The Phoenix Rising Collective

Inspiring Women to be Self-Love in Action


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I Forgive Myself: It’s More Than Just An Affirmation

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There is freedom in letting go. Stop beating yourself up already! Stop holding on to old wounds, things you should or should not have done and said, etcetera, etcetera. Blaming and shaming will not change what happened to you or what you did and said to yourself or someone else; however, releasing the pain around the experiences will support healing and moving on with a newfound sense of freedom.

There’s a beautiful book by author and life coach, Iyanla Vanzant, that I’ve had for a long time (long enough for the pages to turn yellow), Tapping the Power Within: A Path to Self-Empowerment for Women. I found this book (or it found me) years ago when I worked in a bookstore and was also becoming much more diligent in my spiritual development. I loved the self-care rituals in it (and still do). It’s an easy read with powerful step-by-step guidance that can be used every day. Let’s be real, guidance on how to let go and forgive is the challenge, so being armed with tools that support practicing forgiveness makes all the difference in the world!

I hadn’t opened Tapping the Power Within in quite a while but found myself drawn to it again about three years ago – right around the time I took the major leap to start The Phoenix Rising Collective. I began to doubt that I could create something of this magnitude on my own from square one. And you know what happens when doubt rears its ugly head? Its companion, negative self-talk, is just around the corner ready to pounce with questions like, “Who in the world do you think are? What makes you think you’re qualified to do this? What if you fail?” Once that starts I’m in the rabbit hole called The Past – past hurts, past pains, and past failures. A close friend and I hold each other accountable when we go to that dark place by saying, “Get outta there! Come back. That’s over. Be present.” We’ve all got our own personal rabbit hole, and the key to digging your way out and keeping it closed is self-awareness: developing the ability to catch negative self-talk when it begins, understanding what triggers it, and committing to practices that heal and create change. So, with that in mind I took Tapping the Power Within off the shelf for a refresher course and immediately turned to the chapter on forgiving and releasing. This is the paragraph that struck a cord: “The Forgiveness Diet included in A Course in Miracles, is a helpful exercise for releasing past hurts, those you remember and those you do not. It requires a commitment of 20 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes at night, and a brand new notebook.” Well, I grabbed my journal and went on a diet.

It was important for me to start this exercise again because I did not want an inability to forgive myself (or others) hindering my success or sabotaging my commitment to live in the fullness of who I am. The Diet says to the ego, “I am well aware that the culmination of my past experiences has prepared me for what I am embarking on now. All is well.”

Two major things that I noticed after completing the exercise were 1) the inner chatter dissipated and I was able to easily replace it with more loving thoughts and affirmations, and 2) I physically felt lighter (when I am thinking about hurtful past experiences I usually carry the emotional load on my shoulders and upper back).

“Forgiveness allows us to be free of the negative experiences of anger, pain, disappointment, guilt, and shame. When we are free, we are open to experience love, joy, happiness, success, and peace. When we forgive, we learn. When we learn, we grow – mentally, physically, and spiritually.” –Iyanla Vanzant, Tapping the Power Within

My challenge to you is try this exercise! I’ve even attached the instructions: The Forgiveness Diet. This will be another productive, spirit-affirming tool to pull out of your I-am-a-self-care-goddess kit, a part of your guidance on how to forgive yourself and others when the need to do so strikes.

Be open to the experience. Remember to give yourself grace throughout the process, and if you have to start over, then start over – as many times as necessary. This is your opportunity to let go of whatever you’re holding on to. It’s your chance to finally let it fall away.

Release the weight. Be light. Be self-love in action!

And don’t forget to share your progress with me in the comment section below. What did you observe while on the diet? How did you feel? I’d also love to hear about your go-to books on and practices for forgiveness.

You can also check out these books on the topic of self-love and forgiveness:

Book_Recommendations[ThePhoenixRisingCollective]

Specifically on Body Acceptance:

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IMG_20150204_073625 2Ayanna Jordan is founder and Women’s Leadership Coach & Trainer for The Phoenix Rising Collective; she is also the editor-in-chief for Phoenix Shine, The PRC’s blog and spirit-affirming online community. She has always had a passion for inspiring others through writing, coaching, and teaching. Her diverse career experiences have positively shaped her overall perspective on what it truly means to be a change agent: “I believe a change agent is someone who is in alignment with what she loves to do, and then connects, utilizes, and shares that love to make a difference and transform lives.” Learn more about Ayanna HERE.


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AFFIRMATION OF THE DAY: Notice Great Things!

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Believe it, Phoenix! Great things DO happen to you everyday – big and small. You can recognize them by choosing to live in the moment.

Practice mindfulness. Take a few deep breaths and just be present.

In the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn, “Practice sharing the fullness of your being, your best self, your enthusiasm, your vitality, your spirit, your trust, your openness, above all, your presence. Share it with yourself, with your family, with the world.”  (Book: Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life)

Tip: As a way to express gratitude for and assist you in the practice of recognizing those great things (big and small) that happen in your day, journal about them or share the experiences with someone who will appreciate and support what you’re doing, the new, positive habit you’re creating. Notice how these simple, yet very impactful, exercises shift your perspective and overall mood.

Mindfulness is integral to your commitment to be self-love in action. Practice!

 


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Are You Aware of Your Breathing?

The Phoenix Rising Collective

Sometimes (well, most of the time) all you need is a deep breath to bring clarity to a situation and/or to lighten the load. Whether it’s a big decision you have to make or a matter of seeing things from a different perspective, don’t hold your breath in the process of figuring it out. Breathe.

Release anxiety and worry by slowly and consciously inhaling and exhaling your way through it. Surrender. And with each exhale visualize what letting go looks like for you.

Lastly, repeat an affirmation that supports this intentional breathing practice; here are a few of my favorite:

  • I am easily and divinely guided to solve my challenges. All is well.
  • I let go and the universe lovingly takes care of me.
  • I am light and love; it exudes from me and is part of all that I do.
  • I commit to peace within myself and to peace with others.

Take a breath! Be self-love in action. Happy Sunday, Phoenix! Create a positive week.

 

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ayanna_sidebar[photo]Ayanna Jordan is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Phoenix Rising Collective. She has always had a passion for inspiring others, particularly women, and especially through writing, coaching, and teaching. She is happy The PRC provides an opportunity for her to write about one of her favorite topics: self-care, as she believes that true wellness begins within – healing old wounds, forgiving others (and yourself), letting go of the past, eating healthy foods, making room for change, sustaining a positive attitude, and taking time for spiritual practice, are all a part of the journey to authenticity. Right now, she is most inspired by Love Yourself First! Friday. Learn more about it HERE.


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AFFIRMATION OF THE DAY: I Am Grateful For…

gratitude affirmation of the day[phoenixrisingcollective]Gratitude opens the door for so much more abundance and happiness in all aspects of your life.  And this is the season for deeper spiritual reflection and renewal, so as you contemplate and do a personal review of this year (or even this week or just today) what are you most grateful for?

Start your affirmation with four simple words: I. am. grateful. for. Let the other words that follow simply flow. Don’t put any restrictions on what comes forth for you. Allow each expression of thankfulness to fill you, and then take a deep breath and release it.

Share in the comments below. We want to hear from you!  Be self-love in action. Express your gratitude.


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AFFIRMATION OF THE DAY: I am Ready to Create the Experiences I Want for my Life

Create Your Experiences[affirmation]the phoenix rising collective

You create the experiences you want for your life. Intentional living begins with the daily practice of making healthy, courageous, and authentic choices that honor and empower you. What do you really want? Don’t wait for whatever it is to just fall in your lap or for someone else to supply the inspiration. Create it. Be self-love in action!


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AFFIRMATION OF THE DAY: I am grateful for my talents and abilities.

affirmation_grateful_talents[the phoenix rising collective]

Remember, you’ve been given everything you need! Recognize it. Tap into it. Express gratitude for it! Be self-love in action.