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Posts Tagged ‘Goals’

The Best for Babes Campaign Codes

December 17, 2009 4 comments

I LOVE the Best for Babes ad campaign and want to do all I can to promote it! So, here are codes you can use to include an ad on your blog. Best for Babes has a page with information about this and examples. Once you have decided which you want to use, just copy and paste the code into a text or html widget/post on your blog or website! If you have any questions about this code, email me at crystald.gold [at] gmail [dot] com. Questions about the campaign can be directed to Best for Babes.

140 width online ad

<a href="http://www.bestforbabes.org/2009/12/how-you-can-help-run-our-ad-campaign-on-your-blog-or-website-and-get-a-magnet"><img src="http://www.bestforbabes.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/bestforbabes140w.jpg" border="0" alt="Best for Babes" align="center" /></a>

150X150 online ad

<a href="http://www.bestforbabes.org/2009/12/how-you-can-help-run-our-ad-campaign-on-your-blog-or-website-and-get-a-magnet"><img src="http://www.bestforbabes.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/BfB_OLA_150x150.jpg" border="0" alt="Best for Babes" align="center" /></a>

180X240 online ad

<a href="http://www.bestforbabes.org/2009/12/how-you-can-help-run-our-ad-campaign-on-your-blog-or-website-and-get-a-magne"><img src="http://www.bestforbabes.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/BfB_OLA_180x2402.jpg" border="0″ align=" alt="Best for Babes" /></a>

700X100 online ad

<a href="http://www.bestforbabes.org/2009/12/how-you-can-help-run-our-ad-campaign-on-your-blog-or-website-and-get-a-magnet"><img src="http://www.bestforbabes.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/BfB_OLA_700x100.jpg" border="0" alt="Best for Babes" align="center" /></a>

700X300 online ad

<a href="http://www.bestforbabes.org/2009/12/how-you-can-help-run-our-ad-campaign-on-your-blog-or-website-and-get-a-magnet"><img src="http://www.bestforbabes.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/BfB_OLA_700x3001.jpg" border="0" alt="Best for Babes" align="center" /></a>

Reflecting on my first 30 days

December 5, 2009 1 comment

So, a month ago, I decided I would FINALLY get serious about writing again.  I would make time and get all the millions of thoughts that run through my head out for others to share.  What an experience it has been!  There has been so much fulfillment, encouragement, and growth in one month!  I wish I could say I wrote as often as I wanted to or that I was as successful, articulate, and prepared as I would like to have been.  But I didn’t and I wasn’t… but that is OK!  I made major strides, stayed with my commitment and now have a long list of blog ideas and feel empowered to continue!

I remember the first day I let it loose… I was THRILLED to be getting a consistent 50ish hits a day.  I know that is SUCH small potatoes for a website, but this was brand-spankin-new and just about me.  Then, I started breaking 100 consistently!  One day I even had 406!!  Over the entire first 30 days I had over 2200 hits!  That means that people felt compelled to see what I had to say at least 2200 times!  That is a real honor!  I hope to watch the viewership grow and develop over the next few months.  My GOAL is to have one month with 25,000 hits by the end of 2010!  That will take a lot of work and dedication, but I love this!!

One thing I learned this month was that in the blogging world, it isn’t just about what you write on your own blog, it is about joining the conversation.  I have met (virtually) some WONDERFUL and talented women (and men) this month and am amazed by the conversations being had on twitter, blogs, and elsewhere.  It is a true community that is built by taking the time to share your thoughts on your own site and then visiting others and creating that dialogue.  One of the great examples of this was momalom.com‘s 5 for 10 experiment.  Those of us that took part committed to spend at least 5 minutes a day for 10 days on their blog (and others if we chose) and they would do the same.  This encouraged us all to step out and see what others were talking about and join the conversations.  It was a major success, opened me up to many new bloggers, and increased my own readership a lot. I have also taken part in the Wordless Wednesday blog carnival and the Not Me Monday blog carnival.  These are great to keep the blog fresh and meet new bloggers regularly.  I will be doing another new carnival from Momalom called the Half-drunk Challenge… I am a little scared… blogging tipsy?  YIKES!

I also learned what an honor it is to have someone recognize publicly what you are doing and saying.  This happened three times for me in this first month!  Again, WHAT AN HONOR!  First, PhDinParenting highlighted a blog I wrote during her week long commitment to more reading and commenting on people’s sites.  She would list on her blog where she visited that day and pick a few to highlight.  Her blog is a very respected resource for MANY people so it was a huge honor to receive such a notation from her.  Next, Birthing Magazine featured a link to a post of mine on their Facebook page with over 400 fans!  And finally, Best for Babes, an organization that is focused on helping change the public perceptions of breastfeeding, mentioned me when they posted how to get involved in their ad campaign.  This wasn’t in reference to my own writing or anything, but it was an honor to be credited as helping them with their movement.  These recognitions mean so much to me personally and for the growth of my blog.

During this month I have tried to cover many diverse topics that I am interested in (almost all come back to breastfeeding).  I have written about books, breastfeeding, toilet learning, reflection, nestle, and activism.  I have learned some about marketing myself too.  One thing I love about the blogging world is that it is more about building the relationship than just flat marketing.  People see my link when I comment and post elsewhere, but it is secondary to what I have to say.

In my life, I have grown quite a bit this month.  I learned how truly persistent my son is, perhaps more than any other human being I have met.  I learned that, because of this, I have to let go of all I have tried to hold on to as a “typical parent”.  Typical parenting isn’t what he needs.  He needs to have more control, more respect, more choice in his life.  He needs more guidance, more understanding, and more patience.  I have to trust him to grow and mature at his own pace and listen to his needs first.  I have to continue to grow so that I can be the mother he needs.  I lack the patience and creativity he really needs from me.

I have also learned this month that I AM on the right path.  Every turn has been a reassurance that I need to follow my heart.  I haven’t answered all my questions about how to make the needed changes, but I know I will. (RN or no RN??)  It feels great to be building myself up each day and being able to also reflect on where I have been.  I am looking forward to continuing with my writing and seeing where it takes me with each new post!  Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read, comment, and revisit!  I hope you will continue the journey with me!!

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Categories: Goals Tags: , , , ,

That’s My Wordle!

November 12, 2009 2 comments

 

So, thanks to llamacroft I was introduced to a new web2.0 tool recently called Wordle.  This site will analyze any group of words you give it and create a visual word map for you.  What is that?  Well, it is similar to the “Tag Cloud” you see to the right of my blog.  Still not getting it?  Ok, basically they take all the words in what you provide (in my case, my The Verve Path blog) and count how many times each word is listed.  The more times it is listed, the more relevant it is determined to be, and the larger it is in the “map”.  They then take these words or varying sizes (because they are varying degrees of relevance) and display them in a visually appealing way.  Blah blah blah, I know, but this is really cool!!  I am on a path of discovery right?  Well, isn’t one of the ways of determining where to go, is to first see where you’ve been?  What a great way to do this!

When you look at my Wordle, the three largest words are Time, Life, Women.  WOW… I couldn’t have said it better myself. (Except, actually I did I suppose).  That is exactly what I feel focused on.  Following closely are Babies, Mothers, Much, Moment, and Need.  When I look at my Wordle, I feel like it really is a snapshot of me.  It is similar to how I felt when I was in high school and we had to do those magazine collages where you find images and cut them out and paste them together to tell about you.  I relate to it and think this is such a good visual of who I am!

The Verve Path Wordle Display

The Verve Path Wordle Display

So, if this is my past, what do I want my future to look like?  I think in the next few months my Wordle will change.  I hope to see more “Goals”, “Success”, “Happiness”, and “Content”.  How about you?  What do you want your Wordle to say about you?

 

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“You Will”

November 8, 2009 11 comments

Breastfeeding M

Several years ago, while finally nursing M quietly and painlessly, I decided that I wanted to give back.  I wanted to do for other women what had been done for me.  I wanted to help other mothers overcome whatever obstacles they faced and help them develop a healthy nursing relationship.  I quickly became fascinated with the science of the female body and the evolution and natural beauty of what it does.  I started to form a path, a road map of how to do this.  I looked at the options and they seemed to include the obvious, become a lactation consultant, but that requires a lot of time and training.  So, I did what I always do and threw myself into the research to find out how to reach this goal.  My road map became this:

  1. Attend local meetings and learn all I can on my own
  2. Become a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor
  3. Become a La Leche League Leader
  4. Become a Certified Lactation Counselor
  5. Become an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant)
  6. Possibly become an RN to allow me to work in a hospital setting on a maternity ward

As you can see, I formed my list of goals in an order of attainability, after all I am a realist.  I figured that this would allow me ample time to test this field out and see if this is really what I want to do.  It is a MAJOR career change for me.  I come from over a decade of working and learning in the field of Media and Technology!  I have earned a BS and an MS.  I don’t take anything part way, so to make an about-face now is a BIG deal.

Crystal Gold completing Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training in 2007

Crystal Gold completing Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training in 2007

In July of 2007, I completed my Breastfeeding Peer Counselor training with La Leche League in Chicago.  I was thrilled!  But I found quickly that because the organization didn’t officially sponsor this program any longer there was little support or structure.  The training was invaluable though and it set me up to do the work and continue learning on my own.  I have felt comfortable helping my friends and family because of this training and felt the call of the field stronger than ever.  It became very obvious that I wanted to continue on my path.

In the summer of 2008, I overheard the Leader of our Carmel LLL group talking to someone about leadership.  She knew of my passion and asked me if I would like to sign up for the Leader Applicant program.  As a believer that opportunities present themselves as you are meant to have them, I took this as a sign of it being time.  The fact that she had the confidence in me to approach me made me feel like maybe this would  be something I would be good at.  So I started my journey to my next goal.

The path was a long one, much longer than I expected since most of the learning and reading had already been done.  But, as is often the case, life got in the way and the process took a solid year.  I am very thankful for the gentle pushing I received from my Leader to keep with it as much as I could.  I felt, not pressured, but encouraged to do what I am meant to do… to meet a destiny.  Through the process I had to reflect a lot and discuss the changes I have gone through as a mother and a person.  I might post those items here soon.  It was a truly amazing experience, especially to have someone else read these thoughts and reflect back to me an outside response.  It was rewarding and encouraging.

So, the culmination of this work took place today.  The LLL of Indiana hosted a party to celebrate some pretty major organizational changes and was able to have one of the Founding Mothers of LLL attend.  So, let me put this in perspective for you.  In 1956, seven mothers joined together to support each other in breastfeeding their babies.  This was a time when it was looked at as dangerous compared to the ‘safety of the modern medical marvel, formula’.  These women were, in the words of Marian Thompson, “looked at as selfish women putting their babies’ lives in danger to make a point”.  They knew in their hearts that what their own bodies made for their babies had to be better than anything science could produce.  Their support for each other turned into support for other local women.  These women asked how they too could help, and so developed La Leche League, now an international organization helping millions of mothers each year.  Marian Thompson, now turning 80, was one of these pioneer women.  She cast aside the current beliefs and gave power to the knowledge within her, the natural knowledge of how to birth, raise, and feed a baby.  Having the opportunity to see her speak in a room of about 50 people is such an honor, but I was also, as fate would have it, sitting at a table with her the entire day.

Marian Thompson, LLL Founder, and Crystal Gold, Nov 7, 2009

Marian Thompson, LLL Founder, and Crystal Gold, Nov 7, 2009

I couldn’t help but look at her and think to myself  “Here sits a woman who changed the world!”  I was able to have a 10 minute one on one conversation with her when she asked me how La Leche League came into my life.  I told her of my early struggles, my mother bringing me the book “Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” and attending my first meeting when my son was 3 months old.  I told her how at first much of it seemed a bit too much for me, but as I let my heart lead me and my natural mothering instincts take over, I found myself closely aligning with the beliefs of LLL.  I still am a working mother who had to be away from my son, but I recognized the importance of respecting his need to be with me and made it work well for him.  I also told her of my dream after my miscarriage of nursing a baby and being able to physically feel that child at my breast, even though I had never nursed before.  I explained that I was never able to figure out how breastfeeding became the purest example of mothering to me even before ever doing it, but that it was that moment I knew I was ready to be a mother.  We spoke about the effect she has had on so many women, which she graciously attributed, not to herself, but to all the mothers after her.  And finally we spoke of my dreams and goals of being somewhat like her… helping mothers but also working to make changes in laws and science.  She looked at me and said “You will”.  Two words.  “You will”.

Never have two words, aside from “I do”, meant so much to me.  This woman is so much of what I want to be in life.  She has sacrificed her time to helping this cause that I feel is and will change the world.  She is warm, gracious, and loving.  She is approachable and thoughtful.  And here she is encouraging me with two little words.  I will likely never forget that moment, that look on her face, or the sound of her voice.  “You will”.

Crystal Gold hugging Marian Thompson at Leader Recognition Ceremony Nov 7, 2009

Crystal Gold hugging Marian Thompson at Leader Recognition Ceremony Nov 7, 2009

I officially became a La Leche League Leader today.  I joined the ranks of thousands of women who have worked tirelessly over the last 50+ years to empower women to trust themselves and do what they were created to do.  I took another step on my journey of discovery and change.  And I realized even more that this is what I am meant to do.

I want to share a quote that Marian shared today.  I felt as if she was speaking directly to me and my worries and fears about these changes…

“When you don’t follow your nature there is a hole in the universe where you were supposed to be” – Dane Rudhyar

“You will.”

 

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