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"I LOVE YOU MORE" with Laura Duksta - NYT Bestselling Author and Ambassador of Love

by Stephan K Thieringer
August 27th 2021

I this Episode we are talking to my friend and "sista" Laura Duksta.  Laura is a Speaker, an ambassador of love and a NYT bestselling author.  Her first book I Love You More More

Hello and welcome to rock rants your podcast where we talk about all the stuff that happens right at the intersection of life and business. My name is Stefan tearing er and I am your host. I'm an angel investor. I'm a serial entrepreneur. I'm a dad. I'm a fool and a heart attack survivor connect with me on social media. I'm on instagram, I'm on twitter, I'm on facebook, I have a website Or connect to our community number at 617 313 - 8 - seven. Let me know what you think about this episode or any other episode you'd like to chat about. Give me some of your thoughts, let me know what you'd like me to talk about. Let me know how I can help you. My name is Stefan surrender your host here at the Raw brands podcast, grateful You're here and we're ready for the next episode listening.

Here we go. Mhm folks, it's that time again And there's that you again. We're back at ra rants and I can tell you today, we have somebody who has impacted listen to the number 100,000 students all across the country and all across the world. My guest today is a new york times best selling author and international speaker. I get to call her my sister, she's a visionary and she's a new friend of mine and I'm so honored to have her here today. Yeah. Mhm. She sold over one million books off one of her books titled and you may have it in your bookshelf. I just recently walked into a bookstore for Children spoke and I asked, hey, you got, I love you more and they all knew what it was and she sold more than a million copies of that and it's in seven languages and her name is and she is right across from me here and I'm so honored, she's here, Laura, Mhm Dexter.

And if you wonder why I just did that, she'll tell you in a second why Lauren welcome. Welcome. Thank you for having me Stefan, I love you and I'm so happy to be here. I love you back. It's amazing to have you here. We gotta I just, I just hesitated because I'm going, we just talked about this and I kept asking you before the duck stuff, you want to make me royalty and you want to call me duke stuff, that's what you are royalty to me. My father says duck stuff and I keep thinking that I'm going to change from a duke to a dude from my job, but I haven't, I love that, I love that. I love that, whatever you wanna call me, you call me that, that's awesome. So, Laura, I've had the privilege to get to know you through a mutual friend of mine actually who was on the podcast here before Erica Obando as well. So Erica, if you're listening to us, thank you, shout out to you. Amazing, amazing human being and author and speaker for that matter as well. There's so much in your bio that I saw. I mean I see radio Disney I C U S A today, I see Miami herald, I see new york times, but at the very core, the way I've gotten to know you is it's it's not about the acclaim, it's not about all that stuff for you.

Tell us and tell our listeners a little bit about what is it about? What's what's what's the passion, what's driving you, What's really at the core of it? And and as I said to you, we're going to jump right into it, awesome. Um so love the platform and the way that you present and do this. I've listened to several of the podcasts, um my mission and I feel very blessed to have been gifted this vision when I was young about seven or eight years old, I had the idea that we're all brothers and sisters because of that. We're meant to love one another. And one day I was going to travel the world, meet my brothers and sisters and share the message of love and I feel like I get to fulfill on that on a daily basis, no matter how I'm doing that, whether that's through my books through my school programs and talks or just in daily interactions, meeting people on the sidewalk or for sunrise or for coffee, it's just who I am. So I really call myself first and foremost an ambassador of Love.

I love that love is I think such an important piece, right? And as we're recording, we're kind of in the midst of another search coming with Covid and people wanting to connect more after we just came through that initial tunnel of Covid and hopefully, you know, we were at the end of it and now suddenly everybody's kind of hesitating again, love is such a connector. Can you, can you talk about this a little bit and I know you've connected with so many people across the globe for that matter. What are some of the things that you've learned and and the impact of love and the impact maybe even some personal impact to your own life you've experienced? Yeah, I think I'll go on to connect it to the, the book that poured through me this idea for I love you more. I was a bartender in South Beach with no good idea of what I was going to do with my life. I had gotten very lost in the world of the nightlife scene and everything that comes with that, including being working the door at an after hours nightclub called Club X.

So we'll leave it at that. My sister was going through a hard time in her then marriage and was pregnant with her second child and they would argue a lot and she would call me and say, hey doug and I got into a huge argument and he left and I would drop everything and go over there. I was away, thousands of miles away at a opening of a nightclub in Connecticut and so that night I couldn't drop everything. And so I found myself praying for my sister and I said to myself, this is strange, I don't really pray like this anymore. And something clearly answered me and said, your sister is fine, pray for your nephew. And as I did, the idea for this book poured through me and I never aspired to be an author that I got up and pulled out a piece of hotel stationery and started writing the idea down and a friend woke up and said, what are you doing? I'm like I'm writing a Children's book called, I love You more. That prayer ended up completely changing my life, transforming my life completely.

It helped pull me out of South Beach out of some of the things that I was Had defaulted into and gave me so much hope and promise in direction. And then we sent the book to print on September 10, 2001. So it's just getting ready to celebrate 20 years having no idea what that next day would bring. And I was actually had a coaching call At nine am on that morning of the 11th and standing in that day, we were like, wow, you know where we're going to go through with this, You didn't know what the world was gonna look like in three weeks or three months? And we said, well now more than ever, the world will need our book in its message of love And that's what happened. I mean, it's happened several times within the last 20 years. It's like now more than ever, the world needs the message of love to help erase the fear that's just played it and blanket it. And so what I've come to know is that the book was written, so that all of us know that no matter what's going on in our lives or in the world around us, how truly loved we are, because when we know that we have more of a peace in our heart, you know, it's it's such an interesting part.

I mean, I've shared and and listeners you've heard some of my personal journey of therapy and everything what kind of comes with that? I think just a message when I heard the title the first time, um I think we're shy to admit that we actually need that and we want to be seen. And particularly because I think we're I don't want to say we're rejecting, but we are we're scared of admitting that in us is still that little child. And and we just want that little child to be loved and be seen. And can you talk about that a little bit. And I mean, you've met so many people through your authorship of the book and seeing so many, you know, potentially even life's change. Are there are there any particular stories experiences you can share that that our listeners can relate to that can help them? Maybe also to take some things away for themselves or your own life experience? Yeah, I am. Well, I guess, you know we haven't addressed why you may one of the reasons why you would refer to me as sister though there is many or several at least and one is that we share a similar hairstyle for those of you that are hearing this.

They're not seeing it because in that case it's obvious. But I lost my hair when I was 11 to a condition called Alopecia areata. I thought it was the worst thing that could ever possibly happen. I became introverted, Shy, depressed. I thought that the only solution would be to try to be like everybody else so to get away which I wore for 19 years and I did not look at myself in a mirror for 10 years from the time that I was 11 to the time that I was 21 without a wig on. I just thought that a monster resided under there. Uh huh I did over the time, you know, it's hard to share the whole story with you in such a short period of time. I did realize that I was learning lessons or I had building my awareness of love and compassion and empathy for others and then it turned myself as well that I would never had gotten without having this experience.

So at some point I got like, I would never trade my hair for these experiences and then I started to realize that our biggest challenge is always have the opportunity and the ability to become our biggest blessings. And I fully 100 million% consider this the biggest gift. Actually one of the biggest gifts and the other one was an enormous tragedy. Yet I was able to use it to propel me to a greater awareness and understanding of love. So I think that's one of the, one of the pieces that I'd like to leave with people when you're going through something, there's always the opportunity to look for, what are the gifts that are present, what are the gifts that are present and how can I turn this into something that fuels my and propels my life and my purpose versus stopping and having the stuff, wow, wow, thank you for sharing dad.

Sorry, you went through this, I mean, I can't even imagine um as a, as a little girl at DSS, if you said 11 um, to, to, I mean essentially it almost like it's a book you wrote for yourself, then it sounds a little bit right, I still love you and, and the more is almost like the emphasis of that because of self love is such an important piece. If you don't love yourself, how can you, you know, love other people and what do you bring to the world then? Is that a little bit what it's about? Absolutely is as I shared a little bit before, you know, I thought that I was writing it from my sister and my nephew and then really it was after I had the idea for the book and I was just before my 30th birthday, about two weeks before that I said throw me a party. We had a choice between two nightclubs in new york city life or chaos. Both of them are appropriate. But we chose life and I said, I'm gonna stop wearing wigs. And I had never thought that I would do that and I didn't realize until after publishing the book how connected that decision was to the power and the message of the book because now I go into schools and I share about the power and freedom and self expression and liberation and just awesomeness that comes from being yourself and the students, no matter the age or the adults get however much time we have together an hour or sometimes a little bit less or more.

Yeah. Being with someone who's really has a very obvious challenge yet has embraced being themselves and has a little bit of fun. And you know, it's just, I feel very blessed. That was like, I'm very grateful that I love that. And you know, it's such an interesting piece. I mean, it has a little bit of fun, I mean I've gotten to know you, it's such a jovial, outspoken, graceful, sweet, honest, I mean, all the words that that that go with, I think what what, you know represents great values and and such an influencer also in your, in your environment, you alluded earlier a little bit to something that that was a difficult time for you. And another story that that kind of propelled you towards, you know, the compassion, the empathy, can you share a little bit more about that? I know you like this one. Listen, I mean if you guys, if you guys listening to this, this is uh I don't even know how to respond to it, It's an unbelievable story.

You know, I know one of the things that you are always looking for those pivotal moments in people's lives and you know, when I take the opportunity to reflect on the pivotal moments, I'm like, wow, again, really blessed that I'm aware of them and the ones that I've had. So, another major line was my first, the first person that I really thought wanted to be my friend, we were roommates when I was at boston college and the first place that we went to meet and have dinner was Pizzeria Uno in Harvard Square and we just got along fabulously. We, we love to go out dancing in Kenmore Square, but she was an art student, she was at the Fine Art Museum as a graphic designer and artist. And I decided that I was going to transfer to University of Maryland and she said well if you're going to Maryland so am I. And I was like wow she really is my friend. And so about two weeks before we were going to move I moved we got on the road we left boston about 10 o'clock at night travel down to new york city and went to the world to go dancing and then went to D.

C. And got her an apartment on M street Georgetown and a job in Adams morgan said hello to some of her old friend of hers that she grew up with and then got back on the road to and she insisted on going to roxy even though it's like it's not good right now. She's like yeah but everybody goes I need to have gone. And so we went and then we got pulled back on the highway and I heard a voice tell me to put my seatbelt on. I said don't wear my seatbelt it's to put your seatbelt on. I said I don't wear my seatbelt but we argued for a minute and it was more adamant than I was and so I put my seatbelt on and I said well then I should tell Donna to wear hers. And the voice said no it has to be her decision whether to have won her seat belt or not. And the song by bobby brown every little step you take, I'll be there with you. Came on and that was one of our songs. We kind of smiled at each other and then I don't remember until the car had flipped over. More than likely. I dozed off. We had been Young and wild and a little bit reckless, staying up about 48 hours and the car flipped over and I was upside down in my seat belt and she flew through the window and earned her wings that night.

I was wearing a T shirt that said, will somebody rescue me When people were banging on the window to get me out trying to pull through my seatbelt because I never wore. It was 1988. So it was before we all wore seatbelts and I really thought that a seatbelt might keep me stuck in a car. Well, it did thankfully in this case. It was A lot of years later that almost almost 10 years later that I was back in Connecticut for the first time and I don't think I've shared this song with you before and I'll have to send send it to you. But I was at the opening of the nightclub was in Connecticut first time back in Connecticut since the accident and a song comes on Stefan that tears just started pouring down my face in the opening night of this nightclub. I've never heard the song, I don't hear the words and I asked the DJ after, I'm like, hey, you played this song. He's like, I know which one. It was like, no, you don't. I was like, you know, you couldn't have seen me from where I was.

He sends me a cassette. I don't, I don't hear the words, I just cried through it. It's a little longer story. The song is called Shine and it says there will be feelings you have never felt. There will be questions in your mind. Your sister left your side to help you grow and now she watches while you shine. The soul of an angel touched from above. Your spirit is shining, surrounded by love. It was a remix by paul paul, Okon Felled. And that's the night that the book poured through me. I mean, I believe as well, and the power of angels and connection and love and just so good. Wow. Sorry, you went through this, but thank you for sharing that powerful, powerful, powerful folks. We're talking to a dear friend and sister of mine were talking to Laura, we're gonna make our Duke stuff, Duke the Duke. She's a new york times best selling author and I'm so glad you know, I put some media music on for you because you know, that's like, that's like the old club Wife for you, isn't it?

Sometimes it used to make me a little anxious. But now I know you're good with it. That's awesome. She wrote one of one of the most popular Children's books. She sold over a million copies. It's in seven languages and it is called I Love You More Now. That is one book. I know there's another book and then there's another book which we're all looking forward to do. We want to talk about that for a quick moment and I don't know, I know that the video won't be shown very much to hold the books up just in case. So there's I love you are and I've got huggy more, which is my most recent book that came out. I also have You are a Gift to the World and my books are done in a flip format. So you are a gift to the world. Actually flips over to the world as a gift to you and it's a beautiful message, but it's not in print right now. So I have it as a free e book. If anybody wants it, they can sign up for my newsletter on my website, which is my name, Laura ducks to or laura Dukes to depending on who you ask.

And my newest book that I'm working on is no matter what I love you, you and my sister, you are my brother and we're using real pictures of Children from around the world. And it's just that idea that it that has, you choose the choices, you make the chances, you take the food, you eat the music you listen to, whether your favorite color is red, pink or blue, no matter what I love you. I think that's, that's such a, such a, such a big message. Right? I mean I think in my own journey there's so many times where you go to this place of, well I'm not enough, I'm not good enough. I'm not that enough. Whatever the not enough is about. And I think that message of reassurance, no matter what I love you, um, is I think such a, such an important piece, Talk to us a little bit about your own. You know, you talked a little about the journey of how you got into being an author, how you're writing, what what's, what's kind of the journey for you over the next, I don't know the next six months, nine months, 12 months I know for you, everything is about impact and, and, and spreading that message.

What, what's, you know, what's on the horizon? Thank you. My big vision, which I just started playing with the new coach and I love, I love personal development and human potential work. Right? So I just signed up for a new coaching program and was really looking at, I'm working at bringing the new book into the world and what would really light me up would be to do a full nationwide tour, visiting every state, visiting schools, perhaps the boys and girls club in a Children's hospital and of course I love nature. So every place that I visit, I want to seek out whether it's a hike or a river or a lake or whatever there is to see in an area. So be able to spend a little bit of time and be an ambassador of love and travel the country and then the world and share the message of love. I love that if people, I mean, if people hear you, people say you know what, I love that or people have heard your name, they, they've seen your book.

If they want to get in touch with you, what's, what's the best way to ultimately connect with you, Laura? Yeah, you know, my website has my email address and uh, you know, a way for you to be able to send an email. People can certainly reach out that way. I spend a good amount of time on instagram or on facebook. Those are kind of my two spots and certainly can reached out through linkedin as well. That's awesome. That's awesome. So I don't wanna, I don't wanna let you go yet because I, I know there's a lot more to talk about. So in terms of your own journey, but also the journey in regards to, you know, being the author and a lot of people here who listen, they are entrepreneurs also and being an author also means you're an entrepreneur, you are, you know, you, you got your business, you've got all the people who support you who work with you. What are some of the challenges because we always talk about the glory, right? But we also got to talk about the hardship a little bit because I think that's the learning lessons. What is some, what are some of the things, I mean the books now, 20 years old, congratulations to that.

I think you said September 10 is 10 to 20 year anniversary, which is amazing um with that comes the roller coaster, you know, and brother it, you know, and it's amazing how connected to the gifts of this whole experience I can be present to and there are challenges and I think that that's important for us to know is that in life love is and the, you know, the wedding vows really got it right, they don't say and happiness and health and joy and fun and good times, It's not one sided. And you know sometimes I think we all must dismiss that, but love is and happiness and sadness and sickness and health and good times and bad times and so any journey is going to have support and challenge and I believe that when you know that and you can do your best to not get too related about the good things or too depressed or down or negated through bad press or circumstances, things that come up when you can find the balance, you end up heart centered, you end up empowered inspired enjoy.

So I have not answered your question yet. I made mistakes when I first started my business and I ended up in a lot of debt. I ended up with some scarred relationships and I have suffered through making myself wrong. Like I'm the only one in the world who has ever done this or how dare I do this As an ambassador of love, I should somehow be better or more transformed than the normal P on. But I really haven't been able to give myself space. Actually, a friend just sent me a beautiful piece on failure with some of the people that I've known, but some that didn't, they didn't, you know people like walt Disney, Oprah forward. Edison. That just, you know, you can't give up when things don't always go your way, you have to stay focused on what the mission envision is and be ready to take the next steps.

What are some of I mean any any shortcuts? Any quick things? I mean there's no shortcuts in life, right? People always say that. But if there is something kind of to fall forward where we say, you know what, maybe there's a little leapfrogging somebody who's listening here, What's the one thing you would say to them? Well if you do x here's a shortcut or if you are finding yourself in the following situation. Don't go down that route, take that one. Is there anything that sticks out to you. This is what just popped came too hard. So it's kind of smaller than what I usually share but I know that there are so many aspiring authors and we all think like I want to write my book and get into Barnes and nobles or get it on amazon. Well you and I don't know what the number of right now is on Amazon like 80 million books and bookstores have relationships with publishers that they already need to um you know, take care of. So the best advice that I got when I was self publishing, my first book was look for where your audience is and target that versus worrying about being in bookstores.

Beautiful opportunity when we get to be on in bookstores but where can you really get front of your audience. So that's what we have done. We had ended up in american craft and gift galleries all over the country but like in Copley place and Mashpee, there's one on vegan hill right now that carries guys, if you haven't noticed yet. If you haven't noticed that even though she's not in the Miami area or in Miami actually she has deep, deep deep boston roots boston college where she went to school. I I also saw on your website, right one of the first listings where your book was ranked. Did I see that correct? Was patriot ledger. Oh that was such a thrill. So I don't even know, gosh, I have to share this with you, I call you ralph all the time because I've got a dear friend who I love so much, who you remind me of and that's the highest compliment. My father's, my father's name is ralph. There we go, hitting close, it's hitting close to home.

I have a feeling like you may know each other um love this man and I am from massachusetts. I was born in Quincy, my family still lives in Weymouth and I grew up in Marshfield where my family owned the Fairview and I share that only because I know you're in the area. So the patriot ledger. So when harry potter became Uber popular and began being number 12 and three on the new york times bestsellers list, they were never separated out until harry potter and then there became a Children's list and a young adult list. So the patriot ledger hadn't separated list yet. And so I'm on that list with mitch album, the five people you meet in heaven, the da Vinci code and a couple other cool ones because I had done events in the area and people have gone out to the local bookstores to get.

That is such a great story. That is awesome, that is awesome. Final thoughts laura anything you want to give our listeners on the way with anything where you're saying you know I got to talk about this piece, this is they've got to hear about this, tell us, I mean I know we can talk hours of odd stuff, you know which direction do you want to go? You know what comes to heart is one day I was recovering from a hangover on the couch and I said there must be something better to do with my life and I started flipping through the Tv stations, so not very motivated, but divinely motivated. And I found Wayne Dyer speaking on tv and he was giving his first, I didn't realize it was his first PBS special called Wisdom of the Ages and it's a beautiful book and on the cover he's walking the beach, a beach that I and Erica walked nearly every morning now in Fort Lauderdale and in that program he referred to a john keith's home oh to a Grecian urn.

And the last line of that poem is Friends, what you need to know. I'm paraphrasing a little in truth. There is beauty and beauty, There is truth and that's all you need to know. So, my request of you or my um you know the opportunity that is present is for you to find what your truth is and inside yourself and what your mission or passion is and go out and live that and that's I think when the world opens up, its beauty and Magnificence and I love that. Thank you for sharing that. Mhm Laura, we're kind of at the end of our time together here um I want to say thank you. It's been been such fun. Um I think what we should do is, and I'm going to put it out there maybe you, me and Erica, I need to do a whole thing together, the three of us. Um and whoever else you think should be part of that, because I know you've got the whole network going on there in in in Miami.

So I'd love to do that with the boston connection. So I get to get to get to peek into that the way we get to do it. It could be a global event if we want it to be. I mean we we talked about that and we're going to take that off line, but I'd love to do that because I love every time I talk to you and guys, I get the privilege of seeing laura almost almost every thursday morning at our coffee chat. What we do also at nine a.m. Look it up. If you follow us on social media, you'll find it there as well. But for today we talked to laura Ducks to, I got it right this time, didn't I didn't make you do, it doesn't sound right coming out of your health, Dukes, Dukes ties better. So if you're looking for laura, here's where you go, you go to www dot I always wanted to say that Laura, L A U R A Ducks to d U K S T A dot com and connect with her there. She's also on all major social media channels and she is a new york times best selling author and international speaker my sister and she wrote the book, I love you more.

I love you too, Laura, thank you. Thank you. Thank you for being here today. It's been amazing. I want you guys to really check it out. Order the book. Um, amazon is probably a great source to find it, but if you just google her name, you'll find pages and pages and pages full of Laura awesome. Thank you brother, I want to say thank you to all of you being here again at rock France today my name is Stefan to injure, connect with me on social media as well. You find me on linkedin, on twitter on instagram and on facebook and we have a website at rock brands dot com and if you have any wishes and desires what you want us to talk about, go send it my way as well please. And if you have feedback for any of the episodes, please let us know as well, Laura, I want to thank you again. You and I going to dance it out of here now, that's right, sounds good to me brother. There.

She goes, I'm super grateful, new friends and old friends. You were all here and this is Stefan and Laura out shining. If you didn't hear what you just said, say it again. Keep shining. Keep shining Brothers and sisters sending you all love and light.

"I LOVE YOU MORE" with Laura Duksta - NYT Bestselling Author and Ambassador of Love
"I LOVE YOU MORE" with Laura Duksta - NYT Bestselling Author and Ambassador of Love
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