This Is for the Quiet Women


This is for the quiet women.

The women whose hearts are as large as any other, yet their soft voices fall on deaf ears tuned in only to noise.

The women who inwardly scream with passion for all they hold dear, yet outwardly present themselves more discreetly than others.

The women who are overlooked and ignored by those who may speak louder, though not necessarily with more substance.

This is for us.

~

READ MORE:

https://www.elephantjournal.com/2017/09/this-is-for-the-quiet-women/

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Daily Bliss – August 31


The Angels remind us to shore up our defenses, for they will be needed one day. Eat good foods, focus on healthy and regular self care, exercise, let loved ones know they’re important, do creative work, be lazy sometimes, so that when the time comes that our reserves are rocked to the core, a foundation of love and support is already in place. 

This Creative Life

Purple Iris in full bloom

In creating, we find life,
The kind of life that isn’t discovered
In everyday endeavors
Or positive pursuits

But rather, the kind of life discovered
Between long, slow kisses,
Lazy sunsets by the sea,
The lilting laugh of a joyful baby,
Irises blooming in the garden for your mother

All creating the backdrop
Of a richer existence
Longer days and sleepier nights
With stars like spotlights above us
Illuminating the many miracles
Uncovered, created
Through this creative life

©SpiritLed 2017

The Power of a Blank Page

blank paper pages on rustic wood

I always have the urge to write.  It’s almost the same as breathing for me.  I don’t always have the follow through to do it, however, even when I feel the desire burning.

Aren’t we all like this in many ways?

We all have these passions that drive us at a deep level, and yet we so often don’t follow through on the call.  We feel the desire toward something new and different – maybe it’s still unspecified and unintelligible but it still burns deep inside with an urgency that reminds us that there is indeed something tangible behind the longing.

Yet we and sit and stare at the blank page.

Not all of us are writers, of course.  Life-breath comes in all forms of unique and varied activities, most often of a creative nature.   And by creative, I mean activities that are soul-fulfilling and result in something new (physically or energetically) where nothing previously existed.

For example, a painting or a poem that just has to come out.  Or perhaps a newly sculpted body from healthy and active choices.  Possibly a newfound joy brought forth by helping to make someone else’s day a little brighter.   Maybe even the simple act of choosing to be happy in the face of great challenges.  The opportunities for creating something new are endless, and not relegated to conventional “art.”

But we tell ourselves, “I’m not creative.”  Or, “I don’t have the stamina.”  Or, “I’ll text her later.”  Or, “I’m not worthy of being happy.” And we put ourselves off another day, another week, another year.

Truth is, I’ve never liked starting anything from scratch.  I need a recipe, a guide, an established starting point.  I don’t like to reinvent the wheel.

However, our creative nature isn’t very forgiving of us when we don’t flex our “ambiguity” muscles; that is, our ability to work and be at least moderately successful in a place of ambiguity and uncertainty.  Yes, we can chug along through life starting only with the help of someone else’s previously-forged cues.  But our creative spark suffers in this mindset, one driven mostly by fear and a sense of unworthiness.

“I’m not good enough.”  “What if I fail?”  “What if someone doesn’t like what I produce?”  These thoughts keep us avoiding that blank page.

However, this inability to start from a blank slate, to restart after a habit has been broken, to reach out to someone who might not understand our true intentions, or to step out in service for fear of failure or rejection doesn’t only hurt us.  What we’re not doing now hurts those who would be helped by us.  Uplifted by us.  Inspired by us.  Healed by us.

As I sat here this week, feeling the urge to write and also feeling the familiar panic upon staring at my blank page, I ran through a list of possible topics in my head, mentally discarding each one.  I sidetracked myself with other legitimate work tasks.  I decided writing could wait a day, or a week.  I ate lunch.

And then, I remembered my book writing path.  I truly had no plan for writing a book.  I avoided it for nearly two years until I finally decided I’d just start each day with a blank page and write what comes to mind – no matter how unintelligible, ridiculous, silly, or embarrassing it might be.  And so The Angel Inside was birthed.

And I remembered the many times I’ve started writing a poem and I penned the first words that came to me until I got into a flow.  And later when I went to edit, I realized the first line or two didn’t make any sense, so I simply cut it out.  And the rest was a nice poem.  Or at least decent.

And that’s all we’re really being asked for anyway.  Nice.  Decent.  Our best efforts consistently applied.

Today, I opened an empty document for the second or third time with no thoughts at the ready.  And within a few deep breaths, I heard “blank page.”  And I remembered that for me, the action of writing is the catalyst that opens the floodgate of more words.

In other words, taking even small action action in a forward direction – simply doing SOMETHING – is often the catalyst for the more in-depth work that follows.

And so I started typing.  One word led to the next and to the next.  Eventually, through a hazy, forward and back approach, and with lots of editing, the words on the page started to take shape on their own, without much conscious thought to structure, form, or outline, a process not unlike the quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

In my early adulthood, I never saw the value of a blank page.  I was so fearful of not knowing where I was going that I rarely allowed myself to know or grow in any way that didn’t follow a prescriptive path or that seemed absolutely prudent.

But no more. I’m still fearful of course. I don’t know an honest person who isn’t. However, now that I’ve experienced the mysteries and miracles that a hazy, faith-filled path can bring, I can’t go back.  I won’t go back.

And my wish for you is that you will take out that blank page that’s calling you, breathe into your heart, and create what needs to come from within.

Because that is the power of a blank page.

XOXO
Ashley

P.S. If you can relate to this, let me know!  Leave a comment below or on my Facebook page.  And please share with your friends!

Take Care of Your Gut to Improve Your Intuition

gut feeling2

Ever heard this joke?

One day the different parts of the body were having an argument to see which should be in charge.

The brain said, “I do all the thinking so I’m the most important and I should be in charge.”

The eyes said, “I see everything and let the rest of you know where we are, so I’m the most important and I should be in charge.”

The hands said, “Without me we wouldn’t be able to pick anything up or move anything. So I’m the most important and I should be in charge.”

The stomach said, “I turn the food we eat into energy for the rest of you. Without me, we’d starve. So I’m the most important and I should be in charge.”

The legs said, “Without me we wouldn’t be able to move anywhere. So I’m the most important and I should be in charge.”

Then the rectum said, “I think I should be in charge.”

All the rest of the parts said, “You?!? You don’t do anything! You’re not important! You can’t be in charge.”

So the rectum closed up.

After a few days, the legs were all wobbly, the stomach was all queasy, the hands were all shaky, the eyes were all watery, and the brain was all cloudy. They all agreed that they couldn’t take any more of this and agreed to put the rectum in charge.

The moral of the story?

You don’t have to be the most important to be in charge, any a**hole can do it!

We all know our gut is an integral part of our body.  Our guts, not just the rectum but also the large and small intestines, are invaluable to helping us feel GOOD.  And when they don’t feel good, when they aren’t working well, NONE of our parts feel good.
I know this firsthand because I’ve had IBS my whole adult life.  IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is one of those catch-all diagnoses which means they’ve ruled out everything else and you still have issues.  It often results in great abdominal discomfort:  gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, cramps and spasms, pain, and misery.  Poorly treated, it is no fun.

And treatment isn’t straightforward!  Specialists give drugs that provide relief for some.  For me, the super-gentle, non-habit-forming intestinal muscle relaxer (aka, laxative) simply stopped working.  For many people, diet is a huge concern, with many otherwise healthy foods having to be eliminated (think whole grains or even whole food groups, like dairy).  Coffee, the drink of the gods, is a gut irritant.  And so is alcohol!  All the fun can be sucked out of life with IBS.

More importantly, having all those unresolved gut problems can wreak havoc on your gut feelings too.  Gut feelings as in INTUITION.  How, you might ask, does having an irritated, agitated, stopped up, overactive gut affect our intuition?

Well, you see…we have energy centers throughout our body, often referred to as chakras.  These areas are integral in the health of our energy body, as well as our physical body, allowing the universal energy (qi, chi, prana), which both surrounds us and is part of us, to flow smoothly.  When it doesn’t flow smoothly, because of illness, stress, trauma, or other imbalances, we get blockages to our energy flow.  These can be temporary or long-term, depending on the situation and what we do to resolve it.

One of these energy centers—the sacral chakra—is located directly over our gut.  Whenever we have gut issues, that energy center is affected.  The sacral chakra is the energy center involved in creation – both procreation and the creation of new ideas, thoughts, and behaviors.  We often think of the third eye as the seat of our intuition, and it does play a primary role in being able to see clearly and with inner wisdom.   However, the power of creation is also a natural connection to our intuition.  Seeing clearly is only part of the puzzle; we must have enough support and strength from our creative center to bring forth our vision into the world.

This is an important point to remember, as so many people go into spiritual development thinking they need to focus on their upper chakras, especially the third eye and crown, in order to connect.  In reality, it’s about BALANCE, like everything else in our lives.  Not only balancing the chakras, but also balancing the body, mind, and spirit. It’s why we nurture ALL our parts!

Because I’ve suffered so much over the years with IBS, lack of balance, and their collective impact on my natural intuitive nature, I’ve cultivated a few tips that may help YOU to get your gut—and therefore, your intuition—back in order.

Eat a gut-friendly diet – There are many diets out there; the key is to find that one that works for you!  Generally speaking, avoiding standard gut irritants and identifying any food sensitivities is crucial.  These (sadly) most often include:  coffee (and caffeine in general, so no sodas either), alcohol, greasy foods, spicy foods, acidic foods, dairy, and wheat/gluten.  You may not need to completely eliminate all of these foods, however. Test each one out by eliminating for a week and then adding back in to see what causes irritation for your unique system.  For me, I can handle dairy most of the time (which is great because I LOVE ice cream), but eliminating wheat has been super helpful.   I also have sensitivity to eggs, so I avoid those too.  It makes breakfast difficult (no bread, no eggs!) but my belly feels sooo much better when I tend to its needs and it helps keep my sacral chakra clear and flowing!

On a side note, I also recently learned that there’s such an ailment as “irritable bladder;” I know because I have it too!  Apparently some bodies are just extra-sensitive. The dietary suggestions for this are pretty much the same as for irritable bowel, not surprisingly since they’re in the same area (apparently they often occur together…who knew?), which also means they’re both governed by the sacral chakra.  The good part of nurturing your intuition is that you start to become much more aware of your body and can identify when something is off.  I’ve known for a while I had something new going on, it just took some time figure out exactly what.

Balance all your chakras daily – You only have to know a few basics about chakras to help them stay balanced.  You have 7 main chakras:

  • Root (red) – Located at the base of your spine
  • Sacral (orange) – Located in your lower abdomen
  • Solar Plexus (yellow) – Located in your upper abdomen, just below your ribcage
  • Heart (green) – Located at your heart
  • Throat (sky blue) – Located at your throat
  • Third eye (indigo) – Located in the middle of your forehead
  • Crown (violet or white) – Located on top of your head

While sitting quietly, take several deep, slow breaths.  Then bring your awareness to the root chakra and imagine breathing in cleansing red light into the root.  Do this until the area feels clear, then move your awareness up to the sacral area and breathe in orange light.  Continue through each chakra and color until you feel clear and refreshed, or until you feel like you’re finished.  As an alternative, you can breathe white light into each chakra, or even simply breathe white light into your body, starting with your feet and moving up to your crown.  This process should take 5-7 minutes, unless you feel the need to stay with an area longer.

It’s important to balance all your chakras, not just the ones that seem blocked.  The key is balance and focusing only on one or two can cause them to become out of balance instead.   You can put extra focus onto blocked chakras, but be sure to work with all of them during a session.

Flex your creative muscles – The gut is the area of creative energy – it needs to create!  There are so many options to flex your creative muscles, and there’s not requirement to be a pro.  If you like painting, drawing, or other visual arts, make time for that.  If you like writing (ME, ME!), make that a priority.  Perhaps you have some unfinished projects (or some you’ve never even started) that need to be brought to life.  Don’t put it off one more day!  These stagnant creative energies get stuck in the sacral area and they need to be released (and keep in mind, sex is a creative energy too…maybe you need more of that)!

As a reminder, it’s important to keep our gut happy in order to keep our intuition flowing!   A happy gut grows our intuition, which in turn, helps us be more aware of what’s really going on with us. So eat some good foods, create some interesting things, and be sure to keep those chakras clear!

Not sure where to start?  Reach out to me for additional tips, tools, or one-on-one chakra healing!

Until we connect again,
XOXO

P.S. If any part of this article resonated with you, please leave a comment below and share on your favorite social media site!

The 3 R’s of Regaining Your Power

Woman with butterfly wings flying on fantasy sea sunset

POWERLESS.

How do you feel when you hear that word? 

For me, the word “powerless” brings up a deep fear.  Fear that I or someone I love may be hurt, or that I have no ability to act or more forward for my own good.  Fear that I can’t see the path before me, that I have no influence over what’s happening.  Fear that I have no control over my life.

For a long time, I lived under the illusion that if could control everything, I would never feel powerless.  I would never feel fear.  My life was carefully planned and carried out, which left little room for creative living.  It also didn’t leave much room for thought to how I would cope if something happened that was out of my control.  And of course, that’s exactly what happened.

Multiple events took place when I was in my 20s that challenged my notions on control and power.  My mother was diagnosed with cancer, my parents got a divorce, my grandmother died, and eventually my mother died as well.  There was nothing I could control about any of that, which left me with a great sense of powerlessness.

I think many of us in these kinds of situations take one of two paths:  we double down and become more controlling OR we give up on controlling anything ever.  I unconsciously chose the latter.

You see, we often have the idea that power equals control.  So we spend a lot of time either trying to control people and events in order to feel powerful, or we become powerless victims of the world around us.

But here’s the deeper truth:  Power is innate.  We don’t find it or earn it.  We don’t receive power because we have money or exert control over someone else, or even ourselves.  We don’t need to do all that because we already have it within us.  Our ability to create our lives each day is our power.  We often lose our connection to this, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.  We simply have to learn how to tap into it again. We have to have the courage to truly acknowledge and heal all the layers that have obscured our inner source of power and creativity.

Regaining our power is a personal exploration and can take many different creative paths.  However, there are tools everyone can use and apply in their own unique way.  Read on for three “R’s” that have helped me over the years to regain my power when I felt out of control:  Reaction, Reframe, and Regenerate.

Reaction
In reality, there is very little in life we actually can control, besides our own behaviors.   Everything around us is complex and interwoven; we may have some influence but control is minimal.  While we can’t control all the events or feelings that come up for us, more often than not, we CAN control our reactions to a situation.  Most of us have spent so much time throughout our lives operating as if our feelings are something that just happen to us (or pretending that they don’t happen at all).  Yet, we have more power than we think.  When we learn to feel where emotions happen in our bodies and the energy that’s produced, we can halt emotional reactions that result in negative outcomes.

The next time you feel powerless, stop and sense how you feel in your body.   Is your stomach in knots?  Is your chest tight?  Does your head feel dizzy or tingly?  Do you feel heat radiating from you?  These are all signs of experiencing a difficult emotion.  You may experience other sensations as well.  What emotion are you feeling?  Be as honest with yourself as possible so that you can correlate physical sensations with feelings.  With practice, you can cultivate awareness of what you’re feeling and make conscious, intentional choices about how to react in the best way.

Reframe
Power is most often about perception, belief, and what we choose to see.  We see ourselves as powerless because the true view of our power is hidden by negative self talk, blaming others, trying to control the world around us, and occasionally, situations that are truly out of our control, like the death of a loved one.  Wayne Dyer said, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”  Once we truly start to see ourselves as powerful beings, we will become the powerful beings we already are.

When a situation arises that causes feelings of powerlessness, take some time afterwards to reflect.  Write down your initial perceptions of the incident.   Ask yourself “How did I perceive the incident?  What ways of thinking about the incident brought on the feelings of powerlessness?”  Then, write down 2 or 3 ways you could reframe the incident.  Ask, “What plausible things could I have told myself at the time that would have made me feel more powerful?”  Or, “What would’ve allowed me to tap into that deep sense of inner power I know I already possess?

For example, “I didn’t get the job I wanted.  I’m not talented enough to get a good job” becomes “I didn’t get the job because it wasn’t a good fit for me.  The right job will come along when the timing is right.”  Or, “Nothing ever goes my way” becomes “I have the power to create the life I want.”  Write statements that feel true on a deep level (even if they don’t feel true to you in the moment).  Once you have reframed that incident, practice interpreting future incidents according to this new framework and act accordingly.

[Adapted from Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson, N.D., D.C., Ph.D.].

Regenerate
When we feel powerless, it’s often because we’ve been not been taking good care of ourselves.  Good self-care practices fill our cups and give us strength for the challenges in our lives.

When you’re feeling powerless, take some time to notice where you haven’t been so gentle on yourself.  In what areas do you need the most care?  Consider body, mind, AND spirit. Then commit to making time for serious self-care, no excuses.  Focus on practices that make you feel powerful:  Finish a task that’s been waiting, write out your feelings of powerlessness then burn them, repeat some positive affirmations, create something that you enjoy, or take a mindful walk.

Remember, we are creative and powerful beings.  And we can tap into this at any time.  We can create the lives we want by taking steps to regain connection to our innate power.  If you need support in getting there, reach out to me.  We can work through this together.

Love & light,
Ashley

P.S. Here’s one more tip.  BREATHE.  It may not be an “R” but it’s a powerful way to get back to center.  Shut your eyes.  Breathe in power and breathe out fear.   Repeat as often as necessary until you feel more grounded and balanced.   Breathe in power and breathe out fear.  You’ve got this.

www.aspiritledlife.org