And We’re Back!

And just like that we’re back with another session of A Look in the Mirror!

I am just extremely excited to be back in the presence of such wonderful young ladies, all ready to learn about self-esteem, their worth and so many other things. I had almost all my girls from last session sign up, which was an amazing feeling! Needless to say, I was ready for a new session!

This year I broke the ages down into three separate sessions: girls ages 10-12, 13-15 and 16-18. The girls were all so amazing! I can’t wait to see what the next several weeks bring!

So, a lot of my sign-ups had prior plans or did not show…and I got really discouraged. I wondered if I was supposed to be doing this, or if I was doing something wrong, but I introduced a new function to my classes this session and so far it has blessed me tremendously. The girls write how they feel at the start of class and at the end of class, so that I can keep track of their progress. I came home after a long day yesterday and decided to open my “mailbox” and got the note that confirmed it all for me:

Not only that, but today I saw a few of my parents and they just gave me such encouragement and THAT is what this is all about. I do this so my girls can be heard, understood and so that they can know how to handle what this world gives them. Life is rough, but my prayer is that they can build their foundational truth and rely on that when things get rough.

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

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

Protect your peace, honey!

Listen…life is nuts maintenant, but guess who is thankful to be working towards something!

So, I am really good at extending myself to things that do not serve me and I’m good at holding on to relationships for longer than I need to.  These are my confessions.

I am also a magnet for people who need a hug and a friend, but sometimes maintaining relationships with people who are in repair can be draining, and I don’t think that it’s selfish to put yourself first sometimes.  So, I’ve lived by the following rules for the past few months:

  1. Will the world end if I don’t attend?

  2. Is it going to cause me stress and a very large mess?

  3. Am I going to have to talk through my feelings afterwards?

Is it worth it to get the short end of the stick all the time or should you care for yourself?

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GIRL, IF YOU DON’T PUT YOURSELF FIRST!

Of course it’s easier said than done, but it’s so much easier done once said.  You’re more inclined to do the things you speak about.  No more putting everyone else’s feelings before yours.  Who’s going to take care of you?  Your needs come first because you wake up and lay down with yourself every day.  Put yourself first and protect your peace, honey!

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.