anybody's listening and knows of someone who needs this support, to keep in mind advanced rapid detox, but the other piece of it is you've got to have a team around you, to support you through that transition. And I've found in the work I've done with rapid transformational therapy with Marissa Pierre, this hypnotherapy that we're really getting back to some root issues of either that's not available to me, or I'm weird and different from others, or I'm not enough.

Laura Solomon:

So we really in a very profound way, share with patients that they need to remain hopeful that anything is attainable. It may not be the quick fix magic trick that you want. But it's attainable. There some way. You know, when when we look at hypnosis as an example, and I'm a trained hypnotherapist when you look at hypnosis, so if you can't come to me and pay me to do what I do, that's okay. Then you can get it on YouTube.

Nicoa Coach:

Right? I have researched that myself. Yeah, excellent,

Laura Solomon:

right. You can get it on tic tac for free. You can go to a hypnotherapy school where they need people to practice on there, there are 100 ways to do everything. It really for me, anything you do is about the willingness, if you want to cop out and say that nothing's available to you. That's an option too.

Nicoa Coach:

That's right. And question is, is the individual at choice? And so when you were going through your own self reflection of the pain, and the am I enough, did my mom leave me kind of thinking, I'm sure why. Why would she do that? Then you leveraged additional resources. Now, did you continue with therapy? And what else did you do?

Laura Solomon:

Um, I mostly I'm very fortunate at the time to have had a supportive husband. Even though we're divorced for 32 years, he at the time, 34 years. At the time, he was very supportive. I had a father who was second to none. I have lifelong friends. Who were there for me, I had colleagues at work. I did not lack for support.

Nicoa Coach:

Beautiful, we can't do it alone. And a lot of people are embarrassed or filled with a lot of shame about their circumstances and addiction and and is there anything that you would share? I know we referenced that you had it hit home as well. Within your own child, your children? Can you share a little bit about that experience as a mother?

Laura Solomon:

Yes. So I have eight sons and a daughter Wow. Without any specific names to protect the now innocent, about half of them gave me a run for my money with different things alcohol, drugs. Yeah, depression, about half of them. But all of of these four and a half kids that were challenging, only one of them was to the degree that they needed additional us more significant assistance, I understand. So of the four and a half kids. Some of them they they use substances to different degrees, that some we're going to be passing phases. So my husband of 21 years that I got when I got divorced for the second time. I remember I I got married to my husband, Jeff. He raised all these teenagers with me. And he is a frickin saint. So when I said there were some kids that were using substances that we knew it was a passing phase. And so I wasn't deeply concerned about these, these passing phases. You know, we knew what was normal at the time, kids were going to, you know, drink, and as long as they didn't drink and drive it, we knew they, you know, smoke, but we knew it wasn't going to change their life. But we did have one particular son that was homicidal, suicidal, drug addicted, and he really needed more resources than most. And, and he came to me and shared with me that he was in this compromised position, and he was not particularly receptive to getting help. But I didn't really care. Because I, you know, I, he can hate me as long as he's alive. But when you're homicidal, suicidal, drug addicted alcoholic, that doesn't have a good outcome, the two choices for him were death or incarceration. Wow. And so I took measures pretty far to keep him safe. And I'm grateful to say that with his unbelievable amounts of willingness and diligence and practice and non stop recovery tools, he is eight years clean. Wow,

Nicoa Coach:

that's phenomenal. Well, yeah, it says a lot about you, as a mom to leaning into it, and wrapping yourself around him during that time.

Laura Solomon:

Right. And, and he had found from my, all of his siblings to, I mean, he's a group project. And he is the most devoted son, brother, person, hard worker educated, like, I can't say enough incredible things about him as a person. Now, if you would have asked me about him at 18, I would have told you that he was a lost cause. Wow. But this young man is absolutely incredible. But it wasn't, it wasn't me, I can't really take the credit other than the the action that I took, I would say that he is 100%. What it took,

Nicoa Coach:

was there anything in retrospect, like if you were going to share what you think some of the key decisions, you made anything for the moms out there listening who are suffering with similar circumstances that you'd want to tell them?

Laura Solomon:

Um, I mean, if I can talk like me, like, do you want it authentically Laura, of

Nicoa Coach:

course, this is all about Laura.

Laura Solomon:

So I would tell you Don't be shy. If I'm talking to a mother, I would say, Don't be stupid. Don't ever think that this couldn't happen to your kid. And the one commonality I get with patients? Is these parents who started off saying that my kid and my kids not gonna drink or smoke or do drugs? Yes, they will. Yes, they will. Every one. Yeah, to some degree. Every one of my nine kids has done some dumb stuff. None of them have had any significant consequences, thank God. But with that being said, don't think it can't happen to you don't think because you're rich or poor, black or white. You live in a great area or in the hood, or your kids go to the best schools or the worst schools, socioeconomically, it doesn't matter your religion. How? And, and, and don't don't personalize it, because you can be the greatest mother or the worst mother and your kids may do the same thing.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, yeah, and I only have three that I birthed. And I can remember having some challenges with one of my children. And I remember talking to a friend afterwards and I was like, Oh my God, this happened to me. I'm a coach. I'm supposed to be the best mom ever and I already know how to make sure my children are on top of things and and my friend looked right at me and say irrelevant.

Laura Solomon:

Right now But one of the best lessons I learned was from my now 36 year old son, I remember he was maybe 16. And he was just out of his mind. And I was bawling my eyes out. And I said, What have I done? I've cooked every night. I'm good mom. What the hell did I do to deserve this? And he's asked me in my tracks, and he said, Are you kidding me? I said, Oh, what? And he said, Do you actually think it has to do with you? He said, I'm gonna do what I want, when I want, where I want with who I want, and nothing you're going to say is going to make one bit of difference.

Nicoa Coach:

That's exactly right. And my daughter said to me, I'm still going to do A, B, C, no matter what you say. And I said, well, then the only thing I can do is educate you about the implications and the consequences of a, b, and c, and how that affects those around you, and how to stay safe. So I just said, well, let's embrace that. Let's talk about the right let me show you some role models. Let me tell you the implications. If you bring an illegal substance into this house, and I'm held accountable, guess what, it might ruin our little life by design. So right, we talked a lot about it, because you're right, you can't control them. And it's not about you. So beautiful advice. Yeah, Laura, let's take a little five minute coffee break, not five minute, like five seconds. And then we'll come back. And I really want to come back to you. Your soul experience here and the story, you had to start telling yourself over the past few years, it's really transformed you.

Unknown:

Perfect. We hope you're enjoying listening to this episode of Coffee with Nicoa. Make sure to subscribe so that you never miss an episode and follow Coffee with Nicoa on Instagram to find inspiring content that will help you begin creating your life by design.

Nicoa Coach:

Awesome. We're back we chugged some espresso shots. And now we're ready to go. So tell me what's different now in that story that you've been telling yourself all these years? How did you make that shift? And how is it that you're loving your life by design now even more?

Laura Solomon:

Wow. I am, I am about a year into being an empty nester. After 35 years of raising children, they're all out of the house,

Nicoa Coach:

I can relate. We're 25 years. It's amazing. We walk around naked all the time now.

Laura Solomon:

Visual there. So about two years ago, I was in my constant state of complaining, which will also call murdering, I guess we could use either phrase about you know, there's no time for me, I'm in this physical position of being 250 pounds, and exhausted and angry and overwhelmed. How unfair is it that I am, you know, 58 years old and working full time and, and just miserable. Because of all my responsibilities. And, um, and it doesn't help, it didn't help that I'm very type A, you know, my books have to be lined up and color coded. You know, every spice has to be alphabetized. I mean, I'm mental. Okay?

Nicoa Coach:

You're so let me interrupt you. You're not mental, you're over functioning. You have tendencies that help you feel more in control as a result of your history. And you started out quite young, my friend. So anyone in your situation would feel overwhelmed have not prioritized themselves, you're probably the caregiver. At level, we call that level four energy. And when we over give, and we find ourselves with no boundaries, we become the martyr. So sounds pretty normal to me.

Laura Solomon:

I love you and have never heard it that way. And I am going to have to like hire you to have that repeat conversation with me after this show. Well,

Nicoa Coach:

it's a good thing. We're recording it right, Laura.

Laura Solomon:

So about two years ago, one of my sons, his name's Tony. Tony, Tony at the time was maybe 23. And he said to me that the only thing standing between me and the things I said I wanted were the BS excuses that I was making, and that I needed to get out of my own way and just shut up. I quit. And if I didn't like where I was, change it. And he came to me as the perfect example, he played football for the University of Michigan. When he stopped playing, he was 280 pounds. And within a very short period of time, he lost probably 80 pounds, and he was ripped. And, you know, he was just he's such a unbelievable like, overcomer just, yeah, he's a really solid man. So I his advice, and I shut up. And I stepped out of my por mi 35 year long coma of overachieving, overdoing over taking care of everyone else, giving up those boundaries, you refer to it, because if I was better, faster, smarter, no one would have killed themselves. And if I was better, faster, smarter marriage, one and two would not have ended poorly. If I were, if I put everyone before me, but have been better, indifferent. And I realized that some of it was my responsibility. And some of it wasn't. And the only thing that I really have control over since it's clear that I don't have control over anything, but myself.

Nicoa Coach:

That's right. And that's either the most annoying or the most liberating realization in life. And a lot of people walk around thinking, the world is happening to me, and oh, what was me and I can't believe it, or Wow, the world is happening for me. And what do I want? Once you realize I can answer that I can take response ability versus reacting.

Laura Solomon:

Right? And that's what I really focus on with the patients when they work. You know, people will say, these drugs, I'm like, Dude, you're the one buying the drugs shot. You know that nobody's Well, I relapsed. No, nobody's falling in a pile of hair. Like no. You are driving to get it. That's right. You are you are large and in charge. Take ownership of your stuff.

Nicoa Coach:

Yeah. And that tough. It's tough to take ownership. How did you I mean, it couldn't have been just watching your son and having him be tough love back to mom. How know? How did you though really change the story? What did you start saying to yourself every day? And did? How did you stay motivated?

Laura Solomon:

Every day? Well, I printed out what he said. I printed out if I if I could walk to another room out of studio I'd show you. I printed out one year of discipline will change your life. Wow. Well, now the sign says three years of discipline will change your life. I've just X out the one and we're up to three. You know, I'm at two and a half years. And I've lost

Nicoa Coach:

85 pounds. Wow, congratulations.

Laura Solomon:

Right and really transformed. My look at it. And inside and out. I printed out. The only thing that stands between you and the things that you want are the BS excuses. You tell yourself and I print it out. Just shut up. Just shut up. And effing do it anyway. Oh,

Nicoa Coach:

that's awesome. I'm gonna send you this I promise you I have this little my little bag of squarey affirmations. I've sending these to you and they say things like just shut the EFF up and just give up an F and do it and you know, I'm effing amazing so

Laura Solomon:

right Oh, life is swearing so what I did was I I realized that I wasn't doing myself or anyone else a favor by putting everyone ahead of me because and my my key words were and if I die here's what you're gonna do if I you know, controlling from the app Oh yeah,

Nicoa Coach:

don't control from the grave.

Laura Solomon:

So why should I put myself give my I had diabetes. Well, that's gone now. I I had a 10 year long lupus rash across my face. That bond now. I weighed 250 I've lost 85 pounds. I'm not done yet, but I'm getting there. I really just Learn to start deciding. And again designing whatever word you want to use. Before I say yes to everything, is it something that serves, I'm not being selfish, but I'm being self caring? Is this something that really is something I want to do? Or I'm doing out of obligation? So if I do something or say something, believe you me, it's not because I'm a nice person. It's because it has gone through the filter of whether this serves me or

Nicoa Coach:

beautiful, that is exactly the answer to a life by design. You have just summarized it, you first of all, you made a decision. Right? You said, I want to change. So we ask the question, what do you want? And then we say, Why? Why do you want that? Because just saying, Yep, I'm going to work out every day, and I'm going to lose 85 pounds. You have to have a why. And you've been filtering it through the lens of those values and what matters most to you. And that is the practice. You have summarized it. We should just wrap it up. That's it. You did it.

Laura Solomon:

Thank you see. And really went. So when someone says to me, thank you so much for that compliment. You're so nice. I'm like, I am not nice. I am really nice. I'm saying this because it is it means something to me. It means something to me. I'm not just and I also and I think this is so it just came to me like I turned 60. And right before I turned 60, I saw something that said the average life expectancy of a female in the United States is 72. And I thought, Damn, if I only got 12 years left, I'm in this shit cow. Oh, yeah. So, and at the same time this occurred to well, probably several years ago, one of my closest childhood friends died of cancer, and I'm the same time someone else who I grew up with, she died of cancer and I fought. I have five best friends my whole life death Sunberg collenberg. Silverberg, Keeler and Webb, and two of them are dead. So I gotta make this count. I'm not going out like that.

Nicoa Coach:

No way. I'm so proud of you. And I'm so impressed with you. And, and naturally, you would have had to be distracted those years. But maybe your voice today can help someone who is in the midst of raising all the babies and who is in the midst of trying to keep their child off drugs and is in the midst of divorce. And if you're not it, think about how much easier it would have been on you and your body. If you had incorporated that type of self love and that filter back in the day.

Laura Solomon:

Yeah, I had zero. I was like, selfless Mother Teresa back then it went like whatever you want. Even if it completely ruins me, let me help. You know, I can't do it, I got a limited, I realized something the other day, one of my closest friends who's also my boss turned 60. And we realize that 60 is like 30,000 days, or something? Oh, god, yeah, I'm not great at math. But whatever. If we have a calculator, 365 times, 60s, it's not a lot. And I have a limited period of time left to make my mark. That's right. And my mark is going to be taking care of myself, worshiping my husband, and adoring my children and their partners and God willing grandchildren in the future and saving lives at work. And my friends, that's it. But everything has to start dripping from the top and on the top.

Nicoa Coach:

That's exactly right. And you know, self care is not selfish. And you must have that purpose and passion and the people who think that they don't have one or have made their children or only their work or only their husband, the point they are not able to actually sustain such as such a focus and they say that, you know, self care is important to them, but then their behavior doesn't align to it. So you're really practicing that. Well.

Laura Solomon:

It's back to that. What's it called that airplane put the mask on yourself first before you help others. That's right. It and I used to think that was kind of you know it It's a cute little saying, but it is. It is exactly the truth that you I can't be any good for anyone else if I'm not good to myself.

Nicoa Coach:

And you have to remember that you're worth it and that you're deserving of that attention and self care and self love. How did you really remember that you were worthy? Because you said it I had, if I had been this, this, this, this and this, somebody wouldn't have left me if I had been, how do you really let that go?

Laura Solomon:

I've never really thought of that. I can start by saying when I tell you that my husband is a saint who worships the ground. I walk on. Oh, and yeah, and my father, may he rest in peace was the same. He thought I could do no wrong. So I had enough coming in. I had enough. From those two men telling me this. It still wasn't enough, right? I don't know, something just clicked one day. I don't know what it was. I think it also isn't like a light bulb moment where the switch goes on. And it's like, You're right. I'm not a murderer. I'm worth it. No. I think it just drip drizzled in.

Nicoa Coach:

You also said something that I think people may have picked up on is that you reference quite a bit about the words around you the language that you're paying attention to the focus you're giving, you know, words, they you know, we spell words. So we're casting spells every day and let the magic in. I mean, and I,

Laura Solomon:

I do find that it work. And that's very profound, what you're saying because I say to, I have patients that come in, and they'll say, well, and you can't blame me, I'm a junkie. You can't blame me, I'm an addict. When you're in my office, you will not talk shit about yourself. Perfect. I don't want to hear that you're a junkie, or that you're an addict. You are a person who's made some ridiculously dumb choices. Oh, I'll let you know that. You can. You can say that, because it's true. But you've made poor choices I've made there is anyone among us who hasn't made poor choices. But you don't get to speak like that, about yourself in front of me. And they'll be like, Dad, okay. So I instead of speaking, like, it's too hard to for me to do this, it's too hard for me to eat correctly, it's too hard for me to drink a gallon of water a day. I believe it's hard to be miserable. And it's hard to do those things. So pick your hard pick, or hard.

Nicoa Coach:

That's right. That's right. And what we need to remember, and I'm so glad you're using these examples and that and you're so direct with your clients and you know your patients because we're born enough. We're born selfish. We're born crying for excuse me, need some food, excuse me clean my diapers, scuze me put me to bed now. Because we know we're worthy. Society simply brainwashes us to forget. And let me be clear society is not to blame. This is what we signed up for. This is the human journey. And so you're going to be confused and get all sorts of influences from media and family and friends. And people are going to leave you and people are going to disparage you. But that's going to be your biggest human journey test. And at some point, you wake up and you go, Wait a minute, what do what do I want? And that's what it took you a minute, but you got there. And here you are living your best life.

Laura Solomon:

Right. And I also think that we're short sighted if we think that somehow there's some you know, panaceas that nothing? You know, I'm done with those troubles. No. There's going to be something that happens to you big trauma, small trauma, big deal. Not a big deal. Every day your life. There's going to be people who come and go who die. I was amused last week, my aunt passed away. And he was like a second mom to me. You know, we're very close. We have a very small close family. And people said, oh my god, that is so traumatic. I'm feel terrible for you. I'm gonna pray. I said she was 96 years old. not to cry over somebody who lived a happy, healthy, mostly happy, healthy life for 96 frickin years. If she were 16 in 2934, yeah, we're gonna cry and it's traumatic. But that's part of why, if

Nicoa Coach:

that's right, that's part of life.

Laura Solomon:

Yeah, we're gonna, we're gonna have to understand that something's gonna happen all day, every day. And we have to know that that doesn't have to set us off.

Nicoa Coach:

You know, it's about moving from reacting to responding. And we have this tendency to have a default reaction, right, based on me, I did it even when you said it, my aunt passed last week. And I said all because we have that's actually, that's brainwashing. We think we're supposed to be upset. But I actually have a practice now that I have used with, if you were, if we were just you and me standing. And you said my aunt passed last week, I might still say all, and then I might wait. How do you feel about that? What's going on with you? How can I best support you with during this time? Because I don't know if you want me to be like, Thank God, we hated my hand or, you know, I'm so sad.

Laura Solomon:

That with divorce, people will say I'm getting divorced. And I'm like, divorce. Right? Pregnant, and I'll be like, we happy about that? Are we not like, everything has a flip side. So. But more than anything, when you look at this design, we have to know that part of design is happy and sad and disappointment and joy. And that it's all part of this big picture, it doesn't have to be a negative thing.

Nicoa Coach:

That trait, it's all an experience, there's value in all and if you begin to look at life as happening for you, and not to you, then it makes it a lot easier to figure out what does matter most to you and just enjoy the ride based on those values, or the that filter of standards.

Laura Solomon:

We talked about that yesterday actually, I was interviewed for a newspaper here about, about remarriage. And you know, my husband and I had been married 21 years and blended families and you know, had to deal with very, and that is this is the understatement of the century, very difficult X people. And, and we made it work. Thank God, my knocking on wood, and yeah, time, it was all about design, how we met, you know, I made a list, a ridiculous list of what I wanted in a man. I did the same and completely unattainable. He came. Yeah. And he made a list. That was stupid. And it didn't include seven kids, but it happened to work out. But we really designed our entire experience and continue to do so. So that it works for both of us. We don't leave anything up to chance. Everything is a conversation and we compromise on every single thing except chickens. I want chickens, he says no to chicken.

Nicoa Coach:

But that could be that could be the straw that breaks the chickens back. So what you're talking about Laura is conscious coupling. Yes. And conscious. There was a whole theme now there for a while about conscious uncoupling, which I don't know if either if you or I were able to actually do that sounds like maybe not in your case. But the conscious coupling effort is probably something that we could spend a whole other hour talking about. But again, we cannot design a life by design or a love by design or leadership by design, if we do not define it and get out ahead of it and be very intentional. And you have described some very intentional practices and decision making in your life. And I'm just so honored for you to share it all. I want to just wrap us up here and see if there's any other words of wisdom or tips that you'd like to share with the world that's listening to us today.

Laura Solomon:

I think more than anything, know that we must despite our circumstances, we must remain hopeful and fed even in the worst case scenarios and yes, I had trauma but people have had worse than me. A month ago I broke my ankle and everybody was like Oh you poor thing. You broke your ankle. I'm like People Have Real Problems. This is an ankle. My mother dead. Yeah, that's a big trauma, but people have it worse and You have to put into perspective, anything that occurs any day of the week. And understand that it'll pass whatever it is whether you have teenagers, divorce, suicide, marriage issues, whatever your thing is, it'll pass everything good, and everything bad will pass. So we have to flow. And while we're flowing design where we're going, make a target at the end of that long river of planning, make a target of what you want. And yes, you have to flow through it. But you also have to know what you want. So you can get there because anything is possible if you make a decision to make it happen.

Nicoa Coach:

I think the image of that river going with the flow down the river is a really important one, because a lot of people tend to grab on to the roots that are on the side of that riverbank. And they hold on so tightly, that they just get themselves beaten up. And they don't realize they're ruining their lives by holding on too tightly to whether it being you know, the caregiver that never cares for herself, or the relationship or the drug, or whatever their thing is, like you said, and if you let go, you will flow through it. And it shall pass just like you said, My father always had time heals, and we become wiser and wiser. And hopefully, our conversation today will help others feel a little bit wiser in their pursuit of their life by design. And I just want to thank you. I think your beautiful soul, Laura. So our first time meeting today. I just enjoyed this so much.

Laura Solomon:

Me too. You're wonderful, Caroline. Right.

Nicoa Coach:

Thank you. Well, I love having a cheering section. So I'll be sure to call you and Caroline when I need some cheering up.

Laura Solomon:

Anytime. All right, dear.

Nicoa Coach:

I will talk to you later. And everybody go get your sip of coffee. And thanks for listening to Coffee with Nicola.

Unknown:

Thanks for joining us for a caffeinated conversation. Subscribe to Coffee with Nicoa for more stories from people living a life by design. You can also find inspiration on Instagram. Just follow Coffee with Nicoa and check out our website Coffee with nicoa.com and that's Nicoa N I CoA. We look forward to talking with you soon. And enjoy your coffee between now and then