how to love yourself

Journey of Healing | Interview with Vanessa Edgeston

I have been on a healing journey as I have made many changes in my life recently. I recently took a leap of faith that I truly believe is what I have manifested while in my healing process. When we are holding on to things, they can become very heavy. Whether that hurt is from our childhood or things that we experience throughout our day, we have to find a way to heal so that we can live a fulfilled life.

As I was browsing my Instagram I came across a lady that captivated me. I scrolled past her picture but found myself searching for her picture again as it was something about it- her energy. I decided to visit her Instagram page to learn more about her and that is when I discovered that she too was on a journey of healing. I guess it is safe to say that I saw my reflection in her and that is why the pull was so strong.

I reached out to her and asked her if she would be willing to share more about her journey and she was happy to do so. I am so grateful for that.

She is known on Instagram as @phoenixrising1993  @victoriasflowerchild


” Hello Queen. What is your name and where are you originally from?”

My name is Vanessa and I am originally from Blue Mountain, Mississippi. I currently reside in Oregon.


“Are you on a journey to healing? Do you mind sharing what you are healing from?”

Yes. I have needed healing for a very long time but it wasn’t until last year when I began to focus on healing myself and to address all the pain I was feeling. The root of most of the pain stems from years of neglect and trauma that I endured during the first 21 years of my life.


“I watched a video on your Instagram of you explaining that you became angry after being used by your fellow classmates as a teenager (the taking advantage of your giving spirit). You stated that as an adult you are able to give freely. How did you heal from not being able to trust people to the person you are today?”

When they took advantage of me, that really hurt my feelings. I became very selfish after that. I started only looking out for myself and only thinking about myself and that is not a peaceful or balanced way to live. I became very protective of my heart, but in doing so I was shutting a lot of people out. I realized that by shutting people out I was missing out on valuable opportunities to connect with others. Because selfishness and fear, I was creating a form of isolation to the spirit. I wanted my spirit to be truly free so I had to remove the hardness from my heart.

I healed because I learned the lessons from those circumstances. I realized that painful memories are mostly unlearned lessons.

When you learn the lesson, you release the pain. When you are no longer in pain, you are healed.

“Absolutely…..You also mentioned that you wrote a letter to your father, how did this help you to heal?”

When my dad Frank passed away I was happy that he was at peace and no longer suffering. His death sparked a lot of emotions and questions in my heart and mind. I asked myself what kind of daughter had I been. I felt guilty for not calling him as much as I could have. I regretted if he would always be around. I know that we all depart from this world…but I was not expecting to lose my father so soon.

Frank (My Dad ) & I

Frank and I

Frank is indeed my father, but he is not my biological father. I spent years hating my biological father for his abusive ways. When Frank came into my life he was the only source of fatherly love that I had known. I did not feel that kind of love from my biological father. I wrote to him and I told him everything I felt, and in my heart, I believe he heard me.

All my dad ever wanted from me was for me to know that I was loved.

I realized that if I live my life knowing that I am loved and build a life for myself that reflects all the love I have been given and all the love I must offer–then I will be doing exactly what he wanted me to do. And that is the best way I can honor his memory.

“Condolences to you for your loss.”



You have beautiful pieces of wrapped stones on your Instagram. When did you begin making wrapped stones? What inspired it? What are the benefits of wrapped stones? How can they help in the healing process?”

I was 19 when I moved to Atlanta, GA. I lived there on and off for about a year. I was homeless for most of the time I was in Atlanta. During that time, I met many kinds of artists when I was on the streets.  One artist I met showed me how to make a simple wire wrap and that is when my love for wire wrapping began. When I went through a severe depression I lost all interest in art and everything else I was passionate about but when I began my healing journey I reconnected with the missing pieces of myself.

The part of myself that I had lost was my sense of creativity. I decided that I wanted that part of myself back, so I started wire wrapping again–and I am so thankful that I did.

I have grown and healed so much from making art again. Being in contact with so many different crystal energies has awakened parts of myself that I was unaware of.

I am still growing in awareness and discovering the power of all the beautiful stones I meet. I am a different person now than I was when I started wire wrapping again.

I am happier, more confident and less clouded by other people’s energies. I am less of others and more of myself and I am just getting started.

“In our most troubled times we can learn valuable lessons. Those lessons we can apply and use as we evolve. I have learned many lessons during troubled times. How we deal with those troubled times is what makes the difference in living a fulfilled life or having the mentality of defeat therefor we just exist.”


“Stop giving a fuck. Stop being a people pleaser. Stop letting people walk all over you. Stop waiting for permission to love yourself. Speak your mind. Listen to your heart. Heal your wounds. Be fucking glorious!” -PhoenixRising1993

“If you had a conversation with someone today who is having a hard time trying to figure out their first step in healing and evolving, what would you tell them?”

I would ask them if they are living their dreams and if they are not I would ask them why. If they do not know why, then their first step towards evolving and healing would be to answer that question. If they do know why they are not living their dreams, then their first step would be for them to ask themselves what obstacles are blocking their path.


“Why is healing important?”

Healing is important because we can never rise to be who we were born to be if we are stuck in pain, fear, and toxicity.



“How can one embrace their emotions behind things, release and learn from them?”

You must accept that to heal and move beyond your pain is that you must face it.

You cannot numb yourself and pretend that the pain is not there AND heal at the same time. If you want health, you must let go of the sickness.

It is not an easy process in the beginning, but facing that pain makes you stronger. If you run from yourself, you will never find peace.

“I know all about pretending to be ok. I learned that I had to face those things in order to heal from them. I felt so much lighter after finally facing the things of my past. They no longer have power over me.”




“How can one find balance in the midst of their storms?”

Know that storms exist to teach you about life as well as yourself. Know that storms will pass. Know that the more storms you survive the more resilient you become.

“Your Instagram page attracted me and I spend a good bit of time browsing your wrapped stones. How can one purchase a stone from you? If someone has a stone would you wrap it for them?”

Contact me. Let me know what colors you like. I can send you pictures of stones that I have available to be wrapped. My prices range, and I can work with any budget. I have wraps available for as low as $5. 🙂

If someone mailed me a stone to wrap for them I would happily do so.

“I am going to send you a few of mine for sure!”

“How can someone contact you about wrapped stones? Where can one purchase?”

You can email me

You can also contact me on Instagram @phoenixrising1993. Send me a message and I will respond to you as soon as I can.

Thank you Vanessa for sharing your journey with us!

Healing is very important and although it may not be easy to do so, it is worth it.





A Path To Opportunity

Accented Glory Visionary Tonya Cross

by Tonya Cross

Opportunity Knocks

Most would probably classify me as an ol’ school natural! I began my natural hair journey in 2000, before the natural hair movement regained its popularity post 60s and 70s. Like most, when I first started out, I struggled with finding hair care products that met my natural hair needs. It was also difficult to find hair accessories. Most accessories in retail stores catered to a much younger demographic and were not natural hair friendly.  So here I was, in a dilemma. I wanted to dress up my new natural tresses with age appropriate accessories, without damaging my hair.  

Accented Glory Puff Holder

Accented Glory Afro Puff Holder


Fast-forward 12 years later, after raising three beautiful daughters who are also naturals, I picked up a new hobby – crafting hand-made hair accessories. The hobby was both a time filler and therapeutic. Once I had a few accessories created, I was surprised to find that my daughters liked the designs and started to wear them regularly. Soon they began to request specific designs, like the afro puff holder, to accent certain natural hairstyles. Other natural hair women started to notice our hair accessories and asked where we got them. When they found out I made the accessories, they wanted to purchase my designs! So, I took a leap of faith and launched a handcrafted accessory brand for women called Accented Glory. 


My  brand offers hair accessories that are created with materials that minimize damage to textured hair, provide a comfortable wear, and endures natural hair care products. I choose fabrics and materials that won’t cause friction with textured hair and that assist in maintaining healthy tresses. I test wear our designs to ensure they are not only stylish but also comfortable. I also use minimal amounts of adhesive and rubber materials when creating my designs. Naturals’ hair care regimens include oils and oils have the potential to breakdown adhesives and rubber. 



Expanding My Horizons


My natural hair journey has opened doors in so many areas; most of which are related to Accented Glory. Before starting my brand, I had no entrepreneurial or marketing experience. With the guidance of my oldest daughter and online network groups, I’ve learned a lot in the past few years about marketing and entrepreneurship. I’ve also built a natural hair Facebook group community, Accented Glory Naturals, of 300+ members that I co-manage with my daughters.  


The relationships I have established as an entrepreneur have been great. I’ve met other forty plus female entrepreneurs who have decided to pursue their passions later in life too. Many of us are balancing full time jobs while building our brands. I’m thankful that my three daughters are actively engaged in helping me build Accented Glory. I honestly couldn’t do it without them – they have truly become my tribe; my support system!

I have also started creating jewelry designs! My handcrafted jewelry includes earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. My motivation to create the jewelry line was to expand our design options for our brides and bridal party customers.

Accented Glory Rhinestone

Accented Glory Rhinestone Vine Earrings

Accented Glory Pearl Earrings

Accented Glory Pearl Earrings

Embracing Greatness

Last year I launched Accented Glory’s “Embrace Your Crown – Embrace Greatness” series. I gave fellow naturals an opportunity to share how their natural hair journey has impacted their lives on my blog Accessory Diva. I created Accented Glory’s first tee shirt design for this series that encourages my fellow naturals to “Embrace Greatness

Accented Glory Custom Hair Flower Arrangement

Accented Glory Custom Order  Floral Hair Accent

Reading the stories of other naturals, allowed me to reflect upon own my natural hair journey. My journey has taught me a lot about myself, my passions, and my drive. Whether it’s building a brand or mastering a flat twist style, with the right tools, I can do anything I put my mind to. Building my own brand has helped me to discover my passion to create beautiful things by hand. Now anyone can reap the benefits of this passion when they wear my hair accessory or jewelry designs. Accented Glory fosters my daily drive to be a better version of myself and to turn obstacles into stepping-stones. I can’t wait to see what new opportunities my natural hair journey will lead me to next!


Tonya Cross – Visionary and Accent Designer of Accented Glory

How has your natural hair journey impacted your life?

Follow Accented Glory on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Purchase this ebook today to kick-start your natural hair journey.

Natural Woman


by Sabrina Sainthilaire –

You make me feel…you make me feel…you make me feel like a natural woman…woman… If anyone remembers this song you are an 80’s baby that experienced some good times watching your Mother sing the words to this song while revealing bits of her most confident self! Well, at least this was my experience with the song. However, I found myself singing this song today! Yes, I found myself feeling my most confident, my most natural, my most beautiful. Why? Well, that’s easy! Because I can look in the mirror and SEE!!! I can see who God has created in His image! I can see myself again! Lol…yes, I lost myself for a minute. Caring too much about what others think while also feeling that no matter what I did, who I was, or how I appeared would never – ever- be good enough! Through my eyes, however, it seemed as if everyone else was perfect! Make-up without flaw, attire without wrinkle, shoes without scuff, hair made-up without effort! Yet, when I looked at myself… my eyes could never be satisfied because I could never truly see – ME!

The wonderful thing about blogging is that I get to tell you how I got to this point…this point of confidence! Here goes nothing!

Natural woman in the making! Mirror observation…“When I looked in the mirror I would only see my flaws.” – Rose Lady

  • FACE –I would notice a blemish before noticing the beautiful skin it lies on, I would notice an unwanted hair before I notice the beautiful freckle it sat on, I would notice an untamed lash before I noticed the almond shaped eye it protected, I would notice open pores before I noticed the golf-ball shaped nose that the Lord so humorously blessed me with! But then to top it all off, I would cover it all with make-up and become another person before I could truly appreciate who I was!
  •  BODY – As I observed my body I would only see the battles that it has endured. The pains of breakups, insecurities, misuses, scars from laboring in the workforce, the births of my children, so on and so forth. I would be so quick to cover it up, thus, feeling complete. But why did it have to take a nice outfit or get-up to make me feel that I had a nice body! Instead of recognizing the beauty underneath, I was depending on material and worldly things to validate my body before I would validate it myself in its natural form! In addition to this travesty, I would wear clothes that I would need to squeeze into! This would help me force a figure that I did not have, appear to be something that I was not, and feel better about the fact that I could still fit into these smaller clothes. This further ruined my body because the fabrics were cutting into my skin, decreasing circulation to certain areas if I sat the wrong way, and attracting unwanted/unwelcome attention. Plus, I WAS NEVER COMFORTABLE!
  • HAIR – My poor hair has been the most abused of all three. Growing up I always wanted hair like someone else. No matter who else, just as long as it was anyone else. For the longest I wanted my elder sisters hair, even now she is commonly known as Naturalista4me! I love her to death, however, her hair is one to envy. I have chopped my hair off, kept it in braids for a solid year, quick-weaved it, sewed it, burned it (relaxer), and kept it undercover (wig)! I could never be satisfied… When I looked in the mirror, I was never satisfied with my hair…never.

Natural woman in the making! The Change…

“It took me to make a dramatic change, something new, something undiscovered and embrace it until I liked it!” – Rose Lady

  1. I returned natural – mind, body, and soul
  2. I no longer cut my hair, permed my hair, or tied my hair down.
  3. I no longer took a razor or wax to my brows
  4. I no longer applied make-up…even for special occasions
  5. I no longer wore smaller clothes that made me uncomfortable – yes – I went up two sizes!
  6. I invested in moisturizers that were safe for my skin
  7. I invested in oils that would bring out my hairs natural spiral
  8. I started reciting inspirational and uplifting words to strengthened my self-confidence
  9. I started embracing my body and gradually I started to see beauty above flaw
  10. I chose to see myself as God has saw me from the beginning, this had to begin with forgiving myself for all things that distanced me away from God.

Natural woman in the making! The Result…

“I felt like a new original, an untouchable beauty, someone that no longer blended into artificial society”- Rose Lady

These changes started to reflect positively on my Spirits. It was as if I had become plugged in to a source of ongoing security. My blemishes were minimized and actually accentuated my face, my unibrow was annoying – I must admit – but my eyebrows were gorgeous in it’s natural shape, my skin was starting to heal from the maltreatment of harsh chemicals and the wear of clothes that pinched and rubbed beyond comfort! I became comfortable in my own skin! So, to sum this up, the things I gained from this transformation were…

Don’t concern yourself with the things other people say!

They don’t know you, your background, your circumstances, and they don’t know what makes you happy

Find yourself

  • FACE – If you like make-up, cool, but don’t wear it to cover what it is that you don’t like. Embrace the flawed part of you, become comfortable with that part, and understand that God’s grace is sufficient for you! After I allowed my face to go bare for a while, I decided on lip gloss and eye liner in the end. That is all I wanted! I rarely cover my marks and only pluck out the “UNI” part of my “BROW”.
  • BODY – Find your comfort style and embrace it, if you are a thick individual but admire tight-fitted clothing don’t buy your clothes small! You can buy your size clothing and it still holds that style. Then question, why is it that you wear such hugging attire? Is it for attention? Is it because you are still stuck on being smaller? Going through “The change” process will help you to answer these questions. I know that I have bought a cotton -stretch pencil skirt… it’s super cute, sexy, comfortable, and I can breathe!
  • HAIR – Give your hair a break! After my worldly detoxification process, I managed to grow my hair in abundance. My color grew almost completely out, I learned so many new styles and was showered in compliments because of it! To ‘fro it out was my go-to. Becoming comfortable with your afro is the hardest, so this is important for you to master – thus resulting in the full acceptance of your hair’s natural beauty, boldness, and strength.

I grew more in my spirituality

  • Whether it was the lack of attention I was paying to other areas of my life or that God was steadily reaching out to me, I noticed that I felt more connected to his love than ever before! Untainted on the outside and developing on the inside.

It’s time for you to feel like a natural woman!!! Please comment below and tell me a bit about your thoughts on transformation, the process of your transformation, and the result!

Lady In The Wilderness is an all out life on speed dial site that covers topics on faith, family, finances, struggles, depression, military-related issues, and anything else you can think of from a small-town country apple dipped in city living caramel perspective!!

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