S10 | 05 – Focus on Hope with Taylor Boone

Lindsay Recknell Hope, Podcast Leave a Comment

When you struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts, every day can feel like a battle. Even just waking up and getting out of bed can feel overwhelming, and you may be plagued with constant negative thoughts.

Today’s guest has been there. Taylor Boone has experienced these emotions from a young age, but today she is here to share with you her story of hope.

Her advice? Find your focus.

What can you do to find or create hope, joy, and growth in your day to day life? Take baby steps, and step by step every day will get a little bit better.

Life will never be perfect, but you can find the beauty in it again.

Tune in as Taylor shares her experience finding focus and cultivating joy, and listen as she beautifully illustrates what it feels like to be lost and found again.

About Taylor Boone:

Taylor’s story starts in Salt Lake City. She was born to amazing parents who thought they were empty nesters, only to discover that her mother didn’t have the flu. She was pregnant with Taylor. 

By the age of three, Taylor was deaf. For two years, no one knew about it. Somehow, she was able to heighten her senses, read lips, and navigate the world without sound. While battling being deaf and having 13 operations to get some hearing back, Taylor was diagnosed with being dyslexic. She struggled with academics. She turned to art, found photography… and found her voice.

To learn more you can connect with Taylor on Instagram.

Mentioned In This Episode:



hope, feel, day, depression, life, held, parachute, story, taylor, emotions, hear, conversation, created, people, listen, analogy, transient, find, beauty, power


Taylor Boone, Lindsay Recknell

Lindsay Recknell  00:03

Hello and Welcome to Season 10 of the hope motivates action podcast. I’m your host, Lindsay Recknell, and workplace mental health professional speaker podcaster and an expert in hope. Bringing you these episodes with these incredible guests is my absolute favorite. I am so grateful for the privilege to share stories of transformation, and to help you move through your own transformation with our one on one work together. And with the help of the professionals who come on the show. The signs of hope and positive psychology has had such a huge impact on me and my work. So I love that I also get to share knowledge, research and stories from the evidence based science as well. It is my sincere wish that you hear something that resonates with you in these episodes, that you feel that contagious power of hope and you are motivated to take action over what you can control all towards creating a future better than today. I have such a passion for this work and I love connecting with my clients with you my listeners and with the guests on this show to help create transformation. I am very excited to introduce you to this week’s guest someone with a beautiful story to share with us. Taylor Boone’s story starts in Salt Lake City where she was born to amazing parents who thought they were empty nesters. But turns out her mother didn’t just have the flu. By the time Taylor was three years old, she was deaf. But for two years, nobody else knew about it. As Taylor navigated life by reading lips, heightening her senses and moving through her world without sound. After undergoing 13 operations to recover some of her hearing, Taylor was also diagnosed with dyslexia, setting her on a path of academic struggle before she found art, photography, and ultimately, her voice. For the last 20 years, Taylor has been creating portraits that tell a story, traveling the world telling stories through her lens. And now she’s here to share her story with us. So let’s get to it. Hello, Taylor. Thank you so, so much for joining me on the show today.

Taylor Boone  01:51

Oh, thank you, Lindsay for having me here. I really appreciate it. And I appreciate the platform you’ve created.

Lindsay Recknell  01:57

That’s, it’s my pleasure. Truly, I feel so honored to have fabulous people like you. Give me the opportunity to share your story. Honestly, it is like the favorite thing that I do every day. And it is such a privilege to be able to have this platform and have have people like you with the courage to come and share your story. So why don’t we start there? Could you share your story with us of how you use hope to motivate action in your life?

Taylor Boone  02:25

Yeah, yes, definitely. So my name is Taylor Boone. I’m a commercial portrait photographer down in Santa Cruz. And I didn’t get into this field by accident. And I look back over, you know, the, I guess the perspective, I’m at now going on to, you know, 50 years of being on this planet. I have the luxury of looking back and realizing all the hard things that happened to me all the rough things that are so called life were happening for me and not against me. And that’s a part of hope I look at I think that’s what makes us truly beautiful beings is we do have hope. And we have hope for a better tomorrow, we have hope for a better year, we have hoped for a better life. But we just have to show up for it. And I you know, I was born and born and raised in Utah, to a very loving and gosh, loving a supportive family. But I was born in the Mormon faith and realizing at the age of 810, I was a little different than anybody else in the neighborhood. You know, all the girls talked about getting married, having Barbie dolls, and all of that and it was never, it was never part of my vision. And I got bullied. So from I want to say, oh gosh, even going back I was bullied at the age of five for being deaf. And so I look back through my life and realize how much bullying was kind of holding me back and putting me in a cage. But I was accepting of that cage too. I went willingly at times of my life into that cage and got to a point in my life where truly out of desperation and just not feeling like I belonged, you know, depression, Krypton. And it became not just a creep in the door like a little leak of light. It became all of my days. And I struggled all through high school with a suicide thoughts heavy depression, saw a psychologist. I saw a great psychologist that really helped me understand at that time what I was feeling and I’ll never forget what he said. He said remember, this feeling is transient. It does not allow it’s it cannot allow to take up space and stay unless you allow it. And at the time I was like why didn’t ask for depression. I didn’t ask for these emotions. They just showed up. And but he gave me the power right then and there to decide okay, it can’t stay unless I invite it to stay And I really worked at that I was 16 at that time, and I really tried to figure out what that was. And he gave me some great tools. And he said, you know, you are in control of your emotions to a point, he goes, sometimes our emotion, emotions come in, and we have no control. But there’s a part that you have to want the control. And he goes, that’s where hope lays. And I held on to that. And I’ve held on to that through the battles I’ve had with depression most of my life, and it’s come and go. And when I lost my dad, I went into severe depression again. When I lost my mother, same thing, severe depression came in. So my depression was coming in through grief. But again, I opened the door wider and let it take up some residency and stay until one day, I just, I actually turned to God, and I was like, Hey, I don’t want to be here anymore. So you have to show me you have to give me some kind of hope here for a better tomorrow. And I got it. I got it. I prayed for it, I asked for it. And I got it, and I got a better tomorrow. Now, it wasn’t the greatest tomorrow. But it was better than that moment. And the next day became a little bit better. And it was almost like learning how to walk again, right? We don’t, as babies, we don’t just get up and take our first steps and then run. Right, we take a couple of steps when we fall, we get back up, we continue to walk. And that’s what I realized I had to give myself permission to fall. But to get back up, and to keep going. And I really believe that’s the foundation of hope.

Lindsay Recknell  06:31

Your story is so beautiful. It just gives me shivers to hear you say it too. I have the privilege of seeing you say it. But your passion really very much comes through in your voice. One of the things you said there about emotions and feelings being transient, that really struck me. The second time I’ve heard it today, in fact, and that’s, that’s quite powerful. Because if I think about my own experiences, feelings are not something that I am super comfortable with. And those emotions have all have have typically been the past really lived in my head, the concept of feelings and emotions. And I get there, I used to get very uncomfortable with the idea of sitting with my emotions and feeling my feelings. But recognizing that even if it is uncomfortable, I don’t have to live in that place. Because it’s transient, feels quite hopeful. And I don’t know if that’s your experience, as you were experiencing that they are transient or that moment when your psychologist had had shared that with you.

Taylor Boone  07:42

Definitely, and I think what I kind of go back to is, life is is messy, but it’s beautiful. And there’s beauty in the mess. And a part of that beauty when you really step back and figure out you know, what is my hope for today? Like, what if I’m, if I’m waking up and feeling that depression and I think anybody that has suffered from depression knows when that feeling of that starts to creep in yours. There’s a part of you that, you know, you’re reactionary is like, No, you can’t come back like I pushed you and I worked to get you away, you can’t come back. And it’s very easy just to kind of crack the door and go, maybe I’ll take a look. And are you the same feeling I had before. And I know for me, and I’m again, I’m just speaking for me, I can’t let that happen is the minute I feel that trying to creep back in. I kind of visualize myself picking up my sword and my shield of hope and determination and courage. And I slammed the door shut. And I’m like you can’t come in today. You can’t come in and steal my joy. I’m not going to let you and then immediately I have to turn to what what’s something I can do right now. That does bring me joy. You know, is it a podcast? Sometimes I have some favorites I’ve collected over the years on YouTube and I’ve created my little inspirational library. And I’ll go listen, and one of my favorites is Denzel Washington, I’ll just go listen to him for just a few minutes, or Earl Nightingale. And immediately I’m like, It’s my fuel right? I’m filling myself up. I’m giving myself a little bit more than I need to continue to go about my quest and then I figure out what else can I do today to find some joy. You know, and it’s it’s either finding it or creating it and I think that’s what makes us amazing as human beings. We’re great at finding we can find what we need and we can create what we need. And it’s sometimes I feel like in again in depression you don’t feel that but it’s just taking a second and going hey, wait a minute, where’s my parachute and I’m gonna pull the strings on my parachute right now and I’m gonna find what’s gonna give me just that little bit I need at all I needed a little bit right now. And then I can get up and get a little bit more and then a little bit more and finish that quest because to be honest Life is messy and beautiful, but the beauty the beauty will always be so worth the mess.

Lindsay Recknell  10:12

Can you expand on that analogy of the parachute? That is super interesting to me.

Taylor Boone  10:18

It is it’s to me it’s it is like pulling a parachute, right? Because sometimes we get going through life and we feel like we’re free falling. And we feel like okay, I’m Blanding someplace, I don’t want to land. And I think it’s that same analogy, you would use in a parachute, like, I’ve got to pull my strings, I’ve got to pull something around me to guide me. And I think it goes back to something I read a long time ago is what you’re looking at, what are you headed towards, you know, and they’ll tell you, when you’re, when you jump out of a plane, got to keep your focus on where you want to land. If you start looking over here, and your landing spots here, guess what you’re gonna go over here. And it comes back to there’s a street that is in the Midwest that I think I’ve read, it’s like eight miles straight. And then there’s eight miles, there’s only one telephone pole. And more people have hit that telephone pole, or wrap their car around that telephone pole than any other telephone pole on this on this, you know, eight miles or 10 miles, whatever it is. And it comes back to when people are losing control when something starts in the road. And they started swerving. They’re losing control. They look at the telephone pole. And where did they take their car? To the telephone pole. So it’s the same thing, parachute whatever analogy, you know, I have a million of them. Don’t get me started on it. But I think whatever you’re focused on is where you’re going to go. And sometimes when you’re struggling in depression, all you got to do is just focus on what can I do right now that can bring me some kind of joy is it opening the curtains letting the light in? Is it going outside and looking at a bird? Is it just going for a five minute walk and putting a smile on my face, it might be fake, might be coming from an empty place, but I’m gonna push myself to smile. And again, I feel like that’s a parachute, right, you’ve got this parachute, and it wants to take you to your beautiful destination. But you got to keep your eye on where you want to go. And you’ve got to pull on those strings. And I feel like that’s kind of pulling on your own internal strings to get you there. And sometimes that internal string is just reaching out to somebody. It’s just reaching out to somebody and saying, Hey, I’m having a bad day. Do you have a minute and not feeling like an inconvenience because that’s the last thing you are. You are not an inconvenience to anybody. And reaching out to somebody and saying, Hey, I need a minute of your time. And if you don’t have anybody, there’s the suicide hotline is a great number to call and how many people have dedicated their life to being on that other end to being what you can focus on right then and there. Again, they’re on the other end to be your hope.

Lindsay Recknell  13:08

I just want to sit in that for a second. Because if there I imagine that there are people listening, who are feeling like they are, where you were? Or are where you could probably feel like you could get yourself back to without too much effort. You know, our brains are designed for negativity and yeah, imagine how hard you must work to stay on this side of your depression every day and even it feels as you as you speak it feels very intentional the work that you do the the tools that you put in your toolbox, the you know the the things that you have that you know you can go and try that may not work every day, you know you but enough options to know what might be possible. And it feels it does. It feels very, very hopeful. And I hope that those that are listening who might be in a in a negative spot or feeling like they are on a downward spiral or are feeling quite hopeless. They hear your voice and know that it’s totally possible with that focus. I love that thought of find something to focus on, find something to action, whether it’s to wiggle your toes, or sit on your front stoop in the sunshine or whatever it is find something to focus on.

Taylor Boone  14:40

Right and it has it can be so small. I mean, I look back on my own life in the grips of of my darkest moments where it was I was minutes away from not being here. I had that decision had been made. And I look and all it took was that one deep breath and for me to simply ask For, for where my belief lies I just asked for help out loud. I need help right now. Because I don’t want to be here and receiving the help I needed. And part of that came from inside of just saying, Hey, hang on for one more day. Just give me one more day. And then the next day, I’ll never forget. The next day in my this was my last battle I had a few years ago, after I lost my mom, I’ll never forget the next day, I went into the studio, and I had an appointment with somebody that I really didn’t know, because He’s truly a businessman, businessman. And we were going to meet and just and have a conversation he had reached out said hey, can I come by your studio and, and meet with you? And I was like, Yeah, my head, I’m like, I’m not the place to do this, right? And have no, I’m just gonna put on my fake smile and go through the motions today. No one needs to know what I was going to do yesterday. And I’m just going to get through today. And full intentions. I’m gonna go back to my yesterday when I get home. I go to the studio, this guy comes in, sits down, we’re talking his name is Thomas. And as we started talking, he just stopped for a minute he goes, You know what the best business book in the world that’s ever been written is I was like, no, what is it? Because the Bible. And I was like, I’m sorry, the gay woman from Utah. I was like, Can I just tell you how much I recoiled inside for a second? Like, oh, no, he thinks he’s gonna change my ways. Or, you know, like, you have no idea what battle you’re, you’re fighting. And he just said to you, by chance have one. And as I actually, I do my best friend gave me one, but I have never really opened it. He’s like, is it here? I was like, Yeah, cuz I knew I threw it in the back somewhere in the studio, I went and got it. He opened up something and read a couple of things to me. And the one thing he read to me, and I can’t remember what Scripture it is, but it was, how loved you are. And when he said those words, that feeling I got inside was so warm and fuzzy. And like a warm blanket, just embracing me. Now, after that conversation, because I’d like the rest of the conversation, I really didn’t listen to him. I just sat there like, whoa, what just happened? Like, what was that? What about back home? You know, having a conversation in the house by myself, my dog was there. And you know, apparently he thought it was probably talking to him. But I was just like, Okay, what was that and why. And I felt like, I just asked for one more day. And I gave myself another day. And another day, and another day, and five years later, I’m here. And I, I think what what you’ve created is so important. Because there’s a community of people that love unconditionally strangers, we don’t have to know you, I don’t personally need to know you. But I can love you. We might not have the same beliefs, we might not have the same political views, we might not. But at the end of the day, you and I, at some point in our lives will face the same internal battles. We have that in common. And we have another thing in common, I think we forget the use of just reaching out. I can reach out with my hands, I can reach out with my voice. I can reach out with my intentions. And that is what can get us through these dark, heavy days.  And I feel like the greatest thing you can do for yourself is figuring out what’s triggering it. Remove the trigger. what’s triggering that emotion, what’s triggering your reaction to feel like there’s no hope. Turn it off, delete it, get away from it, and figure out what can give you that hope. And all you need is a glimpse of hope. And guess what it’s like opening the door for a little bit of sun. If the sun is super bright, you can’t force or you can’t stop the Force of the light coming in the room and filling it up. You know, and it’s there’s so many analogies that i look at. And I get again, you mentioned Lindsey the work I work at every single day. I have the mind my garden. I know. A weed of depression can pop up in my mind and take over and kill everything I’ve worked on. And so I mined the garden every single day. There’s times that I don’t even watch the news. I’m just like, Nope, it’s too much. I live in a world of hope. And unfortunately our world focuses on the negative through the news channel, but I feel like a collective of us is pushing towards hope so and the scale of life. Let’s all push towards hope and change that but I do that myself and I’m like Kate, this is what I need to do to my my garden. What do I need to listen to? What do I need to do to give myself permission to be in hope, and then what I have to do every single day to stay in that, and there’s days where I feel like okay, I’m working. I feel like I’m working out like Arnold Schwarzenegger. I should have the biggest hope muscles in the world. And there’s times I feel like and there’s times I’m like, Okay, maybe not today. But guess what? I’m gonna stick around for tomorrow to show myself and I just heard something today. That made me kind of bring into a full I think a full, what a full Looking Glass of the value we have. You can Google the math on how you got here, like how you were conceived and how you got here, the math is crazy. It’s like one in a billion things have to take place to get you here as a being. So to me, that’s your gift right away just from that. And here’s the other thing that I heard today. What’s the value of Mona Lisa, it’s one of the most valued pieces of artwork on the planet. At the time, when it was created by Da Vinci was the most valuable piece of artwork at the time. And the only reason it still holds its value today is there’s only one Mona Lisa. And there’s only one Lindsay and there’s only one tailor. And I think sometimes you just have to go look in the mirror and say my value today. I’m not replaceable. And I’m here by a billion things taking place to get me here. And I’m more valuable than the Mona Lisa. So I am going to give myself permission to have a good day. And to see my value.

Lindsay Recknell  22:00

Your words are so powerful, so powerful. Thank you for your courage and sharing that with us as well. Yeah, a very, very personal journey. And I love I love reflecting on those moments like that gentleman who had, you know, was coming to talk business things and then opens his conversation with something that is so personal and repelling to you, but literally saved your life.

Taylor Boone  22:30

And I got to I got to thank him one day too. He He’s that guy that calls you on your birthday and leaves you a voicemail. And it was probably the third year he left me a voicemail and he had said on that voicemail the day we met. And I was like, I know that day. I didn’t remember the date. But I know that day cuz I knew what was going to take place the day before. And I had felt like I need to call and tell him. And so I did. I said no, I Thomas, I gotta tell you, one, I love your your birthday message. But I don’t think you realize you saved my life that day. And he stopped for a minute and he goes to jebra Thank you, maybe you saved my we had a beautiful conversation about that. It gave me a poor perspective, right? Because I thought you’re here to save me. And he was he was like, No, he goes actually you saved me that day. Now I got to remember in that brief moment, that I am a gift to I can be a gift just by being in front of someone and listening to him.

Lindsay Recknell  23:46

I think we underestimate that the reciprocation, the the reciprocal power of those relationships, because so often when we’re in the depths of despair, we feel like we don’t have that value that we don’t have anything to give. But we don’t know what’s going on for other people either. We don’t know how our presence is enhancing their life, and we don’t know what word is going to resonate when they need to hear it. I mean, I’m sure you’ve had many businessman conversations up until that point, you know, but this one stuck. This was the one that impacted you the most in your whole life. And I think we don’t appreciate that enough.

Taylor Boone  24:31

It’s so true. We don’t and I think we think it has to show up the big package and be so perfect. And we forget that part of imperfections is perfect. And it’s an imperfections that we find the real, real gifts and I look at that day and go what a gift that was for him to even start the conversation like that and what a risk it was for him. And what what a risk it was for me to listen, because here I’m coming with my own baggage of, you know, being told that when I came out that I was an accident that God didn’t love me. And I believed those things until I found my truth. And I was like, No, I’m not an accident, took one in a billion things to line up for me to get here. And to have loves me, and God loves you just feel so, so good, so good.

Lindsay Recknell  25:27

 Tell me a little bit about where you see hope in the world.

Taylor Boone  25:44

I see hope in the littlest things like a hummingbird. I see hope and just stepping outside and listening to the birds. I see hope when I can step outside, and just see the sun. And I see hope at night when I can step outside and see the stars. And I see hope. When I can look myself in the eye in the mirror and say, Hey, you got through today, to give yourself another tomorrow. I see hope in my family. I see hope in my friends, I see hope in the strangers. You know, I feel like we’re all walking around with some something broken in us. But when glass breaks, it catches light in all sorts of different ways. And that’s the part where I had to look at every single one of this is broken, we have had something shattered in some way. But that light reflects back. And it tends to be more intense, it tends to show rainbows and colors when it reflects back. And I think that’s where I find hope too is in those those broken shores that we kind of carry around and go, you know, maybe maybe today is a rough day. But there’s beauty in it. And it can be the smallest smallest thing.

Lindsay Recknell  27:07

You are the queen of analogies, I can just picture that broken glass and carry it around in my in my backpack. And seeing the beauty in the things that are the the people the person that might feel broken, that it doesn’t mean that it’s useless, or dirty, or hopeless, that there is so much potential and beauty in that broken glass as well. And not only that, we have glue to put it back together. I can just picture I could just picture that analogy.

Taylor Boone  27:55

Thank you. And I think it’s easy. After we’ve given our save ourselves a little space to heal, and to have a different perspective. And I think that’s the part where we have to hold on to that no matter how that moment feels of just a total despair, and that there’s nothing else to do, I can’t begin to tell you that there is an the beauty that it will hold and the magic it will hold and the love that it will hold is so worth fighting. It’s so worth fighting that moment. And, again, you can google and find the story of of people at the last moments of your life just feeling like I don’t want to be here anymore. There’s a story that just was posted a couple of weeks ago of a cop that held on to a man that was going to jump off the San Francisco bridge and just held on to like wrapped his arms around him was like I’m not letting go of you. And he held him for an hour till help got there. And they reunited back at that space. And here are two complete strangers, right? Neither one of them woke up and said, I’m going to meet somebody today to save me and I’m gonna save somebody today. And when you hear their story, and you look at it, and I say Google it because the story is so beautiful of what they both have done with their lives, because of that moment. And to be able to come back to that and share that you held on to me and I didn’t fight. I stayed and I stayed for my better tomorrow. You know and 20 years later looking at the life he has now and what he’s been able to give others is been a gift and I think that’s the part we have to we have to remember we’re a gift. I’m a gift and so are you and that there’s hope there.

Lindsay Recknell  29:58

So much hoping that and we will find that article and put it in the show notes of this episode. So nobody has to Google nothing. We will just get it for you. Taylor, this has been so so incredible. I feel like you’ve answered this already. But I’m going to ask it anyway, because I asked everyone to summarize for me at the end of every show, and that is Taylor, what gives you hope.

Taylor Boone  30:23

unconditional love for each other. This is easy and simple as that. It is so beautiful. Nothing, no transaction needs to take place. It’s unconditional. And love is free. And it’s everywhere. And anybody that feels like they don’t have it in their life, I’m giving you a huge bag of it today. Lindsay’s platform is delivering bags every single day. There’s love for you.

Lindsay Recknell  31:00

Thank you so so much for sharing your gifts with us and the world, or as much of the world is listens to this show. I so appreciate you sharing your story. I know that it resonated with someone somewhere who’s feeling the same things as you do, and you have given them hope it has been such a pleasure to get to know you. And I really appreciate you spending your time with us.

Taylor Boone  31:22

Know, I appreciate you asking me to be here. And I appreciate that, like I 1000 gifts to you. I appreciate the platform you’ve created.

Lindsay Recknell  31:32

Thank you very much. We’ll talk again real soon. Yet another incredible story. I mean, I literally say that after every episode, but I wouldn’t publish episodes I didn’t think were incredible. Now what I I mentioned in the introduction, that it’s my sincere privilege to share space with these guests to bring their stories and their expertise to the podcast airwaves. And honestly, I learned so much from their wisdom at the same time. That’s the thing about this work. It’s in the storytelling, the language we use to express our innermost narratives. That’s what has the most power of transformation. Sometimes when we don’t know the words to use, we just won’t say anything at all. And that can lead to negative rumination and the stressors in our lives can lead to burnout. The topic of burnout stress and why the differences between the two matter is something we talk a lot about in my most popular training workshop titled from burnout to hope. In this 60 minute workshop, you’ll learn to apply evidence based strategies and tactics to reverse your feelings of overwhelm and languishing and activate the hope circuit in your brain for a future better than today. It’s transformational, personal, and dare I say, guaranteed to increase your hope levels. You’ve heard me say it 100 times. But I believe that fear is louder in the dark. And talking about loud about the fears, aspirations, and the anxiety inducing situations we find ourselves in is an amazing way to move towards the transformation of a future better than today. If you’d like to learn more about language, and how you can leverage the science of hope in your life, I’d love to share from burnout to hope training workshop with you. You can find more information about it on my website at expertinhope.com/burnouttohope. I truly believe that the future will be better than today by taking action over the things we can control and conversations like this really reinforced that hope. Looking forward to keeping the conversation going. So reach out anytime. As always. I’m here when you need me.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Lindsay Recknell | Expert in Hope | Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram

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