May 23, 2022

Ep 54 - Cathy Nesbitt talks about Worm Farming, Sprouts, and Laughter Yoga

Ep 54 - Cathy Nesbitt talks about Worm Farming, Sprouts, and Laughter Yoga

In this episode Cathy shares:
That she gave a TED talk on the wonderful world of worms.
 
Why she is an advocate for worms and worm composting.
 
How her business is ultimately an education business.
 
How a trade deal with the US that closed her local l...


In this episode Cathy shares:

That she gave a TED talk on the wonderful world of worms.

 

Why she is an advocate for worms and worm composting.

 

How her business is ultimately an education business.

 

How a trade deal with the US that closed her local landfill spurred her to take action.

 

The number one main objection to worm composting

 

How she dispels the myth that someone needs a yard of their own to grow food.

 

How to do vermicomposting.

 

How to get rid of fruit flies even if you do not have worms!

 

What the worms like to eat.

 

The recipe for making worm tea.

 

That anyone can grow sprouts if they try!

 

What Laughter Yoga is and the benefits of it.

 

 

 

Be sure to hit Subscribe in your podcast app so that you don't miss it or any other episodes.

Transcript

Our guests today joins us all the way from Bradford, Ontario. She's a worm advocate and the founder of Kathy's Crawley, composters established in 2002. This environmental business specializes in Burma, composting and organic diversion. She even gave a Ted talk on the wonderful world of worms. Since then she's gotten into growing sprouts as a super food and has her own laughing yoga program.

Without further ado, Kathy Nesbitt. Woo.

 No, Kathy, can you take a few moments and fill in the gaps from the intro, bringing us up to speed with what's going on in your world today?

Yeah, 

absolutely. It's the 20th anniversary of my worm composting business. Can you imagine selling worms by the pound for 20 years? Right? I know. Yeah. , the thing about this crazy business that I chose, or that chose me. It is that I don't really have repeat customers. So the 20, 80 rule doesn't apply to this business.

Thank goodness. I have so much energy. 

No doubt. So,  you mentioned you don't have a lot of repeat customers. Do you have a lot of,  raving customers that recommend you? 

I absolutely do. You know, I just hit,  over 10,000 customers. I have a lot of raving fans. I have a lot of cheerleaders. I have a lot of people who don't have worms, but admire what I'm doing and they respect, how this is helping the planet, you know, by mitigating. Our food waste. That's one thing we can all do since we all eat. 

Now, did you come from an entrepreneurial or inventors background at all? Did anybody in your family while you're growing up, have their own business or invent anything? 

Uh, sadly, no. I mean, I say sadly because I didn't have, any mentors. I didn't have anybody in the family to look at and say, oh, that's what I want to do.

You know, I got the message. Work hard, get a job, work hard. Be loyal, be fateful and you'll get a watch in 30 years or whatever, whenever the time comes. I never understood why you needed a watch when you retired. 

Exactly. What kind of watch? Because didn't you work for beloved.

Wow. You did do some research. I was the president secretary at Belleville watch USA was I have a whole host of watches and clocks. 

Good deal. So, what does Kathy's Crawley composters do. 

So we, ultimately are an education business . What happened when I started my business was our landfill, the landfill for the greater Toronto area closed in 2002.

And we started shipping garbage out of the country to the U S sorry, you know, you're welcome. This was  a deal with the governments, right? This had nothing to do with the people, but it was a bad decision. I mean, a waste of money, a waste of,  just this wonderful resource that is rotting food,  that we go, Ooh, gross.

But that's what is the beginning of soil? You know, if we compost that or worm compost, that it turns into this beautiful nutrient rich soil. So I was like, oh, 6 million people in the greater Toronto area, half live in condos, townhouses without space to do outdoor composting,  So I thought I have a solution.

So I started my business thinking this will be great. Everybody will buy what I have because they need it.  Again, if I had entrepreneurial background, I would, if they would've told me, don't do something that people need because people don't buy what they need. They buy what they want and they don't want worms in the house.

It's not gender, it's interesting, Greg, I have a psychology degree and I find it fascinating because it's not gender. It's not women or boys or girls or whatever that prefer worms. It's people that love gardening that are fans of the planet that want to help preserve it and, and be more sustainable.

So if one of the partner is not  into worms, it's going to be a more challenge for the other partner to say, Hey, we need to get worms in the house. 

I can see that. 

 Yeah. So shortly into my business, I realized that people weren't, , interested in what I had because they were afraid of worms.

And with my psychology degree, I've discovered that people may have been traumatized in the school yard,, by worms, after a rainy day, or maybe by a sibling who knows, you know, somebody's chasing them around with a worm. And if we get traumatized, we're not looking to that as a solution. You know, and I chose media as my marketing strategy.

So I've had hundreds of article, TV, radio, I have a documentary.  But you're not even listening to that. You're not reading that article if worms are not for you. So then I thought, how am I going to do this? And I realized, um, all right. So at that point I was like, let me start doing school workshops.

So in 2002, I started to do school workshops and I thought, okay, now I just need to wait 20 years for them to have buying power. I made it.

So if I hear you right, your next business venture will involve sharks.

What got you into, war farming and to, being an advocate for warps?  

it started when I bought my house, it was 93. I moved out of Toronto, into Bradford about an hour north and I bought my house. I had a garden, I had a composter, I was very exciting.  And then our lento closed.

And that was, the impetus as an avid gardener and composter.  I knew the value of the food waste. I knew that it was really important  to convert it. Like the worms are the original alchemists really? Cause they convert something that we think as like a nasty, gross, something smelly and awful that we need to just throw away into something that, that converts our food into something that's more nutrient rich.

You know, the worms take the organic matter, the food waste and the paper, and then their poop or the castings fancy word for word poop, is nutrient rich. I'm not saying anything new, but our food is broken because our farming is broken.  We do large Agra Lou. We do monocropping, which is, like acres and acres and acres of wheat or acres and acres and acres of corn.

And we grow corn for fuel. We grow it to make classic, like we need to feed people and we grow corn and stuff for the animals. A lot of those two products, we end corner both very highly genetically model. Which means they're not really natural anymore because they've been modified, and you know, this is getting pretty technical.

 I think to bring it back to basic the worms, eat the material, they turn it into soil and then we can grow more food naturally without chemicals, the worms provide, the wonderful plant food and a form that's easily accessible to the plant. People will ask me, are you a gardener?

And yes, I garden, but I'm not a Gardner. I'm a soil maker. And when we have wonderful nutrient rich soil, the soil looks after the plant, nothing for us to do. 

So who is Vermont composting? 

Ah, that's a great question. I would say everyone, like every entrepreneur, everybody needs what I have.

Oh. But we don't buy what we need. Right. Okay. It's for the avid gardeners, for sure. It's for people that are sustainable minded, people that care about the planet, people that want to have more like a healthier body. So when we're.

Growing our own food. We want to have a good beginning, which is creating good soil. That's what composting and worm composting does.  It's nature's way to make soil. , I would say it's a great thing for schools. It's a great lesson. And during this  time, 2020 was our busiest. 'cause school.

Everyone was shut down. Schools were closed and, you know, people were looking for something  for their children. So I was getting a lot of calls. Oh, the kids are home. We're looking for a project. How to, what do I care about? How the words get in the house? Right. So great. Yes. Let's have a little project for the kids.

The longer we were shut down.  The more urgent it became, because in Canada, we import about 60% of our foods. Six. So when our border closes, , it's a problem our grocery stores empty very quickly because we don't have the food coming in. And, and this is a global problem, right?

We know now supply chain issues there's breaks. With people are off sick and just there's the whole system seems to be broken. I think it's raising awareness, like opening up our eyes like, oh, whoa, we can't just depend on the system anymore. We need to be more sustainable. so as time went on, it became more urgent calls.

We're not just, we want a little project. We want to start a garden. What do we need? Oh, we need soil. Good. What do we need? We need a compost or we need worms so we can make some wonderful soil. And this is for everybody. If you live in an apartment, I know people will say I don't have a place to do gardening.

Okay. If you have a window. You can grow something. You can have some herbs, you can grow some greens like lettuce or  maybe a small little planter box.  If you have space outside even better, but if you have a balcony, you can  have a little bit expanded. I think that's  where my mission is, is helping people to understand why we need.

So , in pretending I'm your typical customer? I've gotten my pound of worms. What are my next steps? 

Yeah. So you actually want to have the home set up first. For the do-it-yourselfers any container we'll do an old rubber maid, any kind of been that, is there an old Rubbermaid,

, any container and then you need some kind of bedding. So just like outdoor composting, the worms require a carbon nitrogen. So the carbon or bedding is shredded paper could be leaves, straw, cardboard. Any of your paper products, then you need a little . The soil that I want people to use is outdoor soil.

Not pawning saw the API at the store. Because potting soil is sterilized. We're adding the soil for the microorganisms. Worms don't have teeth. So there's little organisms microbes in the soil that helped to break down the food for the worms. They're really the heavy lifters. So they do all the decomposition for the worms.

And then the worms come along. They're the cleanup crew.  You need some eggshells or calcium carbon at something to balance the pH. And then a little bit of water, that's it. You mix all your ingredients together and then it should be the consistency of a out sponge. Add your worms on top. Allow them to naturally make their way into the bedding.

And then when you're feeding your food scraps, you pull back the bedding, add your chopped up food in the hole you've made, make sure it's covered. So you don't get fruit flies. And fruit flies are one of the major, objections. Like people are like, oh, I don't want to have fruit flies. So I say, right, nobody does not in the house.

So I asked people, have you ever had fruit? And then I wait for them to say yes. Right? Cause most of us have experienced fruit flies in the house. And then I say, good. Have you ever had a worm bin? No. Okay, good. Then I say, you know, if you've had fruit flies and you have not had a word bitten in your house, you know, the fruit flies don't come from the worm bin.

You have never had one. So the fruit place come from the food we're adding. And I'll use bananas as my example, when we bring the bananas home from the grocery store,  maybe they're green depending where you live or they're yellow.  As they start to get speckled and ripen, that's the perfect environment for the fruit fly eggs to hatch and fly around and bug us.

So something we can do this is for, even if you don't have a worm, then you don't want to ever have one to not have fruit flies in your head. It's give your fruit a quick rinse when you bring it home from the store, oranges, melons, all of those fruits have the eggs on them. 

Okay. Now going back to the paper products, could one use typically like use shredded paper from the office or is there certain things like, wood packaging?

Off-limits 

yeah. Great. I would say the bond papers find like from the printer or whatever's that's great news print is better because it's more absorbent paper towel is fine. , the paper eight cartons and drink trays,  the compressed paper. Carries the drinks. , that's perfect.  Corrugated cardboard is wonderful.

I would say leave out magazine paper. It's a little bit too glossy that's it's too chemicalized and also for the colorful flyers from the paper.   Toilet paper rolls are great paper, towel rolls. All of these things are great. You just might need to chop them up a little bit more.

Same with coffee filters. Beautiful thing. You just want to shred them. 

Now, are there specific things that I should and should not feed the 

warps? Oh, these are great questions, Craig. Yes. So all of your fruit and veg coffee, tea, pasta, rice beans, grains, plant clipping cereal. Can all go in, I would say leave out meat, dairy.

Sauces anything greasy. And from the fruit category, I would say citrus and garlic and onions. I know they're not fruit, but from the vegetable, whatever fruits,  onion and garlic, I guess that's vegetables. 

Now you touched a little bit about the Rubbermaid containers. Can you describe, what all you would have to do, I'm assuming you would have to poke some holes in, and how would the typical person get the bi-product, the worm poop  or the, black tea, to use in their garden 

So if you're using, like a container, there are systems to help manage the moisture to collect the tea, and that are self harvesting. And I can talk about that in a moment, but with a rubber maid, it's about three to five months from setup to harvest. There's a lot of factors, temperature, moisture, airflow, particle size, right?

How small you chop up this crop. So a lot of factors, three to five months is kind of,  average. Once your materials converted, then you want to, do your harvest or separate your worms in your compost. The easiest way is the dumping sort. So you dump your bin on a plastic sheet, put it in small round piles.

The worms are photosensitive are afraid of the light. So they'll go down into the piles, scoop off the top, scoop around the side, maybe an hour to do up in that size. While you're the worms are making their way down. You would set up your new bedding. So then once you get them separated, you can add them right back into their new home and use the black gold, the compost on your gardens.

It's difficult in a single. To collect the T  I would say in a single unit, if you want to make compost tea, the castings are water soluble. So you could just take some of the castings, put it into your water drug, stir it up, and then,  it will dissolve and be kind of tea color, and then you just water your plants and have liquid fertilizer.

Okay. So is there like a specific proportion that you would need to use, like in a gallon? , I'm assuming you'd put them in, like a gallon milk jug or something along those lines. Would there be a specific proportion that you would use of water to the casting? 

Yeah. if people want the, the measures of that, they can certainly Google  how to make compost tea.

Again, for the do-it-yourselfers you can get a, like a fish tank bubbler, and actually brew the tea. If you brew it for 24 hours, you have to keep it a robotic. The thing about compost tea is it's aerobic, meaning it should never smell. Writing it didn't have a bad odor because if it does the oxygen in that,  material, same with your compost, by the way.

So if you seal it, then there's no oxygen new oxygen. And the bacteria in that material  will use up the oxygen. And then when you go to use it, it'll smell bad. Plants always require a robotic bacteria to grow. So you wouldn't use that smelly stuff on your plants cause that'll be harmful.

, same with the compost. Y'all you'll need to make it aerobic.  I don't really have specific measures. I would say in a gallon you would want say a cup or two of castings. Just mix it. And again, it's water-soluble or you can put it in a cheesecloth. if you didn't want the particle bits left. 

So  you don't have to let it age or anything,  good to know. What type of temperatures do the worms prefer or 

will they thrive in

yeah. So this is an indoor composting.  It can be outside spring, summer, fall. Of course I'm talking about Canadian climate, right? so some places  the optimum temperature is 60 to 80 Fahrenheit, 16 to 20 Celsius. So room temperature.

Is optimum better too warm than too cold. And I'm cautious when I say that because I'm again in Canada, so it doesn't really get too hot here. Right. People say, can I put it outside? Yes. Now if you're going to put it outside,  you did say about having whores and I didn't address that. If you're going to have holes in your bin, you do need holes.

It's a aerobic process. If you are going to put your bin outside, I would say don't put holes in the top, put them around the side, because if it rains, then your bin will get maybe too wet. So if you have them around the sides, that's better. If you're going to just leave it inside, just put holes all over the top.

Around the side. You can't have too many. You can't have too many, the worms don't have bone so they can crawl out. , don't be alarmed people. I know they're in the house. They're not going to crawl out if you're looking after them properly. And if they crawl out, just know that they're not going to survive.

They're not going to crawl around your house and be all over the place because they're 90% moisture. So even as a worm grower, my house is not warm. Moist enough to have the worm survive outside the container. And the only reason they would crawl out is if the conditions were not right in, right. If it's too acidic, so they're getting burned.

So they're climbing out. Cause it's too acidic. if there's not enough food, if it's too wet, , there's a lot of factors. They are living creatures. 

Okay. Now the population kind of self regulating in that they can't get there could never overpopulate or do you have to 

Call the herd, take some of the squirm out of the worm ban and, maybe create a new warm bed. 

Yeah, that's beautiful. They do. Self-regulate. It's so beautiful. So the worms will multiply and increase in number based on available space and available food.

And so at a certain point, people may have a mass and I love that you use square Musqueam of worms. That's the proper 

collective. Now try and look that up on Netflix. Uh, 

you get the horror film, then you'll really be freaked out about worms. Yeah. So they regulate isn't that magic. I think that the nature is so incredible.

Nothing for us to do. However, at a certain point, people could write. Expand their, their system. If they're like, oh, we're vegetarian or vegan, we create way more scrap scent than a pan of warm can. iManage beautiful. Um, so you can add a certain point, take out some of your worms set up another system.

The worms that you took out will reproduce the ones that you added in the new system will fill that container. You know, so it's, it's really a beautiful thing. 

Okay. Now, how does this tie in with Kathy sprouters.com? Yeah, 

So my working title is Cathy Crawley laughing being queen. So where I'm sprouts and laughter that my very first event that I was exhibiting at.

In 2002, it was earth day, 2002, very poetic.  I met a man who was selling the Sprocket grower that I'm now selling. And I was like, it looks like a little spaceship and  he's going to be 90, 93 this year. He was 92. And he was 72, sorry. He only aged a year in 20 years. 

That's a living testimonial for the beams in this.

 I didn't know anything about sprouts or sprouting. He introduced me this little spaceship thing, and I said, what is that thing? And why is everyone buying that? And not my worms. He explained to me what sprouts were, how to grow them, why we need them.

And I said, okay, I'm in. So he said, if you're going to do this, start your day with two tablespoons of sprouted, mung beans for the enzymes. All right. So  for 10 years, it was my private health plan . And I would see Tony at all these events and in 2012, he said to me, you should sell the spreader with your worm business.

Oh my gosh. Why didn't I think about, I love it.  So that's kind of how it ties in because of. It's what I offer is CSH sustainable solutions for today's challenges, right? Worms for amending the soil sprouts for eating and laughter for overall health and wellness. So sprouts really are simply taking a bean or a seed, adding it into the system, either adding water or putting it in soil.

And then that beginner seed comes to life. So they're just dormant when they're. They're just waiting, to serve their purpose. You can grow sprouts in jars, paper towel, there's all kinds of sprouting systems. The one that, that I'm using, I call it the super simple sprouter because all you do, it's got a stainless steel mash, it's plastic,  plastic dome, plastic base.

You just add a little bit of water and then the beans come to life. It's a little micro climate, so it's a little green house, a dome, not in the window because you'll get better beans. It doesn't need to be in this. It can be in complete darkness.  Some people will say, I live in a basement.

I don't have any windows. I can't do this. It's like, yes, you can sorry that you live in a basement. You have no windows, but you can still grow delicious, nutritious food. And I believe sprouts are nature's fast food. Right. They germinate the mung beans. I'm talking about,  in Chinese food, the bean sprouts, the white beans.

Yeah. There,  a couple of inches long. Those are the beans that I eat now. I eat them as soon as the spar, the root is the size of the bean. That's when they're most neutral. So they contain fiber protein minerals, everything that our body needs, they're hydrating, alkalizing, regenerative, biogenic.

And I think the most important piece is that they contain up to a hundred times more digestive enzymes than raw. 

Okay. Now, how long does it take to go from seeds to the sprouts or to 

beans? Yeah. Beautiful. So the mung beans are the fastest they'll germinate in about 24 hours. Um, right. I know in the summer, it's a little bit less time, a little bit faster in the winter, depending on you know, the heat and humidity.

So depending where you are in the world, um, in the winter may be 36 to 48 hours. I keep my, my place pretty cool. 

Okay. Now you mentioned, laughing, yoga. Let's talk about that. How does that tie in with everything and you know, what is. 

What are these three things that I'm juggling?

I know what you're asking. Back to 2012. When I started selling this Broder, one more person said to me, Ooh, worms in the house. And I think I didn't hear it. The hundreds or thousands of times people had set it up to that 10 year. I think I just didn't. It just didn't, it didn't register one more.

One more person said, Ooh, worms in the host 2012. And I was like, how am I going to do this? This is too hard. I was about to give up my worm mission. , just cause I thought this, why do I care so much? I'm not sure why I care so much when nobody else does. And I was introduced to laughter yoga and I don't do yoga.

So it's not yoga. I still don't do it. Like traditional yoga or, or yoga, yoga. And I know it's a great thing. Nothing against yoga. I was introduced to laughter yoga at a business event. The speaker did a five minute laughter yoga exercise. And I was like, wow, what's that? That sounds fun. I love to laugh.

And then that same week I was at a networking event. Of course this was before COVID, hundreds of people. The very first woman I met was a laughter yoga teacher. I said, wow, twice in one week. Laughter yoga is mainstream. Where have I been all this time? And she said, no, it isn't. We trooped around that night together.

And I was fascinated. Like I asked everybody, have you heard of laughter yoga? Have you heard of it? Have you, have you? Nobody had, so I said, wow. Okay. So I started to attend to her. Her laughter club super fun. And that I loved it so much. I became trained as a laughter leader. I love that so much. I became trained as a laughter teacher.

Now I teach leaders and and before COVID I was going into laughter or into long-term care, working with folks with dementia. Because it's not about jokes or comedy it's laughter for the health of it, 

I didn't swear. So it's intentional laughter exercises and you need a club because laughing on your own. It's not even. It's not easy laughing. Ha ha. Right? Because our mind gets in the way our minds, like, what are you doing? Why are you laughing? It's weird. This is weird. You look weird. This is odd.

I would say to people, , come to a laughter club more than once, like plan on coming at least twice. So you can really experience. 'cause the first time you'll be all in your head. What am I doing? What's going on here. , but then you feel great, right? When we're laughing, we're secreting.

The  love drugs, dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins are natural morphine versus cortisol. When we're stressed. 

I'm an it. And I think we specialize in cortisol, 

cortisol production. 

Yeah. That's exactly. Kind of at what happened?

I'm getting, this is not like, somebody stands up and tells jokes for 30 minutes. What should someone expect when they go  and you're doing this online as well. 

Right. Yeah. So, um, with, with COVID again, it kind of forced everybody's converted online. I T's very busy by G help.

I mean, I had my it department this morning on call. Um, yeah. So what happens is. In a laughter session, the laughter leader will lead the games. It's not about talking, it's not jokes or comedy. There's clapping. So when we're clapping, we're clapping Palm to Palm and that's just for the people that are really serious.

 So we're clapping Palm to Palm. So we're activating them. There's a little rhythm and a mantra. It's ho, ho ha ha. And then once we, we kind of start that way and there's gentle, movement. So that's, I guess the yoga part is the gentle stretches and the practice.

So it's deep diaphragmatic breathing. Our diaphragm is connected to all our organs. So when we're laughing, we're moving our diaphragm again, back to stress. You know, um, one more stress. We don't need our answering machine. We don't need our brain. So blood lymph Foxygen leaves our head. So we see all of those fluids will go into  our muscles so we can escape right where we've gotten into flight fight, flight freeze, or now Fon, which is.

A new one. I have you heard a fawn? I have not. Yeah. So fight flight freeze or fun and finding is doing something that you don't want to do as a pleaser. Like the people pleasers are like, oh, I really don't want to do that, but I'm going to do that. Like, so, you know, to pluck it, click you placate somebody else, but going against ourself.

Okay. That makes sense then. 

Yeah. So, so when we, when we left. It kind of forces us to oxygenate our body. Right? Cause you can't just exhale. You can't just ha cause we're excelling at that point. You have to, at some point go so you can continue laughing and anybody that's listening or watching, you know, have you ever had laughed so hard that your belly's hurting your cheeks are hurting?

Stop. Stop laughing. Stop looking at me. I can't oh, my right. You're you're like in pain because you're laughing so hard. Those are the laughter muscles. You want those? 

So how does this all tie in together? 

So it ties in together because I, I, in 2012 I was introduced to laughter it helped save my life, my worm business.

I was like, okay, it's not personal that people aren't buying worms. It's because they're afraid. So now, so I came back out, networking. I stopped networking for a little while. I was just kind of getting tired thinking.  Everyone knows I have worms. Everyone knows I'm here. Newsflash everybody. If you're in business, you need to still be visible.

Otherwise you become invisible, right? You quickly,  get out of people's mind. Even if you have something as unique as a worm business, people just don't think about you as a solution. So you need to stay present. You need to keep on networking. But I came back out as a networker and I was only talking about laughter.

So it's interesting people, people that met me,  after 2012, Knew me only as a laughter Yogi, Yogi, and I, they didn't know I had worms. And so whenever I mentioned worms, they were like, what is the swarm thing you keep talking about? And it was, I I'm just like, oh gosh, I was the worm lady. And now I'm the laughing lady and who am I?

Yeah. So I kind of get people laughing now and then they liked me and, and then I can, you know, say, Hey, by the way, I have worms too. And rather than coming at it. Hey, I have worms and you can too. And it's a really good thing. And I was, I think I was being a little bit too aggressive with my, my word mission, where I thought this is really important.

We need this, Yeah. And people don't buy what they need. 

They buy what they 

want, they buy what they want. It's really about messaging.  That's listening, thinking about being an entrepreneur over 40, you know, I hope you're listening, you know, but people still need what I have they do.

It's just, how are you? How, how can I message it so that it's like something they want. Like, do you like eating? Are you a gardener? Do you want to have better soil? Maybe you want to get worms. Okay. 

 

So how do you manage all of your endeavors? You know, both, you know, from the warm farming to the sprout, those sprouts and you know, the laughing yoga, because I can imagine the laughing, yoga. I think we have it correct me if I'm wrong. That's pretty much one-to-one you. I, I could see the worm farming in the sprouts, maybe.

Being, you could do that on the back burner a little bit. Um, I may be totally wrong about that. 

Yeah. So how do I manage all the things I laugh a lot, which helps me get out of stress. I'm a laughter teacher, so for the laughter part, yes, I do lead sessions. But I'm also a teacher, so I'm teaching other leaders so that more people can,  lead the demographic and it fits everywhere.

You know, Greg, we need this laughter more than ever. We have a mental health tsunami, which was here before. COVID it's just now we need to look at it because more people are vulnerable. More people are exposed, more people are isolated. And when we're on our own, we are social creatures. Even the introverts need people sometimes like  I'm a major extrovert.

 20, uh, 2020, I, I started my club online. I didn't have a laughter club because I kept, I said, universe, I don't want to do. Laughter club. Cause I want to get paid gigs. So I kept getting paid laughter gigs. Then people would say, I want to come to your laughter club and I'd say, I don't have one.

I keep getting paid gigs. Uh, and then COVID, everything stopped, right? I wasn't going into long-term care cause they weren't having anybody in, even still today. They're not having a lot of outside guests come in. So I started my club because

I needed to laugh. I needed connection with people. Now  I'm so grateful. I have a free laughter club and everyone's welcome. It's Tuesday mornings, nine 30  Eastern time, 30 minutes on zoom, 30 minutes, super fun. Self care. I get people from around the world. Come into my club. , and that's the beauty of it because you can zoom in, it's not about,  jokes or comedy is comedy, so you don't really need to understand.

I do speak English in my club, but you don't really need to understand the language because you're just like playing along. You're just following. And so people have, hopefully they'd have it on gallery view rather than speaker view. So because we're playing together. When you're in a laughter club, it's making eye contact.

So that's why the gallery view is beautiful. You can look at each other, you use your camera. So we're kind of playing, you know, doing games, you can clean your camera. Hope you're foggy. Right? So cleaning your camera,  waving at each other, doing Haifa. Like, so it's really just little games.

And as the leader, you just like lead people along. So you do deep diaphragmatic breathing, some clapping and chanting some laughter exercises and you end with a beautiful laughter meditation. And now these words that I'm saying, yoga, the discounts, a lot of people that don't like yoga or know the benefit of it.

So it's not yoga. I have rock hard abs. So for people that want to be in good shape, laughing is super fun. And I have rock hard abs just from laughing. Right? Cause we're,  moving our whole body. It's a cardiovascular workout. So meditation again, when people hear meditation, they're like, oh, I tried that.

It didn't work. There's a couple of types of meditation still, which is the one. If people are not the seasoned meditators, it can be a challenge when people are starting, you know, like, oh, sit still don't, don't worry about your thoughts. Just let them go. Thank them. And what's like, what? Think of your thoughts as clouds, right?

They just come and go and, oh, there's another one. Okay. There it is. Right. Or like ways that you, you know, they just are. So our thoughts laughter meditation is dynamic meditation. So you don't have to worry about your thoughts. You don't have to worry about anything. You just laugh. So at the end of the laughter class, 30 or 30 minutes or an hour, um, you're all warmed up.

You're all connected. And from NLP neuro-linguistic programming, when, when you're all breathing together, Right. You're all in rapport. You're all connected and you're kind of breathing as one and it's a beautiful thing. So then we laugh and it's organic. So you laugh for a minute or two or, or five that's.

That's not easy laughing full on. Ha right. And then it, it burbles up like. Especially in person on, on zoom, the leader has to just kind of decide when they feel that it's over, but in person it's such a beautiful thing, you know, then one person might be like, it's like, ha ha Ooh. And people are like, oh, Ooh.

And then, and then it starts to be funny and I, and then verbals up again and you know, it really becomes contagious in a good way. And then, uh, When it's over the laughter leader speaks again. You ask people to refrain from talking because you don't want to engage your brain. You want to be full in your body, just feeling the laughter.

Um, and then, and then I end with, you know, asking people to share this. You like, just to close your eyes, if you're comfortable, not everybody's. And just continue to breathe deep and feel because you really have expelled a lot of energy when you laugh for a few minutes and you just feel like wonderful.

And, and it's not often that we get to just sit and, and revel in that floaty, beautiful feeling. So I asked people to share. The magic medicine, right? Laughter's the best medicine share that high vibration energy that we just created with anyone in their mind that they know could use it, including themselves to take some of that healing energy for themself.

And then after that, um, Dr.  was the founder of laughter yoga. I don't think I mentioned that it started in India, biomedical doctor, Dr. Medan criteria. His goal is world peace. It's a global movement. So after I say, after you've handed out all the energy to all the people that you know, could use it, and that's helped Dr.

Qatari and his goal of world peace. Let's send some of this healing energy to places in the world that could use it. And there's lots, right? There's lots of places that are struggling right now. And that's how I end then I just, thank everyone for coming and. For the new people. I asked them like, just notice how you feel the rest of the day, because the effects of laughing.

Stay with you for several hours. Right. The oxygen, your body's all yourselves are all oxygen. Eddy, you have energy, you feel good. You're alert creativity, right? Your brain is open. It's like all the synapses are firing. It's an incredible thing. And I, I really wish more people knew about, and I think that what happened was laughter was squished out of us like centuries ago, because you can't control people when they're laughing for them.

Yeah. And even the day and the political climate that we're in, comedy, which is how a lot of people get to laugh is being discouraged. I could see where laughter yoga wood has a place. If anyone thinks that we're not in the tsunami of mental health crisis, just read the news.

No, don't read the news.  You'll be  one of the mental health people 

suffers look at the headlines. 

 I was going to ask you what has worm farming meant for you personally? But I think we could extend that to, both the sprouts and laughing laughter yoga as well. How has that changed your life? 

Ah, ah, the three thing. Thank you.

The three things that I do, the worms, the sprouts, the laughter. These are the things I do. It's not something I talk about or it's just my business. It's my life. This is my life. I eat sprouts every day, 20 years. I laugh every day. Well, since 20 12, 10 years and worm composting, I, I manage most of my scraps through the worms or through composting.

So it is my life. I really think that I do have. Simple solutions for today's challenges.  It's something that  I feel really strongly about. I feel on purpose. Let's say that I feel very driven about what I'm doing and sometimes I think I can be, overbearing with my message. I used to be, you know, so nice.

Oh, I know you're afraid of, oh, I know that. And now I'm like, no, it's, it's it's. Time for my nice girl to, to go away and for not for me to be aggressive, but I really want people to hear my message. I really want people to know that , it's urgent. This is really important. I don't care if you get worms or not.

I don't want people to say, I didn't know. Oh, I lived in an apartment for 10 years. I didn't know now, you know, and now you can choose to do or not to do, but you know, 

okay. What's next for Kathy? 

Oh for Kathy and Rick. Let's see. I think we're just going to 

Rick is Kathy's husband and it support 

he's my right hand guy.

Yeah. He's my rock for sure. Yeah. That's a great question. What's in our future. I, I I'm, I'm not sure. I think just more of the same and we're just going to keep on,  just keep on the sustainability. 

Okay, well, let's get ready to wrap this up. What book do you currently recommend to move someone to start their own worm farming business, or laughter yoga, or maybe there's another book that you recommend that's different that doesn't fit into those categories.

Yeah, I would suggest a book because I think for anyone to think about anything outside of themselves, they need to be in a great spot themselves. So a book that I would really highly recommend is by a man named Michael singer called the untethered soul. And it's just about how we have this kind of shadow side, this part that you tries to sabotage us and you know, why do we keep dating the same person over and over and having the same results?

That's  same guy, again, not me. Cause. All these years, why do I keep doing the same things over and over and having the same results? Oh, cause you keep doing the same things over and over this book. I just, I just found it really help. I've read it a few times now and every time new messages, it's just about how to, how to be more of yourself.

Okay. Now what's the best way for someone to contact you or to check you out online? 

Okay. So, , Rick is my web guy, and my website is blissfully up to date. That's probably the best place. It's, Kathy's composters.com, but I do have Kathy sprouters and Kathy's club too, for the worms and or the sprouts and the laughter.

Okay. And lastly, what's the number one piece of advice that you can give for our listeners? 

Oh, the best piece of advice I would give is. Be true to yourself. Like, what is it that you want go after that? Don't wait because,  don't just wish, you know, people say, oh, you know, Rick and I traveled in Africa and Asia for 13 months when we were 20.

And people say,  I want to go to Africa. If you want to go to Africa, what do you gotta do? You gotta get a passport. So get a passport, right? If you want to travel, then you need to have a passport. If you want to travel outside of your country. So get that, you know, do research. What is it that you want?

I would say. Um, life is really short and we never know, we don't know from one day to the next, no one knew this pandemic was coming right. But here we are two years in. And I'm sure there's a lot of people listening that are like, oh my gosh, you know, Y you know, at the beginning of this thing, I said, what if this is goes on for five years, what do you want to have at the end of that?

What you want. Accomplished. You need to do it now. You need to start, right. You can't be like doing the same thing every day. You got to change something. So I would say really, really figuring out what it is that you want to do yourself. What do you want and go after it. 

Great advice. Well, that's a wrap.

Thank you, Kathy, for being a guest on entrepreneurs over 40. 

Thank you, Greg.

Cathy Nesbitt Profile Photo

Cathy Nesbitt

Laughter Ambassador

Cathy Nesbitt is a Health and Wellness Advocate. Founder of Cathy’s Crawly Composters (est 2002), Cathy’s Sprouters and Cathy’s Laughter Club. She is a multi award-winning environmental innovator who uses workshops and inspirational speaking to motivate people to live a more sustainable life. Cathy is a certified Laughter Yoga Teacher. Appointed Laughter Ambassador in 2017 by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of Laughter Yoga. Cathy is an avid cyclist and gardener.