Love Yourself First! Friday is baaaack. I am so excited about it, too. Do you know over 50 women have been featured for this self-love series? That’s something to celebrate. When I created it in 2012 I had no idea what would happen or if women would even say yes to being interviewed for something that most certainly requires a great deal of vulnerability. Well, they’ve most certainly responded with a resounding YES, and six years later LYFF is still going strong sharing profound stories from some of the most phenomenal women who unapologetically love themselves and are dedicated to wholeness, happiness, healing and self-care.
About this LYFF Feature: Tiarra is a busy mama and wife who works in communications. She is a writer and contributor for Columbus Moms Blog and The Mom Edit. This Phoenix is a happy spirit who shares her perspective on life, love and family with authenticity, honesty, openness and lots of humor. It’s truly admirable…along with the fact that she does it all with such great style.
How do you love yourself first? What does that mean to you?
This year I made a commitment to dedicate time to self care. It’s not in the idea that you might expect though. I love a mani/pedi as much as the next gal, but it’s more than that. I’ve been focused more on getting out of my comfort zone. Whether it’s signing up for personal/professional groups or training, I’m finally making the time for it. I’m an introvert, so I have very little desire to network. Ever. And certainly not after I’ve already put in a full day at work. It seriously scares the heck out of me! But I’m starting to realize that executing on my self-growth goals is just as important and fulfilling as say, a massage, but maybe just in a different way. It’s like a mental weight has been lifted; it frees my mind for other things I really need to think about, not to mention the sense of accomplishment I feel afterward. Even better, I tend to drag someone along with me which has resulted in creating new bonds I wouldn’t have if I didn’t step out of my comfort zone.
What actions demonstrate the self-care you provide to your mind, body and soul? (Exercise, healthy eating, spiritual practice, etc)
Writing and exercise have been huge for me lately. There’s always so much swirling around in my head. It’s harder for me to push the thoughts away than it is for me to write. I write professionally, but there’s something about coming home and expressing what I want in my own voice. It’s so powerful. Exercise is the same idea. I could sit around wasting valuable energy procrastinating about working out or I could just do it. I also give myself grace about exercising. I used to have an all-or-nothing attitude: I had to do an insanely intense workout or nothing at all. Well, I’d rarely prioritize the killer workout, so I literally spent years not developing good fitness habits. Now, even if it’s a few pushups or my trusty 7-Minute Workout app, it all counts and makes me feel great. I use apps to track my progress (active hours, steps, weight loss, etc.) and it really helps me stay motivated. When I get off track, I know now that it’s not a deal breaker and that I’m really only one good decision away from getting back on track.
Is there an obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome that led to a deeper love for who you are?
It’s mostly just getting out of my own head which is still a daily challenge. My daughter is six, and we have lots of conversations about confidence, celebrating victories, and playing for self-improvement and fun, not just competition. Then, it hit me one day how much I needed the same pep talk. I’ve talked myself out of more opportunities and beat myself up about the most random things. And why? What’s the harm in putting myself out there? I had to get to a point where that question was no longer rhetorical. There’s nothing bad that can come of attending a networking event with girlfriends or like-minded people.
What have you learned from self-love?
Lately I’ve been saying that I’m “jumping big waves” like my kids at the beach. I can’t think of a better way to describe my journey of self-love. They get really excited to go in the ocean, but as soon as they see the waves, they change their minds. Then, my husband or I will go with them; they squeeze our hands while we help them jump (or jump with them). Right on the other side of those big waves are joy, accomplishment, pride and so much more. I’ve jumped a few big waves in the last few months and experienced the full spectrum of emotions that comes with it, but I absolutely plan to keep jumping.
To keep being inspired by Tiarra’s self-love journey, check her out on Instagram.
Ayanna Jordan is founder of The Phoenix Rising Collective and creator of Love Yourself First! Friday. As principal consultant and leadership development trainer and coach, she develops and facilitates dynamic women-centered workshops and programs with a focus on how putting self-love into action can transform your life. She also creates coaching seminars and training that support women’s professional growth in authentic leadership, entrepreneurship, and passion-filled work. Her interactive approach inspires action and creates a non-judgmental, sacred space for women to truly explore their personal and professional goals while gaining support and sisterhood from others who’ve also made a commitment to sustaining self-love.
Join the LYFF tribe! Share your self-love story. Send an email. Just put “My LYFF Story” in the subject line, and you’ll be contacted by the Phoenix Team with details on how to participate.