The Phoenix Rising Collective

Inspiring Women to be Self-Love in Action


AFFIRMATION OF THE DAY: Notice Great Things!


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

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

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

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

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


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Are You Aware of Your Breathing?

The Phoenix Rising Collective

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

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

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

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

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



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

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The Phoenix Book of the Week: Retrain Your Anxious Brain by John Tsilimparis


Our Phoenix Book of the Week comes from Simone:

Retrain Your Anxious Brain by John Tsilimparis

51E8gNgeB5L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_In addition to meeting with my therapist bi-weekly, I love reading John Tsilimparis’ Retrain Your Anxious Brain to help conquer the anxiety. I was catching up on my HeyFranHey when I came across her post recommending it. The book offers practical and effective tools to create a path toward more positive thinking as well as changing responses to anxiety triggers. What I really enjoy about his book is the way in which it encourages readers to dig deep into and take charge of their lives. It has helped me understand and make a distinction between stress and anxiety. Additionally, it helps me identify or break down negative thinking patterns, and assists in turning negative thoughts into life-affirming and spirit-affirming thoughts.

Retrain Your Anxious Brain is a powerful spiritual guide because it inspires personal growth in all aspects of my life. It reminds me that I have the power to control my reality and reduce anxiety. It teaches me that I don’t have to battle anxiety; that instead, I need to let go of having control. It is surrendering, not fighting, that must take place.

What I am most excited about getting to (I haven’t finished the book just yet and will likely reread it) are the sections on building responsibility and creating a daily accountability plan! The plan focuses on creating a morning ritual or adding to the one you already have. The plan helps you avoid triggers like boredom, and helps you fill your day with activities or chores such as making your bed each morning or meeting a friend for tea.

Retrain Your Anxious Brain helps me work from spirit rather than ego and guides me in manifesting spiritual alignment. I have noticed that I judge myself less and am more interested in thanking the Creator for my journey and the process. It reminds me that I am spirit, and I am powerful. I have been able to create more balance, and a more positive personal belief system/outlook on life and reality.

I recommend Retrain Your Anxious Brain to anyone who is looking to create a life of gratitude, love, and balance.


Hey, Phoenix! Have you read this book? If so, tell us, in the comment section below, how it has created more balance in your life and supported your personal growth.


About The Phoenix Book of the Week:

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

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

Read more of our book picks here.

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


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 courageous Phoenix is DeDe:

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

Loving myself first means – putting myself first and being okay with it.  I have always valued my self-worth and put effort into keeping my mind fed with spiritual and positive affirmations and pampering myself at home/spa, etc.  I always knew God made me unique, and I’ve embraced my blessings.  The blessings I was foolish not to embrace in my younger years, I’ve learned to smother with a huge Bear-Hug today!  I love me, and that is why I’m always striving to have a center of peace, happiness, and love overflowing from my being.


DeDe, LYFF Phoenix Feature, “I’m learning to live for what makes ME happy.”

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

Unplugging from the “in thing” to do helps me center my mind and spirit.

Give me a great novel, tea, and quiet time to myself – just me, my thoughts, and positive affirmations or soft music – and I come out of this peaceful place freshly revived! Reading also allows me to get lost in an adventure while blocking out life’s distractions (work, social media, errands, etc.).

Exercise rejuvenates me, too, in so many ways; and it’s one of my biggest stress relievers. Dancing is self-expression and makes me feel free.

Spending time with positive women also makes me feel alive!

Having a church home helps me start the week in touch with my faith and provides spiritual rejuvenation.  It’s also my check-and-balance for the life I want to live, along with daily morning and evening prayer to center and nourish my mind, body, and soul.

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

An obstacle I overcame was learning to say no to things or people that do not enhance my life.  I’m learning to live for what makes ME happy.  I learned by going through a divorce how to make better choices for the right reasons.  It was a difficult decision, but because of the experience it strengthened my friendship with my ex-husband and gave me deeper understanding to ask the following questions: (1) What would I do if fear wasn’t a factor? (2)What is the lesson in this experience?

What have you learned from self-love? 

In the words of the late, but great Whitney Houston  I’ve learned “…Learning to love yourself is the GREATEST love of all.”


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


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

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

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

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Healthy Ways to Indulge Your Spirit

Healthy Ways to Indulge Your Spirit[the phoenix rising collective]

A friend recently told me that we must celebrate ourselves. Sometimes celebrating oneself means indulging into an abyss of unadulterated joy. Simply put, doing something that makes you giddy…makes you laugh…makes you feel warm inside. Think about it. After you’ve worked your fingers to the bone all week, supported family and friends through some act of giving, and/or volunteered your services to the community, you just might want to ask yourself, “How can I give to myself to rejuvenate?” Some people call it self-care. I call it art-care because as an artist, I like to feed the artistic soul by many means necessary – not “any means” but “many means.”


Flint Farmers’ Market – Flint, MI

So I decided this past August/early September to indulge in Flint’s greatness – The Flint Farmers’ Market, located at 300 E. First Street. Flint, Michigan – the place to which I have returned after gallivanting across seas to hang out in the Tuscan hills and then hit four different hearths along the east coast (New York, Delaware, North Carolina, and Florida) because that’s where family resides. You know the phrase: home is where the heart is? Well, I have returned to my home to continue the work I have been called to do, and it was amazing to experience a newness in this town. I saw local grocers, communities-within-the-community, people hugging, lunching, and scurrying back to work after listening to live music at the market that reopened in the new downtown location this past summer. I was amazed by the colors that surrounded me. No, I am not talking about race. I am talking about how colorful, tangible and rich the environment was – filled with Flint folk/Flintstones/Flint community. FLINT!

I have been working in Flint for roughly 10 years (not counting the overseas disappearing act I pulled this past year). I lived in the suburbs when I first moved to Michigan and specifically decided to work in Flint. As time progressed I found myself moving closer and closer to the city that many have fled, according to various articles and statistics. Funny enough, there is a haven in this urban space. I call it a spirit that layers the surface of these infamous Saginaw Street bricks. Each day there is a sort of artistic hopefulness that keeps me thriving and seeking, and (Aha!) self-indulging in ways that I probably would not have considered a few years ago. So in fact, this article is about finding out how you can self-indulge in your environment – big or small. Even when people say, “There is nothing to do here.” Au contraire!

I offer 5 tips on self- indulging in your environment, no matter how quaint or desolate the place in which you live.

  1. Research what’s unique in your hometown and explore. It’s your adventure, so find something that speaks to your heart. It might even spark a little hometown pride. You might want to be a part of a committee that is putting on a parade, festival or community event. If that’s too much, simply go and be a spectator.
  2. Do something you’ve never done but have always wanted to do like volunteering, zip-lining, dancing, drawing,  gardening. The list is endless. It can’t hurt, right? Stepping out of your comfort zone can be scary but once you’ve done it there is a sort of self-indulging/self-confidence boost that rears its head.
  3. Self-indulging does not have to mean ‘leave your place of residence.’ It may simply be staying indoors and resting the mind by taking a nice long nap; reading a book strictly for pleasure; watching Netflix with a big bowl of popcorn you popped in the old-school popcorn popper – yes, some of us don’t use the microwave for everything.
  4. How about a personal project you’ve been wanting or needing to finish? Maybe you want to continue your musical lessons or learn a 2nd language or learn to knit a scarf. If you don’t want to leave your home and you have Internet, a smartphone or computer, you can search for a tutorial on Youtube. It’s FREE!
  5. Do something in a group or with another person. It doesn’t have to be grand; an example is culinary arts. OK, you might not have a passion for cooking, but if you have a passion for eating, then this might urge you to create something befitting to you and your group’s taste buds. Make it a project. You can have lots of fun when grocery shopping with the right group and then creating a meal with people you absolutely enjoy.

self_indulgence_farmersmarket[the phoenix rising collective]

I only offered a few tips, but in fact there are a number of things you can do for self-indulgence! For me, I grabbed my camera many-a-days this past August and headed to the Flint Farmers’ Market to be among color (photos above) instead of staying in my very earth tone home that could use a splash or two of RGB (red green blue – chemistry 101). My final point is sometimes we complain about our environments, and we do not take those extra measures to find the treasure that lies beneath our feet. But indeed the treasure is there waiting for us to expose its beauty.



About the Contributing Writer:

traci_currie[contributor]the phoenix rising collectiveTraci Currie is The Phoenix Rising Collective’s Art + Creativity contributor. She is a Communication and Visual Arts lecturer at University of Michigan-Flint, as well as a knit-crochet artist, writer, and spoken word performer. She has been a part of the art world for over 15 years as an art gallery board member; spoken word series organizer; performer, nationally and internationally; and published poet. She believes The PRC will help young women reach their highest potential.  “This organization is about empowering women to take ownership of their lives, claim their identities and be the positive change they wish to see in the world they live.” Read her latest posts.


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

Create Your Experiences[affirmation]the phoenix rising collective

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