The Phoenix Rising Collective

Inspiring Women to be Self-Love in Action


Worst Love Yourself First! Friday Ever – A Reflection


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

This week’s Phoenix is Tracey:


Tracey, LYFF Feature

As I pondered my self-love routine, so I could write something enlightening about my journey of self-discovery and how it’s manifested in productive, healthy routines that nurture me, I had a disturbing revelation: I have nothing to contribute here. I don’t do self-love. I don’t meditate. My prayer life is spotty. I eat crap. I don’t write regularly. I don’t get lost in books. I rarely exercise. I don’t get my hair and nails done. I’ve had like three massages in my life, and I judge myself harshly.

I racked my brain; I really did.  As I read others’ entries about difficult but beautiful journeys to self-love, I thought, I know…I’ll spin it. I will take some moment of joy in my life and spin it into my self-love story. I can do that. I’ll sit down and ala “And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street” I’ll exaggerate a story so fantastic that I will seem like the most self-aware, evolved, self-loving human on earth. I will spin a tale of complete, balanced self-love, and if I was really careful, I might even believe my tale enough not to feel so harried and distracted and self-negligent.

And then, I realized, that if I say, there are things that I need to do in the name of self-love, but I don’t do them in the name of “getting things done” that I may turn a corner. If I stop pretending to be content and start seeking peace, and if I decide that today, not tomorrow, I will ignore the messy bathroom and write down what I need to do to nurture myself, I may just get there.

This is my hurdle. I don’t do self-love. I do self-judgment.  I haven’t come to grips with the fact that what I “should” do and what I need to do and what I want to do are, on occasion, the same thing. That to sit with a cup of tea for 30 minutes everyday and read something that I enjoy, not because it’s about parenting or losing weight or some non-profit, but because I love to read and reading feeds my soul is something I should and need and want to do. That to quietly meditate for 10 minutes everyday just to be quiet and listen to God, is revolutionary in my life.

After all this consideration, I discovered something important. If I spent time loving myself dearly, I would not be able to judge myself harshly. So, I will love myself dearly, fully, happily. And one year from now, I will revisit my self-love journey and I’ll actually have something to contribute.


Thank you, Tracey, for your honesty; it is most definitely a powerful contribution. We look forward to one year from now. You are a brave Phoenix rising.

How  many of you can relate to Tracey’s story? What commitment will you make (even a small act) to be self-love in action? Share in the comments.

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

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

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4 Affirmations You Need to Know and Lessons to Learn from Octavia Butler

Affirmations to Know[The PRC]

Take a deep breath. Exhale. It’s the start of a new week! Don’t judge what you’ve done thus far or what you have to do. Just express gratitude, and keep in mind that your thoughts and words are shaping your reality. Celebrate your progress and believe that where you are now is not where you’ll always be. Affirm it and keep moving forward.

I was reminded of just how powerful we are when it comes to manifesting the lives we want to have after reading the Huntington Library’s blog post Celebrating Octavia Butler. “The Huntington became the recipient of her papers, which arrived in 2008 in two four-drawer file cabinets and about 35 large cartons. Butler’s papers required intense processing over the next three years. “She kept nearly everything, from her very first short stories, written at the age of 12, to book contracts and programs from speaking engagements,” says Natalie Russell, assistant curator of literary manuscripts at The Huntington.”

You know what else was among those four-drawer file cabinets and cartons? Affirmations – Octavia’s hand written notes of encouragement to herself! The library found these empowering words below that the literary legend wrote on the inside cover of her notebook in 1988:


Octavia E. Butler papers, The Huntington Library

I have always loved Octavia Butler’s books. In fact, I was hooked after my first time reading Kindred in a women’s studies class many years ago, but after seeing this notebook and reading her process for self-motivation and actualization I am even more captivated by her talent and belief in herself.

This is a lesson to all of us from someone who understood how sacred words are, particularly the words we speak to ourselves; it is a lesson from a courageously powerful woman who used that knowledge to diligently shape her own experiences. May we all be empowered by Octavia’s bravery, and…

  1. Align our thoughts, words, and actions to manifest experiences that serve our highest good.
  2. Recognize the clues that tell us we’re on track.
  3. Keep and store all tangible evidence that affirms we’re on track!
  4. Create personal affirmations that support surrendering to the process and celebrate our progress.
  5. Believe in our dreams, goals, and desires, realizing the support we’re seeking to fulfill them starts with us.

Challenge: This week start your day reciting at least one of the four affirmations posted here or write your own. Select or create one that genuinely applies to you right now and make it your focus. Be conscious of your thoughts and actions throughout the day, ensuring they are in alignment. At the end of the day journal about your awareness, shifts in perception, and any tangible evidence that supports what you’re doing.

For more on how your thoughts and words impact your life check out 15 Affirmations to Inspire the Daily Practice of Self-Love.

Ayanna_Prof_Headshot[Mktg_Phoenix2]Ayanna Jordan is founder, workshop leader, and personal empowerment coach for The Phoenix Rising Collective. She develops and facilitates women-centered workshops on how putting self-love into action can transform your life. Ayanna also creates coaching and training that supports women’s professional growth in leadership, entrepreneurship, and passion-filled work. As editor-in-chief of Phoenix Shine, she is happy to be working with contributing writers to provide resources and awareness on topics that cultivate self-love and acceptance. Right now, she is most inspired by the LYFF series and She Makes It Beautiful. You can learn more about Ayanna HERE.

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