Life Lessons from a Relationship Coach
I have learned three things that have added to the success of my business and life, and I call it my U.R.L.
U - Unwavering energy
I'm complimented about my energy more than anything else. I thought all small business owners were excited about sharing their genius with the world, but I quickly found out that was not the case. One of the reasons I operate with such high energy is because, in January 2010, I was diagnosed with Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was on thirteen medications and had zero energy. Today God has healed my body, and I take no medications. I have a second chance to live life to the fullest, and it brings me energy and joy daily. Someone said to me, "Leona, it doesn't matter what you are doing; you are always energetic." My unwavering energy has been the determining factor when selected as a speaker many times. I'm often the opening Keynote to get the party started or the closing Keynote to end the party on a high note. It's a compliment to who I am, and I'm honored every time.
R - Resiliency Factor
Having the ability to bounce back from the difficulties of life and entrepreneurship is essential. Here is a secret, when I am confident in who I am and the gift I bring to the world, I bounce back quicker. I honestly surprise myself at times. I allow my God-given assignment to be the lens I look through. It's not about if situations happen in life; it's when they happen; therefore, I fortify my inner game to dominate my outer game. Whenever I fall or make a mistake, I give myself 24 hours to feel the emotions, then I get back up and try again. It's not always easy, but in my case, it's necessary. I often go from one win to another, and people never knew I had four learning lessons in between. I know God created me to be a winner; therefore, I never lose; I either win or learn.
L - Love of Learning
I love to learn new things or a more efficient way to do olds things. As I was learning how to pitch a proposal in person, organizations shared what they wanted; then, I'd be sure to include that in the following organization proposal. By the time I pitched my third proposal, I had a rock-solid proposal because I had learned what a great proposal looked like from the first two organizations. Because I enjoy learning, I seek to learn in the fastest way possible to implement it just as quickly. I am the true definition of a life-long learner. If I have periods where I'm not learning, I will find a class to learn a new skill. My philosophy is that if I'm not learning, I'm not growing. If I'm not growing, by default, I'm dying.
Leona Carter empowers women to build intimacy with their husbands through the power of dating again to enhance communication, from the kitchen to the bedroom.
Leona is an International Empowerment Speaker, 10X, International-Multi-best-selling Author, and a Certified Intimacy and Relationship Coach. As the President and CEO of Carter Strategies, Leona hosts, Hey Coach Carter TV, where she talks to married women who are building their business and their bedroom. Leona has been featured on CBS, FOX, ABC, NBC, and more.
Married since 1995, Leona, and her high school sweetheart, Omarr, have six children and one grandson. Leona and her family moved from Seattle, Washington, to Kalamazoo, Michigan, for the tuition-based program called The Kalamazoo Promise, where her family was featured in the New York Times.
Leona's energetic personality and vibrancy set her apart from the normalcy of entrepreneurship. She blazes a trail everywhere she goes through her passion for serving.
In your relationships, have you ever been in a season where conversations are cold? You talk about the kids, bills, and pets, but you are not having heart-to-heart conversations with your spouse. Exploring why you are not connecting can be challenging at times; that's why I want to share with you, The S.P.O.U.S.E. Approach.
It's a framework to help you to reconnect and rebuild those heart-centered conversations with your spouse again.
In The S.P.O.U.S.E. Approach think about these five key areas:
S – Secure
How do you show your spouse a sense of security? How do you want your spouse to demonstrate that to you? Has the trust been broken in the relationship? Can you trust your spouse with the vulnerabilities of your heart? Can your spouse trust you to be a safe space? Oftentimes, your spouse wants to connect with you but needs to feel safe. If there is apprehension, it may be because you did not provide a safe space in the past and used their words against them instead of just listening. You want to feel secure in the arms of your spouse and vice versa; therefore, keep that in mind when initiating conversation. First, listen, then let your spouse guide you for the help they need.
P – Prioritize
Think about it, how does your spouse know they are a priority to you? There is one rule, you can't use the familiar phrase, "They already know they're a priority," When you give someone directions, how do you know they heard you correctly. You know by the way they performed. If the goal was reached they understood the directions. If the goal was not reached there may be a miscommunication. It's the same way when we demonstrate to our spouses that they are a priority. Dating your spouse again allows you to reset the caliber and priority of one another. Above your children and other family members, it must be demonstrated and communicated you and your spouse are each other's priority. Many times our spouse moves down on the priority list and is often taken for granted. When we are not intentional about prioritizing each other, we become disconnected from one another, and soon other people or projects become a greater priority.
O – Opportunities
What new opportunities do you and your spouse have in your life right now? Is someone going back to school or has increased demands at work? This is a chance to support your spouse in a greater capacity which enhances the commitment intimacy in your marriage. In my book Sexpectations, I describe Commitment Intimacy as sharing the responsibility of commitment to your marriage with your spouse. Commitment is your ability to hold true to the vow you made long after the feelings in which you made it have gone. Look for opportunities to serve and support each other.
U – Understanding
When was the last time you asked your spouse why they showed up in a particular way? It should be a priority in your marriage to truly understand each other. Imagine walking behind someone who is moving really slow. You might have varying thoughts about how you'd love it if they walk a little faster so you can get to where you are going. What if they told you they had foot surgery two weeks ago and today they're walking for the first time after surgery? Would you still have the previous thought? Most likely not because you now understand. Imagine yelling at the person in line after they told you about their surgery. This is what we do to our spouses when we disregard their feelings and spend more time trying to be understood than understand. The greater reward is to seek to understand.
S –- Serving
Learn from your spouse how you can best serve them. What you needed when you first said "I do" to your spouse has changed over the years, and vice versa, therefore, it's important to learn from your spouse what they need. Have you ever assumed you know what your spouse needs, only to find out you were wrong? Then you said, "But you always like when I...." does that sound familiar. It was in those moments you realized your spouse changed. What your spouse needed early in your marriage will be different now. Use date nights to learn about your spouse and what they need, and they should be doing likewise.
E – Emotions
The deepest level of connection requires a tremendous amount of trust in your relationship. This deep level of emotional intimacy plays a key part in any marriage. Having heart-to-heart conversations with your spouse is an emotional connection that must be stewarded well. Before marriages are ruined, they are emotionally disconnected, therefore, it's important to find ways to enhance to connection in your marriage.
HER Vision for YOU
I empower women to build intimacy with their husbands through the power of dating again to enhance communication, from the kitchen to the bedroom. I have an intimacy coaching program that teaches couples how to date their spouse again over 28 dates. It is very thought-provoking and interactive because no two dates are alike. Couples complete the coaching program with a renewed sense of prioritizing their spouse often relearned in many marriages.
Early in my marriage, when I had questions about building intimacy in my marriage, there was no safe space for me to find answers. As a Christian, I attended a great church, but the marriage ministry was not equipped to answer the questions I had about my marriage. With little to no guidance in my marriage, I struggled for many years. Today, as a Certified Relationship Coach married since 1995, I vowed to be the mentor I longed for, especially for Christian couples. Unfortunately, the conversation about building intimacy is still not happening often enough. I coach clients to navigate difficult conversations with their spouses to create long-lasting intimacy in their relationships.