EPISODE 55: Unstoppable Together w/ Lauren Ruotolo

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Show Notes

This week, Anne and Heather are joined by Lauren Ruotolo. Lauren has 16 years of experience in marketing and promotions spanning multiple industries, she’s the owner and designer of Unstoppable Shoes, and she’s the winner of multiple achievement awards in marketing and female empowerment. Lauren is a huge advocate for women and the disabled, and regularly supports charities benefiting those living with rare diseases or disabilities. After her many achievements, she now seeks to inspire others to overcome any obstacles that they may face, so they can become their best selves.

Standing 4 feet 2 inches tall, Lauren Ruotolo was told at a young age that she was destined for life in a wheelchair because of a rare genetic disorder called McCune-Albright syndrome. Lauren didn’t accept this news, and decided to flip the script. She ditches the wheelchair for her preferred method of transportation: stilettos. She threw out the “disabled” label in favor of authentic self-discovery. And she turned her small stature into a big, beautiful life full of love, joy and success.

Along the way, Lauren learned a lot about living large despite life’s obstacles. From her unique, upward-facing vantage point, she shares tips, secrets and hard-earned wisdom. If you’re a woman who wants to conquer today’s hectic world, Lauren’s fun, offbeat life philosophies will give you the tools you need to carve your own unique path to self-confidence, happiness, and success—no matter what obstacles you face—and you’ll have a blast along the way!

Be sure to follow the pod on IG!

From Straw Hut Media


Straw Media Guy. Very luck leg
the better. Together with they had another

and Ryan. We had such a
terrific show last week. We hope everybody

enjoyed it and we are so happy
to have a guest here, the inspirational

of female warrior of many things that
they had their blast. You do incredible

that we have. We have Lauren
Rutolo here today. She's an author and

inspirational speaker, a disability advocate.
She speaks to corporations on the need and

value behind hiring the disabled community,
and if you met her you would understand

why. She also has her own
shoeline. Lauren has held high level positions

as a content marketing leader for many
global brands. She's a Bawler, I

mean she's worked for Marie Claire,
Seventeen magazine, Cosmopolitan, l Johnson and

Johnson. She's I had this reserv
right. She's one countless achievement wards and

marketing and female empowerment. She published
a book unstoppable, in still lettos.

All her accomplishments are really remarkable for
anyone, but even more remarkable for her

because she was born with something called
mccune Albright Syndrome, and it's a rare

genetic condition that affects the bones and
the enderkin system. So she's only four

feet two inches tall and she walks
on crutches but is always wearing still lettos

and she is a durable and she's
here today to help us understand how we

can come overcome circumstances and, you
know, feel empowered and live our best

life. I mean it's she's just
an inspiration and and such a cool chick.

I'm so excited to meet her.
Hather it's talked about her and read

a book. I haven't had the
opportunity yet, but I can't wait.

I'm getting ready to get on an
airplane and goes through to my next movie

and it's going to give me a
chance to really dig in. But I

think when we talk about making people
better, what we're talking about, what

we're talking about learning here is really
breaking down for people. Listen, you

can get up against a lot of
confrontation in your life. You can look

at things and you can go all
I can't do it today. I can't

do it when we talk to women
like this went moment. Women, men,

we are learning that we can overcome
anything. And didn't we take our

inspiration and our strength from them so
that when we feel like, oh shoot,

I can't get up today, I
don't want to do you had mentioned

something about a job interview and I
know we're going to talk to her about

that, but what she kind of
recommends, he said, would be so

wonderful for our years. Oh,
I mean one of the things that my

biggest takeaway from her book, and
we can talk to her about it,

was she said take that job that
you feel you might be too good for,

her beneath you, or whatever opportunity
it is, and make it what

you wantestly I might was like wow, that is such compelling, important advice,

because we live in such a competitive
world and sometimes we'll get you get

to a certain point in your career
where you get too big for your bridges,

Yep, or you you know or
you're not even you're in a very

early point in your career and you
think that if you take that job that

you think is beneath you, it's
it's a bad way to go. But

if you think about it differently and
if you just say yes to opportunities and

make those opportunities what you want them
to be, it's I mean, I

have a you know, I went
through different but everybody, but who's an

actor, goes through different levels of
things. But you know people who used

to have said to me something like, Oh, doing a TV movie,

Oh, that's when needs you can't
do it. Hey, screw you,

I want to go do that movie
next thing I know, I was a

nominated for any it's like those kind
of things, and people do not understand

perspective. You embrace the opportunity.
What a wonderful way to bring aroun let's

say, hell out. Okay,
we better and well, Lauren, we're

so excited day that to have you
here, and I mean I feel,

I feel badly that I haven't been
able to read your book yet, because

that's my that is my that's my
fun on an airplane of you to leave

for Vancouver to day. But give
it to her. She's the copy of

your book, unstoppable as Stilettos,
and heather is is really such a champion

of yours, and you seem to
be a champion for everyone, and we

just have, we just are delighted
to have you here today and listen to

you, yea, to what it
is and what your story is. Heather,

I you jumped in with the first
question. I'm just take. Well,

yeah, let's let's talk about and
and you know, as we've talked

about on our show, we want
to have people on that inspire our listeners

and and make them live their their
best life. I mean the name of

the show is better together and really
genuinely meet it, and we think that

you are someone that can really give
advice through your story to our listeners.

So why don't you just start by
telling us a little bit about your story?

Terrific. Sure. So, hi, everyboddy. So I am Lauren.

We're to low. I am a
for to. I mean meant when

I say that. People like really, but how tall are you in the

stilettos? That's the best. Well
then, I'm you know my license as

I'm at least for six. Yeah, you got the good ones, and

that's just because I'm always wearing some
kind of stiletto. That's why I have

to have this like fabulous boot behind
me. I love this. One day

I'll find that boot and or I'll
just make it. But I am for

to. I walk with crutches.
I live in Manhattan. I'm the author,

as you guys said, up unstoppable
and stilettos. I'm an inspirational speaker

for corporations around the world and I
am content marketer and Creator. I mean

a bravo. Now I'm exhausted.
One of the things that I found remarkable

in your book and also a lesson
for people, was just how indefatigable you

really were when you were getting your
first job. Now, when you were

in college, you had fantastic internship. You were you went, you were

at Vhone, which anybody in our
sort of demographic knows. At the time

vhone was like in if things.
So that is a hard gig to get.

So you just had all the credentials
on paper and then got all these

job interviews out of college and I
think you said you went on what thirty

and it was the thirty one,
one, thirty one interviews I went on.

Yes, I interrupt with a hey, wait a minute, I missed

part you'd say. You say that
you walk on crushes. Your for two

and you were stilettos. Can you
tell our audience please why you walk on

crutches, what those are? Four
when you were diagnosed and and what it

is that that has has put you
in that position and also in the position

of being a speaker like you are
sure, absolutely so. The reason why

I am short, I'll just say
short, and stature, yes, right,

and large in life and a very
large voice. Why I'm shortened statue

and why I walk with clutches is
I have a very rare disease that's called

a macune of Allbright Syndrome that affects
my skeletal system and my endocrine system.

And at nine months old, my
parents discovered that I got my period.

And so, when I mean the
both of you are parents, imagine you

looking in your daughter's diaper or your
so whatever maybe, and all of a

sudden you just see a in there. So immediately my parents took me to

the pediatrician and he was like,
I don't know, is there like a

pin and her diaper, like what? Like I my mother was like,

she wears pampas. It's like,
I mean, yes, I am older,

was one thousand nine hundred and seventy
six, but like there was no

like she wasn't like hands stitching my
diapers together, and so and it came

again after another month, and so
she brought me back and she was like

she's a hundred percent having a period. Like I know I am a woman.

I know that my daughter has her
period and it came literally the same

time, the month before, and
so they automatically diagnosed me with precocious puberty.

And then, at the age of
eighteen months, I was with my

father in a pet store and I
slipped on some water and I broke my

feme of bone. Now, if
anybody knows anything about the femeable, you

know what's attached to your hip and
it's the hardest bone in your body to

break. Well, eighteen months old
I broke that and, coupled with the

precocious puberty, they saw that my
bones were they they look like they have

tumors in them, and so the
two diagnosis says came together and they diagnosed

me with mcuna, Aubright Syndrome,
which is a rare disease in the United

States. They estimate that maybe less
than five thousand people have of it,

and so when we say where we're
a Oh girl, count me in,

which is why there's no cure for
it, as we talked about now,

there's no there's not even a treatment
at this point because there's so few people

that have it that it doesn't make
sense for the pharmaceutical companies to make it,

because they won't make any money because
it's just such a that's so a

disappointing in our in our structure of
a surprising them, but not surprising.

Are The two? Are The do
the to go? Do the to go

hand in hand? Is this well
along the why? Why is? Does

your period come early or what is
the explanation of all that? Is it

in week? This doesn't really matters. Just like so, my pituitary glands

and my ovaries worked independently of each
other. So basically it's like to hamster

wheels going at the same time.
And so, like when you're when you

get to a certain age, your
protuitary gland, so your ovaries to drop

an egg, but mine just started
on that cycle immediately. Wow, because

it didn't know when to stop,
so it just dropped an egg. And

then how old were you when you
went through menopaths? At Eight. Yeah,

you went through Menopausity. So beyond
just having a little girl at their

period, imagine now a little girl, an eight year old girl. I

was the same height, so I
stopped growing at that point. So that's

why I am advertite of an eight
year old. And I went into menopause,

because what they said was, okay, let's take lauren off of all

of her medicine and see if she
gets her period. Well, what happened

was I had the opposite reaction and
I went directly into menopause with one of

the medicines that they put me on, and so then they took me off

of all of that. Now,
at eight years old, you don't really

know what's happening to you, just
know that your back is sweading, you

feel like you have a fever.
and Are you describing me today? Wait,

excuse me. Yeah, you're just
crying. And so, while I

didn't know what was happening to me, I was always got it over with.

Yeah, exactly. At least I
got it over with. But then

I needed you know, it was
like, because there's not enough science and

there's not enough research into what is
happening, a lot of it is like

a wait and see or a guess
and see, or you know. However,

they want to figure that out,
as they don't really know, so

they just try and try and try
and try different things, and that just

must be a roller coaster of emotion
and and money. I mean, if

there's no cure, than the bow. I mean that must have been aging

a tremendous burden on all of you
emotionally as well. Yeah, I think

never, you never at that burden
never ends, right, so until the

day, and I will always have
that burden because I have to be the

expert in my disease, right and
the best that I could do is try

to find doctors or nurses or physical
therapist or whoever it may be, that

maybe have somebody else. So therefore
they've seen it before, but otherwise it's

just me. Have you ever had
anybody else? Yes, yes, and

they've been destroyed by it. I
you, you are such a superhero.

I'm and be able to overcome that
and speak about it. I could imagine

people don't have that strength. Now, I think a lot of people don't

have that strength. And Yeah,
you know, I think that it.

I didn't also have that strength.
You know, you don't know that you

have it until it one day just
like comes to you and you're like,

Oh wow, you know, like
I think that what and I am,

you know, like people tell me, Oh, you're so inspirational to us.

How how have you overcome things?
How did you become so strong?

Because if you just look at my
disease and the state of my disease.

One would tell me, a doctor
would say, there's no reason why you

should walk like you should not be
able to walk, you should not be

able to do nine out of ten
of the things that you do every day.

It's just my insides are completely different
than my outsides and my brain and

my heart are completely different than the
rest of my body. And so like

to me, and I think that
I adopted my parents voice because my parents

were strong and they never allowed me
to be scared enough to like crawl into

that hole. Think that. I
think so many distab people or people that

struggle with mental health, no matter
what it is, you crawl into that

hole at it's so hard to get
out of that. Yes, yes,

and because I was never afraid of
myself. Of course I have bad days.

I mean you wouldn't be human if
you didn't have bad days and you

wouldn't be human if you weren't scared. But because I felt like I had

control over my own body. The
only thing I didn't have control over was

what people would tell me, but
I had control over what I felt I

could. So when they told me
at five years old that I should never

walk again and that I would be
safe to sit in a wheelchair. I

didn't even understand what they meant.
I just knew that I was going to

walk. Like your five years old, you want to play, want to

be on a boar, you know, like my niece was turned five and

like what did she wants. She
wants to ride on her bike and she

wants to go in the playground.
And she was like, I have that

same thought pattern. So when you
got to when everybody was telling me know,

you're going to sit in a wheelchair, I was like what? No,

it just shows the power of positive
thinking and you positive thing in perseverance

and I couldn't. But you can
say give a computer parents for that too.

I think for the parents who are
listening, when we're looking at children,

we really want to talk about the
things that we know of. Were

listening and learning from our from our
guests here, but you could get through

anything. Don't be the champion for
your children. I think that's sometimes we

don't know. We're so afraid of
what we don't know when we see her

children going through something that we just
kind of, you know, kind of

hope that it goes away or kind
of they'll get through it. Just you

talking about the strength that they had
to not. Let's not let each other

sink into holes. Let's let's recognize
what we see in others and want to

help that, because nobody wants to
go into a hole way. They feel

alone and they can't do it.
What did you start when they said that

you couldn't walk? It's that.
Would you start at five, walking on

crutches? And is the bone?
Is this really the the are your bones

that fragile? Is That is how
many times to strike at us a little

bit. Yeah, so before I
was around like eleven or twelve. I've

brought my female bone ten times.
Oh my God. So, like I

have like a shit, it's called
a shepherd's Hook on each side. So

basically they're like I like, you
know, like a pirate's hand that you

see like in the movies. Like
I have one like a shepherd's Hook,

because that's how, like, you
know, pirates arm was back then.

I've I am going to show this
because now people she she likes to show

things on a podcast where people listen
to back when I said, if you

guys the Morn, is this what
your you can sear it. She you

could hear this. Is this now, this is our men used to put

repeatless they is here. It's a
metal hand and I'll hate brought out.

And this is what they used to
put on soldiers. It really is what

they used to put on soldiers when
they would lose an arm. They used

to do it with metal. Is
that is that? Is this what you

have in your body? Yeah,
so, basically, like both of my

hips look like that, like if
you were gonna like fold your hands and

make sea's right. Yes, like
you've been your fingers and you make a

say. That's what both of my
hips are shaped like. Plus, because

they they became so deformed. My
Pelvis is actually on a ninety degree angle,

and so all of my organs decided, I mean sided. They didn't

have a choice. Yeah, but
they were pushed so like I have one

ovary that's by my spleen and another
one that's by my kidney. I have

to say this too, for because
people listening that while all this is going

on inside your body and that your
aging quickly inside your body, Lauren actually

looks, it sends absolutely beautiful,
younger than her age. It's so if

you're picturing her you know, because
there is a disease where people age quickly

on the outside. Right. Yeah, that was the what is that movie

was? That's why I'm saying it, because I Benjamin by Benjamin, Benjamin

muons. Yes, there is.
That's like. That was right. So

this is not what we're speaking of. And, in case you're listening and

picturing that, Lauren looks fantastically.
Absolutely so. Anyways, I just wanted

to say that for people listening,
is it a is it an aging process?

What is what can you describe for
us what's going to happen with your

body? And I'm curious. Does
it affects how you eat? You talking

about your organs being all the different
places are as that it does. That

affects how you eat, how you
drink? Now I can drink with the

best of I didn't know. I've
heard of how many different that our next

reach coming to La oh down.
Okay, let's move on from it.

Let's move on from yes, yes, yeah, to to just talking about

now that we've established that, let's
talk about how you achieved such success despite

having extra obstacles that many people do
not have. So we were talking about

graduating from college and building up this
fantastic resume and then going out into the

world and ready to take it on
and being kind of slapped in the face

by the fact that people weren't hiring
you and you couldn't figure out why until

somebody asked you a question. Do
you want to talk about that story a

little bit? You know, like
we spoke about before, I had multiple

internships in college. I went to
Hofster University and then I worked at MTV

and vhone and see one hundred,
which was a radio station in New York

Metropolitan area, and had this amazing, amazing experience. And then when I

graduated in the late S, sent
out my resume, just like every other

college gradwood got all of these interviews
pretty quickly, I have to say,

went on them and nobody would hire
me, not one person. Nobody believed

it. All my friends were getting
jobs left and right and they didn't even

do that much in college. I
like, I just thought to be honest,

like they didn't have the kind of
experience that I had and I was

just very, very driven to want
to work. It's just like always wanted.

I wanted to do. I mean
I had my first internship in high

school at a radio station because I
was so determined to want to work there

that I got like papers so I
could like drive myself to this. Like

I was so determined to me in
the entertainment business in any which way that

I could, that I use any
kind of entertainment or is. It sounds

like music is one of your passions. So it started in music and then

I went into magazine publishing, but
on the entertainment side, so like helping

book cover covers, do television shows
based on magazines, things like that.

But every time I went on an
interview I would never get a second interview

and I would never understand that until
people just started asking me random questions.

So, if we were going to
hire you, would you need special kind

of assurance? You know, your
death need to be different. If they

if you needed to, if we
have a hallway that has a few steps,

could you walk up those stairs?
And those were the questions that I

would constantly get. You know,
in the beginning I didn't really understand,

but you know, once you keep
on getting the same questions, you then

understand. Well, they're looking at
Lauren physically has nothing to do with Lauren

on paper. Lauren with all his
experience. It was and, as Lauren,

going to cost US money. Yeah, so that was the number one

thing that people were looking at.
They didn't even respond to anything else.

I mean it's like they were blinded
to anything else. How did you conquer

it? Finally, I got an
interview at the Jim Henson Company, and

this there are sad publicists. All
he wanted and writing and he liked my

resume and they called me and they
say so he wanted to analyze your handwriting.

That was his thing, and he
wanted to analyze my handwriting and it

was based on my handwriting that I
got the job. Ultimately, did he

tell you what the secret was that
he found in your handwriting that gave you

the thumbs up? Now, we
never let you know. No, he

never let me know that. It
was probably because I was a little bitchy,

because he would always tell me that. I mean, isn't that extraordinary

to to just pause for a moment
and say, I mean, can we

learn from that? Stop looking at
the we get so shut down when we

see something that we don't understand.
And this is the distance. I say

it's called crazy. When it's mental, we call it crazy and then we

don't want to ask any questions.
I oh, that person's crazy. So

we dismiss them. And with you
and with so many vulnerabilities, physical vulnerablies.

have any any of US have them? We have to be, we're

really mindful of making sure that we
don't do and fall into the trap that

we're the Lauren experience, and that's
so many people experience, and looking at

the outside and paying no attention to
the inside of what it is. In

the extraordinaryness that's going on, people
find it to be scary and they don't

want it to happen to themselves.
Yes, and so they're calling a shut

down. And you know what,
and they create so like and like,

they become the produce. They become
an actual producer of my life. That's

right. Where is this entire vision
in their heads of who I am,

how I got around, what I
do, the challenges that I have,

without even saying hello, without I
mean, I always say that people don't

even be bothered with the questions.
Are One of our biggest superpowers. Curiosity.

Instead, our fear overtakes this a
part of us because we're so afraid.

And also, and we've talked about
this with gender identity and everything else.

We're afraid to ask questions about what
we don't understand, and I think

it you can tell us more.
And I feel like if a book with

somebody, sat down with anybody and
said, can you please you tell me

about yourself and how you ended up
here. But they don't. They don't

even ask about the crutches because they're
already nineteen steps down the road. They

don't care. They've already dismissed you
and their curiosity just so they don't have

to deal with something that they don't
that they're uncomfortable with. And how much

would that change? So obviously that
led you into advocacy, because I I

can imagine you, you and your
spirit just became a force of nature and

said I need to switch this around
forever for anybody's feeling this way. Yeah,

and so I think that, you
know, after I wrote my book

and after I started doing more and
more talks, I just was you just

see what's happening there in the world
and you don't see yourself everywhere right,

and you don't see you so especially
in corporate like I just left corporate because

I wanted to live my dream and
I knew that I was in a toxic

world and they were. I was
never going to reach reach the kind of

people that I wanted to speak to
or help the kinds of people that I

wanted to help. And I just
said to myself, like, if I

don't live into my dream and have
enough integrity to do it now, I'm

never going to do it. And
so all you have to do is,

like, I remember when my book
came out and I was at a club

in Manhattan and I was in the
bathroom like and somebody came up to like,

Oh my God, it's you,
I just read your book, and

she actually had an excerpt from her
but from my book in her back I'm

really know those moments in life that
truly change your entire thought pattern, everything

you thought that you could do and
you wanted to be. For me,

it changed in that instance where your
words can impact somebody's life. Yes,

yes, well, do you ever
come across any of those other employers,

of the people who didn't hire you
and like see me now, bitch,

you know, like that scene in
pretty woman? Big Mistake, huge mistake.

Yeah, no, I think that
you know, they're never going to

admit that they are like that right
now. I mean, of course I'm

fortunately I've had to work with them
because I decided to be in, you

know, that one entertainment field,
especially in promotions and marketing things like right,

and so you did work with them
and they will be like, Lauren,

is always terrifying. Yeah, yeah, always news. Wanted to do

like that's how they kind of like
get out of it. Yeah, but

they don't. They don't think about
what their words are, how they write.

Did me, and I think that
that's so important. It's like,

everybody, take a step, you
know, take a breath, think about

what you're going to say. Yes, because just like you all are asking

me. So, tell me about
your story. Tell me why do you

walk on crutches. I helped by
your curiosity. I'm answering your questions and

therefore now you're becoming educated. So
then the next time you see somebody like

me, you are not scared.
And you know what? Nick for example,

this woman, this was last year. I wrote, I wrote about

this on instagram. I was in
a workout outfit coming home from a pilates

class and this woman stopped me.
She's like, Oh my God, I

love your outfit. Where did you
get it? And I was like,

Oh, it's fabulottics. I'm,
you know, part of their like subscription.

I absolutely love it, and she
just said, wow, it looks

so good on you. You actually
work out too, and I said Yeah,

she's like you can work out,
like sometimes I call them like a

special kind of stupid. Yeah.
Yeah, and it's like did you just

ask me that? Did you just
ask me if I could really work out?

Well, can so IM media work
out? And she was like,

yeah, I work out all the
time, and I was like so you

think that I can? Is What
you're saying to me, and she was

like no, no, no,
I didn't say that I work. Just

got mixed up and I was like, well, I actually just came from

plates class and I you know,
and I gave her an explanation of why

pilates was good for me into and
then she thanked me. But initially it

was this cry and like vomit of
the mouth right where it's like I don't

know what to say, but I'm
just going to say it, and you

don't even like apologize for what you're
saying. But you again, people don't

understand that their words matter, right. Can I ask you this, though,

we don't you prefer the mouth diarrhea, I but you know, I

some kind of times call it fan
diarrhea. We're just well, sudden ever,

everything shoots out and you can't even
imagine. I mean I will come

like and I even hated your last
performance, like it doesn't matter. They're

just like Goula. But wouldn't would
you prefer, and we've already said that

we have both lack of education,
which is why we do this on better

together, and you're helping us so
much. Without the language and the understanding

of how to confront someone with a
disability. Wouldn't you prefer somebody to just

going? Because I think we do. When we look at someone with a

disability, we imagine that they are
incapable. We put something together without,

without knowledge. That says you're on
crustious, I mean your arms don't work

either, or whatever. Our system
is that dismisses and we want to be

aware of that when we're looking at
looking at someone, and yes, take

a pause before we speak, the
pause before we know what to say,

but but also that helped her.
At least she had at least that wippression,

and asshole now thinks differently every time. She would see somebody you know,

but why are you excuse Um,
sure what she intending to be an

asshole, or was the assumption that
we make about a disability guiding something that

she didn't even know would be an
insult? I so because I think that

I think that that's what this world
does. I don't think, yeah,

that's just like you look at me
and you assume. Like I like we

said before, people become the producers
of your life, because it's what's seen

on television, it's what's in the
ads, it's what people are talking about.

So it doesn't matter. Like,
and I always say like disability doesn't

seek color, it doesn't see as, it doesn't see anything, because anybody

can be disabled at any time.
You know, like I'm never going to

be a black woman, I'm never
going to know what that feels like,

but a black woman could be disabled
at any point in her life or have

a child that will be disabled,
or, you know, whatever it may

be. And I don't mind when
people ask me questions because I think that

that is a way that people become
educated. Yes, but I do have

a problem when you don't know how
to potentially say something or you don't apologize,

then yeah, we're your words and
say, you know what, I

didn't really have an understanding, and
I was wrong, by the way,

that I literally had diary of the
mouth. I was a little bit nervous.

I you know, like you're also
an adult and you should know how

to talk to somebody that in enough
itself manners. Can we just say running

out of time and I'm okay,
more things too. Can I ask her?

One thing is this is can we, but just for our audience,

when we don't know something, would
this be helpful in the arena, wo

we're looking at, but it disc
did a person that we don't understand.

Would just saying forgive my ignorance.
Can I ask you a question? Absolutely,

it was that a so there's an
entrance for us when we're looking at

there's a lot, there's a lot
in tone to well, there's no for

sure, but it's okay. We
want to encourage curiosity and we want to

encourage questions. We want to encourage
conversation, conversation. So let yourself be

ignorant about something we said that about. Just let your split allow the other

person to know that you're coming in
vulnerability, not knowing. So see what

you did see it and then seek
it with vulnerability and compassion. So,

yeah, go on. Yeah,
I just wanted to talk a little bit

about I have read, you know, I know that you do. You

do public speaking, and one of
the things that you talk about is that

people with disabilities are naturally innovative,
and I think that's really, really interesting.

Can you talk a little bit about
that? I believe that innovation is

part of ultimately our D or DNA, because we have to be innovative because

we're constantly challenging the status quo every
single day, with every breath that we

take. So even, for example, I walk with crutches, how am

I going to open up the door
right? Yeah, I have to think.

Okay, I have a bag in
my hand, I have to put

the bag in the right hand,
I'm going to open the or with the

left and then I'm going to push
my body up and I'm going to walk

through. Like God, every single
thing that we do we have to think

about how are we going to navigate
that path? That makes it easier for

it makes you a natural problem solved. Yes, make you a natural innovator.

And I do a talk on innovation
as selfdesign. Wow, because you

know, like when people think about
innovation, they think that you have to

be a scientist, you have to
be intact, you have to be,

you know, create the next Tesler
of the world. But what about navigating

your own path to a better world? Because innovation is all innovation is,

is something that you want to change
in your life, right. So,

therefore, we constantly have to change
every single step of the wet you know,

how am I going to get out
of the bed if the bed is

high and I'm sure, what am
I going to do? I'm I going

to turn to the left. Am
I going to put a foot down first?

How am I going to get in
the bathtub, you know, on

for foot two. How am I
going to raise you know, to get

something out of the refrigerator? Like
it's it's in our actions, it's in

every single thing that we do,
and I think that, you know,

if we give this community a chance, and we're talking about one point three

billion people in the world, fifteen
percent of the world's population is disabled.

I mean, maybe cannot say that
about another diverse community, unfortunately, and

we are natural innoverters. And the
problem is is that corporations don't seek it

out. Yes, and because they
don't seek it out, we don't feel

that we can be it's so if
you give us a chance, we're going

to show you how innovative we actually
are because we're constantly challenged. Right.

So you can look at a bit
small picture where you get to look at

the big picture of going like wow, I understand how this could just serve

my life, but then you can
see things differently. You see a bigger

puzzle, you see a bigger way
to fit in unity's via different way to

fit in timing things. I mean, I'm I haven't a hard time going

where are my keys and how do
I put that and open I'm it just

it's a phenomenal thing that you're sharing
with us. I think there's a lesson.

There's a lesson here that can be
extrapolated even to raising children, because

I think in our day and age
now, everything with tech has made everything

just so simple for kids as they
grow and parents need to listen to this

lesson, yes, of innovation and
and and not do everything for their kids.

Let their kids figure things out a
little bit like yeah, so I

think that that's an important thing for
parents to listen to as they're raising kids,

to the benefit of of you know, really forcing kids to be innovative

in finding ways for them to do
that. Also couch potatoes to sit around

and go hey, I'm bored.
You know what, look around you and

think what you could do better for
yourself or others, and make functionality and

art form, which is what it
sounds like you're doing, because it really

is a creative form of doing more
in the world and doing a faster pace

than easier. I absolutely and you
know, like back to like one of

your lessons for parents. If you're
a parent and you see somebody like me

walking in the street, wherever it
may be, your kid is naturally curious.

That's right, right, it is
naturally going to ask questions. Don't

pull your kid and say well,
that's rude, because what happens then?

Your kid believes that their action is
wrong and they become naturally afraid. Yes,

one hundred percent of the way that
people like me look yes, and

it's really it's the parents actions.
I love it when a parent will say,

you know, my daughter and my
son just asked why you walk on

crutches or why you're short. That
would you mind if they asked you?

Yes, I will bow down to
you. I will say yes, yes,

let's ask questions that. I love
hearing that. That is what you

want. You want and opportunity to
explain and give children the truth about what

it is and your extraordinary self and
allow them to see the world different anyway,

and this is how you're different and
they can learn from that. I

love that. All right, we're
running out of time and I Lauren,

I'm just we're not dine. Okay, she cannot leave without first. First

I want, I want to r
to tell us you know where we can

find more of her. Before you
go, I want you to tell us

your lll Fool Jay Story. I
don't know and I don't know what folks,

but I can see a twiggle and
heather's eye. And if you,

did you ever meet him after that? Oh yes, oh my God,

absolutely. Well the story. But
for those of you that don't know the

LL clu juice, hello poll Jay
Story, which is in my book.

He moved to my neighborhood, which
was in Long Island and Dix Hills,

New York. I was thirteen years
old and I again was always going to

be an entertainment. I was a
singer, I was a dancer, I

was everything. And you know,
you're a thirteen year old kid, you

think that you are the best of
the best. Well, I grabbed my

best friend, Samantha, and we
were going to welcome him to the neighborhood,

and so I made my mother go
by like an Entoman's cake, like

remember, like my mom didn't know
who he was. He's like, okay,

she's gonna go to the neighbor's house, like and I was like,

I'm going to be in his video, mom, I'm in the chorus and

I could sing. And so we
walked to his house, Gott past his

gate and he was the only person
in the neighborhood that had a gate.

I was like, what do you
do with this? And his uncle open

up the door and I was like
is Todd Smith here, because that's his

real name. Oh, I don't
even know that. See, you learned

something new. I yeah, say
something that you learn. Yeah, it

together, and I sang to him
like this like compilation of like Whitney Houston,

saw, hi, God, I
love you, and I was thirteen

and that's like and he was just
like I was like, I really want

to be a backup singer and like
I don't even think like I realize that

who he was, that he was
a rapper. I just knew that he

was in music. Is that right? And Lot we don't love like backup

singers, ha ha. You're like
going on, I will always love you,

and he's like, I'm a rapper, like you're a child. Meanwhile

he was a child school. He
was like eighteen and I was thirteen,

oh my God, and so less
like thank to him. And we did.

We stayed. We stayed friends and
like, I saw him a few

years ago, like you always remembers
me, betty done. Oh Yeah,

you stoppable. You are not a
bit an unmemorable person. I'll tell you

what I hope everybody feels, and
we will be touched by this. At

the end, everybody was listened because
you are a life changer, you are

an inspiration. We will look forward
to talking to you again. Yeah,

and tell us where, where?
Where can everybody find more Lauren Tolo?

So on my instagram at Lauren Ro
Tolo, my website, Lauren Ro Toto

dotnet. I have some youtube up
and my book is called unstoppable and Stilettos,

that you can get at any bookstore
and on Amazon. I think we

will all be just changed. We
did not really ask a question about how

to Bebow to become Lauren. At
the beginning of this we like to ask

a question, but well, I
have the answer right here. Read on,

coppable, is to let us and
be reminded of how extraordinary we it

can be, no matter what our
differences, no matter what makes us unique,

and share that with others. Lauren, you are you are of royalty.

We love you. Hey, shall
thank you so much for bettersten.

And come on, I mean she's
cool to be able to meet somebody who

is so cool hot. First of
all, you just have to we just

have to say disabilities are becoming something
that you learn about. We can come

to embrace superheroes, not only in
how she took care of her life,

what she has done to inspire other
people to do it, and also educate

us on how we can be make
our curiosity something that embraces and engages rather

than keeps us a way. I
love the thing that she said about parents

and kids who were hundred person their
kids away from somebody who's and the kid

wants to say, well, why
is that? What is that? And

it's the parents responsibility and our responsibility
to do with, basically maybe our friends,

anybody else who kind of shuns something
we don't understand. We're trying to

bring together that gap that we call
crazy, or I don't want to and

and bill it in with curiosity and
attention to who people are on the inside

and they're outside, because she is
just a cute pant. Do not judge

somebody before you know them, and
do not, and I loved when she

said, you know, people were
trying to be the producer of my own

life. It's like, don't,
don't, don't, don't tell me what

I can do. It can do
and cannot do. It's right. It

was just she's awesome and let us
here to have her. Yes, we

are likely to have her. Thank
you for making us better, Lord and

better together, and a big,
big thanks to our better together team,

Ryan Tillotson, Silvana, Alcohola,
Daniel Ferrara and, of course, and

in Heather. If you haven't already, please subscribe on whatever device or platform

you're listening to this on and,
as always, see you next week.
Better Together w/ Anne Heche and Heather Duffy
Anne Heche's BETTER TOGETHER w/ Anne & Heather is a space where guests introduce us to the person that makes them better. For me, that's my friend, Heather, and t... View More




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