The Phoenix Rising Collective

Inspiring Women to be Self-Love in Action

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3 Key Components for Sustaining Your Self-Care Practices



Sustaining self-care can be a challenge for many reasons (ranking at the top of list, feeling like there’s not enough time to fit it into your already jam-packed schedule). But you have to make yourself a priority in order to effectively take care of everything else in your life – anything less leads to burnout and a steady decline in your physical and emotional health. Here are three key components to help you stay the course when it comes to your daily, weekly or monthly practices:

Consistency/Increments of Time – Participate in your self-care activities on a consistent basis. Keep a schedule that works for you. What often prevents follow-through is the amount of time you think it’ll take. Do a time assessment check; figure out when there are open moments in your schedule, and then use the time wisely. Whether it’s a 15 to 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 where you want to be.

Patience – There is a process to every practice. Whether you’ve decided to take a yoga class, to go to therapy, to enroll in school, to adjust your sleep schedule, etc. you’re creating a shift in behavior and building habit. If adjustments need to be made along the way, it’s perfectly OK. Just stick with it. Stick with it. Stick with it! You may be uncomfortable because you’re trying something new, but you’re also learning and growing, so persevere. Your affirmation: I am grateful. My challenges are building spiritual muscle and resilience.

Self-Compassion – Self-criticism does not “whip you into shape” any faster. It propels you down the rabbit hole of fear, insecurity, anxiety and overwhelm, making it harder not easier to be consistent with your self-care practices because the focus is on what’s wrong, and what’s not working. Let positive energy fuel your self-care pursuits. If you don’t want to participate on any given day, acknowledge and accept what you’re feeling. Honor those feelings with compassion. Step away. Take a breather. You’ll be able to revisit with a fresher perspective the next time. As Dr. Kristin Neff, points out in her book, Self-Compassion: The Power of Being Kind to Yourself: “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.”

Repeat the following until it sinks in: “Self-care is a journey. There’s no rush.” Some days will be better than others, so time, patience and self-compassion should be constant companions, providing breathing room to weather the not-so-good days and to focus on what matters, which is the vibrant and more balanced life taking good care of yourself brings.


Ayanna Jordan is founder of The Phoenix Rising Collective. She is a personal development coach creating and facilitating dynamic women-centered, self-care workshops with a focus on how putting self-love into action can transform your life. She also creates training programs and group coaching that empowers women’s professional growth in authentic leadership, entrepreneurship, and passion-filled work. Her interactive, holistic approach inspires action and creates a non-judgmental, safe and supportive space for women to truly explore and affirm who they are, what they want and how they want to do it.

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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 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.