Ep#096 Sailing Through Life – Lorie Tesny, Courageous Cancer Warrior

Lorie Tesny is a two time melanoma cancer warrior and lover of sailing. You’ll hear how her health journey over the last 4 years changed her mindset, her priorities, and got her life moving forward in the direction of her dreams and desires. She’s a fellow podcaster with a fabulous show called Sailing Through Life, a community of inspiring folks able to find hope and resilience even when going through some of life’s most challenging times.

Not only do Lorie and I share a passion for sailing but also the deep appreciation for how the experience of sailing itself is a profound metaphor for how to live Life. Lorie reminds us that while we cannot control the wind, we can always adjust our sails.

If you or someone you love is going through something hard, you’ll love Lorie’s insight on the power of surrender and trust to help us navigate the storms of our lives with strength and grace.

Visit Lorie’s Website: https://sailingthroughlifepodcast.com

Listen to Her Podcast: https://sailingthroughlifepodcast.com/about/

Podcast Transcript

0 (1s):
Welcome to the Soul Science Nutrition Podcast, where you’ll discover that when it comes to your health, you are so much more powerful than you’ve been led to believe. And now your host, she’s a holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach, chef author, and Yogi, Christine Okezie.

Christine Okezie (23s):
Hello, and welcome to the soul science nutrition podcast. I’m Christine Okezie. Thanks so much for listening today. A quote that really captures today’s theme is a lesson that I’ve come to know more and more in my life. “I can’t control the wind, but I can adjust my sail”. We’re diving deep into the topic of control today. Any other recovering control freaks out there? You wouldn’t know to look at me now, but I was all about my five-year ten-year plans. My pro con lists, obsessively planning, everything, a lot of striving, or at least trying to predict specific outcomes, tracking every little thing, sound familiar.

Christine Okezie (1m 6s):
Of course, feeling the need to be in control is natural. We want to be able to control our circumstances and surroundings and feel safe. The problem is that more often than not in life, there’s actually very little that we’re in control of. And in my own life, I’ve come to accept the idea that control is actually an illusion trying to control everything may be natural, but it’s definitely not healthy when things don’t go. According to our plans, B S illusion of control leads us to feeling more pain and more disappointment, trying to control everything, or even just the feeling of a need for control can lead us to feeling more dissatisfied because there’s just no way that we can control everything in life.

Christine Okezie (1m 56s):
Caring too much about things outside of our control predisposes us to a negative outlook. It makes us more critical than it fuels this spiral, where we get progressively more critical and even more neurotic about our lives. Recognizing how badly the need for control can impact our health and happiness. It’s no surprise that one of the most effective ways to feel more peace in our lives is to give up control. This is known as letting go or surrendering. We let go of that illusion of control, being less attached to specific outcomes means that, you know, in your core that however life unfolds, you’ll be okay.

Christine Okezie (2m 41s):
And yes, even when we’re in the midst of chaos, we choose to let go of the need to control it. We acknowledge it. We feel and experience it in the moment, but we consciously let go of control of the specific outcome and trust that there is an intelligence far than us at work. Of course, there’s no switch to flip to land quickly in this new way of being it’s a practice. And it just so happens that life gives us endless opportunities to do just that. Keep practicing the benefits of learning to go with the flow is the life changing lesson. In today’s episode, I speak with Lorie Tesny.

Christine Okezie (3m 25s):
Lorie is a fellow podcaster with a show called “Sailing Through Life.” She really caught my eye because not only do we share a passion for sailing, but also a deep appreciation for how the experience of sailing itself is a profound metaphor for how to live life. Lorie is a two time cancer survivor. You’ll hear how her health journey over the last four years changed her mindset, her priorities, and got her life moving forward in the direction of her dreams and desires. Laurie shares so much wisdom and inspiration on the show. So if you, or perhaps someone you love is going through something hard, you’ll love her insight on the power of surrender trust, and flowing with life.

Christine Okezie (4m 12s):
She’ll show you how these things will help us navigate the storms of our lives with strength and grace. And for even more of Lori, I highly encourage you to check out her podcast, sailing through life. She has inspiring guests who have also gone through some of the life’s most challenging times and had also discovered the profound gifts in their struggle, finding strength and resilience to live their best lives. So I hope you enjoy the episode and if you do like it, I’d be grateful if you’d leave a rating and review on apple podcast. And if you haven’t hit the subscribe button, please do so it helps folks find the podcast easier. Thanks so much for listening my friends and enjoy the show.

Christine Okezie (4m 56s):
Hey, Lorie, welcome to the podcast. Thanks so much for being here today.

Lorie Tesny (5m 0s):
Thank you, Christine. I appreciate you asking me to be here.

Christine Okezie (5m 4s):
I’m excited to learn about you and your life, and I’d love to start if we could go back to, and you’ve probably told the story more than once for sure, but maybe we could go back to the first time you were diagnosed with melanoma and how, you know, again, maybe just upon reflection, how it really was sort of the beginning of this moment that changed the trajectory of your life.

Lorie Tesny (5m 27s):
Absolutely. Yes, I, I was working in a funeral home. I was in the funeral home industry and I had been subjected to the trauma and the drama that happens, the sadness and the grief. And there was a lot of energy in that environment. And one of my jobs was dealing with the certificates and processing paperwork. And so it was something that I saw regularly was cancer diagnosis and, and how long people live because I’m seeing the not good results. I’m seeing the people that, that didn’t survive. And so it became a thing in the back of my mind that, you know, if you get cancer, this is bad.

Lorie Tesny (6m 12s):
Oh. And so, you know, I’m, I’m going through my life doing my job. And it was the summer of 2017. We had a family gathering and we were on our boat at the local lake. And my mom asked about a spot on my leg. And I told her that it was a spot that it’s like, every time you turn around, you would bang it on something. And there was a mole there and it was just, it was, it was irritated because I had caught it on the edge of something. And she said, you know, I’d get that checked out. So I scheduled an appointment and they couldn’t get me in right away.

Lorie Tesny (6m 53s):
So I waited about a month to get into see the dermatologist. And when he came into the room, he said, let me look at it and see, and he kinda did the looking around and, and he said, we’re going to, we’re just going to do a biopsy just to make sure everything’s okay. And mind you, this, this mole is smaller than a pencil eraser. Oh, okay. And so he does the biopsy. And when I look at what he’s done now, the size of what he did was about almost a nickel size. Oh my goodness. The space he took. And so I went home or I went back to work actually, and they had it bandaged up and everybody’s like, oh, you’re going to be fine.

Lorie Tesny (7m 34s):
I mean, people deal with skin cancer all the time. It’s, you know, even if it’s something bad, you’ll be fine. It’s nothing. So I, you know, I waited a couple of days, which always seems like a million years trying to, you know, get the answers to what’s going on. And I was at work. It was about, I want to say three o’clock ish in the afternoon and the phone, my phone rang. And it was the dermatologist. I said, I told everybody, give me a second. I’m going to step away. So I went in another office and it was in that moment. It was like the teacher in Charlie brown talking. And all I hear was grammar in the middle of that.

Lorie Tesny (8m 16s):
I heard malignant melanoma. Okay. And I said, I’m sorry, what? He said, you have cancer. And I right in that very moment, everything flashed through my head of all the documents I had seen come across my desk of everybody who never survived cancer. I thought, oh boy. So I did it. I, it flipped me out. And so I ended up calling my husband. He picked me up and, and I couldn’t even drive. I was, it was too much to process in that moment. And so, you know, we came up with that game plan of who we were going to see getting appointments scheduled. And I got in pretty quickly with a surgical oncologist.

Lorie Tesny (8m 59s):
We had surgery scheduled, they did a wide excision on the side of my leg and took some lymph nodes. And I waited. So this is August when this, when I first got diagnosed, end of August and September 7th, I had surgery and I was doing some research trying to understand what I was diagnosed with. And I just happened to go on the computer. And I pulled up Google and in the Google was a black ribbon. It was nine 11. And I thought, wow, that’s, you know, that’s interesting. So I’m doing research and the phone rings and it’s the surgical oncologist saying stage three and the black ribbon, like for nine 11, but also melanoma awareness.

Lorie Tesny (9m 46s):
And I thought, oh geez. Oh my goodness. So it was, it was at that point, we got things rolling on, you know, getting a, a medical oncologist involved and, and what treatments would be involved. And, and the timing, you know, you always have to, you have to always think that timing is of essence in everything is for a reason. So when we did meet with the metal medical oncologist, he explained that there was a couple different directions we could go, but the FDA just approved a drug to treat stage three melanoma. And so, you know, the survival rate five years out for stage three is 66%.

Lorie Tesny (10m 32s):
Oh my gosh. So it jumps from, I am thinking it’s like 99%. If you catch it early, early stages, it drops down to 66 when she gets to stage three. And I think it goes even down to 27 at stage four of living five years. And he said, we’re going to try this new medicine you go for a year. So that’s what we did. We, we started, I did started treatment every two weeks for a year on a drug. And I, I did really well with that and everything was great. Okay. Okay. Then what happens? And then the cliffhanger.

Lorie Tesny (11m 13s):
So I get the all clear in October of 2018 and actually treatment ended October, 2018. November had a clear scan. December had my port taken out and January 7th, I was getting ready for work. And I leaned against the counter. I’m like, hi, I got a sore spot. Right. It’s top of my leg. And it fell down and I’m like, there’s a little bump. Oh boy. And right then I knew he knew, so this isn’t even months out, I’m getting it all clear. And so I called my medical oncology or the surgical oncologist, and she got me in right away. They did a biopsy and we waited a few days and sure enough, it was positive.

Lorie Tesny (11m 58s):
So we went back to square one on what drugs to use and did all the second opinions, tried to figure out what the best course of action was. We had the really, really extreme side of things of, you know, what type of treatment to use, or we could try something different. And quality of life was extremely important. You know, I was working, I had to continue working because my insurance coverage was through my job. So it was like always playing the, keep the balance, you know, you got to work to have the insurance, but your job is causing you stress, which is probably not helping. And, and yeah. And so I went through a lot of that, but yeah, it went through a whole nother year of treatment, another surgery, they took more lymph nodes and yeah, it, it, it, that, that was, that was, you know, a little bit different that the first time around I was, I was pretty good.

Lorie Tesny (12m 50s):
I was like, I can do this. This is awesome. You know, I feel power. I can, I can get through this and I’m going to learn from it. And I’m going to be safe from this point forward. Now watch Sinek, sun exposure. And it’d be okay. The second time was, Hmm. Wow. That, wasn’t what I thought it was going to be a setback. Right? Yeah. Yeah. You, you, you don’t have the same yea outlook you hear like, yeah. Life is very fragile and you really start to think about what you put your effort and your time into. So we had planned a really nice vacation in the summer of 2020, and that was going to be getaway reset and, and do our thing.

Lorie Tesny (13m 38s):
Okay. And February I treatment was over. I was like, okay, I’ve made it through, right. This is awesome. We’ve got this trip planned. I’m looking forward to it. Something to keep my mind occupied. Yeah. And then March, 2020 hit. And COVID shut everything out of like, you gotta be kidding now just to reference, remember, I’m still working at a funeral home. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. It was, it was, it was a real effort to get through a day to be processing my own situation and trying to help other people at the same time and the stress and the draw of emotion.

Lorie Tesny (14m 29s):
And it became just too too much. I had to really force myself to get through a day. I wasn’t happy, but I also knew I was stuck doing what I was doing. And I had to figure out a solution. And in that process of everything I had been through, I had really tried to my life what my purpose was. There’s obviously something genetic, my whole family’s in a helping industry, whether it be medical or support. And so we’re all geared that way. So I thought, what is it I could do to still help people, but not necessarily have it be so tragic.

Lorie Tesny (15m 10s):
Yes. And that is when the podcast started to be born. And so that summer, I really started to learn more about podcasting. I educated myself on all the fun stuff, and there’s still more stuff I have to learn. I’m glad I didn’t know all the stuff I know now, but that was, that was my, my transition into another helping type of position where I could still reach people, still guide them, still have some sort of input to help their lives be better and know that my story made a difference that I went through all this, not once but twice.

Lorie Tesny (15m 51s):
And, and it’s, you have to really understand what it is you want. You have to really understand where you’ve been from, where you came from and where you’re going. And so that journey really has pushed me through a lot of things.

Christine Okezie (16m 9s):
That’s amazing. Thank you. Yeah. Can you tell us maybe the moment that, you know, and I can’t even, I didn’t put two and two together as to the, the timing of the, when you were working in the funeral business with COVID having just come off your own healing, you know, and being surrounded by, I mean, death really and tragedy all around, you know, exponentially unprecedented levels. I can’t even imagine. So that’s swirling all around you and, and I can see, you know, the, the part that you play in that is, is, I guess I’m getting, it’s, it’s really about being able to have a helping hand or a compassionate heart for the families that are grieving.

Christine Okezie (16m 58s):
Right. I I’m getting that switch you, right?

Lorie Tesny (17m 0s):
Yeah. It was, it was administrative, but assisting families through a lot of that.

Christine Okezie (17m 6s):
Amazing. At what point did you know you had to shift gears though? Like, what was the light bulb moment or you,

Lorie Tesny (17m 14s):
I think when I started talking to more people about how they overcame their obstacles and what they did in their lives to shift gears and the mindset shift that happened with others, I realized I had that power in me, and that was a big step to process. That was a really monumental moment to, to make the decision that I can’t keep doing this. And a lot of things had to line this whole year and a half last year and a half has been a lot of things lining up beyond anything we could’ve ever forced to happen.

Lorie Tesny (17m 59s):
And so I know that somebody is watching over me. I know that what we’re doing is in alignment and it was a divine intervention. We like to say that that helped a lot of this along. So yes, dealing with a lot of different people from different aspects of whether they’re survivors or they’re helpers of different organizations, you know, assisting people to get through these challenges that was recharging my battery at the same time. And when we realized we could make the shift, but it would take some sacrifices. We started putting things down on paper and understanding better what it was that we needed to do to get to the life we wanted, because we had five-year plans.

Lorie Tesny (18m 45s):
We had 10 year plans, we had all these things we were going to do, and I watched all those things go away. Wow. And what do you do when you want to live a different life? And I don’t suggest everybody just quit their job and do something different, but you always have to, you know, you have to put some effort into understanding what your options are. A lot of it is more mindset than anything else, but yes, the opportunities came about that there was a job transfer. There was selling of property. There was going through everything we owned, knowing that we weren’t taking much with us if we be left.

Lorie Tesny (19m 27s):
And so I had, that was another purge. My life was going through everything you own and saying, how much do I really need this? And so there was another clarifying experience in just really going down to the core basics. What, what, what is important? You know, my husband’s important. My family’s important. My, my health is important. And do I need all the stuff that I have to make that happen? And it’s the answer’s no,

Christine Okezie (20m 4s):
Yes, yes. Wow. The mental clarity, you know, that, that came, you know, a gift really in, in, in the, in the, in the pain and then the, and in the hardship that you went through, what was, I’m just really curious because when you talk about things lining up for you and knowing that there was sort of an intelligence, you know, guiding all of that, right. Tell us more about that. Are you a spiritual person? Do you become more self-aware in that regard throughout, through, as a result of your charity?

Lorie Tesny (20m 37s):
Yeah. There’s been a lot of questions that have been asked to the powers that be, I think you go through the why-me’s when you, when you start this journey and try to understand, and then you go to, what did I do to deserve this? And you have to process that and you, your life flashes before you, when you get bad news, it’s amazing how many things come flashing forward of your past and the things that you had planned to do in the future that might not happen. And it puts you in a different thought of how fast can I get to do these things, because I want to make sure I take advantage of every moment, you know, do put this on, on the fast track of, you know, do we wait five years to do we want to do, or are we going to do it now?

Lorie Tesny (21m 28s):
Because I, you know, when you think about a statistic that I have a 66% chance of being here five years from now, those things really start making an impact and you don’t want to necessarily dwell on those facts, but it also gives you a hard stop to really stop and look at at what you’re doing in your life. And are you making the best of every day, or what are you doing? Are you on autopilot? Are you just going through your day, checking it off, going through the next thing, getting paycheck, and then starting all over, or is it something in your day that you’re stopping and actually observing? And the thing that you know, has evolved from that mindset and that shift is being in an environment where I can observe and appreciate little things that has been one of the biggest blessings I have found in this transition.

Lorie Tesny (22m 22s):
I I’ve learned to talk to animals. My husband says the birds or whatever it is just to appreciate those little things as they happen. So it’s been a slowing down process it’s been going inside and, and really processing a lot of what has happened to me in the past. Even before this cancer diagnosis, there have been other tragedies that have happened and, and it’s brought a lot of that backup. And so there’s a processing that happens there, but yes, I think reaching into the spirituality and an understanding what my purpose is above and beyond what I think it is and what I’m trying to do.

Lorie Tesny (23m 4s):
It’s, it’s, it’s definitely always a journey for me. There’s always a way of looking at things differently, and I’m always open to making that shift to keep on the right track, to make my life better. So thank

Christine Okezie (23m 21s):
You so much. That’s beautiful. How do you navigate

Lorie Tesny (23m 24s):
The fear though? Some days I don’t do a very good job. It’s amazing how it’s cyclical. I think it, it comes around more. So when you feel like you feel off, or you feel like physical sensations in the areas that you had cancer, and you get little twinges, prickles that are possibly scar tissue or something that’s due happening, but it brings it back to light. Or if you see a scar, you know, you, you right away, you go flashback. The, the biggest one, the biggest reminder of all of this is the fact that I lost about half my hair.

Lorie Tesny (24m 4s):
And when it grew back, it grew back white. And so, because melanoma is pigment based, medicine is going after anything that has pigment, because that’s where melanoma is. It’s in the line of sites, the pigment of your skin. So it’s taking away the pigment. So I’ve had like, almost like a side effect to the medication, but that’s, you know, you see that every single day, it reminds you every single day of what you’ve been through.

Christine Okezie (24m 34s):
Okay. So it keeps it present for you and you get to choose how you’re going to relate to it. It’s almost, you have to kind of evolve the relationship to what’s happened and what’s happening with regards to that.

Lorie Tesny (24m 46s):
Yeah. So yes. You know, so all these things that have led up to this and then having this, this major life event of, of going through cancer and trying to always be cognizant of where’s my mind at, and, and not getting into the fear. And then when you come up on scans, how are you feeling? Because that triggers a lot of stuff as you, you, you know, you’re getting the, I feel okay, but I’m getting a scan. Are they going to find something that I wasn’t feeling yet? And so it’s, it’s something that happens. And you know, now I’m in a phase where I’m, I was a year out from, for scans, dropped down to six months.

Lorie Tesny (25m 27s):
Now I’m back to four months. So they’re watching something, we’re just trying to keep tabs on it, but it’s, it’s trying to not get so consumed by it being aware of it. And then letting it go is that’s the part that I have to work through is, is not letting it consume me and, and, and letting it go. So I can actually enjoy the day instead of being so focused on what’s going to happen, or when am I going to get the phone call or, you know, or you start getting the Phantom things like, is that something, or is it not? So yeah, the fear is the fear is a hard one. That’s a hard one to process.

Lorie Tesny (26m 7s):
It’s a hard one to not have it affect you.

Christine Okezie (26m 12s):
Yeah. It takes, again, sort of that deeper presence, that deeper awareness to watch your mind. I like the way you say that is to say, okay, there’s fear here, but I’m going to choose not to, you know, have it be, you know, running all the time or, or, or be the modus operandi essentially for how I move through each moment to moment experience. Right? Yeah. That’s very, it’s intense. So tell us about sailing. You know, this is what really caught my eye as well. You know, as, as a lover of sailing myself, you know, this became a big aha for you as to what you wanted to do, what your, what changed your plans?

Christine Okezie (26m 54s):
Tell us like, you know, where this has taken you.

Lorie Tesny (26m 57s):
So after being diagnosed the second time we, we decided we were going on our honeymoon, which we had postponed because we had geriatric pets and they were, we, we waited for them to cross over the rainbow and we thought, we’re going to go on this, this trip. And so on this trip, we actually went on a catamaran and, and watch sunset. And my husband’s always been into boating as well, power boating, but my experience was sailing. And so we went on this, this catamaran, and he was just overwhelmed with how fast you were going and how quiet and power that the wind has.

Lorie Tesny (27m 38s):
So when we got back from that vacation, we bought a sailboat, a little sailboat and put it on our local lake. And we learned how to sail together on that little boat. And we decided we were going to update the, you know, our, our upgrade our lives and moved it to a bigger lake and learned how to do different type of sailing, where the wind and the waves can change pretty quick. And it can be somewhat intense. And you learned a little bit more, but we were definitely on the fast track with anybody. We knew that did boating. They’re like, you just go from boat to boat to place to place. And, and it was, it was definitely a, okay, we did this, we can do this, we can do this. And we kept checking things off.

Lorie Tesny (28m 20s):
And yeah, and then when it got to the point where we were going to make a big move in our lives, and, and we knew we had enough under our belt to keep us safe, we decided we were going to make the move and, and buy a big boat and actually make this, this whole lifestyle. And so sailing is a lot for me, sailing is a feeling it’s an energy, it’s a reminder of what you have control over and what you don’t. And I, I know for me in my heart that this is where I’m supposed to be.

Lorie Tesny (29m 1s):
When I went through treatment, the treatment center actually had ceiling tiles in the treatment room, and everybody gets to take a tile home and decorate it. And then the whole ceiling was original artworks of the patients. Wow. When you went in to have your treatment, and it was, it was so funny because the oncologist I had was into sailing as well. So there’s definitely a connection, but I ended up doing this tile with a dimensional sailboat and creating waves and making it so it stood out and it said, you can’t control your, the wind, but you can adjust your sails.

Lorie Tesny (29m 41s):
And that’s been a very good quote for me, is no matter what’s happening is how you address yourself or how you adjust yourself to that situation that gets you through it. And so when you’re out on the water and the wind and the waves are hitting you a certain way, you have the opportunity to direct your vessel and make it the best and the best sale, the most productive sale. And so that’s what this is. It’s out on the water. When you have the waves coming at you, and you hear him slapping on the whole and just the crashing of the water and just the silence that happens.

Lorie Tesny (30m 22s):
And you realize how powerful nature is because that wind is moving something that weighs tons, and it’s just pushing it around like nothing and makes you feel very small in a lot of ways, but you also know you’ve harnessed some of that, and you’re using that to power yourself through that situation. And it’s, so that’s the whole sailing through life thing is a lot of different things for me, it’s that connection to earth and nature and all the elements and the power that that has, and that core connection. And it also is, you know, just the actual sailing through life.

Lorie Tesny (31m 6s):
How are you doing it? What are you doing in your life to direct yourself? How are you getting there? Are you fighting against the weather or you letting things guide you and push you in a certain direction? And so you have that opportunity to always fine tune how you’re living your life.

Christine Okezie (31m 23s):
I love that. Yeah. I couldn’t have said it any better and I can completely appreciate all of how profound, you know, sailing has become a metaphor and a representation and actually a living vehicle for keeping you really present, you know, about how you want to move and navigate your life. Right? So much of having to let you know so much clarity around what you can control and what you can’t control. I mean, that, that really is, you know, because when we’re, when we’re pushing up against, when you’re trying to sail against, you know, and fighting nature, fighting greater forces, we know that we’re off track. We know that, you know, it doesn’t feel good.

Christine Okezie (32m 4s):
We know that we’re trying to make something happen, you know, instead of really trusting that there is something, a greater force that wants to come through. And as you’ve been a witness, create possibility where there was never a possibility before. Right. But it is it staying, it’s staying really, really aware, you know, and interesting. Another metaphor that’s coming up, as you talk about your journey, I think there’s another saying that calm seas never made a good sailor or something to that effect. Right. So all the storms in your life, all the, you know, unforeseen, you know, events have actually been a tremendous gift to make you stronger,

Lorie Tesny (32m 46s):
Right. Life skills, life

Christine Okezie (32m 48s):
Skills. Yeah. Yeah. So there’s a, there’s a beauty in being able to see all these lessons again. And I, I think it’s quite traumatic that you had to pivot from an area where there was so much heavy energy, you know, so much the end of the story. And you had to really pick it up and say, okay, but that’s not The only option. That’s not the only outcome that I want to keep in my psyche in, in my perspective. Right. That’s so powerful. You know, what are the sort of the non-negotiables in your self-care toolkit now? I think it’s actually quite fascinating that, you know, sailing is a lifestyle now for you, but the sun is something that you have to have a really interesting relationship with given your, your history.

Christine Okezie (33m 39s):
So, you know, how do you take care of yourself these days?

Lorie Tesny (33m 43s):
Yeah. Oh, believe me. You know, when I first got diagnosed, you, you want to actually hide under a rock all the time. You don’t want to go outside. You’re very fearful that you’re in a Northern climate that I’ve seen a lot more people that I know in Northern climates, dealing with melanoma than I have realized, you know, in a Southern climate. And, you know, you, you don’t factor in the sun or the snow in the winter months and how that reflects the UV. And so in the winter, when you would go out, you didn’t wear sunscreen. You didn’t protect yourself. You were bundled up because it was cold, but you weren’t necessarily thinking about, oh, the sun exposure and an Elvis.

Lorie Tesny (34m 28s):
So it’s been a definite shift in what I do, but I also have to live a life. And so I found the happy medium, and the psychology of going out in the sun can be a trigger for me because you start, as soon as you start feeling the heat, you start realizing the power that, that, that has. So I think the, you know, using the clothing and the hats and sunglasses and things that you use to protect yourself are, are big. So yes, long sleeves, long pants. And I know everybody looks at me when it’s 90 degrees out there in shorts and bathing suits, and I’m in long pants and long sleeves and I have a hat on, and I’m almost like the invisible man.

Lorie Tesny (35m 18s):

Christine Okezie (35m 18s):
Right, right, right. What’s going on. But

Lorie Tesny (35m 21s):
Yes, it’s, it is. As far as the physical aspects of what I do to take care of myself, there’s always protection from the moment I get up, even being in a boat where you’re, you’re somewhat protected, I have a little card, it’s the size of a credit card and it has a bar on it. And when it’s in the UV, it turns purple interests. And so whatever clothing I buy, I always check it with this card to see how much UV is actually coming through the fabrics. Or if I’m in a room, I can tell how much UV is coming into the room through the window. So I do have systems in place to keep myself protected from the sun, but this, like I said, the psychology of why you almost like take on a vampire kind of mentality.

Lorie Tesny (36m 7s):
Like I can only go out after dark. I, you know, everything has to be totally covered and protected. And even out on the water, you know, it’s not pretty, but I, you know, heavy zinc, sunscreen, and then protective clothing everywhere else. So I look like a mime, but it’s also good to enjoy the sailing and it keeps me protected. But yes, it it’s. It is a definite thing to be aware of, regardless of where you live, the sun is everywhere all the time. It has that strength to it. The UV is what, what causes skin cancer. And so, you know, that’s, that’s been a big investment in myself, is buying the tools to take care of myself, to protect myself from any further exposure.

Lorie Tesny (36m 57s):
And, but yeah, as far as any other tools that I have being focused on what it is that I need to be dealing with in, in the next day, in the next week and the next month, breaking things down into littler steps. Yeah. Being mindful of how I’m feeling and not letting things take over, being in control of the mental part of it. And I go, like I said, I go through waves of, of things that happen. I go through when the scans coming up, the anxiety that kicks in the fear that kicks in, because you don’t know. And I had, I had met a good, good person when it comes to things.

Lorie Tesny (37m 37s):
I don’t know. I’d like to have information. And so, you know, maybe it’s a control thing. And because I’ve had so many things go out of control in my life, I try to always hang on to the things I know I can control. So that has been mindset has been a very important aspect and in what I do to take care of myself. So between the physical side of staying, you know, protecting myself and staying out of harm’s way and being aware of my surroundings and what I’m doing. And then the, the mental side of it is protecting myself from the, the negative thought. Hmm.

Christine Okezie (38m 16s):
Yeah. And the negative thought and the fear once again, in a sort of ruling the show. Oh my gosh. Thank you. Yeah. And it’s interesting, right? Because if fear did take over, if you allowed it to take over and you wouldn’t have the ability to navigate as skillfully as you do with regards to all the other aspects of how you take care of, right,

Lorie Tesny (38m 36s):
Right. You’re doing a knee jerk reaction instead of having clarity on, on what your next step is. And, you know, I think I have, my superpower is feeling and sensing things just before they happen. I can almost sense as things are happening, what I need to do next. So that has been a safe lifesaver for me, as far as even being out on the boat. If, if you sense the wind is changing. I mean, and it’s, it’s very subtle, but if you’re in tune, you can pick up on these things in just the smallest amount of change. You can sense it and, and be aware of it and understand what you need to do next to take care of yourself.

Lorie Tesny (39m 19s):
Same with life. I can feel when I’m getting off course and I have to stop and really reevaluate, what am I doing right now? What is it that I’m slacking on? And how do I make things better right now? And then from that, I know I can perpetuate more of that same action once I get back on course. So thank you.

Christine Okezie (39m 39s):
Yeah. The intuitive wisdom, you know, sort of, you know, being able to tune into, you know, an internal GPS, if you will. Right. It sounds like it’s been just absolutely heightened and cultivated as a result.

Lorie Tesny (39m 53s):
And I think that’s part of, of somewhat of a survival mode that, you know, when you’ve come through a lot of, of different things, your brain is trying to be ahead of it and have problem solving skills, ready to go in case you need to do something. And so it’s not necessarily a great thing all the time, but it’s something that has been generated out of coming through this adversity. And, and I use it as a, as something to help me get through my days.

Christine Okezie (40m 23s):
Yes. You make it work for you. Exactly. Exactly. So Lorie, I’m so excited to hear, you know, what’s next for you?

Lorie Tesny (40m 32s):
Well, I am staying on course with what I’m doing. I am staying in the moment that I’m in right now. I am letting what has happened, settle out. And the, the adventures that we have in the future with sailing and continuing to do the podcast. I, I just, I almost want something to not happen for a while. I think the there’s been so much adventure in the last four years. I’m good with no adventure for a little bit, but to grow my, you know, with the podcast to grow the outreach, that I have to continue to work on myself and be an example of what it means to go through these challenges in life and what it is that you make out of them.

Lorie Tesny (41m 23s):
I have probably a lot that I can use a lot of build up a lot of information over the last four years to use, to get me into other conversations with other guests. Just when you think you haven’t figured out, sometimes you have to figure it out again. So that that’s, that’s where, you know, I am, I’m just kind of in that settling mode of just being okay, and just being now, instead of always perpetuating something there’s so much that happened last year between the move and everything we had to do from a distance. And it was just, it was a very productive year, but this year is a good year for creating a good foundation and, and building on that and in creating a strength inside of me, that that creates a confidence that I can, I can really do what I have my mindset on.

Lorie Tesny (42m 16s):
I’m open to whatever it is and when it feels right, you know, it enjoying every day is probably the biggest adventure that I set out on every day is find out what it is I need to do, and then find the adventure in that, that event, or, you know, take the time, get outside and enjoy outside and, and not be too fearful of anything. But yes, it is. It’s a weird place to be right now because it’s between such an emotional rollercoaster and, and just so much change.

Christine Okezie (42m 54s):
It’s, that’s, that’s really it, right? I mean, not withstanding all the changes happening around us, you know, in the times we’re living in where living with uncertainty, living with, you know, unpredictable, you know, circumstances has become, you know, kind of the norm. It’s kind of what we’ve been asked to learn, you know, in our own way. And you have really taken that to heart, to your own personal experience. And I want to thank you for your story, your vulnerability and I, you are such a great resource, you know, but for people who are actually going through exactly what you’re going through or, or any really any model of adversity, you know, is, you know, we’re learning and we’re growing, we’re all, we’re all in the same boat, you know, to say that, right.

Christine Okezie (43m 42s):
And in that regard, we have a lot, we’re always learning, you know, from our journey. So I appreciate that. Is there anything maybe that, you know, I didn’t know enough to ask that you’d like to share.

Lorie Tesny (43m 54s):
I would, you know, my general overall message to, to any audience is regardless of where you’ve come from, where you live, always be aware of your environment and protecting yourself against the sun. That’s going to be my mission. You know, that’s the undercurrent of everything that I deal with and, you know, don’t take it for granted and especially younger generations who I know growing up, I wanted to be at the pool and hanging out and doing all that power there. There’s definitely knowledge now that wasn’t there back in the day. And that, that, that would be my biggest message is to be, to be wise with sun protection and, and take care of yourself.

Christine Okezie (44m 40s):
That’s right. That’s right. Very good. Well, thank you so much, Lorie, and I’ll be sure to include the links to your podcast, Sailing Through Life. It’s absolutely a beautiful community of really warriors out there, really doing good work. So thank you for, you know, being the light in the world that you are.

Lorie Tesny (44m 59s):
Well, thank you, Christine, for having me. This is, this is truly an honor, and I really appreciate your time. Thanks.

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