Activation Time: A 1/2 Year Review

activationThis is a recap of the 1st half of the year, so I tend to get long-winded. You have been warned…

About the Blog

For those of you who are new, (or returning after a hiatus) to the blog put on your seat belt, I’m about to take you for a ride.

Asummermoon.com pretty much started as a recovery blog that I was encouraged to write by 2 of my former co-workers (my sister/friends) who thought it would be a healthy outlet for me as I was going through a transition. In time, I concluded that the experiences I documented were no longer just about me, but about the energy we all put out into the universe when we share pieces of ourselves via blogging and social media.

I later developed a vision for this blog which strives to Inspire Action despite fear, lack of confidence, and lack of experience; Revive Passion, despite trying to convince yourself that contentment and fulfillment belongs to everyone you bust your butt for and not yourself; and Empower the Inner Child inside, despite growing up in a society that does its best to stifle the very part of you that still believes in the power of dreams.

And now, I’ve finally written out a straight to the point mission statement, and in doing so I’m revealing my new tagline: Activate Your Inner SuperHeroine.

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Moon Power! Property of Asummermoon.com

Meet ‘Moon’, my inner superheroine; she’s my nurtured and uninhibited inner child all grown up, sharing her light, and being the change.

You can read more about how I activate my inner superheroine in order to encourage and empower you to active your inner superheroine on my revamped about page.

This is the finished draft. My new header will showcase the digitized character design (with proper credits to the illustration team).

 

 

A special thanks to Shauna for the coaching and inspiration!

Alrighty then! So, I’m actually going to keep the rest pretty short as I seriously want to hear from you. Hit me up in the comment section below or on Twitter.

About Life

The theme for this year is: Choose To Dance

My word for the year is: Purpose

As I’ve shared before in previous reviews, I center most of my goals for the year around 6 areas or slices of life: Personal, Social, Physical, Spiritual, Professional, and Financial. Under each slice of life I set about 3 intentions to work on at the start of the year So my theme is in essence the vision I have for the year and the slices help me organize the steps I need to take in order to realize that vision in a balanced way.

I pretty much chucked most of the goals I set in January as they either no longer astonished me (like hire a bookkeeper) or they became somewhat muddied in clarity as to the ‘Why’ and therefore needed more TLC (trip to Kenya). So I’ll focus the rest of this blog on a few of the goals that stuck. I hired my own virtual assistant so I could focus on growing my social media management firm and in doing so I was able to bring on new teammates to help me grow the businesses of the clients we serve. I created a free toolkit for those wanting to know more about hiring a virtual assistant.Starting to have a better relationship with money. I made an investment in a long-term mentorship program. I’ve been meeting with an accountability every month. I see and feel the positive impact of both a mentor and accountability buddy.

My relationship with my mother and little sister has been better than it has ever been. I’ve been committed to a church ministry despite my ambivalence with church itself. I went on a workcation with plans for a real vacation alongside my companion aka ‘him’ in August, the 1st I’ve had since I’ve started my business almost 3 years ago.

So, that’s a quick recap of wins for year, (sprinkled with some realistic setbacks) thanks for reading to those of you who stuck around!

Again, I’d love to hear from you! What have you been up to these past 6 months?

 

Until next time…

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There’s A Glitch in The Matrix: A 1st Quarter Review

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This is a life in review type post, so it gets long-winded, you have been warned…

About the Blog

For those of you who are new to Reflections of A Summer Moon here’s what I wrote regarding the mission of this blog:

Asummermoon.com is a personal journey blog that strives to Inspire Action despite fear, lack of confidence, and lack of experience; Revive Passion, despite trying to convince yourself that contentment and fulfillment belongs to everyone you bust your butt for and not yourself; and Empower the Inner Child inside, despite growing up in a society that does its best to stifle the very part of you that still believes in the power of dreams. I firmly believe that when we let our inner child come out to play, we really show the world what we are really made of. This is still an unedited statement; I simply wrote what was in my heart. I don’t know if every blog post will fit into a neat category or if I can measure up to what I strive to deliver but here is my starting point and I’m happy to have you along for the ride.

Some of you have asked me about the origins of my blog name A Summer Moon I’ve been promising to do a blog post about it and that blog post will happen very soon. I can tell you this much, the name Moon has been a part of my online identity for years in some shape or form I’ve used this name to express via the written word what I never had the courage to speak out loud. When I stopped lurking and started blogging that began to shift, “Moon” very much so speaks her mind both on and offline, if you catch me on a sociable day 😉

About Life

Every year, for the past few years, I start off with a theme and word to express my intentions and focus for life which then helps me determine the goals I wish to pursue.

The theme for this year is: Choose To Dance

My word for the year is: Purpose

As I’ve shared before in previous reviews, I center most of my goals for the year around 6 areas or slices of life: Personal, Social, Physical, Spiritual, Professional, and Financial. This way of goal setting was inspired by I coaching course I discovered a few years back to be a resource for women experiencing a quarterlife crisis. Under each slice of life I set about 3 intentions to work on at the start of the year So my theme is in essence the vision I have for the year and the slices help me organize the steps I need to take in order to realize that vision in a balanced way.

This 1st quarter was well… I’ll put it like this… Have you ever had to sit at a long traffic light in bumper to bumper non-rush hour traffic? It’s not just any long light but the kind that when you finally get to the green light you realize it is glitchy and changes so quickly that only one car actually makes it through at a time (hence the long line). And because you’ve got places to go you decide you’re making it through that blasted light so you tail that one car in front of you to get through (because the light was yellow, you swear it was) only to find a ticket waiting for you in the mail a couple of weeks later…I think the 1st quarter went something like that.

Personal: I’ve made it no secret that I want to make a trip to Kenya. I connected with a sister in Heartwork Rachael K. A. and we decided to partner together to create something that would enable us to go help out our mutual sister in Heartwork, Faith, the leader of Girls Shift Africa (and so many more leaders like her). After much research, speaking with mentors, and other activists, (I even had the honor of speaking with John Haydon) we decided we had our work cut out for us.  We both have bread and butter businesses to run and we both had some personal thangs to address. For instance Rach is having a wedding ceremony everyday for the year. So, we hit the brakes on our original goal to make that trip in October and utilize Google + Hangouts to have Advisory Council meetings since we’re in about 4 different countries spread around the world. We’ve decided to work on some foundation pieces and plan some more (though if we can still make it this year that’d be awesome).

The other project in the slice is to publish my collection of poetry (I write you know). I’ve been typing my heart away on the weekends as most of my poetry sit in notebooks. I soon realized that 4 notebooks of poetry became very little after I noticed that I myself didn’t care for most of them (I did write half of them when I was like 12). I’m not sure what I want to do about this now as I don’t have as many pages of poetry. However, I still want to publish what I have. I’ll keep you posted on both these endeavors!

Social: I’ll share one of the things I’m working on with this slice. Every week I’m to make a conscious effort to speak the love language of my companion, family member, friend, acquaintance, etc. I’ll admit, I can be selfish and stubborn at times so speaking languages that aren’t my own is actually hard for me. For instance, my brother’s primary love language is physical touch. I’m not really a hugger, I’m not very ticklish, nor am I a person who likes to cuddle,and I like space-in every sense of what that word means (I’m an introvert after all). I made sure to give him a real big bear hug when he received his latest promotion as a Staff Sergeant for the US Air Force and told him I was very proud of him, he was literally shocked and told me so, (dang am I that bad little bro?).

Physical: Okay here’s the deal, for 1 ½ months I had insomnia! I do get it occasionally, but never like this. It really messed me up for this slice in January and part of February. I started experiencing lots of migraines and tension headaches but somehow I was able to function through the day and not really miss a beat with much. Eventually, after forcing myself into a routine that didn’t seem to work at 1st I finally began sleeping through the night again. I met a nice lady by the name of Erin in our mutual Astonish Yourself group coaching program. She offered me a complimentary EFT session and showed me ways to naturally work on my headaches. I don’t know if it’s a mind thing or not but the stuff works! And now that the weather is looking nicer I’m busting out my kicks and hitting the power walking trail, viva Pandora!

Environment… I wanted to move in March, (I’ve since pushed that goal deadline way back). I had an apartment lined up, a roomie, all that jazz. Everything fell a part and I mean everything. The apartment people gave our place away, the roomie had to fight for another place and had to take the leave sooner than I was ready for in order to claim what they gave her…and ugh so much more. But, a glimmer of light did shine at the end of the tunnel…it became less crowded where I currently stay and the drama that came with the crowd went with out the door with said crowd. Hopeful!

Spiritual: Good gracious I feel everything else is a reflection of what’s going on here. This year, my church made it their theme to do an intense year of prayer so I decided to participate; I centered my goal on praying with the collective and you know, make prayer a priority. Heck, why not? We have got to pray-a, we have got to pray-a to make it through the day-a Yeah so, funny thing happens when you try to really get your spiritual self and your Higher power in alignment …lots of tests and trials! Seriously, it’s enough to make you fold your arms and force yourself to be content at your current level in your spiritual walk.  But, I know that won’t do…onward and upward!

Professional: I set one main goal here which requires lots of little projects, my A-team, and tons of consistency. One of those projects was to complete my very 1st Opt-in offer to grow my list.  This translated into creating my very 1st infoproduct to address the needs of coaches, consultants, and speakers looking to grow their team with the aid of virtual assistance. I’m proud to say I did indeed finish it by the deadline. And I’m currently waiting on the design and formatting of it to get completed. I was hoping to pre-launch today, but the production isn’t complete yet, so I had to move it back a week or 2. It’s all good because I did it! I can’t wait to share it. If you’re not already a part of the Your Marketing Matters email community come on over, my VIP’s get 1st dibs!

Financial: I guess my main goal here was to gain better awareness of the state of my finances so that I could analyze and determine next steps. I have been so on the money in this area, book keeping has become a ritual again for me. I’m very much so aware of where my money is coming and going. I’m keeping way better records, and I’ve been consistently paying off my credit card debt. I think I won’t drive my accountant crazy too bad this time. Woot!

So, that’s my 1st quarter review of the year, thanks for reading to those of you who stuck around!

Also, now that I’ve worn my heart on my sleeves, I’d love to hear about you and what you’ve been up to these past 3 months.

 

Flickr Credit: caesararum

 

The Big 3! It’s My Blog Anniversary

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Guess what?!? It’s my Blogiversary!!!!

The 9th of this month made 3 years that I’ve been typing my heart away in this digital realm.  Yes, 3 years! I seriously didn’t think I’d still be here. But the domain and hosting have been paid for the year, so here I stay!

There are so many tweeks I’ll be making to the blog this year, I’m super excited about finally implementing some of the changes I’ve had in mind for quite awhile.

Last year, I didn’t get to interact with too many other bloggers and I really missed reading about what was going on in the blogsphere with some of my favorites.

As, I continue to improve in the work/life integration department, I plan to make this year my best blogging year yet!

So, to celebrate, what I wanted to share with you was some of my favorite resources, tools, and personal reflections on blogging.

My top 3 favorite bloggers who blog about…blogging

1)      Kikolani has been bookmarked for quite some time. I’ve lost count of how many places I’ve seen the work of Kristy Hines as she blogs for many of the top ranking marketing blogs around. Once upon a time when I wanted to just be a professional blogger I stalked this website, (now I just have a humble respect for bloggers like Kristy).

2)      Become a Blogger with Leslie Samuel I can’t remember how I stumbled upon this blog, but what I really liked about it was that Leslie seemed very authentic in his approach to help other bloggers do more with their blog. He would literally blog about the process of growing a blog as he experimented with different techniques. (Perhaps this year I’ll actually try the advice out.)

3)      Finally, the infamous CopyBlogger blog . Honestly, this site has grown so much since I first learned about it, I’m still trying to keep up with all their awesomesauce. But, in particular, I want to point out that I love pretty much anything Sonia Simone writes, she really is an amazing copyblogger.

 My top 3 favorite blogging tools:

1)      Sometimes, a blog post just hits me, (though most times it takes me forever to get a blog post down) but when it hits me, I like to be ready, so I tend to use Evernote. I can jot down ideas and it will sync with my computer where I can later retrieve it and save the idea for a rainy day. What I also like about it is that I can also record my thoughts say if I were driving  and save my voice recording as a note to again spark some inspiration for a rainy day.

2)      Next up is Dropbox  (and yes if you use that link I get some more free space) I need some place to hold all these images and video blog recordings. Also, when I can finally afford an editor, (one day, one day I tell ya!) it will be easy for me to share all my randomness without having to send 50 billion emails. Also, you can use dropbox to save the files and database of your precious wordpress blog if it ever crashed and such…

3)      Google- what can I say, Google and my droid work very well together. I love using Google calendar as an editorial calendar,  a social media post planner, and a “Lynette you have to blog right now” alert system.

 

Finally 3 lessons I’ve learned in my 3 years of blogging

1)      Don’t let the other Bloggers, (especially the ones with big followings) deter you from blogging. Everyone has their 2 cents about what you should be doing or why you shouldn’t do this or that. I’ve even read some bloggers write things like if you won’t do it this way then don’t even bother, like seriously?!?

If you want to blog then blog gosh darnit!

Same goes for the grammar police and anyone else who has a problem with your creative outlet in the blogsphere. Their trolling is not your problem! Kindly escort them to the virtual door and inform them they are free to choose another spot on the web that will make them feel better about themselves.  (I tell ya, people get mighty bold behind a computer screen).

2)      Decide from the door if you want a hobby blog or professional blog and act accordingly. Reflections was always intended to be more of a hobby blog, than a professional blog so I could unapologetically do things my way with it, (like refusing to throw ads all over the place).  Although, it likely contributes to my professional brand and I do plan to monetize it some more, (to cover the costs of keeping it on the web, and give back to my favorite causes) I never had the intention of this being anything more than a place to share my journey with whoever was willing to read.

3)      Even if it’s a hobby blog, you can still change the world. I suppose for myself, I’m a slow and steady wins the race kind of gal. So, I’ve been growing my blog readership via relationships I built over time and the connections I make one-to-one for the most part, (though SEO helps). But because I feel that I’ve always tried to keep it real here, I have an amazing community of people who also have an amazing community of people and together we can make a difference. Through blogging, I’ve learned about career paths I had never heard of, I’ve discovered entrepreneurs who are brown like me, when I honestly used to wonder if we ever “made it” without having to become a basketball player or talk-show hostess, seriously, it’s nice to meet others who share similar backgrounds and experiences, and give me something to aspire to… I’ve also been able to share about amazing change agents and get them some exposure and hopefully some funds, and create a passion-based business helping women I truly admire. Blogging can really open many doors!

So, cheers to another year of amazing discoveries, powerful lessons, wearing my heart on my sleeve moments, and sharing as much of the useful stuff with you that I can!

Until next time…

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30 Days of Giving Thanks-Conclusion

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Well, here we are the 30th Day of this month of Giving Thanks. What a wonderful experience to simply stop and be more mindful of both the small things and the big miracles that make impact in our lives on a daily basis.

To wrap it up for the tips, I came across an article about Six Habits of Highly Grateful People who

  1. Once in a while, they think about death and loss
  2. They take the time to smell the roses
  3. They take the good things as gifts, not birthrights (ooh good one) They’re grateful to people, not just things
  4. They mention the pancakes
  5. They thank outside the box it goes on to say, “If we’re willing and able to look…we can find a reason to feel grateful even to people who have harmed us. We can thank that boyfriend for being brave enough to end a relationship that wasn’t working; the homeless person for reminding us of our advantages and vulnerability; the boss, for forcing us to face new challenges.

I’ll admit, number 5 is hard especially when you’re in it. With that in mind I think we can all be thankful for trying times when our overcoming it becomes the reason someone else has hope. Most certainly we can be thankful for the maturing we get from the experience…

So, as I thought about this 30 day exercise and reviewed the various tips I shared throughout the month, I couldn’t help but notice how what I was thankful for aligned with my love languages assessment. My primary love language is Quality time followed closely by Acts of Service. Most of what I was grateful for involved hanging around who I deemed as quality people, eating my definition of quality food, and spending what I felt to be quality time.

I do love to eat, but I realized what made the meals special to me was the fact that someone poured their love into preparing my meal during the holidays, or that despite standing all day, perhaps on a double shift due to high turn over at the restaurant, while receiving poor treatment from ill mannered patrons, my server thought it not robbery to smile and do their best to create a great dinning experience for me. Yes even more so that I was blessed enough to pay for the convenience of someone else’s time standing in a hot kitchen so I didn’t have to, and, finally, being able to sit and have intimate conversations with the people when they had a million and one things to do, yet still made time for me, especially knowing I just wanted to rant.

I also remembered again how it was always about the little things, things like my nephews running up to me and giving me hugs and kisses or receiving a random “I love you” when I was having a “bleh” day. Or even, when I’m tripping out talking down about my imperfections like that moment when my contacts got all dry and I became irritated about having to wear them in the 1st place because who the heck wants crappy eye sight until I humbled myself and thought well, at least I can see…

Overall, I really enjoyed doing this month of thanks and gratitude and more importantly I enjoyed implementing better habits person to person, genuinely with love and appreciation.

Thank you to all who participated along with me in your own space on the web!

A very Special thank you to my best friend and accountability partner Latisha!

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Until next time…

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30 days of Giving Thanks-Part III

I can’t believe we are winding down on these 30 days of giving thanks. I did notice a few Facebook friends keeping up with me and doing their own month of thankfulness on their own blogs and timelines which is awesome! I see you guys 🙂

So this week I finally got to read some of the ezines I’m subscribed to and headed on over to the blog of a NPO  (nonprofit organization)  that will always have a special place in my heart, The Starting Point. When I was working in the field of addictions we would have continuing education workshops and the founder, Vince, was a guest speaker I could not forget. I came to see this NPO as a resource for various reasons in time and still stop by every now and then for their free lecture series. But, when I can’t make it out, I love to read their thoughts of the month, and wanted to share a piece with you all. This month their theme was Gratitude and Service

They share that, “Gratitude is the process by which we slowly discover our gifts and continue each day to celebrate the wonder of life. If we truly live the spirit of gratitude and continue growing, we are then ready for the spirit of service.” The talked about 3 types of gifts to be thankful for and I was especially mindful of the 3rd one throughout this week which said to, “be open to the journey and the gift of humility. Each experience in life is a teachable moment. Are we open to the lessons? Remember nothing happens by accident. We are all part of the universe’s plan. Let’s pray that we will always have an open mind and know that we are all in the process of life’s adventure.”

Power stuff to remember this holiday season!  I too hope and pray that we indeed will have an open mind as well as a giving spirit.

As far as pics go…I’ll sum this week with a lesson I was constantly reminded of by people who believe in me to whom I’m thankful for…

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Until Next Time…

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*All Images in this blog post are property of Lynette Davis