Doing It Imperfectly

Doing It Imperfectly x Ashley Neese


Giving myself loads of room to make mistakes this week, particularly my intimate relationships. Over the years I’ve learned to take major risks in all areas of my life and now I’m moving into this phase I’m calling subtle mastery. I know, and I feel it in my body when I’m not being 100% transparent in my closest relationships.

The other night Nic and I had a heated discussion that turned into an argument in the car. I felt my energy rising so much that I jumped out of the car, slammed the door and went into the hotel room. I immediately took off my sandals and started pacing. The tension was rising at such a rapid pace, my heart was pounding and I was muttering under my breath. After about two minutes of that I paused and took in a huge inhale. I held it for a long while then exhaled. In a matter of seconds I saw the choice I had made in past relationships flash before my eyes. I’d get into the shower, continue to let the tension mount and by the time he came into the room I’d be so activated that I’d try to pick a fight or totally shut down.

Right after those images I took and held another deep breath. After the exhale I tuned into my heart and it told me to go out to the car, apologize and be honest about what was really going on with me.

When I got back into the car my energy was completely different. No longer activated and defensive I become open and vulnerable. In that space we were able to have a deeply healing conversation that shifted the course of our evening and well into the next day. And the more I write about it the more I see just what a major impact it had on my heart, nervous system and capacity to shift super old, way outdated programming in just a matter of minutes.

In a future world I hope to be able to not have to get out of the car, slam the door and have that process but I have zero shame about any of it today. What I learned through that somatically began the work of integrating at a new level for myself and for our relationship. By taking just a few breaths I was able to shift my energy and ground myself to be able to show up the way I really wanted to that night, for myself, for Nic and for the foundation we are building together.

So this week I’m setting the intention to not do it perfectly but to show up with heart, with spirit, and with my full breath. Because the truth is I’ve got this and so does he. All my heart. x


Gratitude for My Mom

Gratitude for My Mom

I talked to my mom on the phone twice today and my heart feels so full. We are in such a grounded place in our relationship and a big part of that is because of the way she’s been showing up for us. The year I stopped drinking my mom and I started going to therapy together and after a few sessions joined a therapy group that we stayed in for a year. At the time everything in my life was new without drinking or using and I had no idea just how brave we were until much later. I laugh thinking about the times early on when both of us would get activated in the group and be scrambling for the door at the same time! That was one of the first moments in my adult life I was able to recognize how similar we were.

Flash forward sixteen years and there has been more healing in our relationship than I ever dreamed possible. When things are challenging these days we have learned how to stay grounded and lean into each other instead of running for the quickest way out. One of the biggest life lessons I’ve been navigating lately is how to stay. To stay with my breath. To stay in my body. To stay with the intensity of feelings. To stay receptive. Learning how to stay has been teaching me mountains about what it means to trust. In trusting we have to stay true to our hearts, we have to stay embodied.

Loss has been a huge theme in my life this past month and I’ve been reaching out to my parents on a more regular basis. I feel the frailty of life and the time passing at such a swift rate. I don’t want to have too many regrets about times I didn’t spend with my mom, praise I didn’t give her or gratitude I didn’t express every time we spoke. So today in my calls I said what was on my heart. I shared how much it meant to me, the way she’s been showing up for Nic and I. I told her how much I cherished her ear and her wisdom and humor. I told her how proud I was of her for taking care of her finances and allowing herself to have more fun lately. Witnessing her willingness to grow to her best ability is one of the greatest teachings her life has offered me. Mama bear, as I call her, I love you so.


Snapshot of my mom and I in Italy in the 80’s.


Friday Feels 18

Friday Feels 18 x Ashley Neese

Revisiting these teachings on community by one of my favorite activists.

A heartfelt mention by one of my dearest clients.

Healthy, delicious eats at this new Silver Lake restaurant.

Dosing myself with holy basil on the hour to support my adrenals.

Just two spots left in my summer solstice breathwork retreat!

The cutest little town north of San Francisco.

Best Drake cover ever.

Gearing up for a beautiful event with The Chalkboard Mag + Sakara Life.

Astrology for the soul.

The true hard work of love and relationships.

Educating myself about investments and how to build wealth.

An epic organic market in Mill Valley, CA.







Gratitude List 27

Gratitude List 27 x Ashley Neese

Clear skies.
Greetings from red tailed hawks.
Slowing way down.
Writing my mother a letter.
Being gentle with myself.
Holy basil.
A deeper settling.
Vivid dreams.
The messages in songs.
A felt sense of what it means to discharge old energy.
Creating new pathways.
Setting aside outdated ideas and beliefs about myself.
Allowing all of the feelings and experiences to sit at the table together.
Making more room for trust.
Doing less, feeling more.
A powerful reminder that I am here to keep healing myself.
Softening into each exhale.
Affirmations that I do not need to hustle for anything, all is coming and my only real job is to take care of myself in this moment.
The vastness of this watery full moon.
Praying to compost what is no longer useful so that I may lay a new foundation for growth.
Holding space for myself.

All my heart.


Gratitude List 26

Gratitude List 25 x Ashley Neese

The wind in my hair.
A view of the water.
Roses in the front yard.
Two incredibly inspiring and expanding conversations.
Acceptance of what feels shaky.
Leaning in even more.
Opportunities to drop into the well and share the treasures I find.
The book that is writing itself.
A cat that knows how to live between worlds.
Reminders everywhere.
Sticking up for myself.
Disengaging with anyone who isn’t on a frequency that resonates with mine.
Not apologizing for taking up space.
Coming clean about what I’ve been hanging on to.
Bringing attention to the part of me that still wants someone to swoop in and make things okay.
Loving that part of myself and settling into the truth that today, in this moment, at this curve in the cycle I am resourced and capable of meeting my own needs.
Riding the giant waves of uncertainty.
A really good title for my book.
Being my own teacher.
Not following anyone else’s lead.
Aiming high and aiming true.