Accountability.

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It’s so much easier to identify the unhealthy behaviour in others than within ourselves. Be brave enough to look within yourself, acknowledge what’s there and begin to address it. Be compassionate with yourself in the process. Taking accountability for your actions, behaviours and situation is the first step to becoming the victor of your own story.

I believe that it’s important to take an inventory of your life from time to time. These are some questions that you can ask yourself:

Is your criticism or judgement of others, a reflection of your own insecurities?

What unhealthy behaviour traits do you want to let go of?

What is my current situation teaching me?

What lessons do I need to revisit?

What does taking accountability in my life look like to me?

Question to you:

Do you take accountability for your actions?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Also, follow me in Pinterest: ashalvesblog

Love Ash, xx

 

The Gratitude Journal; Feb 2020

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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

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

Quotes 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

The Struggles of an Empath

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Being an empath is a superpower. We can frequently sense other people’s emotions often without them having to explain themselves. The people who have made a positive impact on this world are most likely empaths. The ability to be considerate, compassionate and harmonising truly makes us empaths blessings to humanity.

Definition- “an empath is someone who absorbs other people’s emotions because of their high sensitivities”.

But what are the cons of being an empath? In a world with so much pain and suffering, being an empath can be exhausting, to say the least. Not only are we confronted with our personal issues, we constantly feel the pain of other people’s problems.  I love being an empath but recently I’ve noticed how my self sacrificing ways has caused me to neglect my personal needs. My inability to say no out of fear that I will be disappointing others has resulted in feeling burnt out and drained. I’ve exhausted my time and resources to help others when the same was never reciprocated. Wanting to wear a cape and help everyone with their problems is virtually impossible.

To use our empath power in an empowering way, I thought it’d be interesting to explore the negatives of being an empath.

Unhealthy side of being an Empath:

Overthinking – Misinterpreting someone’s mental state. Even though we tend to be highly intuitive, sometimes our perceptions are wrong. Constantly trying to figure people out and imposing on them what we think they are feeling can prove annoying and draining for the person on the receiving end. Sometimes when people they are doing fine, they being honest!

Overanalyzing- Similar to the previous point. Sometimes things are as they seem and don’t need much more analysis. Things like a disagreement with a friend or family member can easily turn into a long-winded battle within ourselves over what went wrong. Overanalyzing can result in us being unnecessarily harsh on ourselves especially when we think we’ve done something wrong. Self forgiveness is harder to practice for empaths who care deeply about people’s feelings.

Boundaries- Not being able to implement healthy boundaries with others. Typically empaths attract emotionally draining people who often pour onto them all their issues. Empaths becomes an emotional blanket for those who are egotistical and self-serving. We find ourselves in unbalanced relationships and tend to feel like we are giving much more than we are receiving.

Saying no- Empaths find it more difficult than the average person to say no because they are highly receptive to the emotions that result in disappointing others. We end up exhausting ourselves trying to please others around us. Saying yes to everyone often leads us to say “no” to our self-care. Our inability to turn things down makes empaths feel unsatisfied and drained.

Evolved Empaths

Learning the possible negatives of being an empath helps us to use our empath traits in an empowering and self-fulfilling way. I am learning that I am not responsible for other people’s moods and I don’t need to absorb their emotions. I have a skill for understanding other people’s emotions and I use that as a tool to create community and have genuine interactions.

5 Affirmations for Empaths:

1.Setting boundaries is a self-care ritual. When I express my boundaries, I am honouring my integrity and standing in the truth of who I am and what I deserve.

2. Saying no allows me to communicate realistic expectations of myself. I trust the universe will guide others and bring them in the path of someone else who is assigned to help them.

3. I allow myself to go into nature to be recharged. I take time out for self-care rituals and make a conscious effort to be present to avoid being overwhelmed by emotions. I make space for relaxation without feeling guilty.

4. I let go of the idea that I can fix everyone and allow others to be. I realise my own limits and let people figure out things themselves. I make peace with the fact that some things can’t be ‘fixed’ and that people need to go through certain things for their own personal growth.

5. I allow positivity to enter my life. I express gratitude daily and celebrate my joyful moments. I release the need to fester onto negative experiences and let go of the need to hold onto pain. I allow myself to experience joy in its entirety because that’s what I deserve.

A Question to you: 

Are you an empath? 

 

I always love to hear your thoughts!

Blessings, Ash xx