The Phoenix Rising Collective

Inspiring Women to be Self-Love in Action


Leave a comment

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

image

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 Natasha:

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

I love myself first by taking care of my health first. I try to make sure that I really pay attention to what my body is telling me. If I find that I need to force myself to do something then I stop, take a breath and reevaluate what I am doing and why. At the same time when I notice that I’m avoiding a task I try to figure out the underlying reasons.

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

  1. I try to exercise at least four times a week. Through CrossFit I have been able to push myself further than I ever imagined.
  2. I food prep on a regular basis, usually on Sundays. I make sure that I have enough to eat throughout the week (five small meals for five days) and set an alarm so that I won’t forget to eat.  When I’m engrossed in my work I have a tendency to forget to eat. As a vegetarian and a graduate student, I have found that food prepping allows me to save money and have options that I wouldn’t otherwise.
  3. I’m Buddhist and I try to chant everyday, it is definitely a work in progress.
image

LYFF Feature, Natasha’s Weekly Food Prep

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

When I was a teenager I was raped. For a long time I hated myself; I had a difficult time feeling that I was worthy of love or even loving myself. I have been working through this for the past 12 years; now I am able to see the good inside of me. Actually, it’s deeper than that: I have been able to see my strengths, weaknesses and potential. I have been able to embrace my flaws, change my self-talk, and learn to be kind to myself.

I am still on this journey of self-love and still get frustrated with myself (especially as I am writing my dissertation) but I am learning that I am human.

What have you learned from self-love?

Self love has shown me how strong and beautiful I am. Regardless of my weight, hair, skin, eyelash length, or waist size, I am phenomenal. I am not a doormat. I am not one dimensional. I am a full person. That sounds kind of hilarious, but seriously in this society sometimes it’s difficult to recognize your full humanity.

 

Thank you, Natasha, for having the courage to tell your self-love story. You are a brave Phoenix rising!


 

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 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.

Join the Collective on Facebook and Instagram.


2 Comments

Worst Love Yourself First! Friday Ever – A Reflection

image

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:

12583943_10205681091648090_695581345_n

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.

Join the Collective on Facebook and Instagram.

 


1 Comment

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:

oeb-3

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.

Join the Collective on Facebook and Instagram.


Leave a comment

The Phoenix Book of the Week: Releasing That Relationship: Gaining Clarity from the Heartbreak of a Breakup or Divorce That Nearly Broke Your Spirit

Releasing That Relationship [the phoenix rising collective]

Our Phoenix Book of the Week is Monique Allison’s new book:

Releasing That Relationship: Gaining Clarity from the Heartbreak of a Breakup or Divorce That Nearly Broke Your Spirit

Releasing That Relationship [monique allison]If your relationship has already ended, or you’re in a space of readiness to end it, this book was written for you. My intentions are to help you get rid of your barriers to getting clarity around what you need and how your relationship doesn’t fulfill those needs. Once you’re clear about what you need to feel loved and secure in your relationship, you can decide what to release in order to make room for the love you want to experience.

This book is a collection of everything I’ve experienced and learned about getting past barriers of letting go of an unhealthy relationship of seven years.

I also share practical steps on what I did to get through mental & emotional blocks in order to be more decisive in the state of confusion.  I know a lot of women will benefit from my personal experience because it allowed me to create a healthier space needed to reclaim a strong sense of self, which in turn prepared me for a healthier and happy relationship.

A SPECIAL OFFER of Releasing That Relationship is available now through October 4th, so take advantage of this while you can! Click HERE for details.

Monique is also a contributing writer for The Phoenix Rising Collective; check out her latest article: Reconnecting with Yourself: 3 Powerful Ways to Start

 

Interested in sharing a book with us? Please click here to send your request for more details on submitting a book entry.


More about the Author:

Monique Allison is a Relationship Clarity Coach. Her personal experience, observation, and insight gained over the years allows her to help women release unhealthy relationships and heal from broken ones in order to love again from a more self-loving and authentic space. She is also the mother of 10-year-old son, Pharaoh. Monique’s background/experience is in the nonprofit sector working for United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta (UWMA) for 13 years; holding the position as the Quality Assurance Manager. She has achieved a B.A. in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University, is AIRS Certified as an Information & Referral Specialist, attained a Creative Writer Certificate from Kennesaw State University. Monique has also taught life skills to young adults for two years. Learn more about Monique’s work helping women build healthy relationships HERE.


6 Comments

Reconnecting with Yourself: 3 Powerful Ways to Start

reconnecting with yourself [the phoenix rising collective]

We are usually taught to focus on others needs before our own. There are articles about helping us build healthy relationships with our partners and loved ones, magazine covers telling us what we need to do to attract a man, and books on being a good mother, etc. I have no problem with any of this because I believe in creating happy and healthy relationships with others, but on the flip side I don’t hear nearly as much about the most important relationship in our lives: the one with ourselves.

As women we are more likely to compromise in our relationships, especially romantic ones. I see how easy it is for us to have more of an external focus and lose our sense of self, and I’m not okay with that…anymore. I say anymore because I had this self-sacrificing thought process at one point. From personal experience I know how easy it is for us to get caught up in others and not realize that we are disconnected from ourselves.

What happens when you don’t have a true connection to self?

One of my past downfalls in relationships was not having a strong sense of self. I got lost in my past marriage and other roles I played. Because of that I didn’t make conscious choices based on who I was and what I wanted. Instead my choices were formed around what others wanted and needed. I used to go along with it and in the end that approach never served me. This can show up in any type of relationship that we deem important and for that reason I encourage you to always stay connected to who you are.  Also, as a mother with a child who has special health-care needs (due to chronic illnesses), I learned very fast how important it is to make sure I develop a healthy relationship with myself first and foremost. Being a caregiver is very overwhelming at times and I need to maintain my overall well-being in order to take on what comes my way and to also be my best self in the relationships I value.

Have you been ignoring any signals that clearly show a disconnect with self?

Outside of relationships we also get lost in life. With all the tasks, people, and activities competing for our attention every day, it’s so easy to get misplaced in the routine and lose touch with ourselves. In the end, your life is about your journey and it starts with rediscovering a relationship with YOU.

“Having a good relationship with yourself improves your relationships with others.”

How you are living should be aligned with how you see yourself authentically. Reconnecting to who you are and showing up as your true self will make you happier, reduce stress, and also make your relationship experiences more fulfilling.

The following are some ways to start reconnecting with self:

1. Spend Time Alone

Life happens really fast and it’s up to you to slow things down. Therefore, the first thing you must do is take time for yourself. You just have to disconnect externally and go inward. Spending time alone with no social media or cell phone is a good place to start. Most of us are connected all the time making it very easy to get out of touch with how we feel. It’s so important to be alone every day for personal reflection and check-in. You can start off with just 15 to 30 minutes a day. If you stay committed to it you will start to crave that time.

2. Write

It’s inevitable that your mind will wonder about what else you can do during alone time besides just sitting with yourself, so take a journal with you to capture your thoughts. Writing is a great way to give what’s rolling around in your head some room to breathe. By putting your thoughts on paper you’ll begin to sift through mental clutter, process, and let go of stuff that needs to be discarded. Writing is a way of clarifying and releasing. It also reveals where you’re stuck. There are no rules. Just write!

3. Perform Self-Inquiry

After you move past your surface thoughts use these guided questions to get you on the path of reconnecting:

  • Are you really focused on what matters to you?
  • Is your life in alignment with what you believe and what you feel is really worthwhile?
  • Are you engaged in at least one thing that you love doing?
  • How are you relating to yourself mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially?
  • Are your needs being met in the most important areas of your life?
  • Are you happy with self and your life?
Answering these questions is just a start because this will trigger other questions for you. A heightened sense of awareness will develop and prompt you to re-examine your relationship with self much further.

Whatever shows up for you while answering these questions, I want you to practice self-compassion. If a painful thought or feeling comes up be understanding. Ask yourself the following: How would I respond to someone I care about if they were having a difficult time with something? What comforting words would I say to them? Then say those same words to yourself.

Self-exploration processes are beneficial to understanding who you are and how that transfers into making decisions in your relationships. When you have a sense of clarity you’re more likely to engage in relationships and experiences that enhance and improve the quality of your life, and I want that for you.

Let’s start a dialogue around this topic, leave a comment and let me know what’s most challenging for you to stay connected to yourself.


Meet the Contributing Writer:

MoniqueHalleyContributor[thephoenixrisingcollective]1Monique Allison is a Relationship Clarity Coach. Her personal experience, observation, and insight gained over the years allows her to help women release unhealthy relationships and heal from broken ones in order to love again from a more self-loving and authentic space. She is also the mother of 10-year-old son, Pharaoh. Monique’s background/experience is in the nonprofit sector working for United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta (UWMA) for 13 years; holding the position as the Quality Assurance Manager. She has achieved a B.A. in Psychology from Clark Atlanta University, is AIRS Certified as an Information & Referral Specialist, attained a Creative Writer Certificate from Kennesaw State University. Monique has also taught life skills to young adults for two years. Learn more about Monique’s work helping women build healthy relationships HERE.


1 Comment

SELF-LOVE TIP OF THE DAY: Accept, Embrace, and Celebrate Your Uniqueness

self love tip[the phoenixrisingcollective]

Just a little reminder, and an affirmation to support your self-acceptance! Let this be your focus, Phoenix. There is no one like you, and that’s a damn good thing! Affirm and celebrate your uniqueness in this world. It is a gift; express your gratitude.

 


 

About the Contributing Writer:

Ayanna_Prof_Headshot[Mktg_Phoenix2]Ayanna Jordan is the founder and executive director of The Phoenix Rising Collective, and the editor-in-chief for Phoenix Shine, The PRC’s online community. She has always had a passion to empower women, especially through writing, coaching, and teaching. She is happy that Phoenix Shine offers resources and provides awareness on what it means to truly love who you are. From forgiving others (and yourself) to taking time for spiritual practice, this forum is all a part of the journey to authenticity. Right now, she is most inspired by the LYFF series and She Makes It Beautiful. You can also learn more about Ayanna HERE.