4 Lessons Learnt from The Black Wellness Community W/ @Ashalvesblog

Hey guys!

I collaborated with Saabirahlawrence to talk about the lessons we’ve learned from the black wellness community. We both came up with 4 lessons which has helped us exponentially on our blogging journey.

I hope you give it a read. The reading time is 3 minutes! 💕✨

Love Ash xx

SAABIRAH LAWRENCE

I have collaborated with one of my favourite bloggers, to disuss a few of the things that we have learnt since writing about wellness.

Which leads me to introduce Ash, the talented writer behindAshalvesblog. Ash’s blog features a variety of encouraging and helpful pieces; on self care, gratitude and managing everyday struggles. A few of my personal favorites; Lack of Self Belief: Personal Confessional and Tips to Help & How to Overcome Feelings of Jealousy: Tips & Practical Steps.

I was new to understanding my own mental health and honestly didn’t know where to look for some kind of confirmation that I am not in this alone. Which lead me tospend a lot of my time attending self care and mental health focused events, specifically run by black people.


A few things I have learnt from the black wellness community:

The right people around you changes everything

I…

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Trust Your Timing

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (3)

Do you believe that you’re going to achieve your goals? If so, then why do we get impatient when things are not happening fast enough? Having faith that you will reach your goals is fundamental for achieving success. However, it’s easier said then done when you constantly see other people achieving these amazing things and you are not even close to reaching your goals.

When you’re not where you want to be in life and feel like things aren’t manifesting in the way you envisioned, it can make you lose hope in the process. I think for my generation (18-30’s), there’s a huge amount of pressure to live your “best life” at such a young age. Social Media has played a huge role in the pressure to be successful. On a daily basis, we are constantly reminded of people’s riches and success. We barely see people sharing their struggles. All we see is the finalized ‘image’ of what success looks like and this drives us to feel impatient with our own journeys.

Additionally, social media has afforded people the opportunity to establish themselves and making a living through platforms like YouTube and Instagram. The downside of social media is phenomenon’s like ‘overnight celebrities’ where we’d see people becoming popular and as a result, using their leverage to achieve their financial/business goals. Seeing people reach success almost effortlessly added to the growing impatience some of us feel with our own progress. Reaching instant success is way more appealing than having to put in the work to achieve your goals, so it’s no wonder why many of us find ourselves so impatient.

However social media isn’t entirely to blame for this phenomenon. The desire to want things ‘now’ is also rooted in our economic system. Everything we want is mostly at the click of a button. We live in a consumer society which values instant gratification. The reality is there’s so much pressure and it’s difficult navigating life without feeling like you have to meet certain expectations.

There’s so much pressure…pressure from society, ourselves and others. Therefore when you’re doubting your journey, it’s really important to remind yourself of a few things that will make you feel better.

When you’re doubting yourself and feeling impatient with your journey remind yourself of these 6 things you can do:

1. Stop watching others- The phrase  “Water your own grass” applies perfectly here. You need to be so focused on trying to make your dreams a reality that other people’s success doesn’t make you question yourself. Comparing yourself to what other people are doing is only going to make you feel worse about your progress. Pour all the energy you spend watching other people’s success into your own and watch your seeds blossom into something unimaginable.

2.  Take a step back- Don’t be afraid to take some time out to reflect on your progress. Taking time away to re-strategize helps us see things in a fresh new lens and may give us answers to what is required to achieve your goals. This also helps spark creativity and give you the energy you need to propel forward.

3. Go over your goals- Remember those goals you wrote down? Make it a daily or weekly practice to remind yourself of those short/long term goals. This will help remind you of the bigger picture and give you hope that you can transcend your current obstacles.

4. Celebrate every milestone, even if it’s small- Make it a regular practice to celebrate yourself, even for the little things. For example, say to yourself; “I am proud of myself for posting a new blog post or I’m glad I spoke up at work today because that’s improving my confidence skills”. All those small things should not go unnoticed because a bunch of small victories is what will eventually result in you achieving a bigger goal.

5. Write down your WHY or figure it out (define your purpose)- You need to figure out your intentions behind why you want to achieve that said goal and make it a practice to remind yourself of it every day. Maybe you want to achieve financial freedom because you want to provide for your family or you might really want transform other peoples lives. Whatever is it, reminding yourself of the purpose will help ease you through times of uncertainty.

6. Reach out to others- If you’re feeling low about yourself, reach out to someone. Often times we convince ourselves that we are the only ones going through these struggles. By reaching out to others, it can help put things into perspective and restore confidence in ourselves. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, try finding a support group or a workshop to connect with people who are trying to achieve similar things as you. (or you can always contact me if you need someone to talk to)

Affirmations for Daily Practice:

“What is mine is always for me”

“I trust God’s timing”

“My struggles add character to my success story”

“The universe is aligning right now to work in my favour”

Quote on Trust your Timing:

“Just because it hasn’t happened for me yet doesn’t mean it won’t. There’s always room for me to succeed. It doesn’t matter if someone got there faster than me…what is for me will not miss me. I live by my own timing and will not be rushed by others. I choose long term gratification overnight short time success.” -ashalves

Thank you for reading!

 

Questions to you: Do you have goals that you are working to accomplish?

Do you believe you can achieve it?

 

Love Ash, xx

 

Toxic Friends

copy of the ugly truth about self love (3)

The company we keep plays an important role in our lives. A good friendship should consistent of these overarching characteristics; supportive, considerate, trustworthy, generous, honest and understanding. Great friends growth together. They should make you feel good inside. They share moments of joy and are great support systems.

But what about if your friend/s are toxic? Unfortunately many of us have experienced a toxic friendship. If you have never experienced a toxic friend then you’re extremely lucky or…delusional lol! When a certain friendship becomes detrimental to your well-being and puts you in a negative space, you have to consider whether the friendship is worth maintaining or not. This is not an easy process especially when you extremely care for that person and once had close friendship.

This is something I’ve personally experienced. I found myself feeling like certain friendships became more like a chore. I never felt like they supported my endeavours and that they would project their insecurities onto me. Friends should never make you feel like you’re not good enough or that your feelings do not matter. I often felt compelled to maintain our friendship because they have previously shown me care and had them for a significant period of time. But when I started to attract people in my life that were loving, considerate and caring, I realised how dysfunctional a few of my  friendships were and decided that I had to make changes in order to preserve my well-being.

However, saying all of this I have also been a toxic friend! As painful as it is to admit it, I am guilty for the very things I’ve experienced. We don’t like to admit when we are the problem however in order for us to grow we have to hold ourselves accountable and live in our truth. I have been that jealous, un-supportive, bitchy, negative friend. The reasons why I was so toxic was because I was unsatisfied with the person I was inside. The way I treated others was mostly a reflection of how I felt about myself.  When you are a toxic person, it’s common to believe that you’re a great friend who does little wrong. It’s very important that we sit with ourselves and analyse how we interact within our friendships. Admitting that you’ve made mistakes is the first step for transforming yourself and becoming a better person and friend to those around you.

I’ve stood on both sides of the fence- being the toxic friend and having toxic friends. Because of this I feel like I can offer some humbling advice.

Your friend is Toxic:

Signs that they’re toxic: don’t support your endeavours, gaslight you, picks on your personality, thrives off of your insecurities, projects insecurities onto you, lack empathy, untrustworthy, gossipy, self-centred, stubborn, rude to you, doesn’t admit when they’re wrong.

Words of advice:

  • You deserve to have friends who genuinely supports and shows you love (not just says it). You are not obligated to settle for less than you deserve within your friendship. You shouldn’t accept abusive behaviour under the guise of ‘love’. Ultimately you get to choose the company you keep. You have agency over your life and get to either create a circle of friends who are helping or hindering your growth.

 

  • If being around them makes you feel negative then you need to seriously consider distancing yourself or removing them from your life. Growth takes some people time and your friend probably isn’t a bad person. In fact you’ve probably shared plenty of great moments together in the past. Experiencing good times with someone or knowing someone for a significant period does not give them an excuse to treat you badly. Your needs and desires come first and you should be selfish in preserving that. There’s people out there who will be loving, supportive and trustworthy, so you are not obligated to settle for those who don’t.

You are the toxic friend:

Signs that you’re toxic: you put your insecurities onto them, you’re not supportive, you gossip about them, you’re possessive, you’re unforgiving, you don’t admit when you’re wrong, you copy them, you don’t ask them how they are, you undermine their goals.

Words of advice:

  • When you put your friend down and have something negative to say about them, most of the time it’s only  mirroring your own insecurities. It might make you feel better finding flaws in someone so you don’t have to deal with your own insecurities, but you’re the only person who loses in the situation. The next time you find yourself feeling triggered by someone’s achievements, ask yourself whether you are 100% satisfied within that area of your life. Chances are you are not. Figure out what’s missing inside of you that’s causing you to act this way. What do you need to do more of to feel better about yourself?  If you truly love your friend and yourself, you’d take some time out to become a better you. Use those feelings as a guide to where you need to work and develop on yourself.

 

  • You are probably an amazing person deep down inside who is currently going through a difficult time. That being said, you going through something doesn’t mean you can’t apologise for the ways you’ve hurt others. If you’ve really hurt someone you should admit when you’re wrong and say sorry. Even if your apology is not accept by them, accept and forgive yourself. The best form of apology is by demonstrating that you can be better.

In conclusion

Ultimately the message is if we love ourselves more we will naturally treat others better and we would expect better from the company we keep. Keep people around you where love is reciprocated, where you both want to grow and glo together.

Questions to you:

Have you had a toxic friend?

Have you been a bad friend to someone?

I would love to hear your experiences & thoughts.

Love Ash, xx

 

 

Lack of Self-Belief: Personal Confessional and Tips to Help

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (1)

 

Is your lack of self-belief holding you back? You might want to create a wonderful life for yourself but a part of you feels like you are not good enough to achieve it. As 2018 is coming to an end I think it’s the perfect time to talk about something that can really have an impact on the upcoming year.

Low self-belief comes from an overarching message that you aren’t good enough. Suffering from low self-belief takes different forms in a person’s life. For example; avoiding pursuing your dreams because you don’t believe you can pull it off or feel uncomfortable to talk about yourself at social events. For some of us, self-belief doesn’t come naturally and is one of our biggest obstacles coming in the way of manifesting the life we want.

A lack of self-belief does not come in a vacuum. Many of us who suffer or have suffered from low self-esteem can trace the root causes back to our childhood or a negative experience that has affected the way we see ourselves. This is definitely true from my experience. I can trace this back to my school experiences. I always I tried hard in school but I would never get the grades to reflect my efforts. I didn’t have the experience of teachers who believed in me- in fact, they would usually undermine my capabilities by giving me low targets to meet. I believed I had the potential to do really well but my efforts were never acknowledged nor rewarded. When you’re the only one in your corner fighting to be better, it can be isolating and debilitating to one’s self-esteem especially when you put effort behind what you want to do. This experience ultimately created a sense of doubt in my ability to pursue my dreams.

At the end of 2017 I decided to embark on a journey of self-discovery which became the catalyst for working on my self-belief. I wanted to be self-confident and have believe in my potential to pursue my passion. I began searching for information that would help me and I remember coming across a video. She said something so simple yet it shifted my way of thinking: “ No Matter What”. For me those words mean having unwavering faith in my potential and capabilities no matter what obstacles I faced.  No matter what means believing in myself when others don’t recognize my potential. Those words mean that negative experiences are simply adding character to my journey and not evidence against my capabilities.

I wrote down a few declarations at the beginning of 2018 to help me on my journey towards truly believing in myself and they’re working extremely well. If you’re currently going through this battle, they should help you too.

Here are three declarations to make to yourself:

  1. No matter what- No matter what you go through you have to believe that you will make it through anything and be victorious. You have to make a declaration that nothing is going to take you out of this thing called life, despite how painful and hard it can be at times. Even if it takes you a long time to achieve your goals, you will not give up on yourself and will continue to take steps towards manifesting your dreams. The failures that you experience are lessons and teach you important life lessons that will ultimately lead to your success.
  2. If others can do it, so can I- There’s so much information available now that you can create a life for yourself unimaginable before. There are people out there who have experienced similar obstacles as you but have still been able to live their dreams. Even if you’re still figuring out how (I’m in the same boat), just know that we all start somewhere and sometimes you’ve just got to do it anyways and figure it out along the way. You possess all the qualities within you to live your version of success and happiness. There’s room for all of us to win, and a spot has been made for you to fill, if you put in the consistency and patience required.
  3. I am deserving of a great life- You deserve to wake up every morning and feel grateful for the things you have in your life. You deserve to live the life you’ve always envisioned for yourself. This is your world! Look at all the obstacles you’ve had to overcome to get to this point. You’re not on this earth to suffer but to live your best life.

And finally…

Having self-belief certainly does not come overnight. It’s still something that I struggle with and just like any other part of self-development, it’s a process which takes time. If you’re struggling with this, I want you to know that it’s not too late to start now. Even if you don’t fully believe in yourself, try living like you already have self-believe and trust me your life will change. Why not try a new feeling outside of doubt, worry and lack of self-confidence?

10 Affirmations: 

  • I am my biggest supporter
  • No matter what happens in life I can handle it
  • Nothing is going to take me out of this race called life
  • I refused to believe I am on this earth to suffer
  • I am not going to stop until I live my purpose
  • My faith in self is too big for anything to stop me!
  • In times of uncertainty, I will allow my inner child to guide me into following my dreams
  • I am proud of all of my accomplishments, even when they’re small
  • No matter how it takes me, I will manifest the life that I want
  • I will move towards my dreams, even if it’s a crawl on some days

Have you suffered or are currently suffering from a lack of self-belief? What are your experiences?

What is your personal development goal for 2019?

Love Ash, xx

Toxic Family

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (2)

There comes a time when you start to analyze your family relationships and ask yourself whether they are fulfilling or not.  It’s painful to admit that certain family members are toxic and don’t always have our best interest at heart. You might have to make a decision whether to cut ties completely or maintain a relationship from a distance.

Speaking up about toxic family members is a very difficult. There’s an unspoken rule that some things are kept within the family. As a result we maintain unhealthy and unfulfilling relationships simply because you share the same DNA. But what’s the point of family if they aren’t compassionate, caring, understanding, kind and loving?

There’s plenty of conversations around toxic friends or partners but not enough about toxic family relationships. This is something I’ve been very reluctant to talk about because of the stigma I’ve placed around talking about family affairs publicly.  However I no longer believe people should be shamed for speaking their truth. I refuse to tolerate any abusive behaviour simply because we share the same blood. I don’t want to keeping hiding the fact that some family members have inflicted more harm than good and have negatively impacted my well-being. I came to the conclusion that if maintaining certain relationships means to compromise with own sanity and well-being then it’s not worth it. I know people close to me who are struggling with having toxic family members around them but feel obliged to put up with abusive behaviour.

For any one who’s currently stuck in a predicament where they feel obligated to put up with a family members abuse, i’m here to tell you that it’s not your responsibility to deal with their demons. You should not feel obligated to put up with abuse simply because they bear the title of your parent or have your last name.

4 things you should know about your toxic family:

1. If someone is abusing you they are not loving you. Love is not abusive. When someone is inflicting violence onto another, it is not a display of love. That family member may have treated you with care or could have even provided a roof over your head but that doesn’t excuse their abusive behavior. Bell Hooks summed this up in All About Love
bell hooks

2. Putting yourself first is not selfish.  You are not obligated to sacrifice your peace of mind for your family. It can be difficult to release the notion that we have to be self-sacrificial for our family members, having to put our feelings aside to maintain the family image. However by doing this you compromise your integrity and normalise dysfunction that should not exist in the first place. Sometimes family issues make life more difficult and stressful than it needs to be. If they are affecting your well being and put you in a negative space then you have a right to keep your distance.

3. Quit trying to change them if they don’t want to change. You might have expressed  to them that you don’t like the way they treat you but they still have not corrected their behaviour. You can tell someone to change plenty of times but they won’t until they make that decision to change themselves. It might be time to accept them for who they are and lower your expectations that they will change. By lowering our expectations we won’t be constantly hurt by their wrongdoings and we find peace with our circumstances.

4. You don’t have to carry the burden of their issues. People who inflict abuse onto others have typically been victims of some form of violence themselves. Whilst we should acknowledge the reasons why people inflict violence onto others and the fact that they’ve normalised that said violence, we must not excuse their behaviour when it’s detrimental to our own well being. You can emphasize and understand someone’s pain but it can’t come at the expense of your own happiness. That person has some form of agency and ultimately you’re not obligated to coddle someone who cannot recognize the depth of how their issues affect others around them.

Have you experienced a toxic family member?

What advice would you offer someone going through this dilemma?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Love Ash, xx