[success]Most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement – and we will make the goal. ~ Robert Collier[/success]

This is the first of my new series of posts on Encouragers.  My tagline is encourage one another and I thought it about time that we honoured those Encouragers in our midst.

Have you ever met someone who managed to make you feel special just by their presence?  Do you know anyone who inspires you to be all you know you can be?  Not someone who instructs you on how to be or do something, but the person who is so full of encouragement for you that your soul sings?

[success] One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own. ~ John O’Donohue[/success]

Have you been encouraged and supported lately by someone who sees the amazing in you, the wonder in you, the beauty and capability in you?

The word encouragement comes from the French, meaning to give heart to.  And that’s what our Encouragers do, they lift us up, they brighten our day, they help us to change our vibration of feeling, even if only for a moment.  They have an uncanny knack of being able to remind us that we’re all in this together and if, in this moment, we can’t see it, they hold the vision of who we truly are, showing us where we can honestly go, and what we can truly do, until we see it for ourselves.

We need encouragement as plants need water, as the earth needs the warmth of the sun, and as we encourage others, we’re immersed in the consciousness of encouragement, and we then experience that same vibration in our own life experience.  It’s a win, win situation.  And if you don’t have an Encourager in your life right now, then become one, and you’ll be amazed at how encouraged you’ll feel.

Encouraging one another brings the potential and and power to live a positive and purpose filled life.  Encouragers are our greatest cheerleaders, giving a wonderful gift from their heart to ours and deserve our unreserved praise and thanksgiving.

And that’s what we’re going to do here, beginning with the woman I mentioned briefly in Monday’s post.  Vanita Cyril of and the newly launched  She’s a super duper, awesome WordPress/SEO/Blog design dudette who totally rocks with her ability to garner more visibility for all of us out there in them there internets.

I took Vanita’s class, and as I mentioned, I was pretty useless.  Some of the language might just as well have been Greek and I don’t speak Greek that well…okay, not at all.  But there Vanita was, always encouraging, always helpful, holding my hand all the way.  Mentoring me like only she can, believing I could do it, even when clearly I wasn’t doing it.  She truly is a wonderwoman, so let’s see what she has to say, and you’ll see why I nominate her as Encourager of the month.

Over to Vanita.

Elle, I am humbled girl. Truly I am. AND you are definitely doing it girl! You are rockin’ and I’m so proud of you!

What led you to start your blog?

I wanted to blog again. I was a blogger in 2005/2006 and then I got married and left the blogging behind. In early 2010 I realized I missed blogging and not having any relatives or friends with kids, I wanted to share the whole mommyhood thing now that I had babies again after 10 years. I also have teens, but when you haven’t held a baby of your own in ten years, its so joyful you want to just spew every moment of it out into the world. At the same time, it’s like starting from scratch, it’s overwhelming and you need the support of other moms who can relate to get through it. I didn’t have that offline and I realized that every time I Googled something baby related I came across mom blogs. And these moms that I found online, witty, smart and supportive. It was amazing to read the comments and I wanted to be a part of that. So I started a blog. A way to connect with other moms after bedtime when the kids were asleep and thus After Bedtime Blog was born.

How long have you been blogging and doing classes and design work?

I majored in print design when I was in college…1992 I think, (because I liked a guy who was in the field) and html was mandatory as part of the design curriculum. In 1999 I took classes in Flash, Dreamweaver…and something else. LOL. Can’t remember at all. So I started in web design in 2000, my first gig the company website. I was then hired by some of the bosses’ friends and associates to design their company websites and it became a on/off freelance gig for me. In 2007 I started working with WordPress, it was this new shiny thing and the more innovative business owners wanted to incorporate an article base onto their website that they could easily update themselves. I also spent my last 5 years in corporate as a technical adviser, consultant to clients and I trained classrooms at a time about the basics in my field. I think it was my most favorite aspect of my career. The ability to share knowledge, to help creatives get pass the technical issues they struggled with.

You have two blogs, tell us a little about how they came about, and what it is you want to achieve with and from them, other than, as I’ve repeated, ad nauseum, being the great teacher and mentor that you are?

Somewhere along the line I started noticing questions in mom blogger forums about WordPress, technical stuff that I knew the answers to but I wanted to create step by step screenshots to go along with my explanations and this wasn’t something I could do in forums at the time. It inspired me to write how-to posts. It was my way of giving back to the mom bloggers who were there for me when I was struggling as a new mom – again. As time past, the blog morphed and as I continued to offer advice, I also started offering my services as a blog designer and all around technical person who rocked at seo.

Being a work at home mom for almost 2 years, I’ve stumbled quite a bit. I’m finally settled in a way where I have a regular income and sleep like normal people. Working from home while caring for a family is hard girl. I know that there’s so many moms who can agree and who are now struggling the way I did. So I’ve launched The Strategic Mama as a way to help WAHMs who need the advice, the encouragement, and pro services such as design and search engine marketing to get their business going.

How do you fit it into your busy family life?

Well first let me tell you girl, once upon a time, I had 12 blogs. Nine were affiliate sites. Yep, I was once an internet marketer for 9 months.

During that time, I did not sleep for days.

I finally gave up and decided to pick what was closest to my heart, and working with moms was what I wanted to do most.

So I sat down and outlined a strategy and I’ve stuck to that strategy which includes a schedule. I work from 4am to 7am, midday for 3 hours while the kids nap and then evenings from 7pm to 9pm. In between working hours I’m with the family, taking care of the kids, cleaning and burning dinner. Sometimes I get to watch a movie with hubby. 😀

It’s harder than when I worked corporate but it’s well worth it. And what I do now isn’t a job, it’s providing what my community needs.

Isn’t she just the ‘bees knees’?  I know that not everyone has a website or blog but maybe you want to begin one, and for those of you that are out here and wanting a bigger, greater presence to get your version of encouragement out to the world, we have a special treat for you.

In keeping with the encouragement theme, we’re giving away a free Make Google Luv Your Blog Course, which comes, of course with Vanita her own self.  Doesn’t get better than that.

Take a look here and you’ll see all about the Luv Course.

To enter, just leave a comment saying you’d like some encouragement, and a winner will be chosen randomly.  Can’t be fairer than that.

If you have an encouraging story, or an Encourager you’d like to see featured in this series, e-mail me ~ through the contact page.  I’d love to hear from you.  We need as much encouragement as possible in our world.


[success] A student asked Nakagawa-Soen during a meditation retreat, “I am very discouraged. What should I do?” Soen Roshi replied, “Encourage others.[/success]

Love Elle


Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. Fabulous! You know, Elle, I am a total fan of your beautiful tagline. And starting this series with Vanita is simply perfect. She is such a doll. I love her. And now, I have the privilege of being her student, as she guides my move from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress.

    I enjoyed the interview very much. In today’s world of information overload and a lot of trumpet-blowing, I think Vanita is a shining star who not only knows her stuff but walks the talk, giving more than anyone could expect.

    I love you both very very much!

    P.S.: Elle, I’ve sent you an email. 😀

    • Elle

      I’m excited for you Vidya that Vanita will be your mentor…she is such a wonderful encourager and patient and always available to support and help. I can’t wait to see your new ‘home’.

      I don’t seem to have received an e-mail from you Vidya, but will keep my eyes peeled. Hugs and love to you too. 🙂

      • you ladies make me blush. big love and hugs to you. you’re both awesome and inspire me everyday.

        • Elle

          You deserve every word of praise that comes your way Vanita…you rock kiddo. 🙂

  2. Hi Elle,

    I too love your reminder to encourage others. It is great to find out more about Vanita. I will definitely go over and check out her site Her blog seems like a great resources for moms who want to connect and who want support. Great as always. Hugs to you!

    • Cathy! Drop on by girlfriend. Would love to “meet” you and am heading over later tonight. 😀

    • Elle

      You should definitely check her out Cathy, she’s really great and dare I say it again…encouraging. 🙂

  3. Elle, again, I am humbled girlfriend. I also am just so honored to be the first in this series and more importantly to have you as a friend. Thank you girlfriend. I truly believe if you put a wish out there, if you shoot for a dream, the universe will answer. And each time I read your blog, it strengthens that belief. As for encouraging each other, that should be a basic rule of life. Imagine how wonderful the world would be if everyone encouraged each other to be their best, to be who they want to be…anything would be possible and the words “I can’t” would cease to exist.

    • Elle

      Vanita, dear one, I love your thought that encouragement should be a basic rule of life…love, love it. And I’m so happy to have met you too and even happier to count you as my friend and mentor. Isn’t it amazing if you stay focused on happy outcomes how they ‘manage’ to appear. 🙂

  4. Since I started blogging, I have been so touched by the encouragement I have received, often from bloggers who were several levels above me, in terms of readers/comments and such. People took time to answer questions, give me feedback, offer advice. Two people even got on the phone with me to have a chat. These are all people I have never met in person, and yet they have gone out of their way to be kind to me.

    What a wonderful profile of Vanita–Vanita, you rock. I’m going to make it my business to find out a lot more about you!

    • Elle

      Galen, how wonderful for you. And I know what you mean about other bloggers being willing to talk and support and yes…encourage. It’s such a wonderful world and I’m glad you and I are part of it. 🙂

  5. This will sound strange (or maybe not, in our blogging world) – when I first went to Vanita’s blog through a pingback because she’d mentioned me as a blogger to read (so flattered), I think we became instant friends. When I decided to move domains, she was my girl. Since then she has helped me so much with the launching of my new business (she IS a major encourager!) and just as a friend. Thanks V, you rock. Love ya. xo

    • Elle

      Welcome to the conversation Alison and thank you for your kind and encouraging words about Vanita…I know eggsactly what you’re talking about. 🙂

    • hahahaha. yes i definitely rock. so wonderful of you ladies to mention it! 😉

  6. Time for a dude to comment! Hope that’s ok ladies? I just met Vanita (on the blogosphere) and I still barely know her but can attest to her awesomeness. She recently spent a lot of time to answer some pretty direct questions I had about online biz and she really didn’t have to. Thanks Vanita you’re the real deal.

    • Elle

      Hello Tim, you’re very welcome…the more the merrier…encouragement and comments that is. Your story about Vanita, is just so…well…so Vanita. Thanks for sharing Tim. 🙂

    • Tim! How goes it bud? It’s no big deal. I like listening to myself jabber away…:-D you know where i am when u need me.

  7. thank you ELLE
    you have been encouraging me for a long time and i am so thankful
    yes, when you are feeling discouraged…encourage others !!!
    it is an amazing result

    • Elle

      And you my dear LSM are a great encourager to me and I thank you. It’s a wonderful energy and you’re right, bringing amazing results.

  8. I like what you say about advice not necessarily being the most helpful thing to receive when we’re faced with a problem — I know I appreciate someone who’s willing to listen to me, with my best interests at heart, more than any tips and tricks on how to do something.

    • Elle

      Isn’t that the truth Chris, we don’t necessarily need to hear what we should be doing, but given a little encouragement, we intuitively begin to see our next step. Love how that works! 🙂

  9. I have been so helped by other bloggers and I just want to say a big THANK YOU for all the good words shared my direction. I am really a marketing failure but I keep trying and taking classes. Finally Tim Brownson a coach at a Daring Adventure called me on the phone and just said, you need to hire a marketing person and stop fighting what you are not able to do so you can keep on doing what you do well. (I lost my other job so I haven’t afforded this professional yet!)
    I keep thinking though how wonderful it would have been to have blogged with other moms when I was at home with 3 little children and one special needs. I did have a great encourager – My Aunt Margery, who just died last February. She began her encouraging career when I was in graduate school, just when the going got tough being one of 11 women in a school of 750 men, the phone would ring and she would listen, pick up the pieces and get me up and running again.

    I do try to encourage others and be kind to pay it forward and just make the world a better place.

    What a fun post and I enjoyed all the great comments too.

    • Elle

      Hello Patricia, your Aunt Margery sounds just wonderful and how cool that you are carrying on her tradition of Encourager. We all need them. I can imagine a world where we all simply encourage one another, even if it’s only seeing the best in them. Good job you. 🙂

  10. My mom was an encourager … she’s been gone about 8 years now and lots of us miss her encouragement. I try to encourage folks around me but would sure love a little reciprocity. It’s hard when the folks around you don’t know “how to” encourage anyone, especially themselves. I had a hard time figuring out what direction to take a blog and any potential business. I was playing with my granddaughter the other day and realized I wanted to pass on things like my mom and grandma did. So my of who I am and what I offer has morphed, yet again to Country Grandma … you can take me out of the country but certainly can’t take the country out of me. Lots of changes taking place, yet again, in my life. Sure hope the roller coaster levels out one of these days.

    • Elle

      I know how great it is to have an encouraging mum Debi, I was blessed with both my mum and grandma. And in my experience just keep on keeping on being the great encourager that you are and wonderful things will show up for you too. And maybe your ‘new’ idea of being a Country Grandma is part and parcel of those wonderful things. That’s what I’m going to imagine for you…sounds pretty cool to me as someone with an encouraging grandma my own self. 🙂

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