The Phoenix Rising Collective

Inspiring Women to be Self-Love in Action


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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.

 

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It’s OK to Take Time for You: Your Well-Being Matters

HealthyWellBeing[The Phoenix Rising Collective]

Wow! Can you believe summer is over? I simply cannot believe how fast it has gone by and that I’m nine months into contributing to The Phoenix Rising Collective. The PRC is inspiring, empowering, and calming, so I hope that my articles have inspired you to incorporate health and wellness into your life resulting in a calm and healthy mind, body and soul.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to present at The PRC’s The Fullness of Me workshop. I enjoyed meeting and getting everyone up and MOVING! We had a blast, and I mentioned to the group that physical well-being is directly related to our mental well-being. My goal is to empower all of the workshop attendees and our readers to incorporate movement into their lives. I love it; I really truly do.

I shared two things with the group: 1) I grew up around fitness. I tagged along was dragged along to aerobics classes, gyms and seminars as a kid. As a very young child, my cousin and I would help her mom (my super fitness aunt) lead her classes. And 2) I am a busy working mom of three young children (10, 8, and 5) with an equally demanding husband, and I’m working on a master’s degree. My objective in sharing these “Megan Facts” is to motivate you to move to show your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, students, etc. how important it is to be healthy and how to be physically and mentally fit.

Yes, this means leaving the kiddos for an hour in the evening, making the husband or significant other fend for themselves, leaving work on time, or letting the laundry and dusting pile up, but it is well worth the hour of freedom. You will come back refreshed, and you’ll have taught the little ones and others you love in your life that your physical well-being matters.

The reason for telling you about my children, husband and job is that I AM BUSY – so busy, crazy busy, I-want-to-scream-and-run-and-hide busy. I have three children in three different sports plus my girls are in dance classes. My husband works evenings and I manage a global program during the day, BUT I make time for myself and my body. It is my time and I don’t feel guilty about it. We’re all busy in some way, but please make time for your health now; otherwise, you will spend the latter part of your life being busy with doctor’s appointments.

How to Make Time

Remember every movement counts. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars per month on a gym membership or equipment. Our body weight is a wonderful tool and will strengthen you and give you the resistance you need.

You can incorporate just 10 minutes a day of anaerobic exercise into your life a few times a week or a 30 to 45-minute workout two days a week and achieve wonderful results and increased energy.

Walk up and down the steps in your house. Grab a chair and sit down and then stand up, repeat. While you’re in the kitchen waiting for the microwave, place your hands on the counter and do push-ups; jog in place while your kids are asking their millions of questions. Break out into Zumba when your favorite song comes on Pandora. While you’re reading, work on stretching. During commercial breaks, do jumping jacks, jump squats, squat walks, bear crawls, lunges, high knees, fast feet. Do something to get the blood flowing.

 

I hope I have encouraged you to incorporate movement into your life; I hope I have empowered you to know that YOU CAN DO THIS with whatever time or money you have. It will bring peace and calm to your mind, body and spirit.

In health and happiness,

Megan


 

About the Contributing Writer:

Megan_Weidner[PRC Health Contributor]Megan 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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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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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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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.

 

 


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6 Tips to Motivate You to Move and Live a Healthier Lifestyle

HealthandFitnessTips[thephoenixrisingcollective]

On May 17, 2015, I had the opportunity to do an AWESOME workout session with a well-known trainer, Mindy Mylrea. Mindy is the creator and founder of Tabata Bootcamp. She’s full of energy and excitement and gets her clients motivated to move and live healthier lifestyles. I trained with Mindy two years ago and became certified in Tabata Bootcamp and I use the “camp” with my clients. Tabata Bootcamp is different than any other exercise program I have ever taught or participated in; it is a total body, total mind, and total lifestyle change. The Tabata Bootcamp is different because it can be completed in your home or with a small group of like-minded “campers.” The camp stresses healthy eating, accountability, and simple movements.

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L to R – Megan, Mindy Mylrea, creator and founder of Tabata Bootcamp, and Megan’s aunt (also a Tabata Bootcamp instructor and 56 years old, by the way!).

If you don’t love fitness, exercise, or to run, walk, or bike then it is time to find something you like love! Exercise does not have to be boring or mundane or mentally painful! I know lots of people who LOVE and I mean LOVE Zumba because they are exercising and burning calories while gettin’ down, twerkin’ it, and shaking their booty with a group of like-minded, fun people.

If I told you that you could lose ten pounds a month doing one 30-minute workout and five 6-minute workouts a week, you would think, “No way!” We have all been mentally trained to think that running 45 minutes or spending two hours in the gym is the way to looking like J-Lo. We’re all busy: we may have kids; we may have a spouse; we may have a house; we may have a full-time job; and some of us have “e” –  all of the above and don’t have time to run forty-five minutes, five days a week.

This is why Tabata Bootcamp is so useful and beneficial: Stay in your home, workout in your office, workout while the kids are reading to you, eat healthy, and use efficient movements to boost your body’s metabolism and oxygen consumption.

Here is why and how it works: In my post Take Your Personal Fitness Up A Notch With These Workouts, I described to you the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise:

Anaerobic exercises push your body out of its comfort zone and challenges your heart, lungs, and muscles to do more. While in the anaerobic zone you burn the most calories and do the most good. In contrast to the aerobic zone, you don’t want to or need to stay in the anaerobic zone very long.

When you’re done, your body enters EPOC, where your body continues to burn calories while it repairs and replenishes oxygen. Because anaerobic exercises are so effective, six minutes a day is all you need. Add in a longer workout such as running, biking or booty shaking Zumba, and healthy eating, and you’ll get fabulous results. My clients lose an average of ten pounds a month using the Tabata Bootcamp system!

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Tabata Bootcamp Workout Session – Group Photo in Ravenna, OH

The point to the long-winded explanation about Tabata Bootcamp is that you should…

  1. Do an exercise that is comfortable for you. If you enjoy running, go for it. If you enjoy yoga, weight lifting, cycling, or Zumba, go for those!
  2. Instead of exercising out of necessity, exercise because it is enjoyable. The more you enjoy it, the more likely you are to stay with it. Did you know that 80% of people who buy a gym membership as a New Year’s resolution stop attending by the fifth month!?! This tells me not enough people are doing something they love.
  3. Add a quick 6-minute workout like the one in this video to your morning, lunch break or bedtime routines.
  4. Choose healthy food options. (Try the Take 3 Method from Tabata Bootcamp Nutrition Guide)
  5. Add an accountability partner to create your own personal success story.
  6. Find a Health & Fitness Coach to support you. If you are interested in learning more about joining Tabata Bootcamp, please contact me. There are camps all around the country or you can try an online option. There are Zumba instructors and personal trainers all around the country as well.

Good luck and keep it moving!

In health and fitness,

Megan

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Megan_Lunge_Health_and_Wellness[ThePhoenixRisingCollective]Megan 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.


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Take Your Personal Fitness Goals Up a Notch With These Workouts (Video)

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It is spring, and summer is just around the corner! It is time to get those bodies moving. The benefits of physical activity are boundless and the impact is long-term. If you haven’t exercised in years or even never – this is the time to start! And if you are a veteran, it is always good to change up your activities to keep those muscles guessing.

Exercise controls weight, combats diseases, improves mental mood, boosts energy, improves sex life (YEP!), and it can be fun (seriously!). I have made great friends through fitness groups. Exercise comes in all forms and intensity levels; finding the right fit for you will ensure success.

Interval Training

I use interval training with all of my clients and in my group classes. I prefer this method because twenty seconds looks different for everyone and it is the best way to burn calories, build muscle, improve endurance, and meet your personal fitness goals.

You can turn anything into interval training! For example, during your morning run, for twenty seconds, sprint; rest for ten seconds, and repeat eight times. Or instead of regular pushups, perform pushups for twenty seconds, rest for ten seconds, and repeat six to eight times. Pushing your body out of its comfort zone coupled with the short rest, pushes your body into the anaerobic zone where most of the good results are seen.

The other great thing about interval training is that when you are done, your body enters Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). After all of the intervals, your body is in a state of restlessness but wants to get back to rest. While in EPOC your body is adapting to the previous exercise, restoring oxygen, repairing cells, and continuing to burn calories.

Interval training and EPOC improves your body’s ability to use oxygen, which means better endurance and more energy.

Try a few of these interval training workouts below:

 

In Health, Fitness, and Love!

Megan

For additional fitness coaching, contact Megan HERE.

And, of course, check out Megan’s other health + wellness tips and advice, HERE.

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Megan_Weidner[PRC Health Contributor]Megan Weidner is the Health + Wellness contributor for The Phoenix Rising Collective; she 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.


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

Erin

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 inspiring Phoenix is Erin:

Erin’s journey to better physical health and wellness is definitely inspirational, and we know her transformation will motivate and empower many women!

Two years ago Erin weighed almost 280 pounds and was a type-2 diabetic taking two types of insulin. After losing her job (and facing the possibility of losing her health insurance), she spiraled into depression. “I didn’t like or even begin to understand what it meant to love myself. I felt like I had no control over my life and at the age of 25 that did not give me much hope for my future.”

With a very strong determination to take control of her life and actively work toward more health conscious decisions, Erin prayed to God for purpose, strength, and guidance. “I decided I was tired of paying $200 a month for medicine I did not need to be dependent on. I decided I was tired of fearing being judged on my appearance before going into job interviews or my own self-consciousness holding me back. I decided that if I was unhappy with something, I DID have the control to change it.”

She stopped breaking promises to herself, started counting calories, and began using her gym membership (that previously collected dust). The pounds gradually dropped! Erin found the clarity she yearned for (and more self-confidence too). She recognized that her commitment to positive change led to more experiences she wanted to have, and with each determined step to get healthy, Erin lost more and more weight. In the process she steered her life in a new direction, found a love that she (for the first time) believed she deserved, and pursued a career that landed her the dream job she wanted. That’s not all. Because of her dedication to health and wellness, she was also taken off her diabetic medicine.

Erin passionately continues her health journey with strengthened faith, and today she is 155 lbs (so you do the math). “I was a woman on my knees praying to God for clarity, for reassurance that I was going to get through the storm though in my heart I was doubtful. I am now a woman who still prays for strength to weather my storms but never doubts that I will get through them because my past has shown me that once I do, the future is so much brighter.”

 

How inspirational is this Phoenix? Kudos, Erin! We applaud your courage and we’re so happy you shared your self-love story with us.

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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 bi-weekly self-love series created by The Phoenix Rising Collective. 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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5 Practical Ways to Stay Grounded and Get to Happy (Yes, saying no is one of them!)

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We’re not sure if there’s a concrete definition for balance, but we know that a huge part of it is self-love. We know that it involves honoring yourself as you take on that long list of To-Dos…or To-Don’ts. Because really, we shouldn’t be cultivating our twerk instead of writing that three-page response paper due in four hours—or should we? But, seriously—honor yourself in everything that you do. That means getting to know yourself, recognizing and voicing your limits, and knowing when to say no and when to say yes.

As a way to illustrate how we achieve and try to maintain balance, we’ve decided to share stories from our lives during graduate school, which basically never stops happening until it stops happening. Let us explain:

Aisha – Learning to Balance Graduate School and the Rest of My Life

I have to admit that learning to balance surviving graduate school with the rest of my life has been very difficult. At times I have felt completely overwhelmed – trapped “between a rock and a hard place” – by things like my homework, research, community involvement; and being a daughter, sister, friend, colleague, and girlfriend (whew, even that list was exhausting).  I think that this year in particular my feelings of being overwhelmed have come to a head as I have really begun to feel like a fish out of water in this graduate school environment. I often find myself needing to sit down and regroup. When I do make the time to do this, I reflect upon a few lessons I have picked up along the way – and these things help to ground me.

1. Learn to Say No

One of the most useful lessons in balance that I have learned is to say no. As cliché as this sounds, for a person like me who can tend toward people-pleasing, it is very difficult to say no to tasks, especially ones I would enjoy if I wasn’t busy with other things.  Often I would find myself looking at my calendar for the coming week and wondering how I committed to so many activities. I would push myself through that overbooked week, skipping out on sleep and self-care, and would end up regretting doing things that normally would have made me feel pretty good. Once I finally came to terms with the fact that this is what I was doing, I resolved (with some help from a trusted mentor) to just start saying no. As much as I want to be able to do everything and to help everyone, I have had to come to terms with the fact that this is not a real thing. I’ve had to learn self-preservation above all else. Don’t get me wrong though, saying no to people can be hard – but people who care about you will understand.

2. Celebrate Your Small Victories

Another lesson I’ve learned is the importance of celebrating small victories. Almost nothing I do in graduate school is something that can be started and completed in an hour, and that sometimes makes me feel completely unproductive. What I have begun to do is make my goals on my to-do list smaller. I’ve broken down bigger tasks into smaller tasks so that when the smaller tasks are finished I can celebrate them. This completely solved my issue of feeling unproductive. That in itself has been a huge victory for me.

Simone – Honoring How You Feel to Achieve the Balance You Deserve

Balancing is so damn hard to do sometimes, y’all. Often, I have to tell myself, “Simone, do not work on that assignment until you sit down for a bit. And yes, drink that glass of wine later.” As Aisha pointed out, graduate school can be exhausting and rewarding all at the same time. I used to think that a successful day in graduate school was all about quantity. However, between last semester and writing my intentions for the New Year, I discovered that a successful day is actually about improving your quality of life. It means that I do what I can without compromising or hurting myself. And of course, if I slip up and drink that glass of wine before noon, I know that I always have tomorrow. I think that honoring yourself is a beautiful process that will help you achieve the balance you deserve.

1. Establish a Daily Routine

Not too long ago, I used to sleep until I had only an hour and a half to be on campus. Sometimes, that meant skipping breakfast to get some extra sleep. Consequently, my energy levels were low and I had to force myself to check items off my To-Do list. That type of life became too tough for me to handle, so I decided to make some changes. Now, I give myself enough time to shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, exercise, and do some personal reading and writing/prayer. This morning routine really helps me enjoy my day. I feel happy about going to school and work. I also feel energized all day long! Except today—I need a nap.

But, speaking of all day long, I often find that I have a lot of tasks and a bunch of deadlines. Just like you all, my friends want to drink wine all the time and my students want me to give them a detailed list of what they missed in class this morning, but, um, no. Similar to Aisha, for the sake of self-preservation, I’ve learned to say no to things I don’t want to do. And, I say it unapologetically.

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You do not have to apologize or provide a reason for not doing something. Your time is your time, and you should be careful with it. Spend it doing things that you love and spend it in a way that will help you love and live life to the fullest!

2. Commit to Healthier Lifestyle Choices

In addition to prioritizing my time, I’ve learned to create a healthy lifestyle. For me, this means making sure that my personal life is in check. A few weeks ago, I fainted at the gym because I did not have enough water that morning. I learned my lesson as soon as I hit that floor! Eating/drinking well and enough has become really important to my life over the last few years. Eating/drinking well and enough not only keeps me on my feet in the weight room; this personal task helps me become the best Simone. You can bet that I have water and snacks with me at all times now!

3. Practice Gratitude

Lastly, Aisha mentioned the importance of celebrating small victories. I, too, have learned to tell myself, “Great job, girl!” I find that this pushes me to complete more tasks. Oh, after that nap, of course! I like celebrating my achievements, so I balance my life in a way that allows me to achieve the things I want and need at my own pace. I break my To-Do list into chunks so that I feel a lot more productive. Additionally, at night I thank the Creator for everything that I did and everything I didn’t do, and I journal about what made me feel good. Knowing that there are things to be thankful for and that I can feel good everyday motivates me to maintain balance. I think that it is the key to feeling and doing your best.

So, now that we’ve given you the scoop on how we twerk this high up, let us know what you do to achieve and maintain balance. What does a healthy/happy and productive day look like for you?

In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions and intentions, we want to invite you on our journey toward balance and self-love. To begin, try creating a new routine. Make a list of your limits and create boundaries. If you don’t want to talk about work at home, honor that. If you feel like you need some time to diddle your skittle or spend some time with your significant other, “Go ‘head, girl!” You’re the timekeeper.

Again, let us know how you’re performing that great balancing act! We’d love for you to share your secrets for staying grounded and getting to happy!

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About the Contributing Writers:

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Simone Savannah is an English instructor and contributing writer for the Project on the History of Black Writing at the University of Kansas. She is currently pursuing a PhD in English-Creative Writing and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. Her poetry is based on personal experiences she can’t let go—imagined or otherwise. Simone also enjoys making green smoothies, attending Bikram Yoga classes, and laughing uncontrollably. Simone is teaming with Aisha (read about her below) to bring you a unique take on Life + Style.

 

aisha_reflectAisha Upton is a second-year PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh, studying Sociology and Women’s Studies. Her research interests include Black women in service organizations and violence against Black women. She is passionate about many things including community service, lipstick, baking, thrifting, knitting, and being a proud owner of a Cockapoo, Napoleon. At the intersection of being a diligent student, a fashionista, and an activist – you will find Aisha, attempting to find a balance.  Be sure to read Aisha + Simone’s unique take on Life + Style and the importance of letting who you are shine through when defining your personal style.


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The Balancing Act: 7 Tips for Creating the “Me-Time” You Deserve

balancing_act[KaNeeshaOCT]Like hunger or thirst, the instinct for balance is built into the human body.” These words spoken by Deepak Chopra express the very essence of what I strive to manifest each day.

Establishing and maintaining a balanced lifestyle is an extremely prevalent theme in my life and should be in all our lives if we choose to commit to honoring its significance.

As mothers we often get so overwhelmed with responsibilities and expectations involving external variables that we tend to neglect the single most important factor of the equation – ourselves. We forget that our identities are not solely mom, career woman, spouse/partner, daughter, life coach, problem solver, love maker, cook, house cleaner, and a slew of other titles that come with specific expectations.

Truthfully speaking, women take on these identities and try to live up to the expectations associated with them because we start believing that we’re supposed to be Superwoman, that our DNA is a mixture of extraterrestrial-Zena-Warrior-Princess-medicine-woman-big-sister-Almighty-Goddess-with-super-duper-unbreakable-strength. We also buy into the notion, “If I want anything, and I mean anything done right, I HAVE to do it myself!”  Whelp, my dear sistas, I have breaking news for all of you. While, I too, truly believe that I embody many (if not all) of the aforementioned extraordinary out-of-this-world powers, I equally have to recognize that each day that Father Sun graces me with his presence, I’m human. I have feelings. I’m imperfect. I make mistakes. I fuss at my children. I get too tired to express intimacy towards my significant other. I sometimes burn the chicken for dinner.  And dang on it, “I should’ve worn flats instead of these four-inch heels to work, knowing good and well I’d be standing up most of the day! Now my feet are killing me, and I’m giving everybody the look of death each time I see another hand go up to ask a question or voice a concern.”

So, the million-dollar question is, how and when can I get some time for me, ALL by myself with absolutely NO interruptions? Well, I’ve learned the billion-dollar answer. Are you sitting down? Fully tuned in? Got your smartphone on silent? Waaaait for it. We have to TAKE the time.

It’s that simple. I know. I know. You were anticipating something a lot more complex and profound. But it’s really that simple. Taking the time to fully nurture, nourish, balance, and heal ourselves each day, of every week, of every month is absolutely imperative to our womanhood. We commit so much of our time to and expend so much of our energy on those around us – family, friends, careers, etc – but how often do we make ourselves the number one priority? How often do others make us the number one priority? That’s an “ah-ha moment” (said in my best Oprah voice). The light bulb comes on.

Striking a Balance, Concocting a Goddess’s Brew

KaNeesha[meditation]Mothers, I challenge you to embark on a journey with me to explore the essential ingredients necessary for concocting the sweetest, tastiest, healthiest, soul shaking, lip smacking, energizing, regenerating, spirit filled Goddess Brew of what I like to call, Me-Time. Since all of us are unique, and have our own desires and needs, each Goddess Brew of Me-Time will consist of different ingredients, and that is totally fine. What works for me may not resonate with someone else, but the idea is to take the time. I repeat. Take the time you need to be with yourself while doing, thinking, acting, and feeling exactly what you want, when you want, how you want with no judgment – no judgment from others, and especially no judgment from you. This is your time to convene with the Goddess within, to reclaim your identity, and to unpack and sort through unnecessary baggage while loving and healing you. My Goddess Brew is a blended mixture of the following:

  • 10 to 30-minute morning meditations and/or visualizations
  • Prayers of gratitude
  • Vinyasa and/or Bikram Yoga at least 3 times per week
  • Dining at my favorite restaurants; either Thai or Eastern Indian cuisines
  • Consignment/thrift shopping
  • Creating my own facials with natural ingredients like avocado, honey, and Greek yogurt
  • Jogging
  • Reading
  • Journaling
  • Cutting my hair
  • Dream charting

These are all major activities that keep me in alignment with the divine energy within. However, my daily and weekly must-haves are morning meditations/visualizations, gratitude prayers, yoga, reading, and newly added to my list, dream charting. By making very intentional efforts to engage in each of these, I’m allowed to unabashedly honor, love, and dote on myself. I’m reminded of the beauty that exists within, without, above, and below. I’m able to see through and own all of my imperfections and insecurities. I’m open to be completely and utterly vulnerable with myself and God. As a result, I’m learning to wholly understand myself, my emotions, my gifts, my limitations, my place in the world, and ultimately the true connection I share with other entities – especially the people I spend time with and the things I expend energy towards.

So, you’re probably wondering, WHEN do I take time to do these activities? Great question! Here’s what I do, and I’ve added a few suggestions for you, too:

  1. Make the initial commitment to whip up a batch of Goddess Brew; Me-Time. Your mind, body, and soul may be shocked at first, as your ingredients may appear to be foreign substances. But, after a few more sips each day, your body will get used to the transition, happily comply, and become so very thankful. Trust me!
  2. I wake up 30 minutes earlier than anyone in my home. This time is very quiet and peaceful. The sun may be dawning and nature begins to sing her morning hymns. I can pray and meditate in front of my window that faces east while basking in the sun’s rays.
  3. I create a structured weekly routine that consists of a set bedtime for my boys. At 8:30 PM, its lights out! Yes, even for my  11 year-old. Moms, be mindful that your growing children between the ages of one to 13 require minimally nine to 12 hours of sleep at night. Even if they’re not actually falling asleep at 8:30 PM, at least their minds and bodies are peacefully resting until R.E.M. is in full effect. This allows time for me to catch up on my reading and possibly get a quick 20-minute Vinyasa yoga session in with Gaiam TV.
  4. Develop a schedule at least two months in advance for your Me-Time with the disclaimer, “non-negotiable.” Unless something earth-shattering happens, commit to your schedule, and others will too.
  5. Say NO! And mean it! You truly don’t have to be everywhere, doing everything, ALL the time.
  6. I’m more transparent and authentic in my communication about what I need and how I am feeling. If I’m too tired to cook, we order takeout. If I get frustrated at my children or significant other, I attempt to calmly communicate that and go into a different room or outside until I calm down. If I truly don’t feel like going to work, I contact my supervisor and tell her I won’t be in the office.
  7. If ever in need of a reminder, refer to numbers 1, 4, and 5. Especially 5!

 

I hope these suggestions provide a strong foundation for beginning or rebooting your journey to establishing and maintaining a healthy balanced lifestyle.  Before we finish, let’s do a couple of quick exercises.

Managing Your Stress, Practicing Deep Breathing

meditation_book[KaNeesha]Sit still for a moment and pay attention to your breath. Not recognizing how it smells (although that’s important too) but more specifically, assess the depth or lack thereof of your inhalation and exhalation.

Notice if your breaths are short and shallow or long and deep. Does your breathing flow freely or is it restricted? Does the capacity in which you breathe expand down to your abdomen or does it start and stop at your throat?

Now, try to recall during stressful and challenging times whether you’re even aware of your breathing patterns at all.

The answers to these questions can paint a very vivid picture about your overall health, how you manage your stress levels, and if the seven major centers (known as chakras) in your body are functioning at their highest potential.

I won’t delve extensively into the various spiritual and metaphysical practices that focus primarily on unblocking and balancing the chakras and other energy points in the body, but there is a plethora of resources available and books written by amazing healing practitioners/authors on this subject.

I would, however, like to challenge moms to take the time to participate in the following breathing exercise for managing stress, at least four mornings out of each week. This exercise is from one of my favorite websites: MindBodyGreen.

  1. Sit up straight in a chair.
  2. Place the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth. Keep it there through the entire breathing process.
  3. Breathe in silently through your nose to the slow count of 4.
  4. Hold your breath to the count of 7.
  5. Exhale through your mouth to the count of 8, making a slight audible sound.
  6. Repeat the 4-7-8 cycle another three times, for a total of four breathing exercises.

 

If you’d like to learn more about these breathing exercises, read MindBodyGreen’s full article, How to Manage Stress in 76 Seconds.

Moms, what will be your Goddess Brew for creating Me-Time? We want to know what ingredients you’ll mix into your daily self-care routine! Remember, you deserve it.

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About the Contributing Writer:

Kaneesha_bio_pic[shine]W. KaNeesha Allen is the Motherhood Empowerment contributor for the Phoenix Rising Collective. She is an educator with extensive project management, student support services, and community outreach experience in K-12 and higher education institutions.  She is also the mother of two extremely rambunctious and fun loving boys – Ausar and Mikah. Seeking to master the balance between being a highly engaged mother and taking time to BE with herself in the divine energy of the universe, KaNeesha finds peace, solace, and regeneration through meditation, Vinyasa yoga, and her “Sistah Circle”. She welcomes mothers from everywhere to join her on a journey of self-discovery and evolution towards harnessing, embodying, and emoting the Goddess power within.