Self love is a journey with no destination. Invest in your wellbeing and be delicate with yourself along the way. 🌷
Love Ash, xx
Self love is a journey with no destination. Invest in your wellbeing and be delicate with yourself along the way. 🌷
Love Ash, xx
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.
Question to you:
How are you?
What are you focusing on this month?
Have a blessed month.
Love, Ash xx
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.”
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
Have you ever looked at someone’s social media account and found yourself comparing your life to theirs? Suddenly your weaknesses are amplified and what you have is not good enough. Or maybe you have that one friend who seems to have it all together and reminds you of all the things you lack in your life.
Yes, I’ve been there! Plenty of times actually. Unfortunately, it’s something that many people experience and social media has made it even harder to escape this need to compare ourselves. We usually feel comparison the most when we perceive someone else as having something we want. For example: wanting a particular career and constantly seeing Tweets from people celebrating their achievements in that field. This can trigger us into feeling inadequate and lead us to wonder if it’s even going to happen for us.
Reasons why we compare ourselves:
Unfairly fleshing out your weaknesses and judging yourself based on someone else’s strengths is unkind and unfair. What you are failing to do in those moments is appreciate the blessings that are currently in your life. Just because someone has what you want right now doesn’t mean it won’t happen for you eventually. Trust that things will fall into place when the time is right for you. Just do your best and continue to have faith that things will work out eventually.
You might be comparing yourself to someone else’s middle. We are all at different stages of our journey called life. You never know the hurdles and sacrifices that person went through to get to where they are now. The majority of the time there’s a whole struggle behind what we see. Even if you think or know that things came easy to a person and it feels like you are constantly struggling to obtain what they have, it’s a waste of time comparing yourself to them. Unfortunately for most of us, things don’t come easy and we have to go through plenty of obstacles to get to where we want to be in life. Don’t make those small examples (even though social media has a way of making them look like the majority) distort your reality. Don’t lose your ability to appreciate where you are now by solely focusing on the next destination.
1. Take social media breaks- I can’t emphasize this enough. Social media is a distorted version of reality with people trying to outdo the other. More importantly, taking breaks is good for your mental health. It makes you realize that there’s a life beyond social media to explore and nurture. Taking breaks allows you to gain appreciation for the little things in life.
2. Stop yourself when you start comparing yourself- When you find yourself sinking into comparing yourself, say to yourself ‘stop’. Grab a pen and paper or even your notes on your phone and answer these questions: 1. What happened to make you feel this way? 2. How do you feel? 3. What can I do to make myself feel better about this? If you do this every time, you will train yourself to deal with those feelings much better when they arise or even let them go completely.
3. Tune out the noise and focus on you- You need to be so focused on what you need to do and appreciate each step of the way that there’s absolutely no room for comparison to derail you. Imagine yourself in a bubble doing whatever makes you happy and pursuing your inner passion- focus on doing that or at least working towards it. Say no to any thoughts or people that ruin your peace.
4. Affirmations- Find affirmations that make you feel better about the insecurities you have about yourself and keep repeating them on a daily basis until you start to feel their positive effect. Affirmations are an excellent way to put things into perspective and will provide you with that reassurance that things will work out fine.
“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anyone” – Maya Angelou
“Don’t compare your life to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine within their own time” – Unknown
“Admire her beauty without questioning your own” – Ashley Welborne
“Compare yourself to the person you were yesterday”- Unknown
“Comparison is and will always be the thief of all joy.” Lisa Nichols
Have you ever compared yourself to others?
Thanks for reading Love Ash, xx
For those of us who spend the majority of our day working, it’s often difficult to make the time to practice self-care. Dealing with work, life’s problems ontop of taking care of our own needs can become a tedious task. That’s why it’s fundamental that we have non-negotiable selfcare acts that we can do throughout the day which are accessible, not time consuming and overall improve our well-being!
Me and the lovely @amaraamaryah reflect on acts of self care we do on a daily basis which truly make a positive difference in our lives.
Before we get into it, let me first introduce you to Amara. Amara Amaryah is a UK poet and blogger. Her blog is a platform for intentional living encouragement, travel moments, books shenis reading and poetry she is writing. Amara also uses her blog to document self-care events in the West-Midlands. She has performed her poetry at Heaux Noire, the Black Lives Matter lunchtime conversation with Patrisse Khan-Cullors and at Out-Spoken Ldn Birmingham Book tour and has most recently been selected as a Hippodrome Young Poet.
i like to start every morning differently. every morning starts in prayer, poetry or gratitude. i try and find fresh ways to start the day with one or two acts of self love. sometimes it is waking up to a mug of my favourite tea and a chapter of scripture. another morning it might be laying out my yoga mat for 5 minutes and mini meditation. the next morning it could be as simple as washing my dishes to have a clear sink when i come home. whatever i do, i do it for myself so i can enter the day knowing that i listened to myself first-thing this morning. as part of being intentional about the thoughts i let in first, i try and walk to work without any headphones and i don’t touch instagram until i have reached my desk.
a confession: i work in an environment where i’m constantly creating content and it makes me think about how i can create content for my own blog/instagram. sometimes lunchtimes are spent writing/planning/creating using apps on my phone. this is something i’m trying to step away from to give my mind a different thinking space for the lunch hour. i think using lunch to get away from a screen is best. leave your phone in a safe place (if you can) and take your book or just go with conversation. i try and enjoy as analogue a lunch as possible. i’m still learning though! also- i try and get outside of the building for fresh air. i rarely spend my lunch at my desk.
aside from this, i think midday affirmations are super important. reminding yourself of the scripture you read in the morning, the podcast you listened to, the text your mum sent back this morning and just speaking over your affirmations for the week is an important part of being present. *a note on if you dislike your job: i know, i’ve been there. at this point in the day it is easy to dream of going home. i recommend bringing something to your desk that motivates you. a mini vision board, a memory, a quote, anything. having something physical on your desk which reminds you why you’re in the job, what you’re saving for and the fact that it is a temporary position can help you through the day.
Wind-downs are the best. in my new years blog post i wrote about stepping back from excessive selfcare to get more time to create. i think because i practice acts of self-care during the day,i don’t always need to over-do it in the evening. my evening rituals are always small ways to ensure i can start fresh. i’ve learnt not to over-plan for the evening. your 5-9 doesn’t need to exhaust you. plan your evening and allow an hour for time wasting and doing nothing. and then begin creating/working on the blog or whatever you do. a massive part of my self-care practices include writing. i generally set time aside for Journaling and making sense of my thoughts. i don’t follow any plan yet, i usually brain dump. as a poet, i am on a journey to writing 1000 poems in a year so i try and write something every night (or if not every morning).
the final thing i do is forgive. anything negative that has happened to or because of me, i forgive. i believe that we carry our daily worries into our dreams so i try my best to eradicate the heavy thoughts and make space for good ones.
and then i go again the next day. pushing for new ways to love myself.
Quick Side note: “Show me your morning routine and I’ll show you how the rest of your day will pan out”. The way you start your day sets precedent over the rest of your day. The mornings are a perfect way to clear any lingering negative thoughts and to start your day with more clarity and peace. The mornings are an excellent way to check in with yourself. I find the mornings my absolute non-negotiable self care routine.
Morning: A typical self care morning ritual to me looks like waking up, praying or reciting affirmations then doing yoga. I use a yoga app and choose one relating to what my body needs at the time. Then I would watch a motivational video whilst I get ready for work. Once I get into work, one of the first things I do to settle into work is make myself a herbal tea/ coffee. Green tea or any other herbal tea is a must for me because of its healing & cleansing properties.
Afternoon: In my job position you don’t get much time for yourself. Like in many industries the focus is on productivity and getting the most out of your working hours. As a response I make an effort to find time for myself in a few ways; taking intentional breaks away from my computer, spending my breaks reading or watching something fun. I also integrate my passion for blogging into my daily routine by writing / jotting notes down in relations to a blog post when I am inspired.
My evening self-care practices differ and are relational to my needs and desires at the present moment. It usually consists of making myself a meal, putting on my fairy lights and burning candles burning. I try to make time to exercise, listening to podcasts and music. I focus my energy in enjoyment so listening to stuff unrelated to blogger or work but based on my other interests like Music. I typically end my night by watching something on Netflix or reading a book when I can.
Follow Amara on her socials:
Thank you for reading!
How do you take care of yourself on a daily basis?
What are your self care tips?
Love Ash, xx
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 others. As 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:
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