Toby Dorr
Episode 33

Episode 33

Toby Dorr: Hi, everyone, and welcome to Fierce Conversations with Toby, the show where we discover the silver lining in life’s most difficult stories. I’m your host, Toby Dorr.

Toby Dorr: Today I’m so delighted to bring you a Judy Helm Wright. Who is a woman that I’ve learned has known what she wanted to do and since she was six years old So judy’s a life coach a life educator a family coach and a key night’s keynote speaker She’s written more than 20 books hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family parenting and relationship issues including communication encouragement and end of life relationship issues, which I think is so important because You We can’t avoid the end of our life, but so many people, you know, want to just breeze through it and, and pretend like it’s not coming and it’s not going to happen.

Toby Dorr: And, you know, I’ve had several opportunities to be with loved ones at the end of their life. And I found it to be a beautiful and powerful. experience.

Judy Helm Wright: Me too. Very, very spiritual. And of that, have you read the book on being mortal?

Toby Dorr: No, I haven’t. I’m going to

Judy Helm Wright: let’s hear it for you.

Toby Dorr: a note of that. I’ll have to check it out.

Judy Helm Wright: Yeah, it’s written by a physician named Atul Gawande, A T U L G A W A N D E. And our primary care physician encouraged me to read this because both my husband and I are caregiving for elderly siblings. 500 miles away, so we have to call him on the phone, and essentially he’s a doctor and a son of two doctors who found out the medical, um, they want to, um, they want to keep you alive as long as you can, but that’s not quality.

Judy Helm Wright: And that may not be what people want,

Toby Dorr: I agree. You know, I have a sister in law who’s a nurse, and she told me one day, she said, tomorrow, They’re doing a liver transplant or something on this 93 year old man.

Judy Helm Wright: which is

Toby Dorr: why are we doing that? You know, she just struggles with what, what are we trying to do here?

Judy Helm Wright: I know. And when my mom was in hospice, there was a man who was taking his wife in to have a breast exam. And I said, why are you doing that? She’s 89 years old. She has Alzheimer’s. Why are you doing that? And he said, I want her to live as long as she can. What would you do if you found out she had cancer? Would not subject her to surgery. You know, why, why would you

Toby Dorr: yeah, right. I agree. I agree. And you know, when my mother passed away, she was a fierce woman. I tell you, she was my inspiration for so many things. And she, um, she had problems with her lungs. She had COPD and emphysema and her lungs started filling up with fluid. And we took her to the hospital and they would drain them and they would fill back up.

Toby Dorr: And so they sent her from the hospital. They don’t let you go home. They sent her to a rehab place right across the street. And the doctor in the rehab place said, she’s not going to get better. And we said, well, then we’re going to bring her home. You know, we’re going to, we’re going to let her die at home.

Toby Dorr: And it was a Sunday, Chris and I, my husband went to visit her and. We lived out of town about 100 miles away and I was going to stay there and take her home and, you know, be in her house with her and Chris was going to go back to work in our home and we were watching the Chiefs game. My mom was a huge football fan.

Toby Dorr: And. This man came in and he said, well, hello, Ms. Phelan. I’m here to take you to respiratory therapy. And my mom looked at him and she said, no, I’m not going. And he said, well, what do you mean you’re not going? And she said, tomorrow I am going home to die. And you know what that means? She said, that means I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do anymore.

Toby Dorr: And I’m not going.

Judy Helm Wright: Yeah,

Toby Dorr: Yes. Yes. And then when we got her home, you know, the hospice nurse came and visited us and. And she, you know, tells us we don’t know how much time anyone has, you know, and we’re, and, you know, kind of told us some of the things that were going to happen and not to be scared of them. And she said, You know, she probably has up to 10 days.

Toby Dorr: You know, that’s my guess, but we never know. And so when the nurse left, my mom said to me, Toby, what did she tell you? And I said, Oh mom, you know, she said, we, we can’t know. And she said, I know she told you a date. You tell me how much time do I have? And I said, well, she said it could be 10 days, as long as 10 days.

Toby Dorr: And she looked at me and she looked all around her room and then she looked back and she said, okay, I’ll give you 10 days, but not one day longer. Okay. And she died 10 days later, you know, it was, and I think it was just beautiful that we let her do it her way.

Judy Helm Wright: Well, you know, Toby, my main, um, passion has always been gathering stories.

Toby Dorr: Ah,

Judy Helm Wright: as a personal historian, I’m, I’m was a founding member of the Association of personal historians, as well as a Montana story keepers. But, um, one of the things we found with the Montana story keepers that when we allowed someone to tell their story, an end of life story.

Judy Helm Wright: Their pain went down,

Toby Dorr: ah,

Judy Helm Wright: their transition so much easier, and I really do think that people don’t fear death, they fear being forgotten.

Toby Dorr: yes. I would agree with that.

Judy Helm Wright: And so I am on a crusade to encourage people to write their memoirs, to do like you did. A little snippet, one facet of their life that will teach others, that

Toby Dorr: Yeah.

Judy Helm Wright: their message, there’s a waiting, world out there for that particular message.

Judy Helm Wright: And so it’s, um, I just talked to someone today who wants to write her memoir about infertility. And about the, the fact that, um, she, she just, all of the things that went along with that and how she could do it. Another young woman wants to write a memoir of working with her nonverbal autistic son. So, it’s not, um, it’s not a whole life story.

Judy Helm Wright: It’s a, it’s like,

Toby Dorr: It’s a piece.

Judy Helm Wright: it’s a piece. It’s a slice of life.

Toby Dorr: Yes.

Judy Helm Wright: Very important. So I, I liken memoirs and really encourage your audience to go to memoirlifestorywriting. com

Toby Dorr: Okay.

Judy Helm Wright: and once again it’s memoirlifestorywriting. com and um, download a free book. On how to different ways you could you can write your memoir

Toby Dorr: That’s excellent.

Judy Helm Wright: then we’re working on an outstanding course right now and and the course and my book with grace point is not how to write a memoir, but why you should and what and helping you narrow down into that particular pearl on a strand pearls.

Judy Helm Wright: So you don’t. So you don’t get overwhelmed by the whole necklace, just one little

Toby Dorr: I love that. I love that one little pearl.

Judy Helm Wright: Yeah, that’s all we need. And that’s, and that’s all, um, that’s all we need to read, or that’s all we need to digest.

Toby Dorr: Right.

Judy Helm Wright: And those that need that little pearl will be drawn to it.

Toby Dorr: Yes, I love that. You know, the hardest part for me and writing my memoir was to figure out where it was going to begin. And where it was going to end. And, you know, in order to explain the piece of my life that I put into the memoir, I had to go back into my childhood and explain some things. And so when I first started working on, I thought, well, I’ve got to start when I’m five years old.

Toby Dorr: And then I thought, no, I don’t, I can weave that in through a backstory. So,

Judy Helm Wright: Yeah.

Toby Dorr: that, that whole process of the beginning and the ending, and then how to weave in the backstories. So you don’t have to start from the first day of your life

Judy Helm Wright: And yeah,

Toby Dorr: you know, very, once I had it, boy, then the book just came because that was the thing I needed was to know where to start and where to end.

Judy Helm Wright: right. And I, I think that, um, some of that backstory, you don’t even need to explain. You just need to allude to, like, um, you know, I, you’re telling the story of imprisonment or whatever. And And the story that you and I have talked about is, uh, my, my time in prison as having gained a hundred pounds and making that decision to, um, have gastric bypass, which, which isn’t a right one for everyone, but it, but it was for me.

Judy Helm Wright: And so in writing that essay, that a little short segment about that, then I could allude to. Things that happened in my childhood or things that happened when I worked in corporate America, like being passed over or whatever. And, and quite frankly, I gained a hundred pounds with caregiving for my parents.

Judy Helm Wright: We had six kids and I was working full time.

Toby Dorr: yes. Yes. And that is a burden. And we do tend to just eat to fill a space where we’re not filling with something else.

Judy Helm Wright: That’s exactly right. You’re so tired you think, oh, well, maybe if I have a donut that will

Toby Dorr: Right, right. Yes, I can so relate to that. And actually, you know, I have a whole set of questions I like to ask people. We’re kind of answering them without me asking them. So, but I do want to start with this first one, which I usually start with at the very beginning. And that is, tell me what your favorite color is and why.

Toby Dorr: Because I think it gives us a peek into your personality.

Judy Helm Wright: So you see that I’m wearing red.

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Judy Helm Wright: If people will follow me on Instagram, it’s Judy Helm Wright, at Judy Helm Wright. You’ll see that I’m this gorgeous grandma who is well read. And encourages people to write their memoir and encourages them to ask the questions of, of those that they need to be taught to

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Judy Helm Wright: have to ask.

Judy Helm Wright: So my favorite color is red, and it’s very powerful and a little story compared to what we were talking about before, when my mom was in, it was called TLC, but it was actually a hospice unit,

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

Judy Helm Wright: assisted living. I would wear bright red lipstick and I would always kiss her on her forehead.

Toby Dorr: Oh, I love that.

Judy Helm Wright: every CNA, every doctor, every, um, cleaner that came in thought, Oh, she is well loved.

Toby Dorr: Yes.

Judy Helm Wright: Somebody’s in here. I better take good care of her. I

Toby Dorr: What a great idea. I would never have thought of that, but what a great idea. I love it. I love that. So what’s the hardest decision you’ve ever had to make? This is

Judy Helm Wright: was just mentioning about deciding to get gastric bypass. That’s, um, It’s never a good option to have elective surgery, but, um, it was one that I, like everything else, I did research, I meditated on it and decided it was the right move. once I did that, um, I continued to lose weight until I, I weigh 160, I’m 5’8 I got here, my, my spirit said, okay, you’re home.

Judy Helm Wright: This is.

Toby Dorr: place. This is where your weight is. Yeah. I like that.

Judy Helm Wright: And this is what you’ve always looked like in spirit. it’s been, this month has been 21 years and I’ve always stayed within five, six pounds one way or another and just, um, very healthy.

Toby Dorr: I love that.

Judy Helm Wright: it’s was the right thing for me.

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm. Yeah, I’ve had many surgeries in my life. Most of them were not ones I had choices about, you know, I fell off a horse and shattered my wrist or I had a colonoscopy and they perforated my colon, you know, things I couldn’t control, but this year I had a total knee replacement on my right knee.

Toby Dorr: And I was really nervous going into that, but I had so much pain in walking and I wasn’t ready to slow down and stop moving. And, you know, we went to New York city on a vacation, a long weekend, and. My stepson rented a wheelchair so I could go with him places because I couldn’t even walk two blocks without stopping and I wasn’t sure if the totally, you know, I was scared.

Toby Dorr: I knew it was a big surgery, but I’m telling you, I breezed right through it and it has no, I, I really didn’t have significant pain and I was walking without a walker and or arcane by the end of the first week and I just kept blazing forward and I have my second knee replacement scheduled for October 31st and I wish it was tomorrow.

Toby Dorr: I’m so ready to get this done but it does change my life and I can see that, you know, your gastric bypass surgery, even though it was elective, it did really change your life significantly.

Judy Helm Wright: And I’ve had a knee replacement too. And that’s the same thing. I did research. I found the best doctor. I did the whole thing. And yeah, it really does. That means that I can keep up with my grandkids. That

Toby Dorr: Yes.

Judy Helm Wright: that I can walk all over Costco and um, my little, my little Apple watch will

Toby Dorr: Yes,

Judy Helm Wright: it’s

Toby Dorr: I’ve got

Judy Helm Wright: great.

Toby Dorr: here too, yep,

Judy Helm Wright: You finally made it, enough. Today.

Toby Dorr: I love that. So tell us about a significant event in your life that knocked you down and how did you pick yourself up? Uh, uh huh,

Judy Helm Wright: Um, I think that, uh, alludes back to the gastric bypass when I was, uh, overlooked for a promotion that, that I should have had. Then, um, they brought in a young, you know, young white male and then asked me to train him. And I thought, Oh, Godfrey, here I go again. So I came home from that particular conversation and was walking to the mailbox with my 15 year old, he’s now 40, but my 15.

Judy Helm Wright: And he started telling me something and I said, Andy, stop. I have listened to problems all day long. Go for a walk. And he touched my arm, which in our family is a signal. This is important to me. He touched my arm up here and he said, um, who do you want me to tell my problems to? And I went in the next day and quit, said, actually, I said, I’m too good to work here.

Toby Dorr: Wow. I love that.

Judy Helm Wright: And the general manager said, well, that’s just a little arrogant. And I said, no, it’s a truth. I

Toby Dorr: Mm-Hmm?

Judy Helm Wright: it’s not that I’m better than you.

Toby Dorr: Uhhuh. . Mm-Hmm.

Judy Helm Wright: I’m too good to work here. I can’t overlook

Toby Dorr: Yes.

Judy Helm Wright: all of the things that are, that you’re doing to my community. I can’t be a part of it.

Toby Dorr: I love that.

Judy Helm Wright: yeah. Yeah, so that was a hard decision and, you know, all the way home I’m thinking, Oh my gosh, what did I do?

Judy Helm Wright: What did I do? What did I do? I wonder if I can recant. How are we going to make it

Toby Dorr: It’s always hard to quit your job because, you know, how is that gonna affect your future? What are you gonna do with your self and your time? And you know, there’s a lot of angst in that, and that’s pretty bold and brave to just walk in and say, I quit. I love it. I love

Judy Helm Wright: but do you know what? Somehow, as in all things in life, you make do.

Toby Dorr: Yes, you do. And you find another path and that you couldn’t have taken had you stayed in a place where you weren’t happy. I just love that. So who has been your most important mentor?

Judy Helm Wright: Um, in business or in life?

Toby Dorr: I think in life.

Judy Helm Wright: Probably. Um, I, one of the books that I wrote was called Healing Hands and it went back seven generations of women on my matriarchal side. And most of them had been, in fact, all of those seven had been either birth doulas, death doulas, midwives, herb doctors, uh, dealt with folk medicine, worked with the Paiute Indians in healing work, you know, with their healer.

Judy Helm Wright: And of course, my healing is with my fingers.

Toby Dorr: Mm-Hmm?

Judy Helm Wright: When I wrote that, I was able to start with my daughter, who, when I had kids, and when her kids would get hurt, she would just, without even knowing why,

Toby Dorr: Uhhuh.

Judy Helm Wright: would breathe on her hands, rub her hands together, and put her hands over their sore, you know, cuddle them, put their hands,

Toby Dorr: Mm-Hmm.

Judy Helm Wright: so, that probably was, um, one of those books that, of course, never went out of, of my family. It was certainly one that helped me to understand that what I am and what I share is intergenerational.

Toby Dorr: I love

Judy Helm Wright: And with most women, and in researching that, a lot of them, uh, you know, were like my great great grandmother, who was the herb doctor to the Paiute. I don’t have any of her journals. I don’t have any of her books.

Toby Dorr: Oh,

Judy Helm Wright: but I do have a couple of pages of her husband’s and he said in their supper will be late again today because Sade’s out, Sarah, but Sade is out ministering to those damn Indians. I was so, you know, you S. O. B. couldn’t you open a can of Campbell’s soup? Well, of course, but

Toby Dorr: yeah.

Judy Helm Wright: surely he could have eaten some dried bread or he could have scrambled some eggs.

Judy Helm Wright: He could have done all of that. And, and I, so one of the things in this generational line that I have done and I’ve broken that chains, chains. patriarchy and helped my daughters to be strong and to stand up for themselves and not apologize for who they are taking space and, and taught our son how to, um, be a good, good, kind, loving man.

Judy Helm Wright: And he certainly has seen that with my husband, who was, who probably is my really mentor because we’ve been married for 59 years.

Toby Dorr: Wow.

Judy Helm Wright: continues to inspire me, you know, if, if we call one of the kids or the kids call us or a grandkid, always say, I love you at the end, and if I forget, he makes me call him back.

Toby Dorr: Oh, I think that’s beautiful. I love that. You know, um, My husband is a mentor to me as well, and we’ve been together for 14 years and he just really, I like to say he’s the keel to my boat because my boat tends to do, and he just keeps me, you know, on the straight and narrow and I’m the anchor to his ship because I’ve given him a home and stability because he was.

Toby Dorr: Home didn’t matter to him. He’d sleep in a friend’s basement or he’d sleep in his car. It just didn’t matter, wasn’t important. And now he has a home and stability. And, and I really think that. You know, when you have two people who compliment each other so well, one plus one doesn’t equal two, it equals something like 11, you know, it’s just exponentially more so I can relate to that.

Toby Dorr: And I also have a really strong connection to my great, great grandmothers as well. Um, my grandma, I actually have a quilt and the doll that belonged to my great, great grandmother. My grandma was born in 1907, and I’m not sure when her grandmother was born, but it had to be in, you know, I don’t know, 1830 or something, and I have her doll and her quilt that

Judy Helm Wright: How fun.

Toby Dorr: Which I just think is awesome, you know, and people look at and go, what do you want with that old thing? And it’s like, oh, it’s not that old thing. It is my great great grandmother’s doll, you know, and I just love that connection because I do think as women we pass things down to our daughters and It’s, it’s a very strong pipeline of inspiration and, um, courage and strength, you know, to move forward.

Toby Dorr: Because I do think that, especially in my great, great grandmothers and my great grandmother’s times, it wasn’t as easy for women to move forward and be a leader as it is today. But I still think we have a long way to go.

Judy Helm Wright: You know, uh, Toby, what, what we’re talking about is, um, The doll doesn’t mean anything without the story. The quilt doesn’t mean anything without the story.

Toby Dorr: That’s right.

Judy Helm Wright: one of the things that my husband and I did for our 50th anniversary, which Grace Point printed for me, or published for me, was, uh, it was called, um, An Ethical Will.

Judy Helm Wright: Grandpa and Grandma writes a guide to life. And, and, and I don’t know if you know what an ethical will is, but

Toby Dorr: I don’t.

Judy Helm Wright: your last will and testament is, is saying, I want this doll to go to so and so, uh, because it was my great grandmother’s. I want this quilt to go to so and so.

Toby Dorr: Right.

Judy Helm Wright: But an ethical will is, um, old, old, uh, method of passing down a blessing.

Judy Helm Wright: To your descendants. And so we did that on our 50th anniversary and, and you can order that through grace point. It’s very, I wasn’t as happy with the, um, uh, how they, uh, what am I trying to say the formatting?

Toby Dorr: Okay.

Judy Helm Wright: would have been. I, I probably needed to look at that again, but, um, it was interesting because the, the advice and blessing my husband did of course was, um, find a good mechanic you can trust, change oil

Toby Dorr: Ha ha

Judy Helm Wright: 3, 000 miles, you know, never, never spend in anticipation of making money and mine was all very spiritual.

Toby Dorr: Mm

Judy Helm Wright: Um, ask for what you want, do, yes, have courage. But I think that in addition to, uh, our, our tangible things, we have an obligation to share our, our insights and our blessings and our wishes and, and dreams and desires for those who follow after us.

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Judy Helm Wright: and not always are they our children and grandchildren,

Toby Dorr: That’s true.

Judy Helm Wright: they are a motherless child

Toby Dorr: Yes.

Judy Helm Wright: a motherless adult or someone who came from a family.

Judy Helm Wright: In addition to our 6 children, they always brought friends home.

Toby Dorr: Right.

Judy Helm Wright: one, one woman who is now a pediatric, um, doctor said that, um, when she used to come to our house, she said, you don’t know this, but I carried a little notebook and I would go home and in my notebook and in my journal, I would say, this is what a normal family does.

Toby Dorr: Oh, wow.

Judy Helm Wright: one time, um, one time my husband was in the garage and I was in the kitchen. We had the radio on and it was playing. Don’t make your brown eyes blue.

Toby Dorr: Uh

Judy Helm Wright: that just has such a good beat. And he came in the kitchen and that was playing and I was standing at the sink and he grabbed me and we danced around the kitchen

Toby Dorr: Uh huh.

Judy Helm Wright: we looked in the, in the living room and little Beckett was crying.

Judy Helm Wright: And, and we sat, we said, what, what are you doing, sweetheart, what’s the matter? And she said, I never knew parents danced in the kitchen.

Toby Dorr: Oh,

Judy Helm Wright: She said, I know they fought in the kitchen. I know they’ve thrown things in the kitchen, but I’ve never known that they danced in the kitchen. I’m going to marry a man.

Judy Helm Wright: I’m going to find a man who will dance with me in the kitchen. And she did.

Toby Dorr: Oh, wow.

Judy Helm Wright: engaged. She called and said, I found somebody that will dance with me in the kitchen. Yeah. Yeah.

Toby Dorr: What a great story. I love that. That’s pretty interesting. So tell us about how a turning point in your life propelled you in a new direction. I think you’ve told us about quitting your job, and perhaps that’s the one, but.

Judy Helm Wright: Well, one of them was, um, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, but they are a huge, gifting philanthropic thing that studies different things and gives money. So they were doing a study on how a community handles End of life and they had, um, you know, on the faith community and on the medical community and on, um, academic, you know, all of these different things, but I was asked to be on the storytelling and the story gathering and that that really cemented in my mind, how important it is for people to share their stories and it isn’t therapy, but it’s very therapeutic.

Toby Dorr: It is very therapeutic, you know, and I feel, you know, the day that my life turned around when I was in prison was when I realized that I had a story I needed to tell, and that telling my story could help other women. That gave me purpose and it gave me, um, significance and I have interviewed so many women who’ve been in prison and I think every one of them has a story to tell and needs to tell because their stories can encourage other women who are currently in prison that they can get through this and move

Judy Helm Wright: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And, and no matter where you are, that doesn’t mean you have to stay there.

Toby Dorr: That’s right. That’s right.

Judy Helm Wright: you can grow, you can develop and, you know, um, I’m, it’s, it, it makes me so happy to be able to teach my grandkids things, and I don’t mean, like, how to throw a ball and everything, but I mean, teaching them to use, um, artificial intelligence.

Judy Helm Wright: Yes. And teaching them how to use the new threads to say, Hey, come in my office. I want to show you what I’m doing on threads, you know, where we are on Instagram. And, and it’s, it’s fun for me to know that, um, well, that I’m going to be living and creating and growing until I’m 97 and

Toby Dorr: Mm hmm.

Judy Helm Wright: right now.

Toby Dorr: Wow. That’s awesome. You know, I had a dream once many, many, many years ago and I saw myself at my 87th birthday

Judy Helm Wright: Uh huh.

Toby Dorr: So, you know, I’ve always told people, well, I’m going to live to be at least 87

Judy Helm Wright: Right.

Toby Dorr: because I have, I have a birthday party I need to go to. So we’ll see. Yeah. But I feel like, you know, However long my life lasts, from the time I turned 50 and on, that’s the richest, uh, strongest, most impactful part of my life. So, it’s certainly not the years that I have nothing to do. Ha, ha, ha,

Judy Helm Wright: Wasn’t that? No, I didn’t even want to. Yeah, I, I really do think that our lives are in trimesters. And if you think of when you were pregnant, that first three months is actually just forming.

Toby Dorr: Yes.

Judy Helm Wright: That’s all. Then the next three months is kind of growing.

Toby Dorr: Mm-Hmm?

Judy Helm Wright: Then the last trimester is when you’re, you’re viable, you’re,

Toby Dorr: Yes.

Judy Helm Wright: you’re just enhancing.

Judy Helm Wright: So I, I, one of the books I want to do with Grace Point is, um, the, my third trimester.

Toby Dorr: I love that.

Judy Helm Wright: And I, I do feel like that’s where I’m at right now is my third trimester.

Toby Dorr: I feel the same way. I love that. I think you’re onto something there. Um, ’cause it’s definitely not a half of your life isn’t divided into halves because Yeah. I like that.

Judy Helm Wright: And that crazy thing of middle age, middle of what?

Toby Dorr: Yes. Yes. And I wouldn’t go back. Some people go, oh, I wish I was 20

Judy Helm Wright: No, no, no.

Toby Dorr: No way. I’m not going back even one day I’m moving forward.

Judy Helm Wright: And my husband and I were just in a restaurant recently, and there was a family with little kids, which, by the way, blows my mind that they can afford to eat in a restaurant with three little kids and everyone having soda. I just think, I don’t know how you can afford that. You must be very well to do or something. But Duane looked over at them and he said, Oh, wasn’t that a fun time in our life? And I said, No. It’s hard work,

Toby Dorr: Yes it is. Yes it

Judy Helm Wright: so hard work, and, and we’ve always been partners. He’s always helped.

Toby Dorr: Yes. Mm-Hmm?

Judy Helm Wright: But that, you know, the moments of pure joy were there, but it wasn’t a continuum.

Toby Dorr: It was hard work, I tell you. Uh, we live with my stepson and his family, so we have a separate living space in their walkout basement. And they’re just right upstairs. So we see our grandkids all the time, which I think is wonderful and beautiful and excellent for them. And for us too, and we’ve gotten so much closer and such a stronger family, but there are so many days when I say, okay, kids go upstairs, grandma’s done, you know, and, and then I say to my husband, I could never do that again.

Toby Dorr: Oh my gosh. You know? Yeah. Yeah.

Judy Helm Wright: yet

Toby Dorr: It was a lot of work.

Judy Helm Wright: um, I’m also a parent educator. When you live as long as I have, there isn’t too much I haven’t done. I taught up on the reservation. here in Montana. And so many of the people coming to my parent education classes were grandmothers raising grandchildren. Oh,

Toby Dorr: oh my gosh, it’s so prevalent and couldn’t do it I’d do it if I had to I know I could do it, but I don’t wanna

Judy Helm Wright: no, no, no. And I bless their hearts.

Toby Dorr: Yeah

Judy Helm Wright: up and I appreciate that. But that’s a hard step up.

Toby Dorr: it is hard. It’s very hard. So was there ever a time you really felt imprisoned? And what did you do to liberate yourself?

Judy Helm Wright: and I’ve already alluded to that, that I was imprisoned by 100 extra pounds.

Toby Dorr: Yes.

Judy Helm Wright: Made the decision to have gastric bypass and rid myself.

Toby Dorr: Yeah, I think that’s a beautiful story. So what’s one question you wish I’d asked that I haven’t asked you yet?

Judy Helm Wright: Um, maybe just what’s next on my agenda.

Toby Dorr: Yeah. So tell us about that. What is

Judy Helm Wright: Well, I’m doing a, a nice, a free masterclass, which I hope I can share with you and you will share with your listeners.

Toby Dorr: Yes.

Judy Helm Wright: Tell your story, write your memoir, and then that free master class. And then I’ve got a six week self study class and then week, um, one on one live interaction class on helping people to capture that slice, capture those pearls and why they should, and.

Toby Dorr: Yeah. I love that.

Judy Helm Wright: so, so once again, I’d like to invite your listeners and you to go to, um, memoirlifestorywriting. com and a lot of times people say, how do you spell memoir? It’s M E M O I R Y T Life, L I F E, story, S T O R Y, writing, W R I T I N G dot com.

Toby Dorr: Yes. Excellent. And we’re going to have links to your website and to your social media, to your books, whatever you want. We’re going to have links in the show notes. So people just be able to click right on them and get there.

Judy Helm Wright: love it. I love it.

Toby Dorr: we’ll be sure and include all that for you. So is there a question you’d like to ask me?

Judy Helm Wright: Um, you know, I admire you, Toby. I love you. I think that you have taken this book and really done a marvelous job of, of marketing. And from my experience of having written 22 books and 5 or 6, um, ghost written books, writing is the easy part.

Toby Dorr: You’re right about

Judy Helm Wright: Marketing is a pain in the butt,

Toby Dorr: Yes, it is. And it’s never ending and it is so much work. It’s just constant, constant, constant. Yeah.

Judy Helm Wright: And, and so many people saying, this is the way, this is the way, this is the way, Oh, you’re doing it all wrong. This is the way, this is the way. And you just think it’s so much easier for me just to go write another book. Turn,

Toby Dorr: Yes.

Judy Helm Wright: and just write another book. I. Oh,

Toby Dorr: have a bunch of projects dancing around in my head and it’s like, but I don’t have time to start one right now because I’m just too busy, you know, with social media marketing and, you know, all these things that you have to do, but, but I’ll get

Judy Helm Wright: Well, here’s a little tip that I just learned from a podcaster recently who said he, I was bragging on my Instagram and my Twitter and my threads and everything. And he said, you’ll never sell anything on social media

Toby Dorr: Ah.

Judy Helm Wright: he said, you can get, you’ll get brand awareness and people will know you, but you’ll never sell anything from there.

Judy Helm Wright: They said, except that for some reason, people are having amazing results selling on Pinterest.

Toby Dorr: Oh, interesting.

Judy Helm Wright: And I, I don’t even go on there. So.

Toby Dorr: I haven’t either. I, I got a Pinterest account years ago and I was just, you know, collecting pictures of things I liked and I haven’t been there for probably five or six years. Maybe I’ll have to go back and check it

Judy Helm Wright: Yeah. Me too.

Toby Dorr: Interesting. That’s really interesting. So, uh, what’s one word that inspires you?

Judy Helm Wright: Well, it isn’t a word, but it’s a phrase called ask for what you want

Toby Dorr: Mm-Hmm.

Judy Helm Wright: what we’ve taught our children and grandchildren and in the ethical will, I’ve reiterated this many, many times, be really clear on what you want.

Toby Dorr: Mm

Judy Helm Wright: you don’t get it from that one, then just very politely say, Well, who could I talk to who would help me?

Toby Dorr: hmm, excellent

Judy Helm Wright: to that would help me? And if you’re clear on what you want, when you voice that out, not only are humans going to help you, but the universe is. So just be clear on what you want and then ask for what you want.

Toby Dorr: love that. I love that. judy. Thank you so much for being on our podcast today I’ve loved having you and I think it’s so um inspiring to see How you still have so many things going and you’re 79 and I’m sure there’s people out there who think I’m too

Judy Helm Wright: Oh, I know it. I know it. Oh, yeah. Yeah,

Toby Dorr: So I think that’s just awesome and inspiring and I can’t wait to get your message out into the world about how important everyone’s story is and how they need to tell it.

Toby Dorr: And I think it’s beautiful that you have, uh, things in place to help people be able to tell their own

Judy Helm Wright: I do. And I want to.

Toby Dorr: Yes. I love that.

Judy Helm Wright: right. Well, totally. Thanks for having me on. I enjoyed it.

Toby Dorr: You’re so welcome. I enjoyed it too. I loved getting to talk to you and learn more about you. So thank you judy

Judy Helm Wright: Bye.

Toby Dorr: All right. Bye​

Toby Dorr: Thank you for joining me on Fierce Conversations with Toby. Your support and listening means so much to me, and I hope today’s conversation makes a difference in your world. If you would like to support this podcast, there are many ways to do so. I found these ways tend to help the most in getting our message out into the world.

Toby Dorr: Number one, subscribe to the show on Apple podcasts, Spotify podcasts, YouTube, or wherever you listen to, or watch this podcast. If you can leave a five star rating or a like on this episode on YouTube, that helps even more. And if you leave a comment or a review, that helps the most. The next way you can support Fierce Conversations with Toby is to join our Patreon at patreon.

Toby Dorr: com slash fierce conversations. All tiers come with a downloadable digital gratitude journal created by me and membership in a private Facebook group that I also lead. Most importantly, 10 percent of all proceeds from your subscription will go directly to donating my workbooks to women in prison.

Toby Dorr: Finally, sharing the link to this show with your friends, family, and anyone who wants to listen is appreciated more than I can say. Thank you again for joining me today and supporting this show by listening to it and sharing it with friends. Fierce Conversations is created and hosted by me, Toby Dorr, produced by Number 3 Productions.

Toby Dorr: The theme song that you’re hearing now, Groovin’ was composed and arranged by Lisa Plasse. Lisa also plays the flute for the theme with Carolyn Parody on piano and Tony Ventura on bass. Find out more at tobydorr. com. This is Fierce Conversations with Toby. Escape your prison.

Verified by ExactMetrics