The Phoenix Rising Collective

Inspiring Women. Empowering Change.


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It’s Love Yourself First! Friday: Today’s Phoenix is Santana

Santana_LYFF_Collage

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

Loving myself means making consistent intentional choices every day that place my well-being first. It’s a philosophical practice that manifests in almost every facet of daily life. For me, it’s been evolving as my life and my demands have transitioned from college student to working professional.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned regarding self-love is that I cannot and should not think of acts of self-love as an indulgence, but rather as necessary maintenance. I am at my best when I place my personal care first. This was a surprisingly difficult shift for me to make and maintain. It requires a lot of work, but it’s the best kind of work. I had to expand my definition of personal care to encompass a variety of activities that make me feel my best, and allow me to take time to focus on nurturing my mind, body, and soul.

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Santana and her dog, Cassie, after a hike.

What actions demonstrate the self-care you provide to your mind, body, and soul? (Exercise, healthy eating, spiritual practices, etc)

When I’m feeling down about myself, I find a quiet place and repeat (out loud!) the mantra “Although (insert reason I’m upset or anxious), I love and accept myself completely.” It’s a striking physical and emotional experience to say that out loud. I’ve learned to own and accept my reactions and feelings, while reinforcing my self-love. I’ve learned I must take ownership of how I feel about myself. I am the only person who validates me.

This year, the most important change in my self-care ritual has been taking care of my body. I spend much of my work week sitting at a desk. When I was in college I spent much more time being active and walking and so physical activity was much less of a concern. This year, I noticed that my mood was becoming more variable, and my daily anxiety level was growing, so I decided to start making efforts to temper that. To be my best self I must make an effort to show love to my body by using it and learning about all the wonderful things it can do.

Yoga has been a transformative and complete self-love activity. Two to three times a week I spend an hour or so focusing on my body, my breath, and my soul. I love that yoga is non-competitive and that I have so much freedom in practicing it. Yoga can be modified to any skill or mobility level and the goals are personal. So often, we’re critical of our bodies and yoga is my favorite way to temper that negativity. Every movement is intentional and self-loving. I’ve gained so much confidence in myself through it—not because I’m particularly good at it, but because I’ve learned to be okay with not being successful at some poses. I can be a perfectionist, and yoga is a time for me to fail, and come out on the other side feeling proud of myself for just trying my best. In my last class, I fell over at least three times! I didn’t feel judged by anyone else there though, and I didn’t judge myself either—actually I found my failures kind of endearing! Philosophically, yoga has taught me about the importance of effort and surrender—I can place my full effort into anything, and because of that, I can feel okay about surrendering the results to the forces that be. This thinking is very helpful for my inner perfectionist and “control freak.”

Hiking is another way that I can work my body in a non-competitive and fulfilling way. I live in a rural area, and there are plenty of trails that match my comfort and skill level (which is fairly low). I can set my own pace when hiking, which I love. I bring my dog, Cassie, and we can bond through the activity. My favorite part is reaching the top and feeling like I’ve succeeded. Through setting physical goals for myself and then reaching them, I gain confidence and love myself.

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Bell peppers – Santana’s garden

The act of cooking is another way I nourish myself completely. I live in a different state than my family, so one way I can feel close to them is through cooking recipes that my mother and grandmother have taught me. If I’m feeling homesick, making a favorite meal is a way to temper that. These recipes are a gift that they’ve given me and that I can share with people close to me. I’ve taken more initiative with my diet by adopting recipes that are not only tasty, but healthy too. When I sauté kale, garlic, and beets, I know that I’m providing my body with strength, nutrients, and something yummy, that’s empowering!

Eating healthy is doubly exciting when I cook the vegetables I grow in my own garden. How fulfilling to till, plant, cultivate, and harvest your own produce! I maintain my connection to the Earth and nature and I remind myself of the sanctity of food. I feel like a shepherd to my garden and my vegetables. After spending all day inside an office during the work week, I love to kick off my shoes and walk barefoot in the soil while tending to my plants.

One of my most important self-care actions I practice is allowing myself to be silly! I embrace having solo dance parties (in the printing room at work, in my car, or the kitchen while cooking dinner). If I catch myself being critical of my reflection in the mirror, I’ll start making silly faces at myself until I laugh. Part of growing up for me has been learning to take care of myself in an internal way and being silly is sometimes the best medicine.

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

For a long time I wrestled with my racial identity. Largely because the way others viewed my racial identity varied so much depending on what part of the country or the world I was in. I’ve always dreaded the “what are you?” question because my answer is so complicated and normally the person asking isn’t looking for an answer that’s been 23 years in the making. Although it is still a work in progress, I’m learning to embrace the fluidity of my identity. Rather than thinking of myself as an outlier or outsider because of my varied experiences, I’ve learned to see it as a tool through which I can more easily connect with a wide range of people. Through changing my perspective, I’ve learned to see my experiences as empowering rather than exclusionary. I’ve learned that I don’t owe an explanation to anyone regarding myself, and the way that I navigate my identity can be personal, unique, and special. Developing and naming my own agency in potentially marginalizing encounters has been a huge step in my own self-care.

What have you learned from self-love?

Self-love spills over into all other aspects of our lives. When you’re at your best, you provide so much more positivity and light. In many ways self-love is the best act of kindness. I’ve learned that if I want to have meaningful and beneficial relationships, self-love needs to be my top priority. I think in many relationships, the idea that “I’ll take care of you and you’ll take care of me” is common and potentially detrimental. That mentality can lead to a lot of pressure, false expectations, and resentment. I’ve found that in reality, the better philosophy is “Because I love you, I’ll love, take responsibility for, and care of myself.” Self-love translates into healthier, more supportive partnerships. It’s the foundation to a beautiful life.

Santana’s LYFF Collage:

We asked Santana to also submit photos demonstrating self-love in action or even photos that radiate the feeling of loving who she is. We created a collage (shown above AND below, because they were too inspiring to just choose three or four) of the awesome images she wanted to share.

Santana selected these images because “these photos make me proud of myself. In these moments I was trying something new, enjoying outside, or being exuberant and joyful. These are moments where I felt truly alive and in the moment!”

santana_collage_2[the phoenix rising collective]

Thank you for sharing your self-love story, Santana. You are definitely a Phoenix rising!

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If you’d like to share your self-love story with The Collective contact us here.

Love Yourself First! Friday is a weekly self-love series created by The Phoenix Rising Collective. Beautiful, diverse women tell stories of triumph, share personal affirmations, and declare love for their 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.


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SELF-LOVE TIP OF THE DAY: Trust Your Inner Wisdom

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Trust your intuition. It’s a gift, and it’s always right. Yes, always! That inner knowing (gut feeling, hunch, whisper, etc.) is your God-given guide, your innate GPS. Don’t doubt it; identify the ways intuition reveals itself and practice strengthening your awareness, as “intuition comes to each of us in its own personal way.” (See the Phoenix Book Pick of the Week, Art of Intuition by Sophy Burnham).

Trust yourself and then observe your life positively transform!

Love + light, Phoenix. Be self-love in action.


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The Phoenix Book of the Week: The Art of Intuition: Cultivating Your Inner Wisdom by Sophy Burnham

PhoenixBOW[TheArtofIntuition]SophyBurnham

Our Phoenix Book of the Week comes from Ayanna:

The Art of Intuition: Cultivating Your Inner Wisdom by Sophy Burnham

31ORPAm-3yL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Summer is the perfect time to catch up with reading, especially books you’ve had every intention to open months and months ago! Well, in my case I use the down time the season brings to read new books, as well as a few I’ve already read. The Art of Intuition is the latter. Consider it a refresher for me, a reminder to trust my intuition and to have faith that my experiences have cultivated inner wisdom.

The Art of Intuition confirms and affirms what I innately know but sometimes lose sight of now and again: Intuition is my guide. Following that “feeling” will lead me in the right direction and keep the woulda-coulda-shoulda syndrome at bay. You know exactly what woulda-coulda-shoulda syndrome is; it’s any moment when “something” (God, The Creator, Universe, angels, spirit guides, and so on) is telling you exactly what you need to do but ego says,”That’s illogical,” creating a mental road block. You listen to ego and end up saying one (or possibly all) of the following: “If I would have done…I could have done…or I should have done…”

What is intuition anyway? Burnham describe it as “a hunch, a gut feeling, an inspiration, or premonition, precognition, clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, prescience, second sight – the shiver of “knowing” that pierces the veil of time and peers briefly into the future or at least into what’s not happened yet. It’s a decision made so fast you don’t know how you reached it: “It came to me,” you say. The root of intuition is related to the word tuition, from the Latin tueri, meaning “to guard, to protect.” For no rational reason we suddenly know: “Go here, not there!”or sometimes: “Stop!” If we’re alert we respond instantly, because intuition is always right.”

With detailed instructions, Burnham shares how we can identify the various ways intuition reveals itself and practice strengthening that awareness, as “intuition comes to each of us in its own personal way.”

She also provides understanding by sharing inspiring real-life accounts from individuals who have followed their “gut feeling” and their amazing experiences as a result of trusting that inner guide.

This book is definitely helpful with my goal to continue developing my intuition so that I’m making healthy decisions from an empowered place that supports and protects my purpose in life.

 

 

Hey, Phoenix! Have you read this book? If so, tell us, in the comment section below, how it has supported your personal growth. If you have an intuition story, please share that, too.

 


About The Phoenix Book of the Week:

The Phoenix Book of the Week features book recommendations from The Phoenix Rising Collective, as well as the empowered women who support us. We’ll be sharing our thoughts on books that have been powerful resources for sustaining healthy self-esteem, creating emotional and spiritual wellness, and committing to intentional living. We’ll also share our personal stories about how and why the books have inspired personal growth and sparked “light bulb moments” that changed our lives in some way. The book picks may cover a wide range of topics from diverse genres.

Interested in sharing a book with us? Please click here to send your request for more details on submitting a book entry.

Read more of our book picks here.

 

 


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She Makes It Beautiful – An Interview with Entrepreneur, Golda Smith – Fit Mommy Blog

GoldaSmith[phoenixrisingcollective]

She Makes It Beautiful (SMIB) encourages and inspires women to follow their entrepreneurial dreams by interviewing and sharing the phenomenal stories of women who’ve already taken that courageous leap and soared.

I ask entrepreneurs in diverse creative professions to participate, and they are more than willing to pay it forward. So, from opening a dance studio to starting a bakery to grooming pets and everything in between, you’ll read unique and empowering stories about how these women decided to make it happen!

Don’t forget! Download your free SMIB Bonus Materials below. Use them as your personal toolkit to help get that dream off the ground. All bonus materials complement the advice and tips given by each of the entrepreneurs.

GoldaSmithFitMommy[phoenixrisingcollective]

Golda Smith, Creator of Golda Smith – Fit Mommy Blog

This SMIB interview is with the dynamic and positive, Golda Smith, Founder, Personal Trainer, and Nutritional Cleansing Coach of Golda Smith – Fit Mommy Blog.

My first thought about Golda? “What a beautiful spirit!” Her smile is infectious and most certainly reveals her inner light. I was excited to talk with Golda not only to learn more about the incredible work she is doing coaching and supporting women in their healthy living journeys, but to also share her personal story of resilience, as it epitomizes what it means to be a Phoenix rising! She used her challenges (or what we often call failures) to propel her forward with more strength, clarity, and purpose. Her own transformation, of course, is an essential part of what makes her such an inspiring and effective coach.

Golda was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She went to college in the south and lived there for many years. While there she was in what she calls the picture perfect relationship with a man she was planning and building a life with. Two kids later their relationship took a turn for the worse and the couple eventually went their separate ways.

We all know that when it rains it often pours, so on top of a break-up, the condo she lived in flooded and with no emergency savings, unfortunately, Golda ended up on her ex-boyfriend’s couch. Not at all happy with her living situation, she made the decision to leave: “I humbled myself, packed my chocolate drops (that’s what I call my children), a few bags and moved back home to New York where I was blessed to have the support of family. What could have been a very stressful time was a blessing, not only did I have family but I also had time to get my head together.”

During the journey back to herself she took self-care very seriously – emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Golda worked with a life coach and began working out again; it was during this time of transformation that Fit Mommy Blog was born.

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A Fit Mommy makes herself a priority because she can’t take care of everyone else and neglect herself; Golda’s goal with Fit Mommy is to “lock arms with awesome women (especially moms) to raise happy, healthy children and contribute to our communities in meaningful ways while creating freedom and leaving lasting legacies.”

When and why did you start Fit Mommy Blog? What sparked your interest?

About two years ago I started Fit Mommy Blog, and I started because I had GoldaSmith.com which is Social Media Management but kept being drawn to and finding my way back to health and wellness. I wanted to separate the two things and the name that kept popping up for me was Fit Mommy Blog. I kept seeing other moms who were not making health and wellness a priority. It was important for me to just share and show other women that it’s totally fine to make themselves a priority. It’s not just about having a hard, buff body but just about all facets of health and wellness – spiritual, emotional, food, and definitely exercise.

How did you know this is what you wanted to do for women and that you were meant to do it?

I’d say that’s pretty easy. They say that whatever you do that doesn’t feel like work then that’s probably what you should be doing. And this doesn’t feel like work; it’s something that I absolutely love doing. I love sharing with people. I love fitness. I love food – good food! And I really love inspiring people to just be more and to do more.

What was the process like getting the blog started and using your experience as a coach to get women on board with Fit Mommy Blog?

Definitely having a coach – someone who has been there and done that. Working with a coach is an investment in yourself. I always tell people never be afraid to invest in yourself. I always say to people whatever it is that you want to do there is someone else who has already done it. So, if you have to come out of pocket to pay a coach, a mentor then do that. If you can’t afford one then there are so many people who are doing great things that offer free information, but you always want to find guidance. Every great person who has done anything worthwhile has had or currently has a mentor.

Was there a pivotal moment when you recognized what you were doing would be successful?

No. And I’m being serious! There are so many days when I throw my hands up and say to myself, “Is anyone reading this? Does anyone really get it?” Then I’ll get an email or a comment that says, “Thank you so much for writing that. I really love what you’re doing.” And that feels like someone is giving me chest compressions; my heart starts beating again and I keep going. I do know there is a purpose, and I perhaps put too much pressure on myself sometimes because I have so much and I want people to receive it. However, it’s just about being consistent and knowing that whoever is suppose to get the message will get it.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love being able to help people feel better, just feel better in whatever way that is – whether it is fitting in their clothes better, being able to not have stress/handle stress, or just putting a smile on a client’s face. Knowing that I’ve helped contribute and not destroy (because there are enough people out there destroying). To be a part of the building up of someone, that is what I love.

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Golda training with a Fit Mommy client.

How do you maintain a healthy balance in your personal and professional life?

My organizer! (Golda shows me her perfectly organized, color-coded, highlighted organizer). I schedule personal time for myself; I schedule work time; I schedule family time. Everyone has their own color and that’s non-negotiable.

Lastly, what advice can you give to women seeking to fulfill their own entrepreneurial dreams?

Do it! Do it because this is it. You could be gone at anytime. You could be gone tonight; you could be gone tomorrow. You don’t know when. My greatest fear is dying not doing half the things I say I want to do. As I get older, the reality of death is REAL. Not that I know when it’s going to happen or anything, it’s just the reality – that wake up call that says, “What are you waiting for?” You might not be able to do everything but at least try – nothing wrong with trying. You never know, so do it!

Don’t allow your “isms” to stop you – whatever nonsense you’re telling yourself about yourself. I always say on social media, “What you say about yourself is more important than what other people say about you.” You have to believe in yourself. Speak confirmation to yourself, and even if you don’t believe it now if you speak it enough your conscience will begin to believe it.

Whatever the dream is don’t let anyone talk you out of it. Take advice from people who have the results you want to have and not “Pookie” down the street who doesn’t have any ambition. Sometimes you are going to be your only cheerleader and that’s OK, too. Everyone isn’t meant to understand your calling, your dream that’s been given to you.

 

For more on Golda and the inspirational work she’s doing to keep busy moms healthy and happy, please visit Golda Smith – Fit Mommy Blog; and by all means, follow her social network, HERE.

Now, take a look at the free SMIB Bonus Materials that complement Golda’s interview.

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Remember, you’re building your SMIB Entrepreneurial Toolkit! Didn’t get your bonus materials from the last interview? Well, go back, recap, and download it HERE.

Tell us what you think, Phoenix!

We want to hear about how you are inspired by Golda Smith, as well as your progress building your toolkit, so tell us in the comment section below. You can also share a snapshot of how you used the SMIB bonus materials on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag: #SMIB #thephoenixrisingcollective Tag: @thephoenixrisingcollective

 


About the Contributing Writer:

Ayanna_Prof_Headshot[Mktg_Phoenix2]Ayanna Jordan is founder and self-esteem education consultant of 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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It’s Love Yourself First! Friday: This Phoenix is Meaghan

LYFF_Feature_Meaghan[thephoenixrisingcollective]

Love Yourself First! Friday (LYFF) is part of our Shed Light series collection. We invite women to tell their LYFF stories to inspire and empower others to also fiercely demonstrate self-love in action.  The questions are meant to  “shed light” on various ways our featured Phoenixes are making self-care and intentional living a priority.

This week’s brave Phoenix is Meaghan:

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

Loving myself first means three things to me: forgiving, showing up, and sharing.

  1. Forgiving myself: Since I was a child, I have been told I am just too sensitive, thin-skinned, needlessly vulnerable. I have always felt things incredibly deeply, and it shows. For a long time, I allowed others to take advantage of this part of me and even chastise me for it, telling me it was a flaw, a softness that needed to be hardened. But loving myself started with forgiving myself for these perceived weaknesses, which then opened up the opportunity to protect my vulnerability, and even, to insist upon it being something helpful and constructive.
  2. Showing up for myself: Once I learned to embrace the complexities of my emotional life, I was more ready to defend, preserve, and nurture it. This meant being more verbal when I felt I was being mistreated or ignored or emotionally abused; it also meant coming to the difficult and liberating conclusion that no one else was going to do this for me. As it goes, when I began articulating my worth, I lost some people who I thought were my friends. But the process has left me with a small, strong group of people I consider my chosen family. They respect, love, and appreciate me.
  3. Sharing myself: Once I learned to accept, appreciate, and defend who I am, I became more ready to share myself with the world. Part of loving myself means using my talents, intellect, and skills toward something that fulfills me: right now, it is through teaching and contributing to Human Rights scholarship. I hope to continue doing this once I graduate: I wish for myself a fulfilling life, and it’s my intention to show up and make that dream a reality.

 

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“I am learning how to embrace the beauty of my body…” -Meaghan, LYFF Feature

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

My favorite part of self-care has been creating rituals. My oil baths are legendary in my household, my partner understanding that this time is my time: I use organic oils and salts in a warm bath, and sink into the water with candlelight flickering around me. I light incense, and on a particularly tough day, smudge the space with sage. It is my moment with the divine, where I cleanse and nourish my skin and my mind after work. It helps me shed the stresses of the day.

I have discovered great solace in yoga, and practice at least 3 times a week staying present, feeling graceful (sometimes clumsy!), and building strength. This, in addition to weekly cardio, helps to keep my mood elevated and my mind clear. My personal fitness routine has helped me build a completely new self-image: instead of the un-athletic gym class dropout I thought I was, I know now that I am, in fact, made of poetry and sinewy muscles that can balance, extend, and flex.

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

So, I am going to overcome an obstacle just by writing this answer, and in so doing, I hope to demonstrate my idea of what self-love is. I live with depression, a mental illness that affects women and men around the world. As I grow and change, my depression changes with me. It has had different iterations, and manifests itself differently at different stages of my life. One of the most difficult stages was when I was a freshman in college: I was feeling profoundly alone, and with no one to confide in, I began having thoughts of suicide. I had no desire to eat, was losing weight rapidly, and did not leave my dorm room for days on end, save to go to class. It wasn’t until I had the courage to call my mother, and tell her that I was not doing okay, that I had been thinking of ways to quietly end my life. I told her how I was feeling, and asked her for help (Thank you, Mom, I love you). That was seven years ago, and I could not be prouder of my 18-year-old self for reaching out, and for continuing to struggle. While many may think that this was a time of weakness, I see it as a display of strength. I wanted to keep fighting, and fight I did.

I am writing this now because I made that phone call. I helped save my own life.

I reject the notion that we need to be quiet about these experiences: no one should ever suffer in silence or isolation. Our cultural stigmas around depression and other mental illnesses breed silence, and I refuse to perpetuate this damaging norm. If you are suffering, please tell someone. There are people who care about you, who want to help you leave this pain behind, and want to help you embrace your beautiful life for everything it could and will be.

I look back on that time, that person, with compassion and sadness. I see now I rarely allowed myself to dream: I was so enveloped in my depression that I could not see myself growing up or growing older. I did not think I would make it so far. I am learning now what it’s like to have a vision for my future, and it is overwhelming and wonderful and absolutely terrifying all at the same time. I see a social worker for therapy, practice mindful meditation, and read books that address the sources of my depression: for me, it is shame. Shame is a very powerful thing, as an emotion and as a socially constructed tool to keep women caged. Brene Brown’s book I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough” both articulates this struggle in the context of womanhood and provides some resources for how to cope with shame. It has provided me new ways to protect my vulnerabilities and use them constructively, to build a new idea of who I am and who I want the world to know.

What have you learned from self love?

Oh, I have learned so, so much from self-love, and continue to learn more. I have learned I am worthy, that love for myself multiplies and becomes love for and from others. I have learned that treating myself with compassion means I am more ready to treat others with compassion. It has given me a sense of belonging and community, a sense of possibility and a lasting relationship with myself.

Meaghan_Photos[Phoenix]

Meaghan also tunes in to self-care through writing and receiving love from her cat, Chickadee.

Meaghan’s LYFF Collage:

Here’s a little more about the photos she selected:

Top Right + Bottom Left: I have a lot of fun trying on different types of self-presentation, and I think style is a great way to express a multi-faceted personality. It is something accessible and fun for me, and helps me to take myself not-so-seriously.

Bottom Right: I am learning how to embrace the beauty of my body, to celebrate its strength and accept its flaws. This is a new concept for me, one I’m still exploring.

 

Thanks, Meaghan for sharing your LYFF story! You are definitely a Phoenix Rising.

 


 

Join the Collective. Share your self-love story with us. Send an email HERE. Put “My LYFF Story” in the subject line, and we’ll send you follow-up info. Sweet. Short. Simple!

Love Yourself First! Friday is a bi-weekly self-love series created by The Phoenix Rising Collective. Phenomenal women who fiercely demonstrate self-love in action in order to build and sustain healthy, positive self esteem share their stories‬.  Be sure to read some of our other inspiring stories.


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Got Books? Share. We’ll Feature You for The Phoenix Book Pick of the Week

PhoenixBOW[thephoenixrisingcollective

#Throwback to Book Picks of the Week! We want to pick up momentum with this series again so share what you’re reading this summer.

It’s simple. To be featured just pick your favorite book, take a selfie with it, and tell us how it’s been a self-esteem booster! Share how it has inspired personal growth and sparked “light bulb moments” that changed your life in some way – physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

Books may cover a wide range of topics/genres. Send to: info@phoenixrisingcollective.org

Check out other Phoenixes’ book picks and the “light bulb moments” they shared from reading them, HERE.

 

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About The Phoenix Book of the Week:

The Phoenix Book of the Week features book recommendations from The Phoenix Rising Collective, as well as the empowered women who support us. We’ll be sharing our thoughts on books that have been powerful resources for sustaining healthy self-esteem, creating emotional and spiritual wellness, and committing to intentional living. We’ll also share our personal stories about how and why the books have inspired personal growth and sparked “light bulb moments” that changed our lives in some way. The book picks may cover a wide range of topics from diverse genres.


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

Love Yourself First Friday[Nakshidil]ThePhoenixRisingCollective

Love Yourself First! Friday (LYFF) is part of our Shed Light series collection. We invite women to tell their LYFF stories to inspire and empower others to also fiercely demonstrate self-love in action.  The questions are meant to  “shed light” on various ways our featured Phoenixes are making self-care and intentional living a priority.

This week’s beautiful Phoenix is Nakshidil:

 

Nakshidil_Ocean[ThePhoenixRisingCollective]

Nakshidil on the beach in Mauritius.

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

Self-love to me means waking up in the morning and feeling in tune with my mind, body and soul. It’s the positive energy that courses through my body when the sunlight hits my skin or that sense of euphoria that engulfs me on demand.

My drive and determination to constantly feel the love that surrounds me is what I use as my fuel to grow and bask in my passions. I think that’s one of the most important parts about self-love; it’s the ability for someone to understand herself in a profound manner that yields acceptance. Being able to wake up every morning and accept who you are and where you have been is the most powerful weapon on earth because it ultimately acts as a motivator.

What actions demonstrate the self-care you provide to your mind, body, and soul? (Exercise, healthy eating, spiritual practice, etc)

One of the things my mom has always told me and it continues to resonate with me is that life is volatile; you need to enjoy the simple pleasures of life while you can. I am a lover of clouds. I often stop in the middle of what I am doing if I am outside just to admire them. I love laying down under trees in the shade and watching the way the sunlight hits the leaves. It makes me feel at peace and I can remove myself from the hustle and bustle of my daily routine and hectic surroundings.

I make it a point to take a few minutes every day to do the superman pose. I stand tall with my hands on my hips and look at the sky. I take deep breaths and tell myself I’ve got this. I can do this. Today is my day.

I have also realized the importance of doing the things I love when I feel like it and to invest myself, wholeheartedly, in everything I undertake.

I cook often because I love food. It’s therapeutic and soothes my mind.

Being around my friends and family brightens my day and I find solace in seeing those dear to my heart happy, so I try to spend as much time as possible around the people I care about most.

Another thing that makes me feel alive is dancing. I find every opportunity I can to dance. Whether it’s raining, music or no music, while shopping – it brightens my soul and makes me feel alive.

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

I think that moving to America for my undergraduate studies was one the biggest obstacles and adventures I embarked on. The culture shock and being away from home (alongside several different personal experiences) made me understand that self-love and acceptance of the different experiences that I have been affected by are what make me who I am. It has transformed me into the woman I am now. I have found strength in times of weakness, determination in times of despair, and love in times of pain.

What have you learned from self-love?

I have learned that I am my biggest supporter and I am stronger than I know. Self-love has taught me that in order to heal I need to accept, and once I have accepted I can begin building my foundation for empowerment.

 

Nakshidil’s LYFF Collage:

Here’s a little more about the photos she selected:

Top Right – “I was giving a speech at an event during my time as Student Government President of UM-Flint: The photo reminds me to never lose track of my passions, goals, and objectives. It reminds me that impossible is nothing and that if you set your mind to something you can achieve it as long as you have the will power to do so. It’s a testimony to my intense year as president, but in that moment it all made sense because of how happy I was doing what I love to do.”

Bottom Left – “My family back home. My rock. My foundation. My constant. They are my biggest motivators and support system and I wouldn’t trade them in for the world. This photo is a reminder to never forget my roots, my culture and the important people in my life.”

Bottom Right – “I’m in Mauritius on the beach (it was a gorgeous day out, the clouds were stunning, the sun was shining bright, and the sea water was crystal clear). It reminds me a lot about the simple pleasures in life. Sometimes you need to just take a break, kick off your heels, let your hair loose, and feel the moment.”

 

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Nakshidil. You are definitely a Phoenix Rising!

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Join the Collective. Share your self-love story with us. Send an email HERE. Put “My LYFF Story” in the subject line, and we’ll send you follow-up info. Sweet. Short. Simple!

Love Yourself First! Friday is a bi-weekly self-love series created by The Phoenix Rising Collective. Phenomenal women who fiercely demonstrate self-love in action in order to build and sustain healthy, positive self esteem share their stories‬.  Be sure to read some of our other inspiring stories.