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Ep. 116: Redefining Healing, Parenting and Living Life on Your Own Path with Carol Lourie


Robyn Openshaw, MSW - Jan 23, 2019 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links


Have You Heard? Can't-Miss January Podcasts | Green Smoothie Girl

In this episode we get to learn from an amazing elder as we continue with our “Learn From Our Elders Series” where Robyn has curated people who are 65+ and still contributing massively to their own body of work, and to the planet. Dr. Carol Lourie says she’s “on a mission to bring good health to as many people as possible.” And she is definitely doing that well through her practice as a Naturopath, Licensed Acupuncturist, Functional Medicine expert and Homeopath, with over 30 years of experience in providing integrative health care.

She has developed what is called “The Lourie Process”. In partnership with her you’ll work to to fully understand the metabolic picture, to  uncover any underlying causes of illness, explore any traumas or emotional wounds, knowing these can have a profound effect on health and that resolving them often opens the door to true and lasting recovery. And together develop a plan, to utilize powerful mind-body healing methodologies and recover your health.

Wellness she says, “is impacted by the foods we eat, the stresses in our lives, emotional trauma, genetic factors, lifestyle choices, how we feel about our jobs, even what we do for joy and fun (and how often we give ourselves permission to do them).”  She is a mother, a master gardener, a former chef and a real delightful, fun, compassionate, loving soul who truly desires to help others find their own path and live their best life possible.

LINKS AND RESOURCES:

Learn more about The Lourie Process and connect with Carol

Join the Support for the Breast Cancer Path


TRANSCRIPT:

Robyn:

Hey everyone. It’s Robyn Openshaw. Welcome back today to The Vibe show where today I am interviewing a colleague of mine, still in the series you might’ve thought we were done learning from our elders, but we’re not. We’re learning today from Dr. Carol Lourie. And she attended the National College of naturopathic medicine. She is a naturopathic doctor and she is one of our “Learn From Our Elders: because I think she’s 65. We will find out in the interview, but she has as most people, 65 plus, had a really colorful, varied career. She worked in community mental health like I did.

She has been a chef and owned a catering business. She is an acupuncturist and currently she’s also an older mom. She had her daughter at home at the age of 43 and her interests as a naturopathic physician is in the treatment of complex chronic disease. We have something like 25 million people in the United States who have undiagnosed or undiagnosable diseases where the medical model not only cannot serve them well, can’t even diagnose them well. And so I’m in great admiration of functional medicine practitioners who are willing to take on those tough cases because when they are it generally is because these doctors aren’t just kind of, you know, pushing everybody through the mill and selling a specific supplement set and doing a specific kind of chiropractic on them or whatever.

These are people who have to have tremendous breadth and depth of knowledge of various body systems and how it all works together to be able to help people who ten doctors before them have failed. So I’m interested to learn from her today. She really brings together a lot of different skills because she considers herself a mind body practitioner and is very committed to the idea that we can’t just deal with a body system and we can’t even just deal with the body. Because mind, spirit and physicality are so inextricably linked. We cannot pull them apart. So we might as well learn as much as we can about all those arenas, which we do on the Vibe show, right? Like that’s a lot of our purpose here.

So she treats a lot of autoimmune illness. She considers herself a specialist in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and she loves to work with fertility patients. I had a long crazy saga of multiple miscarriages myself. I lost an ectopic pregnancy and lost a fallopian tube in the process or actually an ovary. Mine was not in the Fallopian tubes it was in the ovary. I got one of my ovaries cut off after my first child and before my second. Ad she too, like me, had gone through multiple failed IVF, in vitro fertilization, and lots of emotions. There are ups and downs with the whole fertility thing and you learn a lot in the process.

So it’s pretty exciting when someone who’s been through a personal journey like that then takes what they’ve learned academically and personally out to help patients. And lately she’s also kind of started to specialize much more in helping women who seek integrative care through breast cancer treatment. So I’m excited to introduce to you my colleague, Dr Carol Lourie.

So welcome Carol. We’re so excited to learn from you today.

Carol Lourie:

I’m so honored and happy to be here. Thank you for having me. Robyn,

Robyn:

How do you feel about us calling you an elder? Does it feel like a good thing. Does that feel like an honor? Does that feel like, no, I don’t want to be an elder. What do you think about that?

Carol Lourie:

Well, I think we’re all going to be elder sooner or later and it happens in a blink of an eye before you know it. And I never really thought of myself as an elder, but when I look at the breadth of experience that I have in my practice and my personal life and compare that to someone who’s just graduating from naturopathic school or some of the younger people in our mind share community, I realized that compared to them I am an elder. And um, it’s going to happen to you sooner or later. So it’s better to embrace it than to fight it because fighting it is not the good way to be in life.

Robyn:

Yeah, I feel like as women we have some shame about our age, like it’s a bad thing and I’ve been like actively cultivating a completely different attitude towards my age. That my age represents how much life and experience and love and overcoming challenges I’ve got going on. Do you feel like that? Tell us a little about your challenges to this point. You’re 65 now, right?

Carol Lourie:

Yes. There’s been a lot of challenges. I mean I had to really struggle. I worked my way through undergraduate school. I had like four jobs and the only time I wasn’t either working or studying was Sunday afternoon from 2:00 PM and I would go over to mom’s house and do my laundry and have dinner with her. And I was working all the time. So I worked my way through undergraduate school and then when I was in naturopathic school I um, I worked there too. And I came and I moved to California and got my acupuncture license and was always working. So, and I’m still always working.

I think that different people have different karmic things they need to work out in their life. And as you get older, you get clearer about what they are. And in the twenties and the thirties and the forties, that’s really the time to make the most with working out your difficulties. And even people who you think have it all and have it altogether, one of the things I’ve learned from my work is that when you start talking to people and they start talking about their inner pains and their traumas, everybody has something that they’re upset about or working on or need to put their emotional or physical attention to. So I don’t think anybody gets away easily in life.

Robyn:

You know that right there, what you just said, nobody gets away easily in life. Nobody gets through it without having to go through it, right there, that’s why I wanted to interview a bunch of people over the age of 65. Because I feel like we are all the good things that we are because of the hard things that happen to us and overcoming them and the character we develop in the meantime. And so this is a question I’ve been asking folks who we have on this show, and by the way, when I put it out there on our private Facebook page with like 600, 700 of our colleagues, most of them functional medicine practitioners saying, Hey, I’m going to do this hundredth episode celebration, this learn from our elders. Who do you really admire who’s 65 plus? People were nominating you, and I was like, she’s not 65. I know her. I don’t know, she’s like my age.

Carol Lourie:

I wish. Those were really good years for me all those years ago. You know, I go to the beauty parlor, Robyn. I mean everybody has to do, I’m one of those women, I really admire women who let themselves go gray and I’m not quite ready yet. And there is no one path for everyone. Everybody has to do what they’re most comfortable with. And so I’m at the beauty parlor every couple weeks. And I take my supplements. And I do my firm weight workout. And I try to exercise five times a week. And I get enough sleep. And I love my work.

So I think that has a lot to do with keeping your nervous system healthy and keeping your cells healthy. And I’m always learning so I don’t understand the concept of boredom. I’m not. I’m never bored. So all of that. It’s not just one thing, it’s uh, it’s like when I work with somebody who’s ill, it’s not like one vitamin is going to cure breast cancer. There was an article about that in the New York Times. Everybody was talking about how Vitamin D and essential fatty acids are going to help breast cancer. It’s not one thing. It’s like our whole approach towards how we live and how we value our life and our inner intimacy and our friendships that matters.

Robyn:

Okay. You just said something really interesting with breast cancer. It’s not just one thing. I think that people are confused and they look for the one thing that will cure them or get them out of this jam that they’re in when they’re diagnosed with breast cancer. And I don’t know if you know, Carol, that I went all over the world for three and a half years and studied at 20 different holistic clinics worldwide that treat a lot of cancer. Some of them are very exclusively cancer and some of them are just, it’s just a specialty of theirs. I interviewed a couple dozen doctors, interviewed tons of patients, if the clinic would allow me to, some did, some didn’t. Stayed onsite if it was a place that you do that and learned a lot.

And I thought that I was going to come out of that and publish a book on all of the research, you know, especially in peer review journals, etc., on the efficacy of holistic cancer treatment. And the reason I came home from three and half years of that and did not write the book, one of the reasons is that there aren’t studies like that, because it’s not just one thing. So let’s go there when it comes to cancer, and talk to us a little bit about, because you’ve been drawn to work with women with breast cancer in recent years, why is it not just one thing? Why is it multifactorial and what do we do with that? How do you see breast cancer and women’s health?

Carol Lourie:

Okay. Well, I love talking about breast cancer, but I also want to say that it’s not only breast cancer, it’s fibromyalgia, it’s Epstein Bar, it’s chronic fatigue, it’s depression, it’s all of these illnesses that there’s not just one thing. But in regards to cancer, there are so many molecular biochemical, genomic and genetic factors that go into creating the perfect storm, which is a tumor, that there is no one thing that is going to be able to address that even in the form of standard treatment of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. And there’s, that in itself, is an imperfect combination. I know that you and I have a friend in common who believes that, you know, people should not do chemotherapy or radiation and as a licensed person I’m not able to support that.

I think the main thing is people have to make their own decisions. And I encourage women to become educated and empowered because sometimes the standard chemotherapy protocol for a specific type of woman’s breast cancer is not going to work for them. And that’s why I’m a huge proponent of something called the CARIS report. C a r i s or a Foundation One. I mean there’s a lot of information out there that women can really insist that they be provided by their oncologist to gather information about what are the driving forces that are creating their cancer. Now that’s on a biochemical level, but I feel like cancer and all diseases, and I’m sure you’ll agree, there’s energetics that create that. There is a disruption in life force that creates that and in my work with women, no matter what their chronic illness is, attending to that is a critical component of their health recovery and how we work together.

Robyn:

Can you talk a little bit about the CARIS report and you mentioned a couple of things that I think anybody close to a breast cancer patient or any of our breast cancer patient followers are going to want to know more about that.

Carol Lourie:

The CARIS report, it’s Caris Molecular Intelligence, c a r i s. And it needs to be done by your oncologist to take a biopsy and it needs to be sent in a certain way. It needs to be a certain size and everything and the oncologist will know about this. Insurance pays for it the majority of the time. It’s a standard test. It’s run out of a very advanced lab in Arizona. And it looks at sensitivity, what your specific tumor is going to respond to, what are the genetic and genomic SNPs that you have. Some of which will indicate that you will not be responsive to chemotherapy, which I feel is extremely important.

I had a patient who underwent cancer treatment at Stanford with standard oncology radiation and chemotherapy and only after that was finished and she was stage three and I had been asking her oncologist to do a CARIS report, did they do the CARIS report, and it found that she had something called a topo one and topo two genetic abnormalities which are indicative that a woman is not going to do well or fail chemotherapies. So there are, and Foundation One is another test, and that also tells you, it gives you a percentage for how much likely are you going to have a recurrence for DCIS, which is a form of Ductal Carcinoma in Situ.

So there are lots of tests that women can use to work with their oncologist to decide which will guide their treatment. If you’re going to do chemotherapy, you really have to make sure it’s the right one for you. And then you have to prepare for it. Like you would a marathon, you don’t not exercise and then think I’m going to run 26 miles and be fine tomorrow. I mean it is a process that we all have to prepare for physically and psychologically and spiritually also.

Robyn:

So you’re probably a little more moderate than some of the folks we have on this show. Like, I think you alluded to a colleague of both of ours who’s anti chemo and radiation. You know, since we don’t talk to people who are more integrative and more positive towards chemo and radiation. I’m definitely interested in your perspective there. If you’re meeting with a cancer patient or even if like if it were your own health challenge, what instances, and I realize that this is kind of broad and kind of generic. And maybe it’s even an uncomfortable question to ask you because gosh, you’re just like every other functional medicine practitioner, they say, I’m not judging anybody who does chemo and radiation and I’m not saying it’s bad, it’s just a personal choice and I really want to educate you so you know.

And I agree. I just want, uh so, so, so many cancer patients who come out of standard of care treatment, you know, chemo and radiation. Afterwards say, I had no idea that chemo brain and neuropathy and you know, a pretty devastated microbiome were going to be almost guaranteed in this process. Like they literally didn’t know. And that’s, I just wish everybody knew a lot more about what the path was going to look like until they come out. They get chewed up and spit out the other side. Will you talk a little bit about when you think chemo and radiation is useful versus when it’s not?

Carol Lourie:

I think that if somebody is going, I don’t think people understand the complexity of what is entailed to not do chemo and radiation and how much work and dedication and total life changing in every, every way it takes to change the environment in your body that is driving the tumor. And I know there are, I’m part of these Facebook groups, there’s a Facebook breast cancer group where they are not into integrative they are just absolutely not doing any chemo or radiation, you’re not allowed to mention that. And I have some colleagues who are part of that and I really respect that group and I respect those women.

And I want, you know, part of the reason I started my Facebook group is I feel like there’s too much chaos out there in the world of cancer. And cancer energetically is chaos, so when you think about how cancer is created and what it does is it breaks down the barriers in the cells and it just, without restraint, goes around eating and devouring everything and it’s like an alien invasion in your body. And we need to work with how that happens and the attitude emotionally a woman has about how is cancer part of me and not something that I need to eradicate or kill. I mean, I don’t think being at war with cancer is the right attitude. Because really what are you at war with? Yourself?

I mean we have to begin to have a different relationship with cancer. So a lot of women need to do the standard treatment because the level of spiritual walking on the path that it requires to do this without doing standard treatment. The level of being out of the box and being okay with that inside of yourself. It’s not for everyone. So, but the people in the Facebook group, you know, there’s several thousand people and they’re there and they’re doing fine. And I know a lot of people who didn’t do standard treatment and are doing fine. So it really depends on somebody’s inner connection to their selves and their spirituality and their faith. And I’m not necessarily talking about religion when I’m talking like this.

Robyn:

Yeah, I understand the difference and hopefully our readers do too. There’s spirituality and there’s religion and they’re not necessarily the same thing. What’s interesting about what you said that chemo and radiation is for people who, as if I could boil down what you said to a short statement, chemo and radiation might be for people who aren’t interested in making some pretty comprehensive lifestyle changes. I think that our colleague that we’re talking about who you see as being anti chemo, radiation. He pretty much said that in his book that I just read a couple of months ago, which is, gotta realize if you want to deal with the fundamental collapse of your immune system that is cancer, you’re going to have to take massive action and if you don’t want to do that, I mean the nice thing about chemo and radiation, it’s completely passive. You just climb in the chair and they do stuff to ya.

Carol Lourie:

Yeah. But in my online course, in the work I do with women, there is no passivity in cancer treatment. And I think that that’s part of the problem of our advertising world in which is people are being encouraged to be passive in their life and illness is like the alarm bells going off saying: “Hi, you’ve been passive. Guess what? It’s not working”. And what you’ve been doing with the standard american diet, which is not, which is called SAD, s a d for reasons and not exercising and watching too much television and being unhappy in your work and your relationships. All of those energetic toxicities add up to create disease.

So I feel very strongly that even if you are doing the standard of care, which is the chemo and the radiation, you cannot go into even that as a passive person. You need to be active in preparing for chemotherapy, preparing for surgery, taking your supplements, changing your diet, really involving a whole care team to uplevel your life and being committed to recuperating and restoring your health.

Robyn:

Well. You’ve made a very good point that it’s not one of two things which we kind of have that big divide in at least in the United States, but in the western countries that it’s either I’m going to take the holistic or alternative path or I’m going to take chemo and radiation and you kind of live in that middle of, it’s not binary. Anytime we catch ourselves in binary thinking it’s this or it’s that, like, Stop and ask yourself, is it possible that there are more options here. And Carol’s holding my feet to the fire here of, hey, even if you do chemo and radiation, you still just can’t climb in the chair and stick the needle in your arm and squeeze your eyes shut and expect to be well at the end of it. So very good point. Very good point.

Let’s go away from cancer and I want to talk about you, your life, what you’ve learned. In the introduction, I mentioned that you became a mother at 43. Super, super interesting to me because I was launching my kids into adulthood almost, you know, when you were having your first baby. And I’m fascinated by that because I have often felt a little bit jealous of older mothers. Like you, I went through a long infertility saga, all the tests twice, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriages, lost one of my twin babies, all the, all these, you know, lots of stuff like you.

And weirdly I have felt a little bit jealous at times of women who aren’t a mother till they’re older because now I look back as a 51 year old mother of four adult children and think, gosh, if I would have had them when I was older, when I actually had some wisdom and I sort of knew what I was doing. If I could start over, I would have better outcomes with these kids. I would be more happy with my history with them. Tell us about being a 43 year old new mother and, what it’s like, I mean I know you can’t compare it to being a young mother because you weren’t and I can’t compare to being an older mother because I wasn’t. But I just love to compare notes here, because since we started being mothers at almost 20 years apart,

Carol Lourie:

Well first of all, if you were an older mom, you would not have four children, you would only have one or two. So let’s get that straightened out right away, because one, one was enough and I had her at home and uh, I was determined not to go to the hospital. And when she came out I said, I can’t imagine people doing this more than once. And then you have this whole postpartum period in which you’re older and you don’t sleep because your child never sleeps because that’s what happens in the beginning. They’re nursing all the time. And I had a really busy practice and I basically stopped working for three months and then went back very part time. So you lose your, um, you build up your business and then, you know, even if you give it to somebody else to take care of when you’re not there, as you know, with hands on, it diminishes.

So this is a facade that I think people have that when you’re older you’re going to be a better mom. I think that that’s not true. I think that we are the moms that we’re the mom of how we are a mom, no matter whether you’re 43 or 27, uh, it just, you bring who you are to being a mom. The good parts and the bad parts. And I think no matter what our age, we all have certain regrets. Oh, I wish I hadn’t done that or I wish I’d had more patience when she was running around naked and peeing all over the floors.

I mean, you know, there’s those moments that are just out of control no matter what age, you were at. And you look back and you think later, no matter what the age is, you think, why? Why did I get so upset? So what if she got pee all over the floor? Like, who cares? Now I would say that. But then it was like, oh my god, I can’t believe I have to clean this up and she won’t put on her diaper So I think being a mom, inherent with being a mom, is we all have regrets that we weren’t our best all the time.

Robyn:

Interesting. Yeah, probably so. I mean probably the reason I’m a lot more laid back and long game oriented is because of the experience of being a parent for 20 years, whether that started at 23 or whether it started at 43. I think you’re making me realize that I just had to develop the patience by getting overwrought at the little kid peeing on the floor enough times to realize this is actually hurting my relationship and it’s hurting my emotional health to overreact to be a hot reactor.

Jeff Bland was on the show and he talked about, can’t remember what doctor influenced his thinking on this, but hot reactors and people who, you know, react to things strongly. And that to me is what the definition of being a young mother is. Maybe it’s being a new mother. With my youngest child, I just, you know, he did stuff and I’d just be like, ha ha, that’s funny. No big deal. This too shall pass. This is a phase. So much easier for me to know that because I already did it with a bunch of other kids.

Carol Lourie:

Right. But when you’re older and you only have one. But I mean, I read your Facebook posts, I think you’re a great mom. You really are raising your children with boundaries and you’re making them be responsible and you’re not letting them get away with their little subterfugenist behaviors. I mean, uh, and they’re beautiful children physically and emotionally you can tell. So I mean, that’s the best that we can do.

And there’s this, I think part of being a mom is having regrets and feeling like we could have done better. And I don’t think that’s an age issue. I think it’s a societal female, feminine, intuitive mom issue. You know, my daughter is great and she has some issues because I was her mom. I mean, that’s just how it is. It’s unfortunate and I always do the best I can. And she’s still really happy and very high functioning child and has very specific goals for herself. And she, you know, I was her mom, so she has certain issues. But um, I think that’s the nature of being a parent.

Robyn:

Yeah, I think you nailed it. I often say that people are a balance sheet. There’s just assets and liabilities. And best we can hope for is, and this sounds gloomy and I don’t mean it to be all Nietzsche, but you know, hopefully your assets far outweigh your liabilities. And I think that’s true of parenting too.

And you said cause you follow me personally, my personal page on Facebook and now some of the folks who are following Green Smoothie Girl, my public figure page, are going to go follow me on my personal page and I leave it open. People can, you know, follow me on my personal page. I’m not one of these people who only lets people on my personal page if they are my personal friend. But um, but it’s kinda funny because every once in a while someone who came from Green Smoothie Girl will be like, I don’t like you talking about this. I don’t want to hear the politics. I don’t want to hear the parenting. You know, I just want to hear the nutrition stuff and I’m like, well, so do you know that you’re on my personal page? Right? And I’m like, ehhh yeah.

So yeah, this has been really interesting to think about the fact that you’re so honest about. Well, no, I don’t think being an older mother makes me a wiser mother. I just had to start at the beginning like you did when you were in your twenties, but I just, for the record, since you said that from Facebook, you can tell that I’m a great mom. Let me say this. From Facebook you can tell that I’m a mom. That’s the only thing I’m willing to admit to. But let’s just take a moment and think about, all of us that everybody is talking about their funniest stuff or their best stuff and certainly not their painful, ugly stuff on Facebook. So just for the record, I’ll never be claiming to be a great mom, but I will admit to being a mom. So.

Carol Lourie:

Okay. Well you don’t have to say that you’re a great mom. I can put the word great in front of mom. And you know, one of the things Brendon Bouchard said at our Mindshare this past year was being on Facebook is really like about comparing yourself to other people then feeling bad. And um, I think it’s really refreshing when people are real. And I think some of the things that you share about your struggles with your children are really real. And I don’t think you’re the only person who has them. And it’s a good part of the problems I had with people in my practices and our society as a whole is people are not putting boundaries and limits on their children nor on themselves. And that’s connected to disease. So there’s something to be said for boundaries and limits.

Robyn:

Yeah. We have to spend some time as parents thinking about how this world is different in 2018 then the world was when we were the age of our children and not to give our kids a free pass, but to really consider like, okay, things have been kind of easy for my kids in some ways compared to how it was for me. I mean, I didn’t go through my parents divorcing. They didn’t divorce so my kids have that that’s difficult. But you know, we’re more affluent than my parents were. We had nothing. I grew up going to garage sales. All my clothes were second hand. Um, nobody ever bought me an expensive gift. Nobody helped me with college. Nobody helped me buy my car when I was 16. Everything.

You know, so things like that. And so I think we have to think about with kids being so entitled and you know, they think that money falls off of trees. How can we then sort of manipulate the environment a little bit to give them the opportunity to do hard things, fight through their own challenges, not be the rescuing parents. What’s it like with your, I think your daughter would be then about 22 now. What’s she like? What’s your relationship like? What are some of the things you’ve learned from parenting?

Carol Lourie:

Well, she’s 23. Right now, she’s in Guatemala. She, um, wants to go to osteopathic or medical school. And she graduated from college and moved back home and worked for a year, part time at UCSF as a record keeper and ER tech and became an EMT. And decided she was going to volunteer. She found this place and she’s in this little village and she taught her herself enough Spanish in two months that she’s working in this village, five and a half hours outside of Guatemala City for five months. So, um, we have a really good relationship.

I love that she moved back home. But she had her own car. She came and she went as he pleased. She worked, she supported herself. She saved money to apply to medical schools. She’s, you know, she’s a little quick and impatient, which I was very much more so now, than when I was in my twenties. I was extremely impatient. I’m still impatient. Don’t get me started about driving in traffic, but for processing I’m very patient and for creation I’m very patient, but for stuff that takes a really long time it drives me crazy. And she has that level of impatience too and I can see that in her. And I have to keep my mouth shut because I realize that there are some things that her path is going to have to help her with as she grows older.

And I think I have a lot more appreciation for what my mom went through with us in that she would try to educate us about certain components of our life or personality that she felt needed work and we did not take it very well. And so I go out of my way not to do that to my daughter. I let her make her own mistakes and I keep my mouth shut a lot of the time.

Robyn:

Oh, I think that’s some of the best stuff we can do for our kids is let them have their struggles. And you know,, support them by saying, oh, that’s tough. What do you think you could do about that? What do you think your different options are? Or help them brainstorm. And that lets us feel like we’re helping. And not do the thing that I think harms our kids, which is step in and do it for them or make calls for them. And it’s like causing our children to never do any exercise. You know, like would we do that? Would we want our child to never go for a run or go do yoga? Like those are muscles, life skills, stuff that we literally are robbing our children of when we solve their problems for them and there’s so much of that in our generation of parents, don’t you think?

Carol Lourie:

Yeah. I think that there are too many children who have narcissistic tendencies and feel like everything should be given to them. And that is a very big wound and it’s going to cause them a lot of trouble as they get older. Life is not always easy. Even if you have enough, you have certain struggles and you need to be responsible to other people and the planet and yourself in a very positive, healthy way. And unfortunately our society has lost that connection. I think it’s really, I went out of my way to really help my girl develop that.

Robyn:

Yeah. I don’t know that I went out of my way to help my 23 year old daughter develop that, but wow she has it in spades. In fact, right before we started this episode, I got a text message from her showing me she went and researched, she sounds so much like your daughter and your daughter sounds amazing by the way, on both the good and the challenging side. Same, same, same, same. We need to get our 23 old daughters together. They’re both college graduates looking at the next step, coming and going and living at home.

But um, she went and had gone to the HOA, researched it online, and sent me a screenshot of what the mixed recyclables can contain because she was telling me, you know, because we have to like take our garbage to the whatever next door, the dumpster or whatever, and she’s very, she’s classic millennial in that she’s like, we recycle everything. We uncycle. We consolidate trips. She hasn’t owned a car most of her 23 years. Even when, you know, the other kids were all about it.

So you know, the cool things, I think the millennials are going to bring us around to a keen awareness of caring for the globe and each other in community. I think that for all the complaints we have about the millennials, we’re gonna, we’re gonna see some greatness from them if they can just get over their narcissism like you said.

Carol Lourie:

I hope so Robyn, because we need, the world as a whole needs help. We’re heading in a direction that I feel is not connected and is creating illness and disease in a lot of levels for the planet and for people. And we need people like you and the community that we’re both a part of really is working to not have that be the case.

Robyn:

Yeah. I, I didn’t mean for this to be so much about parenting, but it has been super interesting to kick around parenting thoughts about it. Talk to me a little bit about, I think you’re 65 this year. You can correct us. Well, first of all, just want to know what does it feel like? What does it feel like? How is it different? Physical, emotional, mental health? What does 65 feel like compared to 35? And then second part of that question is if you could go back and give your 35 year old self some critical life wisdom, what would it be?

Carol Lourie:

Well, first of all, your body is great until like you’re in the mid- fifties and then all of a sudden no matter what you do, it goes to hell. So I think that that’s part of what happens in your sixties. I mean the line of what you can eat and how you can exercise and how it like helps you, all of a sudden you don’t have your 50 something year old body and it just happens. Like, I don’t know. Like I have all these great clothes and I can’t quite throw them out, but they don’t quite fit and I’m not ready to give up on them yet. Your body changes no matter how well you take care of yourself. Um, and I think that you have to really work hard inside of yourself to accept that.

What would I tell my 35 year old? I think everybody has their own path and their own issues that they need to deal with. And I didn’t necessarily have an easy path. I’ve been working on my spirituality all my life and my emotional well-being all my life. And it is, um, I mean it pays off because I have a wonderful husband and a beautiful girl, and a practice and my online business, which I’m developing and dear friends. But I didn’t necessarily have it easy. And I think that what I feel now that I’m in my sixties compared to what I’m in my thirties, is that your path is your path.

And I’m like, as I say to women with breast cancer, you didn’t choose this, of course you wouldn’t, but now that you’re here, what are the lessons to be learned and how can you make the best of it? Because I believe that if we don’t handle it this lifetime, next lifetime, it’s going to come up even more so. So I think I would tell my 35 year old to be more accepting of the path and what was put on my path this lifetime. And to be a little more patient and loving.

Robyn:

Very similar, by the way, if this interests you, it’s very similar to things that we’re getting from others about what they at 65 or 70 would go back and say to their younger self, is let go of things more easily and with more grace and be more patient and just let things unfold. You know, the whole white knuckling thing. I’m so over it like I was doing when I was 35.

Carol Lourie:

Well yeah, I’m still white knuckling so you’re lucky that you’re not doing that anymore.

Robyn:

I don’t know that I’ve done a more honest interview where we’re both just like, yeah, no, not gonna accept that accolade cause I’m just mucking it out with everybody else. It’s actually been really fun. So what are some of the non negotiables in what you do to take care of yourself. At 65, I imagine you absolutely have to have boundaries. You have to protect sleep, your physical health, your emotional health, because I believe you’re still working full time.

Carol Lourie:

Oh Robyn. Yeah, more than full time. For the last six months I was working eight days a week writing my course. So, um, sometimes 10, 12 hours a day. It was not a great moment. Yeah. I have friends who are retiring and I don’t even know what that means. I mean I have a dear friend who retired to Florida and in a gated community. And they go on cruises and they play golf and they build an outdoor kitchen and I’m thinking to myself, okay, I could do that for maybe a week. It’s like, then I’d be at the homeless shelter. I mean, what are you giving back to the community and how are you helping make the world a better place?

Um, I don’t know. I have my fantasy of retirement, which I’m happy to share with you. But that’s um, doesn’t involve not doing anything. I have to work. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I have to work. I love my work. I think that when you’re in doing healing with people you don’t really get good until you’ve been doing it for at least 20 years. And now I’ve been doing it for 35. So I feel like the people who come to see me, I take that very seriously and there’s a big spiritual honor there and I want to help them, uh, get on their healing path. And especially when I just had this beautiful 27 year old and she’s seen a ton of doctors and she has swollen glands and I know this, the homeopathic remedy I gave her is going to help change your life in addition to everything else.

So that. I have to work. I guess that’s part of my non-negotiable. I have to work. I love to take my supplements every day and I take quite a few. I love to cook and shop and go to the Monterey Market and bring home beautiful, delicious organic food. And I don’t exercise as much as I should, but I do exercise at least four times a week for an hour. And I love to hang out with my friends and my husband and my daughter and her friends. So I think as I’ve gotten older, the things that I like to do are simpler and not as complicated.

Robyn:

To love to work and play, and that feeds you?

Carol Lourie:

Yeah.

Robyn:

Okay. So I have to go to something that you peaked my interest about before we tell everyone where they can learn more about you. And that is you said that you have a specific fantasy of retirement. And I’m curious about that because I’m, I can kind of retire now if I want to, it’s kinda like one of those things where you gun for something your whole life and you’re thinking about like when I get to retirement I need to have enough passive income to be able to live on and I need this and this and this, and then you get close to retirement and you’re like, wait a minute, if I’m retired, what will I do?

And I don’t mean like what will I do with my time because I can always fill my time, but I have learned about myself and it sounds like you’ve come to the same conclusion that creating something, using my creativity, building something, having goals is so foundational to who I am, that without it, I think I would go into some kind of a long, dark funk. And why would I do that? Why would I choose to do that regardless of whether it has to do with earning money to pay the bills or not. Retirement no longer seems interesting to me. So tell me about what your retirement is going to look like.

Carol Lourie:

Okay. Well, one of the reasons I created my online healing series or course is because I want to reach all the thousands unfortunately of women with breast cancer, but the other part of that is even though you have a successful practice, it’s not like the level of abundance that I would need for this dream. Which is I want to move back to the east coast and I want to buy one of these old stone homes with about 40 acres on it. And um, my two favorite words in life are, gut job, I love to renovate and I want to renovate this home and involve the, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this program called “The Barnwood Builders”. They’re these five guys who go around the country in rescuing hundred year old barns that have been hand hewed.

And I want to build on my 40 acres in addition to having a garden which grows vegetables, which is going to feed the little restaurant cafe that I’m going to have in the local town. And next door to that is going to have a store that has all the beautiful things that I find when I go to estate sales for people to come and buy. And next door to that will be a healing center. And then on my property is going to be a huge barn which has a beautiful fireplace and I want to do healing retreats.

Robyn:

Oh, I love it. And I want to come.

Carol Lourie:

Well of course. And so that’s my, with a big kitchen with a huge stove and a huge island. And a big house with lots of bedrooms and bathrooms and people can come. I want to have a couple of Urts on the property, and people can come and do writing retreats. That is my dream for retirement. So yeah, I’m not going to be not busy. I’m going to be more busy than ever.

Robyn:

I’m totally inspired by that. I’m going to come up with like a picture of what retirement looks like. That’s totally what I’m going to do. Because what you’ve got nailed there is what you’re giving life what you’re doing for the world beyond the age at which you don’t have to work for money anymore. That’s I think, I think everybody should dream that up. I think everybody should have that.

Carol Lourie:

Every time I say it out loud, Robyn, it has more weight and becomes closer to becoming reality. And there are times when business wise things didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to and my inner mantra is “I am not giving up on this reality. I’m just not.” You can create this level for yourself and you have to work for it. Of course it’s not without work. As I know I’ve hundreds and hundreds of hours. I’ve said no to everybody that doesn’t have anything to do with finishing my project. But the benefits for the world and reaching the people that you can’t help one on one and for yourself are, are really worth it, but you have to like throw out the seeds and then do the process and let the beautiful vegetables come up.

Robyn:

Oh, what a great metaphor. Well, you’ve been hard at work on this project. It is soon to come to life to be birthed. Where can people learn about your breast cancer healing course? Where can they follow you on social media? Where can people get more of Dr. Carol Lourie?

Carol Lourie:

Oh, that’s so sweet. Robyn. Thank you. Thepathofbreastcancer.com. Um, that’s on Facebook, “A safe place” is the group. And apathofbreastcancer.com is the website. And my practice is my name carollourie.com. l o u r i e I’m on Facebook a lot with natural health care and healing center and also my carol lourie page. So I’m all over there. And thank goodness for people to help me with that because I’m computer challenged.

Robyn:

Me too. Luckily there are lots of brilliant millennials to help us.

Carol Lourie:

Yes. thank goodness for them.

Robyn:

What would we do without them? What do I push to get out of this program?

Carol Lourie:

How did this happen. I just froze up everything. Where are we now? What’s happening? And they look at me like, oh no, she did that same mistake again. What’s the matter with her?

Robyn:

I know. How many times have we told her this? Yeah, we can laugh at the millennials and their ways only so long until we need them to get us out of a jam on our computer. So. It’s been delightful to have this conversation with you. I’m excited about your course coming out and thank you for being my friend. You always chime in on Facebook. You’re kind, lovely, supportive. You’re who I want to be when I’m 65. And so thanks for inspiring us all.

Carol Lourie:

I’m so honored that you would say that. Robyn, thank you so much.

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