BY MARY WICOFF
— Former Danville resident Aya Fubara Eneli now has a platform to share her inspirational messages with a worldwide audience.
Eneli of Belton, Texas, launched the online magazine, “Xtraordinary You,” in January. Three of the contributors are from Danville, and one of the stories features a Catlin youth.
The 30-plus page magazine’s purpose is to “empower and encourage people to be extraordinary,” Eneli said in a telephone interview. “It encourages people to get beyond lives of quiet desperation.”
The articles are positive, empowering, informative, practical and under-girded by Christian values. The topics cover health, spirituality, finances, personal development, fitness, relationships and parenting.
People from all over the country contribute articles. There are three contributors from Danville in the January edition: Leslie Cunningham has a podcast, Rebecca Buford-Cunningham wrote “Realizing Your Wow Factor,” and Nicole Green wrote “We’re Worth It!” (about eating right). Leslie and Nicole will be featured every month.
The first issue has a feature about Sam Simonson of Catlin, who was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome, which resulted in mild cerebral palsy, loss of vision in one eye and deformities. He has undergone 26 surgeries in his 18 years.
Eneli said, “He radiates joy and impresses everyone he meets in a positive way. He’s an incredible young man.”
Leslie Cunningham has a unique column, “Mrs. C.” — a podcast with her voice reading an inspirational message. In January’s 3-minute forum, she tells people: “You are priceless and God has a perfect plan for your life.”
When Eneli asked Cunningham to write for the magazine, she responded with a timid “yes.” She decided she wouldn’t let fear keep her from a new journey.
“A spiritual renewal has taken place in me, and a true understanding that as long as we have breath, we have life, and as long as we have life, we have purpose,” she wrote in an e-mail to friends.
About a year ago, Cunningham started sending short inspirational voice memos on her iPhone to her granddaughter. The granddaughter said, “That is so inspiring; you have to send it to my mom.”
She did, and then her daughter’s co-worker heard one of the messages and asked if she could listen every day.
“That’s how it grew,” Cunningham said. She now sends inspirational messages daily to about 20 people, including some in Lexington, Ky., and Chicago.
“You wouldn’t believe the response,” she said. “People say, “I can’t get through my day without your message.”
Cunningham is satisfied with the podcast in the magazine, and, she said, “I have learned no matter how old you are that God still has work for you to do.”
She’s an encourager, she said, and needs to use every opportunity to share positive thoughts with others, and tell them how God works in their lives.
While launching a magazine is hard enough, Eneli also runs a household, along with her husband, Ken.
“My energy comes from my passion for what I do,” she said. “After experiencing the loss of four children through miscarriage, I find parenting a privilege and an honor, and I love having the opportunity to positively impact others.
“Besides,” she said, “my parents are wired the same way. They are both retired and don’t need to work, but they still work 16-18 hour days and they are 68 and 75 years old.”
Two of the Enelis’ five children are making a difference in the world already.
Kosi, 9, has just written a book, “How to Set & Achieve Goals for Kids.”
She’s always been a writer, Eneli said, and has written close to 30 short stories. The girl, however, hasn’t had time to edit them and get them illustrated.
Years ago, Kosi read a book written by a 9-year-old, and she set a goal to publish her own before she was 10. Her mother told Kosi she could meet that deadline if she didn’t have illustrations. The book was finished the last week in December.
Kosie is a voracious reader, Eneli said, and reads 100 pages a day. She’s a fourth-grader at Nolanville Elementary School in Texas.
Kosi is in the accelerated reader program, and set goals on how many books to read. Some of her classmates couldn’t reach their goals, and that’s when Kosi said, “I can teach them what it takes to set and achieve goals.”
Thus, the idea for the book was born. It was published by www.lulu.com, and is available from there and Eneli’s website.
Kosi follows in the footsteps of her 13-year-old brother, Madu, who published a book last year called “Am I Ready for Middle School?” The teen wanted to share his successes and mistakes with younger students.
He wrote the book to raise money for a trip to Washington, D.C., to attend the Middle School Presidential Inauguration Conference, which was open to high achieving students who were nominated to represent their school or city.
As part of the conference, which was in January, Madu got to attend the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Last weekend, Madu addressed a conference at a school in Kansas. In addition, he was chosen by theGrio as one of the top 100 people to watch. The site, www.thegrio.com, has African American news. (Type his name into the search box.)
His mother said, “It’s pretty non-stop in the Eneli household. It’s fun, though.”
In the Eneli family, Ken is a physician and Aya is CEO of Aya Eneli International, an author, attorney and motivational speaker. Her books include “Live Your Abundant Life” and “To Be My Husband’s Crown and Glory.”
-- Access the magazine at www.xtraordinaryyou.com. Click on “log in” at the right, and then click on the January issue, which is free to view. Other issues, however, will require a subscription, which is $14.99 a year; a single issue is $2.99.
-- Aya Eneli, an author and inspirational speaker, also has a website at www.ayaeneli.com.