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Turning 40 and Waking From the Fairy Tale
Episode 9431st May 2024 • Forty Drinks: The Podcast About Turning 40 • Stephanie McLaughlin
00:00:00 01:03:55

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When she was 31, Laura Ballet met a man 11 years her junior that she would spend the next decade with. He acted mature for his age and she acted a little young, so they met in the middle on many  things. The relationship was mostly wonderful, but she put blinders on to avoid the things she felt were missing. However, once she started asking herself the hard questions, she couldn’t deny that something important was missing for her. She chose to take a leap of faith and listen to the little voices calling to her, that she could feel nudging her toward a different future.

Guest Bio 

As a Global Ambassador for Life Transformational Empowerment and Human Awareness, Laura’s skill set, gathered wisdom, and personal discipline to advance human potential is evident in her creative work. The care, consideration, and genuine thoughtfulness of supporting and exploring an empowered life with both personal and professional individuals, is an impactful and life-advancing experience for her clients, attendees, and listeners around the globe. Co-Creating with individuals who are willing to grow past their present Mindset, repeated negative patterns, and outdated habits, are in for a 360 view on how to create and sustain happiness and well-being.

Laura is a sought- after Coaching expert in the field of Neuro-Energy. A self-aware environment that allows us to move into the “Power Seat of Choice.” This awareness positions us into the realm of Empowerment, and here is where unlimited potential gains accountability to enact change. You will discover how we choose to think about thought, and the energetic frequency attached to that thought, sets up the way we experience life. 

The J3=E Formula activates your ability and potential to dissolve past challenges, and to Reframe your mindset, becoming skilled at hacking doubt, and in partnership with expanding creativity. There are empowering and inspirational thought leaders around the world consistently interviewing Laura for magazine articles, Podcasts, speaking engagements and creative collaboration.

If you are willing to advance your present condition, state of mind, biology/cellular well-being, and your spiritual starting point, Laura’s revolutionary book, The Science of Empowerment, based on Mindset advancement, will fundamentally change everything. Do not stay connected to the past and unnecessary ways of moving through your days. We are here to evolve in every way possible! Do not let this life pass through you with your potential un-awakened.  

Do not glance at the Power…Become the Power…

Turning 40 and Waking From the Fairy Tale

In this heartwarming episode of the Forty Drinks Podcast, Stephanie sits down with Laura Ballet, who shares her poignant journey through the complexities of love, self-discovery, and personal evolution that unfolded in her 30s and 40s. After spending a decade with a man 11 years her junior, Laura felt a calling from within that this relationship wasn’t enough for her. She clearly remembers the day she saw him and thought, “I now realize that you are here to teach me what it is I don’t want.” This led to a leap of faith and a period of time where she focused on her relationship with herself. Ultimately, she found that everything she dreamed of was on the other side of that decision. Laura's story is a testament to the power of listening to one’s inner voice and the beautiful possibilities that arise when we dare to follow it.


Laura's early life and the impact of her family’s generational patterns on her personal growth.

Her transformative relationship in her 30s with a younger man, which while fulfilling on many levels, ultimately taught her more about what she didn't want than what she did.

The pivotal moments of self-realization and the decision to prioritize her own happiness and growth, leading to the end of her long-term relationship.

Laura’s period of self-discovery where she focused on personal passions and self-love, setting the stage for attracting a more aligned partnership.

The serendipitous meeting with her now-husband, a French restaurateur, and how their relationship blossomed into a deep, meaningful connection.

Laura's role as a stepmother and the emotional decisions surrounding family and motherhood.

Laura’s story is a powerful reminder of the beauty and strength found in choosing oneself and the magic that unfolds when we align with our true desires. Her story is not just about the relationships with the men in her life but also her relationship with herself, which she nurtured and honored through periods of significant change. This episode is a must-listen for anyone standing at the crossroads of a major life decision, offering both inspiration and courage to choose the path that truly feels right. Don't forget to rate, follow, and review the Forty Drinks Podcast if you enjoyed this episode and found Laura's story as uplifting as we did. 

Guest Resources

Get Laura’s Book: The Science of Empowerment 

Connect with Laura on Facebook

Connect with Laura on Instagram

Do you have the Midlife Ick? 

Download Stephanie’s guide to the Ick to diagnose whether you or someone you love is suffering from this insidious midlife malaise.

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The Forty Drinks Podcast is produced and presented by Savoir Faire Marketing/Communications


Stephanie: Hi, Laura. Welcome to the podcast.

Laura: Hi, Stephanie. Thank you.

Stephanie: It's so nice to have you here. Um, I was taken with you before I had even heard your story because I grew up in a ballet studio. So, obviously your last name just said, she's, she's a lady I have to have on here. I love, I love little connections like that. Today we have a story that I am, really interested in. There are some elements of your story that I totally relate to. I think it's a really interesting relationship type transition. So why don't we start at the beginning? Will you tell me a little bit about the forces that shaped you into your young adulthood? Who were you when you turned, you know, 30? How did you get there?

Laura: Yeah, that's a great question. And just a side note, I was a ballerina

Stephanie: Oh, you were,

Laura: and until I know on top of it, not professionally, of course, but I loved it. I still have my toe shoes. I think for most of us, but certainly for me, childhood, was not always what I had hoped it could have been., Uh, there were a lot of challenges. I don't usually get in too much into the stories of it, but from my grandfather to my father, there were just patterns that for me, looking back, were in place I believe to create who I have become. However, looking back, you do have that feeling of why couldn't it have been different? Who could I have been if those experiences were absent from my I

Stephanie: have those thoughts all the time. Who could I have been if I made this decision? Who could I have been if I made that decision? And you're so right. None of us know the patterns when we're kids. We can only see them in the rear view and in retrospect. And we can only see them if we choose to see them, if we go looking for them, right?

So you're, you're exactly right. We don't know the things that, that shape us, you know, as kids or, or the things we think shape us are, are, are not truly the guiding forces. So, so there was some generational stuff happening with, through your family. okay.

Laura: What was really unique and I had shared this with you before is somehow through all of the challenges, there was this amazing love. Somehow there was, I just knew it was all going to be okay, but I didn't like the way it was happening. I was very aware at a young age. What was right. What was wrong. What had a positive energy and what had a negative energy to it. I really wasn't tuned with that. I also sometimes just sidelined that instinct. But again, we were looking back right in the wake. I always use a boat analogy because I love boats. I'm out on boats. You know, when you're driving the boat, it's forward and a little bit on the sides. It's not in the back.

And I think this is part of the human condition. We have this luxury of, as we grow, we get to look back. And then if we're capable, use that look back to help propel us and advance us forward. But when we're going through it, it really does shape us. And I'm a firm believer what's meant to be. What is the way is what happened, but you can't help that heart kind of feeling of, ah, boy, if this just went a bit differently, I could have, but I think that's the beauty of adulthood. Now we can.

Stephanie: It's so funny. My early twenties, I worked for the mayor of Boston, um, in a, in a wonderful, wonderful position. I, I, I absolutely adored that job and. This was in the mid nineties in Boston and I, I just, I kind of just had blinders on and just was sort of doing my own thing.

I was also spending a lot of time, you know, partying and having lots of fun and doing social things. So I wasn't, I think, as focused on, like, building a career or foundations or stepping stones or things like that. But I always remember that right around that time, like the late nine, the mid to late nineties was like a massive tech boom in Boston where, there were kids like me who, you know, in the course of a year or two or three, we're now millionaires on paper because they went into these startups.

And I always wonder, like, if I had just picked my head up and like, looked at what was going on in the city, I had the most amazing perch to see what was going on in the city, working for the mayor's office. And if I had only left and gone to work at one of those tech firms, you know, I could have done any number of, you know, marketing communications, any of those things, who would I have been if I was a millionaire at 28, you know, even if it was just on paper, um, so that's what that is one of my major what ifs that I always, I always think of, but I also know that if I was a millionaire at 28, I would have, I don't know, I would have spun out. It would have been, it would have been too much.

Laura: I actually made a decision, um, a fun side note. I used to model for Petite Elite way back in the day. John Casablanca, small little division he had there and I had an opportunity to do something very cool with that industry. And I said no. And I always yeah, I did because I was more kind of, I wanted to stay close to home. I had a boyfriend at the time. I think again, going back to that childhood conditioning and what was really on the upfront of what I needed in that moment. And it wasn't to take off and like go over to Europe on my own and pursue this. But it's one of those, again, one of those moments. If I had the travel, the language, the culture, everything I would have been exposed to back then would have certainly shifted, right? The trajectory of how I really started moving forward in life. But I'm a firm believer, I'll keep saying it, what's meant to be right is, and I think to empower ourselves is to say, okay. Let's look back and use that structure of energetic thinking to now move me forward somewhere where I may still have an opportunity, but I haven't lifted my head up yet. And that's kind of how I go through it now. I almost feel like, all right, I can see, I'm not going to let that define me or be the anchor. I'm going to use that observation now to do something at this point in my life.

Stephanie: Yeah, yeah, Que sera sera right? Whatever will be, will be.

All right. So let's jump forward. So now here we are at sort of adult 1. 0 and you're 31 and you meet a figure. Tell me all about it.

Laura: Yeah. So this was one of those moments in life. I still, time has gone by, remember the exact moment of connection. Uh, and it was in a very loud, noisy full nightclub. Music and the thumping and all of that activity in your young thirties and you're single and you're still open to all the possibilities.

And I was walking one way. He was walking another. He actually reached out and physically touched me. And it's just a very gentle kind of, but I knew, and what's really unique about the story is my best friend at the time, Stephanie, who was a was right behind me, didn't see my face, didn't know really the energy because we were walking.

But she saw him and she put her hand on the small of my back and she said, keep going. He'll find you later. Yeah, because she knew she just knew there was something she could feel something there. And I kind of wanted to move on it quickly. But you know, your friends always look at. No, no, no. And I just went about my night and. He did find me later and we spent 11 years together.

Stephanie: Wow.

Laura: That night. Starting that night, all the way through.

Stephanie: Wow. Okay. So you're 31 single fabulous out at a club and tell me about him.

Laura: yeah. So if I look back from that perspective, absolutely stunning, striking in every way. The tall, dark, the handsome, um, from Madeira, the island, portuguese.

Stephanie: Mm hmm.

Laura: High-watt smile, just dark and, and just had it. I, I knew I had karma with him. I just knew there was no way around it. And we just started connecting. But soon into that connection, of course, you start to see, what's positive and what's negative from it. Um, I think the listeners would be interested to know he was 11 years younger than me.

Stephanie: Mm hmm.

Laura: and that thus set up the experience. But because he was very traditional and came from a big family, his mother and father actually came from like 13 kids and they kind of all intermarried. It was a little bit strange, but it's just the way the Portuguese in that time and that particular family was very connected. There was a lot of tradition, a lot of things that connected and grounded us, but way too young. And in my 30s, of course, I was getting ready for maybe, you know, falling in love and marriage and creating a family and all of that. So that kind of pulled that trying to put the, round peg in the square hole experience, um, going through the thirties leading up into the forties.

Stephanie: Yeah, but you, when we first spoke, you said that there were some, some elements about him that were almost a little bit more, um, mature than you would expect, right? He owned a home. He owned a business. So. And, and you also told me that you always looked much younger than you actually were. So, and, and I know, cause I was the same girl, if you're 31 and still out at the bars and the clubs, you probably are a little bit younger than your chronological age. Right? So there was, I think there was probably an element of kind of meeting in the middle there to some extent, wouldn't you say?

Laura: on on those levels, yes.

Stephanie: Right, right.

Laura: And that addition, the family, the way, um, you know, I baked, I cooked. He took care of the outside. You know, we had dogs. We, we had a lot of playfulness. Get a powerboat and quads and jet skis. And there was a lot of activity. I'm very athletic. And so all of that really, I think, was the hook.

Stephanie: Right?

Laura: Right? But at that point in life, we don't really settle into what's beyond the hook. And that's where all of the human condition just has a blast with us because I saw all these touch points that really excited me and made me feel safe and grounded with him. But the depth and the level of maturity on an emotional level or on a spiritual level for me, the way my brain thinks, that's where it started to show it's rough spots.

Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah. It's so interesting because the boxes that he checked were very concrete and literal. And the boxes that he didn't check were a little bit more nebulous and, and sort of vague and cloudy. And so it's all you, you can, I know from myself as I'm, as I'm thinking back to some of my relationships at you know, you can convince yourself that Here's the important stuff, right? And that stuff's not so important. And I can't even really, I can't even really make myself create a box over there that he doesn't check. Right. It's, it's, it's cloudy. It's, it's vague. And so, so it's so interesting at, at that age to be able to say, and there's so many good parts about it,

Laura: Yeah,

Stephanie: Right? You guys were having so much fun.

Laura: So much fun. And again, the, the, the mix, uh, the alchemy of family life and tradition and holidays. But still, I still knew, I still knew, and I, and I'm gonna now, I'm always thinking about the head up, right? I just kind of had those blinders on because the chemistry was amazing, the fun, the friendships, all of what fit into place. But looking back, I fit more into him, let's say, than, than he fitting into what I knew was a life of growth, and advancement and aware. And I just knew, and this was a pattern. And we go back to the childhood where I sidestepped that aspect of me that was always nudging me, but I got hooked into a look, a style, you know, all of, all of the luxury of chemistry and what it produces between a man and a woman, for me.

But I knew. And I was when you said something just there reminded me of walking on the front step and he was sitting on there and I came home one day and this was towards the end of the relationship. And he said something to me and I, and isn't it funny that cloudiness I couldn't I don't remember what he said, but my answer was, I now realize you're teaching me what it is that I do not want. And I remember and it's decades and I remember that, clear as day. And that was a turning point for

Stephanie: Well, it's so interesting the clarity that, that you remember the first moment and then that turning point, right? They're so clear for you. you know, it, you you you mentioned the human condition. And I just think that the not trusting our gut, not trusting ourself is part of who we are as adult 1. 0, right? We are, it goes back to this concept that I always talk about the first adulthood and the second adulthood. And this first adulthood is when you trust other people, you trust people outside of you. You trust parents and teachers and friends and mentors and bosses. And you trust society. Right. And societal structures. So that whole concept of, the big family and the, the house and the, you know, the, the, the playing house, we, we'd sort of look back and call it all of that. You, you, you can use all of that to convince yourself that this is good. And it was good for so long. We know that right. It just wasn't gonna, fulfill your heart and soul for, forever.

Laura: And my brother, who's so insightful. Again, another pivotal memory is we were at my parents house in Florida and we were celebrating Christmas and, just the way that I flow through that celebration and really wanting him to engage more. And I remember my brother Christopher saying, you know what? This is who he is.

Stephanie: Mm.

Laura: If you don't want this anymore, this is your call because he'll stay, but it will be you that will be unhappy. And so when you talk and have these conversations like this, you know, I can go back to the very specific again, those, those points of recognition of knowing, but still. Right. Still kind of buying into the playing house. Still buying into, why do I want this and why is it with you? And why do I think you're my hard stop? Why do I think there isn't something past you that I've got to really kind of dig and grind to make it work here. And again, I was very aware of it, but so much of the other stuff that was going right. Right. You just, you sidestep it.

Stephanie: I mean, Laura, I think it's, it's, this is actually while. While, this is a, a lovely story, this is actually one of the more, complex situations that in, that I've talked with around my guests, because, so many people come to me and they say things were terrible or things were breaking down, or, you know, there are stories of abuse. There are stories of, of, you know, mental illness. There are, there are stories of addiction. There are all kinds of stories of this is a clear reason why you need to get out. And you're in a different position. You're in a position where another woman standing in your shoes would say, this is it. This is life. This is wonderful. This is everything I've ever wished for. Right? You've got this handsome European, beautiful, suave man who loves you and wants to take care of you. And there's a piece of it that I can put my own feet in those shoes and say, Who am I to want more? There are other people for whom this would be their dream come true. And so it's so hard to make that decision to throw away something that's by all, you know, by most measures, very, very good.

Laura: Right.

Stephanie: so there's a, a leap of faith and a act of courage that is, is, I actually want you to talk about both of those things. Like, how did you find the courage to, and I know you said you had this, this, this understanding of like, you're here to teach me what I don't want, which is a very clear thought. And that's great. But still, how do you find the courage to leave something that's good?

Laura: Yeah, I think I started to look. Well, I don't think, I know I started to look at what was not good and it was an internal, right? An internal knowing. So, as you said, I, I took the leap of faith, connected with that courageous leader within and started asking what is it that's off? Why are you feeling this way? Why are you starting to feel like you're settling? And is it there's something more, or is it that there's just something different? Is there another part of your life's experience that's calling you that maybe doesn't make sense, that if you do not go for it now, there will be deep regrets. Or there will be reasons that will show up later. So I think there was, there was just a nudging and I, I, to, to be, you know, transparent, I'm sure I had an impatient, energetic kind of vibe about myself because I was at a point where, again, that, that decade is a huge gap, even though there was a maturity about him and there was a very youthful playfulness about me. That's where we, we kind of connected, but I was ready to, to move on to different stages. I didn't want to, you know, just be the arm candy or have him be the arm. I didn't want to play that image out. I wanted something deeper and more purposeful. Again, that was the hard stop for me, when I realized he wasn't not only not willing, but it just wasn't his trip to go deeper. I still know kind of how he ended up and where he is and all of that. And it just wasn't his, his, it just wasn't. He would have always felt less than. And he did, he used to say to me, he was, um, when I met him, it was what the, what they call a top tier mechanic. He worked on Ferraris. And, um, he used to say, I'm going to be the guy changing the oil in your Lamborghini. And it was always this mentality. And I was like, I don't care if that's what I wanted. I, you know, we, we all had opportunities to, uh, date or marry in. I said, no, but he couldn't get over certain things within his own system, which was a block for us. And there was just a moment where I was like, I'm done, you know, trying to pull this up and out of you. I've got to now take care of myself and, and go forward.

Stephanie: Yeah. And I want to be really, really clear about this man who by all, you know, rights sounds like a lovely man. It's perfectly 100 percent okay that he's not deep spiritually. It's not, not everybody is. And they don't need to be. This isn't, this isn't something that we, that every single one of us needs to go, you know, rooting around in our psyche to, to find deeper meanings. There are plenty of people who don't do that and they live happy, healthy, you know, satisfying, successful lives.

Laura: yep. Most everybody I know.

Stephanie: Right. And so the, the question was really just more about match and fit and, and, and there being a part of you not wanting to pull him and him not wanting, wanting to feel less than, because he couldn't match you there. It just, it wasn't in his DNA.

Laura: Yeah.

Stephanie: Tell me about your 40th birthday? Do you remember anything about your 40th birthday? You were still with him then.

Laura: Yeah. Um, I believe if I can remember, uh, we may have celebrated, but I think I celebrated outside of the relationship, um, at that point. Yeah. I think I, you know, probably I'm a summer baby, so I think I went down to our summer place and met with some great friends and, just knew what was, what was coming.

Stephanie: So it was breaking down at that point. Yeah.

Laura: even, yes, I would say a breaking down. For me, it's more, and again, because I look at kind of the written energy or the language, the energy behind the language, it was more of, just a breaking away. I didn't write not a down that it didn't feel down. It just felt like, you know, if I don't do it

Stephanie: hmm.

Laura: right. If I don't remove myself now.

Stephanie: Then it'll be 10 years from now,

Laura: Yeah, I would have just stayed and, and, and I, you know, and just a fun side uplifting note for a moment. I ended up meeting another European gentleman that even blew this out of the water. He's now in my life and my husband with my, my children and everything. So that, that, was that.

Stephanie: right? Is that, is that once you did leave the safety of this relationship, and once you did take the leap of faith, there was something on the other side of it that was all of that and more.

Laura: Absolutely. Absolutely. And, and it took a while to get there. And I think for me, if there is a story within the story, it is, as you said, taking that leap of faith when you know that there's something calling you and it doesn't have to be anything deep and great. And as you said, you don't have to find, oh, this limiting belief and the root cause of this and all of that language. Could just be, I know something Is is nudging me. It's it's calling me. It's okay that I don't know. Maybe the next decade is that exploration into finding that and figuring that out. And I really chose to have a relationship with myself at that point.

Stephanie: Well, And that's really that's really the interesting thing about this age 40 is that one of the things that is consistent among a lot of the conversations I have with my guests is that things start bubbling up inside of them that are, uncomfortable that are, um, not not concrete, right? It's like, is this it? Is this all there is? I know there's something else out there.

And you have to start listening to these scary little voices inside you that are sending you out into the wilderness with no particular destination, no particular, you know, answer. They just, they just call you to trust yourself.

Laura: Yeah, absolutely. And for many of us, regardless of how the dynamic looks and the partnerships, that 20 and 30, as you said, it's wrapped around for some of us, a fairy tale or a projection or a need. We base it all on, you know, I think I'm doing it right. I've gotten married, I've got the kid, I've got the fence, I've got this career. And then you hit that, Late 30 into that 40 and, you know, common knowledge, who am I without the kids? Who am I without the husband? And then, you know, or the partner and what they're going through. It really does, as you said, bubble up into the, up and for some of us up into that throat shakra, or you can feel it. Like some of us can't even speak about it because, well, I thought that was what it was always going to be. And now it isn't. Again, I still think it's that calling into ourself, whatever that may look like and men, right? They had a midlife crisis. Women tend at all, but in, in women, we do tend to go a little bit deeper with our girlfriends and some of our great guy friends, I think it's a beautiful part of life, this mid kind of early

Stephanie: early mid

Laura: place in life to start looking back, being less judgmental on ourselves, really showing compassion of why did I choose that person? Why did I choose that job? Why did I have the blinders on when I was perched. I created, I attracted that. And what did I do with that? All of it. And we, we almost, It's almost like a universal resting ridge of, okay, you've been through enough. You still have more to go, but this is this time now that you can give yourself a little bit of leeway, have some elasticity, some fluidity to how you're thinking, how you're feeling. At least for me, that's what the forties and all of my friends that I talked to and clients, and it's, I think it can be a very unique, empowering time of life. But like everything, it's around a thought process. And how do we look back? Where are we in the moment of just the present observation? And maybe how can we use that to advance what's coming?

Stephanie: Well, in the, the, the other part of the adult transition too, is now you're moving into adult 2. 0, and this is when you start making decisions based on your own thoughts, feelings, right? We now we've accumulated enough experience. We have, our own, uh, knowledge, our own understanding. We, we know, we, we start to know what's good for us. So we, we no longer are burdened with the societal shoulds and to do's and pathways. And now we can create our own that really is right. That's right. You do. You have that your own wisdom that you now trust to make your own decisions based on that. And so that really does align very much with what you're talking about and, and, and with your experience,

Laura: And we trust. We begin to trust ourselves rather than put the trust in someone else, right, to, to give us something in return, we start to understand that whether I've been a mother or a career woman, or I gave up children, or I had two men, whatever the, whatever our stories are, we start to begin to understand, not only am I okay,

Stephanie: I'm

Laura: Yeah. I'm I'm good.

Stephanie: Yeah. I'm I agree.

So tell me what kinds of things you did to get to know yourself after you left this relationship. You said there was a period of getting to know yourself. What did that look like?

Laura: Yeah, so this is I have a very specific answer. I made a decision. The last time I had an intimate moment with this wonderful young man in my life, that I would not go on a date. I've never been a dater anyways. I wasn't that girl. I always had relationships. Even my fourth grade boyfriend, we still talk to this day. He still thinks I am. It's amazing. It's the sweetest thing. Um, not every boyfriend, but I had more longer term relationships. But I decided, nothing. I'm not holding a hand. I'm not kissing a gentleman. Not going on a date. I'm going to just see, what does it feel like? And I didn't put a certain time on it, but I knew I wanted to be longer than shorter. And I started asking myself if I wasn't putting all of me into someone else, What would I do?

Stephanie: Mm hmm.

Laura: And I started creating. I just started writing. I started thinking about business. I actually had a really cool line called Pillow Talk. I took all my empowering quotes. I had my mom who's an artist put these renditions together. I had a fabric store create them. I hired a girl. We had pillows all over the boutiques. I just started engaging in passion and self expression, and every time I went to think, Oh, I miss him, or I miss that, or maybe I just need something from a gentleman,

Stephanie: Mm hmm.

Laura: What can I do with that? How can I recalibrate that energy?

And I know this is sometimes considered an advanced way of thinking in a more deeper way of thinking, but this is how I went through it. And I just kept creating. And I read lots of books and lots of material and I cooked. And on the moments where, let's say it was a holiday. And my girlfriend and I, who I've known since I was 14, we just brought this up the other day, I would get myself my favorite bottle of champagne and my favorite chocolate dessert, and I'd buy myself flowers, and I would love myself in that way, and started to figure out what is it that I really am looking for in someone else that I can't give to myself and to bring us into modern current times, right, Miley Cyrus, the song Flowers. "I can buy myself flowers. I can hold my own hands. I can say things to myself that you will never understand." It's this, this anthem of again, I'm pretty self contained here and it's starting to feel good. Now it was every moment of it every day, every week, you know, a comfort zone? Heck no, but family and friends and the superpower of our girls, the energy and the love. And again, every moment that I felt less courageous, right. I was scared to take that leap of faith. I felt disempowered. That's when I would pull on a book or a journal or I'd go for a power walk or I would cook something beautiful. I would keep looking for beauty that reflected what I felt was inside, but I always looked for it in someone else. In a relationship. Again, I think that's very normal. I think it's very healthy. But for someone like me that was thinking beyond it, and for someone that went through patterns of relationships, it was an important time in my life to start looking at it differently. And I did. And that's what I used that time to do.

Stephanie: Well, and one of the other things that's so important about that period of time for you is that, um, when you're okay with yourself, when you're happy with yourself, when you love yourself, you attract different, you attract different, right? So for you, your, earlier relationship, you attracted almost. Right. He was almost. He was wonderful, but he wasn't the, he wasn't the perfect fit. And so then you took that time to recalibrate, not the man you were choosing, not the, the, checklist you were using to choose him. Any of those things, you really recalibrated inside and filled yourself up, which meant that when you met somebody else, first of all, you would know immediately whether he was worthwhile to bring into your life, right? Because there's a, there's a, you know, one of these quote posts or memes or something that goes by and it's, it's, it's something like, you know, you have to be better than I can give myself, right? You have to be better than spending time with myself. Cause that's pretty darn good.

Yeah. Yeah, Yeah.

Laura: Because again, I, I even I've said this even now with my amazing husband and my kids, I'm like, look, I could do this in my sleep all day long. It's not that I need any one of you little humans to fulfill me anymore. I choose you and I work at life with you and I work at empowering our family dynamics. But, and it's not an egoic self centered knowing it is a well fought, well won battle for me, and I'll use these words of where I've arrived. And I don't, you know, need to really garner anything from you. It's just this, this meeting of, of minds, right? Meeting of energy. Um, and I think all of us know this. It's just how we articulate it and how we express it, whether we're being coached, whether we're talking to our best friend, whether we're having a conversation with our partner, it's, it's, you know, what are you intending in this moment, and it's not about being right and wrong, maybe, you know, trying to be more accurate. It's all these nuances that I've learned. And as you said, when, when we get to this place, especially in our 40s, and for some of us, you know, there, there could be a tipping point before, during or after, but it's this decade where there's just this assurance. It's not that you're without challenges or that it's not that you've let go of tragedy and heartache and hardship, but there's just this very unique way of looking at it differently. And as we had said, you know, you've gained wisdom. You have new insights, new perspectives. You, you're not as raw and as vulnerable. You're still vulnerable, but now it comes from a place for me of power rather than of need.

And I think our, as you said, the adulthood 1. 0, it's a very needy time. Going into 2. 0, it's more, can you match me? And can we, can we bring something of value and beauty to one another rather than trying to get something from one another?

Stephanie: And one of the things I love about what you're talking about is I'm trying to figure out how I want to put this. You know, for some people, what you did during your, your period of, of self direction, self attention is that, you know, you said, whenever I thought I, needed something from someone, or I wanted something from someone, I, I, I use that energy and doted on myself. And for so many people, there's that fear of, well, what if he doesn't come? Or what if it's not out there? Or what if, right? And so, and so there's the, there's a fear based mindset of not having the courage to wait for not having the courage to trust that the Universe will provide exactly what you need, whether it looks like what you think you need or not. Right? Um, so I just love this part of the conversation because, you know, one of the things I want to say to people who are in the middle of this is like, be brave, be strong, trust. It's out there, but you have to take care of you first.

Laura: And it's this strange built in kind of code, right? And I talk about the human condition a lot, but it really is built in there. It's like winning the lotto. Well, if I win the lotto, life will be....

Stephanie: Mm hmm.

Laura: And we always hear, no, you know, you cannot attract the abundance and the wealth and the health and the, and the love when it is not connected within. And I know, cause I was there. I coached on this all over the world that, getting people to understand that it is truly, and I know it's a cliche, but it's an inside job.

Stephanie: It is.

Laura: It just is. And when you start to make peace and gently even saddle up next to it, let alone embrace it and love it. But when you can start to just get comfortable in the room, metaphorically speaking, it's an inside job. You will truly be amazed at what happens. It doesn't alleviate life's challenges. My mother is wise and beautiful and energetic and, you know, it was married three times in her life. And we still talk daily about this. She's still growing and working and evolving, but it's different, and she's in her eighties and she's still getting this. So it's not, you're going to think one way, attract one thing, and then it's all just, you

Stephanie: Right.

Laura: cotton candy. It, um, it's not. It's this consistent checking in and attuning

Stephanie: Yes.

Laura: to who am I? What do I need? So when I take that last breath, me, no one else. Am I going to be okay?

Stephanie: Yeah.

Laura: Am I going to feel that I was on purpose, that I created some type of unique legacy, whether it's for myself, my family, your church, your community, the world. Where did I place value into the human condition so that it mattered?

Stephanie: Mm.

Laura: And that's really only something an individual can answer. And it has nothing to do with how someone loves you or treat you or how sexy everything is or how rich you are. It really doesn't

Stephanie: right.

Laura: have anything to do with that. So I think, you know, for the listeners, as you said, and I'm doing, um, I'm doing a global talk on bravery on Sunday. So this is just the synchronicities of what we're exactly talking about. I attract the language and the people and these interviews are conversations to inspire other people to not feel less than brave. That maybe that perfect person or that perfect job or whatever that vision is, no, it probably won't be exactly. There'll be nicks in it all along, but you'll get better at discerning how that journey plays out and you won't be as desperate, maybe, or you won't be so quick to take whatever just comes

Stephanie: Right.

Laura: You'll know. No, I've earned that privilege. I'm honoring myself that I have, and I call it being in the power seat of choice. I get to choose here and not be afraid if I don't choose what just came by.

Stephanie: Yeah.

Laura: Something else will come. And as you said, really try to begin to trust that part of you there. However you look at it, God force, universal force, spirit, consciousness. There's something in all of us. That isn't going to place us in harm's way. It will bring lessons to the table, but it's, it's not set up to hurt us. It's really set up to evolve us.

Stephanie: All right. I want to, I want to segue into the next part of the story because I, I would consider this to be, um, I know I looked at it myself this way in my own life, but your reward for doing all of this work. Tell me about the next man you met.

Laura: Yeah, so I always had thought I'd marry some European gentleman that spoke a different language and. All of that. And for some reason, um, I think because I had a lot of Italian friends, I always thought it was going to be someone from Italy, but he ended up being from France, which was better than I ever expected. The one thing I loved about, first of all, look wise and dress well, all of that, everybody you could get, okay. Everybody falls in love with my husband. Men love him, all my girlfriends. He has this beautiful accent and he's been in the restaurant business and he dresses like he walked off the cover of Vogue. All of it. Great. Great. Great. So, of course, when I met him, but funny enough, when I met him the first night, we were My mom was trying to get me to go down to meet him for a year. My mom said, I met you in a boy version and this is it. This is your husband. Cause I was not married at this point, of course. I'm

Stephanie: Do you remember?

Laura: yeah, I was 40. Let's see. We've been together 42.

Stephanie: Okay. All right. Early forties. Yep.

Laura: Was that my 40th or my 41st? Okay. I was in my early forties. He was working at a restaurant that my mom was best friends with all the restauranteurs and whatever. And she's like, come on, get down here. I said, I'm not going to start a relationship with a guy in Florida and all of that.

However, this was coming off of about an 18 month period. Back up to that story of where I was all by myself and I had taken time and I said, you know what? The next guy I meet, I'm just going to have fun with. I can't think about anything. He's not the guy I'm going to marry. I'm not going to, you know, have a ready made family.

I never really allowed myself to just be kind of casual and have some fun, go out for a day to ride on a motorcycle, whatever it may have been. So when I saw him walking, I knew. I knew I told my mother and she's like, I told you. I knew he, of course, now that first moment of connection, I, I went up and I talked to him and he knew my mom and my dad, um, I invited him back to the house later on. We had champagne and strawberries and we were swimming in the pool and it was just beautiful. And I knew. and something he said to me, not too far into our connection. And this is how I was like, okay, that part of me that grew, that gave myself the opportunity to be brave, to take that leap of faith, to trust that there was something beyond that present condition that I felt so stuck to.

He said, I love the way your mind works. I love the way you think. Now he could have said 10 things differently. Oh, you look this way, but all of what he did his whole life. And it could have been that connection. You're hot. You're pretty. You're that all of it. No. And that was a moment of reward. That was me looking at myself through the eyes of, yes, a desire and a partnership and all of what I really wanted to experience.

But where it really meant to me, deep down in my heart, was that someone recognized the work that I've done, the intelligence that I've acquired. By doing the work that I did.

Now, um, a very transparent note to people out there. It's not a perfect fairy tale. We work through things all the time, but it was still that vibe, that energy, that look, that style, whatever it was that maybe that part of me, i. e. the ego, whatever it was that I still needed to hook in. But what was beyond the hook now was the depth and the substance. And he had been through a marriage and had two young girls.

There was time well spent apart before our connection so that when we did get together, it started to move more on an intellectual level, more on a, a purposeful level and on a more grown up level, the 2. 0 adult relationship. And a cute little note that my daughter, Victoria, who was 9 at the time, the second time she met me, we took a walk and she came back and said, Papa, you need to marry. They call me Lola. You need to marry Lola. That's it. We're done. And it was that it just kind of everybody knew. We all kind of knew on some level. And 15 years later, it's it's, again, not been without its challenges, raising two girls. They were little when I got them. but it's my family and it's beautiful. And had I not listened, had I not taken that courageous, brave leap, because I really loved my first love very deeply, I could have made it work because I have that in me. But it's something that I can tell people that if you're on the fence and you know the difference between fear and excitement deep down under those layers, you know, the difference between I'm scared and I need security, and I think I should go, no matter what I think is blocking me. Those fears are only in place, they're indicators of all the growth that's trying to come to you, all the excitement. The good and the bad, the high and the low, the positive and the negative, but having a partner that you can speak to and work through things. That for me was what's was the hard stop with my first love. That brought me to this more mature love.

Stephanie: Right. Everything, you ever wanted was on the other side of that growth.

Laura: Everything. And now, now, now I'm in this, and we won't talk about this in this podcast, but now almost the 3. 0 is coming. Right. The family, the girls, my first one moved out. My second one's getting ready. You know, I'm very fortunate. My husband and I love to travel. We really enjoy a certain aspect of life together. We're not out, you know, on powerboats anymore and quads, but we ski and we have a place on the shore. And so we just have a love of life and family and friends. And, I think what I'm, what I'm trying to say is for someone listening, what, you know, you value, you value. And what, you know, is important to you. Don't compromise that. It's in us. We know this, even if people have thrown shade on it, even if somebody really messed it up on us. You know it. Trust that. Maybe it won't look exactly the way you always had dreamed or hoped it would, but it will be some amazing variation because you will grow into this very smart, very well thought out human being. And you will know what vehicle to get into and what vehicle to let just drive right on by you. And it will start matching I think that potential and that again kind of that in-vision of what we want our lives to look like give yourself credit, and have faith in who you are. And have faith in what your Mind and your body and your consciousness is all kind of feeling and go for it. It's what goes by fast So go for it.

Stephanie: It does go by fast.

I have one last question for you. So you met your husband in your early forties and he had small children already. Did you ever want children of your own? And what was that conversation about?

Laura: Yeah, it is probably one of the most vulnerable places in my heart and in this human condition. Yeah. I wanted like three, four kids. I wanted a family very much. I'm known as the baby whisperer. If there is a child, an infant in the room, I am on the floor. I am playing. If, if there's an infant crying in a restaurant and I go up to the mom and I'm like, are you okay? And here you go. I, I, because babies, especially all they know is energy. They know energy and they feel it. There's got a radar out to it. I think that's probably what makes me that, that special part of me with kids and infants. I never, I never housed a human in my own body and birthed it. So that energy is really high up in me. Um, so yes, but the, uh, transparent story to that is my little one, uh, Um, was accidentally burned pretty severely when she was in France with her grandparents. Yep, this is just her. She's just a little hellion and she was taught not to touch something. She touched it. Her dress caught on fire. A very large part of her leg and a little part of her stomach. Thank God it could have been really worse. But she was in a burn center over in Europe for three months and a lot of mental and emotional, and her biological mom went there. But it was right at the time when we were all planning on moving in together and building, you know, our life together. And she was, you know, six years old and it was a time where if we were going to have a child that needed to kind of happen fast. And if I brought in that experience of pregnancy and a baby with where she was, it just, I had to go really deep in here. Um,

Stephanie: Hmm. So you chose to take care of that baby.

Laura: Yeah, yeah. It was, just something that, um, you know, very few people will know what that felt like.

Stephanie: yeah. Oh my goodness.

Laura: But I'm happy.

Stephanie: Yes, of course, of



Laura: Still drives me nuts to this day. She does. She is my, uh, Oh God. My mom and I talk about it all the time because I was kind of the same style of human that she is. So, um, I'm like, Oh God, thank you

Stephanie: Universe.

Right, right.

Laura: And she really is a mini me. I could not have born my own child any differently. And so it's kind of that the Universe did give me those lessons of how to handle it and be compassionate. And like, she's mine. They're both mine. They were mine from the moment I met them. I, I knew. And I actually said to my then boyfriend, my now husband, I said, um, this one, she and I've got karma. She called me mama from the second time I was with her. Um, we just have this, this amazing and she's unbelievably brilliant and deep and at 20 with all that's going around in her timeframe, um, quite grounded on a lot of levels, but not without her issue. So trying to always set that example. I want to say I gave that up, but I chose to move into a position that I felt was needed more than thinking about myself at that time. Would it have worked out? I'm sure. But just at that moment in life, it, it was a, um, it would have been a selfish decision. And when you understand that you're in the guardianship of another human

Stephanie: Mm.

Laura: for me, um, it was a no brainer. I was not without emotion as you can tell. I mean, I've had her in my life. She's 20 now. But yeah, you know, and I had to step in when the biological mother stepped out

Stephanie: Mm hmm.

Laura: And I really took that responsibility with, you know, a badge of courage and really knew like I, this is something that I obviously have chosen and I'm going to do right by it. And, um, I feel pretty good. I've raised some pretty unique humans, so I feel good.

Stephanie: That's amazing. Your story is so touching, Laura. Um. Mm. And it's,

Laura: I know. I don't think I've ever cried on a podcast before.

Stephanie: made, you made me cry too. Um, and I love that you're the baby whisperer, because to me, that means that that energy that you would have had to give your own baby, it, uh, not that we ever run out of energy, but it, you know, that you never spent that energy on, on the human that you grew. So now you spend it little by little on all the other baby humans that you come across. I love that.

Laura: Yeah, that's so beautiful. Thank you. That's such a beautiful statement. Yes, that's how I feel about it. And everyone knows it's like it almost is, it's not an obsession, but it's an energy that I cannot contain. If I see them, I'm there. I'm like, and they do, they'll look and I'll be like, I see you. And they'll look, and even my husband will be like, they hear you. Like, it's like you're connected to them and they don't know what you're saying. I'm like, they feel it. But that's such a beautiful way of putting it. So

Stephanie: Oh, Laura, I have so enjoyed speaking with you today and, and hearing about your story and, and thank you so much for joining me and sharing all of this with me. It's a, it's a beautiful story.

Laura: Yeah. Wonderful. I, this is really one of my favorite times that I've spent with, with someone because it was, there's interviews that are really fabulous, but this really was a conversation with a friend and that's how it fell. And I hope that when it goes out, that that is how someone really receives this, that two more friends are just joining you, and all is possible and just love yourself first because then it all falls into place.

Stephanie: It does. Thanks.

Laura: Thank you.




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