Pink Collar Coach’s Confessions of A Beginning Blogger: A Weekend With Artful Blogging

Pink Collar Coach’s Confessions of A Beginning Blogger: A Weekend With Artful Blogging

Day 179 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose was low key day spent like much of the rest of the weekend –  with my latest copy of Artful Blogging. Though the first day of daylight savings time started out warm, it soon deteriorated into tornado and flood flash warnings accompanied by rain. And while the forecast prevented me from checking out the much anticipated roll out of “Hearth and Home with Magnolia”, Target’s new line from Fixer Upper’s Joanna and Chip Gaines, I was OK with a quiet day at home – listening to Joel Ostend’s message on bitterness, doing light housework, and lounging around watching HGTV and reading. As a new blogger, Artful Blogging has become one of my favorite magazines. In fact, it’s what inspired me to give blogging a second try.

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Artful Blogging atop a gold Moroccan pouf and Aubusson needlepoint rug.                     Magazine from Barnes and Noble, pouf from Home Goods, and rug from TJ Maxx. 

Back in 2009, when blogging took off, I started a blog: True Confessions of A Christian Girl. It was my first foray into the social media world. I’d been hesitant about putting myself out there having gone through a divorce and other devastating Ds (challenges) that made me fear judgement from the circle of people who’d been part of my life when I was married. I’d worried for nothing. The warm welcome I received made me realize I’d cut myself off from a community whose love and acceptance had nothing to do with my marital status. And though I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, my blog was well-read and grew.

At the same time, I was trying to break into publication and fired magazine articles off at a fast and furious pace. Soon, my first article was published in Inspired Women Magazine (https://www.inspiredwomenmagazine.com) and then I landed a monthly column there. Simultaneously, I was attending writing conferences and working feverishly to finish my debut novel. All while being a single mom of preschoolers and a director of a high maintenance Kinder Care Learning Center! Something had to give. It was my blog.

This weekend, as I read articles describing how various now successful bloggers started their blogs right around the time I did, I felt a moment’s regret. Had I stayed on track then, my blog may be where I’d like it to be today! Before I succumbed completely to the “if I coulda woulda shoulders”, however, I thought back to Joel’s message (it never fails to be exactly what I need), and realized I can’t be bitter about where I was back there as a mom, professional, and writer or I couldn’t have gotten here. Now.

My blog may not be as successful and have as many followers, but I’m a more experienced mom, professional and writer with a that same novel, Seasons of Her Soul, due out in January! I’m also a wife again and part of a big fat blended family. Each of these experiences have grown me as a blogger and I have to believe writing about them will grow my blog. So will including photos, something I learned from Artful Blogging. So I’m thankful for the detour.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Cygnet (a header in Artful Blogging reminded me this is the name for a young swan), and beginning blogger, I must confess I still get discouraged when I think of the amount of time it takes to grow a blog. There are so many details I have yet to master, like how to write the content you readers really want, how to increase traffic, and how to make my posts more visually appealing, etc. But I’m thankful for a magazine like Artful Blogging that informs and inspires me to make my blog the best it can be. Spending time lost in it this weekend did just that and was time well spent.

For those of you who’ve asked why I started the blog, how can you use this information to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic? Do you have a desire to blog? If so, this magazine is a great resource. I’d love to chat with you about it.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

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Fall Leaves Change and Nothing Remains the Same

Fall Leaves Change and Nothing Remains the Same

It’s Day 130 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and since my blogging  has been sporadic over the last few weeks, I didn’t  have any recent photos and had to go back and find one reflects the sentiment that fall leaves change and nothing remains the same. Going into the third week of being sick, I have to be honest and admit I’ve felt a bit melancholy. It seems as though time goes by too quickly and people drift in and out of our lives. Still, rather than letting that get me down, I’m trying to keep my focus on what I have, versus what I don’t. Sometimes that means being grateful for the memories, even if that time is past or those people are no longer part of the daily landscape.

If you’ve ever taken the time to observe nature in autumn, you see how the leaves first change color and eventually fall to the ground. When all of them have fallen, the landscape is left looking rather barren. If we believed things would stay that way, we’d be left feeling bleak. Instead, when we realize all of these stages are necessary for new life to emerge in spring,  we can view the season of change from a hopeful perspective.

Spring won’t be comprised of the same leaves or colors, but it will be lovely all the same. Likewise, new memories we make won’t necessarily be made up of the same people, places, or even things. That being the case, a photo that captures a window in time becomes priceless. Children grow up and pull away, friends drift apart, and couples break up. Before they do, we snap a photo in the hope of being able to revisit those people, that place and time. My children and stepchildren always give me a hard time for taking so many pics, but I’ve never regretted that. I’ve only regretted when I let a special moment slip by undocumented.

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Carver Farm, Fall 2015 – Treasured Times Gone By. Pink Collar Coach as a cat, stepson and his then girlfriend, my daughter, son, and neighborhood friends. So much change…

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose chick who has never been into scrapbooking, I’m so thankful for my blog. It’s a place to capture my hopes, dreams, plans, feelings and fears. It’s a place to chronicle life’s ups and downs and to hopefully find community with other women in the workplace and on the homefront who are going through life trying to be the best moms, wives, sisters, friends, employees, etc. that we can be.

I hope this post encourages you to grab your camera or phone and to take some pictures this fall. Because it’s not only fall leaves that change. And nothing does remain the same.

Be savvy and chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Savvy & Chic Strategies to Build Your Bounce Series – Relationships

Savvy & Chic Strategies to Build Your Bounce Series – Relationships

It’s Day 165 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m diving a little deeper into this series on resilience by providing some practical tips you can use to build your bounce through relationships. As I discussed in yesterday’s post, Reflecting on Resilience as I Recover & Strategies to Build Your Bounce Series Kickoff, relationships are one of the adult resiliency protective factors that enable us to bounce back from life’s ups and downs. They are the long-lasting, mutual, reciprocal interactions we have with others in our lives. According to Mary Mackrain and Nefertiti Bruce, the authors of the adult resiliency journal pictured below, relationships support us in laughing more, feeling healthy, nurturing hope, feeling supported, having fun, sharing our emotions, and being honest.

Being down with diverticulitis has given me a lot of time to not only think about the truth of the above but to experience how having supportive relationships contributes to a healthy life overall. That’s what prompted me to suggest you reflect on each of the protective factors, what they comprise, and whether they are areas of strength or opportunity for you. Now, considering that, I’d like to share some ways to build your bounce around relationships.

Building Your Relationships Bounce 

1. Having good friends who support you. – By surrounding yourself with positive people, you create your own safety net. It’s important to know what you need from another person, which requires reconnecting with what you want and need from the relationships in your life.

Strategy: Be Intentional About Your Relationship Needs, Wants and Expectations. Answer below.

In a relationship I need a person who is:

I want a person in my life who accepts me when I:

When I am with the person I expect to:

From time to time reflect on this and determine whether you need more of this in your life and how you can go about getting it.

2. Having a mentor who helps guide you. Mentors offer support and encouragement in specific areas of your life such as your career. They improve your self-confidence, increase your motivation, and encourage you to be optimistic about the future and its opportunities.

Strategy: Coffee and Connect. Imagine meeting with someone who has achieved what you want to achieve and who inspires you.

My mentor looks like:

My mentor and I can have meaningful conversations about:

My mentor has already achieved ____________________, and I am hopeful they will play a role in helping me to do the same.

Now invite that person to coffee, meet and plan to meet again.

3. Being able to provide support to others. Helping others not only benefits them, it’s beneficial to you as well. By being supportive and listening, you can experience enhanced energy, self-worth, hopefulness and happiness.

Strategy: Show Some Love. Demonstrate your appreciation for a mentor or someone who has been influential in a positive way. Update them on how you are doing and let them know what role they’ve played in your life. 

4. Being able to empathize with others. Unlike sympathy where you feel the same as someone, empathy is when you understand and are accurate about what another person feels. This creates a strong connection and deeper relationships.

Strategy: Relate vs. Debate. When listening to a friend tell a story about something that happened to them, instead of debating how you are different, make an effort to let them know how you can relate to them. This will bring you closer.

5. Trusting close friends. Trust is a cornerstone of healthy relationships because it allows us to be ourselves. Though we can’t control how others respond to us, their reactions affect us. Having “safe” people who treat us well and give us positive feedback ensures us their love will not waver when we have a bad day.

Strategy: Circle of Trust. Reflect on the people in your life you feel safe telling anything. They listen when you’ve had a hard day and don’t offer excessive unsolicited advice. They are consistently there for you. Draw a large circle and jot down their names inside it. This is your Circle of Trust.

Remember that these are very special people who will be there through thick and thin. Reciprocate that by listening to and supporting them. Reach out.

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As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Coach, I hope you’ll not only read this information but apply it to build your relationship bounce. Thank you!

All information was adapted from the above. You can also visit http://www.devereuxearlychildhood.com for more strategies.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Selfie and Self-Reflection

Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Selfie and Self-Reflection

It’s Day 120 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m writing a brief post so I can return to self-reflecting. I’ve been blogging consecutively for four months now, and I’m still trying to figure out my voice and blogging style. I’m also researching how to post on the most appropriate sites to engage readers who are interested in the content I share.
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As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick who doesn’t take selfies and has never posted one, I’m posting this one because it captures the joy I felt immediately following this week’s image consultation. That joy comes from living out my purpose which is to maximize my unique God-given strengths to coach, encourage and inspire women – whether on the home front or in the workplace – to live their best personal and professional lives.

That being the case, I must confess that as a new blogger, sometimes I get discouraged when I feel my posts fall short. Then, out of the blue, someone will comment that I’m a good writer, or they’re reading the blog and it’s a daily treat, or that they enjoy my posts. Today, just when I needed it, I got a request for image coaching as a result of a post I shared and it reinforced that she’s the girl who needs to show up. On purpose. Even when I wonder if my blog will ever really take off. When I’ve touched a woman enough through blogging that she’d like to schedule time with me, well, I like that blogger to keep at it. And enough to post a selfie.

What about you? What are you self-reflecting on right now? Who do you want to show up as at home or work?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach