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Mindy Cohn 00:02
Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of Mondays with Mindy. I'm Mindy, and that's Christian.
Christian Brescia 00:10
Hi everybody! Welcome back to the show.
Mindy Cohn 00:12
Christian today, you and I are going to be having a conversation with an actress, author, speaker and certified active life coach, Lisa whelchel.
Christian Brescia 00:21
Mindy Cohn 00:22
yeah, someone I know just a little bit. Lisa was born and raised in Texas, and at the age of 12, was recruited there by talent scouts for Disney to be in the new Mickey Mouse Club. She moved to California and went from being a mouseketeer to Blair Warner at the eastland School for Girls on the NBC comedy, the facts of life. What many people don't know is in the early 80s. Lisa had quite a successful second career as a gospel singer, and was even nominated for a Grammy in 1984 for her contemporary Christian album, all because of you. Oh, I was lucky enough to go with her and hear her perform. And she got very much into that scene. Oh, then she met Stephen cobble and Lisa made a rather easy decision for her and joyously became a full time wife and mother and homeschool teacher for her three children. And as haven Clancy and Tucker grew up, Lisa became an author has published 10 books on motherhood homeschooling discipline, and her most recent on Adult friendships. I may have a quote in there, I'm just saying. He also launched herself as an inspirational speaker at churches and conferences, and even founded mom time Ministries, a religious network of mothers groups supporting each other. After her divorce in 2012, Lisa landed in the Philippines and participated in one of her all time favorite shows. CBS is survivor and tied for second place. No kidding. The bigger news was she was voted fan favorite and received a $100,000 cash prize. And, unfortunately, a case of West Nile virus.
Christian Brescia 02:00
Mindy Cohn 02:03
yeah. Her most recent career tab is becoming a successful life coach. And the latest is that Lisa can be seen Sunday nights on Meet TV hosting the show collector's call. And her latest book, as I previously mentioned, is titled friendship for grownups newly remarried to psychologist Pete Harris. Lisa lives in Nashville and Los Angeles and is the proud Coco mama of two grandchildren. one of whom is still on the way. And by the way, it's a boy.
Christian Brescia 02:35
Oh, very exciting. Well, ladies and gentlemen, we are excited to have her on the show. Let's bring her in. Lisa Whelchel!
Lisa Whelchel 02:43
Thank you. Hello. Hello. Good to see you. Doing great. How about you? I'm good. Good. Good. I'm loving the haircut.
Mindy Cohn 02:52
Oh, thanks, bub. you know what the 50s I'm venturing out?
Lisa Whelchel 02:58
I love it or venturing back. Whatever.
Mindy Cohn 03:02
Probably, probably, although the great Don't let the gray air for you. Um, we start each episode where Christian and I came up with 20 questions. I grabbed five and we just start gabbing.
Lisa Whelchel 03:14
Okay, how fun
Mindy Cohn 03:15
usually isn't a problem for us? I know. Right? Yeah. Lisa?
Lisa Whelchel 03:19
Mindy Cohn 03:20
What assumption do people make about you that they're wrong?
Lisa Whelchel 03:24
Okay, great questions. I love this format, by the way.
Mindy Cohn 03:27
Oh, thank you.
Lisa Whelchel 03:29
Mindy Cohn 03:29
I don't think I need your approval. But I guess I do.
Lisa Whelchel 03:34
Know, I love it. I enjoy this, this format as well. And I think it's great for podcasts too, because I do think so oftentimes, people I'm not in this situation right now. But still, many times they will be kind of going through a kind of a podcast, like what we used to do with the radio kind of diet. Yeah. So they get the same questions all the time. And you can tell that the answers are the same all the time. So I really prefer to listen to this as well because it feels like oh, this is actually really, you know, personal, though. Anyway. What is it assumption? Um,
Mindy Cohn 04:09
I think there might be a few.
Lisa Whelchel 04:11
A few. I will Yes. Okay. You know what the obvious one would be that I'm like Blair in some way. So that's pretty obvious. I think people would think and so you would know you could answer this question yourself. For me the differences between Blair I mean, even just physically, I'm shorter than Blair.
Mindy Cohn 04:33
You are so much cuter than Blair. But you are so much more well read than Blair. Okay,
this is true of and I have a Texas accent. Blair was not supposed to although, every once in a while. Blair loves clothes. I hate shopping. I hate shopping. We both love boys. And so that's good. I'm like you know who doesn't love money. Blair has more money than I do. But the but putting that aside, I love this question because I want the opportunity. So I have been kind of known for those who care. Even people who don't care, this kind of this understanding I made like, I know when I, my, I was picked up with my husband. And he was given my name. And he was like, Well, yeah, I think she was on a show. And I think she's a really big Christian. And I just, you know, I don't know if we really hit it off. So I don't think people give humans especially or celebrities a chance to grow and evolve and change. So oftentimes, they get stuck either in a role, or they get stuck in a season of life. And there's no room to change and grow and evolve. And so I'm still, the faith is still the very core of my life. But it's much more expansive. Now. It's not just within the confines of Christianity, Christianity is my foundation, I love Jesus. And I was grateful for the structure of the church and the community of the church, that helped me at a time when I could have gone off the rails. Yes. But, um, after I kind of grew up and maybe didn't need the structure as much for security, because my core was more solid, I was able to realize that the structure could was very confining and small, not only for me, but it was too confining it, the walls that kept me safe also kept the rest of the world out. And that was from fear. When love was stronger than fear, the walls can come down, and I was able to experience a huge world of unique people who weren't so scary, just because they were different. And I could learn from them as well. I didn't have to, you know, proselytize them and save them from going to hail, yes. Learn,
Mindy Cohn 06:55
I can attest to the evolution of your spiritual life. And also, just as a fan of you was so tickled when you decided to do survivor for many reasons, but I felt knowing you as well as I do that it was the first time people actually saw the real Lisa, you know, that it wasn't these, you know, stereotypes that usually come after the first comment of your name. And, you know, just saw the full breath. And that was kind of the beginning, really, of this journey that you've been on. Anyway, that even isn't even who you are now, but
yeah, 10 years ago, can you believe it? 10 years ago, I was on Serato.
Mindy Cohn 07:37
Just now my felt like 10 years ago.
Mindy Cohn 07:44
Again? Um, what's the best advice you've been given? And who gave it? Oh, okay. And I know, that's hard, because you've been surrounded by some pretty amazing people.
I know. Yeah. And so I'm gonna have to just go with my first answer, which is probably the, the more recent, and that is, um, feel my feeling that the best advice because I've lived in my head for a long time, and that's not a bad way, you know, makes you can make some good decisions. But you again, it's confining, confining, it's limiting, it's not the full breadth of humanity. And I think that's part of it, too. I was afraid I didn't want to be human because I was scared of my humanity. And in a rejection of my own humanity, you know, you can't help it interact with people the way that you interact with yourself. And so giving myself room to Okay, um, yeah, I'm feeling jealous. Oh, no, I'm feeling like, you know, I really won't survive. It was really good for this, because I think I had found a scenario where the rules were such that I could do all the things that I didn't, I thought I would never do in real life, live, backstab, cheat, value money over people. And yet that then all of it, and it's more dangerous, when we don't actually acknowledge it and admit it much less feel it and let it be you don't have to act on it. You don't have to do anything about it. But if you cut it off, rather than feel it, it's gonna come out the back door. And you know, oh, yeah. Yeah.
Mindy Cohn 09:20
I mean, I always think people are afraid. If I'm feeling depressed, people will call me a depressive. If I'm feeling anxious. People will call Oh, she's anxious. They are afraid to be defined by the feeling they're having instead of just knowing that feelings come and go pass through. But I always call it a huge misunderstanding we're given whenever we get that message where we're somehow going to be defined by a feeling. So
Christian Brescia 09:45
Yeah. I like that.
Mindy Cohn 09:46
Do you have a hidden talent, Lisa?
Well, you know, it's not that hidden because it was on we did an episode with facts of life where they had they made the little ventriloquist puppet of Joe, because my hidden talent is I'm a ventriloquist. Very good one. I might as well thank you. And I could be even better on a podcast because, you know, you wouldn't even know if my lips were moving. Exactly. It's the genius level is much. Yes. All the words are hard to say. But I can just say it on podcasts. Unfortunately, it's also on YouTube, so I can't get away. That's right.
Christian Brescia 10:19
No, that's still a very interesting skill did where do you learn that? Did you teach yourself? Or is
it I did teach myself as a little girl, because I took my first acting class when I was eight, because I was very, very shy. And my second grade teacher was worried about me, because I just take a book and read under a tree and not be very social, because I was
Mindy Cohn 10:37
scared to death. And by the way, she has a tendency to still do that. I know,
this is so true. It is my addiction, which addictions typically are to protect us so. So I had my first acting class at eight. And then I wanted to be in the school talent shows. So I asked the acting teacher, well, how can I do acting for talent? He says, Well, I don't know you could do it. And so I thought, okay, I discovered ventriloquism, and my mother bought me a little dummy, and a vinyl record from Sears Roebuck catalog. Wow. And I taught myself and I want the talent show that year for third grade. Wow. And then
Mindy Cohn 11:13
how many years later, it's on an episode somewhere? That's fantastic. Yeah. Who do you admire and why?
Um, again, you know, so many. So I'm just gonna go with the most recent there is an author by the name of Miranda McPherson. And she has written a book called The way of grace. And what I love about this book is part of the premise that she brings to the table is a more feminine approach to spirituality, and especially when it comes to really interacting with our ego. So rad is that mean, in that, so rather than, you know, you've got this ego structure that does protect his was there to protect us in the beginning, but then it gets kind of confining, but it also kind of separates us from others, and even from our own authentic self. So unfortunately, then the ego gets a bad a really bad rap. And it's like, we need to get rid of it. It's like ego annihilation, let's just, you know, the egos bad, where one of the things she says is, if you have like a big block of ice, it's our ego concretized around our truest self, then you can either take a sledgehammer to it, or you can put it out in the sun, and just let it dissolve. And that is a more feminine approach with a more gentle approach. And it is an approach that I'm learning to be more gentle with myself and with my ego structures that were there to protect me, but are now limiting. And then I'm also learning to then again, the way we do one thing is the way we do everything, interact with others in a more feminine approach, because I've got a lot of masculine energy as far as it's kept me safe in a scary world. And it's kept me moving forward to be successful. Where that's really defined as it had successful you are is how valuable you are as a person. And so I've got that well defined. It's the feminine approach that I need a little bit more practice with. And so the Miranda's book and teachings have really helped me know how to do that in a practical way. And which also is to give myself more patience as well.
Mindy Cohn 13:23
Well, I love that I really resonates with me, well, just as a person, because I two very in touch with my, you know, strong side, my male side and that female side of seeing, you know, vulnerability as weakness instead of how gorgeous that is. You know, that was it's definitely taken me aging. Aging has helped me and life experience. Yeah, to sort of let that go. I love that. Oh, boy. I don't know why you got the hard one. They're not hard ones, but
I like the hard ones. Many more substantive ones.
Mindy Cohn 13:55
Okay, we're just gonna like, I'm not even gonna
mind Get your mind out.
Mindy Cohn 14:02
I've been blue since you've known me. I mean, I still have my home and I was blown away like a truck driver. If you could have dinner with any three people, who would they be? That'd be alive. No, he can be whoever and just in the moment, like just right now. I won't hold you to it.
Okay. Oh, three people.
Mindy Cohn 14:24
we know you love your family and all of that. Like, you know?
Yes, yes. Yes. Well, I would totally love to have dinner with Jesus. Um, I? Because I do think that he might take up all three slots. I know. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. A
Christian Brescia 14:44
big table too.
That's right, but we're all gonna sit on one side. So it needs to be twice as long. Yeah,
Mindy Cohn 14:56
I said who shares this meal with you and Jesus. Now I'm my curiosity. He is just on fire.
Oh my goodness. This is tough. You know what come into my mind and this Tell me,
Mindy Cohn 15:07
ever sounds. Okay, I know. But I'm just going to go with it ethics because I'm in a season right now of just being really curious about where people end up and how they get there and believing that they didn't start where they ended up. Oh, yeah. So the thought is, I would love and it'd be anything, I'd want Jesus there with me too. But like, maybe, you know, like Mussolini, or, you know. I mean, he or, you know, Hitler, somebody where, you know, it's like, okay, you know,
Mindy Cohn 15:43
he was born to a mother. Yes.
How did you end up this? And I think there is this, you know, maybe it's my own Messiah complex. There's this part of me that would, I know, I couldn't. But there's a part of me that would want to just be in that space. And with such love and curiosity, that I would want it to impact for good this person who was, I believe, good at his heart. But man, you know, it's someplace he just wouldn't say to be in his goodness.
Christian Brescia 16:13
So I probably need maybe, if somebody like that's gonna be there with me and Jesus, then maybe somebody really strong.
Mindy Cohn 16:24
You may you may need a longer meal. You may need
a meal. This is true. Yeah, yeah.
Mindy Cohn 16:32
Yeah. I like that. You did a deep dive. No, I really, I like that a lot. And usually someone comes up with, you know, some kind of like, not fluffy answer, but right, some famous person they want to meet or politician, but I really love where you went with that. And you know, of course, my ego says, put me at dinner with him, and I will fix him. Again. Rama sleeves up, let me get to it.
Yeah, I don't think I could fix them. But I do think that somebody once said that, you know, like a ship and ship just veers off course by a degree, it will end up in a different place altogether. So I would not necessarily believe that I could fix him. But I would hope that someone is meeting him with curiosity and interest without judgment, certainly judgment of his behaviors and his actions, but not judgment of what drove him to feel like that's what he needed, in order to get love or to not feel the trauma he's been through or anything like that, I would hope that perhaps that love would seep through by degree. And maybe then, you know, other people would come along, or maybe it would just grow as a seat.
Mindy Cohn 17:43
So do you believe in evil at all, like evil incarnate, or just obviously the force of evil? But do you believe that people then are just intrinsically good? Like across the board?
That's a great, great question. Um, I do believe that goodness is at the center of all, but I believe that we have to be careful about what we judge as good or bad. Because in the bigger picture, you know, there's certainly if there's a great parable about, you know, well, that was bad. Well, maybe maybe not, you know, that was good. Well, maybe maybe not. Right. So, you know, I think that, like, if we were to imagine a painting, like with all the little picture with all the little pixels, I think all the little pixels are good, but they're all different colors. And when you make a painting, the painting, it could be that the darks make the light, so beautiful. And so is that saying that the dark is bad? Or is the dark complimentary to the very reason that we can enjoy the beauty of the light. And but when you get right into the middle of the dark, it feels dark and there is suffering and there is evil. But if you pull out into the big picture, I believe the big picture is beautiful.
Mindy Cohn 18:59
So if you were to given a role of some person who has just done dastardly dastardly things, would that be an easy? I don't wanna say an easy coat for you to put on. But would that be a challenge that you would want to take on or is that repugnant? You
know, I think it would be as long as it doesn't glamorize glorify, or even just, oh, this is just life. This is just a part of life. This is just what we're living in. You know, I'm, I don't want anything that just makes us numb to the evil by just being everywhere and so I wouldn't want to have a role. That's just for gratuitous, sensationalist. You know, sensationalist is, you know what I mean?
Mindy Cohn 19:39
sensationalism. Yeah, I feel, you know,
I know, I know what you're saying sensationalism. Yes. Um, but here's the thing, Mandy, I'm not at the point yet where I have fully been able to acknowledge my the depth of my evil, and I don't think I could pull it off as an actress. And I think it's one of the reasons why I feel really confident. As a comedic actress, but I have less competence in my acting ability as a dramatic actress because I think you actually have to be able to feel those darker emotions, or you're going to look like you're acting. And I, that's, that's an area that I still I want to grow and stretch into.
Mindy Cohn 20:21
Okay, so life coach explained this to me, I can't wait for my psychotic roll, you know, I am literally, you know, Listen, my thought process about me, since my almost say, my spiritual awakening, whatever you want to call it in my late 20s was, if I can embrace all the great bits about myself, I've got to embrace the bad bits as well. In other words, it can't have one without the other. And the reason I am so loving, so generous, so funny, so full of life, is because I also have tremendous sources of hurt and pain and resentment and want to have a vengeful heart, you know, I have both, there's no reason why I can't do that. So I knew that from and work on whatever I need to work on in regards to that. But as an actor, of course, I just so want to do a deep dive because I feel so fascinated by someone who has this space. But two people who know me, well, like Christian knows how dark I can go. And you know, just as an actor, and as a creative, I find that so friggin exciting, that, you know, I always say I want my misery, whatever that means that version of that to like, Could she really be psychotic? Well ask anyone who knows me? Oh, my goodness, yes. Yes, she can, and quite easily. So I love that, um, I love your honesty, I always have, I really actually appreciate that, and always have very much that has come to you very naturally, since I've known you. And I don't know where that comes from, whether it's genetic, or your family or your faith, but you've always been so tremendously honest. And I always know where you stand. And I so appreciate that. Just to you and a person.
Yeah, thank you very much. That's very meaningful, I guess, the trade off. I didn't know I needed that validation from you. But it really does mean it. Because there are few friends I have in my life that I have known since I was a kid. I mean, you know, at this point in our life, we will never have friends as close and as long and as deep as the friendship like you and Mindy and Kim and I have, because we don't have that much life yet to live. right to have just the time that we've had together over the last, you know, 40 some odd years.
Mindy Cohn 22:36
Yeah. Agree. Agreed. I love that about us, by the way that the four of us seem to have come back together. I'll bet I think out of you know, dearly departed people. We've always known what each other's doing, but I do feel I love the I'm gonna share if you don't mind. I mean, I don't think it's that private. But it was really cute. When florists pass the suggestion of you know, that came from Lisa. You know, this is wonderful that we text them we call each other every now and then and fine. But we should probably get together in person like maybe once a year, once every other year. And of course, Kim's first text was Bahamas question mark Sheba port the destination. But I just thought it is true, where there is just this unspoken something that I only think it's deeper and more lovely with age that we have. It's kind of wonderful that I don't have with anybody else.
Yeah, yeah, I'm sure ever will. And there's something about to you know, people that have gone through the trenches together. Yeah, we went through nine years of fame and celebrity and especially back then when there were only three networks, you know, it's a rare thing to go through that in life. And so there are very few people in this life that would ever be able to really relate or understand what we went through and to go through it as children where you're really very, you know, impressionable, and things are, you know, you're kind of figuring out who you are. And for us to have gone through that season and that experience together. There is a bonding that, you know, probably will never happen in our life as
Mindy Cohn 24:15
well. Yeah. Well, people always say, I mean, is it like the four of you went to college? And I said, No, it's like the four of us went through junior high, high school, college and grad school about that. And that's how long you know, we were together so, so people always kind of go, Oh, my God guy said, yeah, it wasn't a tour of duty. It was nine. So yeah, for sure. Yeah. What have you guys been getting inspired by with what's gone on this last year? What's inspiring you right now, in your household?
Well, certainly my granddaughter and my new grandchild on the way.
Mindy Cohn 24:51
thank you. Very, but you know, as big as that is, I will have to say, my marriage. I got married. In the end of 2019, so right before the pandemic, yes, my husband was a psychologist, so he started working from home, I'm a life coach, I work from home. So we've been together in and in the pandemic, around the clock, and have really loved every minute of it. And, as you know, I have done a lot of psychological work on myself since I was, you know, a teenager. Mm hmm. But I once read in a psychologist who's once said, you know, we are wounded in the context of relationship, we can only really fully heal the depth of those ones within the context of relationship, and intimate relationship is what's going to actually get to the deepest, most core wounds, the more you open your heart and let someone into those deep places, they're going to step on them, they're going to activate them, we're going to react, and then we're going to, you know, project and put it all on the other person. Well, that can either drive a couple or close friends apart. Or it's intimacy building conscious about it. Yeah. And you can say, I'm reacting. And yes, I'm mad because you did that. But I also know that the kerosene, the little bath, you know, the kerosene, the candle wick is ditch, like in childhood. So I'm a claim here, but I don't want to burn you down, because this isn't really so much about you. But thank you, for, you know, that little spark, because otherwise, I would not have had the love gives you the reason to go ahead and go to those deeper places for healing,
Mindy Cohn 26:32
the choice to be together. I mean, I have to say, because you asked, she didn't know that I just always say also that a relationship born and health remains healthy. You know, I mean, a relationship born in sickness cannot survive health. And so I think you joined
Tell me more about that. I want to hear I want to hear more about that.
Mindy Cohn 26:54
Well, I just think that, you know, you two joined, where you were in such a healthy place, open place, and you attract someone, and it's you came together in health, it was good. foundation is good. It's not in some kind. So however much you're unpacking from childhood and ego and all of that stuff. The foundation is very good. And so I would say this is, this is a good one, because yes,
I totally agree.
Mindy Cohn 27:25
Yes. So I know that you are doing 10 different things to Sunday, you are offering your newest of your 10 books, and you are life coaching. And are you still when the world starts to open up? Are you going to go speaking again,
on your? You know, I don't know, because here's the thing, the majority of my speaking at this point has been at, you know, traditional evangelical churches. Yes. And so like, I do travel to Lisa No, well, but they were mostly faith based, okay. And so, like, when I do speak at a faith based event, now, I can with full integrity, talk about how grateful I am for the protection and the Foundation, and the security of the church, especially in a very chaotic time in my life. And that's in line with the Christianity, there is the foundation of the law, you really need to learn how to be a good person do the right thing, you know, don't do the bad things. And so I can talk about how important the law, you know, the Old Testament is, but it's also within the New Testament that the law is supposed to be the tutor. It is really four elemental things. It's teaching the elementary principles of life, but you don't want to stay in elementary school forever. You need to graduate from the law. And when you graduate, you graduate into the law of love, which is then written on your heart so that you are then being in this world, from the inside out, love motivated, rather than from the outside in, which is oftentimes a little bit more fear motivated. Again, there is a time for it, I'm not going to tell my two year old, don't run out into the street, because there might be a big, you know, car come around, and you get a big boom, no, I'm going to say, If I see you in that street, you are going to get hurt. And it has nothing to do with that big car. Because you are going to go into your room, and you are going to be hurt because you are not going to be able to play with any of your toys for the rest of the day. And that is going to be painful it. So there is a place for when we're kind of learning how to be in this world to be afraid of doing a bad thing. But if you stick with that, you know then you're just going to be operating in from a fear based punishment based mentality for yourself and for others and that's why Jesus came ultimately to bring grace and so I can speak That message in any situation, right, but a lot of churches really only want the Yeah, there. They're not going to be, you know, when they find out that I believe that there are many ways to experience God not just Jesus, then the invitations kind of dry up.
Mindy Cohn 30:14
Yeah. Well, I think all of mine have gotten lost in the mail my whole life. So apparently, I think I agree with you on that. So maybe, maybe not. But there is also the, you know, the show that you're hosting on ni TV and is picked up for another season.
Well, you know, what, they just asked for eight more at home shows. Because they're kind of, I think they're wanting to just kind of keep it alive until we can get back out on the road and go, because it's great. We go into people's homes, and we see their collections. Yeah, we can do that with them just filming with their iPhone, but it's not what is fun is going into their home. But until it's not quite as dangerous. We'll have to wait. But the plan is to get back out on the road, finding collections from all over the world. Hopefully next January. Oh, my
Mindy Cohn 30:59
gosh, wonderful. I hope that and many, many, many other things. And I adore you. And I hope you know that. And I hope you feel that you so much for coming on an episode of Mondays with Mindy.
My pleasure. It's been a joy and I can't say that about every interview I've ever done. And I know that the fact that it's you It was fun, even if it had been, you know, Christian, just meaning and stranger. Yeah, I have fallen in love with the way he has done all the pre interview stuff. So yes. Anyway, just a pleasure all the way around.
Christian Brescia 31:32
Awesome. Well, thank you. Once again, Lisa. This was a pleasure for us and for our guests or listeners and viewers. For sure. One more time, ladies and gentlemen. Big round of applause. Lisa, welcome.
Thank you. Thank you.
Mindy Cohn 31:43
Thank you adore you adore you.
Christian Brescia 31:46
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