Motivational Monday…Illumined Freedom

Home Stager

Motivational Monday…Illumined Freedom


Mini-me is said to have one of my traits…being bossy. (I refuse to respond lest I incriminate myself) When she was only 4, she told her older brothers (9 and 11) what to do and did not hesitate to throw them under the bus. She is independent and creative. 


Recently we were making frosting for a cake and decorating it. I realized I had to rein in my “do it THIS way” attitude. 



As long as she wasn’t hurting herself, or burning down the house, my job was to guide her… show her the basics of baking…and talk to her about certain things that are a must when baking. What I was trying to avoid was taking the fun out of baking. I didn't want her to feel as if she had to do everything the way I would do it.

It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by Rabindranath Tagore

Let my love like sunlight surround you,
yet give you illumined freedom.

You can substitute “teaching” for “love” in the quote but you get the idea. 


Whether you’re mentoring someone…showing a new agent the ropes…or teaching a child to bake, it’s important not to crush their creativity or desire to think outside the box. 

Posted by

Kathy Streib
Retired Home Stager
and Interior Redesign

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Comments (18)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Kathy - I know quite a few who stand by the adage, "If I were in charge. . .".  Of course, I wouldn't classify myself as a member of such a group despite the overwhelming votes to the contrary.  Time on this planet, does provide perspective.  At times.  🙃  =Happy Monday.   

Feb 12, 2024 05:13 AM
Kathy Streib

Michael Jacobs You do have a way with words. I remember watching my grandmother cook. She even insisted that a certain spoon needed to be used. Of course, who was I to question her...she was an excellent cook. 

Feb 12, 2024 05:17 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Kathy. Must say a lesson one should ponder by all leaders. Open the creative mind don't stifle it. And that can be a hard lesson to learn. Enjoy your day.  

Feb 12, 2024 05:16 AM
Kathy Streib

I agree Wayne Martin It's an issue many have with the educational system today. Too much rote memorization and no creativity. 

Feb 12, 2024 05:18 PM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I am sure that she loves learning how to bake with you and I know that I would love to taste the things you are baking, haha.

Feb 12, 2024 05:25 AM
Kathy Streib

Brian England if you were here, you would be the recipient of our baking goodies. 

Feb 12, 2024 05:19 PM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Good Morning Kathy Streib 

You are so correct about not stifling creativity or doing things differently. It does take work but it allows the person to flourish 

Feb 12, 2024 05:53 AM
Kathy Streib

Doug Dawes it's hard, trust me!  But it's important to let those we teach to keep their desire to create and add their own touch. 

Feb 12, 2024 05:20 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Kathy,

OMG..I know exactly what your mean..such a great analogy. When Melissa was learning to cook I was showing her how to make scramble eggs. I always put them in a bowl added a little milk and wisked and put them in a pan with melted butter. She thought and said "Why dirty a bowl?" She put the eggs and a little milk in the butter directly in the pan and scrambled them. She looked and me and said see they taste the same! She was right..hey it doesn't matter about the bowl she figured out how she liked to do it and was doing it!

Feb 12, 2024 06:20 AM
Kathy Streib

Dorie Dillard Austin TX good for Melissa!!!  I'm all for dirtying fewer pans!!! 

Feb 12, 2024 05:22 PM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

Good post (and so true). We must find our own path. The direction is there to help us shorten that process.

Feb 12, 2024 06:50 AM
Kathy Streib

Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty we want to share the basics and the "whys" of what we do, then allow the person to find their own way. 

Feb 12, 2024 05:22 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

A lot of wisdom in this post, life should be fun, unfortunately school takes a lot of the fun out of life. Learning can be fun and thought provoking if handled correctly. But to often it is handled with IT MUST BE DONE THIS WAY, AND ONLY THIS WAY!

Feb 12, 2024 07:24 AM
Kathy Streib

Thank you Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 It's hard especially when you're hoping to pass down what you know to a child. We want them to know what we know, which is good. At the same time we need to allow them to keep their own creativity. 

Feb 12, 2024 05:24 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Kathy,
Your statement about not hurting herself or burning the house down made me laugh. It sent me back to my early days of step-motherhood. Unless someone was going to get hurt I (mostly) had to keep quiet. There was already conflict between the Mom and Dad. They didn't need me in the mix. But that's off topic.

You are so right. I wish more teachers, mentors, or whatever you want to call them allowed more creativity in how to do things. I was telling someone yesterday during a game of golf that "there is more than one way to get a good shot". Some of them are  what we call UBEs (ugly but effective). As long as the result is good, what's the harm?  LOL 

Feb 12, 2024 08:05 AM
Kathy Streib

You're exactly right Carol Williams the best teachers/mentors help their students understand why something is done a certain way. Then they make sure that they have the tools to find their own way. 

Feb 12, 2024 05:27 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

That is very well said, Kathy Streib. That is  quick thinking for a Monday Morning and long partying weekend

Feb 12, 2024 08:12 AM
Kathy Streib

Hannah Williams crazy me had to stay up and listen to all the sports shows rehashing the game. 

Feb 12, 2024 05:28 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Kathy and it okay to give them the rein and know when to pull back on her a little.  Baking together is always fun.


Feb 12, 2024 09:09 AM
Kathy Streib

Will Hamm there are many "tricks" that you can share with someone when you're cooking or baking with them. These are things that aren't always written in a recipe. 

Feb 12, 2024 05:29 PM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

My sense is you have a high degree of emotional intelligence sprinkled with a lot of common sense. Great job by the way.

Feb 12, 2024 09:34 AM
Kathy Streib

wow Leanne Smith thank you for your very kind words. I don't know about the common sense thing but i am a great observer of things and people. 

Feb 12, 2024 05:31 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Well I had to smile at that picture of her!  She reminds me of my niece who is a lot older than her and still full of spunk and you know what at her age! I just talked to her on Saturday and ohhhh how I wish she would listen carefully to a tad bit of wisdom - but alas they must find their own way. And you're right, we can encourage, cheer on allow their creativity flow.

Feb 12, 2024 10:08 AM
Kathy Streib

Anna "Banana" Kruchten when I returned to Houston, my great-nephews nicknamed me the new sheriff in town!  It is one of the hardest tasks for any caring adult to do...keep their mouth shut and let their loved ones do  it their way. 

Feb 12, 2024 05:35 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

You are lucky to have a young chef to assist in your kitchen.

Enjoy every special moment.


Feb 12, 2024 10:28 AM
Kathy Streib

Roy Kelley We love having her over!  She also loves doing anything with her Uncle Larry. 

Feb 12, 2024 05:35 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Kathy I was going to make a comment related to being bossy, but my many years of experience are warning me that I will be in hot water with the females on this site if I do.  🤣

Feb 12, 2024 01:07 PM
Kathy Streib

George Souto you would never be in hot water in my opinion! LOL...I do admit to being bossy and have learned to try to stifle it. I'm not always successful. 

Feb 12, 2024 05:36 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Kathy, mentoring newer agents and suggesting options should foster thinking outside the box.

Feb 12, 2024 02:43 PM
Kathy Streib

I agree Joan Cox Everyone grows if you do that. 

Feb 12, 2024 05:37 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Creativity should never be diminished. Cute pic!

Feb 13, 2024 07:35 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

I like your perspective in working with Mini-Me, when it comes to baking, Kathy.

Feb 14, 2024 01:44 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

What a great attitude - it is hard to slow yourself down sometimes but clearly a goal to struggle toward!  

Feb 14, 2024 05:41 AM