The Phoenix Rising Collective

Inspiring Women to be Self-Love in Action

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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!

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SELF-LOVE TIP OF THE DAY: Be Your Biggest Supporter!

Why are you concerned about what other people think? What do YOU think? This is what’s important, especially when it comes to your own dreams, goals, or desires; it’s you who has to believe in them more than anyone else. You have to support them before anyone else will. Invest the time and energy (often spent worrying about what others will think or how they will react to what you want) on constructing a plan of action for that project you’ve been putting off; that book you want to write; that business you want to build; that promotion you want to ask for; that big trip you want to take. The support you’re seeking starts with you; the rest is a direct reflection of where you’re choosing to focus. Have your own back! And then, watch what happens; you will be aligned with like-minded people, directed to positive opportunities, and placed in empowering situations that support the awesome vision you have for your life.


what other people think quote[ThePRC]2

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Affirmation of the Day: Financial Prosperity

AFFIRMATION OF THE DAY: Financial Prosperity

A consistent and steady stream of income flows to me in expected and unexpected ways, and satisfies my needs and wants. I am open to and grateful for financial prosperity.

Breathe. Happy Friday.



Happy 2014 from The PRC: What’s Your Word for the Year?

We are very excited about the new year because we’ve got a lot more inspiring articles, programs, and series in store for you. Our word, our theme for 2014 is BALANCE. Women are responsible for and juggle a multitude of things with our families, careers, communities, and of course, ourselves. So, the question becomes, “How do we create balance so that we are happy and healthy?”

Our goal is to tackle this topic with care so that we empower women to intentionally make balance a part of the daily routine. Our contributing writers will share their experiences on aspects of maintaining balance, as well as provide some insight on what to do when things are totally out of alignment and we need to come “back to the middle,” as India Arie so beautifully sings.

What is your word for 2014? What area of your life are you consciously making an effort to strengthen? What are you giving your full attention for positive self-growth? Patience? Focus? Health? Love? Happiness? Whatever your word is this year, make The PRC a space for getting the support, encouragement, and of course, inspiration, you need to keep moving forward throughout the journey.

Lastly, did you notice our new look? This is our way of starting fresh, thanking the awesome women who’ve participated in bringing our mission to life, and showing our supporters that The Phoenix Rising Collective represents real women doing extraordinary things!

Let’s continue being self-love in action. Happy 2014.


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Self-Love Tip for the Holidays: Release All Expectation

I let go and the universe lovingly takes care of me. -Ayanna M. Jordan

During this time of the year many of us start putting unrealistic expectations on ourselves and the ones we love. Getting stuck on what we THINK our holidays should look like will rob us of the beautiful, meaningful moments that ARE happening.

Let’s give ourselves and our family and friends a break by letting go of “would have, should have, and could have.” Instead, recognize and concentrate on what IS bringing joy, and put more energy into that. Take a deep breath and release all expectation. Enjoy the season.

Happy Holidays! Be Self-Love in Action.

tumblr_m3fli10BFl1qbi118o1_500Photo: Sun Kissed – Sabriya Simon Photography


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Self-Love Tip of the Day: Set Intentional Goals for Your Life

SELF-LOVE TIP OF THE DAY: Set Intentional Goals for Your Life

Goals give us direction. They put a powerful force into play on a universal, conscious, and subconscious level. Goals give our life direction…the new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals. -Melody Beattie

How are you preparing for 2014? Have you written your goals for the new year? What about creating a vision board? Writing and visualizing what you want is an important part of intentional living – healthy steps toward creating the happiness you desire! Make time for positive practices that help manifest the experiences you deserve to have.


EXTRA TIP: Plan a Vision Board Brunch. Invite your closest sister-friend(s), one or two, over for a good meal. Pull out the old magazines and get creative! Share your thoughts about what you want for 2014 and commit to supporting one another throughout the year.

Happy Tuesday. Be self-love in action!

Want more on goal-setting and making positive change? Read this article from Simone and Aisha, our Life + Style contributors.