The Phoenix Rising Collective

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6 Go-To Tips To Push Past Procrastination

We all procrastinate for one reason or another. Don’t beat yourself up (FYI: refer to #6) instead be mindful: recognize when it is happening, identify why, and find healthy solutions to get out of the rut and back into the creative and productive swing of things.

Here are six proactive go-to’s to support and inspire pushing past the procrastination blues.

Complete projects and to-do lists in increments of time.

Sometimes what keeps you from moving forward with projects or to-do list items associated with a larger goal is the amount of time you THINK has to be dedicated to them, but who says you have to complete everything all at once? You may not have a large chunk of time in your daily schedule; however, there are always increments of time in your day that can be allocated for a portion of what you want to accomplish. Do a time assessment check; figure out when those open moments occur, and then use them wisely. Whether it’s a 30-minute block in the morning or an hour at night before bed, it’s yours. Dive in, and before you know it you’ll be closer to completion.

One of my favorite podcasts is Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert. Episode 202: Make the Brutal into the Beautiful features Brandon Stanton, creator of Humans of New York. He was sharing words of wisdom about making time for what you want to do, and this statement struck a cord: “Take your huge dreams and narrow them down into units that you can control. Take what is expansive and turn it into something more granular.”

Organize/Change your work space.

Organizing your work space can make all the difference. You may be blocked creatively because you haven’t let go of things you no longer need. Organizing and also throwing away what doesn’t serve a purpose anymore not only clears the space but your mind, shifting the energy in a direction that says, “Yes, I’m ready to move forward.” In the words of Marie Kondo in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, “To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.” Make room mentally and physically.

Keep the commitments you make.

Show that your word is your bond. When you do what you say you’ll do, others will know you’re reliable. It establishes trust and positive relationships and collaborations – a great motivator to get out of the “procrastination funk” and can be the gateway to new opportunities for you.

Keep your commitments to yourself to cultivate self-discipline and to avoid self-sabotage. You’ll feel good about your follow-through and be even more inspired to push past putting things off.

Pinpoint and be honest about what’s holding you back.

Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to procrastination. Dig deep, and ask yourself, “Why am I procrastinating?” Don’t suppress the answers that come; in fact, get out your journal and do an exercise I refer to as The Writing Dump: draw a line down the center of a page: On the left list your answers as to why you’re in delay – Is it fear of failure? Not feeling prepared enough? Too far out of your comfort zone? Lack of support/resources? Now on the right of the page, list the reasons why you want to start the project or accomplish the goal you’ve set. Express how it’ll make you feel to complete something you set out to do.

Sometimes, in order to get the ball rolling, all it takes is being honest with yourself. When you’re finished with The Writing Dump create a few affirmations to support taking positive action. To help you get started, take a look at 4 Affirmations You Need to Know and Lessons to Learn from Octavia Butler.

Get an accountability partner.

Find a trusted friend or colleague you can work and communicate with during the week. Do check-ins on your progress. She doesn’t have to be working on the same projects/tasks as you. The main focus is supporting each other through completion of your respective plans of action. Create a designated time and place to meet, and then get to work. There are work space communities designed specifically for these kinds of connections, meetings and collaborations. Take advantage of them. You can’t always do it alone.

Practice self-compassion.

Self-criticism does not “whip you into shape” any faster. In fact, it’s a sure way to propel you further down the rabbit hole of fear, insecurity, anxiety and overwhelm, so refrain from using negative phrases and language when referring to yourself and your situation. Be motivated by self-love not harm. You are not lazy. You are not apathetic. Stick to what is true about who you are, and practice self-compassion. If you just don’t feel like doing it, then lean into that. Step away. Take a breather. You’ll be able to revisit with a fresher perspective. Kristin Neff, author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself says, “When we experience warm and tender feelings toward ourselves, we are altering our bodies as well as our minds. Rather than feeling worried and anxious, we feel calm, content, trusting, and secure. Self-kindness allows us to feel safe as we respond to painful experiences, so that we are no longer operating from a place of fear — and once we let go of insecurity we can pursue our dreams with the confidence needed to actually achieve them.”

 

BONUS: Turn up the volume on your favorite song, and then dance! Let go. Find your motivation through music. Clear the energy with a dance party for one (or two, or three if you want to include your accountability partners). Release some of your anxiety by moving your body. Have fun. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.

Which one of these six go-to tips do you connect with most? Share in the comments. Let’s discuss.

 


Ayanna Jordan is founder of The Phoenix Rising Collective. As principal consultant and leadership development coach, she develops and facilitates dynamic women-centered workshops and programs with a focus on how putting self-love into action can transform your life. She also creates coaching and training that empowers women’s professional growth in authentic leadership, entrepreneurship, and passion-filled work. Her interactive approach inspires action and creates a non-judgmental, sacred space for women to truly explore their personal and professional goals while gaining support and sisterhood from others who’ve also made a commitment to sustaining self-love.

Check out the Collective on Instagram and Facebook.


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

 

Love Yourself First! Friday is baaaack. I am so excited about it, too. Do you know over 50 women have been featured for this self-love series? That’s something to celebrate. When I created it in 2012 I had no idea what would happen or if women would even say yes to being interviewed for something that most certainly requires a great deal of vulnerability. Well, they’ve most certainly responded with a resounding YES, and six years later LYFF is still going strong sharing profound stories from some of the most phenomenal women who unapologetically love themselves and are dedicated to wholeness, happiness, healing and self-care.

About this LYFF Feature: Tiarra is a busy mama and wife who works in communications. She is a writer and contributor for Columbus Moms Blog and The Mom Edit. This Phoenix is a happy spirit who shares her perspective on life, love and family with authenticity, honesty, openness and lots of humor. It’s truly admirable…along with the fact that she does it all with such great style.

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

This year I made a commitment to dedicate time to self care. It’s not in the idea that you might expect though. I love a mani/pedi as much as the next gal, but it’s more than that. I’ve been focused more on getting out of my comfort zone. Whether it’s signing up for personal/professional groups or training, I’m finally making the time for it. I’m an introvert, so I have very little desire to network. Ever. And certainly not after I’ve already put in a full day at work. It seriously scares the heck out of me! But I’m starting to realize that executing on my self-growth goals is just as important and fulfilling as say, a massage, but maybe just in a different way. It’s like a mental weight has been lifted; it frees my mind for other things I really need to think about, not to mention the sense of accomplishment I feel afterward. Even better, I tend to drag someone along with me which has resulted in creating new bonds I wouldn’t have if I didn’t step out of my comfort zone.

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

Writing and exercise have been huge for me lately. There’s always so much swirling around in my head. It’s harder for me to push the thoughts away than it is for me to write. I write professionally, but there’s something about coming home and expressing what I want in my own voice. It’s so powerful. Exercise is the same idea. I could sit around wasting valuable energy procrastinating about working out or I could just do it. I also give myself grace about exercising. I used to have an all-or-nothing attitude: I had to do an insanely intense workout or nothing at all. Well, I’d rarely prioritize the killer workout, so I literally spent years not developing good fitness habits. Now, even if it’s a few pushups or my trusty 7-Minute Workout app, it all counts and makes me feel great. I use apps to track my progress (active hours, steps, weight loss, etc.) and it really helps me stay motivated. When I get off track, I know now that it’s not a deal breaker and that I’m really only one good decision away from getting back on track.

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

It’s mostly just getting out of my own head which is still a daily challenge. My daughter is six, and we have lots of conversations about confidence, celebrating victories, and playing for self-improvement and fun, not just competition. Then, it hit me one day how much I needed the same pep talk. I’ve talked myself out of more opportunities and beat myself up about the most random things. And why? What’s the harm in putting myself out there? I had to get to a point where that question was no longer rhetorical. There’s nothing bad that can come of attending a networking event with girlfriends or like-minded people.

What have you learned from self-love?

Lately I’ve been saying that I’m “jumping big waves” like my kids at the beach. I can’t think of a better way to describe my journey of self-love. They get really excited to go in the ocean, but as soon as they see the waves, they change their minds. Then, my husband or I will go with them; they squeeze our hands while we help them jump (or jump with them). Right on the other side of those big waves are joy, accomplishment, pride and so much more. I’ve jumped a few big waves in the last few months and experienced the full spectrum of emotions that comes with it, but I absolutely plan to keep jumping.

To keep being inspired by Tiarra’s self-love journey, check her out on Instagram.


Ayanna Jordan is founder of The Phoenix Rising Collective and creator of Love Yourself First! Friday. As principal consultant and leadership development trainer and coach, she develops and facilitates dynamic women-centered workshops and programs with a focus on how putting self-love into action can transform your life. She also creates coaching seminars and training that support women’s professional growth in authentic leadership, entrepreneurship, and passion-filled work. Her interactive approach inspires action and creates a non-judgmental, sacred space for women to truly explore their personal and professional goals while gaining support and sisterhood from others who’ve also made a commitment to sustaining self-love.

Join the LYFF tribe! Share your self-love story. Send an email.  Just put “My LYFF Story” in the subject line, and you’ll be contacted by the Phoenix Team with details on how to participate.

Check out the Collective on Instagram and Facebook.


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5 Self-Care Tips for a Positive Morning Wake-Up

Inhale. Exhale. Say thank you. Acknowledge that it’s a new day! Express gratitude for an opportunity to get up and do it all again. It’s a chance to live life better. I don’t always feel like getting out of bed, but I don’t ever hesitate to say, “Thank you for another day.” It’s a simple, yet oh-so powerful two-word prayer.

Stretch/Meditate. Avoid Negativity. Move your body. Do yoga. Dance while getting dressed if you have to, but get the blood flowing. Meditation will help clear your mind so you can make sound, focused decisions. Try shower meditation, too, to visualize washing away the past (that includes yesterday) and setting your intentions. Recite affirmations while feeling the water refresh and renew.

Try not to take in any negative chatter (including the news). Keep your thoughts positive. Take in what will affirm your day. Listen to or read something uplifting and inspirational. I usually start with one of my favorite daily readers: The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo.

Set a pace that reflects peace. Carve out time for a consistent morning routine so you’re not in rush mode. When I don’t give myself time in the morning I feel off kilter, and inevitably I forget something on my way out the door. So, take care of yourself by setting a pace that reflects how you want to be throughout the day.

Eat a healthy breakfast. Your body needs energy and love. Have some fruit, a green smoothie, avocado toast or oatmeal. Drink lemon water for healthy digestion; it’s a great kick-starter. Make breakfast a treat, something you look forward to. Prep the night before so you have time to eat in the morning. Remember, your goal is to set a pace that reflects peace.

Talk to someone you love. It’s an immediate positive mood booster before you head out the door. My best friend and I do a quick check-in call to hold each other accountable for our goals. We also pray together, especially if there’s a challenging experience (presentation, meeting, conversation, etc) we have to face during the week. It definitely helps to know you have support when navigating the highs, lows and everything in between. Like Danielle LaPorte says, “Find your tribe. Love them hard.” And I’ll add…don’t forget to say, “I love you.”

Create a great day. Make it what you want it to be.


Ayanna Jordan is founder of The Phoenix Rising Collective. As principal consultant and leadership development trainer and coach, she develops and facilitates dynamic women-centered workshops with a focus on how putting self-love into action can transform your life. She also creates coaching seminars and training that support women’s professional growth in authentic leadership, entrepreneurship, and passion-filled work. Her interactive approach inspires action and creates a non-judgmental, sacred space for women to truly explore their personal and professional goals while gaining support and sisterhood from others who’ve also made a commitment to sustaining self-love.


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Phoenix Book Pick: An Invitation to Self-Care

 

Here’s my Phoenix Book Pick. It’s An Invitation to Self-Care: Why learning to nurture yourself is the key to the life you’ve always wanted by Tracey Cleantis.

Self-care and self-love are big buzz words right now. I feel like you can’t read anything about wellness and whole living without seeing these two words; one almost always follows the other. Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s a good thing. It means there’s a shift happening, a deeper, more conscious realization that in order to lead fuller and more meaningful lives we HAVE to take better care of ourselves. I mean it’s a significant part of what I share with you every day, and it’s also why I created I Thrive.

The challenge is diving in to understand what it truly means, and moreso HOW to do it — cultivating a level of self-care and love that supports who you are. Let’s be real. It ain’t just candles, wine and spa treatments! In fact, the introduction explores this:

The self-care advice and examples always seemed simplistic and superficial: Keep a journal. Take a yoga class. Light a candle. Lovely ideas. But really, how impactful is that candle in the face of a life filled with the daily ordinary and extraordinary challenges and stresses that we all endure?…Herbal teas, massages, pedicures…and, more recently, memory improvement apps and meditation podcasts — all of these promise to ease our stress, tame our tensions, or widen our bandwidths, but in the long run, they don’t – not really. Used on their own, they’re the equivalent of self-care Band-Aids: they hold us together and treat the pain for now, but they don’t get to the heart of the matter.

An Invitation to Self-Care talks about the myths (basically what self-care isn’t), helps you identify how you might be in your own way (self-sabotage, self-harm, self-hatred), and gives practical tools, tips and principles that support nurturing and loving who you are. It’s worth reading. If this is any indication, I’ve gifted the book twice already!

Happy reading. Be self-love in action.

 

Read this book already? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments or your suggestions on other books for the Phoenix Book Pick.


Ayanna Jordan is founder of The Phoenix Rising Collective. As principal consultant and leadership development trainer and coach, she develops and facilitates dynamic women-centered workshops with a focus on how putting self-love into action can transform your life. She also creates coaching seminars and training that support women’s professional growth in authentic leadership, entrepreneurship, and passion-filled work. Her interactive approach inspires action and creates a non-judgmental, sacred space for women to truly explore their personal and professional goals while gaining support and sisterhood from others who’ve also made a commitment to sustaining self-love.

Join the Collective on Instagram and Facebook.


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

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

I love myself first by working to live my most authentic life. To me, this means being true to who I am and speaking my truth. I started coming out as queer (lesbian) right after I graduated from college. While a lot of my coming out journey has been loving and supportive, there have been definite bumps in the road. I’ve had to continuously remind myself that regardless of other people’s opinion, I am worthy of love, which starts with loving myself first. As I’ve continued to embrace and love all of who I am, my voice has gotten stronger in advocating for myself and for others. Every time I speak up for myself or for others, I feel better about who I am.

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

As the mom of a two year-old, self-care is hard. I need to be more intentional about my own self-care so that I can show up better for my daughter. Actions that demonstrate the self-care I do provide for myself are napping and counseling. One of the best pieces of advice I received when I became a mom was “nap when she naps.” It sounds easy, but when you have a list of things to do and the option to take a nap, there can be guilt when you decide to sleep. For the sake of my self-care, I nap when my daughter naps. I am a better person, and I function better when I have had sleep. Counseling has been important especially over the past two years. In less than 1.5 years I had a lot of changes happen in my life: I got pregnant, had a baby, lost my mom, resigned from a job I loved so I could move back to my home town, and started a new job. With all of these changes, especially the death of my mother six weeks after the birth of my daughter, I needed someone to talk to. I didn’t realize it when I first started, but I was/am definitely battling depression. I know that mental health is something that is often not discussed in the black community, but consistently going to counseling has provided me with good self-care for my mind and my soul.

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

There are two challenges I’ve overcome (and am still overcoming) that continue to lead me to a deeper love for who I am: coming out as a queer black woman and becoming a single queer mom. I love who I’ve become as a queer black woman. With the current political climate and the way folks seem to be coming out of the closet in terms of their racist and/or homophobic beliefs, it has been difficult. However, I continue to remind myself that their loud opinions do not define me, and that I am an amazing woman. In terms of becoming a single queer mom, it is the best decision I have ever made. I knew my biological clock was ticking, so I decided to get pregnant before I couldn’t. I know for sure that I was born to be a mom, and I love who I am as a mom. I am re-defining what some people may think of as a “traditional” mom, and now that I am in a good, loving relationship, we are re-defining what some people may think of as a “traditional” family. I love who I am and who the three of us are as a family.

One of Leisan’s favorite photos with her daughter

What have you learned from self-love?

I love loving others. However, I have learned that the only way I can effectively love others is to start with loving myself. I have also learned that it is okay and necessary to be intentional about self-love. I have to schedule time to take care of me and know that it’s not selfish, but in fact, the best way for me to survive and thrive.

 


Love Yourself First! Friday. Phenomenal women who fiercely and unapologetically demonstrate self-love in action share their stories – powerful, honest, heartfelt stories that shed light on diverse ways to make self care, healing and whole living daily priorities.

Join the tribe! Share your story. Send an email HERE.  Just put “My LYFF Story” in the subject line of your email, and you’ll be contacted by the Phoenix Team with details on how to participate.


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

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

Loving myself first begins daily in the morning with gratitude at the realization that I was given another day to fulfill my purpose. That means thanking God for breath in my lungs to authentically live on purpose. Recognizing that I am fearfully and wonderfully made gives me the liberty to love myself as I am and as I evolve.

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

My daily walks in nature are a part of my exercise routine for self love. It provides an opportunity without distraction to examine my life and the things in my environment. I make this a priority before I start my routines. It provides so much clarity to sort out tasks for the day, too. My mind is at its most open state on my walks, and that allows me to take in all the positive things I see in nature while on the Metro Park trail. It inspires me to give this positive energy to others.

Entering my 40s has been a motivating factor to make conscious decisions about healthy eating. Living consciously has really allowed me to see and feel the benefits of healthy eating. Whole foods that have grown from the soil have been my saving grace when it comes to self love. It has provided me with a clear mind, less aches and pains, more energy, and weight management as a bonus.

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

The biggest obstacle I have overcome is not believing I am enough. There was a time that I would nitpick myself to the point of stifling enjoying what life had in store for me. In my late 20s I discovered the book One Day My Soul Just Opened Up by Iyanla Vanzant. The book required writing daily to some tough questions I had to be honest about and accountable for. My soul did open up, and I began living and loving myself. It pushed me not only to love myself but also make changes to become and grow in the direction of my best self. There were a few bumps in the road but that was acceptable because I was growing and evolving.

What have you learned from self-love?

I am enough.

I’m in competition with myself to become my best self.

I’m worth fighting for.

I’m my best self when I take care of myself first which, in turn, makes me available for others. This is the most positive selfish thing I can do.

I’ve learned to nurture self-love with positive people, music, news, books and experiences.

Self-love has taught me to try new experiences outside my comfort zone. (Yoga. I actually love it!)

Self-love has taught me that it’s okay to fail.

Self-love has taught me to say yes more and to say no without regret.

The biggest lesson for me is that it’s powerful to love others. Truly loving others is a reflection of the love you have for self.


Love Yourself First! Friday. Phenomenal women who fiercely and unapologetically demonstrate self-love in action share their stories – powerful, honest, heartfelt stories that shed light on diverse ways to make self care, healing and whole living daily priorities.

Join the tribe! Share your story. Send an email HERE.  Just put “My LYFF Story” in the subject line of your email, and you’ll be contacted by the Phoenix Team with details on how to participate.


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Are You Ready to Put Yourself First?

I’m so excited to share this with you! This has been a great summer so far, and it’s only getting better, especially since this month I’m launching I Thrive Self-Care Sunday Meetups for Women.

I Thrive is for the woman who is ready to put herself first, understanding that she must give herself love, care, support and healing before she can capably, successfully and completely give it to others. It’s an affirmation, and a commitment to apply practical self-care regimens that motivate women to make themselves a priority.

Meetups will be held the last Sunday of each month, 12pm – 3pm. Registration is only $12 and will include interactive wellness activities and demonstrations, resources, and tips and how-to’s that focus on whole living practices like mindfulness, yoga, personal affirmations, clean eating, meal prep, journaling, goal-setting, time management and so much more. On occasion there will be guest speakers at meetups who will share their expertise on the topic of the month.

So, Phoenixes in Columbus, OH join me July 30 for the kick-off of I Thrive.

Our topics and demonstrations of the month: (1) How to Create Your Own Personal Affirmations and (2) Learning Techniques & Exercises for Mindfulness Practice

I Thrive is an opportunity to…

  • Meet & bond with other women who are just as committed to self-care breakthroughs and transformations.
  • Receive encouragement and guidance that helps your daily practice.
  • Know you’re not alone on this path. We’re all figuring this self-love thing out together!
  • Be in a sacred space that honors vulnerability, and provides preparation and rejuvenation for the upcoming week.
  • Dig in and give yourself the love you deserve, the necessary and invaluable me-time that feeds the mind, body and soul.

Life is all about balance, and to maintain balance we must be intentional about giving ourselves what we need to have it. Let’s build an “I Thrive Tribe” who enjoys the process and celebrates our progress.

Register for July 30 HERE.

 


Ayanna Jordan is founder of The Phoenix Rising Collective. As principal consultant and leadership development trainer and coach, she develops and facilitates dynamic women-centered workshops with a focus on how putting self-love into action can transform your life. She also creates coaching seminars and training that support women’s professional growth in authentic leadership, entrepreneurship, and passion-filled work. Her interactive approach inspires action and creates a non-judgmental, sacred space for women to truly explore their personal and professional goals while gaining support and sisterhood from others who’ve also made a commitment to sustaining self-love.