The Gutsy Podcast

24: Creating and Maintaining Meaningful Relationships with Bernadette Wagner

June 25, 2019 Episode 24
The Gutsy Podcast
24: Creating and Maintaining Meaningful Relationships with Bernadette Wagner
Chapters
The Gutsy Podcast
24: Creating and Maintaining Meaningful Relationships with Bernadette Wagner
Jun 25, 2019 Episode 24
Laura Wallace | Worx Graphic Design
Having solid relationships—whether it’s friendships, mentors, family, colleagues, or spouses—has a profound impact on your life.
Show Notes Transcript

The power of relationships is one of the most important resources that we have on this planet. Today on The Gutsy Podcast, we have a fabulous guest and we’re going to really just dig down into the depths of not only connecting and creating meaningful relationships but how that helps you live life to the fullest. We’ll also hit on the health benefits this comes with as well.


TODAY’S GUEST
Today I’m basically talking to a real-life wonder woman, Bernadette Wagner. She’s a speech pathologist, a two-term elected member of the Washington County Board of Education, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Volunteer Washington County, community outreach coordinator of Hospice of Washington County, and, most recently, TV host of Appealing Hope and Health—and let’s not forget, she’s also a wife and a mother of five! This Jack, well, should we say this Jill of many trades is now adding entrepreneur to her list with her Prime Time for Women initiatives.


WHAT IS PRIME TIME FOR WOMEN?

“The mission is to celebrate, connect, and empower women from diverse backgrounds as they explore new possibilities in their second half of life.” When it comes getting older (or reaching a “higher level”), Bernadette takes a refreshing look at what this both could and should mean for women. It provides the opportunity to explore new possibilities and celebrate the past—all whilst living life to its fullest.


WHAT DROVE YOU TO CHOOSE THE ENTREPRENEUR LIFE?
Bernadette has always been interested in not only the health of herself—but of our community’s and how that impacts each individual person. After reading several awesome books and enduring a loss (tune in for the specifics!), her passion for embracing each age began to flourish; leading her to attend Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts in NYC where she and hundreds of other women met to empower their lives.

“It was really fun. I finished the course in June. I gave notice to my employer in July and started doing this full time . . . And we did our first show in February. And, um, that’s sort of what started it. This real belief that women can make a difference in each other’s lives.”

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Laura Wallace:
0:01
You're listening to The Gutsy Podcast, where we talk about all things real, raw, and ridiculous about running a business authentically. I'm Laura Wallace, also known as the Laura Aura, lover of all things inspirational, owner of Worx Graphic Design, and your host on this journey through entrepreneurship. I'm here to help you get out of your head and back into action as a passionate business rock-star. Tune in every Tuesday and Thursday as we fuel your gutsy.
Laura Wallace:
0:30
The power of relationships are one of the most important resources that we have on this planet. Today on The Gutsy Podcast, we have a fabulous guest and we're going to really just dig down into the depths of not only connecting and creating meaningful relationships but how that helps you live life really to the fullest. Also some health benefits that it comes with as well.
Laura Wallace:
0:55
Today I'm basically talking to a real life wonder woman, Bernadette Wagner. As a speech pathologist, two-term elected member of the Washington County Board of Education, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Volunteer Washington County, community outreach coordinator of Hospice of Washington County, and, most recently, TV host Appealing Hope and Health. And let's not forget, she's also a wife and a mother of five. This Jack, well, should we say this Jill of many trades is now adding entrepreneur to her list.
Laura Wallace:
1:29
Welcome, Bernadette.
Bernadette:
1:30
Welcome. Thank you for having me.
Laura Wallace:
1:31
Well it's not, I feel like you keep yourself fairly occupied.
Bernadette:
1:35
Yeah, there's not a lot of downtime in my life, but I like it that way.
Laura Wallace:
1:39
So, I love this. We were, we were pre-talking and she says, um, "I'm at a higher level" and we, we got talking. So, tell me about how that comes, what that means and how that comes up/came to life.
Bernadette:
1:52
So, Prime Time for Women is, uh, really the mission is to celebrate, connect, and empower women from diverse backgrounds as they explore new possibilities in the second half of life. And you know, second half of life means different things to different people. Some people think it means older, not me because I think it means prime time.
Bernadette:
2:11
You know, if you think about hiring, you know, like a prime time, some people might think that means like in your youth. To me, I think like prime-steak, the best cut or prime real-estate, right on the beach front. It is the best of the best. And this is the best of the best for women if they allow themselves to see that.
Bernadette:
2:30
So this time in your life after the kids have left, uh, if you have, even if you're in, still have kids at home or you're, uh, in a position where you're providing, uh, acting as a caregiver, those things are challenges. But if you allow yourself to find people to connect with and to share those journeys with, this can be the prime time for anybody's like. It's at a time in life to explore new possibilities, celebrate the past, but don't give up discovering and living every day to the fullest.
Laura Wallace:
3:02
I love it. So as you know, lots of our listeners are entrepreneurs and I love this kind of last portion and you're just now adding entrepreneurship to your higher level of life. So, tell me a little bit about how that came about.
Bernadette:
3:17
It's on an all new 62-level. [laughter]
Laura Wallace:
3:19
I like that.
Bernadette:
3:20
I am really happy doing what I'm doing. So for, uh, maybe, um, for a lot of years I've been engaged in the community. I've worked in different capacities with the county government and city government, uh, with different nonprofits, between Volunteer Washington County in depth with Hospice and Washington County's communiy outreach coordinator, I had a chance to work with so many different organizations and businesses and individuals from tapping into their skillsets and bringing them in and all that was going on. But on the backside, I've always been really interested in health and uh, not only my health but how the health of our community impacts the health of every individual.
Bernadette:
4:01
And so for a couple of years I'd been really looking at, um, what, what my health is going to look like as I aged and as I became a prime timer. And, um, there's a couple of different books that were really important to me. One was called, uh, Re, "Refire! Don't Retire." The other one was a book called "Goddesses Never Age" by Doctor Cristiana Northrup. And the other one was called, um, "Younger Next Year." And basically all these books talk about how, uh, not only physically and mentally, but also emotionally, you can be younger next year. And the way you become younger next year is through positive interactions.
Bernadette:
4:44
There's tons and tons of research on this. And I, you know, my kids think I'm a little whacked out 'cause I read all these articles and books on this. But, um, I had been reading these books for a couple of years, taking notes, thinking I'm going to do something around this because it's my passion, it's what I'm interested in. And then my mom passed away and on January 7th of 2018 and she left me a little bit of money and I used that money to attend a school up in New York called Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts.
Bernadette:
5:16
And basically, at the school it was a school for empowerment of women and they looked at female economic empowerment, uh, entrepreneurial empowerment, empowerment, um, intellectual, uh, sexual empowerment, um, physical empowerment, how strong we were. And I went to the school and I had no idea, it just, I had just gotten this money, I said, and there was like one week left to sign up. And so I signed up in a show up and there was 800 women in this class. 800 women. They met that at a school in Manhattan. And, it was a six month course and you did weekend intensives.
Bernadette:
5:54
And then we came home and did work and uh, communicated with the other students via these gigantic conference calls. Some of them were like 80 people in one conference call. Um, and you really just listened. But it was really meaningful. And what I came away with from that class was tons of women looking to connect, looking to connect on an entrepreneurial level, looking to improve their health through connection with other women. And I just though, "Dagnabbit, I'm going to do it," you know?
Bernadette:
6:24
Um, it was, and it was really fun. I finished the course in June. I gave notice to my employer in July and, uh, started doing this full time, oh, I took a week of vacation and then I started doing it full time. And we did our first show in February. And, um, that's sort of what started it. This really belief that, uh, women can make a difference in each other's lives.
Laura Wallace:
6:49
That's huge. So, you know, uh, in our minds kind of stereotypically, we think of people taking that initial gutsy risk, you know, we assume either are they quote unquote "younger people" are these, you know, early twenties, thirties, forties, 50s, we're, we're making, but you're like the poster child. There's, there's really no limit as to when you can make a gutsy risk like that.
Bernadette:
7:12
That's true. And I actually feel it's, uh, I've learned, I've lived a little, I've learned from my mistakes and I'm moving on. And I think that that's one thing that, uh, younger people don't have. They don't have the breadth of experience. I mean, somebody said to me as a speech Pathology schoolboard member, nonprofit director, "What does that have to do with a TV show?" I said, "Well, not a whole lot if you just look at it that way."
Bernadette:
7:35
But if you look at all the different things they've learned, uh, you know, the, uh, the PR press release skills, the social interaction skills, the rating that I did for an an an and actually two of those jobs, I did a little TV shows, they weren't before a live audience, but, um, you know, every single thing adds to your, um, your tool kit of life. And my tool kits pretty big at this point and that's not something that some younger people have. And one of the things I will tell you and your listeners is that Prime Time for Women puts a really big emphasis on supporting other women entrepreneurs because our organization is about women supporting women and, uh, originally our, uh, social enterprise was going to be directed at women 50 and above.
Bernadette:
8:21
But we actually did some research on the average age of female entrepreneurs in the U.S and the average age that women start a business in the U.S is 40. So we, our demographic group is still is 40 and above, but we're having a young entrepreneur come on who's not yet 40. So, but it's still women supporting women. And, um, I think that that's really important.
Bernadette:
8:45
And I wanted to say, Laura, that the, um, it's not just any social interactions that the researchers say is beneficial for your health. Um, so what the research says is people who have strong social connections, they are at less risk for diabetes, dementia, depression, certain kinds of cancer, and women who are isolated or lonely, they carry the same health risk as somebody who smokes 15 cigarettes a day.
Laura Wallace:
9:15
Oh Wow.
Bernadette:
9:16
Yikes. Yikes! That's crazy. So, um, what John Cacioppo, he is a neuroscientist and he talks about, um, how positive interactions like, we're looking at each other. When you make that eye contact, it releases a, um, like a cocktail of neurotransmitters and neurochemicals, the three most important or oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. And they create this lovely little chemical, uh, immunity shield is what Dr. Casioppo calls it. Um, and another woman named Susan Pinker, she talks about, um, we are each other's best medicine if we allow ourselves to be present and in contact.
Bernadette:
10:01
They are doing this research now because what they call this time in our culture, they call it the lewd age of loneliness or the loneliness epidemic. And that's kind of a sad, scary thing. And I'm thinking what I'm doing now for people and prime time of life, we need to be doing more for our 40 and under, too. Uh, in our country right now we have a higher suicide rate, a higher opioid addiction rate than ever before. And it's interesting, some of the technologies that have been so wonderful for us are creating some of these distances that prevent people from being in contact. So, it's just something that people should keep in mind.
Laura Wallace:
10:41
It makes, it makes complete sense because you know what's better than that? Than a great afternoon or evening with people that you just love being around?
Bernadette:
10:50
So, I think for a long time women in particular have known that when they spend the night with their girlfriends, when they have a good time laughing with their friends from growing up, with their college friends or their high school buddies, you know? They could have not seen each other in 10 years, but they reconnect and they know that something's better. They know they feel better.
Bernadette:
11:09
So, what scientists are now able to do that they couldn't do before is they can look at the brain, they can see the brain light up and all these reward centers of the brains are lighting up. They can also measure the neurochemicals, neurotransmitters, and they can see their cortisol level, which is a stress hormone. It causes inflammation, which is the basis for diabetes and heart disease, and you name it. Inflammations responsible for everything—that drops precipitously when they're in a relationship.
Bernadette:
11:37
You know, and I look at, um, I, I probably sound like a broken record sometimes, but I'm like, to my kids, "Don't text me!" I said, "Call me. Pick me up and tell this, talk to me. I can hear that. That's good for me. It's good for you." And um, even in the Washington Post, just a couple of months ago, there was an article that said "even weak social connections are good for your health." And the example they gave is even going to the food store and chit-chatting with the checkout clerk is health protective for both of you. So, but right now people can order their food online. They don't even have to get out of the car, they can sit in the car, somebody drops it off, and they speed off. They don't have to talk to anybody if they don't want to.
Bernadette:
12:15
And so sometimes what I'm trying to say to people is technology, I'm not like a booboo technologies back, but I am saying it does not replace the human contact that we are by nature, we are designed to be in social relationships. We are human, we are socially driven to be in connection with one another. And when we take that away, it is as important as food, is important as water. It's what helps the species survive. As Susan Pinker says, 'It's not only important for our happiness, it's important for our survival. And that's how, that's how she says it.
Laura Wallace:
12:49
Wow. I mean, when you put it in that context, you know, I think deep down we all know that it's great, but it's one of the easier things to write off. So why do you feel like we have sort of challenging time connecting with people, real physical, human people?
Bernadette:
13:03
Well, I, I think technology makes it easier for us that we don't have to deal with that for one thing. And I would say, I have five children and none of them live in Hagerstown. So it's harder for me to connect in real time with them. But I, I'm going to give my kids a shoutout they do a great job of coming home and we make a big effort of being where they are too. But, um, I do think that, uh, technology is part of it. Um, I also think that, um, people are marrying later or not marrying at all and, and the divorce rate is higher. And so, uh, people don't have the kind of supportive longterm relationships that they used to. And I'm not saying people should stay in bad marriages, but I'm saying if you don't have a spouse and you're living alone, you need to make more of an effort to be in a connection with other people.
Laura Wallace:
13:56
Right. I'm also thinking from an entrepreneurial perspective too. So, um, life in general for people, um, tends to be really kind of crazy and hectic. But looking at the world through the lens of an entrepreneur, our tasks and demands and all the things that we have to keep running on a regular basis is really demanding. And a lot of times we just want to kind of go home and crash. So what can we do as entrepreneurs to build better connections? Like what, what's important about that when we think about relationships in business?
Bernadette:
14:28
Well, in business I would say, and I do try to do this with Prime Time for Women, I reach out to female entrepreneurs to have them on the show, but I also look for that reciprocity. So, one of the things that we do that gives them an opportunity to be engaged is, uh, I had them, I meet with every single one before they come on my TV show, and I don't even know if I said that, but Prime for Women, uh, it is a social enterprise that has many aspects, but probably the most well known is this month, once a month, live audience TV show. And um, it's taped before live audience with the cameras, two cameras, one in the audience and one on the stage because what's happening on the stage isn't even important by itself. It's the interaction between the audience and the stage.
Bernadette:
15:15
Research says when women feel that they are seen and heard, that builds a sense of cohesion, which is health protective. So, every single person on our show, uh, is encouraged and prodded and instructed to make sure that they're interacting, taking questions, walking through the audience. We play game shows, we had a hula hoop contest on TV, yes we did it on TV but whatever it was fun! Uh, we had, um, a belly dancing class, uh, or, and got people from the audience up on stage. So I think that, uh, that part is important.
Bernadette:
15:50
And when I meet with the people on the show, I give them the opportunity to tell me their story. We together, uh, together write up, um, our questions that we're going to go over. They, they go home. I, um, write up questions I drafted. They get to say yes or no. But I think that for entrepreneurs who are daily, um, working by themselves, I think it's critical for them to look, to have support groups, um, and to look to find other people doing similar things, not just to like pick their best business practice, but to say, "Here's what's going on. Here's how, um, experiences. How was that for you?" Because that shared experience is groundwork for healthy connection.
Bernadette:
16:36
Um, one of the things that's really interesting in the research is, uh, people who go to counseling or therapy, it's wonderfully, uh, helpful, uh, emotionally and psychologically. But it does not provide the same health benefits. It does not release the same neurochemicals because it's not reciprocal. So reciprocal means I sit down and I said to my girlfriend, :Oh my God, my kids are freaking driving me crazy." And they said, "Yeah, me too! What did your kid do?" And then you get to play both the confessor and a confident and that dual role is so important. And um, the, the idea that, uh, bringing people together, part of our mission is to bring people together from diverse backgrounds. And that is particular to the research, too, because when you bring together people from different socioeconomic levels, different educational levels, yes, different political parties, different religious traditions, all of those things, um, expose you to another way of looking at the world.
Bernadette:
17:39
If you can allow yourself to do that, you don't have to agree with them. You don't have to feel threatened by it. But just by holding on to your views, I'm not even saying you should change your mind, but if you can be open to holding onto your views and allowing another person's view to enter your brain at the same time, your brain does this weird little thing where it's like, oh my God, it's holding two ideas in sync at the same time, intention at the same time. So what the brain does to, um, compensate is it makes new neuronal connections between the two ideas that are now in its head. And so it creates new neuronal connections, which actually helps stave off Alzheimer's disease, expands your perspective of the world, uh, releases neurochemicals that are health protective for you. But you have to allow yourself, you have to put yourself in that position.
Bernadette:
18:30
So, as we talk about Prime Time for Women, a big part of it is get women to the show so that they can experience this. So that they can see, you know what, I have way more in common with people who went to a different college or who didn't go to college or who came from another country then were here for, you know, thousands of generational, not thousands, but hundreds of years. And this idea that we, that common humanity, um, one of the interesting things is that is common finding common humanity is what builds compassion. Compassion is health protective.
Laura Wallace:
19:03
Everything you're saying is resonating on such a high level. So every, every month there was a group of, um, business women, um, different interests, you know, different capacities, but similar industry, um, different walks of life. And we get together once a month. Sometimes it's a call, sometimes it's in person, and sometimes we take like a half a day and just, we just work together. Like we all bring our own things. But after we leave those sessions, you know, there's power in vulnerability, there's power in being able to be with a group of people that, um, just see and hear you for whatever you've got going on, whether it's celebratory or whether you're, you know, thinking about hanging up the towel. Um, I know that I always feel like, okay, I got this and I feel like that's probably a lot of what you're talking about is just that, you know, not even just the longterm health benefits, but sometimes just the mental aspect of whatever you've got going on.
Bernadette:
19:57
It's true. And you could download, uh, download some of that mental stress and that's another benefit of being in a group. Um, I think that, uh, the group dynamics provides a lot of, um, benefits and also one on one, uh, can be just as health protective if it's a reciprocal kind of thing. And I'm so glad that you have that because so many people don't have that kind of support and uh, that that would, should be a model for anybody that's listening to your podcast. That's great.
Bernadette:
20:29
One of the other things I was going to say, uh, and this would encourage, uh, hopefully encourage people to come to any of the shows that we have. Um, if you, because it's health protective to do things with your friends, we encourage women to come to the show as a group. When they come in, they sign a contact card and it says, I'm here with what friend group?
Bernadette:
20:51
It could be your Monday night wine party group. I don't care what it is. Your Book Club, your Church Group. It could be, you know, your friends from work. It could be any group. But then we have volunteers who go through the cards. The largest friend group that is there is invited on stage to be recognized for two reasons because they're at the show, but also because they're modeling for us what healthy interaction looks like. They're spending time with their friends. They're out enjoying life. They're exposing themselves to new ways of being, new ways of thinking. They're doing something different. Just that is health protective. So then when they come up on stage, they get to pick a nonprofit to receive 10% of total ticket sales. Because the idea is when you enrich and empower the women in your community, you enabled them to turn and enrich the communities in which they live. So they get to pick the nonprofit to receive 10% of the total ticket sales.
Bernadette:
21:43
So you know, this idea that when you're healthy, you're a healthy member of your community, it's true.
Laura Wallace:
21:49
Yeah, absolutely. It makes complete sense. So, I would bet there was probably a handful of people thinking, um, "while this all sounds really magical, um, I don't have any of these people in my life, how do I even go about finding them?"
Bernadette:
22:01
So, um, for a couple of different things, I would say, um, volunteering is huge. And, uh, there, there is lots of research about the positive aspects of volunteering and it sort of goes on exactly in line with this, uh, other studies that I was talking about. Um, but I also think, uh, go join a book club. If there is a book club, um, uh, go to a concert, even especially free concerts, you know, people say, "oh, I don't have the money to do these things." There are free, I don't care. There are free concerts. You can go to your library and go to an a talk. You can go, um, to the 4th of July fireworks and start up a conversation.
Bernadette:
22:40
And I know not everybody talks as much as me, but um, yeah, I would say follow your passion and wherever the takes you, you're going to find other people that are passionate and that shared interest could be the link that could improve your health. I will say that there is research that as you go to a higher level, because as I've said I'm older, um, as you move to a higher level, uh, the Ohio Longitudinal Study on Aging and Retirement found that people who have a positive perspective about aging, who viewed this as a prime time in their life, live on average seven and a half years longer than people who have a negative perspective.
Laura Wallace:
23:15
Oh Wow.
Bernadette:
23:16
Yea. That's a big number. Seven and a half years.
Laura Wallace:
23:18
That's a lot of life.
Bernadette:
23:19
And it's a lot of quality. So you know, when you think about that, somebody says, "well, so you know, how do you develop that positive attitude about aging?" And I came up with this word just rewriting the "script." I mean, there's the script that says old people never go anywhere. They're cranky, they're judgmental, they're this or that. I don't know. What do you think of old people?
Laura Wallace:
23:42
Depends which old person I'm thinking about. [laughter]
Bernadette:
23:44
Yeah. So that, there's, there's lots of stereotypes. In fact, the World Health Organization says ageism is more prevalent than sexism or racism. And that's because nobody even challenges it. Children as young as three have very clear ideas of what they think old age looks like.
Laura Wallace:
24:01
Yeah.
Bernadette:
24:01
So I say "mm mm mm—don't go there. Rewrite that script." You know, this is the script, change it. And so, you know, how do you rewrite the script? Well you do anything and everything that makes people say, "oh, I can't believe she just did that." You know, my mother got a tattoo at 84. Go mom! I mean, I don't know too many women who are going out and getting tattoos when they're 84, but I loved it.
Laura Wallace:
24:22
Oh my gosh, that's freaking phenomenal.
Laura Wallace:
24:25
Yeah! We have a lady coming on our show who she's going to be 90, but for her 80th birthday, she went skydiving with her grandson. And I'm like, can you please come be on my show? I mean, she's rewriting the script. This, she said, "this is what it looks like." So I did say to her when we were preparing her show, I said, "So what are you going to do for your 90th?" And she said, "I'm gone zip lining." And, you know, I just love that this woman, uh, she has such vitality.
Bernadette:
24:54
And you know what, there's lots of people like that, but we don't, we don't even see it because we don't look for it. When you open your eyes, you see all these vital people. And uh, you know, it's, it's not an abnormal, it's not an aberration. It's a normal. There's a range of normal, but you know, the more active you are, the healthier you are. The healthier you are, the more active you can be. And it's a cycle and it's a circle. And so yeah, if you're just starting out walking, that might be a little uncomfy but come join Prime Time program and we'll do a walking club.
Bernadette:
25:25
You know, if, um, I don't know, I just feel like, um, get out there and volunteer and believe in yourself. Celebrate your past accomplishments that, yeah, I did that. I can't believe I did that. But don't stop there. Discovering new possibilities. Anything that makes you happy, that's a good thing to rewrite the script. Because there's a lot of people that say old people are miserable. And I'm just like, no, they're not that's ridiculous. No, they are not. Um, so I would say that, um, uh, if you, uh, pets are another great way to rewrite the script. Take that dog for a walk and every other dog person out there or your cat, I don't know. Cats don't go for a walk. My cats don't.
Laura Wallace:
26:06
But the hardest part of our battle is literally just being willing to open your mouth and you start a conversation, right? So we can, we can infuse ourself and all these different situations. But if we're, if we're not so bold to just say, "Hi, how are you?" Or "I love your dog, what's his name?" Just to, just to invite that conversation.
Bernadette:
26:25
And that's, that's part of what Prime Time for Women believes. Its mission is to create connections in within our show. And people are asked to introduce themselves. This is like church. What the heck? You know, it's around. Shake the hand of the person behind you. Uh, but it's, it's not about that. It's about making that connection. We also go out to lunch at a female owned restaurant after every show. Uh, because we're women supporting women who are looking to make connections and to make them deeper.
Bernadette:
26:54
Uh, last time, um, after our may show, we had 28 people who went out to lunch, reserved a room at, um, Hempen Hill and there we had lunch, you know, talked to tons of people I didn't know. But I would say for those people who that's not natural, come to one of our functions, uh, check us out online. Um, there's another podcast or a website that's quite good for women, uh, uh, that are at a higher level. It's called, uh, 60 and Neat. And it's, um, a woman named Margaret out of Australia does this one a wonderful job. And, um, she, that would just be a resource for people to check out. And she has lots of entrepreneurs on her show, too.
Bernadette:
27:38
And so, um, I think that that's, uh, you know, something for, um, the entrepreneurs out there to think about, um, reaching out to those at a higher level. Um, because women in their 50s once college tuition is paid off spend on average two and a half times the average person in our culture. So there's a lot of wealth there. Don't, uh, people say, oh, they're old. I'm not talking to them. What? No, that, that, that, that could be your bread and butter. Don't be afraid to reach out to people like that. Uh, don't, don't be afraid to say, because I'm different at a different point in life. I feel like my children and their friends enrich my lives in ways I can't even begin to explain. But I think I also enrich their lives. I think they're lucky to have me.
Laura Wallace:
28:26
I would have to agree with that. So one of the things that I admire the most about higher level in women is you guys just kind of have this, I don't give a damn attitude. LIke, I like what I do and I'm going to do what I do. And if you don't like it, go find something else to focus on. So what I, what I find kind of fascinating though is I don't want people to wait until they're 50, 60, or 70, to kind of embrace that mentality. Now it's not coming from a place of negativity. It's just you care less about other people's opinions and you're way more focused on your own health and vitality.
Bernadette:
29:03
You've already paid attention to their opinions and it didn't get you anywhere. So you learn.
Laura Wallace:
29:07
So, yeah. So, so how do we live in that faster? Because I feel like twenties, thirties, and forties is all like unfolding that box.
Bernadette:
29:17
Yeah. So I, I would say that, um, there are certain developmental steps just like you cannot walk until you crawl for most children and they're not going to talk before they babble. I'm not sure that people can jump from, uh, the cockiness of 10 years to the absolute confidence, uh, you know, in their mid twenties. I don't think that that's really how we're made, um, I think we learn by questioning ourselves. And that's a process. And I do think though that, um, having mentors, uh, work, working across, um, uh, age, uh, generations working across, um, racial divides, working across political divides. The more exposure you have to the world, the more open you are, the more you find humanity. The more compassion you have for them. Guess what? You have that compassion for yourself.
Bernadette:
30:19
And I do think that that's one of the things that people at my level have is the fence "Oh yeah, we've already screwed up [laughter]. It's alright. We've survived. We're okay" Um, yeah, but that's a little bit of a gentleness that I think, um, I didn't have as a younger woman.
Laura Wallace:
30:36
It's a lot of perspective. I really value what you said is not to rush the process. I think a lot of us are trying to, let's push this along and really, we're, we're all actually exactly where we need to be. Learning exactly what we need to learn.
Bernadette:
30:49
They're all doing fine, you know, give yourselves a little credit is what I would say to that. That's what I say to my children. Um, and my kids are doing great. Um, and, and their friends are doing great. Each person. Um, it's not to say that you're not going to have struggles because let's be honest, that's part of life, right? But I think, um, it's not the problems you have it's how you deal with them that matters.
Bernadette:
31:16
And I think that you're more likely to be compassionate with yourself if you're compassionate with others. And that's, that's something that I do think can be learned and practice. It takes practice. It takes practice to say, "hmm, I may not be right" and just sit with that. Really just, "I may not be right." Doesn't have to be my way or the highway. And that, that opens up doors. When you can do that, you get a different perspective.
Laura Wallace:
31:47
That's beautiful. I mean, just being able to accept that and not have to always over explain or over fix or just sometimes wrong is just wrong.
Bernadette:
31:56
And you know, and I think about, uh, the other thing I would say for, um, the younger generation is, uh, to really check themselves on their use of being connected into their technology. Uh, one study I found particularly, um, formative was, uh, conducted on all girls who were seniors in high school with a large number of girls who were competing in a math contest and they were divided into quarters. And one quarter of the girls, after they competed, their mothers were there to greet them off the stage. One quarter of the girls, their mothers called them when they get off the stage. One quarter of the girls got a text from the mom. And one quarter of the girls didn't get anything.
Bernadette:
32:46
It was really interesting because what they did was they measured the cortisol level, which is the stress hormone and it was through the roof, uh, on, in every single competitor prior to the competition. But that's sort of how we get ready to compete. It's part of the adrenaline system, but unchecked it's not healthy for you, right. It's supposed to drop. And so it was very interesting because what happened when the girls who'd competed that when they came off the stage and their mothers were there, they checked the cortisol level and they dropped really fast. The girls who received the phone call your mom when they got off the stage, they had a drop. It was greatly attenuated, but it dropped a little bit. The girls who got a text from mom, no difference in the girls who got nothing.
Laura Wallace:
33:30
Really?
Bernadette:
33:31
So, I say to my kids pick up that darn phone and give me a call. Don't text me. Now of course sometimes I text them because it's way easier than interrupting their day. But just online, don't you, don't rely on that. Don't rob yourself. Don't, I know parents can be a pain in the neck sometimes, but don't rob yourself. Don't cheat your own health because it's more convenient to say. Um, yes. Allow yourself the freedom to engage and to be engaged in particular. Allow yourself the freedom and the privilege of making eye contact with another person. That's where that protects. That's what's stimulating that healthy cocktail of protective hormones.
Laura Wallace:
34:11
Oh, beautiful. I love it. And to wrap us up today, um, what would you say is the biggest lesson that you have learned thus far?
Bernadette:
34:21
Thus far.. Um, I'll tell you, I started this thinking I was going to make this huge difference in the lives of the women in my community. That's, that's what I thought and I hope I'm doing that. But what I found in doing this, I had so much support, so many men and women have come forward. And when I thought I was going to be in enriching other people's lives, you know what? My life has been enriched way more than anybody else's. It's been this incredible, um, recognition that, uh, people truly are generous and, um, you know, um, it's nice that they believe in my mission, but it's also just they're, they're generous people and they've shared their talents and their skills and their passions with me.
Laura Wallace:
35:12
You know, it does amazing advice because oftentimes when you're, when you're so tuned in, when you're so clicked into your lane doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing, thinking that you're going to help so many other people, the fulfillment that you get for yourself is, I like to call it the fuel to my fire. You know, like even having these types of conversations, you know, it just reignites my fire of, you know, it's been a busy day, this has been a weird week. Like all these things are going on and it just takes focusing on the relationships.
Bernadette:
35:45
Yeah. I like fuel to my fire. I like that. Um, karma, what goes around comes around. But I do think that, uh, as people take the risk of putting themselves out there, they'll be surprised to see what comes back their way.
Laura Wallace:
36:00
Wonderful. How can our listeners find you if they want to learn more about Prime Time for Women?
Bernadette:
36:04
Okay, so we have a website, it's Prime Time for Women and it's primetime4women.com. And I'm at Bernadette, um, bernadette@primetime4women.com.
Laura Wallace:
36:19
Wonderful. Thank you so much.
Bernadette:
36:21
And, our TV shows are all logged on our website, so go there, remember to check out our Facebook page and subscribe to our youtube channel so you get to watch these shows.
Laura Wallace:
36:31
So awesome. Thank you so much for spending your time with us today.
Bernadette:
36:34
Sure, thank you so much.
Laura Wallace:
36:35
Join me this Thursday as we take our power back by identifying side passions. Right. So, a lot of times we develop all these passions. We want to invest our times in things. So, when is it okay to just let a passion—be a passion? Not every single one of them need to become a business. They don't always need a plan. If you love to paint, that doesn't mean we have to open an Etsy shop tomorrow. Maybe we just want to paint.
Laura Wallace:
37:00
Until then, follow The Gutsy Podcast on Facebook and Instagram, and if you want to get into the depths of business a little bit further, follow me personally on Instagram @ThatLauraAura. See you next time.
Laura Wallace:
37:16
[inaudible].