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 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

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

Realignment

Hello guys! 🍃

As August comes to a close, I’d like to send out a gentle reminder to you all ~~

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How was your August? 

What lessons have you learnt over the past few months? 

Love Ash, xx

 

 

Copyright © 2019 AshAlves All Rights Reserved

Hey! Back from a Mini Break

Heyyy all 😊,

I don’t know about you but this May has been so intense! I’ve been feeling a multitude of emotions and have experienced some deep revelations. My internal world is shifting- for the better. The full moon has just moved into Scorpio. According to gurus this is supposed to be a time of releasing any negative energy. But I’ve felt the need to release, cleanse and address some unwanted energy all month. I’ve been doing a lot of personal writing. I think when you get so used to blogging publicly you tend to censor yourself in some way. This month I’ve allowed myself to write unfiltered and just for my eyes only.

This personal development work is so tough at times right? My intuition has pulled me towards delving into my childhood and teen years, forcing me to finally make peace with certain things that I’ve experienced. Sometimes we think we’ve gotten over something but end up being triggered later in life. Lately when I feel triggered I’ve sat with it and gotten to the root of the issue. I am working currently on making peace with my pain.

Did I tell you that I live by myself? Well that’s added a whole layer of intensity to this month. My partner stays with me occasionally but he lives in another city so I spend most of my time alone unless I am with my friends. I always thought I was comfortable being alone but being by yourself with no one else in the house is a whole other level of intensity. I’ll be honest, I am still getting used to it. I have cried, felt lonely and scared. But over the past week, I’ve felt at peace being alone. I know this is bringing me greater self-acceptance and the opportunity to truly appreciate my own company.

So yes this month has been so intense for me hence my absence from the blogging world. Also I am happy to announce that I will be doing a workshop in London called Challenging Low Self-Esteem on June 1st! So excited to finally talk publicly about something that is so dearest to me. Planning and preparing for that workshop has also occupied my time. Anyhoo, I have a blog post coming out this Sunday so keep an eye out!

Questions to you: 

How are YOU doing today?

What is your mental health like today?

 

Love always, Ash xx

Copyright © AshAlves 2019, All Rights Reserved

People Pleaser: Personal Confessional and 5 tips to help you

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (1)Do you frequently put other people’s needs before your own? Does the thought of saying “no” make you feel anxious and uneasy? If yes then I can totally relate. Wanting other people to be happy and maintaining harmonious relationships is completely fine. However there’s a fine line between wanting other’s happy and people pleasing.

Confessional time, I am a serial people pleaser! Overextending myself and putting other people’s needs before my own is my weakness. I try to avoid saying no at all costs and if I do it’s usually accompanied by an excuse to why I can’t do something. This habit even goes as far as offering to help others when I do not have the means or capacity. People pleasing has caused me a lot of anxiety, disappointment and unnecessary stress.

The sad truth is people pleasers have an underlying fear of being disliked. They want to be seen as a good person. They hold guilt around expressing their needs and in some ways believe it makes them selfish. People pleasers accept most things even at their own detriment because they belief they have to constantly be in service of othersAs a result people pleasers have a difficult time setting healthy boundaries within their relationships. This can negatively affect relationships as they can become imbalanced, often leading to the people please overextending themselves to the other without leaving room to consider their own needs.

Also, people pleasers often have a hard time saying ‘no’ to people. The fear of saying no comes from an underlying fear of conflict, reprisal or loss. Saying ‘no’ is associated with the negative so people avoid using it and instead opt either do the thing they don’t want to do or make excuses. However I’ve learnt that in order to maintain healthy relationships it’s important that we truthfully express our needs and desires, even if it’s not a favourable response. People who respect you will respect your ‘no’ when it is said meaningfully and with good intent. If you keep saying yes, it will lose value and people will take advantage of it (knowingly and unknowingly). 

Based on my own experiences, I’ve been able to identify a few reasons why people try so hard to please others: 

Reasons for people pleasing:

  • Wanting others to be happy
  • Feeling like other people’s needs are more valuable than your own
  • Your worth is contingent on other people’s likeness of you
  • Fear of conflict and being disliked
  • Fear of not being respected
  • Over anticipating our ability to handle things and thus over extending ourselves

I’ve spent too many years navigating my life trying to please everyone around me.  I was so worried about what others would think of me to the point where I would put other people’s needs before my own. Currently I am challenging myself to say ‘no’ with love and integrity, and be honest about my capacity to extend myself to others. There are a few things I am trying and it’s working so far.

If you are a people pleaser and would to stop putting other people’s needs before your own, try the following: 

1. Become aware of how you feel when you have to compromise- Think about all the times you overextended yourself to please others when you really didn’t feel like it. Write down how you felt after you made the commitment. You might have instantly regretted it or felt drained, and under pressure to perform. Think about whether it’s worth going through these feelings again just because you didn’t say no or not right now. It will make it more clearer that being honest with ourselves and others saves a lost less stress in the long run.

2. Practice saying no- Saying no doesn’t have to sound harsh or mean. You can say no full of love and integrity behind it. If you’re not comfortable saying a straight up ‘no’, then try using phrases like this: “ I appreciate you inviting me but I will not be able to make that event. Thank you for the invite and have lots of fun.” “At the moment I can’t right now, but when I have capacity I will reach out to you.” 

3.  Figure out your needs and desires- When you are faced with a decision whether to extend yourself or not, think about whether the thing you’re committing to aligns with your present needs and desires. For example; You might need to spend sometime on the weekend studying so it’s in your best interest to stay home instead of committing to go out with friends. Make decisions that prioritize your own needs and desires.

4. Remind yourself that Social Media ‘likes’ is not an indication of your worth- It’s easy to think your worth is based on your following when we live in an age where people buy their followers and spend tons amounts of time figuring out how they can get more likes to their page. I fall into this trap from time to time. It’s inevitable that the lack of likes would make a person question their self-worth. It’s important to realise that the amount of likes you get does not determine your self-worth. The only person who should have control over the way you view yourself is you! No amount of likes will satisfy you unless you decide to validate yourself.

5. Find and repeat a mantra to yourself when you feel the urge to people please- You could try these or find your own that are suitable to you: 

“My needs are valid”

“I am overthinking this situation”

” I am entitled to boundaries and they are necessary for my own self-preservation”

“No is a complete sentence” – Lisa Nichols

“People who respect me will respect my no”

“If you keep saying yes, you diminish the value of your yes”

Anyways, I hope you learn to become comfortable with saying no and choose to give to others from our overflow. Remember no amount of people pleasing will substitute your self-worth!

Questions to you:

Are you a people pleaser? 

Do you feel comfortable saying no? 

 

Much love, Ash xx

 

Copyright © AshAlves 2019, All Rights Reserved

The Gratitude Journal: February 2019

I'm thankful, grateful, appreciate

(Photo taken by me, Spain Catalonia 2019)

Isn’t it beautiful knowing that everyday is a new day?

The sun rises each day to reminds us that everyday we have the opportunity to truly shape the course of our life. From the moment we wake up we get to decide how we choose to lead our lives and how we react and respond to circumstances around us. A new day is another chance to start again.

I am grateful that I’ve been able to wake up today and given another chance to start again. A new day should remind us that despite our negative experiences, we get to decide how we choose to live our lives in the present moment. We don’t have to be confined by our past or defined by the choices we’ve made previously. You are not here by coincidence- you woke up to fulfil a purpose. You get to choose how to make the most out of the day that’s available to you!

What are you looking forward to this month?

What are you grateful for today?

I would love to know!

Love Ash, xx

 

Copyright © AshAlves 2019, All Rights Reserved