Today I’d like to introduce a good friend, Self-Care Vigilante, Ilana Kristeva. I met Ilana at a retreat a couple of years ago and was so inspired by her daily text gratitudes that I started a weekly gratitude list of my own. Comparing my Grateful Sunday blogs from 2017 to this year in 2019, I can see how my gratitude list has grown leaps and bounds from just a short paragraph to plenty of things to be thankful for during the week. While it’s important not to suppress the struggles we are going through in life, it’s equally important to not let those conflicts define us either.


When I became acquainted with Ilana, I had only been blogging for a couple of months. She encouraged me to continue my writing and even offered that we FaceTime together to help me get into a daily routine of composition. Two years later, this is still something we haven’t done. However, her excitement and belief in my blog inspired me not to give it up.


Recently, Ilana sent out an email to her “Tribe” of an interview she did with Jesse Walker, who wrote the book Fit Beyond 40. Not only was it exciting to see my friend sharing her message, there’s a lot of good tidbits of information in this video.


Interview with Self-Care Vigilante – Ilana Kristeva


On Breathing:

“The most important part of breathing is the exhalation. When we exhale, as if we’re blowing out candles on a birthday cake or blowing bubbles through a straw, we are reaching the lower third of our lungs and pushing out carbon dioxide. When we talk about utilizing everything we do with peak performance, why not use peak performance in breathing?”


“When we are in training mode or performance mode, we know that it’s [breath] the  first step in anything. Breathing is so important and the quality of breath will determine whether we cross the finish line and how we cross the finish line.”


On Tapping

“[Tapping] gives my body, my internal organs, mini CPR, little boosts of energy. What I’m doing is, I’m connecting with my meridian system. I call that the energy super highway. I’m activating my energy super highway with my own finger tips… We are releasing traffic jams in our bodies. This energy super highway that gets blocked and we feel pain, uncomfortable, and heavy.”


On Stretching and Physical Fitness

“You can place your hand on the ceiling of your car and push. That resistance training you activate so much in your core when you’re doing this. You can alternate hands and when you’re at a stop, you can push and take your deep breaths, then release, and tap.”


“Physical fitness starts in the kitchen. What you cook and what eat and what you put in your body is very important. Replenish regularly through the day with water.”


Phoenix’s Thoughts

When I asked Ilana for permission to do a Wednesday Share Day post of her video, her requirement was that I answer the question she posed in her email: “Make notes about what you would like to learn more about.”


Here’s my list for you Ilana.


  • Think how Walt Disney promoted Disneyland by using ABC. Walt agreed to a one hour Sunday Disney show every week and during that show he publicized where he was in development of the amusement park. So…when it comes to the Meet Me in Sedona retreat you have planned in 2020, promote monthly updates of where you are in the process of making that dream become a reality. Let’s get your Tribe all pumped up to join you on this adventure and help you along the way. If you build it, they will come.


  • For your 26 Self-Care Vigilante Affirmations and 7 Ingredients to Vibrancy, maybe a weekly or bi-weekly story about something that happened recently that brings these tools to life emailed out to your Tribe. Just like your daily text messages of gratitude, this may be just the inspiration someone needs to create this new habit (and want to purchase your book for themselves).


  • Do you have a social media page or a way where your Tribe can share all they’ve been grateful for during the day? I admit, I may not always have the dedication that you have when it comes to checking in, however, to create a community where everyone is accountable to one another and can cheer each other’s appreciations, this may be the inspiration we need to truly make gratitude a community daily habit. Sometimes, it takes a village.


Final Take Away Quotes

On Growth:

“If we push too hard, we hurt ourselves. If we don’t push hard enough, we don’t grow.”


“We are in healing and growth mode until we are six feet under.”


On Habits:

“Good habits are easy to build with practice. What’s the expression? Old habits die hard. Well good habits last forever. Why? Because I practice, practice, practice. Excellence comes from practice.”


On Self Care:

“Our practice of self care is not self-centeredness. When we do this, we can be of service to others and we have so much more to give because we have energy from the inside out.”


And my favorite, which takes me back to what our couple therapist told me specifically in 2008 (well, without the baseball bat analogy):

“Go easy on yourself. If you find yourself beating yourself up, put the bat down. Go gently. You’re not playing baseball. We heal and grow, and strengthen and live vibrantly when we are in a healing and growth mindset. That’s the Self Care Vigilante mindset. No self battery. Put the bat down.”


Thank you Ilana for giving us the tools we need to Rise From the Ashes and Soar with the Eagles.





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