The Phoenix Rising Collective

Inspiring Women to be Self-Love in Action


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15 Affirmations to Inspire the Daily Practice of Self-Love

I originally posted 15 Affirmations to Inspire the Daily Practice of Self-Love in 2014, and I decided, “Hey, why not do a refresh?” You got it. Yes, I’m trying to get as many people on the affirmation bandwagon as I can because they work. The perspective we take on our experiences can either create a dark downward spiral or catapult us to significant transformational change. Put another way by Margaret Moore, founder of Wellcoaches, “It makes it harder, not easier to change when the focus is on what’s wrong and what’s not working. Not enough positive energy and emotion are harvested to fuel the pursuit of change.”

Exactly what are affirmations, and why are they important? To put it simply, they are positive words of empowerment that when consistently spoken, shift your perspective, lift your spirit, and change your mind. Affirmations help you focus on what you want for your life rather than what you don’t want. And as the Coaching Psychology Manual shares, they are “best written in the present tense, as if they are already happening and in your voice.”

We have a tendency to concentrate on the worst case scenario. In fact, how many times have you used or heard someone else use the phrase, “OK, here’s the worst case scenario,” to prepare for what might go wrong. Why fabricate, ponder and conjure the worst results possible when the universe is really conspiring for your greatest good? To think about the worst that can happen while secretly hoping for something more loving, kind, peaceful and compassionate to occur isn’t healthy nor does it manifest the experiences you truly deserve.

Caroline Shola Arewa, Wellness Coach and Author, provides a inspiring explanation from her book, Opening to Spirit:

Thoughts have a very powerful impact on our energy. ‘Energy follows thought’ is one of the basic laws of nature. Through our thoughts we are capable of changing our lives. Therefore, we must be vigilant and think with awareness. A negative belief can manifest just as easily as an affirmative thought. The universe supports ‘My life will never change,’ just as easily as ‘Things are going to improve for me.’ The choice is yours. You are gifted with a high level of consciousness, so you can make choices. When you truly Open to Spirit, help is available to you. As director of your life story, you have the ability to rewrite the script and make changes; this is your ‘respons-ability’.

If love, kindness, peace and compassion are what you desire, then why not make them your primary concentration from the start? So, here’s the commitment: No more I-don’t-want mantras. You’ve already established yourself in that area, right? Moving forward, affirm your life through positive, conscious thoughts and words that support your intentions and direct the energy where you REALLY want it to flow.

Begin writing your own affirmations to learn the difference between a negative statement versus an affirmative one. For example, instead of “I don’t want to be alone,” try “I am open to new experiences and attract positive people into my life.” Rather than declaring, “I am broke,” try “My financial needs are always met, and I am provided for.” Right now I’m really working on time management: using my time wisely, making room for things that are important to me and being mindful throughout the day. To create a meaningful, motivating affirmation I visualized how doing these things will make me feel and started brainstorming the actions and thoughts that will generate the outcome I want. The affirmation is below:

I honor my time through daily acts of preparation and mindfulness like weekly meal prep, taking deep breaths to center myself for the present moment, taking it one step at a time, committing to a consistent sleep schedule, and saying yes to what really bring me happiness. These daily acts create more peaceful, intentional experiences that support, affirm and empower my well being.

Lastly, jot down affirmations you hear or read from others. Post them in different areas of your home so that your awareness strengthens and reciting them becomes a daily practice. As a jump start, I’ve compiled some that I’ve shared with you in the past, as well as some from authors I’m inspired by:

  1. Relaxation: I take time to slow down and enjoy my life.
  2. Physical Health: I love my body, and my body loves me.
  3. New Opportunities: I say yes to new things and follow my intuition. When my spirit tells me to move, I’m going!
  4. Reverence: I love MY life. Things are getting better for me everyday, and I am grateful.
  5. Friendship: My friends are a reflection of me; therefore, I choose them wisely.
  6. Gratitude: I recognize the opportunities that have been given to me and voice my gratitude. I am thankful for each blessing and keep an open mind and heart to the ways in which they come.
  7. Forgiveness: I forgive my past and embrace the lessons I have learned from it. I fully accept and love who I am in this present moment.
  8. Rejuvenation: I give myself permission to rest and restore.
  9. Financial Abundance: A consistent and steady stream of income flows to me in expected and unexpected ways, and satisfies my needs and wants. I am open to and grateful for financial prosperity.
  10. Patience: I am grateful even in the midst of my challenges because I know my challenges are building spiritual muscle. I am resilient.
  11. Surrender: I let go and the universe lovingly takes care of me.
  12. BONUSMindfulness: Today is my day. It is a gift, and I am grateful for and mindful of each moment. I center myself, breathing in the new energy and embracing the new lessons that come my way. Today is my day.

Affirmations from Inspirational Authors I Love:

  1. Acceptance and Change:  “In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete. I now choose calmly and objectively to see my old patterns, and I am willing to make changes. I am teachable. I can learn. I am willing to change. I choose to have fun doing this. I choose to react as though I have found a treasure when I discover something else to release. I see and feel myself changing moment by moment. Thoughts no longer have any power over me. I am the power in the world. I choose to be free.” -Louise L. Hay, You Can Heal Your Life
  2. Love: “I love myself; therefore, I work at a job I truly enjoy doing, one that uses my creative talents and abilities, working with and for people I love and who love me, and earning a good income… I behave and think in a loving way to all people for I know that which I give out returns to me multiplied. I only attract loving people in my world, for they are a mirror of what I am.” -Louise L. Hay, You Can Heal Your Life
  3. Self-Worth: No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”  –Brene Brown, Daring Greatly
  4. Creativity: “I will love my creative impulses all the days of my life. I will give expression daily to the words, shapes, images, and movements that emerge from within me. I will celebrate my unique vision and experience, refusing to color inside someone else’s lines.”  Patricia Lynn Reilly, I Promise Myself

The beauty is that most, if not all, of these affirmations will apply to your life at some point or another. They will, along with others that speak to your heart, keep your thoughts and words in alignment to manifest results that support self-love. Daily practice is your commitment to believing in what you want, and then asking yourself, first and foremost, “What’s the best that can happen?”

Book Suggestions on the Topic:

 


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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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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[EVENT] Good for the Soul: 6 Pillars of Self-Care – What to Know + How to Make Time

 

It’s the first I Thrive Self-Care Meetup of the new year. What better way to kick it off than learning more about the six pillars of self-care? In this meetup we will:

  • Breakdown the six pillars of self-care: psychological, physical, emotional, personal, professional, and spiritual
  • Have open, honest dialogue about the six pillars and how they contribute to a healthier, balanced well-being
  • Identify the areas you feel need more attention and why
  • Create a simple self-care plan that works for you
  • Map out time – Yes, find time in your schedule to work the plan!

Listen, you may have already identified the areas that need more of your attention but what’s stopping your progress is the belief and phrase, “I just don’t have the time.” So, we’ll also focus on eliminating overwhelm in your plan by making your schedule work for you – one day at a time, one step at a time. In other words, as Brandon Stanton, creator of Humans of New York says: “Take what is expansive and turn it into something more granular.”

Please join us February 24, 1-4pm, for Good for the Soul. Get your ticket, spread the word, and of course, bring a friend. Only 20 spots available for this meetup, so get your ticket now!

What you’ll need to bring + other things to know:

Bring a journal. (All other materials/resources will be provided).

Dress is casual/comfortable.

Light refreshments will be served.

There will be a self-care gift giveaway at the end of the meetup. A lucky participant will be the winner of a special gift that supports this topic and her journey to be self-love in action.

 


About I Thrive Self-Care Meetups

I Thrive is an affirmation, a commitment to apply practical self-care regimens that motivate women to make themselves a priority.

I Thrive is sisterhood, a chance to hold space for one another as we let go of what no longer serves us and to make room for new experiences and clearer, healthier perspectives.

Meet and bond with other women who are just as committed to self-care breakthroughs and transformations.

Receive encouragement and guidance that help your daily practice.

Know you’re not alone on this path. We’re all figuring this self-love thing out together.

Be in a space that honors vulnerability and also provides preparation for the week ahead.

Dig in and give yourself the love you deserve, the necessary and invaluable me-time that feeds the mind, body and soul.


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

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

I think that ‘loving yourself first’ starts off with being real with yourself (and others) about who you are – and accepting it. Whether that be certain elements of your personality or some feature on your body, accepting that this is the way you were designed to be and you are beautiful for it (even on your worst days). But I am also a firm believer in challenging yourself, because this is where we stretch and we grow the most. I’m not just referring to the cliché version where you challenge yourself to “be strong, be bold, be you.” While these are great qualities that we should aspire to possess, let’s start with tangible things that can be achieved daily: challenge yourself to drink more water, to look up a new recipe, to learn to play a musical instrument, to read a book that disagrees with something you believe in. The possibilities are essentially endless in this area – which is one of the reasons I love it so much. There is always room for improvement, and I have found that the more I improve in the little things, the better I feel about myself. This is the primary way that I have ‘love(d) myself first’ this year.

What actions demonstrate the self-care you provide to your mind, body & soul?

I set aside 30 minutes every day to read and journal – this is my time to unwind from whatever activities I had going on that day and just focus on me and my thoughts. I try to dedicate my reading time to books that will challenge something I believe in, and then I journal my reasons behind disagreeing with the author.

Exercise is obviously a must! (I try at least 20 minutes/day, 5 days a week) It’s a great way to get all that negative stress out of my body, as well as boost my self-esteem.

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

Growing up I always struggled with the feeling that I wasn’t enough: I wasn’t smart enough to make my parents proud or to get into a certain class (or university). I wasn’t pretty enough to make a boy like me or to get invited into certain friend groups. I wasn’t talented enough for anyone to notice something I was doing. Right about the time I was a senior in high school was when I realized if being enough meant being perfect – I could never achieve anything I wanted to do or lead the life I wanted to live, so now I love that certain things don’t come easily to me; it means I will always have the opportunity to learn. I love that I can be confident in the way I look, because I know that I was created this way, and there is not a single woman on this planet who has the same eyes that I do, or the same nose, or the same smile.

What have you learned from self-love?

There is always room for grace while you grow.


Love Yourself First! Friday is an enlightening interview series featuring the stories of phenomenal, resilient, and inspiring women who share how they are unapologetically self-love in action. The powerful, honest and heartfelt stories shed light on diverse ways to make self-care, healing and whole living daily priorities. You’ll get advice and tips you can use for your own journey, and find comfort in knowing you’re not alone when it comes to figuring out how to love yourself.

Join the tribe. Over 50 women have shared their self-love stories with the Collective. Share YOUR story. Send us an email. 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 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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New ‘I Thrive’ Meetup: Meditate Your Way to Clearer Intentions

What I know for sure is that whatever your situation is right now, you have played a major role in setting it up. It is you who have created your circumstances. With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice. And beneath each of those thoughts and choices lies your deepest intention. If you are feeling stuck in your life and want to move forward, start by examining your past motivations. -Oprah

This is the last I Thrive #selfcaresunday Meetup of the year!

So, join me for Setting-Your-Intention Meditation & Self-Care Book Swap. And, at the end of the afternoon we’ll share a toast to the new year.

Special guest, yoga teacher, Ellen Smith from Love Yoga Flow and Yoga on High will guide you through a meditation to support your intention and affirm your vision for 2018. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner! All levels are welcome. Come with an open heart to release the old and embrace the new.

I’ll also be sharing tools you can use from The Fullness of Me Intentional Living Guide; it provides clarity on your goals so that your actions can be in alignment with what you say you want.

Now, about the book swap. All you have to do is bring your favorite book on self-care (or just one you’re inspired by for personal growth) and be ready to gift exchange with someone else who brought her favorite, too. Everyone will go home with a new book for the holidays! (In my Oprah voice: You get a book. You get a book. You get a book! Every. Body. Gets. A. Booook!)

What you’ll need for this meetup:

  • Yoga Mat
  • Journal/notebook
  • Your self-care/personal growth book for swapping!
  • Dress is casual. Please wear workout/comfortable clothes.

I can’t wait to see you at this one – for sisterhood, to hold space for one another as we let go of what no longer serves us, and to make room for new experiences and clearer, healthier perspectives.

I don’t know about you, but 2017 has been a pretty challenging year. I’ve learned some invaluable and significant lessons. Lessons that have definitely taken my personal growth to the next level…and for the better I might add. One of the biggest is to always trust myself. So, I am ready to clear a path for 2018 because this wisdom has made me even more resilient. Watch out!

What lessons have you learned this year that have provided more clarity? I’d love to know. Share in the comments.

And, of course, register HERE for Setting-Your-Intention Meditation & Self-Care Book Swap. I’ll see you Sunday, December 10. Continue being self-love in action.

 


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.