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Motivation

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Being a Courageous Parent

Being a courageous parent is always essential, and right now, our kids and our grandkids need us to set the example of, “this is what courage looks like.” Being a courageous parent requires faith, conviction, and determination. Do we have all of those qualities all of the time, probably not? Sometimes we get to act as if we do even when we don’t want to. A courageous parent shows up for their child when there’s a monster in the closet. That same courageous parent is the one who keeps a level head in front of the kiddos even when the electricity is about to get shut off. You are the parent, and you get to figure it out just like how you figured out how to get rid of the closet monsters, with a bigger-than-life attitude and the confidence that you got it all under control.

Step Up and Figure it Out

During my single mom days, I got to step up and figure it out. When I look back on it, I realize that I probably wasn’t as scared as I could have been at the time because my focus was on making everything work for my daughter and me. The solutions were much more important than the problems or obstacles. My creative problem-solving skills back then still make me proud today. Understanding the value of memories and experiences far outweighed that of any material objects at that point. The local pawn shop helped me create quite a few memories with my daughter from the material objects that I sold to them during that time. Gratefully!

What is Most Important

I have always felt that the most important thing I could do is to be a good role model and provider for my daughter. There’s no role in life that can compare to the significance of being a parent. My daughter’s most important job at that time was being a kid, going to school, and making friends.

We Want to Feel Safe

We all want to feel safe and protected. It was up to me to keep a solid foundation at home, so that my daughter felt secure. The more courageous I felt, the better my daughter did. She was looking to me – always – for signs of stress or fear. I’m sure I wasn’t a complete pillar of strength, but I can tell you that I made sure that I made things fun even in our most dire financial times.

Creating Fun Memories

One of my favorite memories from that era is creating a fun indoor picnic-like Thanksgiving dinner with my daughter on a very tight budget. She didn’t know how little I had to spend, and she didn’t need to know. The two of us went into a grocery store, and together we picked out the most random fruits, cheeses, and crackers we could find. At the time, we lived in a little rental house that had hunter green short loop industrial carpet in the living room – kind-of like grass. So, we laid a blanket out in the middle of the living room and dared each other to try the first bite of our weird assortment. We made funny faces as we tasted things, we laughed, and we created a lasting memory that did not resemble a typical holiday dinner. It was so much more and better!

Be Courageous

I encourage you to be courageous in all that you do right now. Make choices from a place of strength and knowing that everything is going to work out for you and yours. Focus on what is good and right in your world and share those things with your children. Let them see what it looks like to face difficult times while remaining positive and optimistic. I am a courageous woman. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t locked myself in the bathroom with the shower running while bawling my eyes out a time or two – or more.

Breakdowns Happen, Recover Quickly

Breakdowns happen, they are a part of life. Recovering quickly from those low moments is essential as a parent. When a breakdown occurs, the time it takes us to regain our footing is a good lesson for children. They are always watching! We all get down at times, it’s about getting up, and getting up quicker and stronger than ever before that will make the lasting impression. Like, “Wow, Mom really lost her mind, and she’s already back at taking care of business. My Mom is my Hero!” What an honor that is when you get to be your child’s hero. I bet you are already, and you may not even realize it!

Thank you for reading my thoughts on being a courageous parent. I am always open to hearing your thoughts and perspective on the topics I write about on my blog. Please share in the comments at the bottom of the page or send me message here..  Be sure to follow me on Facebook at  Angie Strader Now and Instagram and say, Hi! I appreciate you! – Angie

The first and finest lesson a parent can teach their children is faith and courage.

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courageous parent and girl standing in the grass posing like a superhero

Courageous Parenting

Being a Courageous Parent Being a courageous parent is always essential, and right now, our kids and our grandkids need us to set the example

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Do you know how rare it is to appreciate yourself and also show appreciation to others? Most people are better at the latter and avoid accepting compliments with gratitude. 

How many times in your life have you shown your appreciation to others and said something like, “you know what I like about you?” and then follow it up with a lengthy list of admirable qualities you see in them? I can’t even count the number of times I’ve told others what I like about them. I think that the ability to quickly identify admirable characteristics in others is a gift, and I enjoy honoring others. 

Appreciation provides validation

Appreciation is a powerful motivator; it provides validation and shows your gratitude. It’s part of human nature to crave recognition and appreciation. It’s not a bad thing to want credit, no matter what anyone tells you or what you may be telling yourself. It feels good to be praised for who we are or what we do. Think about how good it feels when someone points out your outstanding qualities. It feels good to be acknowledged. I know it feels great to see someone light up when I point out how awesome I think they are. 

Missed opportunities

Too often in life, I feel like people resist praise and miss opportunities to show appreciation to others. Whether it’s because we’re busy with our own lives, or if it’s because we don’t feel comfortable with that type of conversation, the moments pass and become a missed opportunity to make someone’s day.

Recognize your own greatness 

As awkward as it can be to shower others with praise, it can be even more challenging to recognize our own greatness. Many years ago, I realized that I was quick to overlook how awesome I was. After all, I was taught that it was better to appear humble than to delight in adoration. At a young age, many of us learned to play down positive feedback when, in reality, readily soaking up praise with gratitude is the equivalent of thanking someone for giving you a gift. It’s just polite to accept it and say thank you. It’s okay to smile or blush too!

To help you appreciate yourself and others, and to show your gratitude, I have an exercise for you. It’s called What I Like About You. My hope is that you do this simple activity right now and then repeat it often, especially Step 3. 

Exercise: What I like about you 

Step 1: Take out a piece of paper and write down the top 10 best qualities of your BFF or significant other. Doesn’t that feel good? Aren’t you glad you have that person in your life? I hope you share your list with him or her.

Step 2: On the flip side of that paper, write down the top 10 best qualities in YOURSELF! Was it harder to find the best in yourself? Why do you think that is? It’s time to release any programs that are preventing you from embracing your own greatness.

Step 3: Standing in front of a mirror, read each of the 10 qualities that you identified in yourself, pausing between each one to look yourself in the eyes. Yes, you are telling yourself what is incredible and unique about you! Do this part with your deepest sincerity and love. 

“What I like about you” is one of the most empowering activities I do for myself. When I catch myself in negative self-talk, I pause then take a moment to acknowledge a few of my best qualities. Being able to see the fantastic, incredible, badass warrior that I am opens me up to an abundance of grace from the world. I promise it will do the same for you too!

Always remember, you are unique, and you are loved!

For another perspective, and to back me up on how to appreciate yourself and others, check out this blog by Mel Robbins, 21 WAYS TO THINK THIS, NOT THAT

For more inspiration, read Choose to Look for the Good in Every Situation

Holy mother of God, this is already the end of another decade and the beginning of an exciting new era! Is it just me, or did this sneak up you, too? I knew it was coming, at least I thought about it a few times this year, and then BAM, it’s almost here! Besides the shock I feel thinking about beginning the 20’s, I am genuinely looking forward to a happy new year and decade. Somehow, this new decade just feels different and invigorating. One could say that it’s just another day on a calendar, and yes, that would be correct. In my brain though, this new decade offers so much hope and promise. I’m ready to take on 2020.

Now is Your Time

It’s time to kick it into gear! If you ever thought about doing something new or different with your life, now is the time. Now is your time! Live out each day like there’s no tomorrow! If anyone questions you, you can blame it on 2020. It’s a “thing,” or I say we make it a “thing.” People make crazy ridiculous resolutions all the time, and nobody questions them. Now is the time to take those big goals and dreams of yours and make them a reality! So, if someone has any kind of negative reaction to your new found freedom to relentlessly pursue your deepest desires, just look them in the eyes and say, “It’s  2020, what are you doing with your life?” Then, smile and wait an appropriate amount of time before slowly walking away. Make sure you hold your head up extra high upon exit, just for dramatic affect.

A New Era and A New You

I’d love to hear about your goals and dreams for 2020 and the new decade. Please share in the comments below! Wishing you a very Happy New Year, a prosperous new decade, and most importantly, I wish you the Happiest New You! In this new era of your life, may God bless you with an abundance of joy, love and a whole lot of money in 2020!

Love ya!

 

 

I’m determined to get a jump on holiday shopping this year, so, while I was surfing the web, aimlessly, I came across this adorable photo, and immediately I was reminded of a small stuffed elephant toy my daughter had when she was a little girl. No matter where we went, she constantly took little Ellie with her. I need to remember to find one like it for my granddaughter. It would make a fantastic Christmas present. I hope I don’t forget to get her one. Anyway, I know you didn’t click on my post to take a trip down memory lane with me about remembering to order a toy for my granddaughter.

Today, I have a challenge for you, so, let’s get started.

Below, you will see two lists, List A and List B, both of which contain the exact same items. Suppose you accept this challenge, which is to accomplish the tasks within one day. You can review each, but you cannot take either of them with you. You cannot snap a picture of them either. You must get started right away. The goal is to accomplish the items on the list by recalling them from memory. And no phoning a friend! Read List A and List B and decide which one you would choose to study the most before heading out on your day. While you do that, I need to remember to add the elephant to my shopping list, so I don’t forget to get it for my granddaughter in time for Christmas.

To-Do List for Today

  • List A
    Don’t forget to take your vitamins
    Don’t forget to take out the trash
    Don’t forget to put gas in the car
    Don’t forget to get milk
    Don’t forget to smile
    Don’t forget to say I love you
  • List B
    Remember to take your vitamins
    Remember to take out the trash
    Remember to put gas in the car
    Remember to get milk
    Remember to smile
    Remember to say I love you

Which list did you choose? I hope you decided on List B, and here’s why. When looking at List A, the brain resists negative words like Don’t. However, it will hone in – like a laser – on the word Forget. Whatever information that it is following Don’t (or Never) will be logged in your memory bank, such as, forget to take out the trash, forget to smile, forget to say I love you, and so on. Most importantly, you are setting yourself up for failure whenever the words Don’t or Never are used in this context.

By merely rephrasing to “remember,” like, remember to say I love you, and remember to smile, will increase your chances of retention and also the likelihood of accomplishing your goals substantially. It’s a mechanism signally your brain to take positive action – to always remember to do something. 

In the opening paragraph, I wrote that I need to remember – I also wrote that I hope that I don’t forget to order the pink elephant for my granddaughter. Did you pick up on how strange it looked when you first read it? I was purposely contradictory to prove a point. In the end, if we can always remember something instead of overusing don’t forget, we will get more done!

Next Steps

To sum things up, get into the practice of speaking and writing using affirmative or positive structure.  You will notice an increased level of retention and belief with notes like this,

  • Remember to kiss me goodnight.
  • Remember,  you are beautiful.

Please join me in my mission to eliminate the excessive use of “Don’t Forget” memes flooding social media! Or, at least, remember to share Always Remember memes instead! Here’s a popular meme that I wish would go away! 

Your Thoughts

Are you willing to switch things up and give Always Remember a try? Please share your comments below!

Always remember to put yourself first, then you can help others.

A wise old saying (maybe an airline)

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Here is a great meme I made for you to share with the world today!

Share today!

Picture the scene – Me, relaxing on the beach in Tulum, Mexico. The sun is warming my skin, and a slight breeze is lightly dusting the sand across my toes. I’m mesmerized by the waves forming in the distance, growing bigger while creating mounds of puffy white foam along its edges. The waves tumble onto the beach with rhythmic splashes. I honor every few waves with a sip of my fruity cocktail. The shadows from the palm trees cast distinctive shadows across the sand giving little slivers of shade across my face. While I resist the urge to doze off, I realize that I don’t know if what I am feeling is the state of relaxation, or is this exhaustion? 

That is the point in my life when I decided that a holiday wasn’t going to be the only time I would relax. I committed to unwind in my daily life so that I could enjoy my vacation without wanting to sleep the whole time. It took time to get there, and eventually, I did…

A few of my tips on how to relax

  1. Take a walk in nature. I’m lucky enough to have a large natural park practically in my back yard that I walk to and wander throughout for hours. When something is weighing on me, like a big decision, or if I’m feeling stuck about something, I will spend more time roaming the trails than usual. *Bonus* – a calm, relaxed state helps bring clarity to most situations.
  2. Find a hobby. Full disclosure here! If you had asked me what my hobby was two years ago, I would have told you some made-up stories (a.k.a. lie), about travel and decorating my house. Those aren’t hobbies. Those were deceptions I told myself and others to make myself feel better about not making time to do something other than work, travel, and spend lots of money on making the house look Insta-perfect. For the record, I haven’t given up on the Insta-perfect home thing, and that’s because I do enjoy decorating. I also love to travel, but it’s not as a means to escape the reality of the unfulfilled life I was living. Travel now is so much more exciting because of my new hobby in photography. I don’t even have to travel to enjoy this hobby. When I can grab my camera or my phone and spend some time in my yard snapping photos of bees and butterflies or the grandkids or the dogs, I find myself immediately in a picture-perfect scenario of how to be relaxed. I have a lot of creative hobbies now that I didn’t have before, and photography is the one that I can take with me anywhere I go. 
  3. Journaling. Whoa, Nelly! Starting in 7th grade, I realized journaling is how I relaxed. I got a lot of my frustrations out in a constructive way through writing in my journals. If you knew me back in junior high or high school, you might be thinking that I should have written in my journal more often. I’m sitting here thinking that some of the kids I knew back then should have given it a try. The fun part is that I’ve kept all of my journals over the years – all of them! They are put away in a safe place. You know they are just begging to be made into a book. They will. Someday. So, back to journaling. Go out and find yourself a notebook and a pen, yes, paper and a pen – go old-school – and just start writing whatever comes to you. Whatever happens to pop into your head. Then the next thing. And the next thing. There is no right, wrong, good, or bad here. This is the space for your thoughts, your doodles, your dreams, your lists, your rants, your love letters to yourself, your wants, your needs, your wishes… just be in the moment and enjoy. Relax. One tip here – if you do this a few times and you find that you have A LOT to write about, set a time limit going forward. More importantly, do this when you can relax and not be worried about time restraints. 
  4. Bubble Bath. This isn’t your average end of the day, run of the mill, ho-hum bubble bath. I’m referring to the extra foamy, candlelight with scented candles, no electronics, a bath pillow, soft music, and a towel in the bathtub with you kind of unwinding. I lost you with the towel, didn’t I? Here’s my tip… It might just be me, but when I take a bath, even in my jacuzzi garden bathtub, my chest and collarbone don’t get fully submerged in the water, and that part gets cold. I solve that by placing a warm wet hand towel over that area. When it starts to cool off, I slide down into the hot water to warm it up again, and I slide back up. I might be the only one in the world with this ‘situation,’ but I kind of think of it like a weighted blanket for the bathtub – queue the Shark Tank idea. Try it and let me know your thoughts on it.
  5. Share Your Time With Friends. Be it coffee, lunch, a walk, an arts and crafts class, or even an extended phone call, share your time with friends. A significant thing I discovered is that the quality of my friendships is in direct relation to my overall well-being. I made a choice to release some relationships because the association wasn’t fulfilling or uplifting me. I recognized that when a few people’s names popped up on my caller ID, I cringed, and an internal struggle began as to whether I was going to take the call. That’s not how I choose to be in a friendship. As I began to change myself, the people around me changed, and the quality of my relationships improved. Now, lunch with a girlfriend can turn into happy hour, and a quick chat on the phone can become a marathon call where we fundamentally solve all of the world’s problems together. Each of which makes me feel calm, at peace… relaxed. 

I would love for you to give these a try, and I’d love to hear how you relax. I’m always open to trying new things, so please share!

Sometimes, the most productive thing that you can do is to step outside and do nothing... relax and enjoy nature.

Have you read this yet?

Live like there’s no tomorrow sounds logical, right? Deep down inside, we all know that there is no guarantee that we’ll see another day. How many times have we heard things like, “what if you get hit by a bus when you walk out of that door?” or “what if you never come back?” The honest to God truth is that if you died right now, this very second, all of the stuff that you said you were going to do, all of the places you said you were going to go, and all of the promises you made to yourself and others, well, they just don’t matter to YOU anymore. BUT think about a few of the plans you have for tomorrow, next week, and the future. Pick only one or two. Are you planning on doing all of those things alone? Dream homes, business partnerships, epic vacations, mission trips, writing books, running marathons… are NOT solo endeavors. You are not in this alone! 

Living like there is no tomorrow isn’t just about you and your own little world. It is crucial to your family, friends, social network, co-workers, and heck, think about the Barista that sees you every morning. She’s counting on you to give her that forced, half-hearted smirk just so she can give you a bright, genuine smile in return as she has made it her mission to make you smile every time you see her. See, she gets it. She will take off her apron at the end of her shift and rush over to her daughter’s school just in time to whisk her away to an evening picnic in the park with the other moms and kids in the neighborhood. She will know that again, today, she lived like there’s no tomorrow. 

Next steps to living like there's no tomorrow

Have you thought about how you can live your life a little differently now? I suggest inviting family or friends to join you in the process of picking one or two things on your list to begin planning together or to do immediately. As an introvert, I appreciate doing some things by myself, so I say go ahead and pick at least one solo-venture as well. The point is, live NOW as that is all you have! 

The truth is, if you died right now, all of the promises you made, well, they don't matter to YOU anymore.

How to Relax  – My Top 5 Way I Chill has excellent tips on things you can do today to live in the moment and RELAX at the same time. 

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