Cathy Nesbitt is a worm advocate and the founder of Cathy’s Crawly Composters, an environmental business specializing in vermicomposting. Cathy helps educate people on how worms can help with waste management by turning garba...
Cathy Nesbitt is a worm advocate and the founder of Cathy’s Crawly Composters, an environmental business specializing in vermicomposting. Cathy helps educate people on how worms can help with waste management by turning garbage into nutrient rich “black gold” soil.
Cathy likes to say she wormed her way into business the way that many would-be entrepreneurs do - she saw a problem and came up with a solution. When her home city of Toronto, Canada had a garbage strike that resulted in people lining up for hours to drop their garbage at transfer stations for export to the United States, she realized that worm composting could help.
Cathy's Crawly Composters was born out of the vision that every household should have a pound of worms for composting which would positively impact waste management and the environment. However, after realizing she first needed a market, Cathy pivoted to an education business speaking to different groups teaching them about worm composting.
Cathy was driven by her mission of filling a need and making an impact. She describes how her background in psychology helped her uncover the biggest objections people had to worm farming and the strategy she used to overcome them. She also explains how the shutdown during the pandemic created an opportunity to get her worm kits in front of more people and spread awareness of her worm composting solution.
Finally, Cathy talks about her other passion - laughter yoga. She shares a sweet story about how she discovered it, its many benefits, and how now as a laughter yoga teacher, she gets to work with the special needs community - a group she has long loved working with - by teaching them how to use laughter yoga in their lives.
Cathy’s business story is unique, delightful, and a wonderful example of how one person can impact their community and beyond by solving a problem and following their purpose.
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Welcome to the Real People Real Business Show. My name is Stephanie Hayes, and I'm a business strategist who loves to speak with like-minded entrepreneurs to share their real stories and gritty details on building their businesses. On this show, you won't hear about glamorized entrepreneurship journeys that you see online. You won't be told how to make six figures in six weeks. Instead, you can expect to hear real vulnerable and inspiring stories that you can relate to that have helped create the foundation for each of our guests businesses. Goodbye, boss Babes. Hello, real life entrepreneurs today. I am so, so excited to welcome Cathy Nesbitt. Cathy is a worm advocate , a worm advocate, and founder of Cathy's Crawly Composters. This environmental business specializes in Verma composting, which is a, a totally new word for me today. And Laughter Wellness is her latest offering. She has simple solutions for today's challenges. Worm composting, sprout growing and laughter yoga. Cathy's a certified laughter yoga teacher and leader. She was appointed a laughter ambassador in 2017 by Dr. Madan Kataria. And I wanna welcome to, to the show. Cathy, thank you so much for taking the time to share your story today. I cannot wait to find out what we talk about. . . Thank you Stephanie. I'm excited to be. And you're Canadian. And I'm Canadian. I know. Fellow super happy. Yep. That's right. That's right. Okay. Uh, you have to tell me everything, like how, how did you end up here and. I mean, I need to know all the things. So give me, give me the backstory. Okay. Good thing I have lots of energy cuz I can tell you everything and I talk fast. , I'll go slow though, so that people can listen at the same time so they can hear one of my message. Uh, yeah. I'd say it's a really a fun journey and I really want other people to have a fun journey too. Whatever their, their journey is, and I know that's how you help people too. Uh, so yeah, I'm located in, uh, in Toronto just north. Of Toronto, largest city in Canada. And in 2002 our landfill closed and we started to export garbage to the United States, a thousand trucks a week. And I, so I'm an avid gardener and composter, and I actually grew up in Toronto, but moved out of Toronto in 93 and bought a house and couldn't wait to start composting and gardening. So when our landfill closed, And we started to export garbage. You know, as an entrepreneur I didn't, well, I didn't know as an entrepreneur, but an entrepreneur is somebody that sees a problem and has a solution. I think right? And I had a big, uh, solution for one of the biggest. Problems in the world. Like this is a world solution garbage crisis, right? We have garbage everywhere and it's a big problem. So anyway, I started my business. I mean, it was kind of a, I took a business course and a whole journey as well, uh, how I wormed my way into the worm business . And in 2002 also, um, there was. Uh, garbage strike . And Toronto's supposed to be a world-class city. Not, if not, if you have a, you know, piles of rotting garbage in the summer, cuz that's when you have a garbage strike. So I was watching the news and people were lining up for hours to drop off their garbage at the transfer station. And I was like, those people don't compost. Because if you compost, it takes the stink out of garbage. Ah, so kind of long story short, I took my worms on a road trip. I ended up getting an article in the Toronto Star, um, , and I was so excited. I was said to my, I phoned up my husband, I was like, oh my gosh, , I got, uh, an article in the Toronto Star and he said to me, I'm on my way home. I just got downsized and now I can joke about it. 20 years later, it's the 20th anniversary of Cathy's Crawley Composters, and now I joke and say, couldn't he have just got downsized tomorrow so I could celebrate my article in the Star ? But it was like, oh my gosh. Like the universe is really a funny place, isn't it? I don't think I would've started my business if my husband wasn't gainfully. You know, like I had a safety net. Yes. And it's, it's totally true. It's always, always on the margin, like the, the time, the timing is critical. Right. Yeah. Hilarious. Anyway, so yeah, so I had an article in The Star and he got downsized. So then here we are selling worms by the pound with no income and oh, but a big solution. Right? And I quickly realized I that I really am an entrepreneur because I pivoted so many times. It wasn't, oh, I wanna get there. I did have a dream of being the largest worm-growing. Business in Canada. Um, you know, with a thou I wanted a thousand pound worm farm. I, I, these were all things that I wrote in my business plan, and then I realized there's, there wasn't really a market because there's no market. If nobody's buying what you have. Right. Education was required. So I created an education business and I started speaking at schools all over the place. And that's kind of where, that's my big thing. And I love talking. And I was shut up as a kid, you know? It was like, G, you know, you're meant to be seen and not heard, and stop talking. And why are you singing in the morning? Stop it. Why are you so happy? ? And I'm so grateful. Stephanie, well, like, what a gift. But it took a long time. A lot of, you know, Demonn, doffing and all those things. This is real . Oh, oh, okay. So I have so many questions. Okay. Um, okay. Let me start with, uh, how, how do you grow worms? So everybody, whenever I sell worms to someone, Um, they become worm farmers. So it's the same idea as outdoor composting. vermi composting is indoor composting with, or not necessarily indoor, but it's composting with worms. Um, so any kind of container will say like a rubber made or a recycling bin or some kind of a container. You need a carbon nitrogen mix. So the carbon that we use is shredded paper. Right. Another benefit to getting rid of some of your confidential documents. , have fun. Uh, we've all watched csi and you know that if it's just put through a paper sheet or somebody if they're really interested in your, what you're saying, Okay, hold on. I'm making a note here for my future criminal activities. . Okay, carry on. Write. Every government should have a worm bin . Okay. Uh, . Okay. Um, so that's the bedding and then a little bit of soil for the microbes. Worms don't have teeth, so they're helping to decompose the food. It's a wonderful science project. And then the nitrogen is your food scraps from the kitchen. Your fruit, fruit and veg, peels, coffee, tea, pasta, rice. You add those materials in the worms, eat it all. It's aerobic process, meaning with oxygen, so it doesn't smell like rotting. . Um, there is management required because if you're composting outside, you could just throw your stuff in. Who cares if you get fruit flies and stuff in the house? You don't wanna have fruit flies. So a little bit of management is required, you know, but it is the 20th anniversary. And imagine if 20 years ago everybody got a worm bin. My goal, my mission at that time was worms in every living space, every school, every, every classroom. Actually not just one in every school, every classroom, every apartment, every house, every business. So we don't have to truck around this, this wet waste. Okay. But I have to go back to understanding the process. So you , so what are you selling? You're, are you selling the words? Are you selling the bins? Are you selling the whole like, All of the above. Yes. Good. So I'm selling the, the for doit yourselfers. Um, yes, I sell just the worms. If somebody wanted to just get a bin and get their, do their own bin, other people want a system. So I have a beautiful system made in Ontario called the Living Composter. It looks like a stool. It's comes, comes with two trays, and you just kind of rotate your trays. And I'm making it sound really simple. It is. But it's a process, so it's about three to four months for your first full cycle, right? It's nature. It's not like a machine, although it is, it's kind of, you know, worms of the original alchemists. They turn like what we call garbage into black gold. It was very soon into my business that I realized that waste management was the side benefit, although it was huge, right? A thousand trucks a day were, or a week were making the trip to Michigan, but it was the black gold that the worms were creating. Turning the paper and the food scraps into this nutrient rich soil magic. I love it. I love it. Okay, so I have all, I have this all in my head now. My, you know, my dad is gonna love this episode because he is like, Weirdly into his composting and, and is always trying to show us his composting. And, and w I wish that we would pay more in attention, but he loves his composting. He's, he loves the whole process. He likes to, to grow things and to garden. So definitely he's gonna have a listen to your two of this episode. So here you are, you've, you've decided that you're gonna make an impact. You're going to create a business. Your first attempt was, With, uh, with the worms. So, yeah, I, I, I just started to have a. I started networking. I guess that was what I did. What happened was I, there was a business, I, it was really interesting kind of how it happened. I was thinking about, you know, the, the whole thing, I got a j I got my psych degree in 2000. It took me 15 years cuz it wasn't about the degree. I just liked going at night, you know, meeting people and learning. So I got my psych degree in 2000 and I sound much younger anyway. , right? I'm a gadget of 2000. It's the truth. or, or I say to. Day in school, cuz you'll get there eventually. Time goes by , right? It works all the, all different angles. It's, it's so beautiful. And so I got a job at a group home working with challenged adults. And this was again, a big part of what I'm doing with laughter now. I mean it, when I got the job at the group home, 10 homes and a farm, um, it was kind of like a vocational program. They lived. Um, and they worked there and it was their life and it was so beautiful. I really thought that why, that's why I was put on earth to work with that demographic. I just loved it. I just loved it so much. But I couldn't work with management. , too many rules, um, and so much judgment from their ivory tower. Come on down here and see how it is . Um, and maybe they knew at one time, and I think that this is a metaphor. Many different industries. You know, when you start, you're on the, the front lines, and then as you work your way up, you get removed from how it really is . And then you're the ones making the policy from up there, but you forget how it is down there. Um, a hundred percent. Yes, right. So anyway, I couldn't, uh, one of my strengths and weaknesses is abuse of power. Um, I either have to change it , which I do sometimes, or I have to leave the situation. And there I decided that it was gonna be too much work to try and change. that system. So I left there and got a job at a group at a school working with one client and here we go. I was a freelance behavior management specialist. A freelance behavior management specialist. It sounds so impressive. Oh, it was impressive. But it doesn't fit on a business guard and freelance meant I didn't have a, a safety net when I got injured and I did , right? Cuz that was the universe's plan for me. So a little injury, no big deal. Just just a finger. Not like, it's okay, I'm functioning , but I came home from work and I was stressed. I was like, Ah, wow. Uh oh. How can I go back and work with one client when I got injured by him? . Now I'm afraid of him. , right? It like, it, it, it changes you. Anyway, say, came home, there was an ad in the paper, and it said, are you a woman? Yes. Do you have a business idea? Yes. Check, check. And it was a, a course, a free course to do a business plan, a six month business course. So I, I said to my husband, I'm quitting my job. I'm taking this course, I'm starting a worm business. Won't this be. That's how it started. You can, you just knew it was gonna be the worm business. I, I had an idea cuz it was like, you know, it, it just came at that time. Right. They didn't have worms at the, like what happened? Even before I got the job at the group home. When I bought my house in 93. So we're going even back. Sorry. Like, it's like one of those back. Back we go we will go forward folks. Don't worry . In 93, I bought my house, moved outta Toronto, bought a house, couldn't wait. Start to start gardening and composting. And a teacher friend asked me to look after her worm bin for the summer, and I didn't want worms in my house, like many people listening, but. , I knew the value of the worm compost. I mean the worms are like, they're making this beautiful stuff and I knew the value of that, but I didn't wanna do the process. Like many of your listeners probably , right? And so I did it. I took on the, the, the challenge cuz I think we should try things, not just let someone say, oh you won't like that good , let me just sit here on the sofa and do nothing then. Cuz. I probably won't like a lot of things , uh, right. So I took it on. It was awful cuz I had a fruit fly full, a house full of fruit flies, . Oh no. Because I didn't manage it right. And if anyone listening has ever had fruit flies but didn't have a worm bin, you know that the fruit flies don't come from the worm bin, then you never had one. They come from the bananas and the oranges. But anyway, that's, that's good to know. That's one of the objections, by the way, is I don't wanna have fruit flies. It's like, have you ever, then you know you is there. Right. Okay. So I, so I said, I'm never gonna do this again. It took me, I, I kept the worms alive for the summer and I, it, I had got big gloves cuz I really wanted the black gold. So I separated the worms and the compost, it took me all day because I didn't wanna, Ugh, it was awful. I, I'm still having kind of thoughts about that, although, Obviously overcome it. , and I said I would never do worm composting again, but I would just buy worm compost if I wanted worm compost, although how many worm farmers are there? Where did the wor, where does the worm compost come from? Right. It's like ba guano who, who's, who's collecting the bako, guano, . Right. Not me. So not me. . Right. And that's so fascinating. Yeah. Anyway, why don't you ask me a question cuz I'm rambling on. Well, no, no. So I want, so I, so like, what was the transition into, well now I've got a business. Uh, it was just that I really felt on purpose. I really felt like there was a big ne need, and that that's what I would say to people. If you find something that you're mission driven, it makes it way easier, even though. It, it was, you know, it, it was hard. I'm not say, gonna say that it was an easy thing, but I just knew that I had to do it. Because I think if you go against why you're put on Earth sickness follows because then your heart isn't singing. Like my, I knew I was making a difference. So that's, so it was a process, you know, I was like, Um, it took a long time before I realized that people don't buy what they need. They buy what they want, and people didn't want worms in the house necessarily, even though though they need them, right? Because I heard that a pound of worms and their descendants could transform a ton of organic waste in a year, and that the average Canadian family produces a ton of organic waste in a year. So I thought, wow, every family needs a pound of worms, and I'm just the one to put a pound of worms in every house until I realized, er wow. People are afraid of worms. And with a psychology degree, I'm fascinated by people. I love people, and I'm curious why do people do what they do? What drives people? And I'm meeting all kinds of people as an adult. O Over the past 20 years, I've met so many people that were traumatized as children after a rain, in the schoolyard, by a sibling. being chased around by a wor or a fish, a fishing, you know, trip. Um, and then that trauma stays in you. It seems insignificant, but it is not. If something happened as a child, you're not looking to that as a solution, as an adult. For me, it was slugs, right? I hated slugs. Mm-hmm. . and I, I, I remember we were in, uh, Canada's Wonderland or whatever, whatever it was, and I sat down and put of a hand on a big banana slug, and I was just like, that was it with slugs for me forever. Yeah, . Yeah. Okay. So people are, people don't want worms, but you want them to have worms. So what, how did we overcome this? So it's really overcoming the fear, like it's, it's really, it's deep in their psyche. Like, it's fascinating how like it's such a great thing and I've had so many people say, wow, this is so great. Cuz I'm exhibiting before, I'm gonna say bc like before 2020 . Um, I was doing a between 100 and 200 hundred events a year for the past whatever, 18. It was 18 years at that time. 20 now. Yep. Um, You know, um, just like talking at schools, exhibiting at fairs and food shows, and I just, wherever I could have a a booth, I would have a booth and it, and it was just fascinating how, how, I had so many cheerleaders people saying, this is a great idea, and then I realized I need to ask them. So it's a great idea. Why aren't you doing it? What is stopping you from doing it? Because it is a great idea. I have all the objections covered. It doesn't smell, the worms don't get out. They convert your stuff into nutrient-rich soil because our food is broken, because of our farming practices, we're using way too many chemicals. We need to feed the soil and then the soil feeds the plant, not the other way around. We're feeding the plant, which just robs the soil, so they're not doing it because. They're not doing it because they're afraid of worms. Right. And, and, and there's actually a fear of death even because in when, in death, when we get buried, the worms are the alchemists, right? They're the decomposers. They decompose everything, including people and like, you know, and so from horror movies and stuff, and not to be macab, I'm not. This is just nature. . So that is in people's head, right? So if you have a fear of death, maybe you're like, oh, I don't want worm. Like I know it sounds really farfetched. How could having a worm it, it isn't right? We're just, we're complex. We don't, I don't know, I don't have a single answer, but I, I know that over the years I've, I've met many people that say I, oh, I could never, and I ask them, you wanna get taller? Do you wanna get rid of that fear? Because any fear that we're carrying is taking up part of our. It's just fear is just an energy. Yeah. So if I can release some of that and I've seen it, like I feel like I'm magician in a way, what happens? I do a lot of school workshops and sometimes the teachers are petrified of the worms, which is such a beautiful thing. Um, When they do get it anyway, they c you know, confidentially say, I'm, I'm actually really afraid of worms, so I'm not gonna touch them. So when it comes time, they'll have the kids set up the worm bin during the presentation, and then the grand finale is adding the worms into the worm bin. Stephanie, you can only imagine how amazing this experience is. So the kids are squealing, it's the. Exciting part of my, my job and my life is seeing those kids squealing and like, just like feeling them. Sometimes they're really scared because they might come from different cultures where it's like you don't touch nature and maybe they've never even seen a worm. A lot of urban kids, they live in apartments and they don't even, you know, anyway, so, and then the teacher, they're, they're like, no, no, I'm not gonna do it. And it's. , do you wanna? And then they try, I say like, come the worms can't hurt us. They don't have teeth they, you like, just feel what it feels like. And I think my passion, like when people are passionate, when you hear people talking, the energy transcends. And then it's kind of softens people. So you have the teacher, have the teachers touch, and you, I can actually see their shoulders melt. Like when they like their tense, they're just like, ah. And then when it gets in their hand, it's like, like, oh my God, I didn't. Like, oh, and then they, and then it moves and it's like, oh, it kind of tickles your hand and it's just a magic moment. They're not, they're not slimy. They're not? No, no. They're soft and they're kind of cool, like they're really interesting organisms and they have five hearts. Hi. I know. Okay. I have to tell you this. I had texted my dad earlier and told him I was interviewing you today and he said I, my attempt at doing worm composting several years ago failed miserably cuz they all escaped. But he did say he taught at B C I T for a long time and they had a very active worm composting experiment that was really successful for a number of years. So he knows, he knows the worm composting. So you've got people who are. , you've got people who are uncomfortable. They, you know, maybe they think the worms are all gonna escape. So how do you sell something that people are afraid of? So I, so my goal at the beginning was not to go after those ones. I was looking at the lower hanging fruit. I, cuz there's a lot of them, right? Especially today, there's a lot more people that are not so squeamish. Um, Yeah, I was going after the gardeners, the eco people, the people were looking for sustainability, permaculture people, um, the green folks, you know, at the beginning it was a challenge to find them, but, but they're out there. There was pockets, you know, the gardeners, the hort society. So I would go after those people then doing the, uh, school workshops, you know, as, as they say, the kids come home and then they're like, oh, mom, we need to get a worm bin. Oh, you can't throw that apple core in the garbage. It's worm food because it's teaching. And that's what I thought. You know, imagine teaching the kids and then they just grow up knowing they're out in public and there's a worm bin everywhere. There's worms everywhere and everyone just knows. Yeah, they're just there. So has the product evolved to be less scary, to, to be less about touching worms and more about watching the process? Like have you accommodated. Um, probably not very well because, um, you know, I just was like, this is what I, what people need to do. So I was kind of like, just going forward and, and you know, kind of throwing caution to the wind, but like, not knowing what to do really, I guess really not knowing what to do, how to do it. So just ebbing and flowing and then doing the school workshops. So, um, I would, I would say, Stephanie, I don't really have any kind of plan 20 years. I tell people I feel like I'm on a magic carpet ride. I've had a really cool life. I traveled for 13 months in Africa and Asia in the eighties, and I tr lived in France for a year. But the ti my time as an entrepreneur since 2002 has been the most. Most rewarding, more, most unique, most variety. I have such a wonderful life because I am living on purpose with intention. I'm making a difference. Um, yeah. How did it happen? I, I don't know. It's magic. I haven't gone f I have no loans. I didn't get any grants, and I know that there's opportunity. I could have all of that. I don't have a. Corporation. It's my husband and I, it's a mom and pop, literally organization. And our workers are worms, . But every time we sell worms, our customers are, are diverting from landfill. It's a whole feel good project is what it is. And I believe Has it changed? It has. Because the kids today are born into this climate crisis. Like we all were, but it's drilled into their head and because of women like Greta who started the movement, the, the climate strike, uh, movement. And you know, sadly, I believe Covid kind of slowed down that whole movement. Um, But she started something and, and the kids now are, you know, when we got shut down, I, Canada was battling Australia with longest lockdown. And when we first got shut down, you know, it was really scary. Nobody knew what was going on. It was foreign for all of us. My phone 2020 was my busiest year, and I believe what happened is people were like, ah, the kids are at home. We need a project. So a lot of parents were calling saying, we need a project for the kids. Like, what do I care how the worms get in the house? , thanks for covid. , right. . And then the longer we were shut down. In Canada, we import about 60% of our food. So when our border closes, it's a problem. We're food insecure already at 60% . Um, right in our short growing season, our winters, all of those things. Um, I believe at the longer we were shut down, people started to thinking about that. What about our food? Hmm. Maybe we should have a. Maybe we should grow some food. What do we need? We need soil. What do we need? We need to compost. Hey, we have food scraps. Oh, I heard about that Crazy worm woman. I don't know. I don't know how it worked, you know, but, um, people were calling and that's, that's what I was happy about. we're talking about worms and it's, it's, it is a lightheart, like a bit of a lighthearted subject and it's, you know, but, and people have these, these fears and worms can be funny, but worms can also be scary. But then somehow you've also merged in this, this laughter teaching and the laughter yoga. And, and so let's talk about that. How did that come to. So 20 12, 10 years into my business, I wasn't hearing the message about want versus need in business. , uh, 20 12, 1 more person said to me, Ew, worms in the house. And I heard it. It hit my heart, Stephanie. I was questioned everything like, oh gosh, why am I doing, what am I. Why? Why do I care so much? I could just get a job, it would be way easier. And then I was introduced to laughter yoga like the very next day. And very again, poetic. The universe is funny place where I got, where I wrote my business plan. It was a women's center of York region. I went there to write my business plan. That six month course, they were having a business meeting , and the woman who was a speaker did a five minute introduction to laughter. I don't even do yoga . So I, I was like, oh, laughter yoga. That sounds interesting. And that same week at a networking event, 2012 hundreds of people, the very first woman I met was a laughter yoga teacher. And I was like, I said to her, laughter yoga's mainstream . No it isn't. Yeah. So started in, in, uh, 1995, laughter Yoga started in 1995 by a medical doctor Madan Kataria, and his goal is world peace. There's laughter clubs around the world and it's not doing laugh. It's not doing yoga and laughing. It's intentional laughter exercises. It's not jokes or comedy. . It's literally just laughing. But for those that are very serious or you know, it's like, oh, you want me just to laugh? That's right. Mm-hmm. , because we've all had those laughing giggle fits with our friends. Maybe when we were kids, it might have been a long time ago, we used to have more of them where our stomach's hurting, our cheeks are hurting, you know, it's like, oh my gosh, stop laughing. Or maybe inappropriate times where we start laughing and. Like, I don't know, in church or at a funeral or, you know, some serious. Thing, , and we start laughing and it's then we can't put the genie back in the bottle. . Yeah. I, I used to laugh at my eye doctors. I don't know why. Every time I would get there and then he'd have his face right up against mine, , and I couldn't stop. I would be like, I'd have, like, I'd be trying not to laugh, but I'd have like tears coming down my face and I, and he probably thought I was insane, but every time. For some reason at the ophthalmologist . Who else? Stephanie stay Still. , . I'm like, my eyes are watering. Ok, so, so did, so you went and got certified. So, yeah, I, I mean that again, the interesting, I think the interesting nuggets of these stories is the little details like yes, those, I did get trained. That woman that I met, the teacher, she had a, um, her club was five minutes walk from where my mother-in-law lived. Like in Toronto. It's a big city. It's massive city. Yeah. Like what, how could that be interesting? Anyway, so I love my mother-in-law. She, she passed last June, but, um, I love my mother-in-law and I said she would do whatever. I not, I don't mean she would do whatever I told her. And that sounds like I'm. Controlling her? No , she, she would, she often said, um, oh, whenever Kathy asked me to do something, I always go, cuz it's always an adventure. It sounds like it. . So I phoned her up and I said, Hey Na, you wanna go to uh, laughter yoga with me? And she said, what's that? And I said, I don't know, but I don't wanna go alone. . So it used to be our date night, her club was once a month. Um, not often enough, by the way. Um, . So we would go out for dinner and then, uh, we would go to laughter yoga and my mother-in-law would say, we better not have garlic I said, it's okay, as long as we both have it Because when you're excel, when you're laughing, you're exhaling. Ha ha, ha. You have to, at a certain point, take a deep breath in so that you can continue ha haing. And I remember the first time, like if any, anybody, I mean, I have a free club. I would love to talk about that in a moment. But if anyone has never attended a laughter, laughter yoga club, the first time you go, it's weird. Even as a, as a laugher, I'm a, I'm a out loud, you know, I'm a big laugher. Um, even though I'm a natural laugh, um, it was weird for me too. It was like, oh, like, cuz there's no jokes. It's not comedy. There's little games, like, there's little things that the laughter teacher does to help us. Um, but it's really just laughing. And so we kept looking at each other like, oh, this is weird. This is weird. But when it was over, we were walking back to her apartment, it was like, that was weird. But I, I feel great. How do you feel? And, and you know, then it's like, oh, you, you sleep great. Your, your cells are having a party. Because our brain requires 25% more oxygen than the rest of our body as an operating principle, right? It's a machine, the answering machine . So when we're stressed, Right. We don't need our machine. We need to just get out of there. Right? So all of those fluids go to our muscles so we can escape, right? We're in fight, flight, or freeze. So, um, yeah. So ever, like ever lost your keys and you're flapping around, you're like, ah, I gotta go. and you're, you know, yelling at everybody. I don't know how you are. I don't, I can't imagine you doing that, but , that's what happens to me. not anymore. , right? So if that happens, if anyone's listening, they're like, oh yeah, that happened the other day. Or every day I lose my phone or my glasses or something. So next time that happens, um, you know, you gotta stop. Take a deep breath, oxygenate your brain, because your brain is literally deprived of oxygen. It can't help. It's like, yo, your keys are right over there, but it can't help you cuz there's no oxygen there for it to send that message to you. Um, so you stop, take a deep breath and. Your, your brain gets oxygenated. So that's what laughter does for us. It kind of forces us to do deep diaphragmatic breathing, oxygenates, our whole body, we're connecting. So a laughter yoga session, you're looking at each other. So it works very well. On Zoom, prior to 2020, there were very few online laughter. Like everything, right? Everyone's gone online. Now you can laugh 24 7 online, so you have it on gallery view. Everyone's looking at everyone. Probably have, most people are muted cuz otherwise sometimes it's too noisy with the laughter, but then it's clapping and chanting so ho, ho ha ha ha. And that is to get people into their body. That's kind of how you start. Ho ho ha ha ha. Then our mind thinks every time you come to a club, when you start doing that, You go, oh, your brain's like, oh, it must be time to get happy cuz I'm doing that happy dance. And ho and ha move our diaphragm. Like you can put your hands on your belly and go ho, ho your diaphragm moves. Our diaphragm is attached to all of our organs, so it's like internal jogging. Laughter is literally the best medicine . It's, it's, you know, it's I had a, I had a boss once in my early days of my career. And I remember he wrote a reference letter for me and he, he was like, you know, blot, bloody blah about the work. And he, he ends it with, she's also probably the funniest person I know. And I'm like, I just want that part of the letter. Like that's my favorite part of the letter that I made enough of an impression on somebody for my humor. But it's, you know, it's kinda more, a little more dark and sarcastic and like dry humor, but, you know, it worked for him. So I like, to me, humor is, and, and laughing. Like, if I don't get enough of it, I, I feel quite down and I, I need it. And it's really kind of a coping mechanism. So I, I could totally get where you're coming from. But there's also this like, physiological, um, side of that I wasn't even aware of that. The, the, like the muscle memory and. the actual physical act of laughing also has benefit. Oh, well, it moves our lymph, like we have three times the amount of lymphatic fluid as blood, and we have a heart to pump our blood. We don't have a pump for our lymphatic system. It only moves when we move. And we're very sedentary today. So, uh, so when we're doing deep diaphragmatic breath, Um, we're moving our lymph laughter, moving our lymph. Um, oh, it's so beautiful. Stephanie. I can't, I can't express the, how laughter has changed my life. It helped me stay in my worm business because it helped me get over. When people said, oo worms in the house, I realize, I mean, I know it's not, that's not the piece that helped me go, that's not my stuff. I did a lot of demonn, doffing, They're like not saying oo at me. Although it's felt like it's sometimes right. Yeah. Like when you're in business. Yeah. And somebody's like saying, oh, what? Oh, what is that? That you're like, it's like on a friend . But I realize it is, that's. My stuff and it's helped me get outta stress. And 2020, I, since 2020, I've dived really deep. I've taken a deep dive into laughter into why it's the best medicine, why it works, and I, and it's, I'm just blown away. It's high vibration activity. And my husband now, he just got, I'm a laughter yoga teacher. He just took the training, but he was laughter hesitant for. About three years before, uh, COVID, I was doing, um, Skype laughter every day. I would laugh for about 20 minutes. Um, no talking, it was mostly laughter leaders practicing their craft. It was on the phone, uh, like on Skype, but not video, just audio and just laughing. And he would literally leave the room when I did my Skype laughter and I didn't understand until. Very recently he left the room because it was too high vibration. He was feeling very low. Um, you know, he's much slower than I am. So when you vibrate at a slow, like a slower pace, laughter is high vibration. It's very rapid and you can't be together. It's that you know the frequency. We are energy. We're all energy. We've all walked into a room where somebody's in a bad mood or they're in a great mood. And we feel it and we pick up people's energy just walking down the street, our energy meshes. That's why keeping your energy, sometimes you might be out and you're like, oh, I all of a sudden feel sad. That might be the person that you just walk by. I know this is getting kind of woowoo, but I do wanna say that the laughter is high vibration. It is. So back to stress because stress is related to 90 something percent of our illnesses. 90 something percent. So therefore, if we can manage our stress, we can manage our life, we can have a better life, we can have a better life. It's, you know, we're not laughing at the situation. There's so many things to be like, Ugh, it's too scary. We can't laugh cuz look at all the things going on. Stop watching the news first. You're gonna know what's going on in the world, by the way. You will, you don't need all the de. Once we see those things, those graphic images, we can't unsee them. They're, they're, they're, they're in there now, they're in the library. Things have gotten very heavy in the last few years, and I wonder if we've almost forgotten how to laugh. Like it becomes, it almost feels inappropriate. And I, and so is, is this, is this even muscle? Absolutely. Absolutely. It's a, it's a practice for sure. Absolutely it is. Yes. And as a laughter teacher, um, I've, I mean, I mean, I've been doing emotional freedom technique or tapping since 1999, and I'm so happy that it's becoming mainstream. So as a laughter teacher or leader in my sessions, I incorporate tapping. Brain gym, energy medicine. I incorporate all these healing techniques. I feel like a sponge. Um, during this time, there's all kinds of online summits and they're free if you watch them at the time. I'm, I'm sure you've, um, you're aware of all these summits. Yep. Uh, yeah. A summit for everything . Yep. But thanks. Thank goodness. Right. So I seem to, my, my Facebook feed and my social feed is filled with positive healing summits. I mean, it's, I'm just amazed how much positive stuff is flows into my, my, uh, feed. Uh, people talk about all the negative stuff. I guess I've just blocked all that. I don't know. I don't know. But, um, I attend those things and I go to those summits and I absorb the information, and then I'm able to share it in, in such a way. That it's not, doesn't have the lingo, it doesn't have the language. So people are like, what are they saying? Why are they talking in code? It's like, here's the information that you need. And I and I that and my whole set, my, my whole principle for having my free Tuesday club is so people can come learn these ticks, tips and tricks, and I don't ask anything. Nobody goes in a funnel. There's no follow up. It's probably a ridiculous business thing, but for me it's just given from my heart. This is my. Back to the universe because I love laughter so much and it's helped me so much that I, it's a free gift. It's waiting at all of us. We've forgotten. It's the muscle memory. Bring it back. So. So how do people work with you in the laughter Yoga, in the laughter practices? Yeah, so I'm, uh, now I'm, you know, I have my free club, but I'm, I'm hired out my specialty, I'm not only the only laughter yoga teacher in the world that has a worm business for more than 20 years So rather than saying just that I have worms, cuz maybe some do have worms, I don't know. , , I'm also the, uh, Probably the only one. Not the only one, but in addition to those two cool things, I love working with special needs. So I've enco. So back to where I was at New Leaf where I was introduced again to the worm composting. This has brought me back to working in that industry on my own terms, and I bring laughter. I've been working since. Uh, may of 2021. A weekly laughter program with young, young adults, um, over 21. Uh, because in Canada, I'm gonna say Canada, I don't think it's provincial. Um, at 21, they're finished school if they have developmental disabilities, and then they go on, uh, disability pension and, um, often end up, you know, living in the basement, they're, you know, a very limited life. Um, and all the skills that they learned while they were at school start to dwindle. They start to decline. They become a worry for the family and, you know, just their, their quality of life goes down. So I've been working with this group called Fan Full Access Network and I love it cuz I get to say I'm going to my fan club Yup. And Friday . Right. So fun Friday's. Friday's the most popular day. It's the busiest day because of the laughter. The parents have reported that their, their young children are, they're calmer, they're happier. Um, there's less outbreaks, you know, uh, which just may, it's energy, right? So when we're feeling frustrated, it's just an energy. When we're angry, it's just an energy. When we laugh, it's a release, and at least for that moment, we're totally present. The love drugs are screening through, through our, our body, like dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. The love drugs versus cortisol and, and, and adrenaline. You know, it's really deep. It's, it's, it seems like such a simple thing. It is. We just need to do. Like, wouldn't it be great? I really wanna be obs obsolete. I don't wanna have a worm business. I want everyone just to have worms already. There's worms everywhere. Everyone knows about it. So everyone's like, it's sourdough bread, everyone's staring, sharing a little bit of worms. And here you can get started. And you can get started, right? The worms breed more than rabbits. And the laughter. Imagine if we didn't have to have laughter Clubs we're just automatically, we laugh every day. ho, ho. Instead of going to the gym, we just like start laughing and not at a joke or a comedy because, which those are fine. But if we're at the Comedy club and we're like just laughing full on, like we don't need to hear the joke, so we're just laughing. , they're gonna kick you outta the Laughter Club. They're gonna be like, ma'am, okay, the joke's over, you're gonna miss the next line. , , write your name and here's a, here's a story. You know, when we're afraid of people that are, And I, so I, I'm in Bradford, a small town, and I ride my bike and I laugh. I combine my, my riding my bike and my laughter yoga, cuz I just think it's a fun thing. Like I get to double, double duty. Like I can actually multitask, , sort of, I haven't crashed yet. . And, and one day there was a man, an older man who I'm gonna say I know because now it was a, Grand grandfather and his granddaughter. So they were by a stream and I stopped. I got off my bike. It was a beautiful day, and I started to talk to them. I could see I'm very intuitive and I can feel energy empathic so I can feel energy and I could see and feel that this man was uncomfortable that I was there. So I didn't stay long. I bit them a good day, and I got on my way. I saw that man again, I was standing. On, not at the same place but close by on a bridge. And he came up to me, he was alone this time, and he's, we were talking and he said, you know, when people see people laughing by themselves, they think something's wrong with them. And I started laughing and I said, oh, , I know. And we continued talking. All was well. And then when I got home, the light bulb went on and I was like, oh, . I started laughing. I was like, oh, oh. When I, he saw me that first time, he thought something was wrong with me cuz I was laughing and I was like, oh, he was talking about me. I didn't, it didn't occur to me when I was standing right there, I was just like, oh yes. Ha ha ha. But not, and I didn't realize, oh yeah, I'm always laughing, so people must look at me like, Ooh, watch out for her. Al, although I think as a woman I can get away with much more than a man could. Mm-hmm. a man riding his bike, laughing by himself. Um, my, and, and you know, that's just our society, I think. There, there's a whole other, that's a whole other conversation. It is. Yeah. Sorry that I took us there, . No, no, it's all good. I mean, I, I would have it, but we're coming up on time. Um, can you tell people where they can find you? I mean, you have such a fascinating story and so many interesting things to look at. We'll put all your links into the show notes, but where, where can people find you and learn? I would love for people to, I would love to invite everyone to come to my Tuesday Laughter Club if it works for them.It's uh, 9:
30 AM Eastern on Zoom, 30 minutes, Superfund Self-Care, if they go to cathys club.com, um, all the information to register is there and Awesome. All of my links, everything are there as well. Awesome. We'll put it all in the show notes and people can find you. And I just wanna thank you so much for taking the time. I was so looking forward to this conversation. And I am so happy that we got to connect. Um, so we'll, we're, we're gonna wrap it up, but I'm so happy that we had the opportunity to chat with Kathy today to hear more about her, how her multiple businesses came to be, her experiences along the way and what the future holds for her and, and who knows where she's gonna go in the next few years. Thank you for tuning into this episode of The Real People Real Business Show, where we get the real entrepreneurial stories and journeys that you can relate to the show notes, resources, and links from this episode are available on my website and social media platforms. And thank you again for joining us today. If you've enjoyed today's content, I'd love for you to give us a review on whatever platform you're on to help us share these genuine stories with an even bigger audience. Till next time, keep building. Keep dreaming and keep being real.
Cathy Nesbitt is a Worm Advocate & Founder of Cathy's Crawly Composters (est 2002). This environmental business specializes in vermicomposting. Laughter wellness is her latest offering. Simple solutions for today's challenges.Worm composting, sprout growing, and laughter yoga. Cathy Nesbitt is a certified Laughter Yoga Leader, Teacher. Appointed Laughter Ambassador in 2017 by Dr. Madan Kataria