Girl, calm down. It’s only week one.

Shout out to all the perfectionist out there!

You know, the ones that want to get everything right and will NOT STOP until things are the way we want it.

The ones that are hardworkers and ready to do every task perfectly.

Yeah. That’s me too. But, guess what, no one is perfect. Chile, if that isn’t the hardest pill to swallow…

So, I started my new job this week and it was awesome! I love it so far and I’m working on celebrating all of the goodness of it without allowing my anxiety to get me (see previous post for this explanation). Anyways, in this midst of all this change and working on my own stuff, I came to a realization about my perfectionism.

I’ve been someone who has wanted to be well received. I touched on this last week, along with my need to do my work perfectly. This stems from not wanting anyone to find fault with me or in the things I work hard at, but this is such a hard task to live up to.

No one is perfect and my work and who I am is ENOUGH, I have to remind myself constantly to give myself a break, so here’s your lovely reminder too: GIRL GIVE YOURSELF SOME GRACE!

Fear lies in between our need to get everything right…and that’s not acceptable honestly. What are you so afraid of? Failure? Correction? I’m trying to live my life with way less fear and way more faith. I live in my head a lot, but I’m learning that every once in a while it’s okay to do something wrong or to make a mistake. No one’s gonna get everything right…your name isn’t Jesus, chile.

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Let’s Do It All Again…and Again…Forever.

Well, hello there!

After a much needed break and rest, I’m finally ready to talk about how amazing A Look in the Mirror turned out to be.  I’m still very much in awe of God’s faithfulness to me and how He has pushed me forward this year.  If you’re not aware, I relinquished all rights to my life this year and gave it over to God…and it’s been one of the best decisions ever.

For our last meeting, the girls were asked to say speech, written by them, describing how the program has helped and the difference it made in their lives.  Waterworks.  I cried like a baby because these girls have made such an impact on my life and all had such beautiful words to say.  I’m so proud of them because they faced their fears and did a little public speaking in front of their family and friends.

After we spilled out hearts (and eyes) we enjoyed each other for the last time and had some food and fellowship.  My wonderful friend, Mario Turner, captured both video and photos from the event!

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If you’re interested in bringing this program to your place of business you can do so using the link below:

A Look in the Mirror Contact Form

Tell Me Something Good: Week 2

Hey y’all!

I’m back again with A Look in the Mirror!  This week we focused on controlling the things that we can and accepting the things that we cannot.  The girls did some activity sheets that asked some of the harder questions: what makes you feel bad?  What makes you feel good?  What is something that you don’t enjoy about yourself?

The point of this exercise was to learn what things we can control about what effects us every day.  Can you control if someone is mean to you?  Of course not, but our response can be controlled.  We can accept that mean people exist, but we don’t have to go to their level and be mean back to them.  Kill ’em with kindness!

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If the girls can identify their triggers early in life, it’ll make their interactions with others a little easier.  They will be able to identify someone negatively affecting them and be able to remove them from their lives.  Next week we discuss more triggers to our emotions and our responses to them.

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If you’re interested in bringing this program to your place of business you can do so using the link below:

A Look in the Mirror Contact Form

She believed she could, so she figured she’d at least try: Week 1

Hey y’all!

So get this…ya girl went ahead and launched her self esteem program!

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I’ve been excited, stressed, nervous and just unbelievably happy!  I can’t believed I actually am doing something I’ve set out to do.  I’ve combated laziness and procrastination and this week I started my program with a group of nine beautiful young ladies.

Each week we have different objectives and lessons to focus on that bring us back to overarching goal of loving ourselves fully.  This week we did introductions and we got to know each other.  We played icebreakers that allowed the girls to forge a bond and learn to communicate with each other.

I can’t wait to spend the next  several weeks with these girls!  They’re a vibrant group filled with questions and such beautiful hearts.  I’ll be posting here every week to recap the sessions as they happen.

If you’re interested in bringing this program to your place of business you can do so using the link below:

A Look in the Mirror Contact Form

The F Word

Hey y’all!

So today we’re discussing the F word…that’s right.  Forgiveness.  I think it’s quite intriguing how we, as people, shy away from talking about forgiveness.  It’s such a life changing experience.  Watch below as I talk about my dealings with forgiveness:

 

While forgiveness is a great route to freedom, don’t forget that anyone or anything that is toxic to your life is not needed.  Like I mentioned in the video, forgiveness starts and ends in the heart.  There are instances where we may forgive someone who is very toxic to our well-being.  You do not have to keep this person in your life!  Forgiveness doesn’t always mean reconciliation.  It’s okay to leave toxic people out of your life if they can cause harm to you.

I hope this has touched you.  Keep me posted on how it goes!

LOSER!

My name is Ashley, and I am a loser.  You’re probably a loser too.  The definition of a loser is a person that has lost something or that loses. By definition, I am indeed a loser. I’ve lost family members. I’ve lost job opportunities. I’ve lost a countless number of other things that I have no idea about. Losing has been part of my identity for a while. Since the day I realized what it meant to lose, I’ve been a loser because I’ve experienced lost. I remember the first time I actually realized and felt how much of a loser I am. It was right after I graduated from school. My grandma had recently passed, I had to move back in with my mom and finding a job was a struggle. I went to job training all the way in South Carolina for a week just to not get the job. I drove all the way to the other side of my city for job training just to not get that job. I came home crying so much and I told my mom that I was a loser. But all my losing wasn’t bad. I’ve lost out on opportunities that may have been more harmful than good for me. I’ve lost out on guys who may have ended up mistreating me. I’ve lost out on job opportunities with places I would not be happy at. So, yes, I am a loser, but I’m a proud one.

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The way I see it, there are two types of losers: A Losing McLose Pants and a Winnie Winning Loser.  A Losing McLose Pants loser decides to live in the land of rejection.  I completely understand because I’ve lived there before.  It’s easier to accept defeat!  Accepting defeat means you’ll never win.  Never winning means you’ll never move forward and lots of people are okay staying where they are.  A Winnie Winning Loser takes their losses and learns from them.  They find some solace in knowing that every loss brings you closer to a win.  Even if the victory is small, you’re one step closer because you’ve taken your loss and gain something from it.

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Losing fostered resilience in me. That did not happen overnight.  Some things that I’ve lost were my own fault.  I would never try because I didn’t want to fail.  I didn’t want to feel like a loser because feeling like a loser made me feel worthless.  When I separated loss from self-worth, it became clearer that losing is not always such a bad thing.  Now, I lose…a lot, then I get back up and try again…a lot.   I lose, but my faith isn’t shaken and I handle the loss with stride.

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 I’m humbled by my losing. Nothing will keep you more grounded than getting denial after denial, but don’t stay in that place of feeling like you’re worthless because you’re always losing. I’m so humbled by my losses because everyone doesn’t get the opportunity to lose. Some people are given things that they later regret. I’d rather gladly lose than unhappily win. Now when I look back, I realized that the jobs I wanted then have absolutely nothing to do with what I want to do now and they may have been more harmful than anything.  There’s always a purpose and a plan to life’s ups and downs.  You’re probably reading this and thinking that you’re a loser too.  Yes, you are indeed a loser because everyone experiences loss, but don’t give up. Get back up. Let this loss teach you what it means to be a loser. Be a loser with pride. I am a big loser, but I’ve gained so much in my losing.  I am proud to be such a wonderful loser.

New year, who dis?

Happy New Year!

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I usually spend New Year’s Eve at church, but this year I opted for a quiet evening at home.  I wanted to reflect internally without the excitement for the next year in my mind.  Truthfully, I’m not excited about 2018.  I am hopeful for a more positive duration of the year.  Baby, I got GOALS.

Last year’s goals for 2017 was simple, but complex in action.  My goal was to set intention for the entire year by starting new habits early on.  So, I started writing more, exercising, cooking more and sharing my positivity with others.  I went so hard at the beginning, not preparing myself for a potential break, that I burned out…in all areas.  Work took over and made it hard to write.  I got out of the habit of working out and eventually burned out.  I felt like no one appreciated my positivity so I kept it to myself.  I literally spent my last vacation of the year with periods of high activity and periods of sickness and exhaustion, but no true rest.

2017 taught me a lot on how I’m going to make things work for me in 2018, so here’s how I’m going to get my entire life for the whole year:

  1. I’m setting my intentions daily towards weekly goals. Setting yearly goals can seem overwhelming, especially when it’s January 1st and you’re still in your PJs at noon instead of at a Zumba class.  Start small.  It’s okay to make smaller goals that contribute to your larger goals.  Life is about taking baby steps.
  2. It doesn’t matter if you land on your feet…just land. I’ve dealt with some hard times this year, especially at my work.  Your job is where you spend the most waking hours a day…and that’s depressing.  This year I’m going to continue to work hard, but I’m not going to make my work environment work for me.  I’m going to continue to nurture my entrepreneurial dreams while working my 9 to 5.
  3. Rest your weary eyes and your equally weary mind, chile. I am EXHAUSTED.  Mental and physically.  Self-care is monumentally important and I am lacking in that department.  This year I intend on resting.  I’m going to take more walks to clear my mind, I MUST KEEP WRITING and most importantly I have to be consistent with my journaling.  That’s the major key.
  4. Give it to God and go to sleep. Pray intentionally, consistently, purposefully and take a nap.

Ending this new year on a positive note is important to me.  I want to look back on it all and see all my hard work in front of my eyes.  Most importantly I want to take care of myself.  How do you set intentions for the next year?

Reasons why I’m not here for it. At all.

So, today has been a day.  Mr. Terence Crutcher died earlier this week by the hands of the police.  There is not a logical reason that I’ve heard for why the police fired their weapons at him and you cannot convince me of one. There is a dash cam video SHOWING Mr. Crutcher complying with officers with his hands in the air ONLY TO BE SHOT SECONDS LATER.  If that isn’t enough, right in my hometown of Charlotte, NC a black man was killed for alleged having a firearm.  It has been reported the officer yelled “He has a gun” and shot him four times.  No warning.  No reasoning.  Just out here exterminating Black folk like roaches. All of these events, plus the MANY other victims of death by cops have me heated.  I’m OVER ALL OF IT TODAY…and here’s why:

  1.  The top headline on CNN’s website at some point today has been about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s divorce.  When I tell you I do not care about this I truly mean it.  Both of them have millions and neither pays my bills.  NEXT!
  2. The all lives, blue lives, cat lives matters people are still in existence.  I still don’t understand why this is a thing.  IF ALL LIVES TRULY MATTERED TO YOU THEN YOU WOULD BE MAD WITH US!  Simple as that.
  3. If we can’t protest kneeling at the anthem then what can we do?!  Just leave us alone.    You get mad when we’re in the streets.  You get mad when we silently protest.  Stop trying to take our right to protest away.  No one takes away your right to say or do whatever you want.  Clearly, no one has taken away corrupt cops’ right to wrongfully murder us.  So boom.
  4. Lastly, I just don’t care about what you’ve got going on right now.  On Facebook, we’ve shared in triumph at a marriage, birth of a baby, kids got straight A’s in school and all the things in between.  We’ve grieved the death of family members, the victims of the Orlando shooting, September 11th and every sad moment that goes unmentioned.  If you feel close enough to me to appreciate all of the joy I feel when I talk about my husband or my job or anything else, then empathize with me when I grieve with my brothers and sisters during this difficult time.   I don’t want to hear your rebuttal to anything I have to post on my Facebook.  I don’t want to see anything you post that goes against the fact that Black lives are being taken constantly by the hands of the police.  I don’t want to hear any of that.  I’m over stifling my feelings to keep friends that I only talk to or see ONCE A YEAR.  My heart physically hurts by all that’s going on in this country and I have the right to be over all of it.