Meet Ayana, one of my most recent online friends (that I will actually meet in person this weekend) who has an amazing spirit, love for community and amazing love for her sweet little girl.
Profession: Life Coach + Speaker + Social Community Manager
NoireCare Practices: My routines include writing affirmations for what’s needed currently in my life, working out, soaking my feet in Epsom Salt and hot water, and cooking – I release a lot of tension this way. My best practice of care is getting out in nature and allowing myself to have a random adventure.
Who or what introduced you to it? My mom has been my source of inspiration for all things spiritual, and taught me how to understand and refine my love language through her actions. As a mother and a woman, my life experiences have taught me the value of self-care, especially during emotionally draining times.
How often do you take a little me time to love on yourself? Every single day! Honestly, every morning I make cooking breakfast a priority and spend time doing my makeup in a beautiful silk robe. It allows me to enjoy the simple things in life before the rat race.
Did you grow up witnessing your mom or other female elders practicing self-care? Yes, of course, my family was good at that. I remember watching my grandmother run a bath, where she would soak and relax. My mom does it too, so naturally, I adopted this practice as well.
Tell us about your new book “All That Matters: A Book About Families” and how that it in itself is an act of self-care? All That Matters is a book about families, not just for families, but also for all. It showcases beautiful images of multicultural families with different dynamics, from a single mom, single dad, same-sex family, to an adoptive family. I wanted to show Ayo that although our family consists of just she and I, all that matters is love.
It was the ultimate act of self-care because I had to heal from my past relationship, and the bitterness that extended into my life from having to break up our family. Completing this book required support, openness, and discipline, which is an act of self-love. I wanted to help children see they lack nothing if they come from a home filled with love, and combat any stigmas of being inadequate to two-parent households.
What do you want baby Ayo to know and witness from you about the act of taking time for herself? I want her to know that in order to fully love her, I must love me first, which requires time to reenergize and relax.
What would you tell an overworked, drained peer or friend if she said she didn’t have time to take a few minutes out of her day for herself? I would tell that friend that she’s doing herself a disservice, and not taking time for herself could create more issues. As a life coach, I would mark ways of being intentional about self-care and create a realistic plan. As a friend, I’d check-in to see how things are going. We all need an accountability partner.
If you are located in the NY Tri-state Area This Weekend is Ayana’s Book Release Party! The event is to celebrate the release of our book! Each ticket comes with a book and gift bag, also a sweet treat from She Imagined Sweets, and a conversation with Christina Brown of Love Brown Sugar and I speaking about going after your dreams as parents and as a creative.
You can follow Ayana on all platforms at @AyanaIman, check our her hashtag #MommyandAyo for all photos and updates on Instagram. Also, find tickets to our book release party here: www.ABookAboutFamilies.eventbrite.com
If you can’t make the event, find our book on Amazon.
Photo credit S. Bola Okoya