Hello again friends, bloggers and muses,
Today’s Behind the Author interview is going to once again, be a little bit out of the ordinary as I interview a newer blogger to the WordPress community. After speaking with this blogger for some time now, I’ve realized that she has both wisdom in her heart, and an interesting story to tell.
Today’s Guest: Yeka of It’s All About Love
Although new to the blogging community her following is growing quickly. Feel free to send her some more love after the interview, after all, that’s what she’s all about.
Mathew: Hello Yeka! It’s nice to have you for this edition of Behind the Author. This has been a slow process in the works, but we’ve finally managed to pull it together. 😀
Your blog is relatively new, you came on to the blogging scene in mid-July of 2019, and in my opinion, your blog is already exploding. I like to believe that others noticed that glimmer of sunshine in you the way that I had, but I can’t speak for everyone! Would you please tell us all why you started your blog “It’s All About Love”?
Yeka: Why did I start my blog? Well, It boils down to passion and purpose.
Leading into that, here’s a peek into my life. As a Corporate Training Consultant, I partner with my client organizations in addressing their learning needs. My special focus lies in Communication, Customer Service, and Sales. I also collaborate with training consultants for dynamism and strength in our combined areas of specialization. I enjoy the adult teaching approach which is learner-centered. Discussions are quite engaging and mentally stimulating. Learners are empowered as they go through structured learning experiences that give rise to their personal insights and learnings.
How I love training with a passion! You see, whenever I train my participants, I’m in my element. The most alive. Training is like breathing to me. I find profound meaning in teaching, helping, and serving others. Inspiring them to be the best versions of themselves. Over and beyond training though, I love my participants. In my heart, they are my VIPs ( Very Important People, Very Inspiring People, Very Influential People). Without them, my client organizations would never be able to deliver service excellence to their VIP customers.
Ahhhhh for many years, this has been my happy, fulfilled life. In all its glory! Then came 2018 which changed my life forever. I was diagnosed with IgA Nephropathy. I needed to take a break from work and focus on the treatment protocol. I did loads of introspection and soul-searching. A sweet gift of sacred space and rich enlightenment, I should say. Although, you can just imagine my deep longing for both the training process and my VIP participants. Oh, how I yearned for my blessed position to train, help, and inspire others. And since I couldn’t be in the training room for a while, I decided to go beyond the training room. I decided to blog. After all, I had so many stories to tell, life vignettes, lessons I taught my participants, lessons my participants taught me.
So, what fueled my passion to blog? I faced the facts. I had only one life to live and I vowed to make it the most astoundingly breathtaking, “Sky’s the Limit” celebration ever! I pressed on with intention and fervor. I realized that when one hits rock bottom, or even when one is at the mountain top, ultimately it’s all about love.
And thus, my blog was born……..IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE! ❤️
Mathew: As a communication specialist, what would you say is the most important tip to consider when communicating effectively with others?
Yeka: As global communication models would have it, there is no true communication if there is no understanding, and that becomes the very ingredient that one can never do away with in effective communication. Primarily, one needs self-clarity. One should know their strengths, enrichment areas, biases, trigger points, boundaries, motivations, intentions, and ultimately, their desired message. Then, and only then, can one comfortably and abundantly “leave oneself” (and their ego) and enter the world of their communication partners. When one focuses on others, we strive to understand them with our hearts (through empathy and compassion) and with our heads (through listening and clarification). World-renowned author Dr. Stephen Covey penned it simply, yet eloquently in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.
Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
Mathew: You’re a wonderfully smiley, joyous and happy person with a lot of love to share (obviously). Perhaps just a tad eccentric too, but all the fun ones are. Hahah. What would you say is the secret to happiness?
Yeka: You make me burst into laughter hahah! You’re one of the many who say I’m a rarity with my unique, out-of-this-world happiness. Actually, friends call me “Sunshine” as a warm compliment. I do remind them, though, that the sun also needs to set. And so do I. I do have my share of overcast days. But, just like the sun that remains steadily there (albeit hidden) during those days, my happiness remains intact and expresses itself in a quiet manner. For my happiness goes beyond my external sunny smiles. Although candidly, I’ve been shedding some tears lately. And yet, I’ve never lost that smile in my heart. I’ve learned to anchor my happiness on the deep, immutable, immovable, faithful love of God.
Mathew: Do you have any suggestions or tips for others when communicating with difficult people?
Yeka: Communication is a powerful gift. And just like any gift, it’s best to handle it with the mindset of gratitude, openness, respect, and care. All the more so, when the gift is not exactly what you had hoped to receive. I’ve learned a lot about communication after years of academic preparation combined with actual immersion in handling people with difficult behaviors and training others along the same line.
It takes a lot of heart and mind to deal with people who display challenging behaviors. One approach I personally take is to re-frame my mind. While the books label them as “difficult people”, I see them simply as people displaying difficult behaviors. That makes for a great start. It immediately frees me from unnecessary bias or tension in the communicative situation. I purposefully try to understand their deeper message. I consider the lexical meaning and dive into the contextual meaning.
If their difficult behaviors escalate, that’s when martial arts, sports, or military strategic principles fly in. “The best offense is a good defense.” Well, in my life, that translates to assertive communication.
Mathew: Now, I didn’t want to glaze over your illness, or to focus too much spotlight on it either. As I’ve said to you in private, I find this story both heartbreaking and endearing. I really do wish the best for you and am hoping for great miracles, because the world needs your sunshine. If you feel brave enough to do so, might you briefly explain what exactly this illness is and how it affects your life?
Yeka: As my Nephrologist briefed me, IgA Nephropathy is an autoimmune disease that affects the fine filters of the kidneys. It occurs when an antibody called immunoglobulin A (IgA) builds up in the kidneys. This results in local inflammation that, over time, can hamper the kidneys’ ability to filter waste from the blood.
The immediate impact on me? I felt as if life had pulled the rug from under my feet. You see, In the training room, or so my VIP participants tell me, my signature style is buoyant positivity. I’m celebrated for my engaging quality and infectious, vibrant energy. And like I said earlier, I’m most alive when I train.
So that was the first department that was terribly hit! My energy. There were days that fatigue beset me. Rapidly. I also had my unhealthy dose of inexplicable mood swings and nearly sleepless nights when my body was adjusting to the initial treatment. It was a nightmare! What worsened it was that I was awake and lethargic most of the time. I could hardly believe it was actually happening to me. I cried rivers. I guess that’s the common response when you feel that something so priceless has been snatched from you. Without warning.
However, gradually, gratefully, my body re-calibrated. I’m currently partnering with a stellar medical team (Nephrologist, Endocrinologist, Cardiologist, Nutritionist, and Functional Medicine Doctor).
I’ve got the most amazing Cheer Team I could ever pray for. My husband and my entire family… Wow, their support is unbelievably off the charts! There truly is a God! And a most loving, faithful one at that! I mean, how blessed I am beyond expression. I have been prepared for this all along. I may have been diagnosed with this condition, but it will never get to me. For I am a warrior and I keep fighting the good fight of faith. Ultimately, with God by my side, I will face everything. I will rise out of the ashes. I will prevail!
Mathew: Well, Yeka! You’re a brave, strong and courageous person with a great big heart, and a smile to match. You emit and radiate light and love wherever you go, and we all appreciate you here in the WordPress community. I will forever be cheering you on from the sidelines as well as many others, I sincerely believe. So for the final question!
I’ve read that you’re an avid hat collector. In your opinion, what makes for the best hats? Also – when can we expect to read your memoirs? 😉
Yeka: Oh my, I’m blown away! Not only are you a brilliant writer, but you’re also a highly skilled interviewer. You graciously connect with your interviewees, you ask interesting, insightful questions, and you obviously do awesome research hahah!
Okay, so my romance with caps, berets, and scarves has been part of my happy pill, so to speak. I get all giddy and sunshiny when I see the cheerful interplay of colors and designs, fabric and textures. Beyond the technical visual aspects, though, I always listen to my heart when I wear them. So my litmus test prior to any purchase? My smile. My happy, sunny smile.
Oh, and as for my memoirs? Yes, will be happily enjoying life and working on that too. Will definitely share with you the moment I’ve got great news. Smiling and thinking positive.
Thanks so much Mat! I super enjoyed our interview. You made me smile today!
There you have it everybody. Another interview in the books, this time with a courageous and brave woman sharing a positive message with the world through her own hardship and struggles. She’s blowing up on WordPress as a blogger, and do you know why?
Well, she’s authentic. Her love is inclusive to all people. She shares messages with the goal of helping others. She shares her knowledge, and she is a wonderful communicator. Sometimes, if our goal is to become a better writer, we need to look beyond our ability to choose flashy verbs and adjectives, and to remember that writing is also about connecting with others. Enticing writing can be about sharing something valuable with the world, in this case, love. If your goal is to become a successful blogger, one of the key pillars of successful blogging is to create engaging human interaction. So learning to communicate effectively with people of all types and opinions is a very valuable tool to have at your disposal!
On a Special Note: Yeka and I have a surprise edition of Behind the Author prepared for next week where she will be flipping the table on me and hosting the interview with myself sitting in the role of guest. She did a wonderful job. We hope that you will all look forward to that. 🙂
Thanks for joining on this week’s, Behind the Author!
If you haven’t visited Yeka’s blog yet, please check her out here and say hello.
Questions? Comments? Leave them down below!