Lori Hollins  00:04

Life is short. When are you going to do this? When are you going to be who you are? When?

Kristin Taylor  00:23

Hello, and welcome to How I Made It Through. My name is Kristin Taylor, and I’m an executive coach. This podcast is based on the immortal words of Robert Frost who said, the best way out, is always through. Through this platform, I get the honor of sharing remarkable stories of courage in the face of challenge. Stories that encourage us to step into our lives, even in especially into the heart places, allowing whatever it is that we are facing to shape and transform us mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. My hope is that the people I introduce you to, will provide a much needed sense of inspiration, deepening your trust in yourself that whatever you’re facing, you too, we’ll find your way through. May you see yourself in their stories, and may their wisdom help to light your way. Dr. Lori Hollins is a seasoned medical professional. With over 25 years of research practice, educational and administrative leadership in the Obstetrics, Gynecology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility and Andrology disciplines. She is embarking on a new territory as a film student at Second City Film School to tell stories that matter through comedy and humor. As a creativity coach, she helps professional women in transition, transition in their lives and in their careers. She helps them to rediscover or discover a new mindset and meaning to live their dream life using the tools of comedy, humor, imagination, improv, and storytelling. Welcome, Lori. Thank you so much, Kristin. I was like listening and like who she talking about? I’m like, Who is that lady? Well, it is you and you have a story to tell. And I’m excited to be a part of the facilitation of you sharing your story. And as always, I’d love to start from the beginning. Can you share a bit about your childhood? So it’s interesting. One of the things we often do an improv class is we will have prompts. And we will talk about things like for example, one of the things was today was when When did you feel like the most beautiful kind of thing. And so for me, I didn’t have like, a fun childhood, honestly. My mother was married for a second time, and there was domestic violence in the home. And my mom, I grew up in a situation where family didn’t really know how to ship I didn’t know how to tell you, they loved you, but you had food, you had clothing, you had those kinds of things. And that was the way that people showed you, they loved you. And I always I came out as a unicorn from the very beginning. And so I always had my own way of kind of doing things. And my mom was, you know, she was like, Well, why are you doing things this way? You know, kind of thing. And I was like, Well, I don’t know, this is just how and she would tell me things like, you know, you’re doing things ask backwards. You have no common sense. Well, thank God, I have no common sense because no Metatron a filmmaker. So you know, so those so was difficult childhood in a lot of ways. The good thing, so was my mom always believed in reading. So, so we always went to the library. She always expected things with us. So especially me, she expected me to be a good student. And I was obviously and but but it was difficult. Growing up, you know, I hear you know, people talk about their happy childhood. So I’m like, What’s that? So, so my goal when I had children was for them to have a happy childhood. Right, you know, so with that, I will say that that motivated me to do things that I wanted to do. You know, for example, I had long skinny feet, so it was really difficult to buy shoes I would have like Maybe to pair because my mother had to spend a lot of money on shoes. And so one of my goals was to be able to buy shoes. You know, so like even now if I have an outfit, I don’t go buy the outfit first I buy the shoes. Yeah. And so I would, we lived in kind of like a middle class, lower middle class area in Cleveland, Ohio. And I would ride my bike to the burbs Shaker Heights, for example, and ride by the mansions. And I would say to myself, not nobody in my family had a mansion. But I would say to myself, you know, one day, I’m going to live in a place like that, and I did you know, so. So I just kind of as a kid, and then I always loved art. One thing my mom did at the time, they had correspondence courses, not, you know, we didn’t have the internet, right? So we had correspondence courses. And so she did allow me to do this art correspondence course. And then I took art classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art, but I never saw anybody in my life at the time, that was an artist. And I always heard that artists didn’t get famous or didn’t weren’t able to, you know, make money at their art. So I never really thought that I would be an artist in the sense that, you know, that would be my career. I always wanted to be an artist, you know, I was good at writing good at painting drawing, but I took an art class in college, and I dropped it. You had this was the days when you had to stand in line to get into art one on one at five o’clock in the morning. So I took it for three weeks. And I was an engineering major, right, because I needed to get a job when I finished. And I did the art class for three weeks. And I’ll never forget, the instructor was like you draw like Jia committee. And I always remember that, but I dropped it because I’m like, I gotta do engineering stuff. I don’t have time to be an artist. And then when I found out that I really didn’t like civil, I thought I wanted to be a civil engineer, because to me, that has some artistic stuff about it, designing bridges, and then I realized after spending a summer doing surveying with steel toed boots and a heart hard hat in the dirt, that wasn’t something that I wanted to do. And then I was like, at a crossroads. And I I knew I couldn’t just drop engineering like some people do, because I’m like, I’m on scholarship, I’m on loans. You know, I can’t just do that I just can’t be an artist. So I decided to major in Biomedical Engineering and I reached back where when I had gotten accepted to college, when I was a senior in high school, I ended up getting pregnant. And fortunately, Roe v. Wade was the law of the land. And I was able to get an abortion and I went on to college, but the way that the OBGYN physician treated me and it was my mother’s OB GYN was he treated me like I didn’t have a voice and like I was a slight and this was somebody I had been dating for, like, you know, all of high school. And I just said, If I’m ever going to be a doctor, I’m going to be an OB GYN. So once I was in college and figured out I didn’t really like engineering, I decided to be pre med and it was just off to the races from there to follow the path of becoming an OB GYN and eventually, infertility specialist actually, so Well, actually the opposite direction. Yeah. Okay. Okay. So much in what you were saying. I mean, I’m writing notes and I want to stop at unicorn and I think I was felt like a unicorn. Honestly. I did. I did. Yeah. Well, I love that. I think it’s becoming quite ubiquitous. I hear people say I was the unicorn and we’re a unicorn and this team is a team of unicorns. But what does that mean? I’m hearing let me pause. Yeah, to say I am hearing someone who’s obviously quite bright. Not all you know, unicorns are both artists and artistic and writers and painters and can be an engineer, a doctor, a fertility specialist, an MD. What made you a unicorn? Well, I think I always have always kind of thought outside the box. So even in my practicing of OB GYN, I’ll just give an example. So you know, I’ve always been a huge proponent of women’s health and initially, I wanted to do contraceptive research. That was my, you know, my main thing, but what and what we call reproductive endocrinology and infertility is more you get kind of get you get pushed towards doing the infertility. Not that I didn’t like it. I mean, the reason I liked it is because it intellectually stimulated me a lot. I mean, It was very I mean, I read the there’s a bible of reproductive endocrinology and infertility a book by we call it the Bible union Jaffe very research oriented. I read that during residency, you know, so, so I always loved I loved that intellectual challenge. And then, and then, you know, also insane patients like it was always in situations, I was married for 23 years. And my ex husband’s job transferred him often. And so I always had to be in a situation where I had to adapt. And so I was always able to adapt. And then on top of that, I was usually in a situation where people didn’t necessarily have the money to pay for infertility treatments. So I would have to try to figure out, you know, how can I help this patient and using protocols with, you know, maybe oral medications and things like that to try to help, you know, figure out how to help them to make it less expensive. So that didn’t always go. You know, I mean, unfortunately, a lot of medicine. Corporate medicine is like the bottom line, right? Yeah. Yeah. So I was always trying to, you know, be innovative. And then also my interest in women’s health. You know, like I said, I, you talked about me being in film school. Well, the seeds of that started, you know, at least seven or eight years ago, where I actually got a teaching award and a grant to develop a women’s health course for medical students. And I started using narrative and film, film clips to try to teach the issues of women’s health of sexuality and things like that. There’s a clip, one of the first clips I use was, was Gattaca, the movie Gattaca, which was written in the 90s. And is like, we’re doing that stuff now. You know, kind of thing. And then also fine master of none. So I’ve so I started to think about ways that I can incorporate my interest in the arts, into medicine. And one of the ways was teaching, I actually even did a did a class. So one of the things when I had patients, I would always draw, like what we were going to do, like, we’re going to do surgery, or we’re going to do IVF, I would actually sit there and actually draw it out for them. And now you can do you can use an iPad. And so I actually taught a class on how to use drawing when you’re talking to patients about complex things. So I started no years. I mean, years after that. I mean, I think when I had my kids and I was training and fellowship, I didn’t really do any art stuff. Who has time to do that, you know, I had a, you know, I had my kids are two years apart. And you know, I’m a practicing doctor, and my ex husband had a really busy job. So who has time to do art, nobody. But then as they got older, I started doing something like I took a cart, a course and drawing from the left side of the brain. So I started doing those kinds of things. And then one of the things I have I also have a podcast is grief, pushed me in the direction of using art to heal myself, like my dad died. My dad died at age 6167. He had liver cancer and as a child, I wasn’t really close to him. I saw him a lot. My parents were divorced. There was a lot of animosity, but I did see him but we weren’t close. But as an adult, I get close to my father. And I didn’t have him that closeness did not last long, because he got sick. Yeah. So when he got ill, and then once when he died, you know, I started writing poetry. That was my way of processing that grief. I was always very, very close to my grandmother. When I was training. She lived about 10 minutes away from the hospital. And so I would we do like 36 hour shifts, 36 hours on every other night, whatever call and I would drive to her place, she would feed me. And I would fall asleep on her couch. And then I would get up and go home. So she got me through my residency training. And when she died, she died at 95 had a long life. But you know that that was like my mother in a lot of ways. So once again, started writing poetry, to kind of process those things. And then also when I got divorced, so, you know, things happen, life happens. And when I was thinking about getting divorced, I actually could not stay with my ex husband anymore. I just it was the verbal abuse. I just couldn’t. So I left and so my daughter was in high school and she was still with her dad. My son was in college and I call this the base None of my life I was living in my mother’s basement in my 50s. That was like what, you know, allow? Yeah, it was. And then I had a job that I wasn’t really using all of my reproductive endocrine skills. I was just I know, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with delivering babies, but I was assisting on deliveries and stuff like that, and really not living up to what I had trained to do. And but it but it did allow me time to take some art classes. So I started taking a class and surrealism and data, early 20th century and I started doing abstract painting on my mother’s floor in the basement. So I would paint on the floor paper, and then I would tear the paper up and collage it and pallet particle board, and I would get paint all over my mother’s floor, and she would you be really upset with me, you know, and I’m, and I’m living in the basement, you know, too. So I was like, you know, but being able to do that and take a class, you know, I took a papermaking class, I took learned art of the Harlem Renaissance class. So starting to do those things got me out of that, you know, depth of depression, you know, trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life not being there, you know, for my daughter, divorce, all that kind of stuff. And then if I hadn’t, I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t had that, honestly. Yeah. Because I just It allowed me to, like, kind of, like, hover from above and look at the big picture kind of, and just realize that, you know, life wasn’t over. And it got me through honestly, it did you know it. It definitely did. Yeah, I believe it. It’s therapeutic.

Lori Hollins  16:58

Yeah, it was. Yeah, it definitely was. Early in my career.

Kristin Taylor  17:01

That’s the direction I thought I wanted to go. It was around art therapy. I’m so glad that this irrepressible creative spirit and you just needed voice and you gave it expression, even an especially in a dark place in your life literally and figuratively, in the basement. Right? Yeah, I was just, yeah, it was definitely a metaphor. And the crazy, the crazy thing about it was like, so my mom had this townhouse. And I was on the same floor with her initially, and my x and my kids came to visit for a holiday or something. And my ex goes, Oh, the basements really nice. Why don’t you, you know, you’ll have your own bedroom, your own bath once you stay down there worse thing. Because psychologically, I was in the basement, you know what I mean? So it was, so it really wasn’t a good thing. So I ended up though, through that I ended up you know, getting, you know, getting filing for divorce, getting a divorce, I moved out of my mom’s place, got my own place. And I just and then ended up getting another job primarily in my field. But I just had this desire that I still had to continue this art. So I told myself if I was an artist, that I needed to do art every day, right. So for about almost two years, I wrote at least I wrote a haiku every day I was in, influenced by Richard Wright. Everybody doesn’t know. I mean, he wrote, Native Son, but he actually at the end of his life, wrote haiku. And so I started writing because they’re short, you know, 575, and then I posted a painting or drawing every day as well. So I in some days, I’m like, Okay, I’m just gonna draw a line, that I did that as a way to tell myself, you are an artist, and I still, you know, practice medicine full time, etc. And yeah, and I just did that. And I felt like an artist. Yeah, you know, and then I also discovered I was funny, I’m not like, I’m not funny in the sense that I tell jokes. But I’ve been told I’m funny, because I tell stories. And so I started, you know, at work, people were like, Oh, you’re funny. You know, I was dating a guy, and he’s like, oh, you should try to do stand up. And I’m like, what? Stand up. I actually I’m an introvert. I may not seem like it. But I’m an introvert. And I’m like, stand up. You what, are you crazy? No. Yeah, you should really try to do that. I’m like, okay, everybody’s kind of telling me I’m funny. Maybe I should really try this. So I am. So I the only way you could get on like the Cleveland improv stage was you had to do a workshop. So I’m like, Okay, let me sign up for this workshop. So I do the workshop and the guy Dave. So Winston, he teaches, I don’t think he I don’t know if he still teaches the workshops, but he, he says to me, he’s like your materials funny, but your delivery and he was say your delivery sucked, but he didn’t. So, but um, so I just kept working on my five, you have to do like a five minute and they have a showcase and people pay two to $5 to come see you. So I just kept working on my, on my delivery, recording myself looking at myself in the mirror, etc. So the day came to do the showcase. And I invited my friends, about 200 people there, I think there were probably maybe about eight people in the class that was the second to the last to go on. And I started with I said, Look, I’m an OB GYN and I’m not doing free consults at the bar. And so just from there, it was it was orgasmic. It was so much fun. i People laughed. I was like, they’re actually laughing at something I wrote. And it was just amazing. And I had never thought of myself as a comedian in my entire life. So it was just so after that, I took another workshop. And then I started doing storytelling and actually got paid to do stories. I took storytelling class. And the instructor was like write something you don’t want to write about them, like, Oh, I got stuff I want to write about. So I wrote about it in the class. And everybody was like, you could hear a pin drop and like this app, because it’s super bad. Isn’t because they like, and they’re like, Oh, this is so good. So once again, performed it and people just really it was about you know, being a mature woman and dating when there weren’t note weren’t dating apps? And yeah, you know, things like that. So yeah, so, so that kind of got me on the comedy. Can I slow you down? Yeah, sure. I’ve seen so much. I mean, what you’re saying, Lori, there are stories within stories within stories within stories. We can take one chapter, I mean, part of me is like, let’s just have an episode on you. Right as an advocate for a choice, right in this landscape that unfortunately we find ourselves in and that little experience with a doctor that in and of itself. Huge story. Right for us. The basement, the art, the storytelling. I mean, I even want to know you stand up in front of 200 people. Are you nervous? Or Lee? I want to hear about you. How did you do?  I took my note cards on stage with me. I wrote my five minutes set on note cards took my note cards on I’m totally nervous. You know, like my heart’s pounding. You know, I’m sweating in places I didn’t even know I could sweat, you know? Yes, absolutely. And but after but after that first joke, if, you know, like I said, I’m more of a storyteller but after that, and will be here’s the other thing. So I had never when I got divorced, I had never bad mouth, my ex husband because I’m like, we got kids. I’m going to take the high ground, you know, like Michelle Obama on beat take the high ground. So even though he badmouth me, I never badmouth him well, in that little set that I did. Yeah, so, and I posted on YouTube later. Like, check this out. Yeah, why? Check? I took it down. Because my he’s found it and and my kids were like, horrified. You know, your kids are five, when your adult parents do stuff like that. So yeah, so yeah, I was in every time I’ve gone on stage. I mean, there’s been that, you know, I guess I’m still very much in a lot of ways an introvert so and I think even Chris Rock said, a lot of comedians are really introverts. So it’s a yes. So there’s a you know, there’s a little bit of fear. But, you know, I talked about myself, and then I found out that people want to hear about life, you know, so you talk about is not stuff that made up, you know, it’s not made up? Well, what I think is so interesting about that to one introvert to another is that it makes sense to me that comedians are introverts because we are the observers. So you’re always observing human behavior, and you’re always self reflecting in life can be so ridiculous, right? There’s plenty of material to take to, to the storytelling, I would imagine. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Well, I was just gonna Say that I know that you also in this very interesting time in your life, where you’re developing this capacity as an artist, as a storyteller, really, really investing in this part of yourself that was quieted many ways by your upbringing, but now You’re allowing it to sing. And you’re still a doctor. And then there was a medical crisis. Yeah, it is. Yeah, I can. So let’s fast forward 20 years, maybe not quite that much. 10 years. So yeah, I still I still had been working. So actually 2019 I call it the beginning of the Lorie apocalypse. Both of my brothers died in 2019. I’m the middle child. So they both died within five months of each other. So I was like, you know, on the couch, I had been, I had gotten in really great shape. But then I was on the couch with my dog. And I decided I needed joy in my life. And I decided to take a TV writing for TV and film class at the second city in Chicago, and I was living in Florida. What, why? I don’t know. I mean, it’s just like, I don’t know. I mean, never thought of writing for TV and film. But I think it fit my schedule, because I was working four days a week, and I could go fly on Sunday, take this class on Monday and come back Monday night. So I did that for two months. And I loved it absolutely loved it. I wrote a script, but didn’t do anything with it. And then the then because I’m the only kid, I’m like, Well, I have to be closer to my mother Florida’s too far away. So at the time, when I was looking for jobs, primarily found a job in Southern Illinois. And in basically moved back and was head of a infertility program in Southern Illinois. And then I had, well first I had an episode of what I thought was the flu. COVID test was negative. And this was in April of 2021. And was just really sick. And then after that just never got better. So I just kept getting short of breath, still working. But I go home and fall asleep immediately on the couch, couldn’t walk upstairs, went to see the doctor and they’re like, well, let’s get some tests. I’m just thinking, I just need to go on vacation. I had this vacation in Cancun plan, you know about I think it was two weeks away, and I Oh, my God, we just need to get in vacate, get to vacation. And there I had done like egg retrievals in the operating room. And about five or six that morning. And I just noticed as I was walking, I can barely talk. Nobody even noticed nobody notice. I noticed. And I’m like, I call my doctor. And I’m like, you know, I don’t know what’s wrong. There’s something there’s something wrong. And so like, go to the ER. So I had the presence of mind to call a friend in practice at the hospital I was at so can you come? Because a lot of times when you’re in a situation like that you don’t really even though you’re a doctor, and I did not Google my symptoms. I did not. I just thought I was tired. So So she comes with me. And they initially they thought he might have had a heart attack. But then the saw cardiologist he’s like, No, you didn’t have heart attack. So my friends like, Well, why is she short of breath? That’s your main complaint. And I I was still oxygenating well, so my lab work didn’t look, you know, abnormal. And so he’s like, the doc says, Okay, we’ll do this test. It’s called a D dimer. And so they did this blood test and immediately came back positive, and it’s a test for pulmonary embolism. So they did that test and then he sent me to CT scan and before I was even back in the room from CT scan. They said you have a you have a saddle pulmonary embolus. So it’s just like saddle, both lungs, nothing but clot. So 50% chance of death. Okay. Yeah, and then, you know, having seen interventional radiology, you know, to go maybe go down in the lung and break up the clapper. They’re like, you don’t look that bad. But overnight, I started decompensating. And then they found out I had clot it so usually when you have a pulmonary embolism, a clot in your lung, it’s comes from somewhere. So I’ve never had an E normally comes from what they call deep venous thrombosis, which is a clot in your leg. I had no swelling, no pain, but they did an ultrasound what they called Doppler and I had clot from my groin all the way down to my ankle. Oh my god. So then, and then they also to echo my heart, my heart wasn’t working. So I had like a 20 what they call your ejection fraction says how much blood your heart is pumping to the rest of your body. So it was only like 25%. So yeah, so they actually went in and you know, so they went in and put medicine down into my lungs into my neck to try to break up the clot and then also put me on IV blood thinners and that was in the intensive care unit. Yeah. Oh my god. Yeah. Yeah. So that was super scary. You’re tired. I heard and you thought you were I just tired. I just thought I was tired. I mean, you know, like, if they’re Serena Williams tear tells a story about when she had a pulmonary embolism after she had her baby, you know. And so it was just kind of you’d have this. I mean, it wasn’t like, you know, people talk about being claustrophobic when they can’t breathe. It wasn’t like that. It was just I felt tired. And, you know, and then I noticed I couldn’t talk that was that was that that was the main thing was I noticed that when I was trying to talk, I couldn’t catch my breath. In this, you know, this is last summer, not this not to this past summer. But when he 21 And I had COVID tests, and they were negative in one of my friends who’s an allergist, she says, you probably had COVID. But all the COVID tests were negative. So So yeah, it was on blood thinners, scary, scary, scary being in the ICU, ended up going home on oral was in the ICU, like two and a half days in hospital about three days total, ended up going home and was afraid to go to sleep terrified. So yeah, so my kids came and stayed with me because I was going to die, sleep. And of course, my mother was terrified to because I’m the only child she has left. And then after about a month, you know, I, you know, asked my doctor, I was like, I need some joy in my life, you know, instead of just feeling like I’m gonna die every day. And I said, Can I drive to Chicago and take a class at the second city? And he’s like, yes, you can drive. But every hour, you have to get out and walk. And I took my dog so I had a reason to get out and walk. And it was just two hour drive. And then I decided Well, you had a reason your dog but also to stay alive. Can I slow down because I want to hear this so badly. But your home your children come you’re afraid you’re gonna die about a month goes by what is the prognosis? What are you thinking in terms of like, I gotta get through this? And then I get to the classes? Well, the thing you know, the crazy thing about it was I kept thinking, how am I going to go back to work? So it was like number one, because I’m you know, still really, I mean, I’m in my 60s, but I’m not old enough to retire. So and I don’t have the finances didn’t have the finances, quote, unquote, to retire. So I’m like, how am I going to go back to work? That’s number one. And in my field, you know, there are tons of jobs. So I actually started researching jobs because I’m feeling like, I gotta go back to work, right? And then, you know, I’m just like, you know, anxious. I mean, I was I was anxious, like, okay, am I gonna go to sleep and not wake up? And I, you know, it got better. It didn’t get better. I mean, one of the, my primary care doctor had prescribed me an anti anxiety drug, and I took it for like, one day, and I’m like, I can’t take this. I don’t like the way it makes me feel. So it was just like, in my kids, my son and his now fiance, I’m going to be a mother and my mother in law, you know, came and stayed, my daughter stayed, you know, they stayed with me for about six weeks. And they were like, Hey, we gotta go, you know, they were working from home, but like, my son was like, Well, I gotta go, you know, I’ve got a, you know, they want us to come back in the office, so I’m gonna have to go. So it was scary. Honestly, it was, it was really scary. And, but I was like, Okay, this is awake. What actually, to me, it was a wake up call. It was like, you’ve been working super, super hard. Denying who you are putting yourself in a box, you know, even though I mean, I’m super, super good at what I do, you know, but the job was super, super stressful. You know what I mean? Because I started a new program. So it was super stressful, a lot of scrutiny. And, um, you know, I was like, how am I gonna go back and do that? You know, and my daughter said to me, she’s like, Mom, you should retire. And I’m like, I didn’t have that on my agenda. I was gonna retire at 67…63-62. So, but I started so but I said, You know what, the first thing I need to do is I need to get out of this house, and I need to find some joy. So once again, turned to looking at classes at Second City, and I’m like, Okay, what class can I take on a weekend? You know, drive to Chicago with the dog. My daughter can watch the dog and I can take the class and I decided to try improv. And that changed my life. I loved it loved it loved it loved the whole interaction laughed. It was three hours of just pure laughter made a lifelong friend because we vibed with each other, you know, when we’re doing scenes, and then I just said, Okay, let me start looking at how I can practice a medicine on my terms. And how can I, you know, still give back to medicine and started looking at doing telemedicine. So I figured out, I could do that. And then I was like, Okay, I don’t like living. I never liked living in a small town. And so I was kind of living in a small town. And matter of fact, when I had gone for the interview, they only had one carousel baggage, a baggage claim. And I’m like, You need to get back on the plane, because you’re not a small town person. But I sound like I’m closest small town. So I always my daughter was living in Chicago always wanted to live in a small in a in a big city. And I’m like, okay, when are you going to do that? You need to do it. So I decided to, you know, semi retire, moved to Chicago, take this class at the second city and apply to film school. Hearing is life on your terms. I hear you had this brush with your mortality, saying, Who am I and how can I live a life that really mirrors what I care about? Joy? And yeah, tivity. Medicine medicine on your terms.

Lori Hollins  36:40

Yeah, yeah, exactly.I mean, that’s really it. You know, I never had a job where I could just give people advice, you know, always had to worry about, okay, we need to do this many procedures, and we need to make sure our departments making this amount of money, you know, never had a job like that. So I was able to find a telemedicine job where I just give advice, you know, and it’s not encumbered by any of the financial, I can just say, Hey, this is what I think this is my opinion. And, you know, just had fun doing that, you know, in and got rated very highly, because I can just give you advice and tell you, where I think you need to go and then you know, so still giving back, you know, after all these years of experience that I have, but then, you know, being able to take that creative, artistic, you know, side of me, and I really didn’t know what I was getting into and film school, honestly, to tell you the truth, I really had no clue. But I’m kind of like that. I’m like, you know, I’ll learn it. And, you know, I’ve I’ve made Gosh, I’ve participated in made over 20 short movies in this past year. And the thing that I like about it is that it marries the visual in the writing. You know, so I’m, you know, so I paint and then, you know, I’m very good at writing scripts. And also being a doctor, everything I’ve pretty much made of my own is been infused with medicine in some way or another. So, so yeah, you know, I but I never in a million, I never thought that I would now I have to say this. My mother was a TV news reporter back in the early 70s. And she would always say to me, you know, over the years, you’d be good on TV, you’d be good on TV.

Kristin Taylor  38:39

What do you see in you? What did she see in you, Lori that you think made her say that? I think she saw some confidence in me even though, you know, my mom was a controlling person. I think she saw some presence in me. And it’s so funny that, you know, like, she would say that to me. And I’m like, Yeah, not really. I mean, I would do interviews, I’ve done interviews, I’ve gotten up and talked in front of people and done all that kind of stuff. But I never really necessarily necessarily saw myself being on screen. And during this journey, one of the students that just finished this film program asked me to be in his movie. And I immediately said yes, and then like, oh my god, what just done this is like his final project for film school. He wants me to be like the main character in this movie, one of the main characters in this movie and you know, I sometimes have a little bit of problems and memorizing things and you know, I can improv all day, but when it comes to like, you know, memorizing things, and so the day that he was the week that he before he was doing the shoot, you know, I had another project I was working on, so I didn’t really you know, memorize my lines like I wanted to and then the day came and I’m like, Okay, I’m done. gonna just totally mess it. Yeah. Well, in film, as you know you in doing these kinds of things you can take take do takes. Okay, thank God. All right. So if you’ve loved something, why didn’t I realize if you flub something and you know, we can do another take and so I wasn’t the only one that flubbed lines. So it was odd. Yes. And then so then I didn’t see you know, didn’t see it until like, at the end of the program, we have a big screening on a at this big theater and you’re on the big screen. Okay. So the so I’m like, This is my film premiere. I’m gonna dress up. So I wore this beautiful sundress and put lipstick on and he you know, shoes, I’m like, This is good shoes. Yeah, shoot. Oh, yeah, definitely shoes. So I go, and you know, the films are just amazing what people have, you know, have done. And this guy, this young, young guy, young guys film, I see myself on the screen, like, Oh, I’m gonna have bad. And people come up to me afterwards. And they’re like, You should do more acting. And then our career counselor who’s helping us figure out how to navigate so like, unlike medicine, there’s no real path to doing any of this and film. And so she’s like, you know, you really should add more. Really? So I’m actually taking an acting class as well as doing the film school. Yeah. So really What I’m really hearing, this is also exciting. And I see the joy and I hear it and I know the listeners will hear it in your voice. So much of these experiences is number one, you’re saying yes to them? Just I don’t know how to do it. But yes, yes, yes. Yes, yes. And then the affirmation. And I hear and seeing you, really revealing who you are, and embracing who you are, unapologetically and externally.


That’s it. I mean, that’s it. It took me you know, 60 some years to finally be me. You know, you know, better late than never kind of thing. But

Kristin Taylor  42:14

Yeah. Back on that. I actually. So here I am listening to your story, you are living your story. So vastly different experiences. Needless to say, however, in all of these ways in your life, the word I wrote back right down as he started talking was irrepressible. There was this irrepressible creativity and spirit, even when the mother or the world was saying, this is pragmatic, this is logical. This is safe. This is financially sound, sound expression, and it would not get smaller. No, yeah. And then what do you what do you think this medical crisis did? To help empower it? To hide less?

Lori Hollins  43:01

Yes, I think it told me Life is short. When are you going to do this? When are you going to be who you are? When I think I looked up the spiritual significance of blood clots. Louise Hay has a book and she talks about every disease that you can have, and what the spiritual significance and it’s like being blocked, it’s being blocked and not using your voice. And so, um, you know, it’s funny, my acting teacher, he says, I’ve been taking acting this, like, fourth week of acting class. And so he had us tell our story. And so, you know, of course, whenever I tell my story, people are like, whoa, you know, so he said to me, he’s like, I secure some kind of catch in your voice, you know, like, you’re not completely letting your story out. And so he had me by this book about the right to speak, I think it’s called this I think I’ve just suppressed you know, for most of my life, my who I am as an artist, too, I am speaking, telling my truth. And it’s fine like I can’t do that. I can’t I think the you know, if you’re going to look at the spiritual significance of this blood clot was, you have to be who you are. You cannot go back and do things the old way. You have to be able to speak your truth you have to walk in it. You are an artist yes, you’re a doctor. You know, I’m left and right brain, you know, in all of us are to a degree, but me more so. You know, and you can’t. If you don’t, you’ll die. That’s really what it said to me. If you don’t be who you are. Lock in your truth. Speak your truth. Be the artist that you are, you will die. And that was is that simple to me. Yeah.

Kristin Taylor  45:00

It’s that simple and that powerful. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I feel like that is really your message. Exactly. I mean, because I know there are other people like me out there. You know, it’s so he, you know, and I want them to that’s why I started the creativity coaching because I’m like, you know, don’t have an apocalypse like I did. You know, don’t wait until you know, you’re on potentially on death’s door before, you know, you change your life. And there’s so much joy on the other side. That’s the other thing. I mean, I’ve never felt joy, I had joy when I had my kids, you know, love my children, you know, all of that. And there were times in my marriage when I had joy as well. But I’ve never had so much joy since I decided to really do what’s in my heart. So Lori, here you are now this coach, helping people to live their most meaningful life. However, they define that and not playing small, not playing on the size of their life, exactly what small steps before they have an embolism or have any other medical emergency that has a symbolic meaning that says you are blocked or you will die unless your truth and authenticity are revealed. What small steps can people start doing now to connect with themselves?


Well, I think you know, I think all of us have a seed of who we are as a child. And I think if you think back to when you were in elementary school, what gave you joy? You know, I also have to tell you if I told you this, but I actually did act in a play. When I was in second grade. I was in a play a Shakespeare play my was The Taming of the Shrew, and I was a groomsmen, not a very good groomsmen I remember. But I think you know, if you if you look back, there are you know, yes, you will change, you know, you there are things that you will change, never thought I’d be in film, whatever. But I think there’s always if you go back, and just journal, you know, start journaling, and it doesn’t have to be, you know, like, I did do the artists way and three morning pages. But that doesn’t have to be the morning pages. But if you just like, you know, maybe a day, you know, write a few sentences a day, you can even do it on your phone notes about who you were as a kid. You know, and what did you like, as a child? What, what made you have fun as a kid? Because the seats are there, you know, it’s just it gets beat out of, you know, life beats it out of you. More you. And I can’t necessarily say that, you know, blame life per se or other people. I told myself, I couldn’t be an artist. I mean, I told myself, nobody. Nobody else said Laurie, you can’t My mother never said Laura, you can’t be an artist. My dad never said Laura, you can’t be an artist. No teacher ever said Laura, you can’t be I told myself I couldn’t be an artist.

Kristin Taylor  48:14

So it’s interesting, because you didn’t say it though, in a vacuum. May may not have literally been saying it. But you’re a really smart kid. And we’re smart as children. You picked up on messages and expectations. I’m sure they shaped that. propensity to saying Lori, you can’t be an artist. Yeah. Well, the thing was being able to eat a big one. That was my, you know, being able to eat and buy shoes. Yeah. You know, for your for your long toes. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So yeah. But I think if you know, people, you know, it doesn’t take a lot to kind of uncover that. Although it’s funny, I was talking to a friend the other day, and she is now doing ballroom dancing and never in a million had a knee replacement. And never in a million years thought she would do ballroom dancing. And she had a physical therapist who kept saying, Oh, you like a dancer. You should try this. You should try this. And she has been doing ballroom dancing competitions now. So and I think sometimes two people can see something in you that you don’t see in yourself. So like, even when I did a stand up comedy, like, you know, my material was good. It’s just I had to work on my delivery. When I took the, you know, when I took the storytelling class, same thing, you know, like, do what you’re afraid to do. You know, kind of do what you’re afraid to do. And it’s usually what you were meant to do. In some ways. That’s so Right on. I wholeheartedly agree.


I do think I was meant to be a doctor too. I think I was meant to be an OBGYN. I do think that that was something I was supposed to do. Okay. But then, but trying to figure out how to marry all parts of myself, that was that was a challenge. Because I think I have contributed, you know, no question I’ve contributed. So it was just trying to figure out how to, you know, marry those things. Unfortunately, I’m at a time in my life where, you know, I don’t have to have a big house. I’ve had one, right, I don’t have to have, you know, I keep saying I want a Porsche, but I just want to drive a Porsche. I don’t have to actually have like, just want to drive it. Make that happen? Yeah, I can make that happen. So it’s that so you know, you get to a point where, what, what really gives you joy, you know, and it’s not the material things? Yes, I do. You know, I, if I buy shoes, I spend money on them because of my feet. But, and then I do enjoy wearing a necklace. But, but it’s but it’s all the other stuff. I mean, I love when, you know, I mean, the thing I really like about filmmaking is more the writing and the directing on necessarily like all the other things that go into it, like the pre production stuff, and editing and although it I’m actually so much better at it. But the finished product, you’re like I did that?

Kristin Taylor  51:22

Yes, I can’t even imagine.


I had that artistic vision. And I’m seeing it on his screen. And the other thing was film, school, comedy film school. Anyway, at the second city, we laughed every day. I laugh every day when I was a doctor, you know, practicing medicine. We laugh every day, almost all day. You know, good.

Kristin Taylor  51:45

Yeah. Well, as we go into wrap up mode, I first want to thank you for sharing your story. And again, there’s so much to it. They’re just different chapters, and it gives you so much good material, I’m sure but what do you want to leave the audience with? What message? Do you really want them to hold the heart and perhaps hold a mirror up to themselves with? I think the main thing is to listen to, you know, it’s cliche, but listen to that still small voice that’s urging you to be who you are, you know, I think, don’t ignore it. Because you can have your own apocalypse. So I think that’s it really is just to listen to that voice, it’s urging you to be maybe it’s urging you to write that book, maybe it’s urging you to go to film school, maybe it’s urging you to go back to school to do something else, or whatever it may be, you know, listen to that voice, because it’s not going to go away. It won’t go away is you can tamp things down so much, right? But then the something happens. You don’t I don’t want people to have anything, you know, like an emergency happen, you know, because that happens that you get cancer, you know, and then you’re like, oh, okay, let me rearrange stuff. Start, you know, thinking about how you want your life to be. And you know, the other thing, I am a proponent of vision boards. So I, I have made I made a vision board about five years ago. And I don’t know, like, once again, not thinking about film. But I put a picture from the New Yorker of a woman writing a screenplay. You know, looking out over a movie set on my vision board, you know, how you just tear stuff, somebody’s saying I am, you know, your subconscious, right will tell you, your inner voice will tell you and lead you into the direction you want to go. You have to be open to it. So whether it’s journaling, or meditating, getting quiet and listening, I think is will will lead you in the direction that you need to go and don’t don’t wait until something you know, you can’t. something bad happens, you know, try to take little steps every day. And you I totally believe people can have the life they want. You know, I told myself all those years I couldn’t have that life that you can’t love and you’ve in it doesn’t take a long time to create that either. I love it so much. You don’t need to wait for a crisis start today. Yeah, quiet. Tune in. Remember that seed. So absolutely. Thank you very, very much. Lori, how can people learn about you if they want to connect with you? Where do they find you?


So I am on LinkedIn at Lori-Linell Hollins that’s how Kristin found me. I’m on Instagram at rxpadpoet. I’m on Facebook at Lori Linell Hollins. Well, so you can direct message me at any of those places. And then I also have started a podcast called The Curating Creativity podcast. And it is on iTunes, and it’s on Spotify, and it’s on several Buzzsprout is on several, several platforms. I’ve got like, I think I’ve my I just published my fourth episode today.

Kristin Taylor  55:23

Congratulations. That’s super exciting. Wonderful. Such a pleasure. Thank you. And I’m just so glad we got to share your story.


I appreciate that. Kristen. Yeah, don’t wait.

Kristin Taylor  55:36

Don’t wait. Perfect, perfect. Don’t wait. Life is short. When are you going to do this? And when are you going to be who you are. When Laurie asked herself, and Laurie story. She was receiving so many messages from a young age about playing it safe. But following the rules too closely, contributed to her becoming blocked, and it lessened her instinct to use her voice. But she fortunately possessed a voice that refused to be silenced. she longed for joy, laughter and creative expression. And the arrival of a blood clot, a literal block, totally transformed how she now lives. Now doing so more boldly, righteously, and with lots and lots of laughter. She now fully honors who she is as an artist, and lives to speak her truth and share it with others. Thank you, Lori, for sharing it with us.  Our theme song and sound engineering was provided by Shane Suffriti. You can listen to more of Shane’s music at www.shanesuffriti.com. If you have a story about making it through something that forever changed you or want to tell us what you think about her podcast, send me an email at coachkristintaylor@gmail.com. If you enjoyed today’s episode, we humbly ask that you share it with others. Thank you for listening. We’ll see you next time on How I Made It Through.

EIQ Media, LLC  57:12

How I made it through is produced and distributed by EIQ Media LLC. Elevate your emotional IQ with podcasts and content focused on overcoming adversity, leadership, mental health, entrepreneurship, spiritually transformative experiences and more.