The Phoenix Rising Collective

Inspiring Women. Empowering Change.


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What’s Draining You?

What’s draining you?

Let’s talk about it. What experiences in your life have become emotionally toxic? What are you holding on to that hinders growth? What are you not saying or doing to avoid conflict, or for fear of being misunderstood?

This I Thrive Self-Care Meetup is all about identifying energy zappers – those things, places (and yes, unfortunately, sometimes people) that consistently keep us tapped out and stressed out.

Whether you’re able to pinpoint your “zappers” right away or have to give it more thought, we all have had (at some point or another) experiences that left us feeling depleted. Why? There are a multitude of reasons – some of them only you know. However, at the top of the list for most women is people-pleasing, more specifically, not saying no to things we don’t want to do.

We’ll learn and discuss eight mindfulness practices that will support (1) letting go of what no longer affirms and honors you, (2) setting healthy boundaries, (3) creating experiences that align with what you genuinely want.

As Brene Brown says in 3 Ways to Set Boundaries: The Importance of knowing when, and how to say no: “Like many worthwhile endeavors, boundary setting is a practice.” Well, we’re going to practice.

Please join us October 28 for Change What Drains. Get your ticket, spread the word, and of course, bring a friend. Let’s finish the year strong – refreshed and with clarity for 2019.

What you’ll need + other things to know:

  • Bring a journal. (All other materials/resources will be provided).
  • Dress is casual + comfortable.
  • Refreshments will be served.
  • There will be a self-care gift box giveaway at the end of the meetup, too! Some lucky participant will be the winner of a box chock-full of good stuff.

 


About I Thrive Self-Care Meetups:

I Thrive is an affirmation, a commitment to apply practical self-care regimens that motivate women to make themselves a priority. I Thrive is sisterhood, a chance to hold space for one another as we let go of what no longer serves us, and to make room for new experiences and clearer, healthier perspectives.

Meet & bond with other women who are just as committed to self-care breakthroughs and transformations.

Receive encouragement and guidance that help your daily practice.

Know you’re not alone on this path. We’re all figuring this self-love thing out together!

Be in a space that honors vulnerability, and also provides preparation for the week ahead.

Dig in and give yourself the love you deserve, the necessary and invaluable me-time that feeds the mind, body and soul.


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It’s Love Yourself First! Friday: This Phoenix is Molly

How do you love yourself first? What does that mean to you?

I think that ‘loving yourself first’ starts off with being real with yourself (and others) about who you are – and accepting it. Whether that be certain elements of your personality or some feature on your body, accepting that this is the way you were designed to be and you are beautiful for it (even on your worst days). But I am also a firm believer in challenging yourself, because this is where we stretch and we grow the most. I’m not just referring to the cliché version where you challenge yourself to “be strong, be bold, be you.” While these are great qualities that we should aspire to possess, let’s start with tangible things that can be achieved daily: challenge yourself to drink more water, to look up a new recipe, to learn to play a musical instrument, to read a book that disagrees with something you believe in. The possibilities are essentially endless in this area – which is one of the reasons I love it so much. There is always room for improvement, and I have found that the more I improve in the little things, the better I feel about myself. This is the primary way that I have ‘love(d) myself first’ this year.

What actions demonstrate the self-care you provide to your mind, body & soul?

I set aside 30 minutes every day to read and journal – this is my time to unwind from whatever activities I had going on that day and just focus on me and my thoughts. I try to dedicate my reading time to books that will challenge something I believe in, and then I journal my reasons behind disagreeing with the author.

Exercise is obviously a must! (I try at least 20 minutes/day, 5 days a week) It’s a great way to get all that negative stress out of my body, as well as boost my self-esteem.

Is there an obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome that led to deeper love for who you are?

Growing up I always struggled with the feeling that I wasn’t enough: I wasn’t smart enough to make my parents proud or to get into a certain class (or university). I wasn’t pretty enough to make a boy like me or to get invited into certain friend groups. I wasn’t talented enough for anyone to notice something I was doing. Right about the time I was a senior in high school was when I realized if being enough meant being perfect – I could never achieve anything I wanted to do or lead the life I wanted to live, so now I love that certain things don’t come easily to me; it means I will always have the opportunity to learn. I love that I can be confident in the way I look, because I know that I was created this way, and there is not a single woman on this planet who has the same eyes that I do, or the same nose, or the same smile.

What have you learned from self-love?

There is always room for grace while you grow.


Love Yourself First! Friday is an enlightening interview series featuring the stories of phenomenal, resilient, and inspiring women who share how they are unapologetically self-love in action. The powerful, honest and heartfelt stories shed light on diverse ways to make self-care, healing and whole living daily priorities. You’ll get advice and tips you can use for your own journey, and find comfort in knowing you’re not alone when it comes to figuring out how to love yourself.

Join the tribe. Over 50 women have shared their self-love stories with the Collective. Share YOUR story. Send us an email. Just put “My LYFF Story” in the subject line of your email, and you’ll be contacted by the Phoenix Team with details on how to participate.


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6 Go-To Tips To Push Past Procrastination

We all procrastinate for one reason or another. Don’t beat yourself up (FYI: refer to #6) instead be mindful: recognize when it is happening, identify why, and find healthy solutions to get out of the rut and back into the creative and productive swing of things.

Here are six proactive go-to’s to support and inspire pushing past the procrastination blues.

Complete projects and to-do lists in increments of time.

Sometimes what keeps you from moving forward with projects or to-do list items associated with a larger goal is the amount of time you THINK has to be dedicated to them, but who says you have to complete everything all at once? You may not have a large chunk of time in your daily schedule; however, there are always increments of time in your day that can be allocated for a portion of what you want to accomplish. Do a time assessment check; figure out when those open moments occur, and then use them wisely. Whether it’s a 30-minute block in the morning or an hour at night before bed, it’s yours. Dive in, and before you know it you’ll be closer to completion.

One of my favorite podcasts is Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert. Episode 202: Make the Brutal into the Beautiful features Brandon Stanton, creator of Humans of New York. He was sharing words of wisdom about making time for what you want to do, and this statement struck a cord: “Take your huge dreams and narrow them down into units that you can control. Take what is expansive and turn it into something more granular.”

Organize/Change your work space.

Organizing your work space can make all the difference. You may be blocked creatively because you haven’t let go of things you no longer need. Organizing and also throwing away what doesn’t serve a purpose anymore not only clears the space but your mind, shifting the energy in a direction that says, “Yes, I’m ready to move forward.” In the words of Marie Kondo in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, “To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.” Make room mentally and physically.

Keep the commitments you make.

Show that your word is your bond. When you do what you say you’ll do, others will know you’re reliable. It establishes trust and positive relationships and collaborations – a great motivator to get out of the “procrastination funk” and can be the gateway to new opportunities for you.

Keep your commitments to yourself to cultivate self-discipline and to avoid self-sabotage. You’ll feel good about your follow-through and be even more inspired to push past putting things off.

Pinpoint and be honest about what’s holding you back.

Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to procrastination. Dig deep, and ask yourself, “Why am I procrastinating?” Don’t suppress the answers that come; in fact, get out your journal and do an exercise I refer to as The Writing Dump: draw a line down the center of a page: On the left list your answers as to why you’re in delay – Is it fear of failure? Not feeling prepared enough? Too far out of your comfort zone? Lack of support/resources? Now on the right of the page, list the reasons why you want to start the project or accomplish the goal you’ve set. Express how it’ll make you feel to complete something you set out to do.

Sometimes, in order to get the ball rolling, all it takes is being honest with yourself. When you’re finished with The Writing Dump create a few affirmations to support taking positive action. To help you get started, take a look at 4 Affirmations You Need to Know and Lessons to Learn from Octavia Butler.

Get an accountability partner.

Find a trusted friend or colleague you can work and communicate with during the week. Do check-ins on your progress. She doesn’t have to be working on the same projects/tasks as you. The main focus is supporting each other through completion of your respective plans of action. Create a designated time and place to meet, and then get to work. There are work space communities designed specifically for these kinds of connections, meetings and collaborations. Take advantage of them. You can’t always do it alone.

Practice self-compassion.

Self-criticism does not “whip you into shape” any faster. In fact, it’s a sure way to propel you further down the rabbit hole of fear, insecurity, anxiety and overwhelm, so refrain from using negative phrases and language when referring to yourself and your situation. Be motivated by self-love not harm. You are not lazy. You are not apathetic. Stick to what is true about who you are, and practice self-compassion. If you just don’t feel like doing it, then lean into that. Step away. Take a breather. You’ll be able to revisit with a fresher perspective. Kristin Neff, author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself says, “When we experience warm and tender feelings toward ourselves, we are altering our bodies as well as our minds. Rather than feeling worried and anxious, we feel calm, content, trusting, and secure. Self-kindness allows us to feel safe as we respond to painful experiences, so that we are no longer operating from a place of fear — and once we let go of insecurity we can pursue our dreams with the confidence needed to actually achieve them.”

 

BONUS: Turn up the volume on your favorite song, and then dance! Let go. Find your motivation through music. Clear the energy with a dance party for one (or two, or three if you want to include your accountability partners). Release some of your anxiety by moving your body. Have fun. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.

Which one of these six go-to tips do you connect with most? Share in the comments. Let’s discuss.

 


Ayanna Jordan is founder of The Phoenix Rising Collective. As principal consultant and leadership development 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 and training that empowers 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.

Check out the Collective on Instagram and Facebook.


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It’s Love Yourself First! Friday: This Phoenix is Tiarra

 

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.

Check out the Collective on Instagram and Facebook.


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5 Self-Care Tips for a Positive Morning Wake-Up

Inhale. Exhale. Say thank you. Acknowledge that it’s a new day! Express gratitude for an opportunity to get up and do it all again. It’s a chance to live life better. I don’t always feel like getting out of bed, but I don’t ever hesitate to say, “Thank you for another day.” It’s a simple, yet oh-so powerful two-word prayer.

Stretch/Meditate. Avoid Negativity. Move your body. Do yoga. Dance while getting dressed if you have to, but get the blood flowing. Meditation will help clear your mind so you can make sound, focused decisions. Try shower meditation, too, to visualize washing away the past (that includes yesterday) and setting your intentions. Recite affirmations while feeling the water refresh and renew.

Try not to take in any negative chatter (including the news). Keep your thoughts positive. Take in what will affirm your day. Listen to or read something uplifting and inspirational. I usually start with one of my favorite daily readers: The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo.

Set a pace that reflects peace. Carve out time for a consistent morning routine so you’re not in rush mode. When I don’t give myself time in the morning I feel off kilter, and inevitably I forget something on my way out the door. So, take care of yourself by setting a pace that reflects how you want to be throughout the day.

Eat a healthy breakfast. Your body needs energy and love. Have some fruit, a green smoothie, avocado toast or oatmeal. Drink lemon water for healthy digestion; it’s a great kick-starter. Make breakfast a treat, something you look forward to. Prep the night before so you have time to eat in the morning. Remember, your goal is to set a pace that reflects peace.

Talk to someone you love. It’s an immediate positive mood booster before you head out the door. My best friend and I do a quick check-in call to hold each other accountable for our goals. We also pray together, especially if there’s a challenging experience (presentation, meeting, conversation, etc) we have to face during the week. It definitely helps to know you have support when navigating the highs, lows and everything in between. Like Danielle LaPorte says, “Find your tribe. Love them hard.” And I’ll add…don’t forget to say, “I love you.”

Create a great day. Make it what you want it to be.


Ayanna Jordan is founder of The Phoenix Rising Collective. As principal consultant and leadership development trainer and coach, she develops and facilitates dynamic women-centered workshops 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.


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New ‘I Thrive’ Meetup: Meditate Your Way to Clearer Intentions

What I know for sure is that whatever your situation is right now, you have played a major role in setting it up. It is you who have created your circumstances. With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice. And beneath each of those thoughts and choices lies your deepest intention. If you are feeling stuck in your life and want to move forward, start by examining your past motivations. -Oprah

This is the last I Thrive #selfcaresunday Meetup of the year!

So, join me for Setting-Your-Intention Meditation & Self-Care Book Swap. And, at the end of the afternoon we’ll share a toast to the new year.

Special guest, yoga teacher, Ellen Smith from Love Yoga Flow and Yoga on High will guide you through a meditation to support your intention and affirm your vision for 2018. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner! All levels are welcome. Come with an open heart to release the old and embrace the new.

I’ll also be sharing tools you can use from The Fullness of Me Intentional Living Guide; it provides clarity on your goals so that your actions can be in alignment with what you say you want.

Now, about the book swap. All you have to do is bring your favorite book on self-care (or just one you’re inspired by for personal growth) and be ready to gift exchange with someone else who brought her favorite, too. Everyone will go home with a new book for the holidays! (In my Oprah voice: You get a book. You get a book. You get a book! Every. Body. Gets. A. Booook!)

What you’ll need for this meetup:

  • Yoga Mat
  • Journal/notebook
  • Your self-care/personal growth book for swapping!
  • Dress is casual. Please wear workout/comfortable clothes.

I can’t wait to see you at this one – for sisterhood, to hold space for one another as we let go of what no longer serves us, and to make room for new experiences and clearer, healthier perspectives.

I don’t know about you, but 2017 has been a pretty challenging year. I’ve learned some invaluable and significant lessons. Lessons that have definitely taken my personal growth to the next level…and for the better I might add. One of the biggest is to always trust myself. So, I am ready to clear a path for 2018 because this wisdom has made me even more resilient. Watch out!

What lessons have you learned this year that have provided more clarity? I’d love to know. Share in the comments.

And, of course, register HERE for Setting-Your-Intention Meditation & Self-Care Book Swap. I’ll see you Sunday, December 10. Continue being self-love in action.

 


Ayanna Jordan is founder of The Phoenix Rising Collective. As principal consultant and leadership development trainer and coach, she develops and facilitates dynamic women-centered workshops 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.


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Phoenix Book Pick: An Invitation to Self-Care

 

Here’s my Phoenix Book Pick. It’s An Invitation to Self-Care: Why learning to nurture yourself is the key to the life you’ve always wanted by Tracey Cleantis.

Self-care and self-love are big buzz words right now. I feel like you can’t read anything about wellness and whole living without seeing these two words; one almost always follows the other. Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s a good thing. It means there’s a shift happening, a deeper, more conscious realization that in order to lead fuller and more meaningful lives we HAVE to take better care of ourselves. I mean it’s a significant part of what I share with you every day, and it’s also why I created I Thrive.

The challenge is diving in to understand what it truly means, and moreso HOW to do it — cultivating a level of self-care and love that supports who you are. Let’s be real. It ain’t just candles, wine and spa treatments! In fact, the introduction explores this:

The self-care advice and examples always seemed simplistic and superficial: Keep a journal. Take a yoga class. Light a candle. Lovely ideas. But really, how impactful is that candle in the face of a life filled with the daily ordinary and extraordinary challenges and stresses that we all endure?…Herbal teas, massages, pedicures…and, more recently, memory improvement apps and meditation podcasts — all of these promise to ease our stress, tame our tensions, or widen our bandwidths, but in the long run, they don’t – not really. Used on their own, they’re the equivalent of self-care Band-Aids: they hold us together and treat the pain for now, but they don’t get to the heart of the matter.

An Invitation to Self-Care talks about the myths (basically what self-care isn’t), helps you identify how you might be in your own way (self-sabotage, self-harm, self-hatred), and gives practical tools, tips and principles that support nurturing and loving who you are. It’s worth reading. If this is any indication, I’ve gifted the book twice already!

Happy reading. Be self-love in action.

 

Read this book already? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments or your suggestions on other books for the Phoenix Book Pick.


Ayanna Jordan is founder of The Phoenix Rising Collective. As principal consultant and leadership development trainer and coach, she develops and facilitates dynamic women-centered workshops 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 Collective on Instagram and Facebook.