The Gratitude Journal: December 2019

gratitude journal.jpg

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 

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

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

The Gratitude Journal: Nov 19′

I'm thankful, grateful, appreciate (5).png

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Cope with a Friendship Breakup

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (10)

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

Questions 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

The Gratitude Journal: October ’19

I'm thankful, grateful, appreciate (1).jpg

Hey you ❤

The focus of this month is being INFLOW.

Being inflow of life requires us to be present and live life to our fullest capacity. We can use ‘time’ to our advantage by proactively planning and preparing for the life we want to manifest. However, it’s important to remember that the only time you can be sure exists is the present moment. Whilst planning is good, remember that the life you want to live is created by the little things we do on a daily basis. Paying attention to the small things is a way to reclaim our power over how we live our life.

Declaration for October:

“I am thankful for this new season in my life. This October I embrace change. I decide to stand in what I know and choose to make better decisions. I choose to be brave and pursue my goals, even when it doesn’t appease others. I choose to finally do the things I’ve been putting off due to my perfectionism. I put one step forward even when the path isn’t clear. I walk by faith not sight.”

Question to you: 

What are you grateful for this month?

I’d love to hear from you.

Love Ash, xx 

 

 

 

Overcoming

Happy Sunday 🌷✌🏾,

Sometimes I’m humbly reminded of my strengths. There were days when sleeping all day was the norm. I spent many lonely nights contemplating why the pain would never go away. I know some of you are familiar with feeling hopeless.

Moments of pain forces a new version of ourselves to emerge. Either we use our pain to empower or disempower us. When we no longer allow our pain to take control over our present, the blessings that enter our lives become bountiful.

Think about all the times that you’ve been able to rise from adversity. You’ve been your own hero countless of times. Remember how powerful, strong, courageous and resilient you are!

Anyhoo, how are you feeling right now?

Love Ash, x

The Struggles of an Empath

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (11)

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.

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