Angela Schaefers

Jun 012016
 

 

Angela Schaefers - Impact r1

“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” – Billy Graham

I think Father’s Day is very important and often lacks the excitement and power of the celebration around Mother’s Day. I know there are many reasons why, and I, especially as a mother, think moms everywhere who have sacrificed, committed, and worked hard for their children deserve it.

But, many dads deserve to be honored and celebrated too! There are many dads who go above and beyond to take care of their own children and the children of others too.


WVM June 2014 Angela Schaefers IMPACT ImageNow days there are plenty of dads who stay at home and take on what used to be the traditional role of the mother. They raise the children from diapers to play groups to getting them through the school years. The challenges are no different for a stay at home dad; in fact, there may be more to deal with when a particular man does not have the inborn motherly instinct of a woman!

I commend these men for trying, for seeing beyond the cultural norms, and for making a family decision to do what is best for all.

Then there are of course many, many dads who were not the ‘chosen’ dads. They may have become a dad, because the person they fell in love with already had kids. They may have chosen to be part of an adoption process, and they may have ‘unofficially’ adopted a kid or kids who are simply part of their life.

And yes some dads are dads because of unplanned pregnancy too. There are all kinds of reasons a dad may not be a chosen dad, but thankfully many of the unchosen take on this role and do their very best.

Some of the best dads I know are ones who are the unchosen. It was not planned; it was not always what they wanted, or how they thought their life would end up. But they embrace this opportunity to be a dad. They celebrate everything from the little accomplishments to the big ones and honor their ‘children’ like they are truly their own.

Many of these dads don’t emphasize someone is not their child or their family. Many of them go to the extent of showing and expressing their love and care just like (if not better!) then a true related dad. They are not biological fathers, but they are every bit a dad!

My hope is that this Father’s Day we will each find a ‘Dad’ to honor, not just our own. Perhaps he is a father figure to you, a father-in-law, an un-biological dad to your children, or simply just a role model of what a good dad is! Remember a good dad (biological or not) is:

• committed to others, including helping with their happiness and success

• able to love and care for those around him (even the difficult ones around him!)

• wants to and does help, teach, and guide

• sets an example of respect, kindness, hard work, and giving

• is willing and able to give and receive love.

Men may not need new BBQ, tools or sport equipment to feel celebrated and honored. But every man I know really wants to be appreciated, honored, and recognized for his help, his abilities, and his efforts. And just like us moms, a great dad is not and will never be perfect!

Angela Schaefers is a speaker, writer and producer and host of Your Story Matters show. She speaks as keynote for organizations and at events and speaks to groups to inspire them.  She is a TEDx speaker – Your Story Matters Creating Connection & Collaboration Through Sharing Your Story.  Angela is author of Your Story Matters You Matter, A guide to healing, learning from and sharing your story.  She has also co-authored several books, writes for online publications and blogs.  She has previously counseled families, couples, children and individuals, and has provided career and personal development coaching.  She has worked with and consulted with various non-profit organizations, government entities and the corporate sector.  ContactWebsite Books

Photo Credit –  Stuart Miles

May 012016
 

 

Angela Schaefers “Stories Matter. Yours. Mine. Theirs.”

“I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.” Clairssa Pinkola Estes

Have you ever experienced those times in life when everyone around you seems to be enjoying successes, new opportunities, and excitement in their life?  And what about the times when winter has passed, the weather is improving, flowers are blooming, the sun is shining?


WVM May 2014 Angela Schaefers IMPACT ImageOf course you are happy when others are experiencing good things in their life.  You definitely feel good knowing winter has transitioned to warmer and sunny days.  But if your own life feels stagnate, or you are feeling frustrated because things aren’t exactly blooming, it can be challenging.

Life has taught me that some seasons are full of magnificent experiences, happy times, love, joy, and success.  And other seasons are full of transition, challenges, obstacles, and sometimes despair.

In between of course there are always some good things happening and much to be grateful for even when things are not perfect.  It just feels so much better when life is going along wonderfully and when I feel I am at my best- thriving, growing, learning, and experiencing lovely things.

I love the quote “Bloom where you’re planted.” by Mary Engelbreit.  It really struck me the most when I was in transition from one place to live to another.  I was waiting to get to the next place to call home and realized I had simply ‘stopped’ doing anything other than basic living.

I thought about the different times I was in transition in my life, whether a place to live, a new job, or a relationship.  I realized each time I wasn’t really blooming.  Instead I was waiting for life to happen to me, instead of me happening to my life!  Things I wanted to  do or pursue were put on hold until the next step in my life occurred.

I finally realized that blooming where I was planted was important whether I was somewhere temporarily or waiting for whatever was next in my life.  I still had a choice to try new things, experience new things, and work towards my hopes and dreams.

I did not need permission, I simply needed to see that whatever was going on, no matter where I was, what relationship I was in or not, I did not need to let the weeds grow around me!  I accepted that even in a temporary state I could still live my life purposefully.

To bloom where I am planted I…

  • Accept some things are temporary, and even when I think they are not, we all only have today, right now.
  • Don’t let excuses of what if’s, nothing’s settled, or outcomes not yet known stop me from living each day purposefully.
  • Continue to stretch myself, learn new things, and try new things to keep blooming.
  • Act on things I can do that will leave a positive impact on my environment and those around me.

The season to bloom is now!  Every day is a new opportunity to discover how we can bloom right where we are!

Angela Schaefers is a speaker, writer and producer and host of Your Story Matters show. She speaks as keynote for organizations and at events and speaks to groups to inspire them.  She is a TEDx speaker – Your Story Matters Creating Connection & Collaboration Through Sharing Your Story.  Angela is author of Your Story Matters You Matter, A guide to healing, learning from and sharing your story.  She has also co-authored several books, writes for online publications and blogs.  She has previously counseled families, couples, children and individuals, and has provided career and personal development coaching.  She has worked with and consulted with various non-profit organizations, government entities and the corporate sector.  ContactWebsite Books

Photo Credit –  Natara

Apr 012016
 

 

Angela Schaefers “Stories Matter. Yours. Mine. Theirs.”

Strength and resilience emerge by your own will to become a better person no matter what downfalls happen in your life… be your own hero.”Nishan Panwar

The groundhog tells us there will be six more weeks of winter!  If you are like me, winter is a time of hibernating.  Like animals, we too need our hibernation time to prepare for spring.  We need the quiet, the rest time and the time to reflect.  Hopefully we can rejuvenate in the process!

Since there is still time to hibernate, perhaps we can each focus in on self care these last couple weeks of winter.  I have been practicing self care fairly consistently, but it easy to get distracted from it.  Self care has really helped me stay centered, has helped boost my confidence, and has reminded me of the importance of self love!


Each of us needs to determine what type of self care serves us best.  Here are some of my methods:

  • regular exercise
  • adequate sleep
  • quiet time
  • prayer and meditation time
  • time with special loved ones
  • enjoying nature (being outdoors)
  • doing something new
  • learning something new.

WVM March 2014 Angela Schaeffer Image IMPACTWhile those actions are good for me and important on many levels, I have realized none of it is very helpful if my heart and mind are not in a good place.  Trust me, I have practiced all of those things with a weary heart, a negative mindset, and a lack of enthusiasm.  And guess what?  It ended up feeling pointless and unfulfilling!

When we emerge from our cocoon, whether after a winter hibernation, a time of grieving, a time of significant life changes, or something else, it is wonderful to emerge with a sense of renewed hope, faith and energy!  I realized for myself I needed to take action to ensure that part of my renewal process.

Things I do to have renewed hope, faith and energy:

  • Realize all the blessings throughout my life, and be grateful for each of the big and small ones.
  • Remember all I have been through and have overcome (reminds me of my inner strength).
  • Learn from my story to understand and live my purpose daily.
  • Consistently pray and meditate in order to attain clarity, wisdom, and discernment.
  • Remind myself to love me and love others, while giving grace to self and others.
  • Allow myself to just be and accept what I cannot control and change what I can (when I need to).
  • Be OK with my failures, mistakes or feelings that require processing and letting go.

Angela Schaefers is a speaker, writer and producer and host of Your Story Matters show. She speaks as keynote for organizations and at events and speaks to groups to inspire them.  She is a TEDx speaker – Your Story Matters Creating Connection & Collaboration Through Sharing Your Story.  Angela is author of Your Story Matters You Matter, A guide to healing, learning from and sharing your story.  She has also co-authored several books, writes for online publications and blogs.  She has previously counseled families, couples, children and individuals, and has provided career and personal development coaching.  She has worked with and consulted with various non-profit organizations, government entities and the corporate sector.  ContactWebsite Books

Mar 012016
 

 

Angela Schaefers “Stories Matter. Yours. Mine. Theirs.”

What do people cheat? It’s an age old question. Many articles have been written about it, especially in women’s magazines.

What exactly is cheating? Merriam-Webster defines it as, “to break a rule or law usually to gain an advantage at something, to take something from (someone) by lying or breaking a rule, to prevent (someone) from having something that he or she deserves or was expecting to get.”


WVM March 2016 Angela IMPACT 1 ImageThe definition makes sense. Cheating always leads to hurting ourselves and others too. But, there is another kind of cheating we have used to beat ourselves up with too. It’s another way to label our actions as negative and condemn ourselves. Have you labeled any of these ‘cheating?’

It’s cheating to go off your ‘diet.’

It’s cheating to take a shorter route or do fewer reps when you are exercising.

It’s cheating when you buy the larger size clothing and cut out the tag.

It’s cheating when you decided you were only going to have 3 of something and you have 5 instead (cookies – bites of cake etc).

It’s cheating when you have the dessert, even if you chose the lower fat/carb one.

It’s cheating when you drink light beer or light anything versus the regular one.

It’s cheating when you are ‘secretly’ attracted to someone other than your partner.

It’s cheating when you budgeted $100 and spend $150.

There are so many other examples of things we and others would consider cheating. But, why? Why are we so hard on ourselves when none of the things above, or other actions like them, are truly ‘cheating?’

If you cheat to offend someone, or if you cheat and it hurts you or others, then yes I think that calls for reflection as to why. And, hopefully it calls for implementing positive changes in your life. But, if your so called ‘cheating’ is simply navigating around doing things you want to do, and knowing you and only you are truly being affected, why label it cheating?

I decided along my journey to stop beating myself up over things I made choices about that my ‘thoughts’ (self talk) or others’ ‘words’ or society told me is wrong; therefore, it is cheating. I decided I am not living this life to get the approval of others.

I decided I will take responsibility for my actions and choices but no longer convolute them with feelings of guilt and shame, especially those things there is nothing to be ashamed of.

Something changes when you stop attaching guilt and shame to your actions.

One thing that changed for me was I didn’t do some of the things listed above anymore. They just didn’t come to mind, and I did not feel the pull between doing something not good or good. I am sure some things I just did and chose not to feel bad about it! Perhaps, it was in part the rebelliousness was gone.

What does it really matter what others think? Who really cares if I’m ‘cheating’ or not? In reality, no one cares. Most people are too busy worrying about their own life, and they really don’t think about my actions (or your actions) as much as I (or you) may think.

And to answer the question, “Why do people cheat?” I mean really cheat, not the other stuff that is OK. It’s because we get to make our own choices and live with them, everyday. People cheat for a variety of reasons such as fear, immaturity, and/or lack of self worth. The list goes on.

So when you are truly not cheating, I say, “Live your life! Enjoy it! Give yourself a break! Take care of you in the best way you can. Ditch the guilt and shame!”

“Learn to… be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not.” – Henri Frederic Amiel

Angela Schaefers is a speaker, writer and producer and host of Your Story Matters show. She speaks as keynote for organizations and at events and speaks to groups to inspire them.  She is a TEDx speaker – Your Story Matters Creating Connection & Collaboration Through Sharing Your Story.  Angela is author of Your Story Matters You Matter, A guide to healing, learning from and sharing your story.  She has also co-authored several books, writes for online publications and blogs.  She has previously counseled families, couples, children and individuals, and has provided career and personal development coaching.  She has worked with and consulted with various non-profit organizations, government entities and the corporate sector.  ContactWebsite Books

Photo Credit – photoexplorer

Feb 012016
 

 

Angela Schaefers “Stories Matter. Yours. Mine. Theirs.”

It’s the month of all things LOVE… that’s right Valentine’s Day is upon us. Some of us dread it, especially if we are hoping for and expecting gestures of love from our spouse or partner, and we end up not getting it or being disappointed.

Some of us don’t look forward to it, because we do not have a special someone to share the big day of love with and do not look forward to another one alone.

And, others of us welcome the big day with excitement, not only looking forward to being romanced and treated special by our significant other but going all out to treat them.


WVM February 2016 Angela IMPACT ImageWhatever your situation, perhaps it’s time to un-limit yourself from celebrating love and yourself based on someone else. Love is grand. Relationships can be fulfilling and rewarding. But, it is perfectly fine to have a wonderfully loving relationship with yourself.

For far too long, we as women have been taught that our ‘value’ is based on the man we attract and can keep. We have been mesmerized into thinking we are somehow not whole without our (supposed) better half and so on.

So love and let love and certainly hold onto that partner who adores you and vice versa. And, most definitely, if you are single and looking or waiting for your true love, keep on hoping and being open hearted.

But, in the mean time, how about some self-love in the form of self dates? The premise being each date is an opportunity to love yourself and treat yourself to experiences that make you feel wonderful. Because you deserve it!

Single Date Ideas

Go to that restaurant you have wanted to go to but have been waiting for a date or partner to take you to.

Take yourself on a picnic, and make it special!

Make a delicious meal for yourself. Create a pretty table setting with candles and play nice music to enjoy.

Go somewhere special you have wanted to go but were waiting for a ‘date’ to go there. Dress up, and make a special occasion of it.

Take a bubble bath, light candles, drink a glass of wine or tea, and play music that soothes your soul.

Go on a treasure hunt. Map out several stopping points of places you would like to enjoy and explore.

Go dancing. Find a dance class or a meet up group that is going dancing or taking lessons.

Go somewhere new!

Try something new!

Buy yourself flowers.

Write a love note to yourself. Remind yourself of your great qualities.

Reflect on what would be an exciting and fun date for you that would make you feel special. The idea is to treat yourself like a good date would treat you. Put on your happy face, cute shoes, fun outfits, or even your lingerie, like you would if going on a special date.

Have fun being on your own and just being you. Enjoy your experiences while realizing being solo on a date or even on your life journey is perfectly fine.

Let go of all the preconceived notions you have to be on a date with someone, live with someone, or marry someone (unless you already are with someone which is great but not necessary to rely on solely for fun and love!).

Repeat as necessary! Love is not limited to February 14.

“The moment we stop putting our worth into the hands of others and learn how to love ourselves for who we are is the moment are heart expands towards amazing possibilities” – Angela Schaefers

Angela Schaefers is a speaker, writer and producer and host of Your Story Matters show. She speaks as keynote for organizations and at events and speaks to groups to inspire them.  She is a TEDx speaker – Your Story Matters Creating Connection & Collaboration Through Sharing Your Story.  Angela is author of Your Story Matters You Matter, A guide to healing, learning from and sharing your story.  She has also co-authored several books, writes for online publications and blogs.  She has previously counseled families, couples, children and individuals, and has provided career and personal development coaching.  She has worked with and consulted with various non-profit organizations, government entities and the corporate sector.  ContactWebsite Books

Photo Credit – stockimages

Jan 012016
 

 

Angela Schaefers “Stories Matter. Yours. Mine. Theirs.”

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. They just don’t work for me. I used to make them. Some I would achieve, and some I did not. But, spending energy on meeting these resolutions and feeling like a failure or being disappointed in myself when I do not fulfill my commitment is not serving my higher good.

So, instead, I regularly reflect to determine what changes and improvements are needed in my life. Then I work daily at being intentional and purposeful towards them.

We all have different things we want to change or improve on, and I believe most of us will always have something. We will probably never be completely satisfied with every aspect of ourselves or our life. It’s human nature. But, lately I have been thinking about the deeper calling I have on my life to make a difference.


WVM January 2016 Angela IMPACT ImageThe stirring within is real. Yet these days I feel increasingly helpless and as if I am not making ‘enough’ of a difference when people are continually dying and being hurt daily due to the hate, fear, and ignorance of others.

My eyes well up with tears when I listen to the media reporting on acts of terrorism, killing sprees, and other assaults on humans. My tears fall heavily when I hear about another innocent child being taken in such a horrific and cruel manner.

I pray about these things… things such as our world, people’s hearts, and love versus hate. And, that has typically been my response and ‘contribution’ to help. I cannot change the hearts and minds of people who believe in hurting and killing others. I am not discounting prayer at all though, for prayer works.

My faith sustains me. I am also not saying I do not contribute to making the world a better place in my own ways. I just feel compelled to do more.

So what can I do? What can you do? What can we do?

1 Don’t let the bad people win by giving into constant fear, paranoia, or negativity.

2 Don’t become jaded by the evil in the world when there is still plenty of good.

3 Don’t forget to celebrate. Look for and share the good things that happen EVERY DAY.

4 Look for and find the JOY around you.

5 Be the JOY in your own circle of influence such as your neighborhood, community, and family.

6 Keep (or find again) that childlike innocence within that looks at others with love and kindness instead of fear and judgment.

I am going to make a difference every day. Some days will be more significant than others; but none the less, I will do my part. How about you?

“You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.

My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.” – Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

Angela Schaefers is a speaker, writer and producer and host of Your Story Matters show. She speaks as keynote for organizations and at events and speaks to groups to inspire them.  She is a TEDx speaker – Your Story Matters Creating Connection & Collaboration Through Sharing Your Story.  Angela is author of Your Story Matters You Matter, A guide to healing, learning from and sharing your story.  She has also co-authored several books, writes for online publications and blogs.  She has previously counseled families, couples, children and individuals, and has provided career and personal development coaching.  She has worked with and consulted with various non-profit organizations, government entities and the corporate sector.  ContactWebsite Books

Photo Credit – patrisyu

 

Dec 012015
 

 

Angela Schaefers “Stories Matter. Yours. Mine. Theirs.”

“Your purpose in life is your choice. Being intentional in all that you do and living a life you desire is the beginning, middle, and end of your purpose. Give it your best.” – Angela Schaefers

I’ve been having some wonderful discussions with others about finding our purpose. Most of us, if we haven’t already, have a desire to find our purpose; that one thing that makes us feel fulfilled. It is that which makes it easy for us to get up each day and embrace the day before us.

Our destiny on the other hand is the collective experiences of what happens to us in our lives to create much of our circumstances.


WVM December 2015 Angela IMPACT ImageThe questions become, “Can you control your destiny? What about your purpose? Is that too in your control?” If you consider all the choices you make throughout your life (whether they are good or sometimes not so good), these choices do affect your destiny.

Of course, there are many times fate happens due to circumstances and events completely out of our control. Yet, even when we are conscious and aware of the choices we are making that determine our destiny, doesn’t it often seem our lives go in directions we never counted on? We plan and act accordingly, and we have a vision for our life and future; yet, the actual outcome can be very different.

Many people I know, including myself, have learned, as we mature and have more life experience; we do have some power over our destiny. And, yet, most of us have to go through struggles and mistakes to actually accomplishing living the life we desire. And, most of the time that life does not come easily.

It brings me back to reflecting on the destiny I crave. Like most, I crave the life that would fulfill me. This, of course, causes me to consider my purpose.

From what I have gathered from learning about others’ stories; most of us don’t have just one single purpose in life. And, we may also have a different purpose in varying times of our lives. Perhaps sometimes we feel unfulfilled and like we are not living our purpose, because one purpose is more significant for the time being.

For example, when one is being a parent, that is a huge purpose, and sometimes that is and should be our main focus. Other times, we may have a certain purpose to build and grow something else like a business or a marriage or a pursuit of our education.

I am not saying we cannot balance more than one purpose at a time. Yet, sometimes we pressure ourselves so much to be ‘purposeful’ in all that we do, it is draining.

The second important factor of discovering and living our purpose is we may think it has to be something specific and over the top amazing. For some people, that is true. For all of us though, that is debatable. Why? Because, many people are purposed to be the people who simply live and love each day. Many are meant to contribute to the world around them in small but significant ways.

When I have talked with others who feel unfulfilled and as though their life has no meaning, it usually comes down to not feeling as ‘good’ as others. Maybe they don’t get the accolades others do. Or, they don’t get the fame, the popularity, and so on. But, really, our feeling satisfied and worthy is internal.

We can discover our purpose; including realizing there is likely more than one in our lifetime. We can act accordingly and make choices that affect our destiny to work towards living the life we thirst for. Every day is a new day to reflect and take action. It’s easy said than done sometimes, but here are six steps to moving forward.

1 Don’t compare your purpose to others.

2 Give yourself a break knowing that often many aspects of life are uncontrollable.

3 Consider what your purpose is in the here and now and how it may be different in the future or perhaps was in the past.

4 When you consider the destiny you want, ask yourself how your purpose fits in with that outcome.

5 Celebrate all your purposes in life (parenting, being a partner, career, community, etc).

6 Ask yourself how much pressure you put on yourself to live a purposed life. Contemplate how you can adjust that to feel less pressure and more joy.

Angela Schaefers is a speaker, writer and producer and host of Your Story Matters show. She speaks as keynote for organizations and at events and speaks to groups to inspire them.  She is a TEDx speaker – Your Story Matters Creating Connection & Collaboration Through Sharing Your Story.  Angela is author of Your Story Matters You Matter, A guide to healing, learning from and sharing your story.  She has also co-authored several books, writes for online publications and blogs.  She has previously counseled families, couples, children and individuals, and has provided career and personal development coaching.  She has worked with and consulted with various non-profit organizations, government entities and the corporate sector.  ContactWebsite Books

Photo Credit – Stuart Miles

 

Nov 012015
 

 

Angela Schaefers “Stories Matter. Yours. Mine. Theirs.”

“A grateful mindset can set you free from the prison of disempowerment and the shackles of misery.” –  Steve Maraboli

We have all been hurt, angered and offended at times.  Sometimes it hurts more deeply, because it happens with a close friend, family member or our partner.

At times we are hurt by others around us, who are not as close to us, but none the less it stings!  Sometimes the hurt can be unintentional, though it seems intentional.  In any case, no one likes how it feels to be betrayed, used, lied to, and dismissed and so on.


WVM November 2015 Angela IMPACT ImageI have learned from my own personal and spiritual growth to always take the high road.  I have also learned from some amazing women in my life and who have crossed my path that it is always best to respond and react to hurt in a way that is the best reflection of us.

When we lash out, seek revenge, become raging anything or hold onto anger and unforgiveness, it is not in our best interest.  Each time we act, feel or think in such a manner, we are really just giving all of our power to the one who hurt us, angered us or offended us.

Giving away your personal power is never a good thing.  It only weakens your sense of self-worth and creates a feeling within that you do not deserve better.  It makes a statement that you do not deserve love and respect.   know because I have been there, as have many, many women!

When I finally realized I had control over how I was going to react and respond to others and life challenges, I felt freedom.  I was finally free to take ownership over what I could control (my own actions, attitude and thoughts) and what I could not control (people and many circumstances).  I was free to no longer be the victim!

To be empowered and take control of your life:

Remind yourself each day you are in charge of your reactions and responses.

Remember everything that happens is not personal.  Ask yourself, “What is really about you or really about another’s own issues?”

Think about what reaction and response is the best reflection of you.

Consider what outcome you want from your response/reaction – more conflict, less conflict, peace?

Along my journey I have learned those who have hurt me have also taught me many things.  I have learned about life, people and myself from being hurt, betrayed and other painful experiences.

I chose to learn from these situations and people, who are difficult, because I would rather learn something, forgive and move on than to hold onto negativity and pain.  We can each make that choice!  From my experience that creates the best outcome.

To be grateful when hurt by others:

Learn from the situation.  Learn what to do or not do with others.  Learn to trust or not trust when needed.  Learn about what you need and want.  Learn to set boundaries.

Forgive others and be grateful for the experience and the interaction with them, knowing it hurt, but you learned valuable lessons.

Be grateful you love yourself for being you and can get over hurtful situations, not just by forgiving but by letting go.

Angela Schaefers is a speaker, writer and producer and host of Your Story Matters show. She speaks as keynote for organizations and at events and speaks to groups to inspire them.  She is a TEDx speaker – Your Story Matters Creating Connection & Collaboration Through Sharing Your Story.  Angela is author of Your Story Matters You Matter, A guide to healing, learning from and sharing your story.  She has also co-authored several books, writes for online publications and blogs.  She has previously counseled families, couples, children and individuals, and has provided career and personal development coaching.  She has worked with and consulted with various non-profit organizations, government entities and the corporate sector.  ContactWebsite Books

Photo Credit – David Castillo Dominici

 

Oct 012015
 

 

Angela Schaefers “Stories Matter. Yours. Mine. Theirs.”

I recently celebrated my birthday! I was neither dreading it nor looking forward to it. I did not realize until after my birthday that this was the first time in many years I was not excited about my special day. It was just another day.

I did not feel sad about it. I did not feel ‘older.’ I went about my day, and though it was enjoyable, I realized it was not the usual fanfare I was used to. It wasn’t that others weren’t wishing me “Happy Birthday” and going out of their way to treat me special.

WVM October 2015 Angela IMPACT ImageIt was simply my own attitude. My birthday cake sat uneaten. I did not have my usual champagne. I simply felt indifferent.

I am not afraid of getting older or dying. Really, I’m not. I don’t worry about the physical and emotional changes like I used to. I don’t even think (much) about aging to the point of no longer being independent.

But, somehow this year I lost my pizzazz when it came to my celebratory day. I can spend time trying to figure out why. I can regret losing out on this particular birthday to feeling like it was a just another day. Or, I can just let it go… move on… press forward. And, eat cake!

I’ve been learning as I become wiser and more experienced that everything does not have to be evaluated or resolved. ‘Just let it go’ is my newest motto. Don’t dwell.

Don’t figure it out. Just let it blow into the wind like a soft, fluffy dandelion flower. And, doing that is okay. There is nothing to feel bad about. There is nothing to regret. All that time spent worrying and contemplating could be used doing many other things that fill my heart and soul.

I have gravitated towards living the life I desire. That mainly is filled with doing what feels good and right for ME. I would not live a life that is ever all about me.

But, I am no longer in conflict setting healthy boundaries in order to live my best life and take care of me.

So, when I spend my day in my PJ’s or eating cake or having wine and pancakes for dinner and so on, I am okay with it.

My birthday present to me this year is to remember daily; just eat the darn cake already! And, I wish the same for you! Love deeply, care intensely… but start with YOU!

“When you look at a field of dandelions ,you can either see a field of weeds or a field of wishes.” When you make a mistake; wish you would have, could have, or should have… just think of the dandelion flower and allow the light, fluffy, petals to float away with any sorrow or regret.

And yes, always, always eat the darn cake!

Angela Schaefers is a speaker, writer and producer and host of Your Story Matters show. She speaks as keynote for organizations and at events and speaks to groups to inspire them.  She is a TEDx speaker – Your Story Matters Creating Connection & Collaboration Through Sharing Your Story.  Angela is author of Your Story Matters You Matter, A guide to healing, learning from and sharing your story.  She has also co-authored several books, writes for online publications and blogs.  She has previously counseled families, couples, children and individuals, and has provided career and personal development coaching.  She has worked with and consulted with various non-profit organizations, government entities and the corporate sector.  ContactWebsite Books

Photo Credit – tiverylucky

 

Aug 012015
 

 

Angela Schaefers “Stories Matter. Yours. Mine. Theirs.”

“The question is not how to survive, but how to thrive with passion, compassion, humor, and style.” – Maya Angelou

When I was growing up and heard the ‘menopause’ word, I always believed it was only about ‘old’ ladies… like grandma types… like wrinkly and white haired. It was also such a ‘bad’ word; I knew I never, ever wanted it to happen to me.

Back then, it was also still referred to as ‘the change,’ and again, it was not a positive or happy change. It was usually used to describe an old lady going crazy! It was not cool either… like how many used to think a man’s mid-life crisis was cool when he cheated with his secretary (oh my!), and he bought a fast car and often left his family.


WVM August 2015 Angela IMPACT ImageNow that I am a little bit older then 22 (OK a lot bit older!), I have come to understand much more about the NORMAL life changes both men and women go through as the aging process ensues.

Obviously when I woke up at 30, and GASP had a wrinkle, I was pretty shocked and wondered what I needed to do to STOP this process! The thing is I could not stop it at all; and with each passing year, I began to notice subtle and not so subtle changes physically and emotionally.

I will admit I have felt sad, depressed, and discouraged at times as I have witnessed my youthful body, glow, and so on dissipate. I began to have a sense of urgency about preserving my skin, keeping my weight at a healthy level, and staying active.

I felt cheated I went from a young adult to pre menopause so quickly. I say quickly, but all the years in between were filled with my college years, having a family, pursuing a career and many, many life challenges. I was bitter all that kept me so busy… too busy to focus more on maintaining or at least enjoying more my youthfulness.

These days, I’m not the youngest mom at my teenager’s school; I am not the youngest at my current workplace; I am not the youngest mom in the neighborhood and so on. More than likely, I am often the oldest.

Every year that passes I realize I am getting older. I am aging. I am feeling things I never imagined. I see my body change in ways I sometimes wish would just change quickly, instead of having to watch the metamorphosis from youthfulness to being a senior, slowly and yet shockingly right before me.

I have had to make adjustments to find peace and acceptance about the ‘change.’ And, every day is a work in progress as I stay grounded and aware of my butterfly effect. Knowing from my story that everything comes down to my choice on how I react and respond, this is how I choose to thrive as I journey into my twilight years:

1 Keep the Faith

My faith tells me I am not alone, that there is hope for all good things to work together, and days are to be filled with love, peace and joy.

2 Find the Humor in Every Situation

I get ID carded when having a glass of wine, and in the same day I am asked for my AARP card!

3 Take Care of Your Body, Mind & Soul

I will read, meditate, pray, exercise, sleep, eat well, love (myself too!), try new things.

4 Embrace Each Day like it’s Your Last

I will embrace each day with gratitude for all I have and with a spirit of adventure for all that is possible.

5 Choose to Thrive, Not Just Survive

Like every other life challenge and change, I will choose to thrive, not just survive.

Angela Schaefers is a speaker, writer and producer and host of Your Story Matters show. She speaks as keynote for organizations and at events and speaks to groups to inspire them.  She is a TEDx speaker – Your Story Matters Creating Connection & Collaboration Through Sharing Your Story.  Angela is author of Your Story Matters You Matter, A guide to healing, learning from and sharing your story.  She has also co-authored several books, writes for online publications and blogs.  She has previously counseled families, couples, children and individuals, and has provided career and personal development coaching.  She has worked with and consulted with various non-profit organizations, government entities and the corporate sector.  ContactWebsite Books

Photo Credit – imagerymajestic