Positivity on Fire

Chase the Whisper with Laura Cariello

September 04, 2021 Jason Ramsden / Laura Cariello Episode 33
Positivity on Fire
Chase the Whisper with Laura Cariello
Show Notes Transcript

How do you know when to pivot? Do you listen to other people or trust your gut? For many we allow outside influences to affect our lives to the point where it affects us in a negative way. Instead, why not focus on what you can do each and every day -- consistently doing all the little things in life -- to “Win the Day.”

In today’s episode, host Jason Ramsden has a conversation with Laura Cariello -- an MS Warrior who is telling her story one candle at a time. Laura has been living, scratch that, thriving in life despite being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis over 20 years ago and in today’s conversation she shares what Follow the Whisper means and how her life has T.A.D.ed -- transformed after diagnosis.

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EP30: Metahuma: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential by Depak Chopra, MD.
EP19: Chatter;The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It
EP04: The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins
EP02: Find Your Why by Simon Sinek (audio version)

Laura Cariello:

I have lived by the whisper verse, the noise for about six years now. And the best way to break it down is the whisper is really your inner compass. You're your guide that inner voice that whisper that's telling you something is right, telling you to try it, telling you to move in the direction.

Jason Ramsden:

Hi, I'm Jason Ramsden and I believe we can all work on leading a more positive and intentional life. And this show details my journey by sharing my learning stories and conversations with guests. If you want to lead a more intentional life, focus on being the best you possible. Please subscribe today. Now, let's get into today's episode. Hello, my positivity posse today. I'm excited to bring you what I hope is the first of many guest interviews here on positivity on fire. My guest today is Laura Carrie yellow was currently the assistant director of EMR project management for New York City Health and Hospitals and someone who is just brimming with positivity. I first connected with Laura on Tick Tock where she is an advocate for those living with multiple sclerosis. Laura has lived with Ms for the past 20 years and believes on what he calls Tad's transformation after diagnosis. Her story of going from barely being able to walk, becoming a crossfitter and Spartan Race warrior is inspiration. I enjoyed our time together and hope you enjoy our conversation about chasing the whisper. Without further ado, let's get into today's episode. I mean, Laura, I'm super excited. Because you are a little bit of an inspiration for me like when I think it's going on like close to a year where I found you on tik tok like found lots of people who are super positive which is great about it. But I would like for you to kind of introduce yourself to the audience a little bit and then if you would share your life motto with me.

Laura Cariello:

Hi everyone, my name is Laura Cariello and yes, we connected on tik tok. I'm really an advocate there for people living their best lives and dreams despite disease and chronic illness. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 20 years ago, August 25, I think so it's almost exactly 20 years. And it's been a roller coaster of disability. Whereas I went through my 20s and 30s now in my 40s living with this disease and really my personal motto has been to keep moving forward and really becoming relentless. You know, I choose and we'll get into it. But Ms doesn't take any days off. So neither do I. I love that, oh, we started really small. And we got to where we are. For me it was really struggling to walk. And then pre COVID getting into triathlons and Spartans and CrossFit and changing my body.

Jason Ramsden:

Absolutely love it like the relentlessness I really love. Because when if I happen to be mindlessly scrolling Tick tock, which is why we all get kind of stuck in that is that, you know, sometimes you'll pop up on the feed. Yeah, I complain that my knee hurt today and I couldn't go out for a walk. What the heck am I doing? Like, here's Laura, who's like triumphing over everything that you have going on in your life. What I wanted to talk about a little bit I don't know if you know that we have something in common recently in the month of June. Okay, is that was moved. And you did a video on Tick tock, we talked about a fresh start and chasing the whisper. Could you tell me more about I love that phrase

Laura Cariello:

Tell me Of course. And I have lived by the whisper verse, the noise for about six years now. And the best way to break it down is the whisper is really your inner compass. You're your guide that inner voice that whisper that's telling you something is right, telling you to try it telling you to move in the direction and then the noise. That's when you have all of the excuses people's opinions, different mindsets and for me I know well and all of the excuses especially growing up and living with a chronic illness and Ms. I have every excuse in the book what six seven years ago to have not gotten out of bed and sometimes that's exactly what happened and you have to chase that whisper so when I was in the I'm I work for in New York City and we had the opportunity because of COVID to work remote and When I got notification that my work would be full time remote, it was that opportunity. And I heard that whisper, I knew where I needed to be. And that was closer to the beach and the ocean and it wasn't going to be easy. And there were a lot of things going on. And I have to manage stress. But that whisper became the priority. And two months later, the dust is settling, and I couldn't be happier.

Jason Ramsden:

Well, you look at I can see listeners can see on your Thank you. And and same here we my wife got a great new job. It's amazing. We lived in North Carolina for 18 years, and moved to Massachusetts. And we're both from the northeast originally. So moving to North Carolina was to raise the kids and we're near the water. And there's just something when you wake up in the morning and hear seagulls. There's just there's something about that. Yeah,

Laura Cariello:

it's it speaks to the whisper it I did that with a career about 10 years ago as well. I was laid off from a really cool job. And I thought it was the end of end all be all right. I was laid off. I had my condo, my mortgage, I had to foreclose claim bankruptcy, I went back with my parents. And in a really low point when Ms decided to rear its ugly face and disease started to progress. I applied to a competitive teaching program because it was the whisper and I always wanted to teach. So I got to accept long story short, I got accepted because I listened to the whisper and I blocked out the noise. Teachers don't get paid enough teachers don't bit and all of that noise about teaching. I blocked it out went with the whisper. And I was like, Well, what am I going to lose? I don't have a job anyway. You know, and unfortunately, I did make a decision to leave the classroom and then started teaching executive leadership to executives. And then I got it. I was in healthcare and it and it's been a winding road. very purposeful, very amazing. But I always follow the whisper through all of it.

Jason Ramsden:

I love that. And I love that you had time and edu ation. Mike, my wife has done t at. We both did it for 30 year , he's still going on, give me an opportunity to step away rom it and do something new, guess chasing my whisper as wel . Yes. And you mentioned so ething about moving on t teach leadership. There's o many things in the classro m that lend itself deleted, be ause I want to know if there's l ke one you learned about the cl ssroom that lends itself to lead

Laura Cariello:

Everybody wants to be heard. If you are in kindergarten, or you are running a hospital,

Jason Ramsden:

I love that everybody wants to be heard, which I think is a is a great segue because I think you talk about that your body won't go where your mind won't take it. Right is the whole Yes. Your Tad's and so I'll let you talk a little bit more about what you had mentioned to me about ta D. So tell me more about that. Because I think that's, that's fascinating.

Laura Cariello:

Of course, I believe that all of our journeys on doing anything worth accomplishing is going to start in your head. Because, and and it really it's the misconception is, a lot of people think that it starts with motivation. And it does not It starts with action. And when something starts with action, you just don't wake up and do something great. It's, it sucks. It's really uncomfortable, right? And what you have to for me, I know when I first started, and I started waking up early, because look, we all have lives and jobs, but I would not make excuses and I had to find a time and that time was 5am. My CrossFit class started at

5:

30am. And I would give myself three seconds to put my feet on the floor, whether I liked it or not. And that starts in your mind. So in three seconds, if my feet were on the floor, then maybe I would sit up if I sat up, I would get changed because I put my clothes out the night before and it's breaking it down so small when you first start doing something that it has to be in your mind. You have to break the habit because your mind and your brain wants you to be comfortable. Of course you're in this comfortable bed, you know, why do you want to wake up and you have to trick your mind to letting those excuses come in. So giving yourself three seconds, which is not nearly enough time for your brain to give it excuses to stay comfortable. You go. And then you start with taking action after you take action, the motivation comes because you have all these small wins.

Jason Ramsden:

Right? I love that. So how do you do that? Once it's in the winter of New York? How do you get up and get out go and like when it's freezing cold outside,

Laura Cariello:

it goes back to no date, no days, it sucks. I mean, it is it is not comfortable. It's not easy. But you want to know what having MS is an easy, life isn't easy. A lot of things are uncomfortable. My body wants to you know, my brain wants to protect my body and stay inside and warm. But Ms isn't going to go away cuz it's snowing, my health isn't going away because there's rain. And of course, I have to consider safety. And I also have to listen to my I have to listen to my body more so than most because it's just wired differently. But I don't make excuses. And if I absolutely cannot do something for safety or health, I find a different way to accomplish it. But most of the time I just go and it's not fun. New York winter. Well, I am at the beach now. But New York winters were never fun. I was there six, seven years.

Jason Ramsden:

Yeah, I went to high school in New York. And so you want to talk about trying to get out and have to go to school when you really don't want to go to school anyway, right?

Laura Cariello:

Yeah, I would show up to a 5:30am CrossFit class in the dead of winter. And we I would walk into a class there would be, I don't know, maybe five or seven people there. I don't think any of us said a word to one another until halfway through. You just don't do it. And and it's it's because it's not fun. It's not fun nor easy. But with you want anything great, you're not going to sign up for fun or easy. You're going to sign up for the little, the little piece, the little feather in your you know, without one small step. And if you just do a lot of little things consistently, like showing up even if it's really cold and dark, those little things add up to big goals.

Jason Ramsden:

I totally agree 100%. I tell my audience that all the time I talked about like chunking things down. If you have a really big goal, you got to chunk it, you got to chunk it until it's so small that you think it's too small. And then you can move forward with it. You've done a lot your platform is is about kind of showing people what it is to live with MS and kind of push through. How did you get involved in triathlons and Spartan event? What was the motivating factor?

Laura Cariello:

I started working out in my parents remember, I had gone bankrupt, they move back home. So I started working out to home workout videos because I was embarrassed to go to a gym. And I wound up walking into a gym one day and it was really intimidating and scary. But I just did it I I got the fear out of my mind. And I signed up and I worked out in a corner for I don't know, probably three months and you know it. It's those little things that move me forward. And when I started there, I was stepping. I couldn't jump on. I don't know, I guess like a weight plate is probably two inches, right? I couldn't jump on it. So my coach at the time was like, Well, can you jump on the ground and I couldn't jump at all. Mind you. I see people jumping on 20 inch boxes, you know, and I can't, I can't jump. So he drew a line in chalk and said step over that. And I did in my little corner and that's what I end from stepping over a line. Then I stepped on a plate then I jumped on a plate and eventually I did hit a 20 foot box. 20 foot 20 inch box jump. It took a long time. But it was so worth it.

Jason Ramsden:

I love that one. That's great. I think that's a fantastic takeaway one step at a time. And people say that all the time. They talked about you Well, you just have to take one step at a time. And you literally took one

Laura Cariello:

litter literally Yeah. You know something I live by and you probably can't see it. It's on the chalkboard. So there's Andy for Sela I don't know if you guys have heard of him or watch him or Follow him, I highly recommend I recommend it. Andy for sell, I just started 75 hard, actually, however, so back there on the chalkboard, it says win the day. And he always says, win the day. And when we have these huge feats ahead of us, all I have to do is win today, I just have to win today. And, you know, he speaks about that a lot in the work he's doing and powering and motivating others to just win entrepreneurship and other things. And Tim Grover, he has an old book, which is amazing, relentless, and you find what works for you and the people who speak to your whisper, and you see what they're doing, and you try and replicate it in your own way. Of course, you know, they're very strong. You don't have to win the whole program, you have to win today,

Jason Ramsden:

win win today. Now, I'm glad that you pointed out because I did see it when you popped on camera. And I was gonna ask you about it. So Oh, but I want to know, like, What does win the day mean to you in any given day, what is when the day mean?

Laura Cariello:

It means looking at the next step ahead of me. The day I'll sometimes break down the day into smaller when the morning or when the after each little thing. Because when you think about it as a whole, it's defeating when you think about it as little pieces. So winning the day are all the little pieces to the puzzle for the day. And each day is that one piece, whereas it'll complete the puzzle. But you don't know what the puzzle is, when you first open the box. It's just a bunch of mess. And as you go and you win the day and you win each piece of that puzzle, you put it in there, and it starts to take shape and form. And then once you get going, you're moving you have the momentum, the motivation and you can move forward. But in the beginning, it's just the messy box of cardboard

Jason Ramsden:

boxes like I love that that you say you just put it together that's such a great metaphor with the puzzle. what's what's what's the biggest motivator in your life right now

Laura Cariello:

and to be better than I was yesterday. And, and that's that consistency. And every single person that lives with a challenge motivates me. And I knew that that was true. And I had a mother reach out to me and I had a mother reach out to me on social media. And she said, You know, my daughter is young and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. And I couldn't show her anything that wasn't upsetting or scary. And I came across your page, and I finally had a sigh of relief. And I smiled and I said, I'll do this for the rest of my days, hands down. And every finish line that I cross every walk or jog or workout I take all of that inspiration with me. And that is what fuels my day. And that that means everything everyone who reaches out to me on a daily basis. And it's a scary to be diagnosed with anything that's life changing. And when you stare death in your mortality in the face, and you have to really look at that and look really close and take a really good look. It's not an it's not an easy feat. And every message I take with me every day, and that motivates me to just keep going.

Jason Ramsden:

So I'm a big believer in impact one or impact 1 million, there's no difference. That's really kind of how I've started to live my life. No, you're positive. Like if you just impact one person, if you make a difference in just one person's life by what you're doing. It makes everything else worthwhile. It

Laura Cariello:

makes it absolutely, absolutely. And you know what I've learned in speaking about now, I kept MSS secret for a very long time, probably almost 10 years. I didn't talk about it. And that weighed on me. I think it actually was a disease as well living inside me not speaking about it. And it just festered in there. And I want to encourage other people that it is okay to talk about it in a safe space. And I tell anybody, if you don't have anybody to talk to you absolutely can message me. I know what it's like to feel different. And it's frustrating and challenging because all you want is your body to work and it's really Really waging a war against itself, and you have no control over it whatsoever.

Jason Ramsden:

If you could sum up like just in one sentence, a wish that you had for your future self, what would it be?

Laura Cariello:

That's a really good question, a wish for my future self. keep taking action, do something, do something every single day that moves in the direction of your dreams every day, whether you feel like it or not, and what's your dream, My dream is to inspire anyone living with them. anyone living with a chronic illness, anyone living with a disease, anyone who is trying to overcome a challenge having a hardship a hard time, I want them to see my face and say, I have another day, I have another minute in the eye, I can do this dream, it may not look like the same dream. But I can get it done. And and I want my voice to be in that ear in their ear saying that they can do that. And that whisper is very real. I want to be the world's whisper to crushing their goals

Jason Ramsden:

of that. And that and the truth is or a year. It's more than just for people with chronic illness. I know that's Yeah, of course you come. But you motivate a lot of people who don't have chronic illness to Yeah, look themselves in the mirror and say, What am I doing like I should really be pushing forward there have zero excuses, or has a ton. But she doesn't, at all ever, and keeps moving forward each day.

Laura Cariello:

And not every day is positive. And not every day is easy. And life isn't easy, right? And I had a good friend say to me not that long ago. She said, Well, you're just made different. I said absolutely not. No, I'm not. I'm not I am not made any different than anybody out. It is such a misconception. And what people see right now is the successful war. What I wish I could show was the Laura on the couch. The Laura, who had the foot brace, who still sometimes wears it, the Laura, who was who looked gray. And I wish I had that to say, look, we are one in the same. The only difference is that I put my feet on the ground every morning. That's it? What if I if I told you, hey Jay, you can completely changed your entire life. If you put your feet on the ground every morning when you didn't want to? would you do it? Of course, what if you could have a million dollars, if you want a million dollars, all you have to do is put your feet on the ground and tie your shoelaces every morning for six months, six months, give it six months, would you put your feet on the ground? And when you think about it that way, it is not that we're not motivated to do it. We're making excuses for ourselves. And that's the only difference.

Jason Ramsden:

I love that much. What I think is is important and I'd love to like encourage you. You said I wish people knew the lower when like a book to me. Oh yeah, I could definitely write a book. But I'm waiting for that book to come out. Because I do know, because everybody does like nobody's a success overnight. Nobody has achieved whatever it is they've achieved what people see right now. It's all their history. Right. So one of the things I like to tell people is who you are today is defined by your past. What you do today finds who you'll be tomorrow. Yeah, though, I think that well with your just take the ones just take them. Yeah,

Laura Cariello:

just just take. And it's funny, so many people, they want to know exactly how. But my path is. So Ms is different. My path is different. It's in your mind, because every single person's body is different. You have to think of your end goal, and I'm not going to tell you how to do it. But I'll help you paint a picture of where you're going.

Jason Ramsden:

Destination may be the same but how we get there for each of us of Yeah, totally, totally different. A lot o us are coming out of COVID tell me what was the most defining m ment in your life this pa

Laura Cariello:

I am very proud of my work. I am part of the New York City Health and Hospitals team. And we worked through COVID to ensure that you know we were we were going and that was us. Every time and the work that we did was pretty incredible. And it was an incredible team. And it was exhausting. And I can't say that we were all rays of sunshine. I mean, it was not that, but I, that's the I'm proud of that work. And then coming out of that, coming out of that work and going into stabilization, it was very depressing for me COVID happened. And then I just worked, I didn't really understand. I mean, I understood, of course, I was a part of it every day. But you were really in that reactive mode. And when the dust settled, I was, it was pretty sad, you know, and I took the time to figure it out for myself. And you know, that also during that period, I decided to go to the beach. So you know, we have bad days, sometimes we have bad weeks, and we're sad or whatever emotion and we have to feel that emotion and let it run through us and not keep it inside of us and and fester. And it's okay to be sad. You just can't stay there for ever or too long. You know, you have to have these things and feel them and then get uncomfortable. I agree.

Jason Ramsden:

Probably one of my favorite audios that floats around tic toc is that same thing. And that basically tells you it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be down. But don't stay there for too long. Get up. And yeah,

Laura Cariello:

yeah. And if you notice that it is too long, seek out people that support you. And they can help because sometimes it's too much for us to help ourselves. And I recognize that I completely recognize that. And when it's too much for you to help yourself, reach out. And it's hard to do that. Because when you're in the middle of it, you know, it's really hard. But sometimes we can't do that for ourselves, but we can seek to others and the right people that can help us as well.

Jason Ramsden:

I think that's that's important. You can't always go it alone. I have two kinds of closing questions for you. One is to get to know you a little bit better. So what's what's something most people don't know about you?

Laura Cariello:

I was a teacher. I have my I have my Master's in special ed. It was. It was my graduate work. I loved it. And I did it for about five years.

Jason Ramsden:

So it's definitely a passion and a calling. Of course, you're telling me this too. As we wrap up, I always like to ask my guests to kind of finish with this question. Happiness is a mindset is a mind happiness is a mindset, a state of mind of it. Yeah. You don't live in New York anymore. So you're not in the New York state of mind.

Laura Cariello:

No, no, I needed the calm jersey beach state of mind now. Now I have the oceans in the background.

Jason Ramsden:

And there's nothing like that sound. up in the morning, Laura, this has been fantastic. I really appreciate you reaching out and coming on the show. Where can people find you online? Like if they want to connect with you learn a little bit more about your story. Where can they find you?

Laura Cariello:

You can find me on tik tok and Instagram. They're both the same handle. It's at Laura underscore, Ms. Strong So Laura underscore laura msstrong. Laura and that strong

Jason Ramsden:

I love that. And for those listening, I'll definitely put that into the show notes that you all have it you can find it easily. It has been a pleasure talking. Thank you for having me. Laura has an awesome outlook on life. And I know I learned a lot from this episode myself. Here are my three key takeaways. Other people's opinions should not affect your mindset to the point of making excuses for yourself to when getting up to tackle the day. If you only give yourself three seconds with your feet on the floor each morning, your brain doesn't have a chance to make excuses. And three, if you want anything great in life, you're not going to sign up for the fun or easy to have to do the hard stuff, my friends, that puts another episode of positivity and fire in the books. thank you as always for being here today. Your gift of time listening to the show does mean the world to me. And as always, please remember be well be happy be you until the next time may your quest for positivity begin today.

Laura Cariello:

When you have 20 years of disability and you've done so much I wanted to focus some of my thoughts to really Drive the message both of our messages.

Jason Ramsden:

For more on my positivity quest follow me at underscore j y Ramsden on Instagram Tick Tock and Twitter. If you like today's episode, please give us a five star rating and review on your favorite podcast app or visit chaser.com and search for positivity on fire. Positivity on fire is a production of impact one media LLC All rights reserved.