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 Where Your Worth Lies: Weeks 3-4

So, hey y’all!

I know I was gone last week, but I’m feeling much better and ready to give you another recap of A Look in the Mirror, weeks 3 and 4.

Week Three

During Week 3, we talked about our emotions and reactions to the things that happen around us.  We played a little game of charades, where we examined what our emotions look like in action.  We talked about times that made us feel that way and discussed how to work through our emotions.

We also talked about perception vs. reality.  People will tell you that you are something that you’re not.  Ugly.  Fat.  Stupid.  But the beautiful thing about living life is that we make our own realities.  Who cares what people say about us?!  As long as we know who we are…we’ll be just fine.  The girls made affirmations that remind them of exactly who they are.

Week Four

This is most likely my favorite week so far.  We talked about self confidence and our worth.  I asked each girl to discuss their worth and how that relates to the people we choose to surround ourselves with.   All class we sat in a circle of positivity, so that we have can an honest discussion and so that we can see each other when we’re talking.

We talked about some tough stuff: school, bullying, confidence.  We also did the work.  We discussed what confidence means to us.  Each girl talked about what negative and positive impacts their friends have on them.  This allows us to really analyze who we’re surrounded by and how they affect our lives.

We ended class by sharing positive thoughts about each other.  Each girl stood in the middle of the circle and was given positive thoughts by the others who remained outside of the circle.  Admittedly, I had no plans on participating myself.  I felt like this was an activity for my girls, but they encouraged me to participate.  After a terrible work week and stressful home week (our home needs MAJOR repair after the hurricane) it was nice to hear such positive things from them.

This program has rejuvenated something in me that my regular work doesn’t allow: freedom to feel.  As adults we’re told to swallow our feelings, to keep it moving, to keep pushing and to keep making money, but following my dreams and having something to give to these girls has given me a joy that I cannot describe.

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

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

Anxiety on fleek!

Hey hey people!

So, let’s be real for a minute.  Have you ever felt like you were thrown into a challenge with no armor, no weapon, no footing, no ANYTHING?!  This has been my week!  I feel like I’m dangling on the edge with one foot on the platform and it’s so scary!  Mix anxiousness, with imposter syndrome and what do you get?  Anxiety on fleek this week, okurrr?

Personally, when I feel uncomfortable or unsure it affects not only my performance and anxiety, but also my self-esteem.  It feels like I can’t do anything right when my performance suffers, and in turn I feel like I’m not good enough.  Talk about a downer, right?

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So what’s one to do when that happens?  How do you land on both feet?  Well, I’ll tell ya.

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Take a deep breath and close your eyes for a few minutes.  It helps to reset your mind and organize your thoughts.  There have been countless times where I have to step away from my desk and take a walk just to keep from freaking out!  And that’s okay!  Mini freak outs are okay because they’re temporary, but realize that you’ve prepared for the place you’re in and now it’s time to show and prove.

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We ALL fall and scrape our knees.  Let your wounds tell the story.  Nothing that’s worthwhile EVER comes easy…it comes with bumps, bruises and scabs.  Renew your mind and take care of yourself first.  You cannot be valuable to anyone else if you’re not taking care of you.  So, it’s okay to fail and it’s okay to be anxious and worried and to lose your footing.  Just make sure you don’t give up.  That is how you land on both feet.

He makes ALL things new…okurrr!

Hey darlings!

So, I’ve been super busy with things that I love to do and this post serves as an update to life!  I’ve discussed on here before the distress with my job and how I have been waiting for something greater.  After the last unpleasant incident I decided to focus solely on my God given gifts.  I have a knack for planning and organizing events and things and I also always have a new idea.  I also like to use my experiences to help others going through the similar things.  So…

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I’ve decided to buy my blog domain name!

I know it doesn’t sound major, but it means that I’m willing to invest money into myself…which in turn means that I believe the things I do are of value to this space.  That’s big FOR ME.  Who knew that I’d ever be confident enough in myself to take steps like this?  If you would have told me this 10 years ago I would not have believed you.

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I’m also in the process of creating the curriculum for a self-esteem program for children and teens.  Once I focused more on God and the gifts that he has placed in me, my whole outlook changed.  I’m grateful for my gifts and I’ve been enjoying this newness.  I’m also trying to blog more and post more videos and things, so be sure to follow this blog and also my YouTube.  I’ve made updates to this wordpress site so take a gander.  As usual, thanks so much!  Even if no one ever reads my blog…at least I tried.

Let’s Chat!

This week I got a chance to relax and reflect on life and all the joy and pain it brings.  I thought about all that led up to my life today, and I felt compelled to share.  I’m not too shy about sharing my journey to a better Ashley, but I often hear a lot of the same things when I share.  So, I decided to make a video and talk about my journey and to shed some light on self-esteem, self-worth and self-love.

 

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.

Mrs. Do It For Me Too.

I’ve been pretty transparent about my self esteem.  In the past I hit a hard spot and got through it with the help of God, my squad and therapy.  So, every once in a while I get into a phase where I become a little envious of others (I CRINGE).  I start to reflect on where I currently am in life and zone in on the negative.  Then, I start comparing myself to others around me who are thriving and succeeding and wonder why I’m not there.  Why isn’t it going that way for me?  How come am not seeing my success?  I know I’m good enough, so why haven’t experienced such joy and triumph?

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When those feelings arise it turns into an ugly alter being and I call her Mrs. Do It For Me Too.  Do it that way for me.  Do it just like you did it for them, for me.  Do it the exact same way for me in the same time you did it for them.  Life doesn’t work that way though.  God has us in certain places for a reason and I’ve learned that while I’m trying to find the reason, I’ve got to fix some things in my life.

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In order for you to survive your rough times while you wait for transition you have to shift the way you do things.  I’m currently at a quandary with my job and in order for me to get through my work day I have to shift a few things.  I read a devotion before I start my work day.  I listen to music to block out the negativity around.  I actually take my breaks and do something non-work related.  The point is that you need to feel comfortable while you wait for your transition.  It’s necessary to find something that makes you feel okay.

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 Once I learned how to be comfy enough where I currently am while I wait for a shift, things that seemed hard became easier to manage.  Be thankful for where you are and for who you are at this moment.  I’ve taken more time to appreciate who I am at the moment and that boosts my self esteem.  Be your own hype person! 

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Sometimes it’s hard to understand why things happen in life or why you haven’t had this monumental move, but remember when Mrs. or Mr. Do It For Me Too pops up its ugly head, just remember that someone could be saying the same exact things about you.  God blesses people in His time.

Does it feel windy in here, or is it just me?

So, I’ve been going through what my pastor likes to call, a Whirlwind.  He defines a whirlwind as a moment in time where it seems like several things hit you all at once.  During a whirlwind it’s hard to find your footing and it seems like it’s never going to get better.

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Right now, I’m in a bit of a whirlwind and so are several members of my life.  It’s quite interesting that so many people I am close to are going through difficulties.  Luckily we’ve been able to lean on each other, but what do you do when things just seem to never end?

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The most wonderful thing about going through things is knowing that there is a purpose that lies within.  My pastor says that we go through things so that we can help someone else.  My desire is to help others, so if I have to go through things then I will.

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New levels, new devils…right?  It’s hard to understand when you’re getting hit from multiple sides, but when you’re being elevated you’re going to go through.

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The thing that keeps me going is knowing that I’m close to coming out of my whirlwind.  I just gotta stay strong and rely on the support of my friends and family.  We literally rely on each other.  We send each other scriptures and talk through what’s going on.  Listen…everybody needs a good squad.  I’ve got a God squad.

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They say things get better, right? So, I’m gonna believe it until it happens.

I hope you do too.