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Side Effects of Overextending Yourself

Do you constantly put the needs of others before your own? Are you often compromising your personal peace to please others?

Too often have I placed the needs of others before my own and ended up exhausting myself in the process. I believe that helping others is extremely important, however I don’t believe it should leave us feeling burdened, fatigued and under appreciated.

Overextending is when you are putting too much of yourself into a situation, leaving you with less energy to pour into meeting your personal needs. Overextending is often done with the expectation that the person receiving the help will be pleased with the amount of effort you are giving. Chronic people pleasers often make it their personal responsibility to sacrifice their own needs, therefore burdening themselves, in an attempt to serve others.

People pleasers often feel obligated to make the life of others easier. However in an attempt to be caring and helpful, they end up neglecting their true desires to live holistically and prioritise their well being.

These are the signs that you are overextending yourself:

  • Feeling burnt out
  • Running out of resources
  • Feeling resentful
  • Potentially feeling used and undervalued
  • Restlessness and fatigue

Tips to Help:

Say no more often- Politely decline when people ask for help and you cannot give it. There’s times where we simply don’t have the means, energy or time to help. You are not obligated to inconvenience yourself to please others. Be clear and decisive. Your no is valid.

Communicate your needs- If you genuinely want to help someone but may not have the capacity to do so right away, then communicate a healthy compromise. Tell them what you can help out with or in what deadline. Make it easier for you.

Surround yourself with people who get it- If you have people who are considerate and respect boundaries, it’s easier to feel comfortable fully expressing your needs and desires. Find people who understand you and won’t consistently put in you a situation you feel uncomfortable with.

Self Reflection- Do you people please because you are scared of disappointing others? Start getting to the root reason why you feel compelled to put others first and your LAST!

Affirmations:

“My needs are valid and important”

“Before I check in on others, I need to first check in on myself”

“People who have my best interest at heart will find it in them to respect when I can’t extend my hand to them, in times when i need me the most”

Questions to you:

Do you overextend yourself often?

How are you looking after your own needs first?

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Much love, Ash xx

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Embrace

New decade mantra:

Instead of resisting, we are learning to embrace. We are no longer allowing disappointment to stop us from living the life we truly desire. We use our pain as fuel to live our highest, grandest life possible. We understand that life comes in seasons and instead of resisting change, we embrace it. The past decade has come with many life lessons. In the new decade, we utilize the knowledge acquired in the last one to become a better, more wiser human beings. We embrace, stay hopeful and go after our hearts true desires.

I wish you all a blessed new year 🌷🌷

Love Ash, xx

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Intention Setting for the New Year 2020

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It’s the end of the year and you may be thinking about all the goals you want to achieve in the next year. But have you thought about your intentions behind your wanting to accomplish those goals?

Intention setting is when you ensure that all your goals are in alignment with your values and the core of who you are. Intention setting puts more meaning and purpose behind your goals. An example of this could be gaining your driving license. It becomes less about just passing the test but about wanting a vehicle to give you a sense of freedom to uproot and explore multiple places.

Benefits of Intention Setting:

Intention helps you avoid falling into the comparison trap. You gain a wider perspective as to why you want to achieve your goals. You become less consumed in appeasing the masses and more focused on meeting your targets. The acquisition of your goals becomes less material or status-driven but more about satisfying one’s soul’s desires.

Intentions are important because they remind us of the reasons why we want to achieve certain goals when things get tough. When you want to give up you can remind yourself of why it was important for you to achieve that goal. Having a business is less about the title of an entrepreneur but more about providing financial freedom for your family to there’s more joy.

Intention setting allows you to raise your vibrational energy by penetrating your psyche and providing a sense of hope, optimism to help you manifest your goals.

Additionally, intention setting makes your goals more possible. If you have a big goal you want to accomplish, it’s much harder to stay consistent when the going gets tough. If you set intentions behind your goal, it feels much more realistic and attainable to achieve. This is where the law of attraction comes into play. You set the intention for what you want, match your daily practices so that you become aligned with that goal each day. The universe will put you in the path of achieving that goal.

As the new year is coming, don’t forget to set your intentions. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How does my goal align with my purpose?
  • What values am I practising with this goal?
  • How does achieving this goal feel in my body?

Today’s challenge:

Start your day with “ dear universe my intention today is to…”

A question to you: 

What intentions are you setting for 2020?

I’d love to hear your answers!

Love Ash, xx 

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Surrender.

Sometimes we want a situation to go a certain way but life often has its own plans. Sometimes we need to let go and allow the powers above to reconstruct our lives. You may not understand the current turmoil you are experiencing but eventually you will.
Trust that there’s work being done to restructure your chaos and make room for your joy.
Question for self-reflection:
How are you trusting your current situation?
Love Ash, x
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The Gratitude Journal: Nov 19′

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Happy November all ❤

This month’s gratitude journal topic is about the importance of self-reflection.

For many of us, we don’t give ourselves enough time to reflect because we are too busy keeping up with our daily responsibilities. When we are living on autopilot, it’s easy to get caught up doing low vibration things that are not in alignment with the abundantly joyful life we aim to create. 

The end of the year is a great time to reflect on our lives and check in our emotional, mental and physical well-being. We need moments where we can look back and ask ourselves the necessary questions i.e. what did I learn, how did this make me feel? The more we reflect on the actions and events that have taken place in our lives, the more hope we have on creating a brighter, more intentional future for ourselves. Being grateful for the gift of life itself requires us to give ourselves the time to truly appreciate all the blessings we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing

“The journey into self-love and self-acceptance must begin with self-examination…until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is impossible to grow or learn in life.” – Iylanla Vanzant

Writing prompts:

How has my year been so far?

What energy am I bringing into the next two months?

What do I need to let go of?

What am I proud of myself for?

Question to you:

What are you looking forward to this month?

I hope you have a blessed, restful month!

Love Ash, xx

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Recommit.

Every now and then, life will throw us a curve ball.  When we go through hard times, it’s easy to forget that we have the tools within us to make ourselves feel better. When life is good, self-care practises feel easier to follow out of pure enjoyment. However, when we are feeling low we can become complacent with feeling stuck in our pain.

Just because you fall short at times doesn’t take away from the progress you have made in your life. Self-love isn’t a linear progress. It’s a journey which has multiple bumps in the road. Don’t beat yourself up when you fall short and find yourself reverting back to an unhealthy place. Instead, make a detour back to practicing constructive things that will make you feel better.

Recently I’ve been going through a rough couple of weeks due to personal issues and I found myself completely neglecting my personal needs. The things I’d usually do like meditate, exercise and pray were being supplemented by unhealthy practices i.e brain numbing tv shows. Instead of beating myself up about it, I decided to get back on track and try again.

There’s still enough time for you to recommit to your own growth. We may fall off sometimes, but we must not be discouraged. Don’t be afraid to give yourself a 1000x second chances.

A Gentle Reminder:

Don’t forget that you’ve got the resources within you to help your healing.

Self-care is how we take our power back.

Sometimes there will be bumps in the road that will throw you off course. What matters most is whether we choose to get back up.

Question to you

How are you doing today?

Love, Ash xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Cope with a Friendship Breakup

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Have you ever drifted apart from a friend? They say some friends are for seasons but there are certain friendships that we thought would last forever. When I was younger, I used to visualize me and my friends raising our kids together, exploring the world and seeing each other reach the height of our success but life had its own plans.

Ending a friendship is extremely heartbreaking especially if they were a close friend. Unfortunately some relationships take a turn for the worst overtime. When it becomes unbearable to be around them or if their presence/ energy brings you down, it may be a sign to walk away. Friendships should make you feel loved, valued and respected. A great friend genuinely cares about your well-being and won’t be the cause of your stress. It’s normal to go through rough patches with our friends but if the common theme is more negative than positive then it’s an indication that something is wrong with the foundation of the friendship.

In saying that, just because your friendship has taken a turn for the worst doesn’t mean that it’ll always be that way. There’s still an opportunity to rebuild and resurrect old friendships. As we enter different seasons in our life, inevitably our friendships won’t always align with who we are at that present moment.

To make room for new relationships in our lives, we need to let go of what’s no longer serving us. I don’t believe in cutting people off because we all make mistakes and have the capacity to change our ways. If you decide to part ways and if the circumstances allow you to, it’s best to have a conversation about it so you both can engage in a constructive dialogue. Irrespective of how the friendship ended, you can’t undermine the value that person had in your life. Use the experience to draw on the positives and celebrate the contributions they made to help you become the person you are today.

From my personal experiences, I have conducted a list of tips to help people deal with friendship breakups.

How to cope with a friendship breakup:

  1. Give yourself space to mourn- Give yourself the time to mourn the loss of the friendship just like you would an intimate relationship. It’s okay to cry or feel bitter feelings towards the way things transpired. You should let it all out than to build resentment towards them.
  2. Confide in someone- Speak to someone you can confide in about how you feel. Maybe another friend can give you insight into what went wrong in the friendship and how to gain closure from the situation.
  3. Make new friends- Go to a social event, reach out to someone new and make friends. Losing a friend especially a close one can make us feel lonely and isolated. Give yourself permission to get to know new people because they can add value to your life. Making new friends isn’t always easy but if you start opening yourself up to others, you will naturally attract your community.
  4. Accountability- Take accountability for ways you participated in the breakup of the friendship. This is a great way for you to figure out what lessons you need to take from the experience so that they are not repeated in your other friendships. Maybe there’s things you need to be honest with yourself about in order to become a better comrade to others.
  5. Gratitude- Express gratitude for the lessons and experiences you gained from your friendship. Write down all the ways the friendship added value to your life. Showing gratitude allows you to see the breakup of the friendship as a blessing.

Quotes for reflection:

“Release and detach from every person, every circumstance, every condition, and every situation that no longer serves a divine purpose in your life. All things have a season, and all seasons must come to an end. Choose a new season, filled with purposeful thoughts and activities.”- Iyanla Vanzant

“I am thankful for the lessons you have taught me. Thank you for contributing to the person I am today and for ushering me into this new season in my life.” – Ash Alves

“Some may have one single purpose in our lives and then move along after they fulfilled whatever that purpose was; they came for a reason and a season.”- Unknown

“Some friends may be a solitary season. Their presence was important at the moment, but seasons change and people change. We come to realize that even though the friendship may have been good, it was fleeting and it ended for a reason.” – Unknown

Quotes to you:

Have you experienced a friendship breakup?

How would you deal with conflict within your friendship/s?

I’d love to hear what you think!

Love Ash, xx

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The Struggles of an Empath

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Being an empath is a superpower. We can frequently sense other people’s emotions often without them having to explain themselves. The people who have made a positive impact on this world are most likely empaths. The ability to be considerate, compassionate and harmonising truly makes us empaths blessings to humanity.

Definition- “an empath is someone who absorbs other people’s emotions because of their high sensitivities”.

But what are the cons of being an empath? In a world with so much pain and suffering, being an empath can be exhausting, to say the least. Not only are we confronted with our personal issues, we constantly feel the pain of other people’s problems.  I love being an empath but recently I’ve noticed how my self sacrificing ways has caused me to neglect my personal needs. My inability to say no out of fear that I will be disappointing others has resulted in feeling burnt out and drained. I’ve exhausted my time and resources to help others when the same was never reciprocated. Wanting to wear a cape and help everyone with their problems is virtually impossible.

To use our empath power in an empowering way, I thought it’d be interesting to explore the negatives of being an empath.

Unhealthy side of being an Empath:

Overthinking – Misinterpreting someone’s mental state. Even though we tend to be highly intuitive, sometimes our perceptions are wrong. Constantly trying to figure people out and imposing on them what we think they are feeling can prove annoying and draining for the person on the receiving end. Sometimes when people they are doing fine, they being honest!

Overanalyzing- Similar to the previous point. Sometimes things are as they seem and don’t need much more analysis. Things like a disagreement with a friend or family member can easily turn into a long-winded battle within ourselves over what went wrong. Overanalyzing can result in us being unnecessarily harsh on ourselves especially when we think we’ve done something wrong. Self forgiveness is harder to practice for empaths who care deeply about people’s feelings.

Boundaries- Not being able to implement healthy boundaries with others. Typically empaths attract emotionally draining people who often pour onto them all their issues. Empaths becomes an emotional blanket for those who are egotistical and self-serving. We find ourselves in unbalanced relationships and tend to feel like we are giving much more than we are receiving.

Saying no- Empaths find it more difficult than the average person to say no because they are highly receptive to the emotions that result in disappointing others. We end up exhausting ourselves trying to please others around us. Saying yes to everyone often leads us to say “no” to our self-care. Our inability to turn things down makes empaths feel unsatisfied and drained.

Evolved Empaths

Learning the possible negatives of being an empath helps us to use our empath traits in an empowering and self-fulfilling way. I am learning that I am not responsible for other people’s moods and I don’t need to absorb their emotions. I have a skill for understanding other people’s emotions and I use that as a tool to create community and have genuine interactions.

5 Affirmations for Empaths:

1.Setting boundaries is a self-care ritual. When I express my boundaries, I am honouring my integrity and standing in the truth of who I am and what I deserve.

2. Saying no allows me to communicate realistic expectations of myself. I trust the universe will guide others and bring them in the path of someone else who is assigned to help them.

3. I allow myself to go into nature to be recharged. I take time out for self-care rituals and make a conscious effort to be present to avoid being overwhelmed by emotions. I make space for relaxation without feeling guilty.

4. I let go of the idea that I can fix everyone and allow others to be. I realise my own limits and let people figure out things themselves. I make peace with the fact that some things can’t be ‘fixed’ and that people need to go through certain things for their own personal growth.

5. I allow positivity to enter my life. I express gratitude daily and celebrate my joyful moments. I release the need to fester onto negative experiences and let go of the need to hold onto pain. I allow myself to experience joy in its entirety because that’s what I deserve.

A Question to you: 

Are you an empath? 

 

I always love to hear your thoughts!

Blessings, Ash xx

 

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The Gratitude Journal: Sep 19′

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Hello love,

The topic of this month’s Gratitude Journal is LESSONS

Some obstacles are blessings in disguise. Obstacles help us to be redirected in the path that’s in alignment with our highest good. Other obstacles are a test of our endurance and perseverance. Without obstacles, we wouldn’t be who we are today. Those obstacles that exist in your life are teaching you something about yourself and your current situation. All challenges are apart of the human experience.

Declaration:

I am grateful for the times that I was redirected and pointed towards a better path. All the things I have been through have been lessons that I needed to learn to become the person I am today. Resilience, love, and peace were built as a result of the things I’ve overcome. Through the lessons I have learned, I can help others on their journeys so that they don’t have to make the same mistakes.

Reminder:

If you are going with a difficult challenge in your life currently, the lesson you need to learn may not be clear to you. Have patience as all will be revealed to you eventually. Utilise each obstacle to flex your resilience muscle. Declare that no matter what happens, you will overcome it because you are a fighter. Even if it takes you time to move forward, you will be a better person as a result of your current pain. Have unwavering faith in your ability to manifest the life that you want no matter what obstacles that come your way.

Monthly Meditation:

“I am grateful for God/Universe using me as a vessel to learn this hard lesson. I know that I have a higher calling on my life. I choose to use this knowledge to become a better person and to give back to others.”

Questions to ask yourself when experiencing obstacles:

  1. What is this obstacle teaching me?
  2. What do I need to pay attention to?
  3. How can I overcome this?

Question to you NOW:

What are you grateful for today?

I’d love to hear from you!

Love Ash, xx

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FEAR OF MISSING OUT: SOCIAL MEDIA WOES

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Have you ever been on social media and saw people having the time of their lives and felt like you were missing out? The fear of missing out aka (FOMO), often derives from feeling like others are experiencing better things than you are. It has become more prevalent in the age of social media where you are constantly paraded with the highlights of other people’s lives.

Social media exacerbates this feeling of missing out. It leads people to compare their ordinary lives to others online who they perceive to be leading more abundant, fulfilling lives. Sites like Instagram and Facebook place emphasis on the reel highlights of someone’s life. People use it as a tool to brag about all the amazing things they are doing, intentionally leaving out all the very normal things that most people experience. This creates space for people to feel envious and dissatisfied with their own life’s.

You suffer from FOMO if you do or feel any of the following:

 

  • Feeling like everyone is having more fun, and experiencing more joy than you
  • Overcompensating by posting content to make you feel better about your life and to convince others that you have it all together
  • Constantly watching what other people are doing and keeping tabs to feel like we are a part of the action
  • Feeling pressured to be visible on social media
  • Feeling like no one can relate their struggles

This fear of missing out can harm people’s self-esteem. It can make us feel like we are not good enough and unfortunate in comparison. The constant wave of picturesque pictures and celebratory statuses can make us ungrateful for the life that we lead.

I think in some way many of us fear missing out. If you are a content creator, the pressure to be constantly visible and produce content can keep us in a constant hamster wheel. I know I’ve felt like I can’t take a social media break or that I must engage in certain conversations in fear of missing my window of opportunity to promote my brand. As humans, we have a desire to be valued and loved. Experiencing joy is fundamental for self-preservation and being a part of something makes us feel less lonely. However, the feeling of missing out leads us to seek validation in unhealthy ways by constantly ‘performing’ online. It brings us back to the very school-like dynamics of feeling left out and trying to fit in.

The reality is even if you were able to acquire the things you envy from others (i.e. a relationship, a great social life or material success), it doesn’t guarantee that your life will be more fulfilled. You may end up in a loving relationship but may not be enough because you lack self confidence. Also, things aren’t always what it seems online. There have been times when I posted myself going out but wasn’t feeling that great about myself. You can’t make assumptions based on what you see online.

If you are suffering from FOMO I want you to remember this: 

People are online showing their reel highlights. We all have them. Comparing ourselves to other people’s highlights is unfair and unkind. You never know what others are going through. All that matters are that your life is in alignment with what you envision for it.

Remember, you get to live life on your terms. Your life is incomparable to others and you slay in your own lane. Nothing can fill a void that’s within you other than you. Find peace and joy within your own life and make a declaration that other people’s lives will not disrupt that peace.

Now over to you! Questions for you: 

Do you suffer from FOMO?

What are your thoughts?

Much love, Ash xx

 

Copyright © 2019 AshAlves All Rights Reserved

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The Gratitude Journal: August 19’

Happy August,

For this month’s gratitude topic, I want to talk about uncertainty!

When we are uncertain about a decision we need to make, it can make us feel stuck and unsettled. The fear of missing out or potentially making the wrong decision can be very daunting. We all feel uncertain at times and somehow we always figure it out. If you are currently feeling stuck, just remember that it will not last forever.

Perhaps we need to feel uncertain at times to get us to pause and really think. When we are sure about where we are heading, we are less inclined to take time out to observe all areas of our lives. Uncertainty allows us to take a birds eye view at our life and begs us to ask the questions; What area in my life do I need to pour more energy into?, Am I happy?, What needs shifting?

Uncertainty doesn’t last forever so take advantage of the need to pause in order to re-evaluate your life. Consider it as an opportunity to prioritize self care and put joy at the centre of your life. Don’t feel compelled to make an instant decision if you have the privilege of stalling it until you’re more certain. Life isn’t about getting to a destination “fast” but it’s about enjoying the ride. Maybe you’re uncertain because you need to show more gratitude for where you currently are in order to invite in something new and abundant into your life.

So whilst you’re feeling stuck, frustrated and uncertain, remind yourself that it won’t last forever and allow your intuition to guide you into making the best decision for you. Don’t be so attached to the outcome. And remember that you can always make another decision.

What are you focusing on this Month?

Have a great one!

Love Ash, xx

 

Copyright © 2019 AshAlves All Rights Reserved

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How to overcome feeling not good enough

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Are you struggling with feeling not good enough? No matter how much you accomplish or try, you still feel this lingering feeling of not being enough. You might be in a perpetual cycle of doing things to fill a void to distract yourself from feelings of unworthiness. 

Typically the narrative we tell ourselves about not feeling good enough derives from our upbringing. If you are fed messages by your caregivers that you are enough and valuable, you are more likely to have that foundation of self-acceptance and worthiness. If you were raised in an environment where you were criticised and felt like you had to shrink parts of who you are, you’re more likely to struggle with low self-esteem. However, it isn’t always this binary. Some people come from loving backgrounds who still suffer from not feeling good enough because of other negative experiences such as social media, bullying or even academic pressures. We are not born with feeling not good enough, we are taught to think that way about ourselves as a result of negative experiences we go through in life. 

Overcoming feeling not good enough is a process that takes times. When we’ve become accustomed to that feeling for such a long time, our brain convinces us that it’s a part of our reality which is non-fixable. By letting that narrative of unworthiness win, we cheat ourselves out of opportunities that will make us feel loved, valued and that invites emotional healing.  However, just because you don’t feel good enough right now doesn’t mean that you can’t change the narrative. You can choose to take control of how you think about yourself. 

Three reminders for when you don’t feel good enough:

1.  You are enough- You were born enough and nothing can take that away from you. Sometimes circumstances arise which make us doubt who we are. When we are used to disappointment, it reinforces that narrative that we aren’t enough for good opportunities, love or abundance. We believe that if we acquire more things, or become more of something else we would become more worthy. In a society where our value is closely tied to our status, material possessions, it’s normal to feel like this. Just because you don’t feel good enough in the present moment doesn’t mean that you always will.

2.  Comparison is the thief of joy- Not everyone has it all figured out. No one is in your lane and no one is your competition. When you compare yourself, you’re unfairly putting two completely different lives and human beings in competition with the other. You do yourself a disservice when you compare yourself. They don’t know the challenges you’ve endured. Your progress does not have to look like anyone else’s. This is your life and you are in control.

3.  Give yourself love- You’re deserving of love and compassion even when you feel like you aren’t enough. Shower yourself with appreciation and love always but especially when you don’t feel good about yourself.  Nothing is inherently wrong with you just because you feel this way. Acknowledging that you are struggling is the first step to transformation. 

Five tips to help you overcome feeling not good enough:

1. Inner Child Work- Inner child work is an opportunity to resolve your childhood emotions and experiences. Go into a quite space and write down all the negative experiences you remember in your childhood. Then reflect on how they may have impacted you by asking yourself; has this experience shaped the way I think about myself now?  When you start to see a direct correlation between not feeling enough and your childhood experiences, you’ll start to see that the way you feel is a narrative that has been taught to you but can be changed. If this work is too much for you, I would suggest seeking help from a therapist who would be able to offer you professional support. 

2. Get intimate with your inner critique- In order to fully understand why you don’t feel good enough, you have to unravel your thoughts. Next time you find yourself not feeling good, interrupt your chain of thought and ask yourself the following; How you are feeling? Why do I feel like this and what triggered those feelings? Then start to think about alternative ways you can look at the problem.

3. Separate yourself from your negative thoughts- When negative thoughts about yourself arise, try to separate yourself from the thoughts you are experiencing. For example; if you feel not good enough say “my thoughts are telling that i’m not good enough”. You will begin to gain better perspective and start to realise that we can change the narrative we tell ourselves. 

4. Mantra- Write down anything that can trigger you into feeling like you’re not good enough. For example; being rejected from an opportunity. Find or create your own affirmations that you can refer to when those feelings arise. Find some comforting words that help you feel good and refer to them when you’re feeling low. 

5. Talk to someone- The hardest thing is going through it alone. Talk to a friend or family member and tell them how you’re feeling. If you need extra help, look for a support group near you or call your GP and ask for to get in contact with a therapist service. 

Questions to you:

Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough?

What advice would you offer a friend who feels like this?

I’d love to hear from you! 

Love, Ash xx

 

Copyright © AshAlves 2019, All Rights Reserved

The Gratitude Journal: Jan 2020

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New year. New Decade. New Beginning.

We have entered a new decade. Who knows what it’s going to bring? The only thing we know for sure is that we can do our best to make this year the best one possible!

The time is now to go after our hearts true desires. Yes, it’s going to be difficult and there’s going to be tough moments. When faced with adversity, we should choose to use it as fuel to go after our heart’s desires. We make a choice this year to step fully into our power and use every failure as a stepping stone to achieving our greatest victory.

We go full force into our creative endeavours. We let go of our need to self-sabotage and we reclaim the magic within us. We unapologetically show up in the world and demand respect. We aim to do things daily that are in alignment with our best interests and move us closer towards our goals. We choose to surround ourselves with loving friendships. We get up close and personal with our shadow side and do the personal work to become a better person. This year is not only about learning but also about remembering the lessons from the past to create a brighter future.

We are being called to go beyond what is comfortable to achieve greatness and to fulfil our purpose on this earth. Allow yourself to fly in 2020.

Question to you:

What are you looking forward to this year? 

I hope you have a blessed New Year ❤

Love Ash, xx

The Gratitude Journal: December 2019

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Hey lovely,

This month’s Gratitude Journal is inspired by this quote from Saabirah Lawrence, co-founder of Everyday Queens: 

“Every year is your year” -Saabirah Lawrence 

2020 is approaching and some of us may be anticipating what the new year is going to bring. You may have had an amazing year or you might be impatiently waiting to draw 2019 to a close. The new year is the perfect opportunity to start again on a clean slate and truly go after the life we want to create for ourselves. 

Saabirah’s quote reminds us that even if you don’t feel like you’ve accomplished much in the year, every year, whether it’s good or bad is just as valuable to your life’s journey. Sometimes your year requires you to patiently wait to reap the benefits of your work in the next. The wait this year will have teaches you the importance of patience, humility and staying consistent. If your 2019 was mostly consumed by pain, a lesson you can draw from it would be how to become resilient in the face of adversity. You may have had an amazing 2019 and the current year has given you the ammunition to truly go after what your heart desires. Every year creates a blueprint for the next, even if it’s that you are using the previous year as inspiration to do better or that you continuing the foundation of amazing work you have accomplished. Every year is your year, whether it’s a good or bad one because it brings us closer to ourselves. 

2019 for me has been a year of exceptional personal growth. There have been both good and bad times. As this year draws to a close, I aim to focus on all the things I am grateful for and lessons I have learned as a result of the hard times I’ve endured. Every new year I focus on creating new goals but the focus for 2020 for the first time will be on continuing the work I’ve already been doing. 

Questions to you:

What are you grateful for today?

What is your highlight of 2019?

Quote for the Month:

“I embrace the good and the bad as it all adds to my life’s story. I use my pain as fuel to become a better, wiser and more loving person. I remind myself of all the good that life has and continues to offer me in order to keep me grounded and appreciative. Every single thing i’ve been through is bringing me closer to my higher self.”- Ash Alves

Much love Ash, xx 

Moving from Hopeless to Hopeful

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (11)

How do you get from hopeless to hopeful? How do you bridge the gap between wanting to give up and deciding to try again? When you are in a state of feeling like giving up on life, the idea that you will one day feeling better again sounds like a far-reaching idea. Sometimes we go through difficult moments in our lives and it feels stuck in our pain. For some people, the pain becomes unbearable and convinces them to give up on life itself.

I know all too well the feeling of hopelessness. I remember years ago when I was depressed, I felt like my life couldn’t get any worse. For a person who feels hopeless, it feels like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. They resign to defeat and despair of their situation, believing that their circumstances are too difficult for them to overcome.

Going from hopeless to hopeful isn’t easy but it’s possible with a thing called faith. Hope arrives when you declare that you will continue to keep trying even if you can’t foresee what triumph looks like in the present moment. Faith is a declaration that no matter what happens, you will be okay eventually. It’s a knowing that you are infinitely loved and protected and that irrespective of your current pain, the universe/God/higher self, has your best interest at heart. Having faith is a constant reminder that moments of uncertainty will pass and that you are not here to suffer.

To go from hopeless to hopeful, one must also relinquish the comfort of despair and choose again to fight through the discomfort of low moods for a possible victory. When we are in a space of feeling low about ourselves it’s very easy to throw a pity party and become consumed with feeling sorry for ourselves. Naturally, the thought of trying to make a change and feel better is draining and often we find ourselves stuck in not knowing how to improve our situation. Our feelings of hopelessness end up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy with us constantly feeding into this narrative of despair and powerlessness. Choosing to ignore our power and our ability to help ourselves is easier than trying because trying means having to sit in the discomfort of one’s feelings to one-day hope to alleviate them.

In saying this, it’s important to recognise when you need to seek help. Depression/ low mood can make it extremely difficult to take action steps towards their recovery and require professional assistance and/or medication to do so. This is nothing to be ashamed about if you need intervention- It’s about taking any necessary steps to feel better.

Tips to help you regain hope:

Practice unwavering faith- Your reality does not have to match your conviction. Start to believe that things will get better even if you don’t see it now. Visualise your future self-making peace with your present situation and hold onto the vision and have faith that it will eventually become reality.

Reach out for help- It’s hard going through low moods alone and not having anyone you can confide in. Talk to a friend or family member and tell them how you’re feeling and what ways they can support you. If you need extra help or don’t have that support system, look for a support group near you or ask your GP to get you in contact with a therapist/counselling service.

Affirmation challenge- Lisa Nicols has an excellent affirmation challenge she did for 30 days that helped with her recovering from depression:
I’m proud that you x7 (things that celebrate yourself for)
I forgive you for x7 (things to cut the shackles of blame, shame, guilt and blame around)
I commit to you that (things that you will do for you)
Write affirmations on post stick notes and put them around your room. Make sure that the words resonate with you and move something inside of you make you feel better.

 
Small steps forwards- Challenge yourself to go on a walk, or do a breathing exercise for 5mins, watch something about how you are feeling. You don’t need to jump up and radically change your life (unless that’s what you want to do). You just need to take steps in the direction of feeling better. Make it your priority to make small progress each day.

Journalling- Write about how you are feeling. Allow the pen or keypad to just flow with the thoughts on your mind. Let all your feelings out regularly. Once you’ve gotten into the routine of writing your thoughts, begin to go over them and identify any ways of thinking that may be unhelpful. Ask yourself: Are these thoughts rational? What alternative ways can I think about this?

Affirmations:

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

“You were not bought onto this earth to merely suffer. It is your birthright to experience, joy, love, peace and prosperity. You are special by virtue of being you and no one can take that away from you. You have a special calling on your life and the world needs you to show them what overcoming any obstacle looks like. You are magnificent and powerful. Keep fighting through because the other end looks bright for you.” ~ Ash Alves

Question to you: 

What advice would you give to someone who has lost hope in life?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

 
Love Ash, xx