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Inspiring Women to be Self-Love in Action


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ARTIST FEATURE: Dancing as a Healer – An Interview with Emma Davis

Dance_as_Healing[The Phoenix Rising Collective]

Emma is daring. Emma is different. Emma is a dancer. Emma Emma Emma.

That is how I feel when I see her in motion. I feel like playing that one song you really like because of the rhythm or beat. When you want to dance, you hit play. When you want to feel, you hit play. When you want to be in the moment, you hit play.

I am purposely repetitious because the feature artist, Emma Davis, brings that sort of spirit to her environment. She brings a consistent hardworking ethic to this art form. She believes in offering up dance as a gift to the world. And what a gift it is – to dance over and over again until everyone dances with you. I have had the pleasure of watching young women dance with Emma in the Flint detention center. They watch how she and the music become one. In her dance workshop at the center, she is a facilitator and instructor. More importantly, though, she is an inspiration to the young women.

Emma explained that when she began community college roughly a decade ago she had no idea what she wanted to do. A year and a half later she transferred out and attended the school where her mother was pursuing her nursing degree – University of Michigan-Flint. Emma majored in English and Journalism and minored in Dance. At the time, dance was just a hobby, although she had been dancing since childhood. She started a student dance organization at the university. The dance troupe encompassed all styles of dancing. In her senior year she choreographed a show that was student-focused. Soon after, a friend who had been dancing for fewer years inspired her to pursue dance more seriously and professionally. She helped Emma realize her own potential.

I asked her, “What does dance do for you?” Her response was encompassing, “What is a world without dance? Dance is about relationships – the relationships you have with other people. Dance is that thing you can do without having anything to say. Dance speaks.”

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Photo Credit: White Butterfly Studio

She explained that dance was a constant in her life, especially during rough times when watching her parents’ relationship. “My parents didn’t like each other.” They divorced when she was young and moved to different Michigan cities. While living between two homes, dance became her comfort. It carried her throughout primary and secondary school. She was considered an outcast. She talked about not fitting in and being discriminated against for being an artist, but this didn’t stop her from doing what she loved. She said, “Dance was my form of acceptance.”

Emma dreams of pursuing a Ph.D. in Performance Studies one day. She completed her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on American Theatre. Her thesis is on one of her inspirations, Anna Halprin, a pioneer in the postmodern dance movement. She learned about Anna in 2012, the year she created her own dance group called “Flint Dance Collaborative.” This group during the summer of 2012 started performing on the sidewalk during a monthly community event in Flint, Michigan called Art Walk. Again, Emma was giving back to the community by showing people that dance was more than an art form. Her group explored both movement and cultural environment when they performed outdoors. Anna Halprin’s work was just as communal and inviting. Emma explained that this amazing woman of Jewish descent in the 1950s used dance as therapy. When working on her thesis, as well as creating an artistic space in Flint, she applied Anna’s philosophy specifically to the Riverbank Park, located in downtown Flint. At the time during the 1960s and 1970s there were movements to revitalize urban communities, in hopes to increase engagement in the neighborhoods. When I researched Halprin, I understood the link between these two women. Yes, Emma heals others through dance whenever she performs, teaches and simply shares this gift. But most of all, Emma looks within and heals herself through this art form. She is indeed a healer.

Emma is daring. Emma is different. Emma Davis, an inspiring dancer, is her name!

 

The Phoenix Rising Collective’s Artist Feature, curated by Traci Currie, interviews women artists who use their talents and creativity to fully express self-love, build self-esteem, and nurture their own authenticity while inspiring others. Creative expressions may range from performing to painting to writing to travel and everything in between. Our goal is to share how these empowered women cultivate agency, healing, and happiness through fulfilling their passion.


traci_currie[contributor]the phoenix rising collectiveTraci Currie 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 women reach their highest potential.  “The Phoenix Rising Collective 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. You can learn more about Traci’s work in creative arts HERE.


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ARTIST FEATURE: Letting Your Spirit Be Your Guide – An Interview with Dr. Joyce Piert

Artist Feature_Joyce Piert_The Phoenix Rising Collective

 

The Phoenix Rising Collective’s Artist Feature, curated by Traci Currie, interviews women artists who use their talents and creativity to fully express self-love, build self-esteem, and nurture their own authenticity while inspiring others. Creative expressions may range from performing to painting to writing to travel and everything in between. Our goal is to share how these empowered women cultivate agency, healing, and happiness through fulfilling their passion.

This Artist Feature is Dr. Joyce Piert:

Joyce_Piert[The Phoenix Rising Collective]

“As a God-being we are creators. We create the world.” -Dr. Joyce Piert

What a difficult and easy article to write this month. Why? “Because we are of each other’s likeness,” the feature artist said to me. When you sit in the presence of your likeness sometimes you aren’t ready to see or hear a truth about yourself. Her name is Joyce Piert, affectionately known as Dr. P in the community in which she resides. I have spent some time with Dr. P this past summer, and the experience has been extraordinary. I begin by defining her as Limitless. Energetic. Overabundant. Infectious. All-empowering. Encompassing. Divine. Imagine being surrounded by this sort of energy: Pretty powerful!

We begin with age because she says it’s a vulnerable subject for her. She explained, “Society has predetermined that there’s a certain experience you begin to have at different ages.” We are constantly reminded of these expectations that shape our identity. Dr. P continuously destroys these societal expectations. Having been on earth for almost six decades, she has honed in on tackling the spirit of age in the body in which she dwells. “I feel a societal pull that says you should have 50 bottles of medication, concerned about your health, less active when you pass the half-century milestone. There’s all these expectations that aren’t healthy and wholesome, because it’s the downward pull that attempts to speak to me versus the upward mobility that I wish to actually live.” This vibrant woman is of many ages. At one point she mentioned being 35, 18 and 5. She had me recall what those ages were like. There’s a vitality and youthful glow surrounding our existential being. This is attributed to the innocence of our youth. She talked about experiencing a spiritual rebirth. “We tend to separate this spirituality from this creative way of living. But it’s only in spirituality that we can create. As a God-being we are creators. We create the world.” As children, we develop those skills to create. Moreover, the wonderment to creating is limitless in a child’s mind. Have you ever seen a child that wants to touch everything, go everywhere and say as much as possible in whatever language befitting to that child? Yes, that’s Dr. P.

She Shares Her Story: Mapping the Spiritual Evolution

I was in class talking to students and I said, “What is it you are passionate about?” They turned it around by asking me, “What is it Dr. P that you are passionate about?” And I said, “I create masterpieces. My masterpieces are people.” Once I assist people in finding out what they are passionate about then I assist them in that creation so they can create their own masterpieces. She gave an example. She referred to one person being a diamond hidden among rubble. It’s easy to discard gems that don’t look the part from first or second glance, which is why, she explained, it takes a trained-spiritual eye. This instance led to her sharing her journey as an artist-writer, educator, masterpiece creator and so much more.

I grew up in the civil rights era. It was in the 1970s when the Black Muslims opened a school and I taught 2nd and 3rd grade. I was 17 years old. I actually became a Black Muslim at age 12. I was considered the revolutionary in the family. At 14 or 15 I was a squad leader meaning I was a leader over a group of Muslim women. During this time I was being mentored to lead others who were older than I. At 17, I started teaching in our school and two years later I was married. The philosophy I lived by was Black Nationalism. It was being fused into my being daily. In my mid-20s Elijah Muhammad died and a transition occurred. I started to work in a factory and my views began shifting.

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In my 30s I became Christian. I believe this was evolution. I was at a point in my life where I wanted something else and my attachment to Islam was diluted. There was a call in my soul for something, and people started showing up and coming into my life. But I was too radical for the church. For instance, I ended up being put out of two different churches because of my radicalism or energetic spirit. Bottom line, I had a strong spiritual connection through unction. I spoke aloud in the spirit and this made others uncomfortable or at least they felt I was disrespectful. My understanding was that I let my spirit speak. However, the two churches thought it was out-of-order. Interestingly enough, I was asked to come back to the churches – even to teach a class. There was a lot of growth and discomfort in this realization.

As I progressed and developed, my relationship with the Creator strengthened. I learned that the church was not the key to my direct connection to my Higher Power. My church was without walls. So, at this time, I am working at General Motors as an electrician and I recall through prayer I was told to quit my job at GM and return to school. I did and pursued education. During this period, I also had two children in high school. My children had always struggled in a traditional public school, although they were in a two-parent home, middle working class community, with everything being copacetic. Something wasn’t right, though. The other kids around them were struggling as well. I started volunteering at the school. As a volunteer I saw students get D’s and E’s, and I wept, because I was wondering how were they going to get into college with these grades. So I returned to my roots – “self determination.” I knew if this work was going to get done, I had to be the one to step in to help and do it. Also during this time I divorced after 21 years of marriage.

Once I got my bachelors I started a summer program that ran for 5 years. It featured language arts, mathematics, and African American studies. Then I remarried and moved to Shreveport, Louisiana and pursued my masters. These studies focused on charter schools. Soon after I returned to Michigan State University for Education Administration; that’s when a book idea came to me.

So here I am in my Ph.D. at Michigan State. I started to look at identity and who we are as Black people. My research looked at African American experiences in an African American centered based school model. In my research I wanted to find out if it was worth using this model. Over the years the research and application shaped this book I published June 2015: Alchemy of the Soul: An African Centered Education

I asked what present space she is in. She responded: I started this school, I AM Institute for Learning. It wound up being a school focused on consciousness and metaphysics. I had no idea what it would become. I simply listened to spirit. And it became a school that evolved as I evolved. It was reflective of my own spiritual journey. The people around me that joined me in shaping this school were playmates. They were having the same experiences I was. And they all found me. They evolved and are evolving at their own rate. Unlike traditional schools, there is no requirement or grade level, and there is no assessment. Wherever you are is where you are supposed to be.

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I end the way I began; the challenge and ease in writing this article is linked to the question I asked her – “Why do you think we were drawn together?” This question is important, because I do feel like I am in a turning point in my life and it appears Dr. P stepped into my world very intentionally in a head-strong/heart-strong way. She said, “I called you forth and you came as a playmate. You agreed to come and play.” She’s right. I am in that playful phase in life. I have been serious for so long. I followed rules to a tee, even if the rules made no sense for or to me. There’s nothing to regret in my journey, even if there are moments I choose not to revisit. But Dr. P shows me that there really isn’t much to fear except fear itself. And that sort of phobia is frightening – the idea that fear simply shows up and hovers over your thoughts and abilities! She repeatedly says to me, “Stop overthinking. Stop. Stop. Stop. PLAY! Be passionate in your playing. Play and watch the world play with you.” Oh how I love to play in the world of ART. Because when I play I am at the height of my game – Unstoppable. Energetic. Limitless. Overabundant. Divine. It’s time to PLAY BALL!

 


 

About the Contributing Writer:

traci_currie[contributor]the phoenix rising collectiveTraci Currie 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.” Check out more of her posts.

 


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

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

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

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

FullnessWorkshop[EBlast]PRC

 


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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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Love Yourself First! [FLASHBACK] Friday – Today’s Phoenix is Natasha

natasha_LYFF[poster]

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

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

Like so many women, loving myself first has been a challenge. Women, in particular, are socialized to care for and assume responsibility for others in ways that can be detrimental to wholly loving and caring for ourselves. We’re conditioned to be “givers.” This isn’t a bad thing. It’s a wonderful quality but women should also be encouraged to be givers to ourselves as well. At 33 years old, I am finally learning this lesson. I have finally heeded the advice of my husband, mother, and friends. I now take time to nurture myself through writing, performance, and other creative pursuits. I read, meditate, and do yoga. I make the time to regularly get with my close girlfriends (see photo below of Natasha with her Goddess Squad) who provide me with constant encouragement, enlightenment, good food, and laughter. Loving myself first also means treating myself with compassion. So often, I would beat myself up trying to be the perfect mother, wife, career woman, friend, mentor, student, daughter, etc. I’m getting better at saying “I’m doing the best that I can. That’s all that I can do, and it’s enough.” Loving myself means honoring my process and embracing my authenticity. It means knowing that I am abundant and absolutely worthy of giving AND receiving.

Goddess Squad 7-9-2013What actions demonstrate the self-care you provide to your mind, body, and soul? (Exercise, healthy eating, spiritual practice, etc.)

I am very big on meditation, mindfulness, and yoga. I jump between Iyengar, Vinyasa, and Kundalini yoga. I also do strengthening core exercises. I don’t follow any particular diet but I am mindful of what I put in my body,  and I eat in moderation. I love creating a very Zen-like environment in my home. There is lots of natural sunlight.  I like fresh flowers, candles, and art. It’s important to me that my space reflects the beauty of nature. I am heavily influenced by indigenous spiritual practices and am an I-Ching practitioner. I also like to sing, dance, and play with my kids.

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

I am learning the importance of emotional self-sufficiency. It involves honoring my emotions by owning them.  It’s really rooted in the understanding that others are not responsible for my emotional health.  I now understand that having an emotional state that is predicated on other people’s actions is like living your life on shifting sand; you will always live in that unstable and reactionary place. I’ve made a conscious decision to shy away from that kind of co-dependence and to know that authentic happiness comes from my internal source.

What have you learned from self-love?

I’ve learned that self-love is not a destination. It’s an ongoing, lifelong process. There will be an ebb and flow to it. There are so many elements in this world that work very hard to prevent us from fully loving ourselves as we are. So, it’s a constant challenge. There will be days where I won’t be so good at it and that’s okay. It’s really all about the process of constantly growing in ways that require me to keep unveiling and rediscovering myself. _________________________________________ We asked Natasha 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) of the awesome images she chose to share:

  1. Top left – Showing a naturally beautiful representation of happiness
  2. Top right – Sharing her Mala prayer/chanting beads and rice bowl for meditation
  3. Bottom left – Spending time with her son and the participants in her RAISE IT UP! program; Natasha is the co-founder and executive director.
  4. Bottom right – Meditating with her sons

Thank you Natasha for sharing your LYFF story with us. You are a Phoenix rising! Happy Friday. __________________________________________ Love Yourself First! Friday is a bi-weekly self-love series created by The Phoenix Rising Collective. Diverse women tell their stories of triumph, share their personal affirmations, and declare their love for their own 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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It’s Love Yourself First! Friday: This Phoenix is Nakshidil

Love Yourself First Friday[Nakshidil]ThePhoenixRisingCollective

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

This week’s beautiful Phoenix is Nakshidil:

 

Nakshidil_Ocean[ThePhoenixRisingCollective]

Nakshidil on the beach in Mauritius.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What have you learned from self-love?

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

 

Nakshidil’s LYFF Collage:

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 


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What’s Your Love-Yourself-First Story?

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Love Yourself First! Friday (LYFF) shares stories of phenomenal women who fiercely demonstrate self-love in action in order to build and sustain healthy, positive self esteem.

Want to share your self-love story with us? We certainly hope so! You would definitely be among our strong, courageous collective of women, here, who – through their experiences – learned to fully embrace, accept, and love who they are.

Ready to share? Send an email here. Put “My LYFF Story” in the subject line, and we’ll send you follow-up information. Sweet. Short. Simple!

Stories post bi-weekly on Fridays.

And lastly, a big THANK YOU to all our LYFF participants. Your powerful journeys have empowered someone else’s life.

Be self love in action!