Cultivating the Habit of Encouragement


I woke up at 5:30 this morning and came downstairs to work on my laptop. I like getting up before my mom and my husband wake up. As I am facing east, I notice Dawn beginning to break through, gradually displacing the darkness. The horizon begins to lighten up with pale rosy hues, but then, continually changes as the sun begins to rise and  the cloud formations gloriously glow, charged with color.

The scene beyond the rooftops and naked trees of my neighborhood reminds me of a mystical painting of English Romanticism, emotionally charged and poetic. The sun soon grows into a blazing red ball that sets fire to my heart and attests to a perfect day.

Sunrises make me feel great. Pain and fear dissolve, leaving space and promises for love and joyfulness. As the sun rises higher, visions of a better world rise: a world of light and warmth, of transparency and equality, a world of convergence and harmony, rather than separation and discord.

If only we realized that it is in our power to create a better world!


My friend and fellow Tribe writer, James Prescott, envisions a better world:


“You can transform the world through encouragement” 

 “(Encouragement) Is the secret that has the potential to change the word.”


Oops! Instead of “world,” I type “WORD.” Word? I know I am not the best typist, but is this a coincidence?

Before my mind goes into thinking mode, Words come on the screen:


Words we utter… Words we keep inside

Words we write…Words we never bring to light

Words becoming light to help others see

Didn’t God voice Words and chaos turned into ligh, land and sea?


Coincidence in the true meaning!!!!


Words are mighty powerful.

They can softly touch or deeply cut into the heart and drain life.

Sometimes we set them flying like doves, bringing peace, encouragement, and hope.

Other times, we set to flight predatory vultures that steel dignity, confidence, and self-esteem.


I have been blessed with positive, inspiring, and encouraging words throughout my life, first from my family and later from others who came into my life.

Katherine, our twin boys God mother, took me under her wing when I first came to Chicago. A gentle, caring, and wise person, she helped me see that I am a source of miracles and possibilities. She encouraged and guided me to go back to school at a time when it was out of the question. Her praise, respect, appreciation, encouragement, and guidance empowered me for the rest of my life.

Julia Cameron, with her books, The Right to Write and The Writing Diet, initiated me into journaling. She encouraged me to write for the pure joy of writing and self-discovery. Her writing tools, suggestions, and exercises guided and inspired my own writing.

Most importantly, she helped me believe that my heart, God and guides would prompt my hand to write what I needed to write. She convinced me that writing from the heart, as honestly as I could, I should begin writing. And I did; for me and my family.

And then, Jeff Goins came into my life. He took me by storm and shook me like no other.

He dared and challenged me to share my story. He gave me the tools to take my first words to another lever. He made me accountable and promised to be there.

Jeff has a gift for making a difference in people’s lives. 

With his online writing course, “Tribe Writers” Jeff shares the skill of writing. Moreover, he created a community to belong to and support each other, sharing, helping and encouraging.

Not enough room here to name all the Tribers who encouraged, supported, and taught me to see writing as a craft that can be learned and improved. I am honored and blessed to belong to this group.

“You are a writer when you say you are one,”

said Jeff Goins and I believed him. Now, I am one step away from submitting my Sailing to Ithaca.

Pushing nagging thoughts out of my mind, I venture into unknown territories, so as to share my story with the world. While it may be scary it’s thrilling, as solutions unfold.

I want to encourage all of you who read this post, just as I encourage my book readers:

Journal, Write, Create to discovere the world within, to connect and inspire others!

Those of you who already are accomplished writers, I am inviting  to continue encouraging and empowering through your words,

just like James did with his wonderful e-book 5 Steps to Encouragement.

“We must rediscover the art of encouragement” he reminds us.

“Encouragement is never for our own behalf…We encourage to serve others.”


Some may argue they haven’t mastered the language well enough (Guess whose excuse was that.) You do not have to write a 500 page literary masterpiece; write your story to discover yourself and the world and to share with your family. Paint your views and experiences with naiveté, as Henri Rousseau did with his art, as Pamela Hodges does on her blog.

Don’t’ say you are not creative, either. Just lay bare your soul on the page and share moments or events of your life. Creativity is not creating something out of nothing but rather adding one’s own touch to something already existing.

If you happen to think that you don’t have anything important to share, remind yourself that every moment of life is momentous; that always someone will want to read your story. I am not asking you to write a whole book at once; just page by page, even a line, one day at a time, advancing as you go.

Listen to James:

You are an amazing work of art. You were designed and created by the divine to fulfill a unique role in the world.

You have gifts, experiences and talents to share with the rest of us.”

The breath of the Great Spirit breathes through you and the Creator through you creates.

Being passionate about writing, creating or anything else you like doing will empower you enough to find solutions.

The Universe will gift you with confidence.

The world needs you to lend a hand; to rescue the white dove from its cage and again set free, to fly and sing.

We need you to nurture us with love and enthusiasm, with art and beauty; to enlighten us with your wisdom.

We need your eyes to see, your ears to hear, your song to dance to.

Will you take this last challenge and sing your song?

Don’t listen to me. Don’t listen to any one. Listen to your heart; the only one knowing what your gift of Grace is.

What is the charisma God bestowed on you? Whatever it is, unleash it and share it with us all.

Encourage and inspire a better world. This is the purpose in Life!






Encouragement seems to come easily to James Prescott. Maybe because he is thriving on some aspects of his life such as writing due to encouragement he received when young and suffered in others because of the lack of it. His writing is natural and authentic and his words are inspiring and convincing.

He is so passionate about encouragement that he offers his short and powerful, 5 simple steps to change the world e-book free. Sign up for it and then let’s take the staff from him and pass it along to others.

Let’s encourage love and peace by removing the ego and putting the higher self on the driver’s seat.

Then we’ll bring about many loving deeds. Not only will their benefits return to us manifold but they will also spread within networks to people and places we cannot even imagine.

Let’s keep smiling. Smiles are contagious. And so is love, joy, trust, caring, laughter, and generosity, integrity, rising above pettiness, respect, and compassion. Including them in our list and implementing one or more each day, we’ll notice the changes in our life and those around us and bring lasting changes to the world.


What does  your heart need to create?

Share your thoughts with us.

Thanks for stopping by,

Stay a while,

Blessings and light,

Katina Vaselopulos 



About the Author

Katina Vaselopulos

Originally from Greece, Katina Vaselopulos and her husband, have made their home in Chicago for the past 47 years. Their four children and nine grandchildren offer countless adventures. Katina also enjoys cooking and baking, teaching and learning, reading and writing. Her soon-to-be-published book, Sailing Toward Ithaca, takes the reader on a journey through one year of her life. She invites the readers along, to sail through life’s journey open to all possibilities and to nurture relationships with self, others, and God by striving for self-knowledge and inner growth. Other projects include What Is Cooking in Niles, a cookbook of Greek cuisine, and a thesis, “Dostoyevsky’s Major Novels: Polemics against Liberal Thought,” for which she received high honors at Northeastern University of Illinois.


  1. This is very encouraging. I love the header on your blog.

    • Thanks for stopping by Eva! Glad you enjoyed the post and the header.
      It fits with the theme of my book, Sailing to Ithaca…Odysseus’ home island and symbolic of a journey’s destination.

      I don’t remember seeing you around, but then, I am not very present due to many family responsibilites and getting my book to publishers.

      I hope to see you again…Did you live your mail?

      Blessings and light!

  2. Anastacia

    Very well written, Katina! I am looking forward to reading James’ book.

  3. Thank you Anastacia for visiting, especially at this hour!

    James is passionate about encouragement. His book is full of wisdom. You will enjoy reading it.

    Blessings and ligh to you and your family!

  4. Katina – this is lovely. For someone who was afraid they hadn’t mastered the English language, you’ve written a beautifully crafted piece.


    • Oh, Joan, Thank you!
      For visitng and reading my…long post and encouraging when doubt often shouts louder than confidence.

      Truly blessed and honored to be part of this wonderful group!
      Blessings and light,

  5. Lovely Katina. Thank you for the encouragement.
    James thank you for the inspiration. lmc

  6. Thank you Laura for stopping by.
    Your support means the world to me.
    You are a blessing in my life!

  7. Simply beautiful, uplifting and encouraging, Katina. You have created enthusiasm here by sharing your own zest for live , love, joy and giving, as well as offering inspirational resources to aid us in our own journey of faith and creative endeavour. I can connect strongly to the blessing of being supported as we each share our own unique voice and contribution for the encouragement of others. Thank you for this lovely post. I’ve enjoyed my first visit to your site! Blessings to you :)

    • Joy, I am very happy to meet you! Looking forward to know you better once the preoccupations of publishing are behind me.
      Thank you very much for visiting and writing such warm and encuraging words! I am glad you enoyed my site. I would love to see you back.
      I will look for you next week in the Encouragement group.
      Blessings and light to you! :)

  8. Just beautiful, sweet friend. Such encouragement here and in James book. Blessings today.

  9. This is beautiful, humbling & very encouraging post Katina. Thanks for sharing this – and thanks everyone for the encouragement on the book.

    • James, it was my pleasure to share your book and thoughts on encouragement.

      Everyone, many thanks for your support and encouragement.

      God bless all!

  10. Thanks for these encouraging words, Katina. Beautiful post. Time for me to look into getting James Prescott’s book. Thank you. ~Lori

  11. Lori, how wonderful you visited! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
    It is awesome to realize that as we encourage others we are been encouraged back.
    This is a great incentive to cultivate this value and make it an ongoing process.
    For James’ e-book, all you need to do is visit his site and subscribe to uptates. You’ll enjoy it and be inspired by it.

    Blessings and light to you!

  12. Great to see everyone here so passionate about encouragement – love it!! Hope you’ll all sign up for the book, (, I think you’ll all really benefit from it – thanks for all the words of support as well from Katina and others, really do appreciate it. Thanks so much.

  13. James, wonderful seeing you here again, as well!
    Your Manifesto seems to be a hit. I find myself encouraging more since I read it. Thank you for writitng it.

    Lori has an awesome site of wonderful poetry!
    Blessings and light, James!

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