The sun rising, the plants needing their fresh drink of water, my daughter, and the water in the kettle looking to be transformed into tea. Waking up in the morning and getting out of bed has always been easy for me. But I do find there are often magical moments when allowed space to stay in bed all day.
How have your challenges in life shaped your journey?
Life's challenges have always transformed themselves into blessings if I allow enough time to pass. I think in the moment, challenges bring up things that we don't want to deal with, look at, or overcome because it means we are taking on more responsibility (which is fucking hard). But challenges allow us to rise to the occasion. To meet it, grow from it, and are often better for it.
I don't know. I stopped turning away from challenges a while ago. I invite them now. I feel more empowered this way. Without the loss, trauma, wounds, and discomfort I've experienced in my life, I wouldn't be who I am now. I wouldn't know my own strength. I would still be stuck, in my own comfortability. Instead of touching my destiny.
When do you feel most creative?
I am most creative when I am feeling. When I allow enough space and time - in quiet solitude - to actually be present with my emotions and the trail they are leading me down. And while emotions are not always good indicators of truth, they do help us move energy and create flow.
What helps reignite your creative energy when you’re feeling stuck?
Movement. For me, this has always been dance. I feel most myself when I'm in my body. And I feel most creative when I feel most myself. Getting up and moving my body, without judgement or criticism. Without the worry of others watching. Just simply, moving my body for myself. Moving my body to release tension and explore what certain movements feel like. Usually when I'm stuck, I'm in my head. And movement helps me get out of my head and into my body. Sometimes I explore expressing different emotions through movement too which really helps me switch into a creative space.
What does authenticity mean to you?
Finding empowerment and freedom in one's own unique sense of self. Fearless personal inventory. Courageous honesty.
What does community look like to you? How do you nurture it?
Safety with others. Freedom with others. Truly seeing, hearing and knowing others - with curiosity and love. Letting differences dissolve walls. Community is a willingness to support those outside yourself, and find yourself within others even when it may not be visible right away. This is nurtured through integrity and commitment, and always, a willingness. You have to be willing to show up, share your heart, love others' hearts, learn, and grow together.
Ashely is featured in the In House Collection - Odetta blouse & Paloma pant in the color vintage black.
How do you move through insecurity?
I'm still learning this one. For me, what has helped has been consciously caring for myself. That may mean, being really conscious about drinking water, eating a nourishing meal, moving my body, taking a bath/shower, and even making a list of some things I may need - like connection, validation, sleep, alone time, peace and quiet. And then either meeting those needs myself or reaching out to friends for support. I also try to remember that I will move through those feelings and I won't feel that way forever. Keeping that in mind has helped take the pressure off in terms of "figuring it out" and "fixing it".
Sometimes feelings of insecurity show us our dreams and desires, like what we "wish" we had or were. Switching the perspective to see insecurity as a way to gain clarity into our deepest desires is helpful too. And then from there, I like to dig deeper, to see why I "want" certain things. Or why I think I "should" be further along than I am. Is it societal beliefs? Is it something I truly want? What's underneath this insecurity? Wanting to be loved for who I am? Usually, for me, it's wanting to be loved.
Where and when do you feel the most alive?
I feel most alive when I'm with my really good friends, when I feel safe to be my complete self - nothing less and nothing more. Pair that with some open space in nature and I'm then truly in a space of feeling alive.
Walk us through your morning/evening rituals…
In the morning I wake up and take my chinese herbs followed by chlorella in water. I then usually put some water in a kettle to have my morning tea. My tea practice takes up a lot of my morning as I use this time for meditation and morning pages (I'm rereading The Artist's Way right now and am back in full advocacy of morning pages). I'll then pull some tarot cards for the day and write about what downloads are coming through. If I have time, I'll do some yoga and get some cardio in. Then I'll take a shower and finish off with my skincare routine!
My evening rituals are usually skincare focused. I start by washing my face with a gentle cleanser, then a face oil. Lately, I've been having some inflammation on my face so I'll avoid oil in those areas and use a gentle water based ointment. I'll spend some time massaging my face to help with lymphatic drainage as well. Then I oil my entire body, between my toes and fingers, neck, chest - literally everywhere. Then I oil and brush my hair before braiding it. Braiding my hair at night is a must for me as it helps keep it untangled. I usually finish my night with reading a book in some soft light.
What are you looking forward to?
I'm looking forward to seeing my daughter grow up, and to seeing how this younger generation moves us forward in certain ways. That keeps me hopeful. And I'm always looking forward to summer...