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 

 

 

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Do you attract what you are? Let’s talk!

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You are all probably familiar with the famous line “You attract what you are”. I remember the first time hearing this line when I was younger and not resonating with it. My thought process was “So I don’t love myself, does that mean I will attract people who will treat me badly?”. I couldn’t resonate with it because at the time I didn’t love myself. At the same time, did not feel like my lack of self love  justified being mistreated by others. I felt like this quote lead to victim blaming, rather than putting agency and accountability onto the person who has done the mistreating.

When I started my self-discovering journey, I began to see this same line crop up consistently. Funnily enough, I didn’t feel as disconnected with the words as I previously did. Over a period of months, I delved into my teenage years to figure out any patterns that had contributed to my peak depression after I graduated. I wanted to start forming healthy, fulfilling relationships with others but I first had to figure out where the break down began in this department of my life. Through this self reflection process, I noticed a direct correlation between my lack of self-love and the types of relationships I accepted.

My lack of self-love and acceptance showed up in a multitude of ways.  I noticed certain people in my life would feel comfortable speaking to me the way I talked to myself. For example; I would say stuff like ‘I’m dumb’ and people around me would be comfortable using the same language towards me. My lack of self-love showed up in what I accepted from others. My need to please others lead to people taking advantage of me. On the flip side, the negative relationship I had with myself made me comfortable being bitchy, jealous towards my friends. I felt a lack of self-love and this showed up in the way people treated me and how I treated others.

Lisa Nichols- “Your job is to be the first example of how the world is supposed to love and treat you. It’s your job to give the world the best example possible. The people in your life will follow your example on how they get to treat you.”

Quote from Lisa Nichols book: Abundance Now

It became very clear during my self-love journey that treating myself badly made people feel comfortable in treating me the same way. When I started to affirm, love and redefine myself to become my best version, I was forced to change the conditions of my relationships. I was no longer was willing to accept being mistreated. I began to heal myself and be real about my own toxicity which naturally helped me stop projecting my toxicity onto others. As a result, I began to attract loving, healthy relationships into my life. This revelation has bought me so much peace and completely redefined my relationship with myself and the way I treat others.

I have definitely grown a greater understanding and appreciation for this old saying. However whilst I now agree with it I still don’t believe in victim shaming. I adamantly believe that we are entitled to love in its highest capacity even at times when we don’t quite love ourselves. I don’t believe that anyone is deserving of ill-treatment simply because they treat themselves badly. The way people treat us has much more to say about them than it does about us.

There are people suffer from debilitating mental health and/or self-esteem issues. It may take some people years to start truly loving or start accepting themselves. I don’t feel like this means that they should have people around them to meet them where they are at. When I had people treating me badly, I didn’t think I deserved it and I don’t think anyone does simply because they don’t love themselves. I don’t encourage a culture of blame. I think it’s important to be compassionate and treat others respectfully.

To end, it’s so important that you are good to people and take accountability for your mistreatment of others. Ask yourself more whether you’d want to be treated in the way you’re treating others. I want to create a conversation around this question, so I’d love to hear your thoughts or your experiences. I am still in the process of learning and my opinion on this topic is subject to change. This is my understanding thus far and I am still in the early stages of my self-love journey so I’d love to know your thoughts.

A Question to you: 

Do you think that you are what you attract?

Thank you for reading!

 

Much Love, Ash xx

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

 

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
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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

You’re too Sensitive!

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (1)

If you’re sensitive you’re probably well accustomed to hearing phrases like “it’s not that deep” or “you take everything so personal”. This may be true! However for us sensitive folks it’s much more complex than just simply getting over ourselves. Deciphering between whether our emotional responses are valid verses taking things too seriously is very difficult to figure out (well for me anyways lol).

Hyper-sensitivity feels like being an unwrapped lollipop (weird analogy I know). You feel exposed to everything and easily contaminated. Negative experiences or words just stick to you and you have a hard time convincing yourself that it’s not worth your energy nor concern.

This affects different aspects of your life, especially when it comes to expressing your feelings in relationships (Family/Friends etc). There’s a fear of not being taken seriously or having your feelings undermined. Trying to build and maintain emotionally healthy relationships can often get complicated and draining. This can also have negative effects on your self-esteem. It can make you distrust of your own feelings and intuition, causing you doubt who you are as a person.

But despite the challenges, I believe being a sensitive person makes you extremely empathetic. Within a world that’s callous and unjust, being sensitive can be used as a tool to make a positive impact on the world. Growing up I was constantly told that I had to be ‘tough’ in order to survive and for the longest time felt like my sensitiveness made me a liability. Now I’ve started to see it as a blessing not a curse. When I get told that I’m sensitive, I can confidently admit to it without feeling shame or guilt about who I am. What has helped me get to this point is exploring ways to deal with it especially when I get overwhelmed by emotion.

For my fellow sensitive ones, I’ve thought of a few coping mechanisms that have helped me along the way:

  1. Establishing boundaries in relationships– People who are sensitive often have a hard time creating appropriate boundaries for themselves. There’s so many times that I’ve felt bad for saying what I will and will not accept because I felt like I would be considered “extra” or “too sensitive”. This led to me accepting unfulfilling relationships and caused a lot of distress.  Realize this, you decide what you will and will not accept within your relationships! Your needs are important no matter how trivial someone else may think they are. Don’t be afraid to set appropriate boundaries. It will save you a lot less emotional turmoil and constantly doubting yourself.
  2. Own your sensitiveness- The next time someone calls you sensitive to derail your feelings, turn around and say “yes I am sensitive”. Be proud of it! That way when someone tells your you’re being sensitive it will have minimal affect on your mood because you’ve already accepted that it’s part of who you are. Remember that your sensitiveness is a blessing not a curse.
  3. Find an outlet to express your feelings- I write my feelings down to filter through my thoughts and understand them better. This is really helpful especially when you have to make important decisions or confronted with conflict. Instead of reacting based on our immediate feelings, we get to make more informed and rational responses. If writing isn’t your thing, find a means to express your feelings, whether that’s confiding in someone, making music or painting etc. Do whatever helps you to deal with your feelings in a healthy, productive way.

Are you a sensitive person? How do you cope with your feelings?

Is there anything you would add to this list?  I Would love to know your thoughts..x

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