Today, Silver Disobedience sits down with: Jeanne M. Stafford, Devotee of YES.
Jeanne M. Stafford is a speaker, coach, improvisor, and mother of two strong men. Her methods infuse her experience in these roles and a background in politics to help people navigate conflict with ease. Jeanne’s clients and audiences learn to communicate the Power of YES as they simplify, streamline and strengthen their spoken and written words increasing productivity at work and home.
In Jeanne’s book, Think. Drink. Eat. Move: 4 Steps to YES, she models for her readers how to say YES to themselves. Her next of eight books will be released in the spring of 2021.
Jeanne is a member of The National Speakers Association and will be President of NSA’s New York City Chapter in 2021. She’s the host of Jeanne Stafford’s Networking Dinner in New York City where she features fellow speakers and creates a space for leaders to grow in their communication.
She’s volunteered on several non-profit boards in education and the arts. Today, Jeanne serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Beljanski Foundation which funds research for natural cures for cancer and chronic disease.
Jeanne’s mission is to leave her clients and audiences feeling lighter and more confident in their ability to generate the success they seek.
What is your background?
I started my career in politics. My work as a political fundraiser began in Washington, DC in the mid-eighties and took me all over the country working on campaigns for candidates for President, Governor and Mayor.
What inspires you to create?
I love more than I lament. I am naturally engineered to see JOY, be inspired and share it. Words come to me very early in the morning (like you!) and when I’m doing random things like showering and walking.
I took my first improv class in 1998 and at the time I was expecting my 21-year-old and in the final years of my first career.
In this space, I was changed forever. I met my people. I was home. The science behind saying YES and experiencing the thrill of making up scenes on the spot made me happier than I knew I could be. As an improv performer I will always be inspired to create. I also always pledge to be a student of improv even as I speak about the basics and how YES relates to communication.
How has your career influenced your passions (or vice versa)?
I love our country and I love politics. Nothing takes this away from me because I am a student of history and history says we get through EVERYTHING stronger and more resilient. The system of checks and balances adapted by our forefathers renews with the passing of time and manages to update itself without bloodshed.
I am passionate about our freedom and the immeasurable possibilities that are born from freedom.
There is freedom in being able to communicate with effortlessness.
We are all powerful communicators. My prayer is that we come together to build something stronger than we ever imagined.
My experience in politics and improv help me to define great communication. What they both have in common is SPEED. They happen quickly and the storylines always change faster than in other areas of life.
I see the same patterns in clients and audiences who seek this work. If you are holding on, you will stay where you are. Many people are happy where they are. That’s fine.
If you are curious about an easier way, if you realize you have held on for too long or if you have some level of curiosity about improv and the power of YES, this is where I meet you.
To be successful in politics or improv you must be agile. You must transform. You are successful if you are different at the end of the “scene” than you are at the beginning.
Do people see themselves in you? Are you authentic? Do you “get to it” without wasting time?
These two very different experiences in my life have helped me to help others.
What is something that you must do every day (by choice)?
Sleep well, drink water, pray, meditate and walk outside.
What are some things that you would tell your younger self, if you had the opportunity to offer advice retrospectively?
You are divine. You are strong. Trust yourself ALL THE TIME.
If you could be answering these questions from another location, anywhere in the world, where would that be?
I am happy right here. This is where I was meant to be at this moment.
Who are some role models in your life?
The Blessed Mother, My grandfather, Jackie Kennedy.
What are some common misconceptions about getting older that you’d like to change?
I’ve become increasingly impatient with the overuse of the word “old”. The simple act of having a birthday is an opportunity to mark the gift of LIFE! How on earth have we created a culture of dread around on-going life?!
What is something you appreciate now that you hadn’t before?
I appreciate this very moment, all those before and – God willing – the many, many moments in front of me.
What’s a lesson you learned within the last year that you’d like to share?
Fear is not here. Opportunity and the chance to deepen the love we have for ourselves and our precious people is right here. Right. Now.
Our desire to make things happen and organize a perfect future keeps us from seeing all the possibilities in the present.
When we sit still with the trust that we have what we need, then we let things happen. This means letting go of plans more often than we create them. This means allowing for the space of nothing and trusting deeply.
What kinds of relationships are important to your work?
Smart, funny, “ego checked” people thrill me and are delight with which to work.
What would you like to be doing exactly five years from today? Ten years?
Five years from now I want to be sitting at my home by the sea, writing my fourth of eight books. I want to be looking out the window into the backyard at my James and Harry throwing a football with their significant others in the mix.
Ten years from now I want to be sitting at my home by the sea, writing my eighth book. I want to be looking out the window into the backyard at my James and Harry throwing a football with a spouse and/or child in the mix.
What one idea would you like to share with the Silver Disobedience community?
That there has never been a better time to understand how simple life and love can be.
The conflict we experience and the problems we have will continue. We must learn what we need to learn to get through it all with momentum and grace. This is the path toward true, worldwide happiness.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Where can people go for more information?
My website: https://jeannemstafford.com/