How to strengthen your Intuition

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Have you ever received a nudge to do something or follow a path that you knew was in your best interest? From time to time, you may receive a deep, unexplainable inner knowing that you’re being led towards something that’s in your greater good. I believe as humans we all posses inner wisdom and if we allow ourselves to listen close enough, we can hear our intuition guiding and supporting us.

“When you begin to tap into your inner world, you will find hidden gems that provide you with the knowledge you need to move forward in the right direction.”

Your intuition helps you to navigate through life experiences. It directs you on your life path and helps you to make decisions that align with your higher self. It helps to protect you from circumstances, peoples, situations that lower your vibration and take you off your divine life path.

Your intuitive message can come through a physiological response like goose bumps or receiving a gut instinct. You could also feel strong energy towards certain words, or receive a message in your mind or within your surroundings that are calling for your attention.

How do you discern whether it’s your intuition speaking or fear? 

Sometimes our gut feeling can be our body responding to trauma and fear. An example of this looks like receiving feeling anxious about speaking on stage and experiencing thoughts telling us not to do it. The fear of public speaking may be rooted in general nerves associated with coming out of your comfort zone or perhaps a core belief that you’re not good enough.

Your intuition isn’t based on fear. Your intuition is a deep inner knowing and often comes out of nowhere. It’s not something that overthinks and it’s not self-critical. Intuition comes with a pleasant sensation, whereas fear negatively affects your body and mind. When your thoughts are over analysed and intellectualised, it’s typically not your intuition.

Tips on how to strengthen your intuition:

  • Spend some time alone- Solitude helps you to decipher the thoughts of others from your own. When you aren’t distracted, it allows you to get intimate with your thoughts. The more time you spend with yourself, the more you will be able to differentiate whether your intuition is talking to you.
  • Write down your likes, dislikes, needs, and desires- When you are clear on who you are, you are more equipped to discern what is for your best interest and what is not. When you have a better knowledge of your life, your intuitive thoughts will make themselves known to you. Additionally, you will feel profound peace when you’re being guided towards a path that will lead you to greater personal joy and abundance.
  • Write down your thoughts- Write down your thoughts and what signs you are receiving. When you get into the habit of writing down your thoughts and feelings, it will help you to clear your mind so that it’s ready at any time to receive a message.
  • Meditate frequently- Meditation is an excellent tool to quieten the mind and become present. It helps us to ease our nervous system and reduces overthinking.
  • Go into nature- Going on walks in nature is an excellent way to be present and become one with your surroundings. It helps to cleanse your energy and let go of any emotional blockages. The more you feel connected to nature, the clearer your intuition may become.

A question to you:

Do you know the difference between your intuition and fear?

I would love to hear from you!

P.S, I have been away for a while but I’m happy to be back to connect with you all. Quarantine has been very hectic for me which has caused me to neglect my blog. Let me know how you’re doing.

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

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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

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

Impromptu Post: My Terrible Day!

I spent this morning deep in prayer. I prayed for my negative thoughts to be replaced with positive ones. I asked my higher power for confidence and more self-belief. I topped off my grounding ritual by writing a gratitude list, burning sage and listening to Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.

An hour later, my phone was stolen whilst I was outside. I felt so good after my morning spiritual practice but shortly fell into feeling extremely saddened by the fact I was phone-less. All I could of think is “I have such bad luck” and “My photos are gone”. The worst thing is I had to go to work shortly afterwards, leaving me no alone time to grieve the loss of my phone ha!

After I calmed down, I started to reflect on my day and something came to me. I prayed for my negative thoughts to be replaced with positive ones, NOT for my challenges to be removed from my life. I began interpreting losing my phone as a test to see whether I was going to succumb to the “woe is me” mentality or commit to overcoming this challenges.

“No one said life was going to be easy. You can start your day off on a perfect note but an obstacle may come in your way to knock you off course. The test isn’t about how well you perform without adversity but whether you choose to stand tall in the face of it.” – Ash

If your phone was stolen like mine (doubt it lol) or you are currently going through some adversity, I want you to remember this: No one guaranteed the road would be easy! What matters is what we do in the face of adversity.

Anyhoo, enough about my day!

Question to you:

How are you doing?

Much love, Ash xx

 

Copyright © 2019 AshAlves All Rights Reserved

 

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

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

Legal Action against your Abuser UK

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Hi all,

I created a document for Domestic Violence victims with information about how to get a Non-Molestation Order against your abuser. I have a couple of years experience within the Law Sector and have utilised the knowledge I have gained. This is applicable for those under UK law.

PDF document can be found here:

LEGAL ACTION AGAINST YOUR ABUSER UK

 

There are a list of charities that you can contact for additional support and guidance. Here’s a few charities that you can contact:

https://www.refuge.org.uk/

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/gender-violence/domestic-violence-and-abuse-organisations-which-give-information-and-advice/

https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/crime-info/types-crime/domestic-abuse

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/abuse/domestic-violence/#.Wscw-qKdCvU

http://www.reducingtherisk.org.uk/cms/content/support-services-and-agencies-victimssurvivors (additional directory) 

https://www.buttleuk.org/ (for children affected by domestic violence) 

http://www.niaendingviolence.org.uk/

www.havenrefuge.org.uk

 

LGBTQIA Charities 

http://www.galop.org.uk/domesticabuse/

https://lgbt.foundation/

http://www.stonewallhousing.org/

 

Black women and Women of Colour

http://www.bawso.org.uk/our-services/women/

https://southallblacksisters.org.uk/

 

Refugees/Asylum Seekers

www.niaproject.info

www.havenrefuge.org.uk

www.refuge.org.uk

 

Copyright © AshAlves 2019, All Rights Reserved

Body Image and Social Media

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (5).pngSocial media has distorted the way we perceive real bodies yet most people are afraid to talk about it. Having an hourglass body with a small waist and big butt has become the new norm. There has been a drastic increase in people getting BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift) surgery or going to extreme lengths to photoshop their body in order to fit this standard. Instagram has become a hub for this body sculpting obsession and influences/ celebrities have played a significant role in creating this trend. These beauty norms are making some of us feel pressured to change our bodies. It’s undeniable that a lot of people especially young people are suffering from body dysmorphia and negative body image issues as a direct result of social media.

Before I delve into this topic, I want to send out a disclaimer that I am not against people getting surgery or using other means to change their bodies. If someone decides to change their body to make them feel more confident, that is their choice. They do not owe anyone an explanation into why they made that decision. I made this post to speak up on the pressures to look a particular way due to social media.

We can’t undermine the impact this popular trend is having on people’s psyche and their self-esteem. I have personally been affected by these pressures. When I started using Instagram, I became obsessed with losing belly fat so I can look more slim and curvy. I toiled with the idea of getting surgery to alleviate the pressure of having to stay a certain weight. I became super obsessive over my eating and spiraled into the crash diets to achieve instant results. Scrolling on Instagram and seeing these perfectly sculpted bodies made me feel worse about my body. Although I have agency over the way I feel about myself, constant exposure to these images changed my perception of my own body and I believe social media is partly to blame. After having conversations with a friend about my struggles, it made me realise that I’m not alone. People are scared to speak up talk about this endemic in fear of being judged. However, being honest and open about how we feel is very important for our overall well-being and to help others realise that they’re not alone. 

My two big questions when it comes to people changing their bodies, is WHY? and most importantly, Would you have this surgery if social media didn’t exist? I want young women to know that their bodies are enough already regardless of whether it fits the standard or not. A person who is well sculpted is no better than you or no more attractive than you. Being the best version of yourself and rocky what you have is what makes you unique. Even though the pressure is super hard to escape, remind yourself that norms change constantly. Choose to live by your own standards and remember that social media is just a snippet of people’s life. Just because someone changes their body, doesn’t mean it will eradicate insecurities or exempt you from life’s problems. Don’t get caught up in the trends now that are forever changing and that can have a long term impact.

For influencers/ celebs who do decide to sculpt their bodies, just remember that people are looking up to you. You probably didn’t ask to be anyone’s role model but unfortunately what you choose to do affects others. You have a lot of power over shifting the culture. I believe we all have a social responsibility to the younger generation and we have to make decisions or at least have more conversations promoting body acceptance.  

There’s no way to turn your nose up at your own body or to put these really small boundaries on what’s socially acceptable for body types that are displayed that should be celebrated and that you’re not turning around and turning your nose up at other people – Joulzy on Body Image and Insecurities.

To truly accept all body types, it’s important that we practice loving our own bodies. Believe it or not, having a negative self-body image has an impact on your perception of other people’s body types. If you are critical about your own appearance, for example; don’t like your bum size or belly, how would you look at others and genuinely think it’s beautiful? Practising self-acceptance is tantamount to loving others holistically.

Three tips help when getting overwhelmed over body image:

  • Social media break- Delete your apps or log out for at least a day every so often. Arrange social media free days. Taking a break is good for your mental and physical well-being. Being constantly exposed to these reel highlights of other people’s lives can eat away at your confidence if it’s already quite low. It takes the focus off what you look like and more into things in your daily life that are important.

  • Unfollow unrealistic body types & follow diverse ones- In order to feel better about your body, start following people with similar body types as your own or more diverse ones. The more you see yourself reflected online, the more you are inclined to accept yourself.  Remember, you get to choose what crowd you engage with and what people on Instagram you decide to follow.

  • Learn more- learn more about your relationship with your body. Ask yourself this; how do I feel about my looks? What is my relationship with food? Where do those thoughts about my body come from? When you become clear on who you are and your own positive/ negative habits, it will help you to start developing a healthier relationship with your body.

Questions to you:

Have you felt pressured to look a certain way because of social media?

Would love to hear what you think!

 

Love, Ash ❤

 

Copyright © AshAlves 2019, All Rights Reserved

The Gratitude Journal: June 19′

 

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Hello you!

The theme of this month: BEING PRESENT 

Are you really present or are you just running on autopilot?

Too often we try to effectively attend to multiple things at once. Many of us spend a lot of our day multitasking and going through the motions without being present in the moment. After a conversation with my partner around this topic, I realised that too often I was physically present but not actually living in it. Recently I started to tune into what I am focusing on throughout my day. I caught myself having a conversation with a loved one but thinking about other pending tasks I had to complete all throughout our interaction. I was present in person but I was not present in spirit. I was not enjoying the entirety of the moment that I was experiencing. Planning and staying proactive is great, however the life we want to manifest for ourselves is hidden within the little things we do every single day. Having a conversation with a friend is just as important as your work obligations. Do you know why? Because it brings us joy, love and warmth which is so important for our overall well being. In order to maintain or invite loving relationships into your life, you have to be present and appreciate the love that you are currently surrounded by. This means eliminating distractions and focusing on the presence of the moment you are sharing with them. Showing that you are present with others sends off a message that you are appreciative of their time and you cherish the relationship. The same applies to everything else in your life, whether that’s focusing on self care or walking to work in the morning. 

Take a moment right now to be aware of the time, what you are doing with your body and mind in this present moment. When we turn into the present moment, we realise how much power we have over our choices and interaction. We begin to see the joy that exists and the blessings in our lives. It allows us to become clear about the energy we put towards things that does not serve us. 

Mini challenges for us to try together:

  • Count to 10 before you start a new task; This has been proven to helps you to become mindful and present. It’s an excellent way to de-clutter your mind and help improve your attention span. 
  • Focus your whole energy into one thing; watch a programme without checking your phone, read a book in a quiet space with no distractions.

 

Question to you: 

How are you?

What are you focusing on this month?

 

Have a blessed month.

Love, Ash xx 

 

Copyright © AshAlves 2019, All Rights Reserved