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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 afterbedtimeblog.com and the newly launched thestrategicmama.com. 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.
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.
Meantime,[success] A student asked Nakagawa-Soen during a meditation retreat, “I am very discouraged. What should I do?” Soen Roshi replied, “Encourage others.[/success]