I Don't Know How You Do It

Wanderlust Wisdom: Lessons From the Road, with Dr. Marcy Cole

January 23, 2024 Jessica Fein Episode 52
I Don't Know How You Do It
Wanderlust Wisdom: Lessons From the Road, with Dr. Marcy Cole
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever dreamed of leaving everything behind and setting off to travel the world?  When Dr. Marcy Cole's partner suggested they do just that, Marcy didn't hesitate. She packed up her Los Angeles home where she'd lived for nearly 20 years, and together they set off on a nomadic adventure.

What Marcy learned on the road was more than how delicious the pastries in France are. She had five main takeaways, each of which is a valuable lesson that can be applied back at home. Marcy also rediscovered a core piece of her identity during her journey. You don't need to travel the world to be inspired by Marcy's takeaways.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • Why leaving your bubble can teach you so much about yourself
  • What happens when we go public with our dreams
  • Why we need to stay in the ring
  • How what happens can work for you not to you
  • What to do when we set the intention for grace and ease and things take a different turn
  • And so much more...

Dr. Marcy Cole is a holistic psychotherapist, life coach, and wellness educator She founded First Tuesday Global in 2000, with the aim of fostering a sense of community through social connectivity, personal and professional development, and social service.

Learn more about Marcy:

Marcy's Website
Facebook
First Tuesday Global

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Music credit: Limitless by Bells

Transcript

Jessica Fein: Welcome. I'm Jessica Fein, and this is the “I Don’t Know How You Do It” podcast where we talk to people whose lives seem unimaginable from the outside and dive into how they're able to do things that look undoable.

I'm so glad you're joining me on this journey and I hope you enjoy the conversation. 

Welcome back to the show. Before we get into today's episode, I want to let you know that I have a brand new website over at jessicafeinstories.com. If you head over there and pre order my memoir, Breath Taking, you'll get a bunch of awesome bonuses.

So please check that out when you're done with the episode. Now on to today's show. Today is part two of our three part It's January and There Are So Many Things I Want to Do This Year series. Last week, we spoke with [00:01:00] Dr. Mike Rucker about how and why to have more fun. This week, I am overjoyed to speak with my magical friend, Dr. Marcy Cole, about her 14 month travel adventure. Marcy packed up the home she'd lived in for nearly 20 years and set off on this nomadic journey with her love, Michael. We talked about how it's possible to pull something like this off logistically, and what Marcy's top takeaways were from her travels.

What I love so much is that so many of the takeaways are things that can resonate for us, even in our own living rooms. We do not need to travel the world to benefit from some of what Marcy learned along the way. We also spoke about how Marcy came home to her identity by getting out of her own bubble.

Marcy is a holistic psychotherapist, life coach, and wellness educator. She also facilitates life enrichment events through a virtual platform for women called First Tuesday Global, which she founded in 2000 to foster a sense of community through social connectivity, personal and professional [00:02:00] development, and social service.

Marcy is an incredible human being, and I am so excited to introduce you to her. 

Welcome to the show, Marcy. I am so excited to have you here. 

Marcy Cole: We have a history that is so rich, and it fills my heart with so much that it is an honor to be with you. 

Jessica Fein: It's so fun when I get to talk to people who inspire me so much and are people who are already a part of my life.

Because I've had the opportunity to meet so many new incredible people through this process. But when I get to talk to people who I've known forever, it's all that more special. Marcy, there are like 10 different topics we could talk about in this conversation, but we're really going to focus on the journey you've just returned from.

And I will tell you from the outset that I really want to learn from you over the course of this conversation because I aspire to do something similar in a few years. So let's back up and if you can just share [00:03:00] what this journey is that I'm talking about. 

Marcy Cole: Yeah, okay. The journey you're referencing is just getting back into the U.S. after leaving Los Angeles after 18 years and going on a 14 month journey. We called it a Nomadic Journey, but it wasn't totally nomadic because I did sort of plan it out with my love, Michael, and like, just throwing all caution to the wind and without a key to call our own, but just bouncing around. And that's the journey.

The way it came about was very organic. Originally, I wanted to write a book and Michael said, well, why don't we just go on an adventure and write? Cause he's a writer as well. And just travel. And I literally was like, okay. It took me a split second. I'm like, okay. I didn't even have to think about it. Why?

There's things in our soul that are speaking to us and sometimes we're so distracted and to think about calling it forth and claiming it and navigating it on our own just feels too much. We're not [00:04:00] even completely consciously aware of it, you know? And so when he said, let's go on the magic carpet ride, I was like, all right, let's go.

And there was no ambivalence about it. It was really interesting. I lived in Los Angeles, and frankly, I'm in mental health, and I was tired of just the cost of living, intensity of living in Los Angeles. And I wanted to just say, what would it be like to sort of ease up the financial responsibilities for like months?

So, I first reached out to friends and family that I'm very, very blessed to have in my life. I mean, they have multiple homes that they weren't there, and they just like, sure, what month do you want? And so, we piecemealed, and Michael also had some people in his world, and so we piecemealed the first part of our journey in the United States.

Let me just also preface that I counted on the plane ride home from Europe, 58 beds, 25 cities in America, and 13 countries this summer over four months in Europe. So that was the journey. My parents both passed in 2021. For [00:05:00] years, my focus in travel was going from west coast to east coast to tend to them, to be with them.

I hadn't been in Europe in 25 years. I had the bug. And you know, Jesse, I mean, you've been a caretaker and a mama and a caretaker for so many years. There's a point in life where we just have that wanderlust coming up and we're like, I want to go. 

Jessica Fein: Let's start with the logistics. So he says, I think we should go do this thing.

And you're like, yes, I'm in without even thinking about it. How much time was there between when this suggestion first bubbled up to when you actually gave up the home in LA and hit the road? 

Marcy Cole: I would say it was about a year. So, the plan was to leave the summer of 2022. I did not anticipate January of that year, January 15th, 2022, the one year anniversary of my mom's passing, I stepped off my bed and went into level 10 pain and blew out my knee.

And so, for months, I was dealing with kind of being immobilized and having to have two surgeries, [00:06:00] when literally this huge. dismantling of all my stuff, and I have a lot of stuff, admittingly so. Um, I had to leave LA and do all this stuff, so that was very stressful. That was not the fun part.

Jessica Fein: Better that that happened well in advance of your trip than while you were in Majorca or somewhere exotic.

Marcy Cole: So you know what's so funny, Jessie? I do believe in the unseen, and I know you've talked a lot about grief and the grief process, and for me, because I believe in the unseen and that life is everlasting in some ways, and we just, we're all across the veil, and that Love never dies. I said to somebody, why would my mother, like this intuitive medium, why would my mom, why in the first anniversary of my mom's passing, would I blow out my knee?

Like, why would that happen? And she said that she heard exactly what you just said. Better than it's now, the knee is about to go better than it's now than on her trip to Europe. That exists. 

Jessica Fein: Oh, and I love that. 

Marcy Cole: So good for you for having that mom instinct too, for sure. 

Jessica Fein: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Now you said that one of the things as you were tired of the huge [00:07:00] expense of living in L.A. and you wanted to try something different. That's really interesting to me because when I think about it, I imagine this kind of trip would be cost prohibitive when I think about if I could ever do something like this. So overall, how does one do this from a financial perspective? 

Marcy Cole: What I thought about is who are my friends there.

Here's the important thing for all of us to understand. When we're public, with our visions and our dreams and our requests, people come forward in a big way. And this is a great part of the story. I put on Facebook, we were leaving in July, maybe I put it in February, March. I said, Hey, we're going to Europe.

Anyone know great hosting opportunities or Airbnbs or hotel, you know, just places to stay? Someone chimes in. Marcy, it's Maria. We have a place in Budapest. We won't be there all summer. It's yours if you'd like it. Now, this is a woman who in Chicago, 25 years ago, I was buying a scarf in a [00:08:00] store. The scarf is great.

Of course, I bought five for gifts and her tag was on it. So I call her. I find her. And I'm like, Hey, I love your work and dah, dah, dah. I had already started my women's group and living rooms. Will you come and do a pop up or whatever thing at our thing? And she said, sure. Anyway, long story short, she was extraordinarily sweet and talented.

And then she was a seamstress. So then she'd come to my house and do all my alterations. And we became friends and we would have these soulful discussions. And I haven't seen her in 25 years.  

Jessica Fein: I love the idea of when we put our vision and our dream out there, people respond and people show up. Because I think so often, at least I can say for myself, I'll have a dream or a vision and I'll keep it to myself.

I kind of feel like, oh, I don't want to jinx it or I don't want to actually publicly admit it. And I have found just what you've said. When I stepped forward and said things like, you know, I'm writing a book and claimed that, I started to meet all kinds of writers and get connected with people. And I think it's such an important lesson, right?

Because I think we tend to shy away from sharing [00:09:00] what we really hope for. 

Marcy Cole: Yes. It's really about trusting or not trusting, right? Who's in charge here? Who has the locus of control over your energy field? You do. I do. And when we wake up in the morning and that's our launching pad, then we have nothing to lose to put it out there.

And if people judge it or jealous of it or have those, those energies we don't want, okay, go out. It's none of our business. And then there are people that are silently listening and watching that don't say anything, but can be inspired actually. 

Jessica Fein: Well, I will tell you, Marcy, that I have a friend who has heard about you over the years from me who was watching your trip.

And is inspired because of it. So that's a perfect example. People are watching and it does give people courage or ideas.

Marcy Cole: Yes that's right. So let me go back to your question. So Maria responds with that. And I'm like, well, how much is your plate? Do you, she goes, you were an extraordinary friend to me 25 years ago.

I'm happy to just give this to you that kind of generosity and we stayed with a couple of [00:10:00] friends and then you know what the reality is I spent hours. It is no small feat to plan a trip like this. I don't even know how many hours, but I looked at Airbnbs and would. Deliberate this one or that one or this one and where is it and how much is it and la la la.

And I was frugal with our accommodations. They were clean, they were nice enough, but there were no palaces here. Okay. And that was fine for us. We were often running. We were just sleeping there basically. So the accommodations can work if you put the time into it. I will say we dined out every night. That was the biggest expense.

You know, we weren't cooking really and that was okay. That was fine. It was fun actually. So, we made it work that way. The other piece of it is that I'm a holistic psychotherapist, so I have a private practice. I knew I was leaving in July, and when people were being referred to me in the spring, I was either saying, I have a wait list, I'm back at the end of September, I'm back in the flow in October, if you'd like to wait or hear a couple of referrals.

But the people I was already working with, They all came with me. So for [00:11:00] those of us who are blessed to have a virtual business now, literally, I would spend all day playing and I would spend the afternoons with clients from like three to seven. So I had my days open and I had my nights open because of the hour differences.

And they all came with me. They were flexible. They were cool. The wifi worked a couple of times. It was dicey, but for the most part, it was good. 

Jessica Fein: That's such a great piece of advice because I had always thought like, okay, if you're going to be doing especially that kind of exotic travel, you have to figure out a way to either take time off of work or somehow push it to the fringes.

And these days we all are so accustomed to figuring out how to make it work virtually. So it's great to hear that you were able to do that while in Europe with that time difference and everything. But Marcy, just backing up for a second, I have to laugh thinking about you planning and looking at these Airbnbs.

We went to the Cape over Thanksgiving. We actually decided to do something different and we went to the Cape. And we were looking for two nights in an Airbnb, an hour from the house. I cannot tell you [00:12:00] how many hours I spent. So I couldn't even begin to imagine what that kind of planning was like. And also putting all the pieces together, like what place is available, which nights, I mean, what a puzzle.

Marcy Cole: Oh my gosh. Yeah. And trains, planes, cars, Ubers, which day trips we should take? I mean, I kept some things open. It's not like I planned every day. I mean, once we got there, but I did have some day trips and I will say one of the biggest pieces of advice I have for people that are going to do any kind of traveling.

Is I have lots of packing advice, but I'm not going to get into that because that'll be a great book. That's for sure. But walking tours your first day, they're called free walking tours or guru walks or something like that. You book it and you tip your guide and they're all licensed and they're all fantastic.

And it's a way for two hours to walk around the city, learn so much. It informs you of where you want to go. They often give you recommendations. That was great. I would say also, if I was going to logistically plan it differently, I was planning it around [00:13:00] geography and also where people were and when places were open and available to us.

But I think that actually, if all things are equal, you look at where the high speed trains run in Europe, because I didn't want to take flights. We ended up having to take five. Internal flights, because it's not as easy to take trains as you think. So you look at where the high speed trains go and you make it as simple as possible.

You go, okay, we're going to go from here to here, to here, to here. Easy, easy peasy. You never have to be in an airport except on your way to Europe or abroad on your way back. 

Jessica Fein: That's a really good piece of advice. And I'm wondering how much of it was planned out, like we're going to take this mode of transportation and we're going to be here this night, versus were there times when you were just like, wait a minute, we never thought about that country, but we met somebody who said we have to go there. Like, were there any huge detours or unplanned parts of this?

Marcy Cole: Okay. So yes to no. The no is that I wanted to plan all the logistics because to me it would be way too stressful to be like, where should we go now? No way. I wanted to relax once I was there. I wanted to have fun. [00:14:00] However, there is a great group on Facebook called girls love to travel with over a million women on this.

And I posted, I don't know, weeks before, Hey, we're going to these countries. Cause by that point it was all planned, all planned. Does anyone have any recommendations? And by the way, Michael at this point is in Spain because he went before me. I'm leaving a week later, okay? I'm in bed going through stuff and I see a comment that I had not seen that was sent several days before of a woman on this page that said, Marcy, watch out for the Schengen rules.

What's that? Well, the Schengen are 27 countries in Europe, that's a territory. And the idea is that you need your passport, but you don't need a visa. But the rule is you can only stay 90 out of 180 days. So six days or seven days before our trip, I find out that we're in violation, big time. And Michael is 34 days over, and I'm 17 days over.

And the risk you run is you could be deported, or you could be [00:15:00] fined, or they could stamp your passport so you can't come back for several years. So I put on Facebook, is this true? What do people, and everyone's like, yes, you must take it seriously. 

Jessica Fein: Oh my God. It really sounds, I'm sorry, but it sounds like it's kind of a big old practical joke with that name.

Marcy Cole: Yes. So I literally had to put probably another 40 more hours into this trip. I had to take out a country. So to answer your question, that was very unexpected 

Jessica Fein: But thank God that happened ahead of time and not while you were already there.

Marcy Cole: Correct. Thank you for channeling my mother once again. You know, we either choose to look at things as a bummer, initially I was like, Oh my God, and I was a little strung out about it, but it ended up being a blessing.

So be open that when things don't happen the way you think they're going to happen, what is going to happen can work for you, not to you. 

Jessica Fein: Oh, I love that. It can work for you, not to you. I'm going to inscribe that somewhere. I like that a lot. Okay. So you were working in terms of the therapy and part of what your goal was when you went, you mentioned, was to be writing.

Yes. How did that go for you [00:16:00] and how did it go for Michael?

Marcy Cole: All right. This is one of my five takeaways I'll share with you. Okay. What is it? We plan God laughs. What was I thinking, Jessi? What was I thinking? People told me later in my life, they were thinking, what was she thinking? Because as you know, writing, it takes focus.

It takes stillness. It takes stability where you are physically, you know, I was bouncing around. There was no way for me to catch my breath. During that time, my brother passed away. I got engaged, which was a surprise. There was some stress around my animal care. I had to figure out how my senior dog could be taken care of for a year to set me free for one year when, you know, I love her more than anything.

There were stresses, there was movement. And then when I was at places, I was working part of the time, A, and B, the other part I wanted to explore. So about three months in. I was like, Oh my God, I haven't started. I haven't started. And then one day we were talking, it's like, why don't you just let it go for now?

And I'm like, yeah, okay. That sounds good. [00:17:00] I'm letting it go. So there was no writing for me that entire year. And I trust that, you know, when things are supposed to be that come through you, there's so much I want to do. There's so many articles I want to write. There's so many things I want to share, but everything in its own due time.

Jessica Fein: I love that you gave yourself the permission because that could have just weighed on you and you wouldn't have gotten any writing done, but it would have been weighing on you. So just to be able to let it go. 

Marcy Cole: That's right. Writing was not the purpose of this year, even though that was one of the initial inspiring reasons.

And it did not end up being the takeaway. 

Jessica Fein: Well, you said there were five main takeaways. You just said that this was one, the idea that, you know, writing wasn't going to happen. So now, of course, we need to know what are the others? 

Marcy Cole: Well, okay, so that's one. Don't be so attached to a plan. Let it evolve. Let it flow into what it's meant to be.

One of them, within the first month, I realized, my gosh, in our Western world, in our American psychology and mindset and culture, we're so myopic in our [00:18:00] view. Our view is narrow. It's very self centered. There's some arrogance, there's all this stuff and, you know, we're meeting interesting people all over and seeing the richness of different cultures.

I mean, we're 200 years old, for God's sakes. And these other countries, not to mention all these people, most of them were bilingual. Or they spoke several languages, and I was so frustrated. I was like, oh god, if I had to do life all over again, I would have learned this earlier. I say to parents that are clients and friends, I'm like, please, your children's brains are sponges.

This is a gift you can give them for life. Expose them to another language. You know, there's that joke, what do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual. What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Trilingual. What do you call someone who speaks one language? American. Right? 

Jessica Fein: I hadn't heard that.

And I think it's also the case, by the way, this is a little bit of a tangent, but if you learn a second language when you're itty bitty, you know, I think it's like before age five, the way your [00:19:00] brain pathways connect, you will always be able to learn additional languages more easily. 

Marcy Cole: That's right. Oh my gosh, I met this little boy in Croatia, in the ocean.

He was eight years old. He was so adorable. I'm just like, can I please take you home with me? And he was at that age where he was so receptive. And his English was pretty good. And I said, how is your English so good? He goes, I listen to, and he listens to something online. His mom was saying, he doesn't love school.

I'm like, school's just a place to learn. Guess what? Learn as many languages as you possibly can. And I said, it will be your superpower for the rest of your life. I promise you. And he was like, okay.

Jessica Fein: Okay. I mean, I love that. He's going to be an old man, you know, someday and he'll be speaking a million different languages and he'll say, I don't know, when I was a kid, I was in the ocean and this woman appeared and she told me to learn all these languages.

Marcy Cole: Yeah. That's right. I would say that's one of them, just the humility and the broader perspective of we live in such a big wide world and that on one hand, there's so many differences in experience and [00:20:00] history and mindset. On the other hand, We're all the same at the end of the day, too. The humanity of wherever we went, that was a big one.

Jessica Fein: On that one, though, I would ask, because I think that we can be myopic even within our own community or our own state. I don't think we have to go to Europe to expand our horizons, but I think sometimes just getting out of our own little ecosystem. So many of us just stay here where we're comfortable with the people we know in our own little bubble.

Yes, all the more so when you have the opportunity to travel, but I think probably even that can be something we can take to heart without the grand journey. 

Marcy Cole: A hundred percent, Jessie. Thank you for that. So taking it home, right, and bringing it home, and remembering the mindset that you said the word bubble.

That's what I said. I feel like I've been in a bubble, tiny, tiny bubble my whole life. And so to bring that wisdom home is 100 percent true. And to remember that, whether it's one relationship, family, community, country, whatever it is, leaving [00:21:00] more room to be curious. To listen, to seek to understand, to explore new horizons, moving on to more takeaways.

So my relationship.

Jessica Fein: That was going to be the whole next section of my questions, so let's go. Okay. 

Marcy Cole: So this year was the fourth year we've been together. And you know, I will say that when you spend literally 24 seven, Michael and I are both people that love to be close, but we have a real independent spirit.

And so our relationship, because he was in Portland and I was in LA for much of it, there was a lot of built in time apart. You know, and it worked for us really well because he had his rich life. I had my rich life. We were building a rich life together and we could miss each other and come back and have greater appreciation even.

And we were so blissed out for the first couple of years. The third year was when my knee blew out and we were moving and it was a really good year but it was a bit stressful because of all that. But this year was, again, I would say a [00:22:00] combination of mostly. Blessings and epic, amazing times and some, I called them bliss bumps, big time, you know, bliss bumps.

And sometimes I've even say, this isn't even a bliss bump. This is a bliss funk.

Jessica Fein:. But I love that you still kept the word bliss in there. I mean, it sounds so much more manageable, right? 

Marcy Cole: But, you know, I would say that when you're on the go like this, you have two nervous systems to contend with. You have two minds of the way we perceive things.

You have two preferences of what you want to do and where you want to go. And so, There were times that we were a bit challenged where there were new things that were revealed in my psyche, in his psyche, in our dynamic, that I'm like, wow, okay, now we're in year four, and now we're in the sort of the deeper discovery.

Of not only the things that we continue to love and appreciate about each other, but some of the things that we didn't see coming and that are challenging and that are requiring deeper reflection, deeper healing, deeper willingness to [00:23:00] compromise in order to be a couple and redefine what partnership is.

And so that was a takeaway and continues to be. We are continuing to be in that zone as we get settled in a new city that he has a lot of history and I'm living in a house that he has, you know, 25, 30 years of history and right now. 

Jessica Fein: Right, because now that you're back, you've left L. A. and you're in Portland.

Marcy Cole: We are in Portland, in this home, so he can sort of clean it out after all of these years, and so we can sort of explore, and I, I'm excited about this chapter. We'll be here a year or two or so, and we'll see. And then, We'll see. The future is to be revealed and to be explored and discovered and I trust that it'll be exactly what is meant for us.

But for now, we're in Portland. 

Jessica Fein: It's so fascinating because first of all, you know, I've been in my relationship forever. I think about, you know, when we are away together, I mean, We're not talking about, you know, a year plus on the road when we go on a long car ride, you know. I mean, when you have that [00:24:00] intensity and you are just together, there is obviously unfolding dynamics.

For you in this situation, you also didn't know anybody else. I mean, I understand you stayed with people and there were a few people here and there, but you two were together and it was your world and your journey without all the other people that throughout the course of a day we interact and relate to and confide in and escape to. 

Marcy Cole: That's true, Jessie. It's absolutely true. And so there's a level of greater appreciation. There's a greater level of dependency, actually. Dependency, yes. Dependency that you are and you're not aware of. Part of you is and part of you isn't. And then there can be a greater reactivity when things are not what you want them to be because of that dependency.

And because of that, you know, you're my person, you're my home, like, hello, like, you know.

Jessica Fein: You speak my language, which also you might not have to worry about when you're at home. 

Marcy Cole: That's right. I think that when people go on journeys, they talk about moves and all these things can be stressful. Sometimes I like to be Pollyanna high vibe about it, like, Oh [00:25:00] no, we're going to do this and it's going to be fun and it's going to be cool and we're going to roll with it.

But you know, the truth is one of the takeaways is you need to imagine and set the intention for a journey with grace and ease and joy and flow. Don't be surprised when there are glitches, whether it's on the road with your flight or this, that, or the other, or within the context of your interpersonal field, whoever you're with, and just stay in the ring, stay in the ring, whether you're at home, stay in the room at home or on the road, stay there to work it through.

And by the way, sometimes just to take a break, just be like, you know what? You do your thing. I'm going to do my thing. And we're going to come back together for dinner. It worked beautifully. We need that, right? We need that. We need that space in our relationships. 

Jessica Fein: Definitely. Did you have any ground rules that you set for yourselves before you left?

Marcy Cole: Well, you see, this was an unusual trip because he really did hand over the reins of a lot of the planning to me. So part of it was like, okay, are you sure about that? [00:26:00] Because I don't want to get into a situation where you, Oh, you would have, could have, should have. If you have two chefs in the kitchen, then you learn to say, how about this ingredient?

How about that? How about that? It was a different discussion. I was literally going, okay, here's your boarding pass. Okay. Here's where we have to be tomorrow. And the other takeaway, let me just share with us as I think about it is that to do this is a practice at being incredibly present. You know, I don't know if you've ever experienced this on vacation where you're just right there and you're not as distracted you're just right there and the way I handled the sort of potential overwhelm of planning this kind of thing and being responsible for it was just to stay right where I was.

Okay, just dealing with today. You know, what's the Google Docs say for today? Where's the thing for tomorrow? And that's it. Where's the next country? Okay. Where are we going next week? Okay. It was just staying incredibly present and taking in the sights and the sounds and, and all of that. So that was a big one, which by the way, continues to be with me in a way that now that everyone's like, how are you adjusting?

Portland? I'm like, I'm just here. I'm just here. It's [00:27:00] like, that's all there is. 

Jessica Fein: I love it. You are present right here. It's interesting, Marcy, because I always would have described you anyway as being a person who's so present. So to hear that you feel even more so, that's just even more Marcy magic. I love that.

How else do you feel like you changed because of this? 

Marcy Cole: All right, here's a big one. Are we ready? Drum roll. This is what I did not anticipate at all. I didn't see coming. Because we were planning, I put into place all of these walking tours, okay? Well, let me just cut to the chase and then I'll come back. I was reminded and realigned and re engaged and re inspired with my Jewish identity.

Wow. Yeah. Cause here's what happened. My parents were raised Orthodox in Brooklyn, came to Florida. They were more conservative, but we weren't super religious, but very culturally identified with being Jewish. I got very involved in high school, Jewish youth groups, going to Israel, a couple of long visits and teen tours and schools.

And then I went my junior year of college there and then I was UGA campaign person [00:28:00] at Northwestern University. Jewish camps, Jewish overnight camps. You were at my table. Little adorable one. I was a counselor at that Jewish camp we were at. Yes. It was very much. part of my identity. And then in my mid 20s, I was in the pool in Florida and my brother said, Marce, maybe you should diversify a little bit about your focus.

And I thought, God, he's kind of right. And I never went back. For all these decades, I was just like, you know what? Organized religion is just, everyone's full of themselves. They think they're right. It creates separation. It creates misunderstanding. It creates wars. Hello. And then when I moved to LA 20 years ago, someone said, Oh, you should come to Agape.

It's called Agape International Spiritual Center. There's a thousand people in the room, three services on Sundays. And I walk in, I'm in the very back and I look around and there's like every color under the rainbow. Under this roof, black, white, brown, young, old, gay, straight, Jew, Muslim, Christian, Buddha, whoever, connecting with one higher power, connecting with each other, I [00:29:00] cried for two hours.

I was like, this feels like home. And that was my thing. So when I was out there in the world, I'd say, yeah, well, I'm non denominational spiritual. Oh, and by the way, I was raised Jewish. That's how I would say it. And yes, there are some beautiful things about the culture of Judaism and I still love Israel, but you know, yeah, I'm non denominational spiritual.

Okay. All right. We're in Europe. We start these walking tours. Our first country in Spain, we had three of them in different places. We learn about the Spanish inquisition and the person's like, and this is what happened to the Jewish community during the Spanish inquisition. And there was so much horror and so much bloodshed and so much exile and so much suffering that Spain now, if you can prove that you have Spanish roots in that time period, they will give you citizenship.

They're creating reparation. So I'm like, wow. So I was reminded, I was like, wow. But all through those tours in Spain and Portugal, it happened again. I was a little removed. I was like, you know, that was a long time ago and good for them for making reparations. And then we get a little bit of a [00:30:00] respite in Ireland.

But then it's all about the Protestants and the Catholics and that whole thing. But it wasn't about the Jewish people, but I'm like, wow. But again, I'm so aware that, oh God, this has happened through centuries of how religion separates people and creates such conflict. Then we go to Paris and I'm on, you know, journey and there's the delicatessen where there was that terrorist attack and this many people, Jews died.

These are the tour guides sharing with us. And then we go to. Budapest, where you can only imagine, now we're in World War II time. And there's this just gut wrenching memorial where you have these bronze shoes. In this walking tour, a non Jewish young man who was lovely and amazing and knew his stuff was talking about the history of the Jewish community and how they were basically wiped out in the last six months of the war.

I mean, wiped out. And there was this one memorial where you have these bronze shoes where they would line them up and they would tie them together. And they would take their shoes off, because those were valuable or something crazy. They would shoot one [00:31:00] person, so they would save bullets. And then all of them, because they were side together, would drown.

So I'm there, and then I'm hearing this tour guide speak about what was going on then, and how so many of the Nazi criminals actually just changed suits. And they became KGB and that even his father of that generation denies. And there was a beautiful temple there with a memorial. And I looked at Michael at that point.

I'm like, okay, I'm starting to get upset. Like it's starting to come back. I've been very defended of this whole trip about this. And then we go to Montenegro, Albania, Croatia, walking tours. Also mentioned the Jewish population, what happened there. Then we go to Italy. And then of course, England too. And my last day in Europe was in Amsterdam at the Anne Frank house.

So you can imagine. So now it's my last day. So now I'm immersed in history of the Amsterdam experience with the Jewish community. So that was a really emotional day. And then I get on the plane. We're on the way back to the U. S. It's time to come home. I'm going to watch a [00:32:00] movie. I have this long flight.

Which movie should I watch? I'm like, Oh, are you there? God, it's me. Margaret is on. That was a book in my generation. All of us girls read that book. Did you read it?

Jessica Fein: Absolutely. Of course.

Marcy Cole: Right. So I'm thinking, Oh, that's going to be a rite of passage, a sweet rite of passage story. I can't wait to see it.

What I didn't remember is that part of the plot line in this movie is that this girl has a dad was sort of like an overbearing Jewish mom. So is that she's very close to her grandma. And she has fundamental Christian grandparents on the other side of her mom who disowned their daughter for marrying a Jewish man for years.

And they're all coming back together for a moment, and they're in the kitchen, and then there starts to be friction around this little girl. Is she going to be about misfit, or is she going to go to here, or is she going to go there? And she gets really upset, and she starts to cry, and she says, Stop fighting!

Religion makes people fight! And I'm in the airplane, I'm like, Oh my god, yeah, I'm Jewish. Period. This is part of my bloodline, and this is part of our ancestral history. And we get back to [00:33:00] America, and the massacre in Israel happens nine days later. And we know what's been going on since. And so that was a huge experience on my journey abroad that I did not see coming.

But I'm grateful that I've had a little bit of an awakening here, because it's important. It's important on so many levels. 

Jessica Fein: Thank you for sharing that. It's so interesting that it was getting away. And as you said, getting out of your bubble that in a sense made you return to the original bubble.

Marcy Cole: That's right.

Exactly. That was a big one from like the deepest meaningful place in my heart. It wasn't about the pastries in Paris, you know 

Jessica Fein: Now you're back, you're settling into this new environment. Were you glad that it was going to be ending? Were you ready for it to be coming to an end? I mean, it's a long time and it sounds like so many wonderful things, but, you know, sometimes even when I go away for a week or two, I'm like, oh, I'm so ready to be done and to get home.

Was that your thing or were you [00:34:00] like, I wish we could stay forever?

Marcy Cole: Yeah, it was a little bit of both. The truth is I was pretty exhausted mentally. Also, my body, you know, we were walking like 20, 000 steps and my back started to hurt. I got off the plane, my side was hurting. So I was like, alright, I need to be in one place and very still for a while.

And I've said to Michael, I'm not going anywhere. First of all, I want to be with my dog. I'm not leaving her. I have no desire to get on a plane for a very long time. 

Jessica Fein: What are the three pieces of advice you would say to somebody who comes to you, like me maybe, and says Marcy, I want to do this. This sounds great.

What are the three things I need to know?

Marcy Cole: Okay. First thing that comes to mind is the Nike thing. Just do it. Just do it. Say yes. Follow your curiosity. Follow your vitality. If something gets you excited. If something gets you, hmm, that's interesting. Where, what's that, what? Just go with it. And also have trust and faith.

I actually wore a necklace. I said, trust, like, I'm just going to trust all be well. Guess what? We never missed a flight. We never lost our luggage. I mean, it was pretty, [00:35:00] pretty incredible.

Jessica Fein: That is pretty amazing. 

Marcy Cole: I know. But even if we had, that can be part of the journey. Just trust. It'll be okay. So, I would say follow your curiosity, follow your vitality, then just do it and have trust and faith in yourself and the universe and all of the possibilities and joyful moments and discoveries that are in store for you.

Jessica Fein: Well, I love that advice because I will be able to keep that in mind when I want to plan my great adventure, but that's advice that we can use every single day no matter what we're doing. 

Marcy Cole: That's for sure, honey. That's for sure. There's no question about it. What I'm doing too, and I'm sharing with others, is this idea that if you're invited to something or someone, you know, says, Hey, reaches out.

I mean, honestly, I've been invited to a few podcasts. For example, listen to if your body moves forward. If you feel your energy moving forward, like with you, it was a hell yes, but to honor that, and it doesn't mean that the opportunity or the person isn't worthy, it means that it just might not be for you at this [00:36:00] moment right now.

When it comes to countries to visit or parties to attend or business opportunities to say yes to, to collaborate with, we need to listen. We need to listen to what our bodies are telling us because we always know there's always that little voice that says yes. Yeah, but. Right. And we only get into trouble when we say yes, when we really mean no or maybe.

I think the yes is way closer than we realize the clarity that we have in terms of what's calling forth within us to be expressed, what's calling us toward. May we stay attuned and open to it and trust it and follow it and then enjoy it and then share it like you've invited me to do today.

Jessica Fein: Thank you so much for leaning forward and saying yes and sharing your journey and your wisdom with us, Marcy.

Marcy Cole: Thank you, honey. It's my honor. Thank you. 

Jessica Fein: Here are my takeaways from the conversation with Marcy. Number one, when we're public with our visions and our dreams and our requests, people come forward. Number two, be [00:37:00] open that when things don't happen the way you think they're going to happen, what is going to happen can work for you, not to you.

Number three, do not be so attached to a plan. This is one that I definitely need to work on. Let things evolve and flow into what's meant to be. Number four, we don't have to travel the world to expand our horizons. We can all leave more room to be curious, to listen, and to seek to understand. Number five, we can set the attention for grace and ease and joy and flow, but we also shouldn't be surprised when there are glitches.

The trick is to stay in the ring. Number six, sometimes we need to get way outside our bubble to find ourselves. And number seven, follow your curiosity, follow your vitality, then just do it and have trust and faith in yourself and the universe and all of the possibilities that are in store for you.

Thank you for listening to this episode. If you have a friend who would appreciate it, forward it to them. And don't forget to check out Jessicafeinstories.com to pre-order Breath Taking, see more about the podcast,and find other writing [00:38:00] news. Have a great day. Talk to you next time. 

Music: I've got the whole I my fingertips.

I feel, I feel infinite. I know the kind to along.

Come along now, the sky is endless now. We are limitless, we are limitless now. Come along now, the sky is endless now. We are limitless, we are limitless now. The sky is calling, calling out to me. Some new beginnings with endless parts. Possibilities, are you with me? [00:39:00] Can you hear me when I sing out?

Come along now, the sky is endless now. We are limitless, we are limitless now. Come along now, the sky is endless now. We are limitless. We are limitless now. Are you with me now? Can you hear me now? When I'm singing out. When I'm singing out. I've got the whole world at my fingertips. I feel like flying, I feel infinite.

I know that we're the kind to think along some other lines I'm just part we'll be involved[00:40:00] 

Come along now the sky is endless now we are limitless we are limitless now Come along now The sky is endless now We are limitless We are limitless now Come along now the sky We are Limitless. We are Limitless now. Come along now. The sky is endless now. We are Limitless. We are Limitless now.[00:41:00]