Peggy and Ali share a wonderful conversation ranging from loss, grief, rediscovering ourselves, and finding our inner Goddess.
About the Guest:
Peggy O’Toole is a first-time author thrilled to share her imagination with the world and inspire women through storytelling to be radiant in their feminine power in her new book “Goddess Dreams”. She is happily retired from her first career, working over 40 years in the management of clinical laboratories. In that time period, she wrote multiple articles that were published in laboratory periodicals and spoke at laboratory conventions on a variety of topics. She has a BA in Microbiology and an MS in Clinical Science. Peggy held licenses in California as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist and Bioanalyst.
She is currently living in Los Angeles California with her two terriers after the recent loss of her beloved third husband. She spends as much time as possible with her two grown children and their families, including four grandkids.
Peggy is a world traveler who loves adventure and has scuba-dived, sky-dived, and visited Antarctica. Recently, at age 75, she learned how to do aerial work and spin fire fans. She takes bellydance and burlesque classes and plays D&D. Peggy sees her life as delicious and herself as unstoppable.
Ways to connect with Peggy:
Peggyjotoole@gmail.com - email
818-521-8457 - cellphone
Facebook.com/peggyjotoole - Facebook
www.Instagram.com/peggyjotoole - Instagram
http://Mygoddessdreams.com - website (still under construction)
My Goddess Dreams- on amazon
Peggy would also like to offer a gift of 12 magical writing prompts and a chance to be a guest author in my next book, just by sending her an email.
About the Host:
Alison Perry-Davies (Ali) is intentional about Finding Joy in her life
Sustaining a brain injury, being diagnosed with PTSD, and raising a daughter with a variety of challenges, Ali decided there had to be more to life than what she was experiencing and began her journey to find more joy.
Ali’s belief is that wherever we come from, we have all known some level of pain, loss, and trauma, these things do not need to define us. She doesn’t ignore that these things have happened; however, she decided this is not the way her story ends. Using integrated creative therapies along with sound and vibrational therapies she continues to explore and share complimentary healing modalities.
Ali hosts the podcast, Find Your Joy. She is also a co-author in 2 WOW (Woman Of Worth) Books as well as a Family Tree series book on Mother Son relationships. She went on to write her own book,
“The Art of Healing Trauma; Finding Joy through Creativity, Spirituality and Forgiveness” which went to number one best seller in seven categories on Amazon.
A motivational speaker/singer, songwriter, poet, blogger, and author, Ali also shares her thoughts and ideas through her blog and website at aliwayart.com
Ali continues to use humour and compassion to invite, inspire and encourage others to Find Their Joy.
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let it sweep you off your feet. Hi, you're listening to find your joy. If you're looking for ways to thrive rather than survive in a world that can seem rather chaotic, you're in the right place. We will be sharing stories of our own as well as those from guests who have found ways to bring hope, healing and freedom into places where trauma has impacted them. I'm Ali, author of the art of healing trauma. And I'm here to remind you that life is sweet. Now, let's dive in and find ways to create our joy. Hi, this is Ali, and this is find your joy. And I am so excited that I get to have episode two with the amazing incredible, enchanting magical goddess. inspiring woman who is Peggy O'Toole, author of Goddess dreams. Peggy, welcome back.Peggy O'Toole:
Thank you so much. Thank you so much. I'm so excited to be back with you again. Your bubbly personality is just lighting me up?Ali Perry-Davies:
Oh, well, I'm I'm just I'm sitting here thinking how come Peggy was so far away from me, we shouldn't be hanging out. It's just always nice to meet someone that you just feel like you connect with so much. And that is so inspiring. So you know, last time we were talking about some of the things that that you've been doing, like the book that your book, which just seems so magical, and so lovely, and a little bit of things about how you're working on, really, you're like to talk about and to teach people about silencing their Inner Mean Girl and releasing their inner goddess. I mean, these are all beautiful things. So here's what I'm wondering. So take me back some years before because I'm thinking that the woman that is sitting before Me this incredible being my experience in my own life, and in the lives of many women and humans that I know is that people don't just, you're not just born this way. There's layers and layers and layers that have created this and credible human that is sitting before Me. So let's go back. Let's go back a little ways till you know, maybe you were a young mom or whatever it was telling you the the pre the pre days of all of this warrior goddess. How did Peggy get to be Peggy?Peggy O'Toole:
Okay, that's that's such an intriguing question. But I think I'll go back even a little farther than that. I'm going to go back to when I was a young young girl. And I was deciding what I was going to have on my bucket list because I did as a young girl decide what I wanted on my bucket list. Wow. And I think I was 13 or 14 or whatever. And I decided that in my life, I wanted to do three things. I wanted to scuba dive, and I wanted to ski and I wanted to skydive I figured I would wait to like to skydive until I was about 80 or so because then if I went splat it wouldn't matter too much but I still wanted to do it. So I I set out in my life to quite determined I am one of those people that's very focused and I was going to accomplish those somehow some way. So I have done all of those things. And it's that not all of them turned out well.Ali Perry-Davies:
You haven't splattered it doesn't appear. Oh, IPeggy O'Toole:
didn't I didn't splat I didn't wait till I was at to skydive. I'm not quite at yet. I'm only 70 I'm My birthday is coming up. I'm almost 76 I went skydiving when I was in my 50s I think and it was only because my ex husband was going to take my 16 year old son skydiving. And he wasn't even supposed to skydive until he was 18 and I was saying okay, I'm on that tripPeggy O'Toole:
so we went up in the little plane there were maybe about 20 of us with their tethered to our partner who was our tandem partner. I was the first one in to jump out of the plane. And I could see as we were rising up to 10,000 feet. It was a plastic kind of curtain. It's not a door and And he said, Okay, it's time to go. You know, we went out the door, we take our positions, and it was the most wonderful, exhilarating moment you could possibly imagine. You don't really have a sensation of falling. I saw the whole world spread out under me. It was like I felt, you know, I, I felt like I was in the presence of source your whatever you want to call it, right? Yes. And I felt like I was just this, you know, if I didn't feel small, I felt like it was part of the whole universe. Wow. And it, you know, and then all of a sudden, I'm supposed to pull the ripcord and I'm trying to find it, and he's pulling it for me. And we, we start to glide. And we come down close, we're supposed to end up on your feet, and then sit down, it's what you're supposed to do. But as we got to the bottom, I could see we were coming in a little fast. We'd hit a downwind er. And so I could see where we're coming in a little bit fast. And I went, Oh, I've got this 200 man strapped up and pound man strapped in my back. Am I gonna get squashed? Flat?Ali Perry-Davies:
Right, right.Peggy O'Toole:
But fortunately, he was very experienced, of course, since he was the instructor and he flipped us over on our sides. And he did not land on top of me. And I got up and my son came down fine, too. And I, you know, we pull the parachute in and walk back to the, the hut where we started from, and I just it was, even though it had a kind of a rocky ending. It was just, it was just so magical. And I decided I wasn't going to do it again. I not because I didn't have fun or not because I was scared or anything like that. I was I do not want to dilute this moment. I want it to remain that way forever.Ali Perry-Davies:
Right. I like that. That's that's that's a really lovely. It's holding it sacred. I suppose it's Yeah, holding that moment. And but what you're describing to me, I have not ever skydived before. You You didn't mention that you felt afraid, entering going about to go out the door. And you describing it as you did not feel small. Rather, you felt very much part of it all. I guess that explains to me, the people who I know who have done skydiving and have become addicted, addicted might be a strong, many strong a word, but they become very, very just they love it. And they do it a lot. Right? I'm guessing that's whyPeggy O'Toole:
Yeah, it very possibly is that they they do. And for me, that's kind of the way I've always lived my life. It's I've never, you know, if I want to do something, I kind of go for it even right? Even if it's going to be hard and tough. You know, so I decided I wanted to go back and get my master's degree at one point. And I was at that time I was married, I had a one year old and I had a five year old. I was had a full time job. And 40 hours a week, I was working as a supervisor of a laboratory at the time. And the college I was going to was you know, an hour hour and a half away. Oh my goodness. And I just I just went for it. You know, it took me a long time I was it took me four and a half years to get my degree but I just went for it. And at the same time I didn't let it completely stop me from doing the things I really love to do to write. I think at one time I thought to myself, I was feeling a little depressed and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. And then I thought you know what you love to read and you're not reading because you think you don't have enough time to read. And I was saying you know what you do have time to read you have a lunch hour you can sit there on your lunch hour and read for 15 minutes. So I didAli Perry-Davies:
Wow. And and then I'm so I'm thinking about this so you so that 1314 year old who thought to do a bucket list, which quite honestly, I don't know many people that even like bucket lists tend to be something that are created under their last half of our life and you know, unfortunately, it's when you know when you see people it tends to be but somewhere in little Peggy you knew that at a young agePeggy O'Toole:
Right. Yeah, I knew I knew I wanted to live every moment of my life full out. I really I used to have a something that was on my keychain that I kept for a long time until I thought ragged and fell apart. It was called it said life is delicious. And that's kind of how I live my life. I think life is delicious. I think that there's there should be if somebody calls you up and invites you to go somewhere. And you can possibly do it say yes.Ali Perry-Davies:
Oh, say yes. Oh, I love that. If someone calls you up, invites you to go somewhere, do something if you can say yes. That's that's, that that could be everybody's motto. I know, it's beautiful. Or, or, or something to aspire to maybe more than a motto? Because I think a lot of people that isn't there. That's not their reality. That's not how their process works.Peggy O'Toole:
Yeah, I do have that Inner Mean Girl that puts a lot of limits on themselves. And you know, as I said, I'm 76 Well, last year, I, I had taken a online burlesque class, and I really liked the the instructor. And she was she was going to have a three day workshop that was called Fire and flight, where she was going to teach women how to work with fire, and go up on in do aerial work. And I went, that soundsAli Perry-Davies:
Oh my gosh, I love this. Oh, and so you're talking like hanging up off of a rope or something? Or how did that work?Peggy O'Toole:
Yeah, yeah, it was, well, it was a there's a rope. And then there's a big ring. And they you're supposed to pull yourself up on it, they had to kind of boost me. I my arms weren't quite strong enough. But then once I was up there, you know, you're balancing on this hoop and they're putting you through different moves, you're leaning out or you're laying back or whatever. Or with a fire we learned how to we did a little fire eating we did butane bubbles, which you put them on your arm and they light them on fire and you they take video of your arm burn.Ali Perry-Davies:
Okay, so I'm guessing I don't want to say obviously, but I'm assuming maybe too much that you don't feel that.Peggy O'Toole:
It's you. I mean, towards the end, you might feel a little tangle. And then you just, you know, like you the first thing they started out with is in your hands. They put the bubbles in your hands and they light it on fire. So you're looking at your hands. Got suppliers, right have you have in your hands. And if it starts to tingle of it, you just rub it together and it goes away.Ali Perry-Davies:
have never even heard of it. So it's butane bubbles. Yeah, well, that clouds writing down butane bubbles, I'm going to go Google look it up,Peggy O'Toole:
look it up, you'll be able to, to be able to find some video, I'm sure on YouTube. But the class was called fire in flight and go out in the middle of the desert with them, you know, maybe 30 or 40 other women. And I mean, all of this was entirely new to me. I never tried to do any of this stuff before. I mean, I've gone to the gym to try and build up my shoulder muscles a little bit. But that was about yet. I just decided, you know, it sounds fun. Why not? Yeah, I can't do this just because I'm in my 70sAli Perry-Davies:
No. And and I agree and especially I mean, your if you're belly dancing, you're probably in pretty good shape. And, and and what that's a great way for us for any of us to think of it. Why not? Yeah, and these are great questions, we need to start asking ourselves a little bit more, right. Women, you know, everyone I never want to dig stick it too much to one gender, but we need to be asking ourselves, why not? If there's there's a limiting belief that we have that suggesting to us, we can't do this thing. Well, why not? What What's the code? I need a better answer then because I need to understand what what what would stop me other than me? What's going to stop me from doing anything? And it seems to me that you you grasp that at an earlier age. Maybe kudos to your parents. I'm not sure what oh, I don't know what what what started that you know, sometimes that comes from we weren't thought that or sometimes we got taught the opposite and birthed that, who knows. ButPeggy O'Toole:
yeah, I think I, I became very self sufficient early on, I did not come from, I did not come from a pleasant background, my mom was alcoholic, my dad was in the military and an absentee dad, I saw my parents first knock them down, drag him out fight when I was four years old, and just kind of decided at that moment in time. You know what, I can't count on these guys. I'm on my own.Ali Perry-Davies:
Right? And orPeggy O'Toole:
at four. And so I became, I think very someone that had to be able to feel that I was self sufficient and able to do and I would take care of myself. Right, right. And some ways that that hindered me, because then I sometimes took the safe road, instead of the joyful road. I think that's why I fell into doing something like becoming a microbiologist instead of, instead of going through, you're trying to be an artist, or a dancer, or an actress or things that I was good at, and love to do. But I thought to myself, You know what, I can't think of very many women who are successful writers or artists or actresses, I want to be able to take care of me and my family. So I'm gonna go and do something that's a little safer.Ali Perry-Davies:
Right? Although microbiology, I don't know. So 50 You would have been what in your teens or 20s or something like that. 50 years ago? I don't know how many women microbiologist there were. So it wasn't really right. I mean, I'm just, I'm just thinking about air. Right. I mean, it's, I get that it was felt safe for you. But even then there was already someone who wasn't too interested in in glass ceilings. Microbiology years ago. I think that says something as well.Peggy O'Toole:
Yeah, maybe. I mean, I was always interested in the sciences. But I think my career path or the my education did not really prepare me properly for a career in microbiology. I eventually got there. Which is something I wanted to add to what you said before about, just try it. You know, if things don't work, pivot, try another way.Ali Perry-Davies:
Right. Now did it did something like that happen with you? So you, when you have an undergrad in microbiology, I'm not sure what that open, what doors that opens up? And if there's rows for you to zero? Well, I'm sorry, IPeggy O'Toole:
will tell you right now, zero doors. Actually, I mean, talking about how you listen to other people's voices. I had also thought that when I was 14, I had already decided I wasn't going to be an artist or a dancer. I decided I was going to be I wanted to be a laboratory technologist at that time. And I told my parents, I was all proud. And my dad said, you don't want to do that they're just flunky. You want to be a research scientist and I went, you know what, that I don't think my mind kind of works in that way. But I ended up going to university and getting my BA of all silly degrees in microbiology. And when I got out of school, I ended up as a lab helper, you know, in a entomology lab, taking care of inet colonies and using cockroaches to feed his exotic insects and horrible horrible job making minimum wage which ended after four and a half months because he ran his grant ran out. And then I got another job for the egg drying plant we use the egg to attract I gnats. And that job I was working in their quality control in microbiology and their level lab, also baking Angel Food cakes to make sure that egg products silly things likeAli Perry-Davies:
I've got you I've got you as a scientist and and you're like No, I didn't quite go like that at first. But I wanted to say I didn't want to skip past this part. For for whatever things that were difficult or anything with your parents. I think that says a lot that you're Dad wanted more for you. That's, I mean, I, you know, maybe I'm taking too much out of what you said, but for your dad to be saying, you know, you could do more you could you could be more. That sounds off for me lands on my ears anyways, like an encouragement like a person who was encouraging you. He saw something in you.Peggy O'Toole:
Well, I wish I had thought about it that way. I just felt like he was stopping on what might I add my plants?Ali Perry-Davies:
Right, right. That's all I heard it, but I wasn't. You'rePeggy O'Toole:
right, I'm sure that he was in his way, you know, he my dad was was not a touchy feely kind of a person at all, he was mostly not in my life at all. And because my mom was an alcoholic, I actually found a lot harder ultimately, to, ultimately to forgive him. Because he kind of left us to the, at the mercy of the beasts. My mom was abusive. So right, it was a lot harder for me to to forgive him. But I think you're right, I think he was trying to encourage me or saw something in me. But anyway, I had a very suckered I can't think of the word very circular road to eventually ending up as a laboratory technologist and then a supervisor, and then ultimately a manager in a big reference lab in the microbiology department. So I ultimately got to use that degree.Ali Perry-Davies:
Right and so so this person is very much sign it you know, a very, you know, very science your your world was it right in the core center of it. And yet still, there was an artist and all of that, not to say that one cannot be one without the other. Because when I think of research, people who do research must be very creative people. They must be, even though we might not see it that way. Because it doesn't look pretty to us or something. Anyone who is out there developing new methods or coming up with cures for things or anything. That's a creative spirit. That's, that's doing all of that. SoPeggy O'Toole:
you're right, you're right, I think they are, although I didn't think of myself as being able to succeed as a researcher, because I was thinking I wasn't going to be able to do that. However, when I was working in the, in the laboratory, the fun part of it, for me was the creative part, the part where I was was able to do to create, create a course so that I could and make it to where they could see it and hear it and it would free us up to where they could be doing their orientation on a on a on the computer. So I created a course like that, or, or to to be a speaker, or to write articles for publication and laboratory magazines. Wish I did all of that when I was a microbiologist. Right, but, but I think also, I always kept my hands in the arts in other ways. I mean, I did learn how to paint actually, my mom eventually stopped drinking and did teach me how to paint she was a painter as well. And so she helped me paint my first painting. And I took some classes and did that I took classes, just learning about art. And I love the theater. So I have attended theater all my life. And continue to I've got three season tickets right now. So I love to do that. And, and now I'm writing and I am really thoroughly enjoying that as well.Ali Perry-Davies:
Oh, how wonderful to live in a place where you could actually say I have three season tickets that there's there's there's that much going on live in a much, much smaller place. But you're in LA. Right.Peggy O'Toole:
Right. I'm in LA. Right. Yeah. SoAli Perry-Davies:
so. So there's something to be said for living in a larger place where I mean that there's enough going on in your fair city that you can, you could Yeah, you have three seasons tickets. Beautiful. Oh my gosh. Wonderful. So So I was when so when you are doing all of this. Was there a moment that you decided because when you were thinking of the things you couldn't do, and you were thinking of what you needed to do to stay safe? When do you think it started to shift so that you believed that you didn't have limits anymore? Because clearly there's a point where a woman who is belly dancing, putting fire Iran herself hanging from aerial things, skydiving, and doing all this, there was some point that you didn't feel like you had limits anymore. Or maybe, maybe I'm putting words into your mouth. But where was that shift?Peggy O'Toole:
Well, I think in a way, I never put limits on the things I did for fun. And all of them ever put any limits on that part of my life. And it was it took me until I finally had enough of working in laboratories where I wasn't enjoying it, that I call my husband up. I think I have already told you this, but I call my husband up and, and he let me quit my job. And then I eventually started doing things that I really love those creative. Yeah, I have a friend of mine. And I took a 52 week class that was at an art museum where we created artworks and just just started doing them. and wonderful. So we've presented them, hopefully for them to show some of them they just choose chose a few people. And I wasn't lucky enough to be shown. But I ended up with all of these wonderful, assembled sculptures and things that I made. And so that Oh, fabulous.Ali Perry-Davies:
Everything you're saying I'm like, I gotta look it up and see. I live in a pretty, I mean, it's a beautiful where I live is beautiful. I live in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, right. So on Vancouver Island. And yeah, it's beautiful here. And there's, there's lots of things around the arts and music that sent me we're very, you know, we're creative little town. But we're small in comparison to, you know, these places. So it's just not able to have this many things. But my husband and I have started doing things lately. For my birthday, he, we've kind of decided, you know, like we I don't really like presence that much. Really, right? I mean, an experience is a beautiful gift to give someone, but not so much the gifts because if I want something at this point, I probably have it right. But that's sort of you know, you get to that, you know, I'm really trying to get rid of things at this point. Anyways, for my last birthday, we have been watching Bob Ross, vide reruns, if you remember Bob Ross, with the happy little clouds of the happy little tree. Right, right. So he's on PBS, he was. So Dave, my husband found someone fairly local only a few hours away. That teaches Bob Ross style painting. How cool. And so we've started. So we went there one time for my birthday. And now we have started to do this. And there's a class once a month. And we've been going, I'm going to look at I'm going to show you this, watch this. I'm going to turn this and then I'm going to go up.Peggy O'Toole:
Okay. You're Oh, look at that. How wonderful.Ali Perry-Davies:
Yeah, so what I'm doing for those of you who are, who are not able to see what I'm doing, I'm just showing some of the paintings up we've been. And it's it's just been this beautiful, beautiful time to just create together and find little when they in there. They're also beautiful. And I'm like, Oh, I mean, he's a very good teacher. It's an eight hour class. Now Bob did his paintings and 26 minutes, and we go to an eight hour class to come up with something half the size of Bob did and 26 minutes, but it's still, I guess what it is, is it's always worth it. Right? It's always worth it to invest in ways for us to create.Peggy O'Toole:
Yeah, I think the being a creator and is so important. So critically important for all of us. But you know, what, you can enjoy the arts, even if you can't create, because there are people that may have a physical limitation of some type, and they're just not able to do it for whatever reason. Maybe they can't paint because they're blind. I mean, they could finger paint, I guess, but they won't see what they're painting. I you know, I think about myself, I love music. But I'm not, I'm not able to play any instruments at all. And I think to myself, You know what? Musicians need an audience. That's what I do in music. I'm the audience.Ali Perry-Davies:
And perfect, right. I mean, that's, although of course, I would say probably you could play an instrument if you chose to dedicate the time to it. But But yes, if we can connect some way and be involved in Some way. It's exactly right. People who invite us in, or musician, or a play or something where you start to feel part of it.Peggy O'Toole:
Right, exactly. Or even if you're just reading a book, you know, I always, I always when I, the one of the reasons I really love to read is because I read fiction almost exclusively, but I feel like it's taking me to another world that I'm living other lives. I'm living multiple lives by reading. Yes, beautiful, another exciting way of expanding your life.Ali Perry-Davies:
Right? Oh, I love that. And you're right. It's, it's not so much if, if, if the if we can do each thing that's creative that we want to do. It's, there's a place that is very healing. And yeah, helps us to get lost a little bit. I forget the exact word that you use, but it's, but But yes, it's not to be thinking because I quite often think I have to do all of the things. But I love what you're saying. It's not it's, it's enjoy all of the things and joy, at least some of the things right what you like you're not doing them, right.Peggy O'Toole:
Yeah, you know, if you if you love music, and have kind of given up on the idea of playing yourself, then be, you know, enjoy. Explore the different genres of music become a musical expert. And then you can share it in that way.