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Letter from the Publisher Love is in the air! Every day of the year but especially in February! This month’s edition brings you some wonderful love stories as well as our usual articles to make your days a bit brighter and more productive. Our cover couple, newlyweds Beverly and Michael Winlock, share their special day with you. Proving it’s never too late to find your true love. Something I personally can attest to in having just celebrated my own first anniversary with Khaliq.

So if you are young or old, I’m sure you will enjoy this month’s edition.

RAVEN BLAIR GLOVER Publisher

Remember to lead with love and you will find your life a much easier journey.

Raven

Powered by Raven International Media Productions Producer and Founder of Amazing Women of Power, positive programming radio network Subscribe NOW by clicking on the link below to receive your next issue FREE http://amazingwomenmagazine.com

Check out my new FaceBook Page! https://www.facebook.com/pages/RockYour-Interview-Talk/520206921454059

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   February 2016

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ON THE COVER Mr. and Mrs. Winlock, Love and Spice in Midlife! Raven shares a loving interview with old friends who found that love can still be found!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pg 6

Coaches to Watch in 2016 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Nanci Adair Life, Biz Are You Making Self-Care a Priority . . . 18 Michele Pariza Wacek What Is Your Vision—What is Your Mission? . . 20 Claudia Cooley What Is Your Product—Really? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Christina L. Suter

EMPOWERMENT

February Special Love Section! A Legacy of Love, Tragedy and Faithfulness . . 31 Anna Scheller A Deep and Enduring Love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Tracey Doctor My Special Valentine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Stephany “Stevie” Levine

Love Can Be a Many Splendored Thing . . . . . . 23 Michele Downey

Unconditional Love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Janie Lidey

Exercising the Power of Self . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Avalaura Gaither Beharry

Begin It Now - Finding My True Love and Other Miracles Along the Way . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Janie Lidey

LIFESTYLE Forgiveness, Flowers and Candy for Valentines. 29 Mary Smith-Moore

AMAZING MEN

We Didn’t Want To, But We Did! . . . . . . . . . . 43 Vonne Nunn Acid Through a Straw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Sherry Prindle My True Love is a Tough Love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Sherry Prindle

Your Love Relationship is Easier Than You Thought . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Dr. Fred (DocFred) Simkovsky

The Serendipity of Love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

The Story of King Romeo and Queen Charlotte .51 Reggie A. Lacina

MAGAZINE STAFF Published by Raven Blair Glover, Raven Intl. Media Productions Editor-In-Chief, Creative Director Peggy Knudson

February 2016 Amazing Women

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Beverly and Michael Winlock

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ON THE COVER

Finding Love and Spice in Midlife By Raven Blair Glover Have you ever met somebody who you felt like you can spend eternity with or maybe you’ve already have? Some consider that a soulmate. To others they are simply those who deserve the very best from us. They can be romantic partners, best friends or even just wonderful people who pass through one’s life and make a genuine difference. But most often when we think of soulmates we think of the one that we’re supposed to spend the rest of our life with. Kenny Logins said a soulmate is the one person whose love is powerful enough to motivate you to meet your soul to do the emotional work of self-discovery and awakening. That’s what Kenny Logins says. What do you say? What do you feel your soulmate is going to possess? Who is that soulmate for you? Have you met him or her yet and they slipped right by you? Julie Dylan says our universe grants every soul a twin, a reflection of themselves. The kindred spirit and no matter where they are or how far were they are from each even if they are in different dimensions they will always find one another again. Well, I am so thrilled today, as part of our empowered couple series to introduce you to my dear friends, the beautiful couple on the cover. Mr. and Mrs. Winlock. I’m going to tell you a little bit about them and then you get to hear from this amazingly loving couple yourself.

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ON THE COVER Michael Winlock and Beverly a.k.a. Cinnamon have known each other since the 1980s. Michael was a businessman extraordinaire owning several types of businesses through the years, and Cinnamon his now beautiful bride majored in human services at Baldwin Wallace Collage and became a mental health counselor. Who knew that 30 years later for Michael and his new bride Cinnamon, finding each other again was more than destiny, it was true love.

In that timeframe that we were apart, we accomplished a lot. We had Families and children, grandchildren and we both felt very contented and very happy with our lives. Michael:

Well as you know things can happen. One night I was encouraged to go to a social function that I actually didn’t have any interest in and really didn’t feel like going. However, after much persuasion from my friend I decided to go. I wasn’t looking for anybody or looking for anything. The common denominator was that same night Beverly’s best friend was performing at the same social function.

Beverly:

Yes that’s right. A good friend of mine had invited me to come hear her sing and after convincing myself to go and support her I said okay, I would come out just for a little while.

Michael:

Who would have known at this big function there would be a beautiful lady sitting in front of me as I stood in a crowded room and that beautiful women would turn out to be Beverly, aka Cinnamon.

Raven:

[Laughs]

Beverly:

[Laughs]

Michael:

She turned around it really caught me off guard and she recognized me. From that point on, we started making lovely music.

You see they’ve given each other a piece of their soul, which is much better and far deeper than giving one another a piece of their heart. Hey Mr. & Mrs. Winlock—welcome—how are you? Beverly:

Hey Raven, how are you?

Michael: Hello Raven. Raven:

Beverly:

Welcome to the Empowered Couple special edition. We’re excited to have you two on the February cover of Amazing Women Magazine and I’ve got to say you two deserve it because your story is simply amazing. Not often do two people meet, drift apart and then find themselves back together. I’ve got to ask you though, what took you so long to get to the altar? Oh dear. How do we make a long story short? Michael and I met some time ago and we had a great friendship but life’s journey took us on different paths. As you said, Michael was a business man with different endeavors and I went on to work in human services as a social worker.

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ON THE COVER Raven: I love that Michael, lovely music. To all of you tuning in, I met Michael years ago in college. I don’t even know when that was how many years ago and then years later, several years later I had the blessing of meeting Beverly a.k.a. Cinnamon. We became dear friends. I had not seen Michael again until I went – let me see, I think when I went to Cleveland after we did mom’s memorial service and I saw them together. I just had joy inside. They’re a beautiful, beautiful couple inside and out and I’m just so excited that you guys are together and that we had a chance to come to your wedding. It hasn’t even been a month now right?

Michael: Yes. Beverly: Well actually we got married November 26th. Michael: Seems like a few days, we’re just on a joyous roller coaster ride, enjoying ourselves. Raven: I love that. I wanted to talk to you in hopes of empowering and inspiring others that have given up on love, giving up on ever finding their soulmate. Maybe they’ve been in a marriage that has been through a lot of struggles and challenges, tough times and they don’t believe in true love anymore. Been there myself at one time so I get why you feel that way. However, I believe that anyone can turn things around if they are truly in love with one another.

As much as we think how hard it is to give our hearts, it’s a lot harder to give our souls. You know, when we are in tune with how your soulmate feels before they even mention it. This is what I feel watching and being with you guys. I know there’s been some challenges and struggles so let’s talk about how you guys get to the challenge of okay didn’t work out before or you know, should we even give it a try now? Tell us a little bit about that Cinnamon. Beverly: Well actually, when I turned around and Michael was standing directly behind me. It was just like he had never left my side. Raven: That’s what I’m talking about. Beverly: I had always been attracted to Michael but as I said; life paths took us different directions. So this particular night as he walked me to my car, he gave me a card and asked me to call him. I took several days and thought about it because as Michael was saying, we were both content with our lives and doing just fine. Both had been blessed with families that we have had and children and grand-

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ON THE COVER

February 2016 Amazing Women 10


ON THE COVER children. But I finally decided to call him several days later and the first words out of his mouth was “what took you so long?”

Michael: I think when you mentioned the word soul, that really takes it to a whole different level.

Michael is just so funny and so warmhearted that as our life begin to meld together, it was unexpectedly and it was just so, so perfect.

Enjoy the remaining part of this interview via the audio link below.

Raven:

A whole different one yes, yes.

What Michael is bringing to this relationship is more than anything I have ever experienced. You can find a mate that may be loving and strong, you can find one that makes you laugh, but I never found or had the complete package, it just seems like our souls complete one another effortlessly. So it’s just been wonderful and we’ve actually been together almost five years now but we did just get married November 26h. Raven: Yes, which brings us back to that #1 question, what took you too so long to get married? Michael, you didn’t answer—your turn.

To listen to this entire interview, click on the link below: Raven Talks with Newlyweds Michael and Beverly Winlock HERE

Michael: Well you know, that’s a very interesting question. To be honest with you Raven, it feels like we were married before we even got there. Beverly: It does. We just feel connected. Michael: You know, because we really have not missed a beat. I think you gave a really good choice of words when you said you give someone your soul because we all have given someone our love. Raven:

Uh-hum.

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Coaches to Watch in 2016 By Nanci Adair Who is it going to be? Who is the next Tony Robbins or Iyanla Vanzant? Do you want it to be you? If not aren't you curious? I know I am.

I also know that anybody who is a somebody had a somebody they watched, admired, followed, or were mentored by. In setting out to write this article I decided to interview as many up-and-coming coaches as possible. A number of these interviews I conducted over blab.im If you'd like to hear them in their entirety go to blab enter UKandu and my name, Nanci Adair in the search field and listen to your hearts content.

Back in 2002 I served on Dave Buck’s research and development team. Dave is President of Coachville, one of the earliest and largest coach training programs. Dave was coached by me, using my GoalModel method of Life coaching, on the Coaching Caffeine show. My first coach was Pam Richarde who at the time was President of the International Coach Federation known as ICF. After delivering a presentation on Beyond Emotional Intelligence in Long Beach, California Pam compared me to Cheryl Richardson, also a former ICF president, and told me Cheryl presented at the very same ICF chapter. All this being said, I did not obtain monetary success, nor rise to the stature of coaches with name recognition like Cheryl Richardson.

One of the coaches I interviewed asked me with what authority I was writing this article. I heard her question through the ears of my inner critic. I heard her asking, What gives you the right? Who do you think you are to make this selection? So I’ve decided to start out by telling you exactly who I think I am. My name is Nanci Adair, executive producer and host of UKandu radio on the Amazing Women of Power network. There is a virtual alphabet soup before and after my name, REVBAMALCPCCCSACCCUG.

You see life happened and tragedy struck. In 2002 when my child was just five years old his father died in relapse to drug addiction. Life reflected my own worst nightmare and my coaching business tanked. Reduced to accepting welfare and struggling to provide, I took a ‘regular’ job in a nearby hospital. Thirteen years later The Recovery Center where I worked closed in June of 2015. With my son now a sophomore in college I’ve decided to return to coaching . Is it too late for me? Will I rise to success once more? These questions formed the desire to February 2016 Amazing Women 13


BUSINESS research what makes a coach, a successful coach? What is it that makes a coach become a household word? I don’t know the answers but what I can tell you is the # 1 Pitfall most coaches fall into. Countless Coaches fall into the pit of wishful thinking. Coaches want to believe the contribution they have to make in the world will be enough to attract clients. Sadly they are wrong. We manifest what we believe not what we want to believe. So next let me tell you three key ingredients for success that the Coaches to Watch in 2016 all share in common.

Key # Three, the Coaches to Watch in 2016 appreciate that it takes a team to grow and prosper. The Coaches to Watch in 2016 have all followed in the footsteps and invested in coaches that have gone before them. Coaches to Watch in 2016 understand the value of investing in yourself, your personal growth and your business. I interviewed a number of coaches with unique, inspiring and creative coaching methods. Sheppard Lake an Equus coach involves horses in her coaching process. Clients gain clarity, overcome fear, set healthy boundaries and connect with their heart and intuition. Sheppard explains that you can not lie or present a false self to these incredibly sensitive animals. Then there is branding and dedicated hard work. Having a catchy name for your style of coaching is for some a completely natural evolving process. I’m going to use the examples of the gals I call my three C’s. COPcoach, CRISIScoach and the big C, CANCERcoach. LADYCOPcoach, Autumn Clifford has age, beauty and the law on her side. Autumn chose a career in law enforcement in order to be a positive role model for young women. Yet at 25, she felt her work was not lighting up her life. That is when she hired her first business coach, Lexi D’Angelo who Autumn said, “inspired the crap out of me.” Now Autumn hopes to reach young women everywhere and help them to succeed in business.

3 KEY Ingredients for Success Key # One, the Coaches to Watch in 2016 have found their purpose in life and are passionate about the contribution they have to offer the world. Key # Two, the Coaches to Watch in 2016 know that key #1 purpose and passion alone are not enough. They have each created a unique brand, work hard everyday to both generate clients and serve them. The Coaches to Watch in 2016 both talk there talk and walk their walk and they do so with courage and humility.

CRISIScoach, Faydra Koenig works with celebrities and professional athletes when they find themselves in a bad spot. Faydra’s motivation came from having no one to turn to when she was faced with a crisis of national proportion. In 2008 her husband was sentenced to 43 years in prison for a political crime. Faydra became collateral damage, received hate mail and was fired from her job. When Faydra’s clients complete their healing process they find ways to pay it forward, write books, become professional speakers, establish foundations. February 2016 Amazing Women 14


BUSINESS Which brings me to mention our BIG C - CANCERcoach, Jeannine Walston who like Faydra came through difficult times. Jeannine was diagnosed and treated for a brain tumor at age 17. Eighteen years later she is more than a cancer survivor. Jeannine said she used to give, give, give and all on a volunteer basis. Now she recognizes the need to generate a greater income in order to reach and serve a greater number of people.

The more aware of her need for balance. Heidi makes time for family, for exercise, for meditation and for feeding her body with nutritious food. In addition to being nominated for the Amazing Women of Power host of the year award Heidi has been on television this past year and according to Heidi this is only the beginning. Heidi has no qualms about saying she would like to be a guest on Oprah and one day in the not too distant future to have her own show like Rachel Ray.

You can start to imagine how difficult a selection process this has been. So we are almost there…are you can waiting with baited breath? First let me make a few more honorable mentions. A special shout out to Dan Mason of www.creativesoulcoachin.com who left a lucrative career to follow his soul. Bonita Lehmann who calls herself your Dream Big Coach & Accountability Partner. Kari Miller an ADHD Coach who is a resource queen and Tiffany Hammer who is rolling out her healing with crystals coaching program entitled ROCK ON. No more waiting. Here they are folks. COACH TO WATCH IN 2016 Heidi Symonds. During my interview with Heidi I looked over at the Amazing Women of Power banner. In the bottom left-hand corner are the words passion, purpose and prosperity. It occurred to me that we should put a plus sign between the words passion and purpose and then an equal sign in front of prosperity. So that it would read, Passion + Purpose = Prosperity. Heidi personifies this concept. Heidi lives her purpose, to nourish yourself for life, every day. She has known the struggle of ignoring her own needs while caring for just about everybody else. She has lost 100 unwanted pounds. The majority of people who lose weight find it again. Not Heidi. She maintains a healthy body and lifestyle. While her business is growing rapidly, Heidi is all

Heidi is quick to toot the horn of others who have made their contribution to her formidable rising success including, Amber Lileystrom www.brandlovestudio.com and Lisa Fraley: Legal Love www.lisafraley.com Heidi has invested in Bschool with Marie Forleo and participated along with 10,000 viewers in Kate Northrop’s Facebook Money Love Challenge. Heidi had this to say about our mentor Raven, "Raven Blair Glover and the entire Amazing Women of Power Family are a huge part of how I found my voice and having a radio show allows me to share it with the world. It's not always comfortable, but Raven somehow always makes it possible.” COACH TO WATCH IN 2016 Tiamo DeVettori

Tiamo is a singer, song writer, coach and creator of the Fearless Speakers Academy. During our interview Tiamo became passionate as he described the pressure he felt to choose between being a performer, a speaker or a coach. Tiamo February 2016 Amazing Women 15


BUSINESS refused. Instead he followed his heart and has found a way to incorporate the full expression of his many talents. During his recent Fearless Speaker’s Emergence event in San Diego Tiamo shared story after story. My personal favorite was his Liger story. Tiamo worked for $8 an hour as a Liger mascot, wearing a half tiger, half lion costume in public soliciting business for a sporting goods company. The miracle of this story was seeing this highly successful entrepreneur on stage and through Tiamo’s humble disclosure learn that this Liger story occurred only 7 years ago when Tiamo was 32. Tiamo now encourages coaches and people everywhere to invest in overcoming fear.

Michelson. Tiamo has coined a new phrase referring to Christian, Shawn, Lisa and others as his frientors. COACH TO WATCH IN 2016 Mary Smith Moore Mary calls herself a FAITH AND FORGIVENESS coach. With such a powerful message Mary and I both kept veering off the subject of being a Coach to Watch in 2016 and focused on the importance of her message. As a Faith and Forgiveness coach Mary brings our attention to the message and not the messiness of resentment, hurt and anger. Focus on the message not the mess.

One of his signature quotes is, Run Toward Fear NOT Away From It.

Another story brought the audience back to when Tiamo was 13 years old playing the piano in a recital. 10 seconds in he forgot the music. Regardless he kept playing. Aware Chopin could not be improvised he was humiliated in front of friends and family. He could not erase from his mind the scowl on his music teachers brow and stayed clear of performing music for over a decade. He credits his inspiration to return to playing music to the encouragement of his buddy Ray. When asked the question who does Tiamo watch he immediately named several people. At the top of the list was his close friend, Christian

Mary has a wonderful sense of humor and said she was a poster child for unforgiveness. Mary harbored deep resentments and kept a list of people she would not forgive. She read this list every night before going to sleep. This may sound humorous to you now and I know I certainly had a good laugh. Only can you imagine how dark Mary’s heart must have been to keep a list and read it every night? Now Mary www.christiansdestinedtoreign.com teaches how the mess is often what provides the motivation to hear the message that God (your Higher Power, Higher Self) has for you. February 2016 Amazing Women 16


BUSINESS The coaches selected shared one more common denominator, adversity seemed to be a springboard to success. Their losses became their triumph. Heidi’s 100pounds, Mary’s 100 pounds of non-forgiveness and Tiamo’s 100 pounds of heart. This gives me hope. Hope that grandiosity and humility can co-exist as long as humility takes the first step forward. Hope that it is never too late. Hope that if I can do it UKANDU it 2 and I’ll be watching. The selection of Coaches to Watch in 2016 was difficult because there are so many truly talented coaches in the world making a fantabulous contribution. My mentor, Raven Blair Glover, the creator of Amazing Women of Power Magazine suggests I write a monthly coaching column for the magazine and name a coach to watch each month. If you think this is a good idea and want to be considered as a coach to watch, be in touch with me, tweet, twitter, blab it up. Coaching coaches and creatives from around the globe to get big dreams off the back burner. If you are ready for a ‘no excuses’ coach, Nanci may be a good fit for you. The reality that wishful thinking is not enough propelled Nanci to study psychology, coaching and ministry. The power of imagination when backed up with ‘feet on the ground’ strategies can shape reality. In her book, Achieve The Summit of Your Dreams and on UKandu radio Nanci shares proven techniques to help you create your vision of success and harness the power to manifest your dreams.

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Life, Biz… Are You \Making Self-Care a Priority?

Walking the dogs (combining exercise, being outside AND spending time with the pups — a big home run!)

Taking Epsom salt baths

Playing with my creativity journal

Taking care of my health (drinking lots of water, sleeping 8 hours, acupuncture and chiropractic appointments, etc.)

By Michele Pariza Wacek Love is in the air! With this being the month of love, it seemed like a perfect time to talk about self-love and self-care. Self-love and self-care is important for everyone, but it’s even more important when you’re doing intense personal or spiritual development work. I personally am doing a great deal of inner work right now so I can bust past my current glass ceiling. And when that’s going on, it’s important to make sure you give yourself some extra special love.

So, what does self-care look like? Well, everyone has a different routine but one thing I think is crucial is doing things that you enjoy AND make you feel good. So, for instance, here are some of the ways I incorporate self-care in my life in no particular order:  

Daily meditation Exercise (currently yoga and Zumba)

Reading

Spending time with loved ones

Your self-care may look very different from mine, but that’s okay. You just need to feel like at the end of the day you’re taking excellent, exquisite care of yourself. Now, I know how difficult it can be to take that time for yourself — I struggled with this too. For years I felt like any time I took away from the biz that looked like self-care (even just going to an exercise class during “work” hours) felt like I was somehow “betraying” my clients. It took me an embarrassingly long time to finally get it through my head that driving myself to exhaustion was NOT serving anyone, including and especially my clients. (It’s like that whole “put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others” — if you collapse, you can’t help anyone.) October 2015 Amazing Women 18


BUSINESS So for me, I had to do it in baby steps. But, once I started, I made the happy discovery that the more I took care of myself first, the better I served my clients, so then it was a lot easier to make sure I was getting myself taken care of. Now, I’m taking this a little deeper for myself as part of this year’s Play/Fun theme, so I’ll keep you posted on how that goes. (Yes, putting Play/ Fun first is definitely in the self-care category.) Until next time.- See more at: http://www.michelepw.com/blog/2015/02/lifebiz-and-the-pursuit-of-happiness-are-youmaking-self-care-a-priority/#more-2153

Michele PW (Pariza Wacek) is the best-selling author of the “Love-Based Copywriting" books that teach people how to write copy that attracts, inspires and invites, and the owner of Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC, the premiere direct response copywriting and marketing agency through which she guides entrepreneurs in attracting more clients and boosting their business. Grab your FREE Love-Based Biz Kit here: http://www.MichelePW.com

For one month of Free Access to Thrive15.com and it’s 1,000 short video lessons use Jim Cathcart’s code word: Acorn. February 2016 Amazing Women 19 P


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What is Your Vision.. What’s Your Mission? By Claudia Cooley

and my mother wasn’t well. I started at 12 as a cashier for a small café (I loved playing with the money even though it wasn’t mine), became a waitress then moved into the world of retail in a chain fashion store.

Do you have big dreams…. That are waiting to explode from you? Do you want amazing relationships, health and wealth? Every successful person I’ve met shared a passion for setting goals knowing that those goals would carry them to their big dream or dreams. On my Rev Up For Success Radio show, I’m impressed weekly with the stories of these greats. They are just like you and me; they have hit some potholes and on many occasions had to figure out how to maneuver around the roadblocks. But they know where they want to end up and keep their eye on the gold and goal.

People have often asked me how I accomplish so many things at the same time. Or it appears that way to them. At first I’m tempted to scratch my head and wonder the same thing and yet I know I’ve learned over the years the power of setting goals and creating a sensible action plan to get there. And hoe do I keep all the balls in the air that are important for living the life I love? I keep my eye on the balls, my eye on my health, my eye on building my business successfully and by all means, giving lots of attention to my amazing relationships. It takes a plan and working my plan… I begin to think about when I started juggling many balls and wearing several hats at the same time. When I was in high school it was imperative that I have a job since my father had died

At the same time I worked hard to get good grades so my mom wouldn’t worry. I was V.P. of the Girl’s League, Year Book advisor for the Ad sales that you find at the back, cheerleader, active in my church group and ironed uniforms for truck drivers (before perm press). My guess accomplishing many things at once is either in my DNA or a learned trait. Either way, I’ve been on this path for many years and it is truly exciting. After years of being a contracted corporate trainer for Disney, Nordstrom and Broadway stores I became aware of my passion to teach and coach. Then I felt compelled to inspire the younger minds and chose to teach Marketing and Small business at the high school level. No wonder I do what I do today.

Teaching and coaching entrepreneurs how to take their dream and put the results oriented action steps in place to achieve significant outcomes is really my forte. With years of experience, encouraging people to plan their work and work their February 2016 Amazing Women 20


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plan… I totally believe this is the answer to success. A big dream, A big Why and a Plan = Results. I love working with entrepreneurs that are doing more than one thing. Maybe they have a job and are starting a business or may be building two businesses at the same time. Giving them the tools to embrace the whole dream and realize their successes makes my life “juicy”. That’s why I say “Together is Better”… I’ve had the support for myself and now I can provide the model for a successful journey. I know my mission is to inspire others to reach their ultimate dreams…. What’s Your Vision… What’s your Mission?

Claudia Cooley is on a mission to inspire you to live your most empowered life. As an accomplished Professional Success Expert, and vibrant speaker she founded Claudia Cooley, Inc., a Professional Success and life Enrichment company providing programs to optimize your confidence, relationships, wealth and health, for your spectacular results. For over three decades, Claudia has worked with 1000’s across America to transform and accelerate their success including working with major companies i.e., Disney, Nordstrom, State Agencies as well as taught in classrooms…with your bottom line her biggest consideration. To challenge others to live their personal excellence Claudia recently wrote “From Dud to Stud… Revving up for Success” and recorded the “Rev Up for Success… Heighten Your Confidence” CD series.

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What is Your Product Really? By Christina L. Suter When I was new to the small business management industry, when I would network and have conversations with people about what I do, I learned quickly that I didn’t really know what my product was. When asked what I did or what my product was, I would say “I talk with small business owners” and when someone would ask me to tell them more or explain to them what my process, system, or method of operation was, I couldn’t. I was left thinking, how do I explain my product? I ask you to clearly define your product. Get out a piece of paper and write down the steps that you walk through and that your clients walk through, because that’s where your product begins. What do you do when you first start talking to your clients? What happens next and what do they get out of it? What value do they get out of each step? Your clients need to trust that you have the process and drive to move them along and to get them to a place they haven’t been before. As a leader for them, you bring greater value to their business and more clarity to their life. Your goal is to be paid for your time and fulfill your purpose and you accomplish that by being able to show and prove how your work improves their work. How do you tell the customer what you do? Once you’re clear on the features of your product, now look at your product from their position. Describe the service you offer or product you have in a way that shows them what value they will get out of it. Take for example a product as simple as a highlighter. A highlighter helps your client to more easily find the important part of their document, which in turn helps them to save time. That is the practical need

that your product meets, it states what it does and how it directly affects their work. But your product is more than the physical thing you’re delivering. Speak also to the higher need of what your product offers, which is the part that helps them fulfill their vision. Is their higher need clarity, freedom, abundance, to be a better parent, etc.? Speak to their higher need and talk to them about how it helps them be a better person, and to run a better business, etc... When you are clear on what exactly your product is, not only are you better able to communicate to people who inquire, but also you are better able to helps clients see the value your product adds to their life and business

Christina L. Suter is the founder and CEO of Ground Level Consulting in Pasadena, CA. Christina works with small business owners to improve business performance and work/life balance.

Focusing on the unique challenges facing small business owners. Christina helps clients increase profits, reduce management hours and improve business and quality of service. During her 20 years of successful small business experience, Christina has developed a variety of programs based on key fundamental principles for building and managing a small business and meeting personal goals.

Visit http://groundlevelcoaching.com for more information and to contact Christina.

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EMPOWERMENT

Love Can Be A Many Splendored Thing By Michele Downey This is a joyous month, the month of February and Valentine’s Day.

Love has by popular culture been defined often as a feeling. Most love songs and romance novels refer to this fabulous and wonderful feeling. It “makes the world go round” as the song says. However, the truth is that for me I am keenly aware that love is an action word, too. Love demonstrates itself by the many selfless acts for others. It is this kind of love that the world needs more of, in my opinion.

As a marriage and family therapist, I see so many couples, who are still looking for what happened to the “feeling” and the fantasy of what they had hoped and expected in their marriage. Many people, depending on their emotional maturity, look at the other person to fulfill them or to complete them. They are very good at focusing on what the other one is doing or not doing to cause problems. I try to discern what that fantasy actually looked like at one time and I attempt to get them to verbalize, at least to me, what they had

thought. Whatever they were raised with, most people model what they saw. Maybe it was in direct response to NOT do what their parents had done. It doesn’t matter. The thought is that we marry the people who are to be our best teachers. We have lessons we need to learn and relationships are the only way we truly learn relationships are the only way we truly learn these lessons. these lessons. In isolation, we can theorize but the messy job of being in a relationship shaves our ego and forces our character growth. Like diamonds born under pressure or gold refined by the fire, for better or for worse, we learn. It is how we learn and what we choose to see that makes all the difference in the world. They say we have the disease of perception. We have to look carefully and be taught how to see again. This is often difficult because many couples truly do not know what “healthy” is. I am privileged to help in that learning. I assist to re-parent them, in some cases, so they start to learn what that looks like. Often my own actions of love, respect, and firm boundaries are the first time anyone has ever encountered these things. It is amazing in my group therapies, how often, people will say to me that this was the first time they had ever encountered a conflict actually being resolved and peacefully. It is the first time they have ever experienced unconditional love, being in a non -judgmental atmosphere, but still being held accountable for their commitments. This is what healthy families are supposed to be and role model. Sometimes, we are not so lucky to have had that kind of home. I certainly wasn’t. But I found some wonderful February 2016 Amazing Women 23


EMPOWERMENT and I learned. I tell people they can do it too. Sometimes they come in, as a last ditch attempt to “save the marriage”. These couples are similar to the bad damage in a car accident and the emergency triage in the hospital afterwards. Sometimes it is simply too late. In which case, I assist them to move on peacefully and amiably especially if there are children involved. This in itself is difficult at best. I try to reassure them that if they can do this with respect and dignity, the legacy of generational abuse will not continue. For the sake of their children, most parents will listen. That is if they are not complicated with the problems of mood disorders or addictions. But that is another subject and another article. However, even with these, people can break the patterns. But there is one thing that always can improve a situation regardless of what is happening...and that is loving and respecting oneself. This is a foreign concept to many people. It is especially difficult when abuse is present. Abuse, of course, does not involve what most people think: physical. The more sophisticated people are way too smart for that. The financial abuse, isolation, disrespect, and subtle passive aggressive ways are the most common types of abuse. People don’t even know it is called abuse. Most people will need lots and lots of support from qualified support people including the professional specializing in abuse. As a California domestic violence certified entity, I have gone through weeks and weeks and yearly careful training. What I was most surprised when I first started this education was that couples counseling in the same room is NOT indicated when there is a suspicion of any kind of abuse. There will be more abuse because what is said in the office will be used to abuse that person. I usually see this in my office first. I then, will insist on seeing each person alone for a period of time, while I ascertain what is going on in the home.

This is the dark side of my work. This is the part very few people want to discuss while the world celebrates the beauty of love. What I get to do, however, is get really clear on what it means to love oneself. Not the selfish kind of ego-based narcissism, but the kind that believes you are a Child of God, you are sacred and so is your life. You have a purpose. I believe this is what the real celebration is supposed to be about. The first and most important is to take time for the spiritual life, with items that fill the soul, like prayer, meditation and silence. Some form of exercise, like yoga, dance or aerobics, and the time to eat properly and regularly are the basics of self care. Good sleep hygiene and getting 8 hours of sleep a night are basic. Very few people actually do this. I suggest that they do something for themselves that they can do everyday that gives them pleasure. Find some music or hobbies, and return to doing things that fill your soul. Take a class. Fill your circle with people who like the same things you do. I’m often surprised at how long it took me to practice these things. I knew all of this. My clients also usually know. But doing it on a daily basis and knowing are two entirely different things. I needed a support system that could hold me accountable for my changes. February 2016 Amazing Women 24


EMPOWERMENT Surrounding oneself with a true support team or learning how to form one is one of my tasks in education. Usually this is not the family or the work environment, although they can be part of this support. Having a mentor who helps with the regular inventory of self is incredibly useful. This person can guide and discerning what bothers you and what is your part that you play in the problem.

Even if the other person is 90% the problem, you still have a part. It is knowledge of this part and the ability to change that part, is where the real power is. Not to find guilt or someone to blame but to see how the pattern is producing and re-producing itself. Most people are shocked when they have this inventory done. Happily, they can be free of the resentments that build up. This resentment is the kind that cuts off the “Sunlight of the Spirit” and often leads to depression and illness, not to mention bitterness and unhappiness. So, loving oneself is about focusing on your self. They have a saying that one finger pointed out at someone else is equal to three fingers pointed at yourself. “Hocus Pocus, where’s your focus” was what I was told. Let me change the things in myself first then I can clearly see. Focusing on what is right with a situation is important. When there is not abuse present, focusing on the good things that someone is doing and focusing on their good qualities can change things around. The focus of the

half -full not the half empty glass is a great example. If abuse is present, take action and tell someone. That is an entirely different story. Being of service to others, while working on your self is the best way to get out of the way. In other words, while getting out of the way of your “problem” person, and letting G (good) O (orderly) D (Direction) take over. While you aren’t thinking about “you-you-you”, you can help another person who may occupy your mind enough to forget your problems for a little while. It does great things for your self -esteem and you actually may be helpful. So, no matter what is happening, I have found the following to be true. As long as you take good care of yourself, have someone help with a personal inventory and learn to love your self, things will tend to get better. You will be empowering yourself and will be of service to others. This kind of love is truly “a many splendored thing”.

Michele Downey is an RN, MAC, LMFT in private practice since 1987 and a nurse since 1977. She has been producing a series of meditational music and instructional audio’s in concert with the Australian recording artists, “The Chill Sessions”. As the founder of her own Recovery Life Coaching School, her coaches specialize in families affected by mood disorders and addictions. In 2011, she also expanded her offices to include LA and San Diego. She lives in Hollywood, in a 30,000 sq. foot art studio, with Bob Womack, President of Steve Kaufman Art and RawSakStudio inc.,World’s Premier Pop Artists.

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EMPOWERMENT

Exercising the Power of Self By Patricia Varlack

5 reasons why we need to "dig" ourselves.

Our desires and longings will remain hidden and suppressed leading to unhappiness and a dull life. Not knowing who we are leads us to look for happiness in people and things outside ourselves, which in turn only leads to disappointments and more unhappiness.

During a session with a client of mine, I asked her what she really wanted to do with her life. She told me very unemotionally that she wanted to just do better at work. Though our session had to do with dealing with issues from the past and not with goal setting or achievement, I felt lead to ask her this question. I knew from her answer and the manner in which she answered, that her answer was not really the truth. After a few minutes of consultation, once we dealt with the reason why she actually came to see me, she spontaneously and happily declared with a spark in her eyes that she really wants to own her own business to help people who have certain issues. This lady's evolvement right in front my eyes, shows a few of the reasons why it is so important to deal with issues from the past and embrace our true selves. And to find our true selves, we need to dig and scoop in the rubble of issues from the past like of hurt, pain, disappointments, frustrations, fears, brainwashing, etc. The following 5 reasons show the importance of digging for our true selves: 1. So we can be happy. We can only be happy if we express our true selves and if we know who we truly are. Past issues and or negative programming that are not dealt with, will cloud our minds of our true selves.

2. To live life on purpose. A life where we consciously decide what we want to be, do, have and passionately go after such. If we do not live on purpose, we run the risk of not thinking clearly and making long lasting unhealthy and wrong decisions. This only leads to living unfulfilled lives, lives of waste, drudgery and regret without a sense of direction. And for a few even a life of burn out as we chase after the wind. 3. To live our lives instead of someone else's. When we are still buried, we will live someone else's life to subconsciously please that person or persons and still have these same people February 2016 Amazing Women 26


EMPOWERMENT not be happy with us. And when the person who we are trying to please is not happy, we tend to try harder and so remain in a viscous cycle of trying to please without ever achieving our goal of making the other person(s) happy. 4. To bless those we were meant to bless. Contrary to this, others will miss the blessing of us using our true potential to bless them. Our lives are not meant to be lived for ourselves only but for others as well. We were given gifts and talents to bless others. If we are not walking in our purpose, these gifts and talents will not be used to potential and people who were meant to benefit will lose out on being blessed.

5. To experience God and thus experience miracles. Once we know who we are, we can consciously align ourselves with Him. Otherwise we will miss out on experiencing God. It is only through us that God can express Himself. And He can only do this when we are our true selves aligned with Him, when we are one with the Universe. As for my client, I checked in with her after a few weeks and she was happy and flowing again in her mind and life. She is on her way to passionately work out her goal, not based on what others want her to be but based on who she discovered she is and what she wants.

Patricia Varlack resides in the Dutch Caribbean where she is the director of Instruction Center for the Wise, where she is teacher, conference speaker and life coach, who helps people who hit rock bottom in life to overcome and achieve big goals in life. Patricia is also President of Greater Works Foundation, which promotes writing through organizing writers conferences and writers critique groups. Patricia has published 8 books including “How to Gain Spiritual Muscles”, “The Different Faces of a Dysfunctional Family”, “How to Cook and Eat Your Boss”, a quarterly Christian women’s magazine called “Greater Things” and writes on numerous topics for local newspapers. You can follow Patricia on facebook and twitter.

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LIFESTYLE

Forgiveness Flowers and Candy for Valentines

3.

By Mary Smith-Moore What comes after "sorry" will, of course, depend on what's happened, but there are five tips for effective communication to keep in mind: 4.

1.

Pick your moment wisely. We often hear, "Strike while the iron is hot." With apology, it's the opposite. Wait until the conflict has cooled. This helps you prepare what to say -- not just by way of apology but also by offering solutions or compromises.

2. Be specific. In the heat of an argument, most everyone can be caught tossing about the "always-es" and "nevers" -- as though it is even possible for someone to "always" or "never" do anything! Be careful not to generalize when offering an apology. Be as specific as possible. For example, "I'm sorry that I raised my voice but you are always cutting me off midsentence" might become "I'm sorry that I raised my voice yesterday when we were disagreeing about childcare for next week. I felt frustrated because I had not said all I

Speak from your own perspective. The example above illustrates another critical part of an effective apology -- using "I" statements. Don't blame your partner for your behavior. When you apologize, talk about emotions you experienced. Because "I" statements are about your emotions, not about the other person, they are hard (er) to debate. They help in moving from conflict to resolution -- and achieving forgiveness. What you don't say speaks volumes. No matter what words follow "I am sorry," you also will say a lot with eye contact, body posture, the tone and volume of your voice, and facial expression. Research has shown that we are awfully good at reading others' non-verbal cues. We respond to these cues not only with our thoughts, but with our physiology (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure). Look your partner in the eye. Take an open stance. Speak calmly. Listen.

5. Put yourself in your partner's position. When apologizing, be sure to imagine standing in your partner's shoes -- during the conflict and the apology. From your partner's perspective, what warrants an apology? How did your actions make him or her feel? What does your partner need to feel understood and considered? Mary Smith-Moore, Founder and Executive Producer and Host of Christian’s Destined to Reign is the 2014 Talk Show Host of the Year. For A Free 40 Minute Forgiveness Road Map For The Wounded Heart Text 72727 enter 4give. Remember The Weak Can Never Forgive Only The Strong Can Forgive And Let Go. Set Your Self Free And Move On, Get Unstuck And Leave That Packages Behind February 2016 Amazing Women 29 P


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Stories of Love

A Legacy of Love, Tragedy and Faithfulness By Anna Scheller 10 Day, 38 years… I remember watching my mother as she walked around the little circle in the back yard where she and Dad grew the herbs they used for the Italian dishes.My children looked forward to the authentic Italian dishes they made for us when we visited from Texas. My heart ached to see her out there. Alone. In the winter. By herself. Just 3 weeks before, Dad lay in the hospital. A year before that, when I learned I was pregnant with our 6th child, my uncle called to tell me that my father was losing his battle against chronic lung disease. The dreaded day had finally come. We were moving out of our rental home in Alaska to quarters on post, packing boxes for the move, and suitcases for the trip to Washington, as my dad lay dying in a hospital. Mom stayed faithfully by his side, as he breathed his last. We stayed after the funeral to spend Christmas with her and help her sort through all the stuff he had accumulated through the years.Now Mom was walking through the backyard, all alone. Their story began 38 years earlier. My father, then 27 years old, picked up a photo from his mother’s desk. “Who is this, Ma?” he asked. “Oh, that’s Gianni,” she replied in broken English. “The daughter of my friend” “What friend?” Dad’s mother, Anna, came to America from a small village near Sorrento, Italy. Anna grew up

with Maria, my mother’s mom. Anna’s older sister , Luisa, had passed away, leaving 3 children behind. At her own mother’s urging, Anna married her sister’s husband and moved to Brooklyn, New York, to raise his children. She and my grandfather, Salvatore, had another eight children, of which my father was her third child. Anna missed her home and stayed in touch with her friend, Maria, through letters. Mom was the oldest of Maria’s five children, and the only girl. She quit school in the 4th grade to help her mother at home. As the only girl, she was watched closely by her brothers, and once, was dragged home by her father when her brothers reported to him she was meeting a boyfriend in secret. Mom longed for freedom, and ached to come to America. One day in May of 1959, her mother, Maria, sent a picture of my then 22 year old mother to Anna. This picture turned my dad’s head. And soon, Giovanna, my mother received a letter from this dashing young man in America. On September 1st, 1959, they met for the first time. Dad proposed. Mom accepted. 9 days later, on September 10th, they were married in a little chapel near the little village where my grandmothers and my mother grew up. The next 38 years flew by. Mom and Dad became the proud parents of 4 beautiful little girls. But tragedy struck six months after the fourth daughter was born. My parents had just returned from a religious retreat when the family pediatrician told them that Rita, the baby, would not live to adulthood. Rita was born with a rare blood disorder called Cooley’s Anemia found primarily among peoples of Mediterranean origin. To ensure the best of care for her, Dad worked away from home February 2016 Amazing Women 31


Stories of Love for the next eight years while Mom raised me and my sisters in Asheville, NC. Mom worked hard to make extra money so we could enjoy little luxuries, since most of Dad’s paycheck went to family necessities and mounting doctor’s bills. She saved up enough money to take me and my sisters to Italy for the first time. During that trip, Rita passed away from complications of her disease. It was a hard time for us. For a normal couple, this would result in divorce. But my parents were Strong Catholics, and “until death do us part” meant exactly that for them. They clung to each other through that painful time. They watched their remaining three daughters graduate from college and begin their own lives. Oh, they had more struggles. My dad was laid off just 5 months before my wedding in 1982, and could not get another permanent job for the rest of his life. So mom supported them by working for an orthodontist during the day and in convenience stores at night. In 1991, a pulmonary doctor diagnosed Dad with chronic pulmonary disease as he lay in a hospital bed gasping for breath. The next years brought many challenges to his health, but they both stayed true to each

When the news came in 1997 that Dad had only months to live, Mom knew what she had to do. She quit her jobs to take care of Daddy. In the midst of looming sadness, Mom and Dad did have their moments. Like the day Mom hauled to ……………………………………....the curb the buckets of ……………………………………....wire Dad was going to ……………………………………....take to the recycle ……………………………………....center after he stripped ……………………………………....the insulation off the ……………………………………....copper. When she came …………………………………….....home, Dad, huffing and ……………………………………..…puffing, he hauled the ………………………………………..heavy buckets into the ……………………………………..…house with his oxygen ………………………………………..hose trailing behind ………………………………………..him …………………………………...…. “What do you think you are doing?” Mom demanded. …………………………………… He shot back, “I’m not dead yet, woman! My parents, Two independent people who left a legacy of love, tragedy, and faithfulness. A tribute to Luigi and Giovanna Balsamo, and the family who still love them: Anna (Balsamo) Scheller and her husband, Phillip, and their 7 children, Maria Balsamo, and Luisa (Balsamo) Campbell and her husband, Scott, and their two daughters. Anna Sheller is a sales trainer, dynamic speaker and author with a passion to help people create more sales. Anna was recently awarded her 3rd degree black belt in Taekwondo. She combines sales training with black belt mindset to help clients achieve greater results more quickly than they could on their own.

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Stories of Love

A Deep and Enduring Love By Tracey Doctor My mother and father were a very attractive couple. Both were immediately attracted to each other and soon fell head-over-heels in love with one another.

Always ambitious and striving towards success, they decided to invest in a business and soon after, they opened the first of two “Blair House” restaurants. After about six months of dating exclusively, they decided to get married. The bonding of their relationship deepened every day and lasted the rest of their lives. We were a blended family. Each brought with them two children. We all grew up together and from an early age genuinely liked and got along with one another. Running two businesses and raising four children wasn’t always easy. There were many unique challenges as well as our share of good and bad times. Through it all they had a very strong commitment to quality and excellent and were well respected in the community.

We observed and appreciated the many sacrifices our parents made while raising us. They also instilled their wonderfully strong values and work ethics in each of us. Encouraging us to strive for whatever we desired. Remembering to do our best in everything we wished to achieve in life. We knew that we were loved by our parents and as siblings we grew to love and appreciate one another. Mom and Dad made a wonderful partnership. They were determined to make our futures bright.

They never let the ups and downs of running the restaurant affect our happy family life. Their love and support meant everything and we appreciated the many sacrifices that were made to raise all of us. There are so many moments that we focus on the wonderful life our parents provided with much gratitude. We love and miss them dearly and feel blessed to have had them as parents. Tracey Doctor is an author and herbal remedy expert. She resides in Houston, Texas and happens to be Raven’s Sister!

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Stories of Love

My Special Valentine By Stephany “Stevie” Levine I was sitting in our Old Main Building at college, waiting to talk to my advisor. I was there to explain, that I was going to transfer to a school closer to home. My Dad, had retired early to care for my Mom, who had become incapacitated due to MS; and he needed help. I saw the door open at the other end of the building. In walked the guy I had been wishing would ask me out. I had met him during Freshman Frothing month the previous September, however, he seemed to have vanished. It was now October a year and a month later! I didn’t know then the reason I never saw him much was because the previous school year he had studied in Europe; and been working off campus to pay for school. Our campus was so small, it was unusual not to see everyone you knew or thought you knew, at least once a week!! He walked directly toward me and came over to ask, “Hi, how are you doing, and where are we going Friday night?” I responded, “I’m fine, and I don’t know!!!” That Friday night, we went to an early movie, then to the bowling alley, Bill managed. He made me a burger; then showed me a beautiful slide presentation he had put together, of the sites he had seen when he studied in Europe. It ended with slides of gulls, coming in for crumbs he had thrown in the air so he could catch just the right pictures. He did. They were amazing!

Initially, when I met Bill, I thought he was one of those guys who had come back on the GI Bill to go to school. He seemed older and wiser than his actual years turned out to be. He was determined, and so different than anyone I had ever met. It was as if we had known each other; and met again after a long absence from each other. There was no awkwardness, no silence. Just excitement to share with each other, who we were now, what we had, what we wanted and what we loved to do! The following week, was my birthday. He took me to a steak house he had also worked at. It was the best steak I had ever eaten.

I felt the stares of the Justice of the Peace, his wife and 80 year old mother, when we eloped to get married eight months after our first date. We often laughed that we should send them a baby announcement when our son was born 5 years later! Bill had graduated, as he is two years older than I. We simply did not want to be apart. They say you should be careful what you wish for!!! I remember wishing for an exciting life this after I had left home to go away to school. For the first time in my life, I got to feel and be free. February 2016 Amazing Women 34


Stories of Love My wish came true - I must tell you, our life has seldom been boring!! We have had our ups and downs, there have been times when I really disliked him and he me! I remember as if it was yesterday, our initial romantic love; which turned into great pride when we had our son, and then our daughter. I remember our struggles to build several businesses – yes, we also worked together for 36 years, side by side. We have come through a lot of storms together, intact; and perhaps as excited about what our future holds as we were on the 22nd day of June in 1970, when we married almost 46 years ago. I often pinch myself to realize how blessed I have been to walk side by side with Bill.

If I were to offer some words of wisdom, here is what they would be: 1. Marry your best friend, who also happens to be your romantic other – tough times are bound to happen. However, if the commitment is there to be with each other from the beginning because of your bond, it makes it so much easier to weather the storms. 2. Remember to give little surprises – here and there – they may be corny, they also let your

partner know you still think of them the way you first did! 3. Do fun things together – save the memories for when you need happy things to think about! 4. Learn to laugh together, at the little stuff you and your mate do, that aggravate each of you about the other - if that stuff continues to happen, at least you are laughing, instead of complaining or upset! 5. Be grateful for what you have right now. I have found in my life, when I am grateful for what I have, it puts me at a vibrational level to be open to receiving so much more more. 6. Learn to send out a prayer when things seem overwhelming, to ask God for help. I have always found God is there listening and helping in ways I may never have dreamt of or known.

There have been many times over the 46 years together, I have wondered what has kept us going. I believe it was a commitment to ourselves first and each other second to continue growing, learning and working together to make it better. And a deep commitment that no matter what, after any argument we would sit down perhaps after a breather, to talk about what happened, to accept our parts in the disagreement, and to decide what we could do so it would change going forward. February 2016 Amazing Women 35


Stories of Love Every morning, as Bill and I awake, Bills says, “This is going to be the best day ever!” Guess, what, it is too!!! Do things go astray? Of course they do. With that attitude, nothing seems as bad as it could otherwise be.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Wishing you and yours the best day ever. Remember the past is gone, tomorrow is a dream, and today is here. Make it the best day you know how to have!!! As an Empowerment Instructor, I use the Akashic Records, the Compass Life Management System and Claim Your Life (Boni Oian) to teach people various tools to EMPOWER their lives in the ways that are significant to them.

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Stories of Love

Unconditional Love By Janie Lidey

“The more we truly desire to benefit others, the greater the strength and confidence we develop and the greater the peace and happiness we experience.” The Dalai Lama When my son Tristan was just barely able to talk, he said one of the most profoundly, beautiful things I can imagine a two year old saying. We were laughing our way down the hill on our way to his day care and as we laughed, he said to me, “Mommy, look at me. I have happy tears just like you.” As he began to know how to verbalize his thoughts, he had asked me on several occasions why I was crying. My response was almost always that I was crying ‘happy tears’. It was a little hard for him to wrap his head around, but for him to realize at the age of two what a concept like that meant made me extremely excited about the kind of little human being I was going to get to spend my life with. Time passed, and as Tristan grew, so too did his depth of character. When he was ten years old, the second most profoundly beautiful thing I can imagine a boy saying came out of him. This story is one filled with many sad tears, but in the end, the memory that lives on is one of ‘happy tears’; the kind that you cry when you experience an act of kindness and unconditional love like this. As a family, (Dad, Mom, Tristan and our dog Kody) we were awaiting the day that we would

have to take our dog Kody to the vet to be put to sleep. He had been sick for a while and we knew the time was near, but we were having a hard time making the decision to let him go. One night, as I was standing in the laundry room, Tristan came in and said, “Mom, can you wash Blanky for me?” I looked at him with great surprise, as he never liked me to wash his blanket because he just really liked the special smell it held. I said, “Sweetie I’d be happy to wash Blanky for you, but why now?” He simply replied, “I think maybe we should bury him with Kody.”

Here was a child who had told me from a ripe young age that he would never give up ‘Blanky’ and that he would take him to the grave with him. Standing in the laundry room with my little boy that night, realizing he was making the decision to give up his most prized possession for his most beloved best friend Kody, simply undid me. I cried so many tears that night (mostly happy tears) that I couldn’t go to school and face my students the next day. My eyes were almost swollen shut by morning, so I decided to take a personal day, and celebrate life and death all at once. It was perfect that I had some quiet time alone that morning because it is what allowed me to write the feelings I had about my little boy, my little boy’s dog and the most unselfish gift of unconditional love I had ever witnessed. Tristan and Kody brought the magic of this song to life. February 2016 Amazing Women37


Stories of Love Best Friends For Life Music & Lyrics by Janie Lidey, BMI ©2013 Inspired by Tristan and Kody Kody was a puppy who lived a year exactly Before his human brother was born on the same day And they were best friends for life And aside from the blanket his mom and daddy gave him Kody was the best thing a boy could ever ask for And everything was oh so right He’d make him sit and shake and lay down in the grass He’d throw the ball for him and watch him run so fast He’d pull the whiskers in that poor old yeller’s mug And sometimes he’d just lay beside him on the rug

They’d head down to the ocean in the middle of the summer And he and Kody would swim in the water Until they could swim no more And then at night he’d take the blanket His mom and daddy gave him

He’d tuck it by his pillow and reach down for his puppy Who’d be laying there on the floor He’d make him sit and shake and lay down in the grass He’d throw the ball for him and watch him run so fast He’d pull the whiskers in that poor old yeller’s mug And sometimes he’d just lay beside him on the rug When he turned ten and Kody turned eleven And it came time for his dog to go to heaven Somethin’ gave in that little boy’s heart And he said Mama can we take the blanket that you gave me Ooh when I was just a baby And even though I still sleep with it at night Could we burry it with Kody tonight… Mama could we burry it with Kody tonight… Enjoy listening to Janie sing this song via https://soundcloud.com/janie_lidey/bast-friends-for-life

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Stories of Love

Begin It Now Finding My True Love and Other Miracles Along the Way By Janie Lidey “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe When I was in college, a friend introduced me to a quote that awakened me to a truth that isn’t taught to us in the every day world of life and education. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe said, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” This truth has helped lead me to finding my pure potentiality on this earthly journey and I believe led me to finding the Love of my life ~ my soul mate ~ the father of the son I was destined to bring into this world. It all started when I decided to take control of my happiness by walking away from a marriage I thought I should be in forever because I had promised to do so. I had stayed because I felt that it was the right thing to do, but when I realized that the dreams he and I shared in the beginning of our relationship were no longer in place, I knew I had to carve a new path for myself. I had to find the strength and courage to begin a new journey. I knew I was destined for change, and when I chose to ‘begin it now’ this is how the journey unfolded.

While traveling through California in the summer of 1997, I ran into a lady in a laundry room after a day on the beach in Santa Cruz. She turned her attention to me and asked me if I was going through a rough period and that I must be some sort of writer who needed to experience the pain to gain the inspiration to write. I thought it was an odd thing for a stranger to assume, especially since I had just finished writing an entire album worth of songs, all of which stemmed from the pain I was going through in this transition period of my life. I shared this with her and she just looked at me as if it all made perfect sense. It gets deeper… My laundry room lady and I talked for a while and I shared with her that I had just spent the weekend in Newport Beach, California. I had gone down to attend a fund-raiser for a girl named Amanda, who had been in a car accident and had slipped into a coma. A lot of the people at the benefit concert wore guardian angel pins in honor of Amanda in hopes that in doing so, we would be instrumental in helping her miraculously awaken from the state she was in. At this point in the story, the stranger stopped me and said that I had an angelic aura about me and that the next thing I wrote about should be angels. She said, “You need to know that the song isn’t just for you and I mean that in a very big way!” “Truly”, she said, “big like Disney”. We talked some more about what I had been through in the past few years and that’s when she told me a few more things that she could see happening in my life. She said that I was going to meet the man of my dreams in the spring of 1998, and that he was going to look like some

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Stories of Love sort of famous person. She said that the number 8 would somehow be significant, and that I would have a baby when I turned 38. At this point I was hoping she wouldn’t tell me when or how I was going to die. I flew back home to Alaska the next day, and when I arrived, my piano lured me in, guided my fingers across its pearly whites, and out came a lovely song called, "Somethin’ About An Angel"!

I wanted to find somewhere to record the song right away so that I could dedicate it to Amanda, my family friend who was in the coma in Newport Beach. It didn’t take long to get hooked up with a recording engineer as I was pretty much on fire with the desire to make a difference with my music. I set up a time to record and then packed up a pencil drawing of Jesus that one of my high school students had given me that year, along with the huge yearning I had in my heart for Amanda to magically wake up, and I headed for the studio. I imagined that in the process of recording the Angel song, the energy of it could be a cog in the wheel of her coming out of her coma. The next morning, I got the news of a miracle happening in Southern California. Amanda had come out of her coma! The midnight sun had slowly begun to wane, and as the darkness of winter crept in, I found myself

spending a lot of time staring at the pencil drawing of Jesus that I had brought to the studio with me the night I recorded “Somethin’ About An Angel”. I just kept imagining finding a man like Him: Kind, compassionate, loving, family oriented, and with a face that felt like home to me. In the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but wonder about my laundry room lady and what she had told me would happen in my future. Remember, she said that I would meet the man of my dreams in the spring of 1998, I would have a baby when I turned 38, and the number 8 would be significant. After the magic that the Angel song seemed to bring with it, I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe she was right about the man of my dreams as well! On March 8th, 1998, I got up and decided to go to Alyeska to ski for the day. I had never gone alone, and I actually had an invitation to go with someone else that day, but it just felt right to make the hour long trek to the mountain by myself that morning. I had skied so frequently over the years that I had a rhythm down. Pack my lunch and all the snacks and drinks I would need for the day, load up my fanny pack and never have to stop skiing. Just eat on the chair and only stop to use the restroom, unless the right tree came along. But on this particular day, I decided that it might be fun to go down to the lodge, drink a beer, have a salad, watch the guitar player and just hang out for a bit. While sitting there, my jaw dropped open wide when I saw the man of my dreams get up and walk across the bar in his snowboarding boots and gear, looking quite a lot like the picture I had stared at on my wall since last September. Maybe that is why when I met him face to face that day, I felt like I’d come home. The man of my dreams was sitting with a couple February 2016 Amazing Women 40


Stories of Love of other guys at a table far removed from mine. But as luck would have it, the lodge had just purchased some new padded, more comfortable chairs, and when the people at the table sitting on those nice new chairs got up to leave, my guy’s table of friends moved next to me to try them out. I was hoping they were moving to get closer to the girl sitting alone nearby, but alas, it was only the padded chairs. One of the guys in the group just happened to be a teacher at the same school where I taught, so he invited me to sit with them. Three whole hours went by, and although there was still some great skiing to be had, we all chose to just hang out and talk for the rest of the day. During our conversation, I learned that Sean (the man of my dreams) had just celebrated his birthday on March 5th. I didn’t ask how old he was, I only prayed that he was at least in his late 20’s as I was turning 36 on March 13th and didn’t want this to be a cradle-robbing situation. I wasn’t thinking about the magic of the number 8 that day, but as it turned out, our birthdays were March 5th and March 13th (8 days apart), and I was turning 36 as he turned 28 (8 years apart). The Angel song comes back into play again at this point, as one of the guys in the group had a little boy who was in Seattle at the Ronald MacDonald House, working on becoming a cancer survivor. The day after we all met, I decided to bring a copy of the Angel song over to Kevin’s house to share with his wife and family. I was hoping of course that it could have the same healing effect on their son, as it seemed to have had on Amanda. (I am happy to share that the little boy is now a cancer free adult.) While I was there, Kevin called Sean and Dale, my lucky

Alyeska Lodge table of guys, and we all spent another entire evening together. Sean and I fell truly, madly and deeply in love that week, and we were married the following year. We chose to get married in June, with the hope of getting pregnant on our wedding night, so that our baby would be born in March.

We liked the idea of us all being Pisces, and we also liked the fact that, because I was a teacher, it would mean I could have the end of the school year along with the summer months off to spend with our new little family member. The power of our faith, along with our belief in the ‘begin it now’ theory, was so strong that I think we got pregnant on our wedding night. Our son Tristan was born just three days after I turned 38, another of my laundry room lady’s predictions. We like to milk the 8 thing for even more by saying that his birthday, being on the 16th, is divisible by 8. Between the time when I ventured out on my own a few years earlier, and meeting the man of my dreams, a myriad of events took place in my life. I had come to realize more than ever that we bring our dreams alive with the way we imagine them happening and by embracing the ‘begin it now’ theory. The quote by JW Von Goethe had become the words that Sean and I would live by. February 2016 Amazing Women 41


Stories of Love from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now." Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe.

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” "Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness, concerning all acts of initiative (and creation). There is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues

Based out of Anchorage, Alaska, Janie Lidey is an Emmy award winning songwriter who has been composing music for over forty years. Rather than focus on her craft alone, Janie dedicated herself to teaching music in the public schools of Alaska for twenty-six years. After seventeen years as the choir director and guitar teacher at Grammy award winning East High School, she decided to step out of the classroom and follow her life-long entrepreneurial passion, becoming a full time singer-songwriter, artist, author and speaker. Janie is passionate about raising your vibration through the magic of a song.

Janie is delighted to share with you the following songs: I Don’t Wanna Go Slow Music & Lyrics by Janie Lidey & Matt Wilder, BMI ©2013 HERE Love At First Sight Music & Lyrics by Janie Lidey, BMI ©2011 HERE

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Stories of Love

We Didn’t Want to, But We Did By Vonne Nunn Have you ever not wanted to be in love? That’s not a typical question, but neither is my story. Ever not wanted to fall in love? That was us, the both of us. We had given up on love. We had experience many mistakes, so much misery, numerous failed relationships. For us we both had decided that enough was enough. We would never fall in love again, content with our love for God and with ourselves. We decide to choose a new journey; we would protect our heart and enjoy our life. I had begun selling a product, another way to make some quick cash. The company promised with the product you would have a total life change. Obviously they didn’t mean finding the love of my life, but that’s exactly what happen. One of my dearest friend’s sister passed away, so another one of my girlfriends and I went over for a visit. We took over a few items and sat awhile to bring her some comfort and encouragement. Honestly I didn’t want to go, it was late, and I was tired. My friend talked me into it, she picked me up and we headed over to be with Lisa. When we pulled up I saw his truck, he was an electrician and he was there to work on her air. I looked over at my friend Pat “OMG and her air is out too”. She laughed, “That only means we won’t have to stay long”. The air was working just find, it was only being serviced. We had been sitting in the den for awhile when he walked in to give her .

an invoice. He looked tired, it was August in Houston. It was hell hot and he looked as if he had been in hell. When he entered the room he spoke, just to be cordial. I looked at him and quickly blurted out “do you get tired, do you need some energy”. The room was quiet; no one knew where I was going with such questions. He looked over at me with the strangest look on his face, he said nothing. I quickly explain “The reason I am asking is because I am selling this new product” I continued my sales spill. Everyone looked relieved; I knew they thought I was crazy. I asked him for his card and his email address, I told him I wanted to email him the link to my website and he can research it for himself. He handed it over. Pat and I continued with our visit, maybe another hour. We prayed with Lisa then we left. Once I returned home, I had nearly forgotten about BQ and the product. I was looking in my purse for something when I saw his card; I grabbed my tablet and quickly emailed him. I texted him to let him know I had emailed him. What great customer service, right. He responded about thirty minutes later, which prompted the need for a phone call. So of course I called him. He ordered the energy vitamin. I delivered the product a couple of weeks later (of course it was on back order). Now we were in September, I had been to Florida and back. My first day back at work was Grandparents Day at my grandson’s school. On my way back from lunch with my grandson, I looked over and there he was on the freeway. I called him; he even asked if I had had lunch “hmmmmm” I had to get back to work. So we talked until I pulled up in the parking lot at work about lunch, we talked about soup and here it was nearly 100 degrees February 2016 Amazing Women 43


Stories of Love and baking bread. Who even wants to turn on an oven? Still nothing triggered in us. He told me his favorite soup and how he wish he had the recipe, as soon as I sat down in my office; I goggled the recipe and emailed it to him. That was on a Wednesday; by next Tuesday he called me to help him get the right ingredients. He was at the store and I was at home. Thursday when I was leaving Bible Study my phone rang; it was BQ “are you hungry” “yes” I replied. “Are you at home” I couldn’t believe what was about to happen. “Yes” he said I’m on my way to bring you some soup and he did. It was the best soup I had ever had, probably because it was made for me with love.

A few days went by and there was once again silence, until one Saturday afternoon. He texted me, I didn’t respond for hours. I was with my friend Pat out shopping, of course that took priority. When I got home I responded. He responded, this time I called back. I dialed his number at 5:33 PM and we said our good nights at 2:00 AM. Seven and a half hours later. We never talked about anything that happen value to starting a relationship, unless building our friendship counts. That’s all I got out of the conversation, that we could actually hold a conversation. We spoke about our beliefs, our destiny,

and our goals. I slept on that conversation, it marinated in my soul. We didn’t speak on Sunday. On Monday I texted him a question, “What chapter are you in, in your life”. He responded “the same chapter you are”. October 3rd was our first date, he took me to Galveston, and we had dinner and walked on the beach. A lady stopped us to see if we were celebrating our anniversary. She said that’s what love looked like. That’s was funny because it seemed like we had been together forever as if we knew how to make each other smile. It took us nearly two months to go out, but after that date our lives began to blend. I never wanted to be without him and he never wanted to be without me. On my two weeks off at Christmas time, something magical happen. He texted me on Dec 31, meet you at 11:30 to go get license. Driver license? “Marriage license silly” I was in shock, he picked me up at 11:30 and we drove to two places before we got our license. We had ninety days to use them, but on January 9, 2016 just he and I stood before a judge and pledged our undying love for each other. We were married, and noting has ever felt so right. We laugh, we have issues, days we don’t speak, but we are sure that through it all when we said I do, we always will.

Vonne usually writes poetry and Christian Blogs, but could not help sharing her love story with us. As a 56 year old who decided to let love go, I found the love of my life. Stop looking and it will find you. Much love! February 2016 Amazing Women 44


Stories of Love

Acid Through A Straw By Sherry Prindle I sat at the bar at Oma’s German restaurant in downtown Milwaukee. It was the first time I’d gone out on a business trip since Steve died. I didn’t want to be alone, so I stayed until close. As I finished telling Lindsay, the bartender, my story she said, “Wow, that is so amazing; it seems like a movie. You should write the screenplay.” It was Oscar buzz time, and I thought of all the stories that had won awards, many of which were not better than this one, and I could picture it. “The winner for best original screenplay is Sherry Prindle for Acid Through a Straw.”

trivia players , was acerbically and relentlessly insulting some other regulars about their lack of knowledge of current events. There were three bartenders and a nice variety of patrons who, unlike the trivia players and the proprietor, were friendly and willing to talk, so I made it my go-to place one Wednesday and Thursday night a month when I stayed in Kansas City. In fact, when a fellow trivia player who had just moved from Chicago asked me out, I suggested we meet at Scoreboards.

I am writing that story now and am honored to publish the first draft of the part here in Amazing Women Magazine’s Valentine’s Day issue . A motivational speaker, I had just been commissioned by Fred Pryor Seminars to train all the new speakers they brought through their Professional Trainer Certification program. I lived an hour north of Kansas City, and was going to be staying in town to teach the program. Looking for a place to indulge my preferred pastime of playing trivia over dinner, I found Scoreboards, a bar with one side that had pool tables and dartboards and another with a huge U-shaped bar and booths. Three people were playing trivia boards when I walked in – a good sign. But no one was talking or sharing answers. They had a decent happy hour and nightly food and drink specials, but the women who ran the place lacked traditional customer service skills. As I sat down, one of the

My date called to say he was running late, and when I arrived, the sharp-tongued trivia guy was there. His name was Steve; I had spoken to him once or twice, even to the point where we occasionally shared answers, and that day he was uncharacteristically chatty. Noticing I was there on a Tuesday (not my usual night), he asked why. When I told him I was meeting a date, he started in on me. “Does he play trivia? Who is smarter? Are you going to sleep with him? Why not?” Experiencing his taunting first hand was fun. He looked down and said under his breath, “What would it take for me to be able to go out with you?” I was abashed. He was such a cool, aloof character almost reluctant to be real. Just as I was mustering a reaction, my date showed up and sat on the other side of me. We talked and played trivia while Steve ran his fingers along my other arm, undetected by my date. February 2016 Amazing Women 45


Stories of Love When I came back the next day and every time after that, Steve and I talked ceaselessly. The regulars wondered what all we could have had to talk about, since Steve barely showed more than contempt to most people. He was still private, vaguely saying he had poor health and no future. I had my own intimacy issues, always accused of not letting anyone truly know me. Neither of us had ever married, and while we had both been in serious relationships, I had never really let go and let myself surrender to love anyone.

about his family wanting him to come to Omaha for Thanksgiving if I would be willing. I still lived an hour away and didn’t have Steve’s phone number.

As we got closer, Steve finally told me he had Cystic Fibrosis, a congenital disease affecting breathing and digestion. Most people with CF didn’t even live to be 30 – Steve was 46.

Thanksgiving day I drove an hour to get Steve, three hours to Omaha, three hours to drive him back, and an hour home. I was exhausted – and surprised. I thought I was attracted to and interested in Steve. His family was wonderful, but he was not. He was contrary, boring, and bordering on rude. It was nice to know how I felt, though, I could move on and stop driving to Kansas City night after night.

I went home and thought about it, told my family I was not going to make their gathering, and headed back to Kansas City the next night to tell Steve I was willing to take him home if he would work on getting some portable oxygen to carry with him, I also got his phone number.

His father had given him a Christmas card while we were in Omaha, and I had it in my purse. I realized when I got home that it was still in there, and there was $1,000 cash in the envelope. I called Steve and said I’d come the next night to give it to him, and there he was, the charming man I was attracted to. I guess all of us are different in our childhood homes than we are in our grown up lives. Steve said I didn’t have to drive all the way home, and I agreed.

When I went to a bar five miles away to compete in a live trivia bowl, Steve came with me and told me that was the first time he had gone anywhere but Scoreboards and general errands in two years. “Wow,” I said, “that must mean you trust me.” He nodded and mentioned something

The next day, he admitted, “You may have noticed that while I am so happy being with you, I have been trying to push you away. I wouldn’t want to put anyone through what it means to be with me, but the better I get to know you, the more I think you could handle it.” “I’m all in,” I said. He responded, “Me too.” February 2016 Amazing Women 46


Stories of Love He said he wanted to try and explain to me what he felt like most of the time. “Imagine,” he said, “you are treading just under the surface of the water in the ocean with big waves and salty water. The only way to breathe is through a straw sticking out of your mouth. Now with all of that, someone pours acid into the straw.”

Sherry Prindle is a 17-year veteran motivational speaker and corporate trainer. Founder of the Professional Coach Academy, she trains life and executive coaches. She is also a marketing consultant who contributes to the Trainer Co-Op.

Get Certified as a Life and Executive coach in a 2day live webinar designed for professionals and life changers who want to make money making a difference. See the special offer at www.ProfessionalCoachAcademy.com/offer

My True Love is a Tough Love By Sherry Prindle Do you remember any of your teachers from school? Which ones and why? The one I remember best was Mr. Robbins, my choir director from high school because was so hard on me. He caught me when I hit a wrong note, reprimanded me for being late, and even called me out for rolling my eyes at a soprano in the show choir when we liked the same guy. It seemed I could never please him. Even in my yearbook, he couldn’t just write something pleasant. He scribbled just one sentence about how talented I was and followed it with three paragraphs about what my major problem was and how I should take instruction, focus, and discipline myself . . . so much for fond memories. I would have understood if he had been that way with everyone, but I seem to have been his only target. A year after graduation, I ran into Mr. Robbins who sat me down and said, “Sherry Prindle, what did I always want to tell you when you were in school?” He proceeded to go on about how he believed I had the potential to truly make it big in whatever endeavor I chose to take on. He wanted me to go for it and not let the petty pressures of my peers stop me. It was quite an epiphany to realize that he had treated me the way he did in high school because he cared and wanted me to succeed. That he didn’t treat everyone else as strictly because I was the one he saw the potential in. Who was that person who saw potential in you and cared enough to give you tough love? February 2016 Amazing Women 47


Stories of Love Valentine’s Day tends to be a time when we think about roses, hearts, chocolate, and romantic love. But as a coach, I invite you to consider that perhaps the most important kind of love may be tough love.

away with not following through on my promises. But I talk my way out of it every time. So I insisted that if I was going to be a coach, I would give people what they can’t get from anyone else – the honest truth and tough love.

It’s great to be warm, fuzzy, and kind, but in the end, when we let those we care about lose out on reaching their dreams, are we really loving them? Who do you know who wants to do more, have more, and be more – who has the potential to reach great heights? Do you let them off the hook to stay mediocre or hold their feet to the fire?

Exactly how did I grow the guts to become a master of tough love? Well, I figured out what tough love really is. Tough love is not being tough on the person; it is about being tough on their inner nature.

I have historically not been good at being hard on people. As an only child, I got my way most of the time and was allowed to rule the household. I was taught by example that the way to love is to be an enabler. I rescued my friends from their parents’ wrath; I shielded my parents from my issues – pretending to be perfect. As a corporate trainer, I let my seminar attendees stay complacent and blame others for not achieving success in their careers. . . and then I found coaching. Every coach I hired let me off the hook. I begged for tough love; I asked them to not let me get

Humans are wired for survival. But in the unconscious mind, the way to stay safe is to stay the same – homeostasis. And the unconscious is tricky. It is masterful at making promises and rationalizing and procrastinating. We fool ourselves into believing we are going to take positive actions, but the proof is in the results. Are you getting the results you want in life? Are those you love living up to their potential? Do you truly care? Enough to stand up for them even if at the time they don’t like it? If parents do everything for their children, they never grow up to be responsible adults. As a matter of fact, parents who do their kids’ homework, coddle them, and give them too many freedoms actually do so for selfish reasons. “I can’t stand to see her unhappy.” “I want him to get into a good school.” Teachers and coaches also avoid tough love because it is uncomfortable. But it is the hallmark of what it means to care about someone – subjugating your own selfish need to be comfortable and liked in favor of what is best for the person you love. It was frustrating at the time, but now the only teacher I remember was the one who gave me tough love. He is part of the reason I became a February 2016 Amazing Women 48


Stories of Love

The Serendipity of Love By Dr. Fred Simkovsky 51 years ago I was sitting in the student lounge between classes at Hunter College in NYC. It was terribly crowded. This girl comes in with her girlfriend and standing next to me, she says, “If someone was a gentleman, he’d give me his seat”. I looked up and saw the girl, looking pretty good, so I said, “You can sit right here honey” patting my lap. She actually sat down on my lap to my surprise. Of course we are both from Brooklyn, NY, so this really wasn’t out of the ordinary. New Yorkers are rather brash. That’s how Catherine met Fred.

I went into the Army from 1966-1969 and was in Korea for 17 months and such but she wrote me every day from day one. The other guys hated me for all that mail. During my hitch, I came home on leave from Korea and we got married but I had to go back to end my time there. To make a long 51 year story shorter: This year September 2016, we shall celebrate 48 years together. Through the lean times, the tough times, the illnesses and excellent times, after 4 kids and fifteen grandchildren we are going strong. Love sometimes just happens but you need to make the most of it. I had to learn to live with another person as she did. But I learned because after any argument, I have the last words “Yes Dear”! Learn that guys and you’ll be successful also.

I invited her to a school dance. We went and kept seeing each other. Our love grew.

See Page 49 for Doc Fred’s Bio

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Your Love Relationship is Easier than You Thought!

25 Tips to be a Better Listener

By Dr. Fred Simkovsky

Most everyone thinks that improving any relationship takes a lot of effort and patience. In some cases it does. But I’m going to give you the secret to making your love relationships better. The biggest challenge to improving love relationships really lies in the fact that we do more talking than listening! If that is so, and it is, let’s take a look at real effective listening. 

What is Listening? It consists of:  Hearing  Seeing  Comprehending  Interpretation Of all communications no matter how the messages are being sent. 2. The results of poor listening, simply put, your relationships and a lot of misunderstanding along with long term resentments. 3. The results of effective listening, simply put, it betters relationships and a lot of love and cooperation Important Facts About Effective Listening:  More than 70% of one’s day is communicating  45% of communication should be MORE listening  75% of oral communication is ignored, misunderstood, or quickly forgotten  A person typically speaks at 140 words/ minute  A typical listener can hear at 280-560 words/minute  Most people can think 3 times faster than a typical person can speak

1. Consider the speaker a valuable and worthy person 2. Let go of mental blocks, prejudices, likes and dislikes, ego, preconceived ideas, opinions and solutions 3. Act like a host or hostess; the speaker is sharing and you are serving 4. Decide to really listen 5. Get mentally positive before conversing 6. The more yhou understand your own thoughts, feelings, and actions, the more you will understand about others 7. Be aware of your feelings and body language in your conversations 8. Reflect on difficult conversations and how you could have made them better 9. Be positive always 10. Realize you can’t fake listening. Strive to be genuine 11. Don’t jump the gun to agree or disagree but listen positively 12. Put yourself in the speakers shoes and be empathetic 13. Recognize listening is healthy for everyone 14. Powerful listening doesn’t imply agreement 15. Think of the other person’s frame of reference, their perspective before beginning the conversation 16. Your body language needs to match your verbal language 17. Rephrase what you hear to insure you received all the information and it is correct and you understand it all February 2016 Amazing Women 51


AMAZING MEN LIFESTYLE 18. Recognize that every time you listen effectively, you strengthen a relationship 19. Practice reflective feelings and meanings 20. Ask open-ended questions to get all the facts 21. Summarize the other person’s views before sharing your own 22. In a high conflict situation, listen more than you speak 23. Your most important leadership skill is effective listening 24. Deepen your relationships through more understanding through listening 25. Strive to listen effectively, it is your most effective tool for success. Practice this daily and your love relationships will grow and prosper!

Dr. Fred (Coach DocFred) Simkovsky is the founder and owner of Life Career Business Coach.com and the Visions of Success Talk Radio Show, a certified master life and career coach, organizational Consultant development/learning consultant, and speech mastery trainer with over 45 years of experience in multi-disciplinary environments both nationally and internationally in the USA, Canada, Germany, Japan, India, and China. DocFred has successfully guided over 750 individuals, at all levels, to their Visions of Success in the last 10 years alone.

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The Story of King Romeo & Queen Charlotte By Reggie A. Lacina A Loyal Knight in King Romeo’s Army (A true modern story of bordered love) King Romeo met Princess Charlotte on an island, while on a journey traveling the South Pacific Polynesian Seas of Hawaii. There was instant attraction that started a revelation of discovery between them which started a new and different journey of bordered love from two different lands and a sea between them, they were driven by desire, passion and love.. King Reggie was a fine and moderate man of experiences in life, travel, knowledge and wisdom. He was orphaned as a child and built himself into a respected king of humble prosperity, but he was wealthy in his own empire. He combated many wars in life with great loses and sacrifices, but he never looked back or let these catastrophes stop him from moving forward on the journey.. He self attained a true symbol of being a self made person and a leader in a life. He made it thru a place where only others, can look from the outside and say,

Time, within time itself, gave the two the opportunity to travel and meet with each. They grew at a rapid pace, just like nature and the universe speeds up and slows down.. They grew very fond of each other quickly and realized they wanted to make changes in their personal lives even with borders greater than themselves. They started making plans for the future, as the plans looked, felt and seemed very realistic in today’s modern society of high technology, jet airplanes and a ride thru the countryside…. Nothing was to stop them, not greed or fear …. Their plans started taking shape and form, King Romeo’s planned to have princess charlotte come to his homeland (temporary) and for a few years where they would start a family in his kingdom. His queen would learn more of him, his personal life and in his land so she could help him prepare to move back to her country and take their children back there for a new life in a few years from this time.

“I have spent my life trying to be like you, what is so different about you, that you can navigate your life on your own and get thru all the atrocities and still keep going forward”…. Why are you so different than so many others in this world????

This is what attracted princess charlotte to King Romeo……………

They were getting excited about this dream, of, “the heart of the minds desires”.. it was a fairytale of modern rapture of extra ordinary conditions that they would both have to overcome, not knowing enough about each other as they took the challenge anyway.. February 2016 Amazing Women 54


AMAZING MEN So they decided to get married.. the plans, the gift, the invitations and everything else all bundled into this new journey with out any confirmation of the reality of what they were interring into. Remembering now, that king Romeo’s was a man of self reliance and had his own kingdom, which he built, manages, operates and rules in his entirety, not ever receiving help from anyone since his infant orphanage.

with her family and this she could not do or take the temporary chance!!! This just will not happen!!!!!!! What had happened was, the now queen charlotte, had gone from being Princess Lotti, into this commitment that she could not fulfill and place her new king as #1 in front of her family as this is against every fiber of her life, will and up bringing.

Princess Charlotte is a humble lady of certainty, extreme and very deeply rooted into her family and countries way of life. She is very enlightening, educated, has great structure of values and is far above her peer’s with loyalty driven by her commitment to life being with her family. At this time, they were now married and beginning to enter into “no mans land” as one would describe, King Reggie being set in his way and the now, queen charlotte, has a life of commitments that will for every bond her to her family and homeland, first and always first.. After they married, they had to part again and go back to their real life’s of their countries. This is when queen charlotte woke up from this dream the two of them had created and realized that it was, a dream of inconceivable reality. There was not a single chance that queen charlotte could ever leave her family and her home county, not even for a temporary period of time. (just a few years) She realized the risk involved in doing this, would or could jeopardize the possibility that 2yrs can become 4yrs and then 7yrs would go by and she would have missed out on this part of her life

Things started to breakdown; (Greed and fear set in) Queen Charlotte was so engulfed in confusion and uncertainty and was now in unfamiliar territory. She had gone past the point of no return with the king and realized this is not for her and she needs to go back to her family, regardless of the cost, that nothing can ever come between her, the family and her home land and this is what the king had done.. He crossed the border into her life and was taking control. This is what kings do best, they cross borders and take control!!! This is what has made him an exceptional character in his own life, this is who he is. He can so easily stand alone and defeat many army’s single handed. King Romeo is the type of man that will never step down, he will never quit, he will not give up even if February 2016 Amazing Women 55


AMAZING MEN defeated in confrontation but not spirit. He has had many catastrophic loses and will survive. He can never live under someone else rule, he is a king.. The queen, now in trauma from the realization that this dream, the two of them created, was becoming un-achievable, by the means of her traditional upbringing in her way of life and these borders have been crossed with out having a solid bridge built between them, leaving the king out to the sea.. This disturbed the queen so much, she was now in unfamiliar territory and needs to get back to stable ground, it was like being in a ship lost at sea without a motor to navigate in a raging storm at sea, being tossed violently. This caused the queen to have a physical, mental and emotional nervous breakdown… she reached at every possible tangible notation to withdraw her status and want all new conditions. Her family took her back home and built new walls and conditions for her and made changes towards the king in a way that hinders impossibility for him to fulfill. He can’t live her and her families’ life with out having his own life 1st if he made this move. This is why he is a king.. Like eminent domain, the king never saw this coming; neither of the two was prepared to take these challenges and the outcome of this tragedy. This cast the king back to sea in a damaged ship and went to his homeland, where like in his past, he has always been the one to battle, continue forward and find his way thru the war fields of life. His damaged ship is docked but he hasn’t stopped, his journey is driven by internal desire

and this is what the queen fell in love with him for when they met. His ability to get thru things when tragedy occurs.. Though the borders between them have been sealed, the story lives on. The king and queen have returned to their homelands to resume with their lives as they know them. Only the pressure of time has the patients to be the determining factor of what is to come for both King Romeo and Queen Charlotte. For now, their communication has been broken, as if it were forbidden destiny. The king acknowledges the values of the queen and her royal family and their new conditions. He understands his kingdom and just as the queen, if he sacrifices all his worth and takes a journey of uncertainty, the outcome would be disastrous and far greater than he himself. For this, it is a one way choice and there can be no mistake, as there would be no way back home for the king.. A real life story copy written with the writers guild… Reggie’s broad ranged background as a master builder in real-estate and development industry now combined with the human behavior, leadership empowerment and self development industry. He has earned multiple licenses and now couple’s many years life’s work and experience of being a Master Builder, Businessman, Life Coach, Healer, Speaker, Demartini method facilitator, co-author in two books and he owns and operates an Independent Building inspection and Consulting business registered by the Division of the State Architect overseeing the requirements for state and public structures. October 2015 Amazing Women 56


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