Author: Stronger Than Broken

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.

In the Heat of the Moment

My husband and I attend the “modern” service at our church. The music at the most recent service began with a Chris Tomlin song called Nobody Loves Me Like You. One particular sentence jumped out at me. “Story, I could’ve had a really different story.”

I just came off of a week where I did a virtual summit and my topic was forgiveness. I had ordered a book from an author who teaches forgiveness in her church community and it had arrived earlier in the week. Then God hit me over the head one more time by having the sermon at this service be on…wait for it…forgiveness!

So I began reflecting on the night that I caught my husband texting another woman. In the heat of the moment, I grabbed the phone and texted her back saying “You can have him!” If I had truly meant that, I could have had a really different story.

It may have looked like this: My husband and I allowed the affair to ruin us as we filed for divorce. The financial burden would have been great. The arguing over selling the house, moving into smaller houses or apartments would consume our days. The bickering would begin as to who got what kitchen appliances, furniture, bed set, trinkets, photo albums and more.

Time would be lost from work as we would quarrel often when seeing the lawyers or attorney-mediator. We can both be stubborn and opinionated so this would not be a slam dunk for either side.

Who wins???

We still had two children living at home. They would have been devastated and blindsided. How would the custody have panned out? To complicate issues, the kids were in different schools seven miles apart. How would the drop-off and picks ups now occur with our schedules? We both adored seeing our children perform in school functions and athletic events. Would I be allowed to see an event when it is his night to have the kids?

Who gets the dog and who gets the cats? I want the cats for sure, but will my tiny apartment allow pets?

Off to the title bureau we would go to make sure my car was no longer in his name. Should I keep the name I have had for more than half of my life or should I go back to my maiden name?

Most of all, despite the hurt, anger, distrust, frustration and pain of infidelity, I still loved my husband. No, I am not a doormat. I am a woman who saw 25 years of a marriage that still had potential. I am a woman who is as flawed as the next person. I am a woman who chose to forgive as well as be forgiven. I am a woman who has a really different story because I did not give in to the heat of the moment.

What is your story, your legacy, your deepest desire for this life? Please help me to make this blog more interactive and comment, share, contact me and allow your story to be heard. You are beautiful and wonderful and a child of the most high.

Today is the Day!

Today is the day you stick to your diet. Today is the day you start praying again. Today is the day you find passion again. Today is the day you start loving your spouse again.

Today is the day you will pop onto the How to Leave a Legacy of Purpose FREE summit. Go here now, today, right this minute. https://billmcconnell.me/legacyofpurpose/

Fear not if you work during the day and cannot see the live presentations. They will be recorded and you will have some time to watch them before they go away.

If you found value and decided to purchase the videos forever and ever, then here is your discount code to put in the discount code bar on the site. “staceygreene” It will allow you to save 50%. Cool, huh?

Are you ready to help to make this blog more interactive? Subscribe and leave comments at where you found value and what your next big step (or even your next little step) will be.

I am humbled when you take the time to connect.

A Follow Up

A while back I talked about clearing clutter from your life. I watched several Marie Kondo shows and was convinced that I could do at least part of my house. (See https://strongerthanbroken.com/2019/02/12/turbo-charged/ for the “before” closet picture)

How did it go? All I can say is WOW! I thought that clearing clutter would be of some benefit, but had no idea how free I would feel. Not only is there more physical space in many of the rooms I have done, but there is emotional space as well.

Book Shelves

What is emotional space? It is a place in your thoughts where you feel like you no longer have excuses. I can no longer put off writing, or other tasks that may allow me to create a bigger influence, impact and income that I desire. You see I was playing the “Oh, I’ll write that next chapter after I clear the breakfast dishes, get a load of laundry started and sort through that junk box.”

Dresser Drawers

If I have fewer clothing items to wash, and less junk in the junk box, there is nothing holding me back from tasks that I need to complete. When I walked into my office and saw drawers spilling over, boxes of papers in the corner, magazines I will never read, and even a box of electrical cords that I have no idea what their original purpose was, I would feel stressed. It wasn’t a full-on anxiety attack, but it was the feeling that I did not deserve to do something as frivolous as chill out with a magazine or play with my kitten when there was so much to do.

My half of the closet

Now, I can breathe easier knowing I do deserve to relax, play with the kitten, read a book, write a chapter in my next book, gaze out the window at the blue heron in my pond or whatever else suits my fancy. I still have miles to go before I would ever want a person with a Marie Kondo type of personality to spend any time in my home, but progress takes time and I approach it the same way as I would if I were given the task of eating an elephant. Do you know how to eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Please share your stories in the comments or post on the Stacey Greene Facebook page some photos of your successes.

Supplements and Vitamins
Kitchen Pantry

Legacy and Purpose

We certainly hear a lot of buzz words these days don’t we? Many of us want to know what is trending or what is hot.

Having worked in the leadership field for some years, and being a woman of faith, I have seen an exciting shift towards leaving a legacy and finding our true calling or purpose. But to me, legacy and purpose are far more than buzzwords or trends.

For years I found passion (or purpose) in racing and competing in everything from figure skating, bike racing, marathon running, triathlons and now kayaking. Great. Fun. Exciting. But when I think about how my friends will remember me after I make my transition, I don’t want them simply saying “Boy, Stacey sure did like running.”

I pray that someone, somewhere says something more to the affect of “Her books really saved my marriage” or “I was really impacted by her coaching.” Now that is the legacy that would mean more to me than being a Hawaii Ironman finisher.

Have you considered your calling or purpose? Is there something itching in your soul to create a bigger impact or influence on a particular group? Do you know your divine DNA? Is there something you want to conquer? Is there someone you need to forgive? Do you have resilience? Do you wish you had more freedom? What is your true worth? What do you want to rediscover?

Well, now is your opportunity to attend a FREE virtual summit that will go over all of these things and much more. Please attend with me from March 18th through the 22nd, 2019 at the site below. Watch from anywhere and grow with me.

Be That Giver

Sitting at the large dining room table in the home of my aunt and uncle on New Years Day was a memory I will always cherish. With three siblings of my own and five cousins, the New Years Day meal was a combination of good food, multiple conversations all at once and the truest form of being part of a family.

I always felt a bit melancholy thinking about the fact that my mother was an only child. She had hinted at the fact that as an only child she felt pressure to always be the good girl and perfect daughter. As I sat at my cousin’s table, hoping someone did not finish their shrimp cocktail and I could acquire it somehow, I felt a sense of joy that we were all so different and each had something to offer.

I have a sister, twelve years my senior and I had (sadly, past tense) two brothers. All were accomplished in their own way. One an artist, another an intellect, one an athlete and another mechanically gifted.

Our parents were small business owners and I am not sure how they managed to raise four children on their meager income. My husband and I also struggled financially in our early years of marriage and I can remember stressing about the finances of raising three children of our own. I think what my grandmother told me once became true. She looked at my swollen belly, my frazzled look, my messy house and simply said, “Babies bring their own money.”

What she meant was that there will always be kind people, family members, church groups, and well-meaning neighbors who can pick up when there is a need. That feeling of hope and support allowed my first born to have a couple of siblings.

I have no regrets of all of the financial hardship of adding to our family. Like my siblings, my own children all brought to our family their own individual strengths, talents and gifts. Having multiple children allowed me to stretch and grow in ways I did not know I was capable of.

Do you have any large families in your circle that may have a need right now? If so, how can you help? Can you be that giver?

Find those extra few dollars and anonymously send a gift card from your local grocery store to a family who would appreciate it. Drop off some lightly used children’s clothing your children no longer need. Shovel that pregnant neighbors driveway while you are out doing your own.

Look for ways that you can pay forward some of the kindnesses given to you over the years. Gratitude comes in all forms. Do not do it for acknowledgement or recognition. Do it so that some other generation of siblings will have fond family memories to share.

What it means to lead.

L.E.A.D. Leverage, Edify, Assimilate, and Direct. Isn’t that an ideal way to remember what it takes to lead? I learned this acronym from a leadership seminar and it really stuck.

No matter how many Science classes I took (and even when I homeschooled my own children through elementary school) I always had trouble understanding the three types of levers and how the fulcrums changed the ease of the load and how much force had to be applied. It always came down to leverage or the exertion of force by means of a lever or an object used in the lever.

Leverage. When I lead, am I the fulcrum? Am I the force? Or am I the load? The ability to influence a system, or an environment, in a way that multiplies the outcome of one’s efforts without a corresponding increase in the consumption of resources, is the true definition of leverage. In other words, leverage is the condition of having a relatively small amount of cost in order to yield a relatively high level of returns. Sounds quite advantageous, doesn’t it?

Edify. When we spiritually or morally uplift someone we edify them. When we introduce a speaker to a large audience we edify the speaker and get the audience excited about what the speaker will teach them. But, the best example of edification is when we speak highly of someone when they aren’t even in the room. Have you ever had a person tell you that your services came highly recommended by someone? That “someone” was edifying you when you were not around. It’s a great feeling when you know you made a difference in at least one person’s life. When we can promote, uplift and educate in a way that is pleasant and God-honoring, we are on our way to greater emotional and spiritual wealth. I love this verse from Hebrews 10:24 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,”

Assimilate. When we can take in someone’s culture, point of view or situation and then understand it fully, we are in a position to help, aid and support when we are called to do so. This can stretch us if we were raised a certain way or have strong convictions, but there are so many ways for us to grow as we understand others. Romans 2:11 says “For God shows no partiality” I also appreciate the teachings in Luke. Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven” Belive me, I am still a work in progress on that one!

Direct. When we can stay on the most direct course to get from point A to point B, or when we can guide someone else in the course they are trying to take, we are leading. It is easy to get off course and distractions will always come our way, but in order for true leadership to happen, we must stay the course, stick it out, persevere, or whatever idiom works for you. Get it done!

Never forget that true leaders lead from the front. They do not delegate from the rear and wait to see what happens. They take action. Will you be a leader today? Will you boldly step out in faith that you can work on your agenda in a timely manner, be aware of the feelings and situations of the people on your team and get it done?

Turbo Charged

One of my two wonderful brothers was a motorhead. When he was alive and I was a young girl, I watched in fascination while he was in our garage working on cars or motorcycles. He had a passion for all things fast, and he passed that enchantment down to me.

Although my current car is as ordinary as the day is long, I fantasize about having a turbocharged vehicle.

With a turbine driven device to increase an internal combustion engine’s efficiency and power output, you can really move. The forcing of extra compressed air into the combustion chamber allows for greater speed.

What if I could turbo charge my day? What if I could increase my engine to create a bigger impact and influence on my own performance as a teacher, speaker, writer, wife, and friend?

Well, no more “what if” I am here to tell you that I am boldly stepping out and doing what I coach my clients to do. I am creating more speed and efficiency in my life by clearing the clutter and becoming laser focussed on coaching and writing.

2019 run-bike-kayak race

Some of the steps may seem contradictory, like spending time attending seminars instead of creating them. Perhaps onlookers will see me kayaking up the Cuyahoga River with a beer in my hand and my husband by my side when I could be writing the next chapter of my book. Maybe I will enter another triathlon and you will see me trudging up a steep hill when I should be in my office coaching a couple in need.

Well, don’t ever forget that nutrition, physical exercise, fun with your significant other and all of the other seemingly non-career related activities lead to a clear and focussed mind when it is time to write again. Enjoying all of the other aspects of living is what allows me to flow when I need to.

If you are on board with me, let’s start with clearing out the clutter so that your engine will have greater power. Here are a few steps I have recently taken that have helped tremendously. I would love to hear yours, so please feel free to share below.

  • Do a ‘Marie Kondo” on your closet and in your office. Simplicity breeds clarity.
  • Clean the pantry of foods that no longer serve your waistline. Eating more greens and healthy fats lead to less brain fog and more focus.
  • Include your spouse in decision making and goal setting. Let him or her know what you are all about and how much you want their support. Feeling supported leads to confidence in achieving your goals.
  • Get out of your own way. Ignore the haters and the naysayers and get busy with the plan you have set into place.
This is the “before” picture when I did a Marie Kondo style tidy up of my closet.

In the blink of an eye.

I bet you have heard some old codger use the term blink of an eye when referring to something or other. I have heard it too. When I was in my late twenties and beginning the journey into parenthood, I heard older men and women alike say “Enjoy those babies. It goes by in the blink of an eye.”

I needed to hear that when my husband was complaining about the cheerios and pretzel crumbs all over the car seats in the van and the youngest one was crying to be nursed for the second time within the hour. I needed to be reminded of that when the paycheck only stretched so far and the diapers were so darned expensive.

Those words “in the blink of an eye” would serve me well during sleepless nights, vomiting kids, the chicken pox that I acquired from one of my girls. I needed to be reminded of that as I took more than one trip to the emergency room with our son.

Despite all of the ups and downs of parenthood, I really loved being a mom and just hanging out with those precious, sticky-fingered, runny-nosed bundles of joy. They made me laugh and cry all at the same time. They made my heart feel full in ways I cannot fully describe.

When they became of school age, I just wasn’t ready to hand them over to another person for 7 hours each day. Call me a crazy woman, a hover parent, a control freak or whatever other names you like. I don’t care. I homeschooled them for several years before turning them over to both the public and private school system and guess what? It went by in the blink of an eye!

If you are considering homeschooling your child or children for any length of time, go and do your due diligence. Learn what the rules are in your state. Each state may have different laws and criteria that must be met. Find out if your child can do part-time enrollment in your public school if they show an aptitude for a particular subject you do not feel qualified in. Does your child want to participate in a school sport? They may have to be enrolled in the school for at least a portion of the day.

Also look for your true motives for keeping your child at home. There are as many reasons to homeschool as there are varieties of flowers. Do you want your little rose to bloom at home because she is super smart and your schools do not offer a gifted program?

Is your little petunia a slow learner and you do not want any labels put on him or her during the school tracking system? Although schools are reluctant to call it “tracking”  many still have a system in place or a program that they offer for those children they know may otherwise fall through the cracks.

Maybe you chose to homeschool your sunflower because they are athletically gifted and getting the school day finished quickly allows more time at the ice rink, gymnastics school or swimming pool.

Is your azalea just “special” in some way that you know schools won’t understand? We all bloom at our own pace and only with the proper nurturing.

If you are about to embark on the journey of education at home be prepared for the best and the worst days you will ever have. Some days will float by effortlessly as your lovely students will avidly learn with eager hearts and minds. Other days you will want to scream and wonder if they really are learning anything at all.

As a former homeschool mom, I remember a time I when I was so involved with homeschool groups to make sure that they were being socialized (hysterically stupid term used by people who think homeschooled kids are all reclusive hermits) that I had to step back and remind myself to get some real learning in. It is easy to sign them up for homeschool skating, homeschool 4-H, homeschool Library classes and then wonder why they didn’t get their Math worksheet done before Daddy got home.

I see two particular types of homeschool being the most popular with the third being valid as well.

  1. On-line schools –  Remember that this is not really homeschooling in its truest form. With most online schools you will have teachers other than the parents and the student must be at their computer at specific class times to work with the teacher and the other online learners. This can seem as restrictive as public school and online schools have children take standardized tests. If one of the reasons you are keeping your student at home is because they learn differently, you may be disappointed with virtual schools.
  2. Creating or purchasing a curriculum – I used a combination of purchased material and things I wanted to expose my children to at the beginning of my homeschool experience. My state required that if I did that I must submit an expected agenda of covered material at the start of each year. Then, at the end of the year, I needed a written narrative from a certified teacher to avoid breaking any truancy laws.
  3.  Unschooling – Perhaps the least popular or least understood, this method is for parents who are ok with a student-led approach. That is to say, they learn through play. It may include undirected play, household chores, learning from experience, using their own curiosity and placing little or no emphasis on curricula and typical grading.

A few of the children in our homeschool skating class were “unschooled” for many years and ended up doing quite well. The ones I became friends with ended up going to top colleges, got married, have careers and are lovely individuals. Although they did not follow traditional learning their first 11 or 12 years, they grew and blossomed as all well-nurtured things do.

One of my children “unschooled” for 2 years and is currently thriving in law school. The point is our children learn what they want and what they need despite us pushing our own agendas on them.

Oh! And remember, it goes by in the blink of an eye! Enjoy every minute of the time you put into raising your children. God bless.

Psalm 127:3Children are a heritage from the Lordoffspring a reward from him.”