Month: April 2019

BIG LIFE

I always love when someone can take a word and make each letter stand for something. As a bit of a word nerd, I love acrostics, initialisms and acronyms.

I will never forget seeing an acrostic for the name Alex. What do you do with that letter ‘X’? Well, Alex had blond hair. The writer used the word xanthic to describe her hair color. Brilliant.

We all know that SCUBA stands for self contained underwater breathing apparatus, and perhaps most of us know that radar is short for radio detection and ranging, but today I learned that laser is short for
light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Ah, but I digress.

What I really wanted to point out today is that LIFE (yes the life we live) should really stand for Living Intentionally For Excellence and that BIG stands for Bring In God.

Cuddle a cat

So to live a big life, we need to bring in God and live intentionally for excellence.

Pray with your S.O.

Here are some tips or tools of the trade that can alter the course you may currently be on:

1) Eat good food. Simple right? I mean things that come from the earth and not a box.

Real Food

2) Enjoy your pets. The simple pleasures of a furry friend can make you slow down.

3) Write down what you really want. It could be small like making it through an entire day without screaming at your teenager, or it could be something big like paying off your mortgage two years early. When we write goals down we are more likely to work towards them.

4) Pray and pray and pray. I always had a hard time praying for myself, as I assumed it was too selfish, but a good man of faith once reminded me that God wants us to be happy and fulfilled. I try my best to pray for others first and conclude with some desires of my own.

Relax in Nature

5) Set yourself apart. Instead of binge-watching the next series (ask me how many episodes in a row I have watched of Call the Midwife),  reach for that book or Google search a Ted talk on an area you need more knowledge in.

6) Take time to do absolutely nothing in particular. In this frenetic society, we run on empty for much of the day. Relaxing and recharging will allow you to do it all over again tomorrow with clarity and love.

Enjoy your life as it is now, always looking for ways to improve. Always have gratitude for what you have, while working towards what you want.

Adult children

One night in conversation, some friends and I asked each other when you stop being a parent. Well, I suppose we never stop being a parent, but we were all in agreement that there should be a time when we stop parenting.

Is it the moment they turn eighteen? Hell no. Is it when they attend college? Getting warmer. Is it when they finish college and move out? Warmer still. Obviously, this is each individual family’s decision but at some point, we must realize that the more we push our own agenda onto our children, the more we may push them away. Worse yet, the more we bail out our children and make their decisions for them, the more we stifle their own growth.

Allowing them to make their own stupid decisions authorizes them to become mature. My favorite Bible verse in the book of James explains it this way.: James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  In other words, we have to go through some “stuff” in order to be grown up, and that goes for our adult children as well.

I know there will be things like late cell phone payments, tattoos you don’t approve of, parking tickets not paid, boyfriends or girlfriends you do not approve of, a large credit card payment they cannot make on time or any other fill in the blank you can think of. Take a deep breath. Remember that you already raised them and now they have to step into their own role and do their own adulting.

Relax. Try to live by example only and with any luck, they will eventually transcend immaturity and make you proud.

Part child-Part adult

Is your self doubt your glass ceiling?

You have heard many the entrepreneur talk about why they left the corporate world. They saw that no matter how hard they worked and no matter how many extra certifications and degrees they got, they were still not achieving the financial success they expected. They could not seem to break the glass ceiling.

Can there be a glass ceiling in any areas of your life that may have nothing to do with finances? Maybe you think you are not smart enough to go back to school after all of these years. Perhaps you feel that you are too old to start a new career. Do you feel too broken down to exercise?

I want to share a story with you that with any luck will motivate you into pursuing your next dream.

I was 17 or 18 when I saw this crazy race on TV. Some 23-year-old, nutty woman was crawling across the finish line of a 140-mile race. Yes, it was the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon and the woman was the now famous, Julie Moss. Call me crazy. Call me an idiot. Call me insane, but there was something in me that really wanted to do that race.

Break that glass!

My glass ceiling included so much self-doubt that it was just a pipe dream. Luckily for me, I mentioned it to my dad. He was the absolute master of positivity. He knew how to put a positive spin on any situation. When he was around everything came up roses and everything seemed possible.

Yet I still could not fathom how I would be able to call myself an Ironman. Here were the reasons I created my own glass ceiling or limitations to excellence: I’m too fat. Those distance athletes were skinny and had no breasts. I only knew how to swim in a chlorinated pool with lane lines. How would I swim in the Pacific Ocean? I did not have a cool racing bike. How would I ride 112 miles on my Raleigh Grand Prix ten speed? I wasn’t the best track or cross country runner in high school. How would I do a 26.2-mile marathon after all of that swimming and biking?

My father knew of a Reiki master and set up an appointment for me. I had never heard of Reiki and was skeptical that someone could change the vibrational energy or thoughts that were holding me back from moving forward. He knew how to take dreams and turn them into tangible goals. He reminded me that I had already done the marathon distance many times, and practically came out of the womb riding a bike. Knowing I was a lifeguard and had access to many pools where we lived, he set out to help me turn my poor body image thinking into that of a true ironman.

112 miles

It did not happen overnight. I first had to get out of my own way and not obsess that I did not look like the typical triathlete. I rearranged my school and work schedule to train. I saved money for the entrance fee, plane fare hotel fee, new bike, and so forth. Six years after seeing that crazy race on TV, I competed and finished the Hawaii Ironman and went on to do two more!

What is your glass ceiling?

What negative thinking and defeatist attitude will you continue to allow? I pray that you will get that chip off if your shoulder, find a coach or counselor (I know one) who will be your cheerleader and move you forward in whatever you wish to accomplish.

Take Five

“It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” Henry David Thoreau

I get it. We are all busy. Society almost demands it. But the question is, are we just busy keeping all of the balls in the air like a juggler until the balls drop or are we prioritizing what is truly essential?

Some tasks can be delegated. Some errands can wait. Some housecleaning can be hacked with shortcuts. Some anxiety can be alleviated by simply saying “Thank you for asking me to do (fill in the blank) but I cannot commit at this time.”

I often hear “I am suffocating taking care of the kids. I haven’t worked out in months”, “My boss has me working overtime more and more each week”, or “I can’t even take five minutes to myself without a crisis in the house!”

Guess what! If you don’t take at least five minutes to regroup, that crisis may be you. Below is a short clip of one of my favorite places to get away from it all, if only for a minute or two.

Always remember that you are a C.O.G.P.O.W. and worthy of at least five minutes when you are stressing out. A COG what? Well, United Methodist Pastor and author Jorge Acevedo usesCOGPOW” to remind us that we are ALL Children Of God and Persons Of Worth. Amen, right?
https://amzn.to/2UkjhAx

If this is true, then don’t you deserve at least five minutes to get out in nature and relax, regroup and refresh?

I know. I know. Five minutes does not seem like it can do anything of importance yet when I do 5 minutes or more alone and in nature, I can feel my heart rate go down. My mind does a sort of reorganization of the things I still have to accomplish throughout the day. It reminds me of when a computer hard drive must be “defragged” in order to access your files faster. It works. I dare you to try it and share your story in the comments.

As always, email staceygreene47@gmail.com for more information or to share stories you may not feel comfortable sharing publicly.

Now get out there and relax, regroup and refresh.