• Tamra Andress

Finding Hope in Tragedy with Carey Conley and Laurel Wilson

In today's episode, you're getting a mother-daughter duo. Carrie Conley and Laurel Wilson are on a mission together in tandem, and I think that it's incredible. A great purpose and tragedy are associated with the why behind how they've connected and formulated this even greater brand than the family bond. It's the bond of discipleship. It's the bond of showing up for people speaking together, teaching together. They actually co-authored a book called Keep Looking Up: Transforming Grief Into Hope After Tragedy due to their own experiences with suicide that happened within their family multiple times.

They have such a clear vision of their why and a clear vision of the legacy they want to leave. And they want you to learn how to do the same, whether you're in the space of grieving or because you're just in a static space, and perhaps suicidal ideation is something you are walking through. You need the tools that they teach.

I hope that it blesses you. I hope that you get your hands on this resource. The book is not just a read my story kind of book. But, it really does have a resource model at the end of each chapter that I know will equip you to be a better listener, a better coach, a better entrepreneur, and a better friend and loved one.

It's blessed me, and I know it'll bless you. So be sure to tag us all and share.

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About Carey and Laurel:

As vision experts with a passion for revolutionizing Vision and Purpose, Carey Conley and Laurel Wilson’s mission stems from their own adversity after losing two family members – Carey's husband (Laurel's father) and Carey's son (Laurel's brother) – to suicide just three years apart. The goal of this amazing mother-daughter team is to teach people of all ages the importance of having a crystal-clear vision and creating a legacy they wish to carry out. They also help those suffering from adversities by enabling them to find their purpose in life. Carey is the author of the best-selling book Vision is Victory and they have co-authored the book Keep Looking Up: Transforming Grief into Hope After Tragedy, a positive guide for those who are suffering from loss and for those close to them.

Where to Find Laurel and Carey:

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Show Notes: Finding Hope in Tragedy

Well, well, you guys are going to get two for the price of one today. Nothing better. I usually only interview one person at a time, but today you're getting a mother daughter duo, both Carrie Connelly and Laurel Wilson are on mission together in tandem. And I think that that's incredible, but it's not a with.

A great purpose and a great tragedy, actually, that was associated to the why behind how they've connected and formulated this even greater brand than the family bond. It's the bond of discipling. It's the bond of showing up for people speaking together, teaching together. They actually, co-authored a book called keep looking up, transforming grief into hope after tragedy because of suicide suicide that happened within their family multiple times.

And, uh, they have such a clear vision on the why and a clear vision on the legacy. And they want you to learn how to do the same, whether you're in a grieving, uh, because of. Or because you're just in a static space and perhaps suicidal ideation is something you are walking through their tools that they even teach.

Some of which they reveal later in this episode, there are transformative and even things I've never heard before. And so I hope that it blesses you. I hope that you get your hands on this resource. You know, the book is, it's not just a read my story kind of book, and it really does have resource model at the end of each chapter that I know will equip you to be a better listener, to be a better coach, to be a better entrepreneurs, to be a better friend and loved one.

Uh, and so it's blessed me. I know it'll bless you. Be sure to tag us all and share. And if you would just take a couple of extra minutes to leave us a review, that would be amazing. This is kind of like leading tokens or sweet little treats or baking cookies for me, even if you're not here locally or.

Like giving me currency in and of itself when you leave those stars and leave that review. So take that extra minute. I appreciate you. If I can return the favor in any way, you know where to find me not here and not email, but on Instagram is where I hang out most. And so I hope that this blesses you and thanks for tuning in and being a loyal listener.

Welcome to the fit and bait podcast. It is an acronym representing founders, innovators, and trailblazers who are looking to live a life wholly fully, authentically, and truly fit a space for us to connect on the raw real stories of mind, body, and soul alignment of entrepreneurs. And kingdom leaders. I'm your host, Tamra and dress.

And this podcast, isn't like the cookie cutter interview experience. I've been coined the entrepreneurial rabbi. And so we do go there unscripted, no matter how far wide, deep or high there is. My desire is to see people rise from the inside, out, into their greatest calling, by sharing their truest stories, talents and tips as a purpose activator and brand builder.

I believe our successes and failures are derived from who and whose we are not what we do, but strategy and vision are equally as important to the mission. So let's cut to the chase together and get fit in faith.

Welcome. Welcome to the fitness podcast. We are live in an action in lots of different cities and you guys are being blessed with not just two voices, but three voices today. And so I am so excited to welcome Carrie and her beautiful daughter, Laurel, who are connected in such an amazing way. Uh, and it's not just as a mother-daughter duo.

And so we're going to learn about their testimonies today. Um, they have, they have triumphs together. They have walked through the valley together and, uh, while often mother and daughter or families in general may do that. It's been in, uh, a lot of despair and yet they're still living in freedom. And, uh, I think that that's a message for right now, even in the midst of what's going on in Ukraine and Russia and around the world in so many different ways.

Um, and so just honored to have you guys thanks for being here. Well, we're honored to be here. Thank you. And what. I know

this is the coolest, yes. I love to just spoil people right out the gate and let them know that they are seen uniquely and, you know, your voice matters. And so often, even though you're coming on a podcast where your voice clearly matters, otherwise you wouldn't be here. Um, but simultaneous to that, it's like, you know, we don't always get the recognition.

Um, and I don't mean it from an affirmation standpoint of like kudos to you, but it's who you are divinely created to be. And that recognition factor is important to me and it's important to my team. And so, um, if you guys never watched live and you're listening to the podcast right now on audible, I highly recommend that you check us out.

Um, whether it's in a Facebook group or it's on LinkedIn live, uh, we do it multiple times a week. And so, uh, it's a special treasure to actually see people face to face and see the face of the human that you're connecting with heart to heart. And so it's a, it's a. I'm lot of token. I'm glad you guys loved it.

Thank you so so much. Well, let's jump in to this deep conversation and, uh, share people about this commission that you guys are on in regards to revolutionizing vision and purpose, and specifically on mission around owning the people's advice, adversities, um, and what that looked like for you. All you guys want to have one or the other can take the lead.

I'm sure you guys have done this story before. Yeah. Uh, well, our story is that we have been through a lot in the past almost eight years now in Tamra, we I've been a speaker and a coach for many, many years on vision. And, uh, at that point, about eight years ago, Laura was just coming out of well, she was starting her junior year of college and my son was about 26 years old.

And that summer, unfortunately we lost my husband to suicide. And then three years later, we lost my son at 26 also to suicide. So Laurel at that point, um, was starting her life. And we decided a year later after my son died, that would his time where you were time for us to share our story and time for us to coauthor our book.

Keep looking up. It's that is the reason that you had just mentioned. We are so passionate now more than ever about people having a vision for their life, knowing they matter and connecting to their purpose. So a lot of times Laura and I speak together like this on podcasts, and sometimes we speak separately just depending on the audience.

And she started her career in speaking and coaching as well. That's really incredible. Laura, you want to add anything to that? Yeah, absolutely. You know, I think what's interesting. And we'll probably talk about this later on too, is that, uh, it's kind of come to fruition in a different way than what we expected.

You know, I watched my mom coaching a lot of entrepreneurs on vision when it came to their business, which is super important. But then once we went through these adversities and we started seeing how that vision played such a huge part in getting us through that and helping us find joy again, we started seeing how it was kind of shifting in a really cool way of what my mom had already been teaching and then me coming into play with it as well.

And we don't have to relaunch our book. I honestly didn't really expect to kind of go further into it as a career. And so we kind of put the book out there and, you know, just let God take it from there. And it started organically happening, but what's really cool for both of us. Is that the nut, the overall.

Purpose and, you know, core values of both of our visions have come to light such so much more over the years, but the path to getting there has not been what we expected. So it's kind of curated that flexibility and the faith while you're pursuing what you see your life to look. Hmm. Wow. That's a story like knowing that, just that chunk right there, I mean, you could into the podcast and people need to reflect in that moment is, is that recognition.

And I was watching a reel of a, of a good friend, Kira Carter. And, uh, she was saying that like in a prayer, right? Like we pray for God. And we're like, God, like, this is what I'm literally looking for in my life. And this is how I would like it to happen. Right. We pray for him to answer the prayer in the way that we think God should answer the prayer and for life to unfold in the way that we want it to unfold.

God bring me a husband right now in this season. God bring me a boy instead of a girl, or like all of the little prayers that are so silly when you think about them in hindsight and even more so in this specific scenario, because we never want to make light of a lost, loved one, and we never want to make light of a conversation around grief of suicide.

Um, but I would love for us to just understand. God's gonna use you, he's going to use your story and he's going to use it in such a magnificent way. And the adversity, the hardship, the trial, the tribulation is likely going to be the place of triumph that you stand when you pursue him on the other side of it.

Right. So I'd love for you guys to talk about what that like experience was like, um, and how you pursued your faith in the process even still. Yeah. I'll touch on this first. Cause I know we've lost the same people, but in different ways, you know, it's different relationships and definitely different times in our lives that played a lot into both of our healing processes and grief and that kind of a thing.

But you know, when I lost my dad, I was not seeking my faith at all. It was a very interesting experience where that was the first time I had felt like God had failed me. And it took me a while to admit that because I felt so bad for feeling this way, but I kept thinking, I was like, I had these 20 years of not a whole lot of adversity.

And then this massive thing happens and something that was never really talked about to be honest, growing up throughout church of talking about what that looks like to lose somebody to suicide. So I was like, how do I have faith with something that was never talked about in my life, kind of a thing.

And so I struggled with that for a long time and had to. Slowly kind of gained my relationship back with God. And when I got to a really good place, I then lost my brother. And I thought, man, how, how do I keep going in these cycles of feeling so much anger, instead of trying to understand why this was God's plan.

And that still is such a huge struggle, but it was when, especially after losing my brother, I realized I can't feel the way I did after I lost my dad or I'm not going to be able to get through it. So it had to be a choice of as hard as it is that I want to not seek God and understand his plan and be so frustrated and turn away.

I had to shift that and know that was the only thing I could do to move forward was was to be like, okay, as hard as this is going to be, how do I figure out what I'm supposed to do with this along the way, you know, many months of healing, of course, but it really started with just even talking to other people that hadn't gone through it that still had their faith and seeing that it was possible.

Hmm, that's really good. And I, I feel like I want Carrie to respond to that question as well. Um, but in the reflection of what you were saying, it's like this, knowing that you had to armor up with people who were still steadfast, right? And that's the, that's the real grit and meat and potatoes of the church.

And it doesn't always work really well. When you think of it from a church perspective, it might be more community oriented. Um, but I believe that there is still a lot of strength in numbers when it comes to that, like Moses, Aaron, and her like hand raising, I've got you in the season that you can't even hold your hands up, that there are people who are able and capable of doing that.

But it's also the powerful conversation around what conversations. Is the church having and what conversations is the church not having and why are we hiding from these hard conversations when it should be forefront of the conversation? Yeah. Yeah. And I'll let my mom respond to it. And I won't say much about this, but it's been interesting how, as hard as it is sometimes to be fully open on social media.

And it's such a small example of doing that. I talk so boldly about my faith and so openly about my story. And I think the two are hard for people to put together sometimes. But I think about how I wish I would have had somebody like that. And I found people along the way, but somebody like that in the beginning of somebody who had been through these kinds of things, but still talked boldly about their faith, it was this weird trying to connect the two that sometimes doesn't always make sense to me.

Really powerful. Go ahead, Carrie. Uh, you know, we were very involved in our church when the kids are growing up, they went, they actually went to school at, it was a big church in Colorado where we're from and the kids went to school there through eighth grade and then went into a public high school. Um, my husband taught a Bible study to look to the little kids for many, many years.

We did family trips with all that. Some of the church families, we were really ingrained in the church and there were people inside the church that, that did come up alongside us and still to this day are like family to us. Um, but it wasn't at that point where that's where we sought our sanctuary.

Laurel sought it out, going to groups of people that, um, you know, were doing like group counseling or giving support in losing loved ones. I went inward, I went totally inward, um, and S D do a lot of. Reflection in the morning, a lot of writing, a lot of talking things out, a lot of really understanding now, okay.

So this is my story. This is my life, and this is what, what God wants me to do with it. And like Laurel, um, especially after losing my son just really questioned my faith. It was like, really, this is really what we're doing. This is how you want me to carry out my mission. Um, so it took me about a year, uh, just really kind of isolating, uh, not totally, but just kind of shutting down for a little while to kind of work through and process and, uh, figure out who we're.

We have a chapter in our book, Tamra called, uh, your safe people. I think that's the title of the chapter, but we talk a lot about how we found those people that were safe for us. Um, say for us to be able to be who we needed to be in the moment and they would just take care of us and let us just be that, um, safe that they knew how to handle our emotions and all the things.

So it was, it was a lot of learning, especially after, right after both deaths, because they were, they were both so different in how it all went down in our relationships like Laurel said. So we both are very strong in our faith now, but it was, it was a journey. It was definitely a during, well, one thing that you said that I think gives people grace for is that you shut down for a year.

Right? And I I've had to a friend, a local community member who just recently lost his wife and it was not to suicide. I think when I'm processing through, like how can I be a safe person for them? How can I be a security for them? How can I keep encouraging them through this dark season? And I love that your book, actually, I have it here in front of me for those who are online, keep looking up it's it is actually a resource manual, as much as it is a story.

And so, um, there's been some really cool even just questions that you guys prompted that are questions. I can ask him on how he's doing, how he's feeling. Um, what is today look like instead of like, you know, a lot of times you feel the desire to be like, I'm praying for. Or you feel this desire to be like, you know, she'll always be remembered.

Um, and those are not bad things to say, but in the time it doesn't feel very good. Right. You're still processing anger and you're still processing grief. And so, um, knowing that this is not something that is a fleeting conversation, this is something that's happening day in and day out. And with COVID. I mean, this happened before COVID and you guys probably know very intimately the numbers, the escalation that has happened associated to depression, anxiety, and suicide, what a time that God like sharpened and shaped you guys before that occurred.

Um, and so I just honor you for the resource that you are, that you were able to come out to the other side. Um, but let's speak into those people who are in the midst of grieving, a loved one in specifically around suicide. Um, w are there. Things that we can say to them that are better suited than the things we might feel like is normal.

And then from the contrary perspective, are there ways or things in conversations we can have with those who are hurting, who might be considering taking their lives? I've been on that side of the token. And so I just feel like it's a prominent question and we can tackle one at a time. Well, the best question Lauren I got was from in front of ours, uh, was very shortly after my son died.

And her, what she said to me was you're going to have to coach me through this, carry on how you want, you would like me to help you. Um, and I thought that was just such the best question, Tamar, because nobody had ever said, what do you need instead? What people do. When they're trying to help somebody through a loss, whatever loss that is is they do for people, what they would want people to do for them.

Right. So, uh, you know, some people want everybody in their house just circle up and pray and hug and cry it out and do all all of that together. And, and that's not Laurel and I at all. So it was very hard for those types of people to understand that Laurel and I just needed space. Right. And a lot of people didn't understand that.

And I think they got a little hurt by that actually. And then, you know, there's all the families that want to bring you like all the food, right.

All the stuff, you know? So I'm trying to keep my figure thing to you, and then you end up throwing it out and, you know, you just do it. So, so the best answer to that question is what do you do is to simply ask them how they would like to grieve and how you can support them, because they're not going to want to grieve the way you would like them.

Right. And just, you just have to give him space and a lot of grace and mercy, because they're just not themselves at that moment. And so they are not aware of needing to take care of you and they're not aware of how their patients will be really, really short or they will agree to go to a function you've invited them to.

And at the last minute, just gaining him a deal. Right. Um, so we just have to mirror what they're putting out instead of trying to give them what we would want. That's really good. That sound advice for so many elements of experience. Right. And if we make it so much about us, that we always about what's in it for me, how can I, I right.

And that's surely a time where like, you have to lay yourself down, like get really humble, um, and, and really make it about them. I love that so much. Or would you have anything to say to that before we talk to the juxtaposing position of the conversation? Yeah, absolutely. So they're kind of two simple questions that I heard somebody say it the other day, too.

And it was such great advice and kind of a play on what we have put in the book too. But the first one was, you know, what is one thing I can do to help you right now? And like a very specific thing. And I think, you know, we talked about to also a person that has mentally struggling. I think he can go either way of somebody that's grieving or also struggling themselves, because I know when somebody is mentally not well, or they're going through the grief, it's overwhelming to think of a million things to be doing in there.

It's already overwhelming to think, well, what do I need help with? But simply one specific thing to help you with at that moment. And the other question too, that, um, I saw so many pop-up and it was such a good way to say it is to ask them whenever they're talking out, how they're feeling, whether it's the person grieving or not doing so well, ask them if you want, if they're wanting advice or just wanting you to live.

'cause I noticed that happened a lot too with us is that we were given a lot of advice and, and there were times that I genuinely wanted it. And there were other times where I was like, I really just wanted you to listen to what I was saying. Like, I really didn't need you to fix it. And so I've even tried to do that even in times where it was just a general conversation of like, do you want me to just listen right now?

Or are you wanting me to respond with something to say, so it's really, really simple stuff. I think sometimes that just, it's such a relief for that person and not feeling that pressure of, oh, I have to tell them what I need help with. Or, oh, I didn't want that advice, but if I don't take it, I feel bad that I'm not taking their advice.

So it simplifies that process for both people. So that's a really good, it's like that active listening realm. Right. And also holding space for people. I think we, I get, am definitely guilty of that because I'm not, I get uncomfortable. Right. And so does the person who's trying to support in the grieving process?

We don't want there to be dead space. No, not fun. And didn't intended right there. We don't want there to be this open airway because they just shared, and now they're crying and we feel this like moral and an empathetic obligation to respond. And that's not against the person trying to support. It's just, that might not be what they need in that moment.

I almost wish that I had the ability to, to sing, to like almost sing lullabies over people. Like that would be something, I don't know why I was just thinking of that visual. I think because I was in a serenade yesterday with an incredible Christian artist on social media who was like writing a song.

And I was just thinking how special, you know, that universal love languages of sound. And even if it was just a rhythm, um, that you could give that to someone versus words, because words can. Fickle. They can be fleeting. Everyone saying the exact same thing. You start selling like the Charlie brown teacher.

Like, why are they actually talking to me? Cause I don't hear what you're saying again, it goes right back to like, stop making it about you and make it about them. Right. So I'd love for you to share and you tapped a bit into it, Laurel, on, on the thing, and the question you could ask, uh, the space that you could hold for the person who is in a dark space.

Um, you know, I see this not only from children, which is just super heartbreaking and, and your son and brother was technically a child 26 is so young. Um, but simultaneous to it, it's unfolding in this generation above me that I always imagined they had kind of figured out, like you've already lived the hard part, right?

Why are you sixties? And you're struggling with this, this depression is suicidal ideation. And how do you help? How do you, how do you get through to that person? No, this is a question, Lauren. I get a lot, people always ask us. Did you see it coming. What were the signs? What should I be looking for? What should I do?

Um, we rarely get private messages from people once they hear us on a podcast or they find our book or whatever. Um, so many messages from people worried about their own kids, um, worried about themselves, you know, what do they do? And it's so hard for Laurel and I, because neither she or I are, you know, we're not educated in this to help people medically or mentally through it.

Um, so it's tough. It's really tough. And it's tough because there isn't a checklist that we can give people to say, if you're seeing this, this, this, this, or this, those are warning signs, which obviously there are warning signs, but you know, so many people, including my husband and son have learned to hide it really, really well.

Um, they were the last two people on earth who you would have thought who would have taken their life. Um, so it's just hard. So the only thing we know to do Laurel, and I know to do is what we do right now, which is to talk to people about what is it that you envision for your life? What can we help you see on the other side of this and help you start mapping out a game plan to get there, to make your life better, to start following your own dream, to start getting away from whatever is toxic for you in your life, whether it's the relationships or the job or the situation you're in.

You know, that's really the biggest thing that we do is just keep telling people, you are here for a purpose and we want to help you get that vision out of your head and out of that darkness onto paper so that you can start taking some baby steps towards, towards something. That's so wise and it is, it's like understanding, it's kind of like on that simple or surface level of like what you focus on grows.

Right? And, and again, it's such a weighty conversation to, to parallel some of these like catchphrases to something that is real, that's something that is so heavy. Something that is like Teeter titering on life or. And I've, I've actually been in a state of suicidal ideation and depression. And I had babies at home.

I was married. Like, it was definitely one of those. Like, you would never guess that I would walk through that. I was really good at putting on a smile and doing all the things that the world needed from me. And yet I was really void inside and I have never actually put myself back in that space because I've since met Jesus.

It was like a pre Jesus Jesus. So for me, that was the answer, but I don't think somebody could have even offered him or, and I say him, my faith on a silver platter and been like, Hey, pick this up. It'll fix everything. I had been in the box church. Like I understood what faith was. I knew what Christianity was.

I had just never had a relationship with God. And ultimately that was the shifting point was that I had to go from. Expectational relationships to these no expectation relationships that like, God loves me no matter what I'm seeing, no matter what, I don't even have to vocalize what's happening on the inside of me.

And I am known and fully loved in that. And so in that experience on either side of the coin, like in the faith of that, person's walk in the vision casting of that. Person's walk how ingrained in your coaching methodology is the relational understanding of who God is. Um, so the last chapter I wrote book is all all about, um, have our heavenly perspective and that the, at the end of the day, when people ask us, you know, how is it, how in the world are you getting through this.

Um, we can tell them all sorts of things. Some of the things we've already talked about here today, be around the right people, get the right help, grieve the way you need to. But truthfully, at the end of the day, it's, it's all about faith and knowing Laurel and I are very aware that this is just a blip on the radar screen, my friend, it's just, we're just here to carry out what we're supposed to carry out.

We know where we're going and that we will all be together again. So it's hard for me to see people who don't have a phase. I don't know how they get through it. So it is an element of what we do talk about. When we talk about our book, we talk about vision and purpose and helping people find that faith for themselves because it is it's everything.

Yeah, I think what's interesting too, is how, um, whenever I do speak, I'm always hesitant to share how big my faith is in it. And I know where that comes from. Anytime that I go to speak, I always get attacked before. I can tell you crazy stories of things that have happened. That just don't make sense, but it's because I know I'm about to walk into what God is calling me to do, and I'm going to share my faith with people.

And there was one specific instance that they had me sign a contract, and it said in there to not talk about religion, politics, you know, sexual orientation, only things. And I said to them, I won't do it unless I can talk about my faith. And I know why they put that in. There was for people to not come on and try and be, you know, super political or there's, you know, an element that does get taken a little bit too far, but like how, how do I even cut that out of my story?

Cause it's not going to make sense. And I always go into it when I, you know, first. Dove into this organically. I was like, I have to change the world. I have to help every person. And I, I took on too much of that responsibility of helping somebody that's maybe suicidal. And I had to realize that that wasn't necessarily my job.

You know, we don't, we didn't know how to do it with my dad and brother, and it's not necessarily, I think we can give solidified answers to how to fix it, but we do know what we can do of sharing our faith and letting God do the rest. So I took on this mantra that whenever I do speak, I think about one person that needed me to show up that.

And to hear how faith was a part of my story. And I just spoke actually at my Alma mater about a week ago. And I said, that exact thing, and I had this guy came up to me and he said, you know, he goes, there might be other people here that think that they're the one person, but I'm telling me that I was the one person that needed you here.

And he said, you started telling your story and I kept, and he goes, you didn't get to your faith part yet. But I kept thinking, there's no way this girl got through it without faith. And he goes, then you shared that you had faith. And he goes, okay. Now it all makes sense. And when he told me that was like, that was such a reassurance that even if I get attacked before I speak, or something's not adding up correctly, as long as I go into it, knowing that that is the purpose of what I'm sharing, I just have to keep moving forward with it.

That's so powerful. And it's so cool, especially, um, knowing that. Forever, uh, uh, background, right? Like I think of that, like prayer I've, I've prayed over people and I've had prayed over me, like God is within you. He's beside you, he's in front of you and he's, he's surrounding you right now. It's like that backbone.

And I've had this piece in understanding that his presence actually proceeds into every scenario. One, because the story is already written. That contract has already been signed. You've already been placed on that stage from his perspective. And I was just praying like, God you've already proceeded me.

So like, let me just stand in that authority. Let me stand in your confidence that I might have maybe not the right words, but I know that you're going to speak through me because you're already on that stage. And so it's almost like this open invitation to. If I'm not honest about my faith, then it's a discredit to his glory.

And ultimately all he wants to do is get his glory seen again, not about us, but about him. So it's been really interesting. And Carrie, you probably connect to this in so many realms. When I am helping from a business perspective and people come to me, there's, it would be shocking to me at this point. If people came to me and didn't know that I love Jesus, but I will tell you, I have people who want to get on the podcast and they want to get on the podcast because it's, you know, everyone knows about it from a faith and a business perspective.

So they're sometimes coming just from business realm. And they're thinking faith, like spirituality, not faith, like Christianity not fade like Jesus. And, uh, it's, it's sometimes it's uncomfortable because I get into situations. Cause I'm not the only one vetting people to come on. And then I'm like, oh, here's this person.

And we're talking and I'm like, ask me about faith. And then. Oh, hold on. Like cover your, like I gotta mute this. Faith is spirituality is Jesus to me. And I understand that not everybody is in that understanding yet. And so making sure that we're stewarding these conversations well, and an open invitation for them to floor, right, is ultimately God's heart because he was open and he didn't go and shove the Bible in people's faces.

He went and shoved the word, which is very different. It's living. It's actually transactional. It's actually creating sustenance for people. It's not a Bible verse. That's extracted from context. That's like slamming that you should or shouldn't write. And so I just love that you're being bold and, and that there's affirmation along the way in that experience because people, no matter what walk of life they're on in and on his credit.


Fitting phase media co is dedicated to activating mission driven leaders in the marketplace by way of publishing press and play. Because your story doesn't just matter to you. It matters to move others. We help you dissect and share your message through podcasting book writing and business development.

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And you're right here, you know, it's, we are as Christians called to be disciples. Right. Um, but we also want to, like you said, have that open invitation for people to be able to be able to. Be intrigued about it, at least just open a door. Right. And it's tricky because, um, people who are hesitant to do that are looking for a way for you to sh to shut that door immediately.

And so you've got to go in gently and just be an example. I think the big thing for Laurel and I, as we just are trying so hard, just to be an example of how we're working through our life circumstance, the best we can. And like Laurel said, if we just get on a stage and there's one person in the room that was thinking.

This is it I'm done and we'd get, get them to see a light. That's why we're here. Yeah. And like, that's the perfect example of like being an open invitation. It's just like the light that shines through you. Like, you don't even necessarily have to say anything I've been in situations where people are like, holy cow, like you literally, they'll say you light up a room and I'm just thinking

But then at the same time, have the people who do connect with faith and they're like the holy spirit speaking through you, that was prophetic. And I'm like, yeah, it was like, he just given them the little wink going great. Like yeah, you see, you know, and, and we, our job in the discipleship process is in the seed time and harvest of somebody's story, wherever they.

We are called to either be the seed for them. We're called to be the time we're called to be the water in can for them, the seeds already been deposited since they were little, maybe so we're watering in that season. And when you water, there's not always something that pops above soil and in, in that moment, but you could be the watering can, that then is for the blossom of what's to come, or you get to be a part of the harvest season and you get to reap with them and you get to celebrate with them and you get to unlock and see that purpose and vision really take, um, take flight.

And so I want to hear about that set time, that set, because I know you guys are along people in this purpose and vision activation, and I had such a passion point of mine that you could be in the harvest season with people too, even though there's been this grieving season for you all talk us through, like, what does that look like when you help extract purpose and vision for.

Yeah. Yeah. As I said earlier, Tamra, I've been doing this unofficially and officially for almost 30 years. Right. And the way that that started was that when I was in my late twenties about Laurel's age, actually I was seeking my own vision of. Um, because I was doing the nine to five gig and I wasn't doing it well, and I had a mentor arrive in my life.

Right about that point St. Here, you can create your life to look like whatever you want it to look like. You just have to sit down and write it out and get really clear on what that is. And so that's what I did. Um, I still have those pieces of paper and. I literally wrote on the bottom of one of those sheets of paper.

I had no idea what I, what I was called to do at that point, but out of the blue that day, now I know where it came from. Then. I didn't know. I do. I wrote that someday. I wanted to be known as a vision expert, helping people with their vision and purpose as a speaker. Um, so it's been many, many years and thousands of people later that I have walked through the vision process.

I've coached them through the process and it is very rewarding. The rewarding part to me is when I'm no longer coaching them anymore, maybe they're we see each other every once in a while, but we're not super connected. Like we were during the coaching season, many times my clients come back to me and say, I hear your voice in my head all the time.

Yes. Every decision I make, I listened to what you said to me about, does this align with your vision? Is it a part of your purpose? Um, because when you have a vision, it helps you make decisions faster about who you are and what you're to spend your time doing. So that is very rewarding. Tamra is when you're not even face-to-face with these people anymore and years later, they come back to you and say, you just have to know what you did for me and how much I hear that in my hand all the time.

Yeah. I, I love that. I love, I call it like the adoption process, right? Where like they've adopted not only your lingo, but they've adopted your methodology. They've now been able to pass it on. I mean, literally that is the discipleship process, right? Like you're creating many disciples and to know that what you are discipling around is connected to the father.

It's like, you're that much more proud you become the proud parent versus the, they copied me or, um, they're, they're running on their own way and they've never come back and said, thank you. Meanwhile, you're chattering in their head and you're keeping them as a driving force of momentum towards that vision.

And that is, that is legacy. That is something that you you'll never know how many people you touch. Someone I had on the show before that, uh, Jerry Maguire, the movie was made after him. His name is Dave Meltzer, Dave Meltzer. He's one of my favorite people on the planet. It's incredible. So he was sharing about how his goal, his mission is to unlock happiness for a billion people.

And to understand that it's a thousand people, that's all we have to touch is a thousand people. A thousand people to touch a thousand people and those a thousand touch a thousand, that's a billion people. And when he said that to me, it really changed my perspective on a lot of things. When it comes to this number driven society that we live in, like everything is about the follows, the likes, the, how many friends you have.

And it's like, no, that's not even the point. It's about the intimacy factor. It's about the connection factor. If Jesus could do it with 12 disciples, then we should be able to do it with 12 disciples. And they actually even less, because he says the power that was in me, you have greater is in you. That was in me.

And therefore we have a multiplication factor in an authority to stand in that even Jesus didn't have at the time. Right? So like, if we own that and we recognize how impactful our voices and that's where out of the heart, the mouth speaks. Right. And so that's, what's so critical about us being in the word of the word.

Even if we're speaking to the world, Yeah. And now it's really awesome to see Laurel stepping all into that. Laurel obviously speaks to a different generation and a whole different language. Um, but now they're seeing in her that strength and that power and, um, yeah, it's, it's pretty awesome to see it. We had no idea.

This was how this was gonna, like Laurel said, no idea that she would be doing this together, that she would be coming as speaker. She was on a whole different path. And until this happened to we launched the book and so it's wow. And Laurel, let's, let's talk about that because I think that happens to people more often than not is that they're in fast track to this vision, to this location and something drastic happens good or bad, and they're like, they rethink, they recalculate.

They're they're really in that recalibration zone. Holy cow, everything I used to know. I no longer know and everything I thought, I couldn't know. I now know. And what do I do with this knowledge? So I'd love for you to share. Yeah, absolutely. So I was actually in the wedding industry for a couple of years after college, you know, it was actually kind of way that I started finding joy in my life again, after my dad had passed, I really felt like that was a place that I thrived in events.

And, you know, I felt like that was a good career for me to be in at the time. And when we decided to write this book, I thought, okay, we're just going to share a story. It's going to touch a few people. And then we'll just, you know, let God kind of take it from there. We don't need to do anything else. Like he's got it, whatever.

And I actually got asked to speak on a youth and young adult summit. And this was the first instance that I was being asked to speak. And I thought, okay, you want my mom and I to come on and like, talk about the book. She said, no, I want you to share your story to these young adults. And I was really intimidated by this because I thought, okay, well, I can tell what I've been through, but like, what do I want them to get out of it?

And I really do feel like this was such a God thing now, seeing and looking back on it and what, how I've shared this many times over. Was that I really wanted people to go back to that perspective piece. You know, I dove a little bit further into the vision and being able to move forward, but I feel like people needed to work backwards a little bit.

So I created an exercise where people shift, what if in their life to the, what is which I was holding onto. So much of the, what if, of what if my dad had not passed? You know, what, if I'd moved back to Colorado, all these things that I thought were going to be my life and I had to seek the good parts out of that and to visually see how I could counteract that.

And so I started seeing how. When I was able to let go of the past and move forward and look at the good things. I was allowing God to show me how he was going to still bring joy into my life and still bring purpose in my life. Even all these things had happened before. So I kind of coined by what if versus what is situation it's so good.

I actually have never heard that. And so I was like, Ooh, my ears peaked up because I love hearing new things and fresh takes in that perspective, because I really do think that people live and I'm in the middle of reading this book and I've said it so many times today. Cause it's literally on my forefront and I cannot think of the author.

So I'm going to get it right now. So my audience doesn't hear me say it again and not have it. Okay. It's the gap and the gain by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy, have you heard of this before? Oh my gosh. You would love it. So it's the gap in the game. This is what the cover looks like. So good. And it really is exactly, honestly what you're talking about.

The what if versus the, what is, but in different phrasiology and the gap is where I say 99.9% of humanity lives. It's this place between where they actually are and where they want to be. And they're standing in this zone where there's not enough there. They're not there yet. They're, they're less than, they're not pretty enough.

They're not. Uh, rich enough, they're not wealthy enough. They're not, they don't have enough kids. They don't have enough. right. Everything is gap oriented. It's, it's the, what if I made it there? Right. And they feel overwhelmed and they feel exhausted and they feel like there's, it's never going to end. And all these things, meanwhile, if they had reflected on the, what is, they would actually see a ton of blessing.

They would see a ton of perspective on what has happened thus far, what they have accomplished, where they are right now, the fact that they've gotten through the hardships, the fact that they've made it this far on their to do list or their vision list or their vision board. Right. And we don't celebrate enough.

We really don't. We are, we're not a society. Even puts emphasis on celebration, because if you celebrate, then that means you're conceited. If you celebrate, then that means you're you're, you're not humble anymore. You're now in that cocky realm, right? You're, you're giving up your humility when you say I've achieved.

Right. And so therefore we stand in this lack of achievement. And what if you just wrote down in the last 90 days, right? Like all the things that you've done and you looked in the, what is you've realized, even if you're in a very low state of grieving that you have still woken up, you've breathed, right?

You've you've gone on a walk, you've read a new book. You've like tuned into a new worship set. You've you've done a lot, even in that isolation season, in that quiet season, in that reprieve season, in the tears, the many, many tears that you've caught season, you're still. Further along than you were. And so to be in that gap versus the gain, or be in that gain versus the gap is the, what is versus the, what if mentality so powerful?

Yeah. So it's been, um, such a cool tool that I feel like I'm big into tangibility. You know, I think a lot of times we can hear people sharing things and it's great. And I'm like, that's such a cool story and how they found their faith. And then I look at it, I'm like, what am I going to do with that? Like, how am I going to relate that to my life?

And I'm very visual. So I literally had to see. How I was shifting that. And oftentimes I think too, when I share with people, you know, here's how I found good things that have come out of my dad and brother passing away. You know, I don't say it just like that, but like nuts. Like what is she talking about?

She's found good things, but it's all about a choice. It was either the choice that I, I sought to find those good things. And I sought to figure out how God was going to use this in my life, or it was literally going to destroy me. It, it was that dramatic of a choice. And I still use it to this day with things, you know, things are still going to happen in life.

It wasn't like those were the only times I was going to face adversity and I'm aware of that, but I now know how to move forward with that and know that if I visually and mentally think about. That shift and I'm seeking to find the, what is, it's going to be a lot easier to find it this time around, but took me many, many years to figure that out.

For sure. Yeah. Yeah. No, it's so good though. And I love it. I'm I'm even thinking of like the David and Goliath scenario of like, he could have sat in the, what if this guy pummels me, what if, right. Like so many things could've gone wrong, but he was just like, this is what is, is the fact that I have already gone through and fought the line in the Barrett is the fact that I'm connected to God almighty, who was going to be my strength in this moment.

He was so confident. And so I think when we know the, what is scenarios, we can actually lean in our faith more. We can have more gumption because God is in the, is he's an, I am God. He's an active God. Not, not a God of the past, not an old Testament. God. Right. So I just love that on so many levels, Carrie, you were going to speak earlier.

I just said it was a good recommendation of a book. Um, and yeah, it's been very powerful for all to be able to share that exercise, um, with so many people that totally get it, because it is a perspective thing and it is a choice thing. And that's the hardest part. I think people who are really, really in a dark place, either if they're grieving or they're struggling with dark thoughts themselves, is that we first have to get people to understand that you can shift your perspective because it's so hard when you're in that moment, thinking, you know, they're looking at you thinking you are absolutely crazy.

Like how can I change this? I can't change this. We can't change the situation, but we're making a choice every day on how we're going to use it because what else is there? Right. It's so hard when you've got somebody that just can't even even believe. That they do have the power to change their perspective.

That's hard. Yeah. You know, and I think that's where having that community where he went back to, but also like the testimonies, right. The more I learn about people's testimonies. The more I get to share in spaces like this, the more empowered I am to show up no matter what in that gain in that is NIS. Um, there was a gal this morning, who I was chatting with on clubhouse.

Her name is Mitzi. And for weeks, for weeks, we've been in his clubhouse room and she'd been telling us, or the issue had been prompted to speak. But the person who was introducing her said, you know, Mitzi's in a, in a warehouse, she's got things going on. She's working she's on the assembly line. So I hit this imagination that had been cultivated based on the storyline saying that she was in some factory.

And today, after weeks of hearing her, I find out that she's like, I am at work, but I'm not at the type of work that you think on actually sitting in a hospital on a dialysis machine. And I come here every single week to listen and to tune in because I'm doing. Work. Meanwhile, she's like, I'm looking around me and I'm seeing people code out.

I am seeing people passed out sleeping. I'm seeing people who are so busy in the world and the ways of the world that they're actually leaving their current zone of dialysis, that current treatment to get to where they need to go. They're not even finishing the dialysis because they're, they're in hurry.

And, and this, for some reason, isn't as important it's life or death. Right. And she said, whenever she catches herself falling asleep, she won't even let herself sleep on the clock because she believes she is stationed in that moment, in this season with purpose to speak the word of God. And so she will wake herself up and she will pray over someone who's coding.

She will talk to the new person who is sitting down and give them fresh life and fresh perspective. And I was just shaken to the core this morning, thinking. Holy cow, right? Like, why are our eyes not wide open? Why are we not living on mission like that every minute of the day? And if you know me and y'all do I'm on mission, but there are minutes in my day where I'm not thinking about myself falling asleep on the, on the clock, right.

I'm like, I'm exhausted. I just felt Kerry before this, I had to lay down for 20 minutes cause I was on a holy spirit crash before. I'm like, I need the holy spirit back in me, but I got a rest. But what if right? What is your, what is, I mean, really Laurel like that, that's going to stay with me for a long time.

Thank you. I'm glad. I think too part of it, like you were saying of, um, it seems like that woman obviously is very intuitive. What the holy spirit is calling them to and something we've learned along our grief journey is to start seeing signs of it. So I don't know. And see, it's kind of a glare. I have butterflies behind me.

They're actually live, they're live, obviously the real butterflies, you know, um, preserved. And so I started seeing them everywhere after my dad passed. And it was like at those moments where you really needed it, or I felt like I needed a reminder or just some kind of instance of God, like reminding me that he was still there, especially like how I'd mentioned at the beginning of this.

I was really not deep in my faith after that point. And I think that was God, like literally sending butterflies to me. And so I see them all the time now. And it's kind of those moments, especially when I'm maybe needing it. Or I had just left an instance where I had really stepped into what I felt like God was calling me to do.

And so I've challenged a lot of people. Whether they're going through grief or just in life in general, just start seeing those things. Because I do think people are a lot more, um, intuitive if they allow themselves to be, and seeing that there is a lot of reminders and messages. And I don't know if this is just maybe a personality thing, but I have very vivid dreams I always have.

And lately I've had some that have just made a lot of sense and I'm like, okay, maybe that is God, like trying to speak to people through dreams and through these signs. And that, that is a very real thing. Yeah. A hundred percent. Yeah. And I think that that's a conversation when we talk about spirituality, a lot of people can get behind.

I had actually intuitive eating specialists on the podcast. At one point I had another person who was about intuitive intelligence and talking about like the gut instincts that we have. And that was like from the Wu perspective. Right. And I'm listening to them like that is so interesting. Here's the word that the reason why that is true is here.

But again, it's, it's so important for us to recognize that as you train up someone through this season and you're giving them these tools and these resources in these ah-has for themselves, like you're emboldening their faith, you're emboldening their ability to see and communicate with God, even, especially in dreams.

I, I am wholeheartedly about before you go to sleep at night, pray to God, not for him to answer a prayer, but pray for him to show you how to access the outcome of the plan that he's already created for you and give you that, that flesh understanding of what that looks like. And I assure you that he will speak to you.

It happens to me on the regular when I remember to pray, right? When I go to sleep with intention, because we just. Do so much in our life without a set intention, I'm driving my daughter to work. It's like arts, a school. I have to get in the car and I got to drive her to school. What if there was an intention with that time, 30 minutes with a human right.

I could be so much more intentional with every given moment. It's just like, goes back to that dialysis example. But the intention of I'm going on a walk, God, show me something in this walk, show me someone on this walk. And then you see a butterfly and you're like, oh, that was the information I needed.

Right. And so being in communication with him about the things that you need, the desires that you have, he knows them. But when you speak them out loud, it comes to life so much more. Right. Carrie, you were going to say something too earlier. I want to give you guys both an opportunity we're closing in on the hour.

I don't usually go past 40 minutes anymore, but there's two of you and I want both so good. I think that would be the last piece of advice that Laura and I can give is that we are very aware that we are, they are, they are very much here for us, um, working through us. Um, they know that it was, this was a part of the plan and a part of the purpose.

Um, so we, we get a lot of, a lot of peace in that. It gives us a lot of peace. And what you also don't know is that Laurel's been under attack since we started this podcast, because it was going to say that. So like I mentioned earlier, anytime I feel like I got to speak or I'm supposed to, you know, be saying anything like I am not kidding you.

My son has been the best mapper for like over a year and a half. He's never fought. Until today, never heard him, but because I've got the grandma ears, I can hear him.

I didn't realize he was out of school this week. He goes to mother's day out, Tuesday, Thursday. So I said, oh, this is gonna be perfect. It's you know, during school days out, well, I figured out he's out of school and I thought, oh, no worries. He'll nap during this time. Yeah, gosh. That's so, I mean, it is, it is, this is the thing where people are like, oh, that's just a coincidence, right?

Like likely not. So I'm so grateful that we were able to get through it. And every piece of insight and wisdom that you guys both brought to the table and just the love and compassion, it's such a, a sense about who you guys are, that you have this, this inviting spirit, the two of you. And I think it's incredible.

I'm very, very connected to my mama. She works with me as well, and I couldn't do a lot of what I do without that support system. And that's that deep knowing, even on the days where I don't have the right words or I'm not doing or acting or in alignment, like she's there to like straighten me up. And so I love that you guys have that, um, connection quality.

And I think the world needs to see more of it, right? Like the mother-daughter duo. Um, I was just, was talking with a girlfriend who's also on our team and she said she got a text from her daughter who's in college and our daughter. You know, mom, I just want to give you like, uh, the kudos award that you're an amazing mom, because I listened to how other people speak about their mother and how sad I am for them.

And I am so grateful for you. And so what a gift that you guys have even just in this, this companion. Um, I think, especially to becoming a mom, it's like, whoa, you have a lot more perspective

and you realize your mom, right. And how much you're like, oh gosh. When she comes to me, he says, which is not to believe how he's doing an acting, whatever. I'm like, oh, Yeah, like you,

because I take my kiddos to, and from, you know, sports now. And I remember sitting in the car and driving to, and from all the sports that we did, which was in a whole nother city and just, you know, taking full advantage of the fact that I was in the backseat and got a snack on the way there, or could hang out with friends.

And when you're the driver, it's very exhausting and you're so tired and here you are like, oh, okay, here we go. And so I just so many little points and our mamas don't get enough affirmation. And so no matter if you're in the toddler phase or the teenager phase or the adult phase, um, mama's are so critical.

So Carrie, thanks for doing what you do and Laurel your son. Can't. Thank you yet, but I thank you for thank him on your behalf. The trip. So any final words about, keep looking up any final words about that purpose and activation that you want to close out with? I'd love to give them a mic drop moment for the end.

Okay. So I'll start cause I have one too. Um, this has been something that I've been focusing a lot on for myself, which I think is extremely hard to do. With this day and age and the information that we're having, a being very, very protective of what you're listening to and also your emotions with it. I actually have had to stop watching the news in entirety.

I want to be knowledgeable, but anytime I watch it, I can feel overwhelming anxiety. Like there's no control. You know, I can't do anything about this. Just, you know, crazy anxiety coming from it. So I've had to kind of step away from that and figure out some different sources just of the information. But really, again, going, even back to that perspective piece in that choice of what we're choosing to focus on and diving even deeper into your faith in this time, I do think that we are entering a phase where we're going to be tested and there's going to be some things going on, especially for Christians.

And I think we're going to have to dive deeper into our faith, but we just have to really, really protect ourselves and keep reminding ourselves who is in charge and who is in control. And that he is in fact in control, even though it may not seem that way, but that is a big, um, big thing that, like I said, I'm focusing on for myself, right?

Yeah, I would 100% agree with Laurel. It's what we choose to focus on every day. And so many people right now are just so focused on the wrong things and it's giving them a lot of anxiety. Um, and we just want to keep. Getting people to keep their perspective. And this is why we called the book. Keep looking up on really what this is all about.

Um, this is all a part of plan God's in charge. We know how it ends. It's a good ending and that's, that's what we're choosing to focus on. And it's, it's hard to be. It's also, I think the other thing I would add to this is make sure that who you're surrounding yourself with. Uh, I do an exercise on this.

And when I speak on how to make sure that the only people in the front row of your life are the people that are breathing life into you and believing the same things you are believing and reminding you of how great you are every day. Um, and that's super hard for some people to make some choices about the relationships they're in, but it's everything.

So watch what you're watching and watch who you're hanging around at is hanging out with, um, so good. It's always the Jim Roan. Like you are the sum of the five people you hang out with. It's it's so critical, but I love thinking about it from a front row perspective, um, because it, it is true. They're, they're your biggest cheerleaders, or they can be your biggest, uh, barriers.

And so that's really good. You guys have been such a gift. I'm so grateful to get to know you and spend this extra time with you. And, um, can't wait to see the impact that you make on the world. So just keep shining and doing so in the unique way, depending on what contract you're under God is in the midst and he proceeds you there love you guys so much.

Thanks for being on the podcast. Thanks for having us. It was awesome. My pleasure. See y'all later.

Hey, y'all it's me again. Before you go, let's solidify the flame that was ignited within you today by sharing the spark with your own community, whether it's mentally, physically, emotionally, relationally, or spiritually, I would love for you to take the step right now by declaring your takeaway, snap, a pic of the episode and share it on your stories or posts.

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