The Seminar High

How many of you have to go to a training or seminar for your job? Do you relish it or dread it? Do you actively seek out ways for self-improvement or are they thrust upon you against your will?

Years ago I had a new friend approach me about a leadership group. I misunderstood and confused leadership with management and rejected all of her invitations to explore the meetings she regularly attended. At the time I could not see myself as a leader and did not understand that we are all leaders in some capacity every day. Thank goodness she was persistent and continued to invite me until I attended a seminar just to shut her up. My whole world changed at that moment, as I realized that learning does not stop with a diploma.

When you are raising your children your choices and direction are leading them through puberty and into adulthood. When I was teaching competitive figure skating I was leading the children in how to behave whether they won or lost an event. It takes grace to lose and not throw a hissy-fit. It takes leadership to refrain from bragging when you win and instead go and say something great about the program of one of the skaters who did not win.

Seminars get me high in a way that no doobie or shot of Jack Daniels ever could. When you learn from other people who have walked down a similar path you become inspired that you can achieve your dreams too. When you hear a speaker talk about a devastating situation he or she overcame, you cannot help but to go out and be hopeful that at least your situation is not that bad. Seminars, webinars, self-help books, Ted talks, Youtube videos, book signings, and podcasts are all ways we can step out of ignorance and into enlightenment in any area we wish to pursue or simply learn more about.

Maybe I am a dork about self improvement but I completely “geek-out” when I can see and hear a speaker that wrote a book that I have read or spoke on a subject I write about in my own books.

I want you to ask yourself these questions. What are you currently doing to live your best life? Where do you really want to go in your marriage or relationships with your children? What thoughts keep you up at night? What is one area in your life that is under attack right now?

If everything is just hunky-dory and your life is full of rainbows and roses, then I hope you tune in next week for a different blog subject, but if there is an area in your life where you question if your actions are serving you, then please contact me. I would love to listen. I bet I could even find a great seminar for you to attend in your area.

Never stop learning, growing and expanding. We live in the most exciting time in History. Just think about how the smartphone we hold in our hands has more computing power than the computers that took the Apollo 11 to the moon back in the ’60s. Can our brains still develop? Hell yes!

Go out into this world and do good. Hebrews 13:7 Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you.

In the Running

What a thrill it was in 2018 to have had Stronger Than Broken – One couple’s decision to move through an affair make it to the top ten in the 2018 Author Academy Awards. Although I did not win, the opportunity to speak in front of a crowd and share the book was an invaluable experience as I move forward in my coaching practice.

Watching the winners in the 16 categories go up in their suits or gowns and receive an award was inspiring. So many of them looked shocked and most of them said “I am speechless” before thanking all of the people who helped them on their writing path.

What I really resonated with was one woman, Anita M. McLaurin. She was not speechless. She walked up with such confidence and had her speech already written out. She knew she would win in the children’s book category. Her speech was thoughtful, well rehearsed and moving.

I want belief and faith that I too will win. So, I have entered the 2019 Author Academy Awards with Letters to the Dead Men – Unexpected Revelations in the Self Help category. I am fully aware of the stiff competition, as this contest is open to self-published authors, traditionally published authors and every combination of author in between.

Will you help me by checking out the book and voting for me? This book took me on a journey I never expected. My only intention was to honor the people in my life who had gone on to meet their maker. I had no idea how much grief I had been storing for years and how the writing process released those emotions and helped me heal wounds I still harbored.

The Self Help category will be on page 13 of the voting page, so make sure you scroll through all of the categories and vote once for each category on each page. https://authoracademyawards.com/

God in his infinite wisdom takes us just where we need to be and always at the right time. I am grateful for the healing that took place during the penning of this book. It has done so much for making me a more compassionate coach.

Enjoy these links: Letters to the Dead Men – Unexpected Revelations https://amzn.to/2FkgUWf

Stronger Than Broken – One couple’s decision to move through an affair http:// https://amzn.to/2AE0aGq

If you are looking for a great children’s book, please check out my fellow author and an Author Academy Award winner, My Father Said I Could by Anita M. McLaurin. https://amzn.to/2VSAij9

Are you contemplating writing a book? I would love to turn you on to the fantastic group I work with. We will walk you through the entire process from the idea in your head to seeing your book on the shelves of Barnes and Noble. Start here: http:// https://bit.ly/2wOTtiT

And one more! https://bit.ly/2wLRIlJ

Do You Have Good Sexual Health?

Marriages should never just be about sex. But, let’s be honest. Sex plays a rather large part in a healthy marriage and it is the one thing that should never be shared with anyone other than your spouse. That makes it so revered and sacred.

Sexual health is the ability to be aroused and still be able to do something about it. It may be very different for a young, healthy couple compared to an older couple with health issues, but in both cases, married couples can find fulfillment.

Feeling good about your body enhances the sexual experience 10 fold. I know this first hand as my weight has fluctuated up and down many pounds over the years. When I felt heavy, I wanted the lights off or very dim. When I was in racing form, I donned the Victoria Secret and did not mind lights on. Most of us can still get aroused when we are not in our best body, but the experience is not the same. So, as we go into the new year, be your best. Did you hear that? I said your best and no one elses.

Sex can also be very emotional, often times more so for women. Years ago when my husband stepped outside of the boundaries of marriage (https://www.amazon.com/Stronger-Than-Broken-couples-decision-ebook/dp/B01BCWI2K4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1546837987&sr=8-1&keywords=stronger+than+broken+stacey+greene ) my psyche had taken a hard hit. I could not achieve orgasm with this same man who had been giving them to me for over 25 years. It took months of putting the marriage back together before my body image and ability to orgasm recovered. Thankfully it did as the trust was restored in the marriage and the more functional ways to communicate began to form. I hope this was not T.M.I. for you, but I’m just keeping it real!

Communication is the most important facet of getting what you want and need as well as supplying your partner with the same. I know it can be the most excruciating and embarrassing thing to talk about. It can really hurt your partner’s feelings to blurt out what you didn’t like or what hurts or feels weird. I have found that there are some silent ways to communicate that work well. If you catch your partner doing something that does not please, do not make any sexy sounds. Change positions as soon as you are able. When he/she finds the right spot, the right intensity or the right angle, then it is your turn to talk, scream, moan or whatever. Perhaps later, maybe over drinks, you can approach the subject more objectively if there is truly an issue you find in need of more clarification.

Planning or scheduling sex always seems to take away the spontaneity and romance, but there will be times in your busy lives where you simply must eke out some grown-up play time. Without sex, couples can become irritable and take those frustrated feelings out on the whole family. I am of no use to anyone when I am crabby.

Sex can be like pizza and chocolate. As much as I love pizza and chocolate if I ate them every day for the rest of my life, I may lose interest. A change up now and again (position, dirty talk, toys if you are comfortable, role play etc…) can be a breath of fresh air. The most important thing for changing up the routine is to lay little ground rules first. Nothing kills the evening quicker than 1 partner wanting to try dirty talk or toys one evening when the other just wants teenage make out and romance.

How is your sexual health? If you are enjoying your partner regularly and keeping the lines of communication open, then kudos to you and cheers to the new year and all it may bring.

Photo credits to Billy Delfs

Was it all that?

Was Christmas all that? Was it everything you wanted it to be?

Gifts, food, Christmas music in the background. Family, laughter, romantic looks across the pile of gifts. Smiles of delight as the little ones and the big ones get their Christmas dreams all wrapped in pretty bows.

For some of us it really was all of that. I am in awe of the wonder of this magical day, but I also ache for the ones that did not have a happy Christmas. There are people hungry or homeless. There are people who are celebrating their first Christmas without a loved one they recently lost. There are families that had to rely on charity for their children to have anything to open on this day.

For those of us that had a Christmas better than most, I ask a few simple things. As we place the dishes in the dishwasher and take out the bags of crinkled up Christmas wrapping paper from the excess we enjoyed, say a prayer for those in need. Then, balance that checkbook and see where we can help an organization or even a family we know of in need. Go out and be Jesus.

Jesus came to earth in the form of a tiny baby born in a dirty barn on a cold night. He grew into a man and experienced humanity in all of its glory and in all of its ignominy. He humbled Himself for all of us. All He asked is for us to love one another and reach out to those in need.

Matthew 25:35-40

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Enjoy helping others, know you are loved and have yourself a Merry Little Christmas you beautiful people!

Thank You Michelle, Albert and Jessie!

Scene One: I am at church. A small boy is reading a passage with his family in order to light the next Advent candle. I cry tears of joy remembering my own children when they were so young and innocent. The feeling is intense.

Scene Two: I am watching the BBC series Call the Midwife when my son walks in while a devasted mom loses a baby and I cry. “Why do you watch depressing shows?” my son queries. My heart aches for the woman, fulling knowing that it is just an actor in a show.

Scene Three: It is any Christmas of any year.  My family is gathered around the TV while we watch the 1970 version of Scrooge with Albert Finney as Ebenezer himself. Everyone in the family knows the story. Not just the Chares Dickens story, but my story. I was seven when it came out at the theatre and I became obsessed with the music. My parents bought the vinyl record for me and my dear father and I would burst out into the song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dkq7WZTzkLQ  Thank You Very Much.  When Tiny Tim sings  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6hiR0p2e5s The Beautiful Day you had better get the tissues out. Oh! and don’t forget that when I want to feel eternally grateful for my husband, I sing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oUIlaaVQMs&t=18sHappiness.

Scene Four: My husband (yes the one I am grateful for) and I are arguing about nothing important. Sometimes it’s just what we do. I get angry and riled up for no real reason. I am irate when my husband dares to suggest that I am overreacting. But I feel so livid at that particular moment. How dare he suggest that my feelings are not valid. 

Do you have a scene that makes you cry? I love feelings. Happy. Sad. Angry. Thrilled, Joyous. Frightened. Exuberant. Disgust. Content. Surprise. Insecure. Pensive. Cheerful. They are all feelings and when you are having them, go ahead and have them. Don’t let anyone tell you what you should or should not feel. They are your feelings, not theirs. 

Here are two songs that always remind me that it is ok to feel whatever I need to feel at that moment. One is Jessie J, a pop artist and one is Michelle Tumes, a Christian artist. Enjoy and I would love to hear your comments.

Sometimes it’s ok not to be ok. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2WWrupMBAE&list=RDj2WWrupMBAE&start_radio=1

“Greet the deep emotion
That sleeps beneath the ocean floor
Watch elation bound release
Its furious roar”
 Michelle Tumeshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwCKXSNaut4

Bloggers for 2019

What a thrill I got when I found out that this blog is one of the 23 Relationship Experts, Authors, and Blogs to follow in 2019. As I am now adding coaching services to my public speaking and writing, I felt humbled and blessed to be with the other 22 people who are all about making this world a happier place through better relationships.

Please click on the link and see who we all are. Have a great day, Stacey

Who to Follow

How many paychecks until Christmas?

When our children came home for Thanksgiving a few weeks ago, we partook in our yearly tradition of purchasing the live Christmas tree (at a Black Friday discount) and decorating the home. With Christmas music coming from my daughter’s phone (thank you Spotify), we went bananas decorating the entire downstairs of our home for Christmas.

Tree for blog

When they returned to school and jobs, my husband and I were left with a slight sense of panic as to how many paychecks between the two of us would we have before Christmas. Did we budget appropriately? Did we remind the kids that now that they are older we are trying to tone down the massive amount of presents under the tree? I hope so.

The panic subsided when I was reminded that our children love us. They don’t judge us by the gifts we can and cannot afford.

Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” 

Our children have always seemed to enjoy the food, the movies we watch at Christmas and the laughter we share. We are content and blessed with or without excess.

1 Timothy 6:6-8 “But godliness with contentment is a great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” 

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Do not allow the upcoming Holidays to rob you of what is really important. Instead of counting paychecks, count your blessings, count the times you laugh, count the times you give or receive kisses and hugs, count the smiles you gave and the smiles you collected, and DON’T count the calories. Enjoy the abundance for now.

 

 

Preparing for the colder-shorter days.

I just keep telling myself that the shortest day of the year is December 21st. If I can make it to that milestone, I can keep telling myself that winter only gets better from there. I simply hate the short days. Psychologically, I see it get dark and it feels like bedtime even though it may only be 5:30.

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Shorter days mean less Vitamin D, (which by the way is really a hormone). Shorter days mean higher heating bills, larger electric bills and maybe even crabby husbands. Shorter days mean boredom. There is simply nothing to do in my garden, no lawn to mow, and no hammock to read my books in. Bike rides have gone from hour-long rides outside to the dreaded 20 minutes on the indoor bike trainer, where I stare at the same wall (or TV) and finish in a pool of sweat because there is no breeze of the great outdoors.

Preparing to survive the dark, short days takes some creativity. It takes some resourcefulness, some imagination and finally some initiative to follow through while waiting for the sun to return.

First and foremost, get busy finding a good source of Vitamin D. It should be taken in the morning and is one of the best ways to prevent the flu, as well as many other health issues. Type “Vitamin D” and “Dr. Mercola” into your Google search and go crazy. Your brain will explode from all the knowledge that the website has.

Watch less TV. That sounds funny, as when we are indoors more than usual, that is what we gravitate towards. Exactly! Looking at artificial lights from computers and the TV messes with your melatonin and can cause poor sleep. Reading a book is always a better alternative.

Are you crafty? Are there unfinished projects you didn’t want to bother with in the summer when it was more fun to be outside? Is there a new restaurant in town you have not tried? When was the last time you went to the Art Museum or History Museum? Is it time to take a class at your Community College? Does your local Library have any authors coming to speak and sign books? Although we tend to eat more in the winter months maybe there is a recipe book you have yet to open. Perhaps there is a friend you have not taken to the time to catch up with. Maybe it is time to repaint the baseboards and door jams in your house to spruce it up.

The point is, be prepared to fill these days with things that keep your mind off of the mind-numbingly-cold, short days. Use winter as a way to bring a different set of things into your life to keep you happy and healthy. Spring will come…eventually.

Genesis 8:22While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

Psalm 104:19 “He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.”

 

 

 

 

Take a piece of peace!

Here we are about to go into the busy season. Thanksgiving, Christmas (or Hanukkah, Kwanza etc…) followed by New Years and the resolutions we feel obligated to make.

We are supposed to feel joyful and at peace with our families and the gift-giving season. Often times easier said than done, our lives become anything at all but peaceful. Money may be tight yet we want little Johnny to get that cool, new ______ (fill in the blank) that he wants. If your children are older you still want to gift them with something amazing and now often have to also remember to buy a gift for the boyfriend or girlfriend of your child, especially if he or she is spending the Holiday with your family.  How do you politely explain the sleeping arrangements? Is church mandatory for the non-family member? There are so many ramifications to consider.

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And the cooking. Do you make your cranberry sauce and pumpkin pies from scratch? I do. I want to put my years as a Certified Health Coach to good use, and honestly, then I am more aware of the quality of the ingredients. To complicate matters, we have a range of eaters from vegetarian (yes I make a Tofurky too and two kinds of gravy) to ketogenic, to high protein.  Thankfully, my husband eats whatever is put before him. Kudos and a shout out to this man.

 

Pumpkin pie

As we approach this season of good tidings and peace, let’s remember to grab a piece of peace along with that pumpkin pie. Here are my bullet points that should help things run smoothly and effortlessly (OK, well maybe effortlessly is a stretch)

  • Delegate some of the chores and cooking assignments to others.
  • Be honest with your husband when you want help. Most will surprise you and really want to be included.
  • Budget earlier in the year for Holiday expenses. Christmas should not be an excuse to service the credit card companies with your poor decisions.
  • Even though it may be the last thing on your mind as the days get colder and shorter, get outside for as little as 10 minutes or as long as you can afford. You won’t regret the sun and air on your face.
  • Be in the word. Take a moment to reflect on a couple of your favorite Bible verses. Here are a few about hope and peace.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Colossians 3:13 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone.
   

 

 

 

West Coast Launch

What a lovely time I had reflecting on my weekend as I was traveling back from California. I did a book launch party for the birth of the book Letters to the Dead Men – Unexpected Revelations on the 11th.

Letters to the Dead Men_paperback cover_createspace_2018-09-06
My second book

What a wonderful opportunity to expose the book to the other side of the states, but also to see the lovely sister I have not seen in three years. In the journey I took writing about the men I have lost in my life, I realized that family can no longer be blown off for such silly excuses as “I’ll miss four days of work”, “I can’t afford to travel so soon after the three day conference I just attended” and so on.

I want my only remaining sibling to know how much she is treasured and adored. I want to experience new opportunities and meet new friends. My trip to San Diego did not disappoint. We ate at various restaurants, attended a yoga and happiness workshop, enjoyed some sun and then she threw me the best party ever at her healing studio.

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Prizes for the guests

Staying home just to make four more days of a paycheck just seems so silly. The money I may have lost in taking days off (entrepreneurs don’t get paid days off in the traditional sense of the word) is rather insignificant compared to the memories made. Embrace the opportunities to travel, grow, and love. May you be blessed beyond measure with silly stories, goofy pictures, and delicious food. Live your best life.

Best sissy pic
Living my best life with my best sister!