The Gratitude Journal; Feb 2020

I'm thankful, grateful, appreciate (3)

In the wake of the recent death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, it bought to people’s attention the fragility of life itself. We shy away from talking about death because it’s associated with pain, grief and loss. When a death occurs, it often puts things into perspective. You begin to think about how much people in your life mean to you.

I think we should welcome more conversations around death. It’s a human reality and part of the cycle of life. Life has no meaning without death. When we talk about death we open ourselves up to healing around our deceased loved ones. Our thirst for consumerism and fast paced living within capitalist culture makes it difficult to talk about the reality of death.

We need to talk about death so we can begin to experience death as a completion of life as a opposed to a loss of one. Death puts things into perspective and reminds us of the importance of moving in the path of creating the best lives for ourselves. It reminds us that we can’t allow our fears and insecurities to get in the way of living a joyful, loving, success, abundant life.

By acknowledging our eventual demise, we begin to have a new found appreciation for time and all forms of life around us. The thought that we are simultaneously dying whilst we are living means we are able to center ourselves, be our desired forms, manifest abundance in this life whilst we have it. You begin to live those moments with friends family. You allow a culture where we are able to mourn death of loved ones without feeling like the world has left them behind. You begin to life consciously in the now.

RIP Kobe Bryant, his Daughter, everyone that died in the crash & many more people who passed at such a young age.

Questions for Personal Reflection: 

What would I do if I knew I had limited amount of time on this earth?

What contribution do I want to make on this earth?

If you were to die, what would matter the most to you?

What do you want to be remembered for?

Question to You:

What are you grateful for this month?

I would love to start a conversation around this topic.

Let me know your thoughts!

Love Ash xx

The importance of Self-Forgiveness

Have you forgiven yourself for your past mistakes? Or are you still holding onto what you wish you’d done differently?

Living in a constant state of guilt is tormenting. Your mind replays what you did wrong and how things could have been different. It leads to self-sabotage and negative self-talk. You can believe that you are not good enough for certain positive experiences because you weren’t able to change what happened. We may overcompensate to fix the issue but the thoughts still linger in our mind about how we messed up.

Guilt takes away our ability to practice self-compassion. You may end up using harsh words towards yourself as a form of punishment. Inflicting pain onto others somehow justifies ill-treatment towards ourselves to even the plain field.

At some point in our life, we might do something that causes harm (intentionally or unintentionally) to others. Having to deal with the reality that our actions have contributed to someone else’s pain is a hard pill to swallow. Forgiving oneself is a practice of self-preservation, kindness, compassion, and love. It’s a commitment that despite your mistakes, you will not give up on yourself.

 

 

 

The guilt arises when our actions are out of alignment with our values. If you value being kind, honest and respectful to others, being deceitful and malicious created an internal conflict. We know better but chose not to at that moment. Carrying guilt stops you from practicing self-redemption. We all can change, even when our actions are seen as ‘unforgivable’ in society’s standards.

Often the thing that we don’t forgive ourselves for, we would forgive others doing the same thing. Be willing to offer yourself the same level of compassion that you would to a friend.  If you believe you have changed, you don’t need to hold yourself hostage to mistakes that were committed by an old version of you. If you had known what you knew now, you wouldn’t have done what you did- you made choices in the past at the level consciousness you had at the time. You know better now. Be willing to see this situation differently. Your mistakes have given you clarity about the type of person you want to be and the situations you will avoid next time.  Some life lessons are harsh but necessary to become a better version of ourselves. 

How to Forgive Yourself: 

Be honest with yourself

What situation do you hold guilt about? Have an honest conversation with yourself about what you feel guilty/ shame about and how it makes you feel.

Admit your messed up

Self-acceptance is a practice of self-love. You need to accept that you messed up and take full accountability for that situation. 

Practice self-compassion

Check if you are missing something. Did you know everything about a situation at hand or was you not in the mind frame to comprehend the harm you caused? Was fear one of the reasons why you made the decision you did? Offer yourself some compassion for not knowing what you know now.

Apologise to anyone who you hurt

Take a risk and contact the person you hurt and apologise. Tell them exactly what actions you take accountability for and why. However, don’t hold onto the expectation that they will be forgiving. Give the person space to express their feelings and don’t go on the defensive. If you are struggling with forgiving yourself for allowing someone else to inflict pain onto you, maybe write an ‘I’m sorry for’ letter to yourself.

Write yourself an apology

Write a letter of forgiveness to yourself.

Give yourself time

It’s okay to feel guilty for what you did. When a situation happens it’s difficult to move on especially if it’s life-altering. Give yourself the time and space to let go of the past. Start by being more present every day and reminding yourself of why you deserve to self-forgiveness.

 

 

Quotes of Self Forgiveness:

“Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know until you lived through it. Honour your path. Trust your journey. Learn, grow, evolve, become.” – unknown.

“Forgive yourself for not having the foresight to know what now seems so obvious in hindsight”- Judy Belmont

“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives”- unknown

You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens. – Louise L. Hay

“Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.” — Maya Angelou

“I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than him.” – C. S. Lewis

 

Discomfort- A shift is happening

Hey guys,
I hope you are having a blessed 2020 so far. I wanted to share my thoughts some of my thoughts with you. January has been great so far but I’ve been feeling very uncomfortable. Am I the only one or have you been feeling the same?
I feel like there’s a universal shift going on and we are being forced to make changes. Old ways of thinking and being no longer serve a purpose in our lives. We are being called to let go of things, people, patterns that no longer add value to our lives. We are being called to look into the foundations we have built over time and reconstruct what no longer works.
We are feeling more uncomfortable doing things that we once we accepted and possibly enjoyed. We are being called to let go of those excuses that kept us away from our true lives calling. We are being called to hold ourselves more accountable.
Sometimes we have to go through discomfort for a better version of us to emerge. Don’t give up in this period of discomfort. Hold on and trust the process. What is coming will be grander than what’s past.
Question to you:
What are you being called to let go of and embrace in this new year?
Would love to hear your personal reflections!
Love Ash, xx

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

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

Intention Setting for the New Year 2020

Copy of Copy of The ugly truth about self love

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 

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 

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