The Phoenix Rising Collective

Inspiring Women to be Self-Love in Action


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8 Go-To Podcasts for Stress Relief, Inspiration and Wellness

 

Whether you’re seeking a fun pick-me-up to past the time or wanting a deeper dive into your personal and professional development, there’s definitely a podcast to provide that fix. The challenge? The medium has grown so much it can be overwhelming to filter and find what works best for you. To take some of the pressure off, and to also help you start your own unique playlist, I’ve listed eight pods I recommend (and a couple of bonuses, too) across the health/wellness, education and business categories. I’m sure they’ll quickly become go-to’s in consistent rotation for stress relief, self-care and inspiration.

The Art of Money – Financial Therapist, Bari Tessler’s book The Art of Money was chosen as a Phoenix Book Pick last year, and the podcast was mentioned because it doesn’t disappoint either. It’s an engaging and thought-provoking extension of the book (which is not required reading in order to understand the podcast). The Art of Money’s holistic approaches and practices for building and sustaining financial wellness and happiness provide a very refreshing take on helping you connect the dots with how you think about money. There’s no shaming or judging about money matters but a commitment to “ushering in a new wave of compassion, gentleness, and unshaming” to gain deeper understanding about your relationship to money (past and present). Some episodes feature special guests in financial therapy, management and planning.

Episode Suggestion: Money pioneer Saundra Davis opens up about race, the wealth gap, and what real change takes

Food Heaven – These powerhouse women in wellness, Wendy and Jess; both registered dietitian nutritionists and best friends, have been sharing healthy living tips, nutrition facts and recipes for a long time, so it was a given that as their platform grew it would eventually include a phenomenal podcast, one that’s compassionate and inclusive on so many levels. It’s health food education and wellness discussed in an encouraging and loving way. You’ll be able to relate no matter where you are on your journey. There’s no talk about restrictive diets and fast food fixes; Food Heaven’s topics include health at every size, food and culture, food justice, body acceptance, balanced eating on a budget, and intuitive eating.

Episode Suggestion: Our Tips for Navigating Stress Eating

Get Loved Up – When you’re in the mood to listen to something with a focus on mental, physical and spiritual health make Get Loved Up with Koya Webb a go-to. What makes this wellness-related podcast different from some others (in a good way) is it doesn’t jump on the what’s-trendy-in-the-field bandwagon to keep your attention; the content is authentic and original. The wide range of guests add to its authenticity. Koya’s positive energy puts her guests at ease so they are more open to sharing personal stories along with useful tips on subjects like overcoming fear, healing trauma, spiritual awareness, reproductive health and meditation.

Episode Suggestion: Pull Yourself Out of Your Pain and Be In Your Own Game with Tina Lifford

Good Ancestor – There are so many great things to say about this podcast. It’s a thought-provoking, intentional, and empowering breath of fresh air. Curated by Layla Saad, author, speaker and podcast host, Good Ancestor is all about heartfelt conversations with women changemakers and culture-shapers who are authors, coaches, healers, educators, midwives, therapists, etc. Conversation topics are diverse, and spiritually and socially conscious. The deep dialogue on everything from motherhood to race/culture to self-care is much needed for personal growth, healing and transformation. Layla begins each episode by asking her guests, “Who are some of the ancestors living or transitioned, familial or societal, who have influenced you on your journey?” She ends the episode by asking, “What does it mean to you to be a good ancestor?” These questions uncover how her guests will use their talents and purpose to, as Layla puts it, “create a legacy of healing and liberation for those who are here in this lifetime and for those who will come after I’m gone.”

Episode Suggestion: Good Ancestor Jennifer Arnise on Healing the Black Mother Wound

Meditation Minis – In a nutshell, this podcast takes the pressure off when it comes to meditation, especially if you’re a beginner and want more guidance. The mini meditations are guided by Chel Hamilton and are perfect for either jump starting your day or preparing to relax at night. Put it this way, if you’ve had a very long day at work and need to decompress, listen to a mini episode like Cozy Relaxing Sleep to put your mind at ease. Each meditation starts with focused and doable prompts that help you push through the what-if-I’m-not-doing-it-right feelings and support you in building confidence, relieving anxiety and stress, and also having a restful sleep. This is one the kids can enjoy, too. (FYI: Her voice is very soothing! Get ready to be very relaxed.)

Episode Suggestion: Calm + Be + Ease (No matter how anxious it all seems)

On Purpose with Jay Shetty – This is one that will consistently keep you interested and inspired; you’ll look forward to the episodes, especially the 30-45 minute tips and how-to’s. On Purpose is all about empowering personal growth and transformation so you can mindfully live in your unique purpose; and, if you haven’t quite figured out your purpose or it’s changing for whatever reason, Jay Shetty, provides on-point support and to-the-point advice and wisdom you didn’t even know you needed. It’s one ah-ha moment after another on relationships, motivation, self-care, etc. You’ll definitely walk away with newfound revelations and be invigorated to apply new tools to persevere.

Episode Suggestion: The Shocking Ways We Spend Our Time and 8 Ways to Invest It Better

Therapy for Black Girls – A Phoenix favorite for sure! Therapy for Black Girls is a weekly conversation with Dr. Joy Harden Bradford on mental health and personal development. It can be an extremely daunting task to find a therapist, and even more challenging when you want her to be a woman of color. Joy has made it easier by creating a platform that centers the voices and expertise of WOC in the field and ensures the community of listeners is affirmed, supported and heard when it comes to mental health issues and concerns. The podcast doesn’t replace therapy, of course, but it’s a helpful and accessible resource; plus, it inspires those who’ve never had professional help to take the leap. There’s even a therapist directory to help you find licensed mental health professionals in your neck of the woods!

Episode Suggestion: Shedding Your Superwoman Status

Unlocking Us – Three words: Dr. Brenѐ Brown. She’s giving it to you straight, no chaser as usual about what it means to be vulnerable. Right out the gate with the first episode she talks about the discomfort of trying new things (like her podcast) and how it’s important to embrace discomfort in order to grow. Brenѐ shares an unforgettable acronym, FFT, to break down why most people are afraid to try something new. (No spoiler on the acronym! Go listen.) The beauty of Unlocking Us is the presence of vulnerability while in heartfelt conversation with guests about various aspects of vulnerability, e.g. grief and finding meaning, permission to feel, loneliness and connection, and anxiety and over/under-functioning to name a few. Get your journal ready, because each episode is full of lessons you’ll be able to apply to your daily life.

Episode Suggestion: Alicia Keys and Brenѐ Brown on “More Myself”

Bonuses:

Support is Sexy with Elayne Fluker – Professional women from around the world share the ups and downs of their entrepreneurial journeys. Episode Suggestion: Tiffany Dufu on Dropping the Ball and Dumping Your Good Girl Burden

 

Snap Judgment – Phenomenal real-life stories from everyday people; storytelling that makes you want to know more. Episode Suggestion: How Estee Got Her Zumba Back

 

 

Happy listening.

(Are you already an avid podcast listener? If so, what are a few of your favorite? Share with us in the comments.)


Ayanna Jordan is founder of The Phoenix Rising Collective. She is a personal development coach creating and facilitating dynamic women-centered, self-care workshops with a focus on how putting self-love into action can transform your life. She also creates training programs and group coaching that empowers women’s professional growth in authentic leadership, entrepreneurship, and passion-filled work. Her interactive, holistic approach inspires action and creates a non-judgmental, safe and supportive space for women to truly explore and affirm who they are, what they want and how they want to do it.


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

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Love Yourself First! Friday (LYFF) is part of The PRC’s 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 Phoenix is Natasha:

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

I love myself first by taking care of my health first. I try to make sure that I really pay attention to what my body is telling me. If I find that I need to force myself to do something then I stop, take a breath and reevaluate what I am doing and why. At the same time when I notice that I’m avoiding a task I try to figure out the underlying reasons.

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

  1. I try to exercise at least four times a week. Through CrossFit I have been able to push myself further than I ever imagined.
  2. I food prep on a regular basis, usually on Sundays. I make sure that I have enough to eat throughout the week (five small meals for five days) and set an alarm so that I won’t forget to eat.  When I’m engrossed in my work I have a tendency to forget to eat. As a vegetarian and a graduate student, I have found that food prepping allows me to save money and have options that I wouldn’t otherwise.
  3. I’m Buddhist and I try to chant everyday, it is definitely a work in progress.
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LYFF Feature, Natasha’s Weekly Food Prep

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

When I was a teenager I was raped. For a long time I hated myself; I had a difficult time feeling that I was worthy of love or even loving myself. I have been working through this for the past 12 years; now I am able to see the good inside of me. Actually, it’s deeper than that: I have been able to see my strengths, weaknesses and potential. I have been able to embrace my flaws, change my self-talk, and learn to be kind to myself.

I am still on this journey of self-love and still get frustrated with myself (especially as I am writing my dissertation) but I am learning that I am human.

What have you learned from self-love?

Self love has shown me how strong and beautiful I am. Regardless of my weight, hair, skin, eyelash length, or waist size, I am phenomenal. I am not a doormat. I am not one dimensional. I am a full person. That sounds kind of hilarious, but seriously in this society sometimes it’s difficult to recognize your full humanity.

 

Thank you, Natasha, for having the courage to tell your self-love story. You are a brave Phoenix rising!


 

Share your self-love story! Send an email HERE. Put “My LYFF Story” in the subject line, and you’ll be contacted by the Phoenix Team with details on how to participate.

Love Yourself First! Friday is a 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.

Join the Collective on Facebook and Instagram.


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The Golden Rules of Eating Holistically

Eating Holistically[The Phoenix Rising Collective]

Doesn’t it sometimes feel like eating healthy is a great mystery? And if you add eating holistically into your quest, the journey can seem even more mysterious and intimidating.

Many don’t know where to start outside of upping their spinach or kale in-take when it comes to pursuing more balanced nutrition.

Taking a holistic approach to eating healthier is simple. It just requires gaining awareness about a few golden rules to get you on your way to Holistic Goddess status.

Eat as close to whole foods as possible

Eating holistically in essence means taking your nutrition to a deeper but also more basic level at the same time. When the choice is available opt to eat whole foods.

Meaning, instead of canned or frozen fruits and vegetables, get them straight from the produce section. Or instead of frozen Lean Cuisine lasagna, make a simple tomato and mozzarella whole wheat pasta dinner.

Herbs Heal

Herbs serve as the foundation for eating holistically. To truly reap the benefits of adding herbs into your holistic eating endeavors, there are three categories of herbs to keep stocked in your kitchen.

Adaptogen herbs strengthen your immune system.

Common adaptogens to have on hand include:

  • Ginger Root
  • Maca Root (enhances physical performance)
  • Maitake Mushrooms

Anti-Inflammatory herbs balance out your digestive system.

Common anti-inflammatory herbs to have on hand include:

  • Alfalfa (helps to regulate estrogen levels in women)
  • Cumin
  • Echinacea

Anti-Bacterial herbs are used in response to a health issue or to prevent them; colds, viruses and allergies, for example.

Common anti-bacterial herbs to have on hand include:

  • Cayenne pepper
  • Eucalyptus (a strong cold and flu fighter)
  • Lemon grass

You can add these herbs into your diet in a number of ways from adding them to your food, to your tea or organic fair trade coffee or water, to taking them in pill form as a supplement.

Eat Throughout The Day

Eating throughout the day is necessary because it helps you to burn calories faster and boosts your metabolism.

A quick eating rule is this:

Eat five small meals a day or three meals and two fruit and vegetable smoothies along with 2-3 glasses of detox water. Ideal detox water combinations include lemons and limes, raw honey and ginger or cucumbers and curry.

To truly take your eating to a holistic level, end your day with a cup of herbal green tea and lemon juice.

Eat Meats That Were Fed A Vegetarian Diet

The phrase, “We are what we eat” couldn’t be more true than it is today. Modern diets now consist of eating meats that are filled with hormones and antibiotics. And if you are eating meats that have been fed processed foods that contain harmful chemicals, then I am sure you can only imagine the unhealthy strain that doing so puts on your body.

However, as consumers we do have choices available to us when it comes to the meats we eat. When shopping buy meats that have the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) seal of “Vegetarian Fed” or “Grass Fed” on the packaging.

Eating meats that meet this standard is a chief golden rule of eating holistically, because you are eating food that is as close to whole foods as possible. You are eliminating excess toxins from your diet this way, which leads to the next golden rule.

Eat Certified Organic Fruits and Vegetables

The same logic with meats applies to fruits and vegetables as well when eating holistically. When you eat organic fruits and vegetables you are giving your body the opportunity to be nourished at the highest level for optimal health.

To be considered USDA certified organic, fruits and vegetables must contain no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers and have not been exposed to sewage.

They are easy to spot because they will have the 100% USDA Organic sticker on them.

To discover the highest concentration of 100% certified organic fruits and vegetables, visit your area’s Farmers Market. Most Farmers Markets carry a much higher percentage of certified organic produce versus most major grocery stores, where only about 4% of their produce is certified organic.

Ditch The Guilt

This will sound counter intuitive to eating holistically because doing so requires a higher level of self-awareness, but I am going to go ahead and say it, ditch the guilt.

Meaning,

  • It doesn’t matter if you get your groceries from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s or the corner bodega.
  • If you didn’t buy grass fed ground chuck this week, don’t sweat it.
  • Skip your green smoothie if the idea of eating spinach one more time this week bores you to tears.

Getting healthier and eating holistically can feel like a race towards wellness where bragging rights and self-image are the ultimate wins. However, going that route can lead you to a rabbit hole of choices that may result in guilt when you do have to deviate from your perfect holistic plan.

Ditching guilt is by far one of the most important golden rules of eating holistically for long-term benefits of living healthy.

The golden rules to eating holistically do require some mindful application and commitment, but doing so will allow you to strengthen the foundation of your health.

During your journey keep in mind the ultimate benefits of eating holistically: less stress, better sleep, glowing skin and a balanced digestive system, to name a few.

Once you get into the rhythm of eating holistically your body, mind and spirit will experience newfound radiance, and that is simply golden.

 


About the Contributor

CJChildressCoachCJ Childress is a holistic health coach, indie author and owner of a healthy meal delivery service in Houston, Texas. She began her journey with healthy living as a child by drinking green smoothies and eating organic peanut butter. But after watching her young mother die in 2012 from a rare autoimmune disease she became more convinced than ever that food really is medicine. She works with women to break their addiction to dangerous foods and heal their relationship with their bodies through a fun and focused 60-day transformational program.

Join the Collective on Facebook and Instagram.

 


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

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Love Yourself First! Friday (LYFF) is part of The PRC’s  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 Phoenix is Denise:

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

Loving yourself is always remembering to be true – true to your mind, body and spirit. In learning to love myself I’ve learned how to love all of me, all the time.

I am learning to listen to myself. I am such a giver that sometimes I give until I have no energy left. However, not the new and improved me; I’ve learned to stop and think about how it will affect me. As I’ve gotten older, I realize how we’re quick to question others, but won’t question ourselves. In learning to love yourself first, you have to be willing to question yourself and come up with solutions.

Putting yourself first isn’t always the easiest feat but it’s a must.

I love to listen to music; it’s my biggest stress reliever. I can go for hours listening to Jill Scott, The Foreign Exchange, Dwele and a host of other Neo Soul-type artists.

I also love being by water. (SN: I cannot swim, and I don’t know if I want to learn!) Since we have no “real” beaches in Cleveland, I settle for going to the lake and sitting for hours just listening to the water. I actually do some of my best self-reflecting there.

I love to read and travel as well.

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

In October 2014 I began my fitness journey. The experience of going out of my comfort zone really opened my eyes to “how to be a better me”. I never had a true purpose for why I wanted to change; I just knew I had to. I looked at my fitness journey just as that, a journey. I was totally clueless when I began losing weight so I started following an Instagram account: fbffitness. After weeks and weeks of debating, I joined her 8-week weight loss challenge. The challenge consisted of being on a virtual team where you were to complete certain daily tasks and receive points. In the end, you had the opportunity to win money! Well, I didn’t win but I made it to the top five out of 100+ contestants.

I never really celebrated that accomplishment until recently. In my mind, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Wrong! It was huge. After I finished the challenge, I began personal training at a local gym for a few months. With personal training and a new diet I was on a roll…so I thought. I was still unhappy. I had to learn that this lifestyle change is all mental. I realized I can make all the physical changes in the world, but until I changed my mental outlook I would still be exactly the same.

I am happy to say that I am 40+lbs down forever!

Women Weight Loss Journey[The Phoenix Rising Collective]

LYFF Feature, Denise, sharing her 40+ lbs weight loss

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

Embracing change is a huge challenge for me. I’m now allowing myself to try new activities, new foods and new adventures. Being patient with myself is also an obstacle. My friends would say I am one of the most patient people you would ever meet, and I am…with others. In my own life I want things to be quick, fast and in a hurry. Learning to be more patient with myself has allowed me to relax and understand that things will happen when God says so.

What have you learned from self-love?

I have learned from self-love that no one will love you like YOU! Self-love allows you to be your own advocate. Self-love allows you to be a better woman, wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend. Self-love has taught me to be happy with all my flaws.

 

Thank you, Denise, for sharing your self-love story! You are truly a Phoenix rising. Congratulations on such a major lifestyle change. It most certainly is a big deal!

Were you inspired by Denise’s story? Share your thoughts in the comments.


Want to share your self-love story?

Send an email HERE. Put “My LYFF Story” in the subject line, and you’ll be contacted by the Phoenix Team with details on how to participate.

Love Yourself First! Friday is a 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 features.

Join the Collective on Facebook and Instagram.


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5 Easy Ways To Love Your Body More in 2016

Body Acceptance [The Phoenix Rising Collective]

 

I don’t know about you, ladies, but I am so thrilled that the New Year is here. Right now is the time that our dreams feel fresh. There’s magic flowing from our pens to our journals. We get our vision board party on, and we make promises to ourselves to start manifesting every day miracles.

Many of us use the beginning of the year to put a tremendous focus on our careers, love life, or other major projects but all too often there is one area of our essence that we neglect.

It’s our bodies.

We make plans to lose weight or go vegan but our actions don’t mount up as the year begins to unfold. Doing so starts to feel too overwhelming all too quickly and before we know it, we are putting our bodies on the back burner.

Excuses pop up. Pain from our past shows up, and guilt about other commitments spring up.

This happens to many of us year after year after year.

Fortunately, we are still very early into 2016 and you can definitely start some new self-love practices right now where your body takes top priority.

These five ideas are easy and not intimidating. Taking care of your body should never be too taxing of an effort when seeking long-term change.

Remember to keep things manageable and uplifting.

1. Hold onto that one healthy habit you already have no matter what.

What do you do now that makes your body feel very loved?

For me it’s cooking healthy meals most days of the week.

Yes, I am going to go ahead and say it: “We are what we eat.”

I want my body to be full of gorgeous foods and nutrients that continuously restore my health.

I put this into practice by cooking my own meals despite the fact that I currently live with my dad who is anti green juice and organic anything and everything. My dad is an award-winning grill master who cooks often, but I stay true to the promise I’ve made to my body and always pass on his offer of pork ribs for dinner.

For you, it may be that you’ve been going to a yoga class once a month, so in 2016 why not go once a week. Even if money is an issue (because honestly, yoga can be quite expensive) find a free class in your city. Meetup.com and yelp.com are excellent resources for finding free classes in most major cities.

Or maybe you desire to try Meatless Mondays and have done it a few times in the past. This year, right now, next Monday is the perfect time to start your Meatless Monday adventure and stick to it.

Zone in on your favorite body-loving practice and remain faithful to it this year.

2. Let go of the negative self-talk about your body

As a health coach, almost without fail, when I work with women, their issue is not being able to control their cravings just for the sake of it. It’s often something deeper that’s holding them back.

In most cases, negative self-talk is at the center of their struggle with self-love and self-acceptance. Granted, speaking so negatively to yourself about your body is still not the root of the issue, it’s just the by-product of pain you may have experienced in your life.

In 2016, let that soul damaging practice go. Take your thoughts to a rewarding place. Reflect on how badass you are at running, teaching, singing, cooking, making love, being a girlboss. If it makes your self-love meter rise, channel that every time nasty self-talk wants to take over your thoughts.

3. Join a spirited and fun health & wellness group online

Community is everything. It reminds you that you are not alone in your daily challenges with loving your body unconditionally. Facebook is probably your best bet for finding a rockin’ group of soul sisters that want to get fit, happy, and more gorgeous, just like you.

When you do find a group, dive in. Don’t be shy. Share your journey. Ask for feedback and suggestions on making healthy body loving changes.

It will feed your body and soul well this year.

4. Always ask “Does my body need this?” when making daily food choices

Mindfulness can be your most reliable game changer when you desire to love your body more. Food that does your body no good will always be there to tempt you. However, you don’t have to let dining anxiety take over.

Quickly ask yourself if what’s in front of you is something your body needs in order to feel more gorgeous. If leftover birthday cake is in the fridge, but an apple and almond butter are also in the fridge, choose the latter. Ask and answer out loud, too. Hearing yourself speak about your options will deepen your mindfulness. Over time, you won’t have the need to ask as often.

5. Re-shape your vocabulary about your body

Banish the word diet and replace it with healthy.

Nix overweight or skinny and say natural beauty.

Forget about ugly and loser and think, authentic.

This little practice alone can probably make the biggest impact on your body love battle in 2016. It’s simple and actionable.

Don’t give power to the words that harm how you love and feel about your body. Positive words are empowering. They will propel you in the right direction. Negative words lead to stagnation and self-sabotage that rob you of beautiful and healthy body-loving journeys.

Use this year to change up your body love story. You only have one so you might as well love it unconditionally with balanced nutrition, healthy thoughts, and motivating self-care practices.

2016 is your year to get more gorgeous and love your body from the inside out.


About the Contributing Writer:

CJChildressCoachCJ Childress is a holistic health coach, indie author and owner of a healthy meal delivery service in Houston, Texas. She began her journey with healthy living as a child by drinking green smoothies and eating organic peanut butter. But after watching her young mother die in 2012 from a rare autoimmune disease she became more convinced than ever that food really is medicine. She works with women to break their addiction to dangerous foods and heal their relationship with their bodies through a fun and focused 60-day transformational program. You can discover more and get your FREE 30-day meal plan by visiting her website HERE.  Connect with CJ on Instagram, too.

 

Join the Collective on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration and to stay current on upcoming events.


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Stop Fitness Journey Comparisons: Be Patient!

fitness journey comparisons[the phoenix rising collective]

Your fitness journey is your journey and looks completely different than your sister/mother/best friend/neighbor.

In my professional life I am in the middle of an executive leadership training. With the help of my mentor, we have decided I need to work on patience. Not just how to have it, but the awareness of when it is necessary. So many times in life we want something and we want it now, but in reality that rarely happens. In contrast, there are times when patience is not necessary; we can work hard to get where we want and quickly get there.

I am sharing this lesson this month because it is relevant to health and fitness: There are times when we need to be patient with ourselves but there are also times when we should push ourselves to get to the next level more quickly.

When you start a new fitness program you must have patience; you may have been in the best shape of your life at 20 years old but today is a different journey, a different and new you. It will take a few weeks to build endurance to get back to your higher level, but know that you can get there. Your fitness journey is your journey and looks completely different than your sister/mother/best friend/neighbor.

However, when you’re in the middle of your training, push yourself, do that extra push up or hold that plank for an extra five seconds. This would be a place in fitness where no patience is required. Go for it! Fitness isn’t always comfortable, but it is effective.

I’ve added a video that shows a few exercises to strengthen your arms and legs. Remember to keep your abs engaged in all exercises (in towards your belly button like you are bracing yourself for a punch). When you do the leg workout, stay low with your knees bent. See how many of each exercise you can complete in twenty seconds; recount every other week and watch your progress!

 

One more quick fitness analogy about goals and patience: In my super-hot and super-awesome yoga class, the instructor had the class doing a very long balance sequence. My leg was burning by the end and my balance looked like I had just taken three shots of tequila. I wasn’t the only person in class struggling during this very hot and very hard sequence. She reminded the class that we needed to focus on something in front of us – not too far in the distance – that was still. Hmm, yes! Was this particular yogi in my executive leadership training call? This is life: Stay focused on a fixed target in your near future that is attainable, but not too far that you lose balance. When your goal seems too difficult and your life is a little wobbly, recommit your gaze to that fixed target. Find your inner strength and keep going. As the instructor also pointed out, if you lose balance and fall a little, readjust. That is OK. That is life. Most people know that adding physical exercise to their daily routine is good for the heart and body, but it is also a mental exercise. When you’re out for a jog, getting down on some Zumba, or listening to the hardest music set you have while completing your bench press set for the day, you are exercising your body AND mind.

I hope each and every one of you finds patience and the awareness of when to have it. Stay strong and on your fixed target. Make the new season about your health and personal fitness goals. Exercise your body and your mind.

In fitness, health and happiness,

Megan


 

About the Contributing Writer:

image9Megan Weidner is a fitness coach and environmentalist in the Akron/Canton, Ohio area. She manages a global sustainability and corporate responsibility program for a large multinational company; her areas include environmental compliance, social equity, community engagement and health and wellness. Megan is also devoted to Rock. It. Fitness., her fitness and natural skincare business. She is committed to making the world a better, more environmentally friendly and healthier place through motivation and education. She is certified through AFAA and Tabata Bootcamp.  She has a B.S. in Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric Science (University of Missouri), a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management and Policy (University of Denver) and an M.P.A (University of Missouri).  She lives in Green, Ohio with her husband and three kids. Read her latest posts.


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Join Us! The Fullness of Me Workshop – Spirit Affirming Self-Care Practices for Women Ready to be Self-Love in Action

Hey, Phoenixes! If you’re in Columbus, OH or surrounding areas join us Saturday, August 22, 2015, 1pm – 4pm at Gather.  Before the busyness of the fall season begins, we are retreating in a sacred space with fellow Phoenixes who have also made a commitment to practicing healthy self-care regimens. This is your chance to connect with yourself and create authentic connections with others.

The Fullness of Me: Spirit-Affirming Self-Care Practices for Women Ready to be Self-Love in Action is an activity-driven workshop that provides simple, soulful daily self-care practices and resources that support you in loving the life you lead. Resources include The Phoenix Rising Collective’s The Fullness of Me: Intentional Living Guide.

Get more details HERE, and register now! Make yourself a priority. And by all means, invite a friend!

FullnessWorkshop[EBlast]PRC

 


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SELF-LOVE TIP OF THE DAY: Find Happiness that Comes from Within

HappinessAffirmation[thephoenixrisingcollective]

AFFIRMATION: I delight in the happiness that comes from within.

It seems simple but is often hard to do because we’re sidetracked by the busyness of our daily lives. However, the happiness that we are seeking and that is sustainable comes from what our ancient African ancestors referred to as MAAT or balance which is achieved through the practice of things that bring harmony and personal growth. Examples would be: Meditation. Prayer. Solitude. Kindness. Forgiveness. Gratitude. Reciprocity. Truth.

I was going through a folder and came across a few clippings that I’d taken from magazines I love; they were quotes and affirmations I wanted to remember (or probably post to my inspiration board). It was the quote below that sparked the idea for the Self-Love Tip:

“Happiness does not depend on external factors; work to cultivate the kind of happiness that comes from within: Volunteer your time to help those less fortunate, practice forgiveness to calm your spirit, limit time spent on the Internet, and embrace an attitude of gratitude.” -Andrew Weil, MD, from the book Spontaneous Happiness.

Identify what will center your life, then find time to actively and consistently do those things. Period. Sure, some practices will be challenging and uncomfortable to do; however, there is growth in being uncomfortable. Forgiveness, for example, (of yourself or otherwise) can take time depending on the circumstances, but the end result is you letting go of the past to make room for your life to grow (see the Forgiveness Diet exercise as a resource). So, do the awesome work that is required to create the  happiness that can only manifest from within.

Share in the comment section below how you practice cultivating happiness.

 


 

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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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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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.

GoldaSmithSMIB[phoenixrisingcollective]

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.

SMIB_Banner[GoldaSmithWorksheet]

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.