Happy Friday! It’s Love Yourself First! Friday (LYFF), part of our Shed Light series collection. We invite diverse women to tell us their LYFF stories to inspire and empower others to also fiercely demonstrate self-love in action. The questions are meant to “shed light” on the diverse ways our featured Phoenixes are making self-care and intentional living a priority.
This beautiful Phoenix is Lorna:
How do you love yourself? What does that mean to you?
Loving myself means taking care of me, doing the things I like to do, and being with people I am happy to be with (who can stimulate me and vice versa). For example, I like my beauty treatments (massages, pedicures, etc). Beauty treatments represent short moments that I have with me. Loving myself means having dedication to ME because I have very little time.
I run a tourist business in Tuscany outside of Florence, Italy. This tourist business is considered a resort, and running it means attending to guests, attending to the maintenance of the apartments (i.e. cleaning, interior design, etc), organizing weddings and various events, and being on call practically 24 hours a day.
I not only run a business, but I also have a family to take care of. This is why I have very little time for myself, but no matter what I try to create a little bit of time for ME.
What actions demonstrate the self-care you provide to your mind, body and soul?
Mind and Body: I attend a Pilates course once a week, and I do my beauty treatments twice a month. I used to pamper myself at the hairdresser but now I am going natural and am wearing different natural hairstyles.
Some of my favorite activities that connect to the soul are:
- Dedicating my time in the evenings to reading books. In the high season, it’s not possible to read as much, but in the low seasons I read a lot more.
- Attending guided tours on art.
- Having my favorite television shows. No one can disturb me during these two hours when I watch my shows!
- Going to the cinema on weekends.
- If possible, having tea meetings with a good friend. We take the time to meet and talk about us and catch up on our personal lives.
Is there an obstacle or challenge that you’ve overcome that led you to deeper love for who you are?
The main obstacle is from my business. I learned in the beginning that the kind of construction we needed for renovation was generally conducted by and among men. So, when we started, my husband was responsible for keeping up with the technicians, engineers and workers. I was more or less responsible for the interior of the building. But I feel and believe that the men were only good at doing certain frameworks of the building, but not the details. I had to learn about the details and also learn how to collaborate with men. It was difficult at first for them (especially the Italian men) to deal with a woman supervising them, in particular a Jamaican woman. No matter, I stood my ground, and in the end they saw that I had strength and perseverance.
So, after 7 years of renovation and now 11 years running this business, I find more and more that I like what I do. I am enjoying it more because I see the changes, and I see my ability to make it more pleasant and comfortable for the guests. Their appreciation for what I do leads to them returning to the resort.
What have you learned from self-love?
I have learned that you have to give it all that you’ve got. You have to keep moving and be positive and optimistic. Don’t get me wrong, I have had times when I was very frustrated (especially now in periods of economic crisis, because it is more difficult to obtain our goals to make the business successful). However, I feel that if you give it all that you have and continue with perseverance, strength and courage you can make it!
Lorna also shared some beautiful photos of her resort where she gives it all she has: Residence Il Gavillaccio
Lastly, Lorna had this to say about her experience running the Residence Il Gavillaccio and her commitment to the guests who visit this breathtaking resort:
- When my guests arrive I want them to feel not only that they are on a holiday but that they are “Home away from Home.”
- The strength of running this business (besides having support from my husband and son) is also the appreciation of many of my guests that have told me many times, not only how beautiful the place is, but also how dedicated to the business and to the guests I am.
- [The guests] notice the hard work. They see the results, and on many occasions I have had comments from them saying, “I feel totally at home here.”
Thank you, Lorna, for inspiring us with your LYFF story. There’s no question that you are a Phoenix rising!
Love Yourself First! Friday is a weekly self-love series created by the Phoenix Rising Collective. Beautiful, diverse women of color tell their stories of triumph, share their personal affirmations, and declare their love for their own lives! The series is meant to inspire and empower women to fiercely demonstrate self-love in action in order to build and sustain healthy, positive self-esteem. Be sure to read some of our other inspiring stories