Ask A Doulagiver #
Passion to Purpose with Amy McLaren
Guest: Amy McLaren
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Episode Show Notes
Finding Your Purpose [5:06] – As an elementary school teacher, Amy enjoyed her life, but knew that she wasn’t fulfilled. She felt called to helping others internationally and it led her to forming her mission to help build schools for children affected by conflict in Kenya. She always had a passion for traveling the world and was able to channel her entrepreneurial work to feed that passion. There was a sense inside her that her life needed a change, and she followed that inspiration to create the life of her dreams. We all have to start somewhere, and when you feel pulled to a new direction in life, you have to act on it because you are the only person who can do that for yourself. I experienced the same “calling” during my nursing career and following that inspiration led to creating Doulagivers and having such a wonderful impact in the world. When you start sharing your inspiration with other people, you attract others into your life who want to help you succeed.
Imagine if everyone took a few minutes each day to make the world a better place using their unique talents fueled their deepest passions. What an amazing world we would live in! This book is your guide to discovering your passion, living your purpose, and making a positive impact on the world. Amy passion for world travel and education kick-started her journey from unfulfilled schoolteacher to the purpose-driven founder of Village Impact, a charity that provides education for nearly 5,000 kids in Kenya in partnership with local communities. She’s also building a luxury Airbnb business and leads Lady Strength, an online community of driven and passionate women seeking to design their best life.
In This Podcast, we will talk about:
The Importance of Planting Seeds [2:00]
Finding Your Purpose [5:06]
How to Plant Seeds for Others [17:30]
Give Every Day [20:35]
Forget Perfection [24:35]
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Speaker 1 (00:02):
Hi everyone. And welcome to this episode of ASCA death doula. My name is Susan O’Brien. Today is a podcast I have been looking forward to for quite some time now. And I know you will understand why when we start the podcast interview. So first let me share a little bit about my guest here. Amy McLaren is the founder and CEO of village impact a Canadian charity focused on delivering learning leadership and economic opportunities to conflict affected children in rural Kenya, passionate about inspiring and mentoring people to make a difference in the world. Amy leads, adventure travels, retreats, and experienced focused events through her company, lady strength, helping women claim their passion and gain the clarity and confidence needed to live purpose driven lives. She lives in Burlington, Ontario with her husband stew and their two children. Welcome Amy. Thank you for being here.
Speaker 2 (00:59):
Oh, thank you so much. It’s I’m honored to be here.
Speaker 1 (01:02):
So I will wanted to share a little bit with our listeners on how I actually got to know you and found out about you. So first I am a member of your husband’s tribe membership, which is an amazing program, and it has like been life changing for me and learning so much. So he’s so generous in his sharing. And so passionate talk about passion and many times you would pop up up in the background with the kids. And I love that. But then Chris Carr, the wonderful Chris Carr did an interview with you and I was blown away by the work that you have been doing. And that’s what this interview’s about. So to share with people, I have it right here, Amy’s new book, passion to purpose, and this is a seven step journey to shed. Self-doubt find ins and change your life and the world for the better. So this is exactly what we talk about all the time in our life cafes and in our work. So welcome Amy. So glad to have you here.
Speaker 2 (01:56):
Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. I’m I’m excited to chat with you today.
Speaker 1 (02:00):
Thanks. So I have to ask you and, and just comment. The first thing that re resonated me when I heard your interview, was you speaking about your mom when you were a child and how she would bring in people who didn’t have a home at the holidays or out in the cold and have meals and what that must have been like to plant seeds for you? I mean, I just, I love your mother so much for that, but can you just share a little bit more about what that, that was like as a child?
Speaker 2 (02:26):
Yeah. You know, it’s so funny because often when, you know, when we’re that young, we don’t realize these seeds are being planted, right? Until here I am 41 and now a mom to a daughter who’s 10 and know the importance of the work that my mom did. So, um, super grateful for my mom and my dad and how they bought me off as an individual. But yeah, we grew up always helping, like helping others came first as the taking care of ourselves. But whenever there was extra or helping people and it wasn’t always about, you know, writing a check or donating money, it was, you know, helping by, you said like time. So like you mentioned, we had, um, strangers in our house at Christmas, sometimes for Christmas dinner because they had nowhere to go. I remember going to, um, the shelter, the women’s shelter downtown in a town that we live to do their soup, kitchen and hand things out that way.
Speaker 2 (03:19):
There were endless times we were at the hospital volunteering or, um, old, um, elderly homes or retirement homes doing different things. And we were always just doing different experiences like that. And I mean, even, even today, like when my daughter was five, my mom and I went into an retirement home and wrapped up Kleenex boxes, like work COVID right. And like just handed those out and just chatted with people. And sometimes people think like this power of giving back, you need all this money in the world, but you don’t like these little plants or seeds that my mom planted when I was young. Now I kind of carry them on with my daughter, but we can give back and make a difference in someone’s life by planting these, you know, little seeds of hope by gifts or time or sharing good stories with people too.
Speaker 1 (04:06):
I love that so much. And I think again, like there’s two things I wanna highlight here, the difference that our actions make and the seeds that we plant yes. As a, as a parent, how incredible and your mother just like, again, she’s like so special, but we can do that too right now. Like we can be planting seeds for just others, like all over by what we do. And I loved how you said that, you know, doing little things doesn’t cost. It doesn’t have to cost money. In fact, I always would say when I lived in New York city, which is like my home and my love. Yeah. You see many people on the street and it’s really heartbreaking when you, you know, see people struggling in their lives. And we know that that happens. And I feel like the biggest impact that I had with people was not necessarily giving money or it was actually sitting and having a moment of a conversation.
Speaker 1 (04:52):
It was really acknowledging them as a person, as an individual. And we could all do that. We can all have those moments. So we’ll get into that a little bit later. How can, can have that, um, kindness and ripple effect. So we wanna talk about this amazing work that you’re doing in Kenya. And could you just share with me again how that came to fruition? How did you have the idea? How did you actually make it a reality? Cause I know many people have these ideas. They’re not maybe sure that they can actually do it or how they do it, but just share with me what that was like if you could.
Speaker 2 (05:27):
Yeah. So I, um, I, didn’t always having my vision board by any means like building 15 schools and helping over 5,000 kids and partnering with the government and all these wonderful things we do today, didn’t start out that way. Um, I share a bit about it in my book, but before then, if you take me back to the time before my entrepreneurial part of my life, I was a teacher for 10 years. I taught grade one and I really am. I what can say I liked it, but I didn’t love it. And I was, um, I kind of came to a point in my career where I, I wasn’t fulfilled and I was missing. I kept thinking about like my travels overseas and helping other people. And I would see my husband go and speak at events and I wanna go, I would wanna go with him, but I couldn’t go with him because I could only have summers off or only have Christmas off.
Speaker 2 (06:14):
And, and I don’t like say, but I mean that you were confined. Right. And I couldn’t go. And I kinda of started to eat away at me a bit. And you know, I, I just, I could feel that nagging sense inside me, where I was coming home every day and I wasn’t happy. And that kind of led into, you know, our relationship a little bit and like Stu and I talking and working through that and like was like, we’ve gotta to change something. And then I’ll, um, I’ll never forget. We’re sitting watching Oprah’s big give, um, at the time, you know, who wants, who wants everybody wants to be Oprah, but we’re watching Oprah’s big give, she was helping all these communities. And I was freaking my wine and I’m sitting on the couch. And I just, like I said to Sue, I was like, like, this is what I wanna do.
Speaker 2 (06:57):
I’m like, I, I want to get out of the classroom. Like I want to go back to my roots of like helping others and, and especially internationally. And, and for me, my passion has always been international. Like it’s been like that since day one. I, I would, if I wasn’t an entrepreneur and not married to my husband, I would probably be a no med, like traveling the world, doing all the is different things. And I still get to do that today, which I love, but I was, um, yeah, I was just like, so we watched this show and I was like, you know, let let’s do it. Let’s fundraise money. And let’s help a school somewhere else in the world. And we did a little, we did a little fundraiser that turned into raising $14,000 and a couple of days, and it kind of stemmed from there, but, and then it started the charity.
Speaker 2 (07:39):
And then I started like finding out how to run a nonprofit. How do I start a charity? Like, what do I do? And like, and it was messy. It wasn’t perfect. And like, we were talking a bit about that earlier. Right. And, but I just followed this sense inside me that something had to change. And I had to follow that moment of inspiration. I had to get up and do something about it because nothing changes right. When we don’t change, like something had to change or I had to follow one direction and follow to where, and who knows where it was gonna lead. Like who knew that first fundraiser would lead to what it is today. Yeah. But if you don’t act on that moment of inspiration or do something about that, feel that you have, it’s not gonna, we know it’s not gonna do anything. So I think for me, that was kind of where it started, um, was on the couch, drinking wine with, you know, no money to fundraise. It was, it was like, we’ve gotta make a fundraiser, let’s start and starting somewhere.
Speaker 1 (08:36):
I love that so much. And I want people to really hear what you just said is that, and I have a very similar feeling. And again, it was, I was a nurse at the time and I was working in med-surge. I was happy and I liked what I was doing, but it wasn’t consistent. Or there was something that I knew there was more, and I kept, I kept hearing this feeling or this pulling to go to hospice work with the elderly work in that section. And I had no experience. It didn’t make any sense to do that. Yeah. But it was, it was inspiration, whispering and calling. And when I finally acted upon that and I said, I’m just gonna trust this. Yeah. Every, my whole life, it was like the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. And it has led me on a path of doing doula givers, trainings, and just this and working with people around the world.
Speaker 1 (09:21):
So that inspiration let’s hold that for a minute. Cuz you have a chapter in your book and I love this so much. Chapter nine. I mean, this book is so full of amazing information run with inspiration guys run with. And I wanna share with you what my feeling on that and then have you share yeah. Is that we have a higher conscious part of ourselves. Right. And that’s really like that heart centered it’s that all-knowing part. And then we have that mental ego part, which is, you know, like the troublemaker and programmed and you’re not good enough in all of that. Cuz we’re holistic beings when that heart center guidance, when that inspiration comes, that is that in spirit, right. It’s that higher part of us giving you clue, like saying go that way. And it takes that, that time of trust to do that. But when you do it, it will never steer you wrong. It actually allows this whole fulfillment, not achievement, but fulfillment of connection. Um, cause it’s always tied with purpose. So I love that whole part of it. And I want people to know cuz we all get those inspired moments, act trust that. And you’re the only one that can act on that. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (10:24):
Yeah. The only one that can act and what, like you were saying here, like it’s amazing when you start to share where you’re going or what you want to do or how you’re being inspired. When you start to share that with other people who kind of miraculously comes up and wants to help you or wants to help you build like, you know, when we fundraise for our first school, I’ll never forget we were in Kenya, we had $300 in the bank account. Our contact said to build a school it’s gonna cost $110,000. And I said, yes, let’s do it. And my husband’s like, Amy, we don’t have $110,000. He’s like we have $314 or whatever it’s and I’m like, yes, but I’m like, we’ll figure it out. We’ll do it. And I’ll never forget a board of, um, our board of directors said to us and asked to, and I, why aren’t you sharing what you’re doing?
Speaker 2 (11:13):
And this moment was like, why don’t you share with other people within your other businesses? And we were like, well, we don’t wanna interfere. Or like we don’t want people to think that they have to donate. And he’s like, but you’re, you’re um, not giving people the opportunity to share and to be a part of your right, you know, your purpose of where you’re going and there’s people that wanna help you. And so we, we came back and we just started to share a little bit and share what we were doing. And then all of a sudden we had 10 donors that donated a classroom each and we bought them to Kenya and that was our first school. But when we don’t act on that moment of inspiration or share what we’re doing too.
Speaker 1 (11:49):
Speaker 2 (11:50):
You can’t, it’s like, it’s such a strange thing. Like, but it does like, is it, it attracts people that can help you fulfill those things.
Speaker 1 (11:56):
You know, there are so many good people in the world. There really are. There’s so many and you, we just don’t hear that so much. Cuz the news always takes a different kind of focus. There’s so many wonderful people and they want to help. Sometimes they just don’t know how to help. So by you sharing it, not only, and maybe again, it’s not always the money thing, it could be a volunteering and it could be them even just sharing your work. But that is the, you know, the goal is that collective energy of that good vibration just makes us, I think all feel better and connected in this global family that we actually are. Um, so I love it. And I just, I think, you know, holding the vision, you had the vision, you said, yeah, we could do the, this $300 in the bank account, but we can do this. And I love that so much because you find a way and you just keep holding that. And, and I always believe it’s, if it’s meant to happen, it will, it will happen. And it, and it did. And it is. And we’re part of hopefully expanding this for you, which I love. Um, so I think that’s amazing how, how come Kenya, how did Kenya get to be the, that place that you wanted to
Speaker 2 (12:54):
Help? Yeah. You know what, I get this question quite a bit. It’s so funny to me. And there was no, um, connection with Kenya whatsoever really for us and both Stu and I we’ve always had this connection with the continent of Africa and I, I don’t know why, like I, I never went there when I was a kid. Um, I’ve never, I’d never known anybody from Africa. I, I just wanted to be in that part of the world, again, just listening to like something inside saying. And uh, I mean we felt a connection. We’ve adopted a little guy from South Africa and again, no connection to South Africa just happened that way. And it’s the same with Kenya. And we actually started in Ghana. And the reason we started with Ghana was because we had, I contact through a volunteer agency I worked with, so I volunteered extensively all over the world.
Speaker 2 (13:40):
And I, I fell in love with this one organization and I said to them, I’m like, look, I wanna help in Africa. Can you connect me with someone to build schools? This is what I’m looking to do. Um, they connected me with someone in Ghana that was our second trip and it, um, it was okay. It didn’t go well, that was one of those learning moments where you know what it wasn’t sitting. Right. So we kind of went there, did some help that way, but it felt like we were putting bandaids on everything and it didn’t
Speaker 1 (14:06):
Speaker 2 (14:06):
So we came back and then they said, oh, you should try Kenya. You should meet this lady named Irene. And I’m like, great. We flew to Kenya. I met Irene and here we are 11 years later and Irene I’ve traveled to India with her. She’s like my business partner in Kenya.
Speaker 1 (14:20):
Speaker 2 (14:21):
Facilitate. So yeah, there was no necessarily would’ve been any country. It just ended up that way from the context. So I already had that. I could trust and getting people you can trust and contact, especially working overseas is so important of,
Speaker 1 (14:35):
And I think that’s, that’s part of, I feel like the trusting and the vision and that higher part of ourselves is that when we put that intention out there that just trust what comes in and of course, you know, use your due diligence to, to, but when it aligns and, and I always believe that when you show up for the universe, the universe shows up for you think people will come into your life. And, um, and I love when I got involved with Zimbabwe Africa, which I talked to you about in 2012, I did a trip there. It, it was just, again, something like that. Somebody I knew from a long time ago in high school, was working with an organization that was helping there. And, and we have so much that we’re privileged to have in the United States and Canada. There are places that don’t have as much. And I feel like it’s such a wonderful thing, cuz we are a global family that if we can, you know, share some resources, help, whatever it is to raise up, wow. That’s, that’s the best that we could possibly do. So our path just kind of open to where they go, which is amazing. Um, right. So you have this beautiful organization and where are you today with the organization? So I know we talked about its beginnings, but could you share what’s going on now?
Speaker 2 (15:45):
Yeah. So today I’m really proud of the team we have.
Speaker 2 (15:51):
So we, I like to say we’re small but mighty. So we’ve, um, we’ve raised over 8 million in the past 10 years. My husband and I volunteer our time, um, with the organization, it’s mostly myself. Um, but he, um, our other company actually funds our overhead over nonprofit too. So, you know, 98% of everything that comes in are 90 or something that comes into our nonprofit goes to the cause. Um, so that’s kind of our financial side, our team side. Um, we, I have two, um, two full-time north American staff that help me and then a part-time kind of tech, um, person that helps. And then on our team in Kenya, we have four kind of grant. Um, we call them ground reps. We have a counselor, um, and they, they really, um, meet with the community foster relationships, like let us know where new locations could be for schools.
Speaker 2 (16:43):
And they really are our eyes on the ground, but they’re part of my family. Like they’re, we’re all one big family where we work together. So what we’ve done now is we’re working on our 15th. And when we, each school that we build, we par we partner with the government. So the government sustains the school. And that was really important for Sue and I that if, you know, we were to walk away today, right? Those schools would still be there over 5,000 kids, whatever it is would still go to school. Right. And everything would run as normal. So they fund the teacher’s salaries. Like everything run by them. We essentially come in and help build the structure with the help of the community, um, and get it going. And then our team goes and visits it and checks it and maintenance just to see how it’s going.
Speaker 2 (17:26):
So we can report back to the donors that have helped out. And then another thing talk about planting seeds that I really love to do for the non of it. Um, it’s one of my favorite parts because I said earlier, like planting those seeds, a possibility is so important. And we, um, we just did one, actually we do field trips for grade, um, grade six, no grade three grade eight and high school. So those three, um, areas, and we take the kids on field trips. Now this is a village impact initiative. It’s not like a government initiative, it’s our initiative, but I really believe in it because we take these kids and we take them on a safari or we take them into the city. And I mean, we’ve taken the, um, or we do an entrepreneurial event where we bring in local entrepreneurs and the grade twelves have a day talking about, you know, learning from other entrepreneurs in the community.
Speaker 2 (18:15):
But the most amazing thing is, is like, we’ll take these kids into a city and they have never, ever been into the city. Like some of these kids in our schools where they are, and they’ve never seen a fork in a knife they’ve never seen so much. They were so excited to in traffic for a day because they had never seen so many cars on a road. Like they’d never seen a truck. And so for me, it’s planting those seeds, right. They go back then to their homes and they see like, wow, there is like so much out there that I don’t even know. And I mean, I’m still learning. Like I’m still, I still strive to push myself out to learn new things because if we stay in our bubble, absolutely. Right. So it’s the same with our schools where we take them out and do these like field trips.
Speaker 2 (18:58):
And, and I mean, some of the kids had never even seen like, you know, that African animals that everyone sees on TV, like the elephant and the zebras, right. Have never seen those themselves. And they live like next door to them in a sense. So it’s just, for me, that’s one of my favorite parts. I love watching all the videos from the trip and they’re all out there. We give them t-shirts to wear and um, they go and do this adventure and then they go home and it’s gotten nowhere every year. They’re so excited to get to grade eight or they’re so excited to get to grade 12. Yeah. Cause they want the trip and they want it. They want to see what the others have seen. And it is, it’s like planting those seeds of possibilities that hopefully stay with them and then shape them going forward or open their eyes to the opportunity that’s out there.
Speaker 1 (19:40):
I love that so much. And I love the fact is like, they can look forward to it. So like work hard and, and do what we need to do and look forward to that. But when you are able to change someone’s perspective or present an opportunity, it can change their whole direction of their life. Absolutely. And, and that is what you’re, you know, doing. And again, it’s not, we’re not directing it. We’re not, you know, saying this is, but we’re, we’re, you’re making that a possibility for people and that’s everything. Because if there’s a, and I know there’s many in your schools who are going to say, oh, and I can do this. When I grow up, I can then pay that the ripple effect of good that you have in the world is tremendous and limitless. So, so exciting. And I love that. And I love that.
Speaker 1 (20:23):
You said that it’s right next door. I also love that you said they’re stuck in traffic and excited, like things that we take for granted or maybe even get upset about. So it’s, it’s all about, it’s all about perspective is everything totally. Um, so I love that so much. So I wanna hone in now to the book and I would like to really inspire and share with people how they too can find their purpose and get fulfillment and have a ripple effect of service and good out into the world. There’s a couple of things that I see from the work that I do that are real, what I call kind of blocks for people. And it’s, it’s really their mind. Right? So it’s their mindset. And I love that you started today and thank you so much for saying, sitting on the couch, watching Oprah love Oprah. And I said, I wanna do that. And now you’re doing that. And so anyone can, can do this again, what’s in your heart and then wait for inspiration to help you with that. So let’s talk just a little bit about mindset for people and what is maybe one tool that you could give people that could be the first thing to maybe shift that block for them?
Speaker 2 (21:29):
Yeah. I, you know, what a big thing for me is, um, you know, I, and this, we may like, I, let me just say it and then I can add another one too. But like for where I am in my life at the moment, like a big thing for me is to show up and live my life and show, you know, show my daughter and son what’s possible for life by them watching me live mine. And I think oftentimes as women, we get stuck or we feel guilty for doing those things that we really like to do because we should be doing this or that. And so when I start to feel that we all feel that way sometimes. Right. Like I, you know, so when I feel that way, I think, well, no, like I’m knowing my daughter what’s possible by me going on.
Speaker 2 (22:10):
I, I just booked my next adventure trip with some friends and like, and then I’m going down to Kenya. So I will be away for a little longer than I had planned, but I really need to do that for myself because I need to fill that bucket. We’ve had COVID for how many years. And I haven’t been to Kenya, I haven’t done an adventure trip and that’s something that I really love to do. So, you know, it’s important for my kids to see me showing up for myself and following something that I really love to do and living in that moment. So I think using that, reframing it to knowing that it’s a teachable moment, it’s not selfish. You’re teaching like your children, you’re teaching in your community or you’re teaching, you know, people in your family. Like, because I think oftentimes we forget too, like we may be a mom, but we’re also a leader of a community.
Speaker 2 (22:59):
And if you’re not a leader of a community, there are people watching you on Instagram. Like I’m sure people are, there are people watching you on Facebook. You don’t know, and you probably are inspiring so many people and you have no idea that you are, are because everybody’s like watching things that we make. So I kind of reframe it to that to make sure that I’m in a line with who I am and our values as a family and how important it is to, to stay on track with that. And, you know, and, and just to add to that, a reason why I wrote the book is, you know, you don’t have to like I at a charity and not everyone has to start a charity. Like for me, that was what I decided to do. But like you said, our purpose can be, or using our passion to do more good. And there’s no right or wrong way of doing that. Or there’s no little or big way, all a big impact, no matter what we decide to do, but definitely reframing it to, you know, this is showing my daughter and showing my son what’s possible. Um,
Speaker 1 (23:54):
Yeah. And I think that we have to remember that people and children, especially, but people they watch what you do, not what you say
Speaker 2 (24:00):
Speaker 1 (24:01):
Your body language. And, and when we see people and again, this, this feeling of being selfish. When you do things for yourself, we have to take that and throw that right out the window. Because if you don’t, when, when you take care of yourself and when you live in your authentic and fill yourself up, you are taking care of other people. Absolutely. Cause you can show up as your best beautiful version. So I think that’s so important. So we’ve talked about running with inspiration. We’ve talked about out, not being selfish, but being authentic and, and listening to that voice, no matter what children and we’re gonna have that. So we wanna honor filling ourselves up and, and nurturing. Yeah. And then the other thing that I think is super important in chapter 12 is forget perfection. There’s no such thing. The minute that I really honed into that by way. And this was like in 2020, even before that we were so inundated, we were locked down. I was doing so much and I was a little paralyzed about it. And I was like, okay, pick three things that you have to do today, get it 80% the way you want it. And that’s perfect. And when I gave myself that freedom, I got so much more done because there is no such thing as perfection. It just blocks us.
Speaker 2 (25:05):
There is. And people it’s so funny because, and I mean, I’m go like it. Everyone thinks there is like my, if you were to look at the charity today, it looks pretty. It looks amazing. I’m proud of what we’ve done, but man, it didn’t start like that. Like we started with $300, like I said, in the bank, we were at the beginning, we were running the donations that came in through our, a business and paying taxes on them because I had, I didn’t know how to start a charity. And it was like Google find a lawyer in Toronto that knows how to do charities. Like talk to him, pay him, go to the next thing. Like, and nothing’s perfect. No one has nothing’s perfect. Because like he said, we wait, if we all we know, we just waits to be perfect. It won’t happen. And then you’re missing out on all the people’s lives.
Speaker 2 (25:51):
You can change and all the people you can help and inspire by waiting. Um, so you have to start somewhere and if you don’t start too, it’s like I say, in the book and that we said before, it’s like action brings the clarity, like where we are in Kenya today started in El Salvador and then it was in Ghana and then it was in Kenya. But I wouldn’t have ended up in Kenya. Had I not gone through El Salvador in Ghana and clarified our vision and, and, and clarified it to a point where people understood what we were doing. Because beginning our message was so unclear. People were like, oh, I, um, I think they help kids in Africa. I don’t really know what they do because we didn’t really know where we were. We
Speaker 1 (26:32):
Speaker 2 (26:34):
Right. So clarity just comes from taking those steps, but it’s not,
Speaker 1 (26:37):
I love that. And I think the people are like with our social media lives and everything that everything looks like it’s done and it happened. It’s amazing. And no, you have an idea and you kind of like massage it along the way and you find out what doesn’t work. And then you get to a model that does work and it takes time and it, so it doesn’t happen overnight. So I love that you clarified that. Just, I want people to know that, to just take that step, that first step and this long as it’s in your heart and authentic, take that first step and then keep massaging it along the way and see what happens because that is really the magic of life is when we find that. And I wanna elaborate for our listeners who, you know, come to us cuz they know I’m the end of life, doula, doula, givers, you know, death is the number one fear in our life.
Speaker 1 (27:19):
And I wanna really clarify this because I work with so many people. And I, I honestly don’t think that the fear is necessarily a fear of the dying itself, which is again, has a lot of layers to it because we don’t live with the awareness of these beautiful teachings. Like you talk about in finding purpose and connecting with more. I feel like when people have that end of life, when it shows up, they have so much regret of what they didn’t do. Yeah. But I feel that that is the overwhelming fear is that, oh my gosh, my time is up and I didn’t build that or do that thing. Or, and I, I really want people to hear that, cuz that’s really important that we don’t have that regret at the end. So, so important to take that action. And then one of the last highlights I wanna, um, say, and have you expand on about what we can do every day to have acts of kindness in the world. And again, we kind of started on this in the beginning is you have an ability to make an impact giving back chapter 17, giving back every day doesn’t have to mean money. It, it actually could just mean showing up with, you know, presence and seeing, could you just expand on that? Cuz that’s something that we can take away we can practice today.
Speaker 2 (28:30):
Yeah. And you know, and that’s, I think often time, especially in our life today, we’re so move things are moving so fast. Right. And we’re always focused on the next thing and like, we’re gonna get here, we gotta get there. And like, this is on my schedule and I blah, like it like goes by and it’s this simplest things that can create the biggest difference and the simplest things that can mean so much to somebody like it’s, you know, I get really frustrated when people don’t see please. And thank you at Starbucks and Tim Horton’s like, just say please, and thank you. There is like, what did your mom teach you? Like you should be saying, please say you to people in the door like opening the door. We do, um, Sunday notes. So we sit down as a family on Sundays and we write little thank you cards and you know, it’s handwriting them.
Speaker 2 (29:13):
It’s like, that makes a huge difference because we text, email, we call, but how many times do you get a card in the mail and just teaching our kids gratitude and you know, thanking people for the gifts. And sometimes it’s not even a thank you for the gift. It’s just, uh, hi, I’m thinking about you today. Like I really liked when we had this memory together or I like about this, so it’s taking those times and I’m making those times into a tra a tradition. So like that’s a family tradition. So what could you do like to give back or to do little things like this and make it a fun tradition with your family or your community or, um, you know, people that you work with. And that’s what I find when you can make those things into a tradition with your family. Um, you do them more repeatedly.
Speaker 2 (29:57):
So, um, we do that. We’ve done, um, we do mega surprises or surprises for our family where we’ll, um, take them on trips or do things like that or in experiences that they haven’t had before. Um, and then of course within our business, we always weave in a percentage of giving back, um, to charity, something that we’ve done, um, in Sue’s larger company that they do that I really, um, like is have every quarter they give away. I, I think it’s $14,000. It’s something, it’s some number. It doesn’t matter what it’s. Yeah. But that the staff come and then if they would like to have some of that money to give to a cause they’re passionate about they come to the table, they present do they do a presentation in front of all the staff and then the staff go on where that money goes.
Speaker 2 (30:42):
So it gives the staff an opportunity to highlight another charity or another cause, and then they can give back to that too. Um, that’s a company thing, a thing that we do at home, another thing is teaching our kids to save, give and spend, I think is a really big thing. Having that healthy relationship with money to save it, to spend it is okay. And then the whole giving aspect around it, I think is important too. But I think people discount the simplest things. Like, honestly, it’s the please. And the thank you, like you said, it’s the being present with people putting down your phone. Like when we go out to dinner, I see families on their phones and I’m just like, what are you doing? Like put it away. Like this is like, you need to connect. Like people want to feel heard and connected and it’s just spending the time and, and it’s okay if you need to put, put it on your calendar and like, you know, have time, like we do that for village impact. We have, you know, once every month there’s a sex section on studentized calendar. You know, of people we wanna connect with for the nonprofit and like some things we wanna share with them and there’s nothing wrong with scheduling that either like, you know, but many may be consistent, but it really is the little things that, um, go the longest way.
Speaker 1 (31:58):
It really are the little things and it’s, and it’s the things that aren’t really material that to me are, are, are the greatest things. And it’s something we can all give. We all have that ability to be present and to, you know, have compassion for people.
Speaker 2 (32:11):
Yeah. And we all, and we all do, even in like, you know, sharing, like sharing, um, sharing things online or what you’re doing or giving or like there, we can have an impact every day and it can start today and how we show up, right. How we show up for our community.
Speaker 1 (32:25):
I think we should start a hashtag intention sharing, like when we share positive feedback. Cause there’s so much. Yeah. Just because it does inspire me when I see people like you doing work, I’m like, okay, I can breathe so much easier. The world is a beautiful place when it can seem so heavy. And so I think it’s so important that we know that this work is being done out there and that we are all connected. So I absolutely wanna thank you so much. This book is so full of incredible information, passion to purpose Amy, McLaren, your, I mean, I’ll say it a seven step journey to shed. Self-doubt find inspiration and change your life and the world for the better. I wanna thank you so much for being here. Can you please tell our listeners how to get involved with village impact and everything you’re doing?
Speaker 2 (33:07):
Yeah. So you can follow us at village impact and Instagram, and then you can find me on Amy Dow McLaren on Instagram. And then of course my, um, what do you call them? The tags at the top. Oh, the, well, and it has all the links to all the good stuff as my strength. I forget. And
Speaker 1 (33:23):
I’ll, I’ll link everything for you here. So we’ll link everything to the podcast as well. I encourage everyone to check this out, to get involved because this is again, that ripple effect that we can all be a part of. And of course be kind every single day too. One another. Amy, thank you so much for being our guest today on ASCA death, doula.
Speaker 2 (33:39):
Thank you so much.
Speaker 1 (33:41):
All right, everyone. I will see you in the next episode. Thank you for listening.