For some children, parental separation is not the hardest part. Rather, it is the accompanying stressors that make divorce difficult. Changing schools, moving to a new home, and feeling a little more stressed are some additional stressors that make...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/jaime-greene-how-one-small-change-can-make-a-huge-impact-trauma-healing-podcast/#show-notes
For some children, parental separation is not the hardest part. Rather, it is the accompanying stressors that make divorce difficult. Changing schools, moving to a new home, and feeling a little more stressed are some additional stressors that make divorce difficult.
In this episode, we have a guest speaker, Jaime Greene, a super mom of 3 young children, married for 11 years and known as The Solar Queen. We talk about her journey and how her struggles and hardships in life brought her to where she is today.
He is an avid student, reader, traveler and has a small YouTube channel providing solar education and information to his subscribers and viewers. He is a course creator, speaker, investor, consultant and author and he is just getting started!
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Michael: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world today. Very excited to be back with you with another episode with my great friend and guest, Jaime Greene. Jamie, my friend. How are you today? What is happening in your world?
Jaime: I'm excellent. How are you doing, Michael?
Michael: I'm great. I'm very excited to hang out with you. So, you and I have known each other for a couple of years now. We've almost got kicked off of planes together. We've gone to conferences together; we've ate dinner together. We've talked about family and life and kids and cars and all of those things. And so, I'm super, super excited to have you on this show because two reasons. One, I love your story and your journey, and as people hear it today, I think that they are going to be mind blown. And two, I think you're just one of the most genuinely just kind and awesome people that I've probably ever met. So, I'm super excited to get to share you with the audience today. For those who don't know you, why don't we start and tell us a little bit about your background, your childhood, and what it was like for you growing up?
Jaime: Oh, sure. Well, thank you for all the kind things you had to say about me. So, I was adopted from Korea when I was five months old. So, came to America, flew on Northwest Airline, I think it was Northwest Orient or something, into Chicago O'Hare. And my dad came and picked me up and they got like maybe three days’ notice that I was coming. Crazy story, the whole story, the backstory of all that. Came to America with a bag and a bottle and a blanket and some diapers and that was like a kid. I have an older brother and then two younger siblings, my sister is half black, half Korean. I'm from Korea and then I have younger brother that was adopted from India and my sister was a year and a half when she was adopted and then my little brother was adopted when he was two and a half. So, we had this very diverse family in a very white neighborhood in Washington state. We stuck out like a sore thumb, whether we liked it or not, you know, we were at that community where there were maybe like three or four black families that we knew, maybe two or three Hispanic families and like for Asian families, and they were like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese like we just stuck out, we were different that was for sure. So, we grew up in this family mom, dad, everything seemed normal, you know, we didn't know anything different. We had sibling rivalries, all that stuff, growing up and then I remember thinking, I'm so grateful to be adopted. I'm so grateful I got chosen to be a part of this family. And it's not obviously a perfect family, but it was a family and all was well. And then when I was 12 years old, I learned that my dad had an affair, I actually overheard him talking to his mom about it. And as a 12-year-old, you're thinking like, what did I just hear? You don't really quite understand it but you know, it's not right. You just kind of know it's not right. On the way home, so what was going on? My grandma lived in eastern Washington and it was like a five-hour drive from where we lived. So, every summer we would go to see grandma and my mom would just have a weekend to herself, you know, as a mom with four kids, you kind of need that time to yourself. And I know as a mother of three, you just need a little bit of just alone time to relax and just not worry about raising children at that moment in time. So, she was back home and my brother and my sister and my older brother, we all went to visit my grandma for the 4th of July, Lake Serene, Washington, if you're familiar with that area, but there was a big 4th of July boat parade, like parade and fireworks. And we were on this boat and I heard my dad talking to my grandma about it so, I just couldn't believe it I was like, what? My first thought was is my dad gay? ‘Cuz I just didn't think that he would be having an affair, that was my first thought. For some reason, I don't even know why. And I knew that my dad, he's a good looking guy and I knew that, you know, he would tell me like, people, guys and gals would always be hitting on him. So, I thought, well, maybe he was gay or maybe but he is not. So, he had an affair with a woman and I remember hearing my grandma say to my dad, Oh, I'm looking forward to meeting her. So, I knew he wasn't gay at that point in time, but I had this information inside of me and I didn't know what to do with it, and it just created this turmoil inside of me and we had a five-hour drive going back home. And I used to do this thing, my dad had a Chevy Silverado bench seat, you know, and it was automatic and I would always sit next to him. And I mean, I was really close with my dad, so this was why this part of the story with me and my dad, it was so like, heartbreaking. But one of the childhood memories is my dad would let me drive the truck with my left foot and my left hand, or I'd like literally hold over on the steering wheel he'd just sit back and let me drive on the freeway, like just sitting right next to him. So, we were doing that and like we were driving back and I've always been one, if there's conflict or if there's something I just try and address it head on like I need to know what's going on. I have to have an understanding of why but I also knew the gravity of the story or what was unfolding in front of me, like destroy our family. And I had just had that thought of, oh my gosh, I'm so grateful for this family that I've been adopted into and everything. And then, so I asked the question, I asked my dad on the drive home, my brother and sister, this was back before they had seatbelt laws and everything, they were sleeping in the back of the truck cuz he had a panic.
Michael: You mean when it was cool to be a kid?
Jaime: Yeah. And we had an air mattress and sleeping bags and, you know, I had everything back there and so it was just me and my dad in the truck cabin and I asked him the question and he just kind of said, yes, but don't tell your mom and I was like, what? Like how do you do that?
Michael: It's a lot of pressure for a kid. It's wild because so often we, you know, a lot of kids experience that where they're like, don't tell your mom, don't tell your dad, don't tell your brother, you know, whatever it is, it's like a heavy fucking weight to carry at 12 years old.
Jaime: Definitely. So, I got home and just everything changed, like my perspective of everything changed. You know, I didn't say anything, but my sister said something and I was like, how did she know? But I think at the end of the day, my mom probably knew, you know, and they were just all kind of keeping things cool ‘cuz they were probably trying to figure what do we do here? And then eventually everyone, the family found out and my dad moved out and this and that. And so, it just kind of disrupted this family that we had. I was so mad at my dad, I was angry, I didn't speak to him for three years and if it was, it was nothing but profanities and how much like he destroyed our family, which really was, you know, I didn't like that, that was what was inside of me. You know, I didn't like that I had all this anger, and I wouldn't say hate, but just anger, like utter disappointment ‘cause I was super close with my dad.
Michael: Yeah. And I think that happens so often too because like we're looking at these people who we anticipate, or we at least feel within us are supposed to take care of us and love us and support us and effectively be our superheroes. And I think part of the reason, at least, and this is my own thought process, that we hold parents especially to such a high regard, ‘cuz of television and cartoons as a kid and movies where everybody loves their parent. And everyone on this show knows my story, I certainly did not have that relationship obviously, you know my story, but I do think a lot of it, like, it comes from that place where you watch all of the space where people can't be a fuck up. Where people can't make mistakes. And so immediately I'm sure you must have been like dismantled, right?
Jaime: Yeah. Well, cuz you know, I had friends who had divorced parents and I saw how they had to go one weekend in here and one weekend in there and summer's here and it just didn't seem like normal or it just didn't seem not normal. I don't wanna say normal cuz there's nothing's normal in this day and age.
Michael: Since what's unknown?
Jaime: Yeah. It was so bizarre just in that moment. One of the things of why I was adopted was because my birth parents were having an affair and that's why I was put up for adoption because in Korea and in society, you just don't have children outta wedlock, women like it's super shameful so, I knew that. So, in knowing that about, that's how I was conceived and that's why I was adopted. And then seeing my adopted parents, that ones that are supposed to come and, you know, you kind of feel a little bit rescued, but not in that rescued way, but you feel like, okay, I was chosen, I was adopted, they wanted me to be a part of their family and then they wanted two more kids to be a part of their family. And then shortly thereafter, they make this catastrophic decision that splits up the family. So, but then again, it's not unusual for families to separate like that, so it wasn't like it was unusual, but for me it just felt devastating. And so, three years had passed and in those three years my mom met somebody and eloped to Vegas, we didn't know him very well. And that was just again, like, what's going on with my parents?
Michael: It's crazy how like disconnected kids can be from that because one day, I swear to God, I will never forget this, I don't think I've ever even said this on the show before. I was in my living room and I'm like seven or eight and this guy who I kind of had seen once or twice was like, Hey, is it cool if I marry your mom? And here's what's fucking crazy, Jaime hey got married that day. And I mean they had probably been dating for a minute, but you know, now obviously looking back, he's a psycho and I can see why enmeshment probably led to that in a whole bunch of other reasons, but we'll get into that at another time. But I remember just being like, why is nobody like talking about this and suddenly like, we're okay with this?
Jaime: Yeah. It's the same thing. We met him a couple of times. We had those wired telephones, you know, remember that? And there was this sneaky little thing, and if my mom was on the phone, and I don't think I've ever told her this, but when she was on the phone for like more than an hour, and it wasn't with a girlfriend or anything, I knew she was talking to somebody. And so, I would go in the kitchen, she was in the bedroom. I would go in the kitchen, I'd unplug it, pick up the phone, and then quietly put like kids these days will never know how to do that, and I was like, Oh, she's talking to a guy and who is this guy and this. And so, I knew something like…
Michael: So you're probably a teen now, right?
Jaime: Yeah, I was 14 years old at this point in time.
Michael: Okay. So, you're super mischievous.
Jaime: Oh, but you know, all the whole time I was like, I always wanted to be responsible. I just wanted to be in control of my life because things that are happening around you, you can't control. And so, part of me just wanted to be the best student, the best like I just wanted to be a good person around that time I started kind of like going to this program called Young Life that they had at the school. So, it was like a Christian based organization. I went to that a few times, but my goal in life was to not hurt anyone, like to be a good citizen and be a good friend, except everybody ‘cuz you know, everything was clicky in junior high and middle school. And I just wanted to be that person that was a friend to anybody like, I didn't care. I was athletic, I think I was like in the honor society and different things like that, but my goal in life was just to well and do the best I could with what I had. So, when all these outside things were happening that were beyond my control, when things happened that impacted my life externally, I had to figure out how to respond to that. And so, when I learned that my mom had gotten married, we were driving, I think she had picked me up from some after school sports thing. We were driving back to her apartment and she brought up, she's like, Hey, you know, we had just met Jim is his name, and I said, and she said, what would you say if I got married to Jim? And I was like, well mom, you're the adult like, that's a decision you have to make for yourself. And she's like, and I go if you did, I'd have to accept it, it's like, you know, what are you gonna take advice from a teenager?
Michael: You articulated that as a kid?
Jaime: Oh yeah.
Michael: I mean, that's very impressive.
Jaime: Yeah. So, she's like, well, we got married two weeks ago in Vegas…
Michael: And what is wrong with adults? Like, what the fuck?
Jaime: I was like, well, why? Well then why are you asking me for permission? It's done like you're married.
Michael: You know, when you're a kid and you like maybe steal something or maybe not steal something, I saw a lot of shit as a kid. But maybe you do something that you know you're not supposed to do as a kid and then you go ask for permission for it, that's what it sounds like is happening here, it's like, wait a second. What?
Jaime: So, he came to visit and he smoked at the time, and I had never smoked a cigarette in my life. I'd never drank it ounces of alcohol. I'd never said cuss words like I'll never forget the first time I said the word fuck out loud. And I was like, what's the big deal about this word? And so, it was probably right after I learned my mom got married and she announced we're gonna move to California cuz that's where he lived and it was Santa Monica. And I just remember what is going on here? I remember walking to school and I was just so confused and I was mad and I'm gonna just say, fuck. And I go and I just go, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. And I was like, well, this isn't really making me feel better, so why? I'm just not gonna say the word like, just remember, I just wanted to be good like, and in my mind as a teenager saying bad words wasn't a good thing. Now I say them when I feel like I need to say them and I don't have any judgment over anyone who says any words like, you can say, you say fuck all the time, Michael.
Michael: I do. And I'm so glad you just said that. I think I might hold the world record for the number of times Fuck has been said on a podcast. It was literally my first word, like literally. And so, that tells you about the environment that I grew up in, that's like everything you need to know. And I remember I was sitting with my grandmother one day and I was probably like, I don't know, 10 years old and she was just in this rocking chair chain smoke and cigarettes playing, she used to have this digital card game and she'd just play all day long. And we were watching a movie and I was just, for whatever reason, I was like, Hey, what was my first word? Do you know? And she's like, oh fuck, just so nonchalant about it. And it was like, okay, that actually makes a lot of sense. So, yeah, I get that. So, now you're in this weird place, I think we probably unforcibly moved only once or twice as a kid, but we probably lived with over 30, I lived with over like 30 different families as a kid. You know, getting bounced around place to place to place, dealing with the chaos of childhood and life and that is so discombobulating, it's so disregulating for kids and it's really difficult when you're trying to. You and I are in a different spectrum, right, because you know, you're thinking this way as a kid, I want to be good, be a good person, honor society, playing sports, all that stuff Me, I'm like breaking the houses, stealing cars, running from the cops, you know, hooking up with girls like it's really just chaos, right? What started to happen in your life?
Jaime: Yeah, that's a great question. It's so funny ‘cuz my sister probably took the path that you took and I took the opposite path in responding to crisis in our lives. And so, when we moved, the first thing that happened, you know, we sold the house that I grew up in. I reconciled with my dad because in my mind I thought, well, I'm moving to California, I don't know when I'll see him again. And if something ever were to happen to him, I wouldn't wanna hold a grudge with him. I would want him to know I forgave him. I think I had come to meet the Lord, like I became a Christian and it was one of those things where I was like, I don't want to live with unforgiveness and having unreconciled relationship with my dad, like I loved my dad and it pained me that for that long I held a grudge with him. But it was almost like my way of having power over the decision he made to like, I'm gonna withhold myself from you because you made this decision that disrupted and divided our family. And then I was like, that's silly. I'm not gonna hold that over anymore and then we moved to California.
Michael: But before you go there, I have a question. Because when I was a kid, and I think so many people deal with this when they have moments of heartbreak as children. We become resentful, we push back, we put up gigantic walls obviously you did for a period of time. But then to get to that place where you're like, I wanna reconcile this, like, those kinds of words did not exist in my vernacular as a kid. I was like, how the fuck do I burn this house down? Right. And so, what I'm wondering is, where did that come from for you? Like, is that innate? Is that a part of like the Jaime DNA? Because I'm sitting here like, I wanna throw a brick through the window and you're like, I'm gonna go and sit down and have a conversation.
Jaime: Yeah. You know, I do think it was partly because I became a Christian at that moment, like in that junior high phase, like for as much as I knew what it meant to be a Christian, you know, accepting the death of Jesus on the cross for my sins and my wrongdoing. And so, that I think is what really prompted inside of me that I can't hold unforgiveness towards him like if I am going to identify as a Christian and believe in that. For me, I couldn't hold unforgiveness towards him, I couldn't hold on forgiveness or any anger or I never was really bitter towards my biological parents. I actually more or less felt it like, what a gift, but also how hard, I mean, that's a whole another story, whole another podcast of all that stuff. But it just was one of those things, like I just, I don't know what made me do that, but I would say it was just my faith in God that I couldn't call myself a Christian and then be like, I'm forgiving towards my dad.
Michael: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. It took me a long time to get to forgiveness I mean it, and even now I think about it in a magnitude of ways. One of which is in part, I think to some extent in its contextual, obviously I think there are some areas in forgiveness in which it must be earned and not just allotted. And I think for me, that comes in relationships and reconciliation and a lot of those things ‘cuz you know, it's one thing to be like, I forgive you and then the same thing happens again that I played that game with my mom for, you know, my entire childhood. And then there's the other forgiveness where it is for you because it's like if you're carrying that backpack of bricks with you everywhere you go, it weighs you down. And it's not just the forgiveness of other people, but like you have to forgive yourself too. And you know, because name a mistake, name a terrible thing a human being can do outside of killing someone, I've probably done it right, but I've been able to go and stand and look in the mirror, be okay with the reflection on the other side, love myself as is, and just say, you know what? Like I'm human having a human experience and guess what, I'm gonna screw up again like, it's only inevitable, right? It's coming. And so, that's so astute of you to be that young and obviously having, you know, I think we fail to look at mentors we have in our childhood as you know, even the kid who's a senior in high school, right? Or even the church leader or whatever it might be for you. And I imagine there just must have been some people who just spoke into you in a really powerful way.
Jaime: Absolutely. You know, I played competitive fast pitch. So, I had coaches, I had friends, my parents, we had good friends, they were all there and supportive and everything. So, I mean, it definitely wasn't just this like profound thing that happened in my life, just out of thin air. But there was a community of people that were there and supportive in a very, I don't know what the word I'm looking for, they didn't realize the impact that they were making on my life to make me feel like I mattered or to keep going. And so, you know, my dad and I, we had those hard conversations and I was able to express the decisions that he had made and how it hurt me so deeply and he apologized and he asked for forgiveness. So, it wasn't like I just gave it to, but there was an exchange of that. And of course, I apologized for how disrespectful and how I was with him and so it was this moment of release and it almost wants to bring me into tears right now, but it was just one of those things where it's like it pained me to hold that against him if for any longer like I just didn't wanna do that. And so, because I was moving from Washington to California with my mom and her new husband, who we did not know, we didn't know him very well. My sister ended up staying with my dad, my brother and I moved down to California, my older brother was out of, you know, graduating, getting married and everything so he is doing his own life. But we moved to California and we didn't know anybody and I was a fresh, I was considered a freshman. So, I went from a junior high of like maybe 400 people into Santa Monica High School with it had 2200 kids.
Michael: Yeah. Culture shock, right?
Jaime: Yeah. But that saving grace there, like, it took me probably two weeks to bring myself to go to school. And my mom and my stepdad are still married to this day. But one of the weird things and I just spent three weeks with them in New York and we were kind of talking about this, how it's incredible that they've made it, it's incredible the life that they've built through adversity, cuz they definitely experience adversity in their relationship. But what was so strange was he was only 10 years older than me, so he was 25 when my mom got married to him, and I was 15. So, it was extremely bizarre, and he's Indian, but he grew up in England and his parents were Indian in, like, when I say Indian, they didn't speak much, much English. So here we are, not only in a new state…
Michael: This is a sitcom by the way.
Jaime: Yeah. In a new city and Santa Monica of all places in a new environment like, all of a sudden, these people that are in our lives, were like having to build relationships there, it was bizarre. You know, we didn't really know him and it just was just bizarre. But anyways, I go to school, my PE teacher happened to be the varsity fast pitch coach, and she came up to me the first day I was in school and she's like, well, welcome. Where are you from? Tell me a little bit about yourself. And I said, well, I'm from Washington and da da da. And I said, I played fast pitch competitively for all these years and she's like, Huh, interesting. I'm the varsity fast pitch coach. Would you like to come practice with us? And I kid you know I felt like that was a divine thing from God, it was the only thing that saved me, like, from everything that was going on in my home life at the time I left all my friends. I had nobody except for my brother, my mom, and this new husband of hers and his parents and that was the saving grace. And so, I ended up playing and then long story short we moved back up to Washington a year later because my stepdad had some issues with drug use, it was not healthy. I said, Mom, we're leaving, you gotta put him in rehab, but I called dad and we're going back up to Washington.
Michael: Wait, hold on. Time out. Hold on. You made that decision? You know, I've shared this on the story before on the show before when I was 15, I might have been 14, somewhere in that window. You know, I put a restraining order on my mom and my stepdad and there's something about having to make those what feel like insane decisions as a kid. Like you almost have to, right? I always feel like there's this thing sitting inside of me where it's like, dude, if you don't make this decision right now and you don't talk about this or you don't say this, you're gonna literally explode. So, you're so perplexing to me cuz I've like, to me, I look at that and I go, how the fuck can a child actually do that? Right. What was happening?
Jaime: I felt like I just had to grow up. As soon as things happen with my mom and dad, I was a sibling, everyone looked to for strength and support. And so, I just kind of grew up. I had to grow up. And I also was had the wherewithal, like, even though I maybe didn't do, like, you know, going back to that cigarette story, I did try one of his cigarettes. I'm like, this burns my lips, it doesn't taste good, why do people smoke? This is ridiculous. So, you know, I tried to do things that people would do that would like, you know, be that what I would call it, a rebellious thing as a kid. But I just realized that was a waste of time and energy on my part, and that's not what I wanted to participate in. So, I guess part of that is I just had to grow up like I just had to take responsibility for my life regardless of what was going on around me. And so, when I recognized that these things that were happening inside my mom's marriage, new marriage that were extremely unhealthy. I mean, like, okay, they'll probably never watch this podcast or listen to it but I remember getting in the car with my mom, stepdad disappeared at this point in time I knew he was on drugs and I'm talking heavy, like hardcore drugs, hallucinating, all that kind of stuff disappear for two days at least a day on day two week. My mom goes, we gotta go drive, find him and the first place we went to was Venice Beach to try and see if we were somewhere on the streets in Venice Beach like that's not normal 15-year-old activity happening in someone's life. So, I was just like, after we found him, I said, Mom…
Michael: On Venice Beach?
Jaime: No, we didn't find him. I don't even remember. I think he came home. I think he just came back to the house. I remember calling my dad and I didn't really let him in on what was going on at a preservation for my mom but I just said, it's not good. And I think my mom was talking to one of her really good friends up there and she came down to visit and she saw it wasn't good. And so, she kind of helped us go back, like, fly back to Washington, and I said, Mom, you need to put him in rehab and you need to help him, and you need to get out of this relation like, I just was like, you gotta end this relationship. This is ridiculous. Well, long story short, he goes to rehab, she moves to Washington, he gets clean and sober. He moves to Washington, he enrolls at University of Washington, graduates with highest honors in like biochemistry or something like that, goes on to be a dentist and life improves like it was just a dark period of time in his life and she stood by him and forgave him. You know, like, it was just crazy but all that to be said, here they are 27 years later and they're doing quite well.
Michael: Yeah, that's wild. I mean, and adversity is everywhere, you know, I mean, you've been married for a long time, you have three children. People seem to think like when you find the one or a spouse or a partner or you get married, like it's all fucking rosy and it's not, it's just not, you know, I even think about past relationships and being where I'm at in my life right now and just thinking about future relationships and realizing like, you know, sometimes you just gotta fucking tough this shit like you gotta have each other's back. You know? You and I, we met, I don't know if we met at GrowthCon. I don't remember exactly where we met, but it was, but I think about like Grant and Elena's relationship, right? As a couple who is mentors to both of us and millions of people around the world in various relationships. I think about Tom Bilyeu and Lisa's relationship. I think about, you know, so many of these amazing people and it's like, man, it's the fucking winter's coming like it's gonna come. But guess what? I think about relationships so much about this adage that good times make weak men, weak men make hard times, hard times make good men. And I think that's the same thing about relationships, right? I truly do. More so now than ever, especially having a couple of, I won't call them bad relationships because that'd be unfair, but you know, any relationship that doesn't end in a way that I think is in alignment and has collision of values it's difficult. Right? One of the things is you gotta kind of come to this conclusion if you're willing to fight through the adversity and the difficulty. And so, kudos to them for being able to do that and for you and for all these people have amazing relationships. But going back, so now you're in this position, you're looking at your life and you take some interesting turns and I know this after high school and I'd love for you to talk about this transition and what kind of starts to lead you down the path where more or less you are today.
Jaime: Yeah. Well, I graduate high school, I go off to college. I quit college cuz I'm like, this is not worth going into debt for, ‘cuz I didn't have a college fund, my parents, you know, thinking back and in hindsight they both were just broken people who got married and they never, you know, I mean you think unbroken, that's what your mission is all about, is to heal, help people through the childhood trauma. My parents both had childhood trauma that they just never knew how to deal with. And then they were two broken people that got married and then really tried to make everything work. I also think that's were extending grace and forgiveness really does like my parents did the best they could with what they had, and then they just continued to go be broken people getting married to other broken people, it perpetuates like unless they go, enough is enough, we're not doing this anymore. We're going to get the healing we need for our own lives. You know, I can't make them do that, I'm sure that they've had healing in their lives somewhere, but that's like, all through high school, it was all about, okay, I gotta shake this stuff off. I gotta figure out who the hell I wanna be. I go graduate from college or high school. I mean, my dad got married and eloped to, I don't know what it is, with my parents eloping to these places. She was a psycho woman, had to deal with that and unpack, and unwrap all of that stuff too, she hated my guts, she's super jealous of me and it's just bizarre. Like all these things, I'm like, what did I do? Like, what did I do to invite all this stuff to happen to me? But again, it felt like I had to like shut all this stuff off and like figure out who I wanted to be. And so, I talked about being, like finding God in junior high and high school I definitely found him like there. And I was like, Okay, at one moment in time in my life, I wanted to be like an evangelist and teaching people how to live the Christian life like that was one of the things. So I went to a church, I got involved with the ministry there and I met someone and I was like, ah, I felt a whole, I felt like, okay, I've done the work, I've done the healing stuff, I'm ready to get married, my whole goal in life was to have a marriage that was lasting and loving and an example, of you can come from brokenness, but you can also have a thriving marriage like that, you know, I just wanted that. So, I got married at 22 years old to a gentleman I met at church, we were married about a year after we met and was dating and then we got married six months later. So, about a year and a half. Well, right after we got married, things just started falling apart out of my, like, felt very much outta my control. And about a year into marriage, he had an affair and I was like, what the fuck is going on? Why is this adultery stuff? Like, what's going on? Like, I'd never met anyone that had all these things happen like uninvited, like it just, honestly, Michael, that was like, what the fuck?
Michael: I've had a lot of what the fuck moments really and truly. And the thing that I always come to, like having this language now, and I always remind myself of this as an adult, is life is happening for you and not to you. Right? Thank God we have that but man, as a kid, I'd be like, what the fuck? This is the craziest shit would happen in my life and I would just be like, this is a movie. This cannot be real. You can't make it up. One time, I'll never forget this, my mom is shit faced on Thanksgiving and this girl had a huge crush on like actually comes to my house for the first time and I'm like, Oh my God, this is amazing. And my mom walks out, Jaime, this is crazy shit. Walks out into the living room, wasted, but naked. And in that moment, like you having that thought, I was just like, are you fucking kidding me? And I think so many we don't invite it. Right. That's the thing. And this is what I try to teach my clients all the time. It's like, you cannot be culpable for that shit. You cannot carry that. And especially, you know, two things come to mind as like, one, I mean, good on you for trying to make that thing your reality, marriage sands the chaos. But I believe this fully, the universe gives you what you're supposed to have. You can call that God; you can call that spirit. You can go that mother earth, whatever. And the hard part is like, we don't want, like Jaime, I don't want half of this when it comes, I'm like, I don't want it. Take it away. Get this. But then I'm like, God, it just makes me grow. It makes me look at it and reflect in the world. It makes me change in these really powerful and potent ways. And honestly, all the bad shit has only made my life better. But that's not in harboring in it, cuz I did that for a long time. Right? So, you're 22, you're like, Fuck as I'm getting invited to all of this probably cuz you got married at 22 but that's just some guys opinion.
Jaime: Anyone's watching and they're don't even think about getting married until you're at least 30, maybe 35.
Michael: Maybe 50.
Jaime: You know but it was just one of those things that happened and I remember being faced with the decision, what are you going to do? What is your decision going to be? And I feel like there's been this theme of things happening and it's hurtful and of course, you know, I shed lots of tears and I had those pity party moments. But I even remember having pity party moments as a woman and just suck it up like, don't let this hold you down. Yes, cry for the minute that you need to, but then get up and keep going. Like, I did not ever want to give in all that like, power to the thing, circumstances that were happening to me but I was like, these are external circumstances and I am only responsible for how I respond to this and where I go from here. And I remember, I don't know, maybe it was like this in high school, I remember this motivational speaker came to the school and I was like, I wanna be a motivational speaker someday because I wanna help people get over their things that have happened in their lives and I wanna teach women and young girls not to like fall victim to crap or whatever it might be and not to let that define or keep them like boxed in. I want them to be successful, strong willed, powerful, courageous, and confident women. And then I look back and like God has a sense of humor because all these things happened and I felt like every time it was a test of how am I gonna respond and grow from this circumstance. The divorce thing happened, it was humiliating but at the same time, I rose up, I had my career at the Boeing company, which was, I felt like just a divine thing as well, traveled the world and I was like, I am not even gonna worry about relationships with men. I am gonna focus on myself. I am gonna take all this in this gift that I've been given of world travel through my company and just grow as a human and as a business woman and live the best life I could at that moment in time. And then I was like, this is awesome and then I was like, Okay, I feel like I'm ready to share my life with someone. And in that time that I was traveling the world and being this successful business woman, world traveler, like it was awesome, I'm in my twenties without a college degree like I shouldn't have had that job, but I did. I bought two houses along the way and was learning to cash loan with real estate investing the wrong way like I thought I was pretty bad, asked to be honest. And then one of the houses when I was traveling, I had under property management and it turned out to be a grow operation for about 900 marijuana plants in Washington next thing. And I only laugh because I'm like, are you kidding me? And it was completely destroyed the police busted down the door, like then bust the door open, they actually opened it. I didn't find out until six months later. It was completely destroyed. My savings was all, you know, depleted for making the mortgage payment while we were trying to rent it out, the property management company, that's another story, but just had to file bankruptcy and then recover from that. And so, this is happening in my mid-twenties or late twenties.
Michael: You know what's interesting? I'm gonna pause you real quick because it's a lot, right? And I just go, man, it's like every, we face challenges nonstop, it's not going to stop, it's not like it's never going to end. And there is something about the resiliency that you have to be willing to tap in that is gonna be the differentiating factor between success and failure in your life. Right. And look, I think you and I would both agree with this. You know, victimhood is a part of this. Take your time. Recover. Don't get trapped in it. Don't get fucking trapped. Cause that was me, 20 to 26 I was trapped in it. I mean, how do you make a million dollars and be 40 grand in debt, 350 pounds, smoking two packs of drinking yourself to sleep like I was playing the victim. And it's like you know, at some point you're going to have to pick yourself up. And I know that's like fucking tough love for yourself. And a lot of people hate hearing that. And the people who listen to this show, I know that they don't because that's why they listen, because we keep it real. But nobody's coming. Ain't nobody coming to save your ass. There's no bankruptcy. You gotta get a divorce. You deal with infidelity. You fucking get fired from a job. You break your leg, you have a surgery, you get sick. Ain't nobody coming. You've got to be willing to sit in it and look at it and go, Yep, this fucking sucks. Now what do I do? The question that changed my life forever, and you kind of pointed to it, is I asked myself, what are you willing to do to have the life that you want to have? And I swear to everything I love that if you don't ask yourself that question, nothing's gonna be different. I think people also look at bankruptcy as like the scarlet letter, but it's really what's crazy Jaime and you know, and people look at a lot of different things and they go, that's a scarlet letter. How dare you. But I was sitting at dinner one time with two billionaires too. I'm not a billionaire. I don't know that I ever will be. It doesn't matter. The mission is the mission. And I'm sitting there having this conversation with this guy and he goes, yeah, man, I had to file bankruptcy two times. And I was like, what? And he goes, the first time I was like, you know, not a big deal, 400,000 bucks. The second time he goes, it was 38 million.
Jaime: Oh, well I would definitely wanted the 38 million bankruptcy over the 400,000.
Michael: Hundred percent. But the thing that people don't understand and my hope is that a lot of people will step into their side hustles and step in entrepreneurship and find freedom and take themselves out of the corporate lies. Another conversation for another day but I wanna plant a seed bankruptcy to an extent. And I'm not a lawyer, not a bankruptcy lawyer. Do not take this as legal advice. Don't fucking sue me cuz I don't know what I'm talking about. But bankruptcy to an extent is like a fucking get outta jail free card for entrepreneurs. And I mean it one place in world. Can you do that?
Jaime: It was purely because of the real estate. It wasn't my own personal, I was a hundred thousand dollars in personal debt with consumer credit cards, real estate investing gone wrong because of the wrong tenants, you know?
Michael: What about lack of education? Is it only the tenants?
Jaime: Oh, well, my only thing that I can say was I hired a property management company to manage the properties. So, cuz I was traveling all over the world. They found the tenants, they took care of the house, they collected the rent, I got the money and everything. So, part of me, the reason why I filed bankruptcy was from a lawyer who I went to say, can we sue the property management company? And he is like, no one's gonna touch this case. You might as well just file bankruptcy and walk away. It was like, Oh, what? I can do that. I can do that?
Michael: But you know what's fascinating is people carry so much shame and guilt about all of these things, right? This is a transition for you because, and I wanna rewind, you're traveling, this thing happens, but life is also kind of really good, and your kind of like, I think I'm ready and then what happens?
Jaime: So, then I met my husband, my now husband. We met through ER many before was ever cool to do the online dating. And I don't even know if it's still cool. Okay. So, but I tried the match.com. I tried the millionaires like singles thing. And in fact, I met somebody who was like a founder of a really big-time company, but he was a liar and I'm like, I don't need lying. I even, one lie, I don't need lying. I just don't. I've had enough of it in my life. I just have had enough shit happen in my life. I don't wanna build a relationship based off a distrust or a single lie like, I don't care how wealthy you are, that's not what I wanted. So, I met my husband on eHarmony, we met, we had like instant chemistry, we ended up dating long distance for a year, and I moved to California. And he like, thought, he was like, wow, this amazing girl, she's business woman, she's got two houses, she's doing really well for herself, like sitting pretty cold, like, you know, kind of thinking that, and then all of a sudden, all this stuff that bankruptcy happens, that this and that happened. He's like, and I'm like, I hope he doesn't break up with me just because these things happen that were beyond my control and thankfully, he didn't, he was very gracious. But we ended up dating, we got married and so that's how I ended up back in California. And we've been married, we're coming up on 12 years of marriage and three kids later. And, you know, we've worked hard to create the life that we want, we've worked through things like, I'll never forget the first, like we used to go to all these conferences together and the Breakthrough conference for me was this one called like the Millionaire Mind Intensive. And I remember going to this and having utter like the most cleansing, cry and breakthrough and had everything to do with my financial, ‘cause I remember I started working at 16, my parents didn't like, I never got new clothing, maybe a pair, new pair of jeans and a new jacket and a new pair of shoes and that was it everything else I had to buy for myself. I'll never forget buying the very first boom box for a hundred dollars. I worked so hard to earn that. And I'm like, is it worth me trading all that time that I worked at Pizza Hut, serving pizza to people to go and buy this? I mean, I just got wrapped up in value and exchange of time and money and all that. I definitely felt I had financial like chains weighing me down but that millionaire mind intensive freed me up and it changed my life and love or hate Robert Kiyosaki, but that book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, changed my life.
Michael: Yeah, that's wild. And I sit and I hear this and I'm like, you know, you're actually living that dream that as a 20 something you thought you were gonna get. Right. And that's powerful, it's amazing because I think so many people, God, it's just like, if there's one thing that I hope people take from this conversation is like, you're going to get thrown to the ground again and again and again. But you can still have what you want like you just can't. Again, just to reference Grant, because I love this quote, it's probably my favorite quote that he's ever said, you know, you look at the world and it's like, as long as you don't quit, you never lose. I sit with that all the time ‘cuz here you are very different life now I know you from the business world, people know you as Jaime Greene, the solar queen people will know you as whatever it is you choose to be next. But it's like your dreams, all the aspirations, all the goals, all the things that you want not even you, particularly Jaime, but anyone listening this right now, it's like you can have them. You just have to not quit on yourself.
Jaime: You gotta get up and keep going. And you have to live life with intention, with goals. I mean goals that scare you, but also goals that you know you can accomplish along the way to get to where you wanna go. And I think that was what's so incredible about my husband, his name is Matt, some of the things that really attracted me to him was the fact that he will say this, he will not admit this, but I mean he will, but he's like a five-time Ironman triathlon. He's ran over 50 marathons. So, to me it showed me that he is committed, he's dedicated, and he knows what it takes. When he started running and doing marathons and all that stuff, he had a relationship with alcohol that he had to sever. And when he did, he had to find something new to be passionate and focused on and that became running. I think he was way overweight. I didn't know him at the time, but he was on his journey of letting go of the crap from his life that he had sat in for a while he was ready to make himself new. And so, by the time I met him and vice versa when we met each other, had we met each other 10 years prior, we would've never met. We would've never made it this and that so. So, there were things about his character that I admired and the things that the activities he was involved in that made me, told me, without me having to ask him or for him to boast about. But there were character traits about him that was very desirable and honorable in that he knew what commitment looked like. He knew what it meant to keep going even though he wanted, he put his body probably wanted to quit. He kept going. So, you know, when we got married, every anniversary set goals for our marriage, set goals for our financial future, set goals for our personal. You know Grant and Brandon talk about personal, professional, and financial goals as a business, but also as a human being. And it just was so wonderful to meet him and go, Okay, let's do this thing called life and marriage and go after it. When I moved to California, it was right after the 2008, 2009 financial crisis and I didn't know anybody in San Francisco. No one was hiring. And so that's where the hustle inside of me was born, you know, I left my very secure job to marry him, and I have to figure this out. I have to figure it out. I have to go out and find a way to make money. I started a photography business. I started dog running just to, for immediate cash, like dog running. I made $30 an hour, dog running, not walking. Running. You know, So, out of that, doing e-commerce on Amazon, like just all these things, learning how to trade the financial markets and just going, Oh, I just felt like these were not the things that I was passionate about. And then I got into digital marketing and that's when solar found me and it's just been one of these things that was a gift and I took it, and now I'm in this industry that's hasn't even really taken off yet. But I would say that it all these things, you know, like you and I were talking before the show about super hyper focusing on the thing. Like the one thing, what's the thing that's gonna get you to the next thing and not be distracted by shiny object syndrome, which so many entrepreneurs are, but just to stay focused on the goal and the prize that you want and desire in life. And I do feel very grateful and blessed that I have a husband that supports me in all these things but also, we do have a common vision of where we wanna go individually and as a married couple.
Michael: Yeah. That's amazing. And you do have to have that. You cannot have a conflict of values. You cannot. It does not work. And that's probably the greatest lesson that I've learned through relationships, is like, if you are not on the same page, you are screwed. Period. You just are. And I think that a lot of people, you know, they look at growth, they look at potential and they're scared of it. And for a long time, I was too, I was like, I'm terrified to be successful, I've only ever known you're not good enough. You're never gonna have the things that you want. Nobody's gonna care. And now I look at my life and it's like I've spoken on some of the biggest stages in the world luckily, this podcast is changing people's lives every day. We got the Think Unbroken Academy community where we got hundreds and hundreds and hundreds, almost thousands of people in this group who are getting support. And it's like, just focus, just focus and do the thing. But in that, also, invest in yourself. Be willing to bet on you. And that's what you did. You bet on you, you bet on you and your husband to leave an incredible job to go into the unknown, to run dogs, which is absolutely insane. And then to be willing to be like, you know what? Sometimes you have to spend money to be a better version of you, to be a different version of you. And there's a lot of people who, you know, their shoes cost more money than they've invested in their whole life.
Jaime: And I have a hard time paying more than $50 for a pair of shoes, Michael. But I have no problem paying $5,000 or $10,000 for self-development.
Michael: Agreed. Yeah. I mean, I definitely have a couple nice pair of shoes, but like, ultimately, you know, you look at it and you go, priorities are everything. Goals are everything. Picking yourself back up, recognizing like, man, that next punch to the gut, it's right around the corner. But just saying, you know what? I accept that reality and I'm willing to bet on me. Jaime, this conversation's been awesome. I know we could go much, much longer, but before I ask you my last question, please tell everyone where they can find you?
Jaime: I'm on all the social medias except for, well, I'd say Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube Jaime Greene. jaimegreenethesolarqueen YouTube is youtube.com/jaimegreene, and that's all my YouTube channel's all about solar energy.
Michael: You should be wearing a crown when we do interviews. We'll talk about this off air, but we need to get you a crown. My last question for you, my friend, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?
Jaime: Oh my gosh. It means to run freely into the thing that you want and not to let the circumstance hold you back. You know, you said sit in the sorrow of it for a little while. Sit in that. Just keep going because it's kind of like breaking in a horse, you know, you have to break that horse to be able to make it be amazing and fast and do the thing. And I feel like that, like I don't wanna be held back by circumstance or things, I wanna be able to freely go and go as swiftly as I need to and want to go and without anything encumbering me or holding me back and tying me down. So that's what I think it means to be with unbroken.
Michael: I love that. And thank you so much for being here, my friend. Unbroken Nation. Thank you so much for listening.
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Solar Queen and Mom
Jaime Greene is a super mom of 3 young kids, married for 11 years and is known as The Solar Queen. She was adopted from Korea as an infant, grew up in Puyallup, Washington with two brothers and a sister. She had to grow up quickly when her parents divorced when she was 12 years old and her family split up. She began working to support herself at age 16, she found Jesus as her Savior, and at 18 went on to college only to drop out. At age 20, she began a decade long career at the Boeing Company traveling the globe for company work. In her mid twenties, she went through a divorce, serious health issues and bankruptcy during the real estate and financial crisis of 2008.
Shortly thereafter, she met her husband online, moved from Washington State to California, where she started a photography business, learned to trade the financial markets and started a private label brand that she sold on Amazon, all while starting and raising a family! Jaime and her husband Matt, live in the Bay Area and have 3 happy and healthy children and one baby in heaven. She has been helping businesses and homeowners make the transition from traditional energy to solar energy for the last 3 and a half years, saving her customers hundreds of thousands, and quite possibly millions of dollars collectively. Jaime is the Chief Commercial Officer of Uprisun Energy and a Loan Officer with Uprisun Capital of New York.
She is an avid learner, reader, traveler and has a small YouTube channel that provides solar education and information to her subscribers and viewers. She is a course creator, speaker, investor, mentor and author and she is just beginning!