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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Learn to Live Lighter: An interview with Loretta LaRoche

Feb 28, 2019 05:52PM ● By Linda Sechrist

Loretta LaRoche

Putting a humorous spin on the fifth annual SpelLife Women’s Wellness Summit, in Naples is keynote speaker Loretta LaRoche. The author of Life is Short, Wear Your Party Pants is an internationally recognized stress-management consultant with seven one-woman PBS specials under her funny bone. Summit co-founders Jill Rapps, vice president and certified financial advisor for Ciccarelli Advisory Services, Inc., and her sister Gaynell Anderson, a doctor of physical therapy, agree that LaRoche is the best choice for a headliner. “Loretta is perfect for this year’s summit theme of Living Lighter. For 30 years, she has been using her wit and advocating for alleviating stress through humor, fun, optimism and resiliency,” says Rapps.

LaRoche’s vision for the majority of her career has been to get people to lighten up. She says. “We don’t have to take everything so seriously and be so busy. We have become human doings. We tell everybody we meet how busy we are. We say, ‘I am so busy I don’t know what to do.’ The person we’re talking to answers, ‘You think you’re busy; wait till you hear what I’m doing.’ Today, busyness—using all of our gadgets, answering all our text messages and emails, making sure we don’t have a minute to take a breath—is how we elevate our self-esteem. We need fun and enjoyment, the elixir of life. We shouldn’t be waiting to have fun.”

When asked if she ever loses her sense of humor, LaRoche offers a personal anecdote. “I’ve had four implants; two knees, a shoulder and a hip. My doctor was in awe. As I was being wheeled into the operating room [OR] I was making him laugh. He came to my bedside later and told me that he’d never had anyone on their way to the OR that made him laugh. For some people, humor is a defense mechanism. For me, it’s a go-to coping mechanism.”

Although she’s funny and makes audiences laugh, LaRoche considers herself an educator. “I take the stage to get people in the audience to have an ‘Aha!’ moment; to look at themselves with a slightly absurdist viewpoint. The majority of people today need a new perspective and to understand that they’re here to pay attention to things that matter and to find meaning and purpose; not to get twisted in a knot because someone left a towel on the bed,” she quips.

SpelLife Women’s Wellness Summit will be held from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Apr. 13, at the NCH Telford Center, located at 350 7th Ave., in Naples. General admission is $65; VIP $100 includes a private luncheon from 12:30 to 2 p.m. For more information and tickets, visit

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