Ease & Value


As we approach the end of the year I enjoy slowing down as much as possible. This morning in meditation I contemplated the word ‘ease’. What does it mean to move through life with ease? How can I align with ease in all of my activities? This word keeps coming up for me and is going to be one of my theme words for the New Year.

A few days ago I was reminded that I can struggle and fight my way though life or I can go as a river and possibly have some fun. I’ve been reflecting this past year on the struggle piece, looking deeply at all of the ways I over commit and overwork myself to prove my worth. Feeling a sense of lack and a deep rooted sense of not being enough has driven many of my life choices. These feelings show up when I look at how much energy I expend on certain actions.

Learning to properly value myself has been coming up a great deal during these last couple of months. While I have made huge strides in this area over the last 10+ years there is still some work to do. Through my breathwork and meditation practices I’ve received some helpful insights into how under valuing myself currently shows up in my life. It’s very humbling to admit as there is a part of me that still wants everyone to think I’ve got it all figure out. When I really dig deep though, the truth is that I care less and less what I look like on the outside and more and more about how my experiences can be useful to someone else. My life has always been about service and sharing my internal struggles and getting super vulnerable with you is one of my most humble offerings.

I’ve recently been offered a book deal. A publisher is interested in paying me to write a book. I know. It’s still blowing my mind to be honest. This has been a dream of mine for years and something I have been journaling about specifically for the last few months. In mapping out the hours it will take me to write the book I’ve been coming up against so much fear. Under all of the fear is the piece about value. I know it’s about value because I can feel my energy shift when I work on the map of my hours. It’s almost like I am in a state of panic, my energy gets frenetic and I start to worry about all the ways my book will be a failure and ultimately that I will be a failure. It’s really intense and it’s no wonder I don’t want to write it if this is what I feel when I’m simply making a time log. Imagine how working on the outline will be!

Thankfully I have a wise teacher in my life and a strong intuition to guide me right back to the present moment instead of freaking out about book sales, bad reviews, and a whole host of other issues that are not happening right now. And here’s the part where we go back to the river. I can choose to move with it, meaning I can choose to accept the good that is coming to me and the support from the universe to write this book or I can struggle through it, feel bad about myself, and probably not enjoy much of anything during the process.

I don’t believe life is black or white but I do get the strong sense that this is one of those situations where I have an important choice to make and ultimately the choice is simple. I can accept this offer and recognize that I have everything I need to write this book, or I can stay in that place of not feeling good enough, smart enough, popular enough, or articulate enough to write it.

Just because the choice is simple doesn’t always mean it’s easy. However, there IS a sense of ease that comes from living in acceptance.

Do I believe or am I willing to believe that the universe has my back?

Do I believe or am I willing to believe that what I have to say matters and that my book could help someone?

Do I believe or am I willing to believe that I can make this book writing process as fun as I want to?

Do I believe or am I willing to believe that if the book only inspires one person that is enough?

Taking the time to answer these questions has been really helpful to my process. Becoming willing to suspend my current beliefs in favor of bringing more ease and joy into my writing and pursing this book feels like the right call. Moving through these experiences has shown me how much I want to choose joy over struggle and how necessary it is to truly value myself.

Value doesn’t just come from wishing to feel better about yourself, it comes from action. Making the decision to move forward with this project is one of the ways I practice valuing myself. I trust that this is all part of my path and that in many ways this book will be a huge teaching in understanding my value in ways I can’t fully know until I commit and begin.

How do you value yourself? In what ways are you encouraging a sense of ease in your life? I would love to know. These topics are very dear to me and I look forward to learning from you.

| Photo by Sera Lindsey.


  • Marie

    Congrats Ashley! This is very exciting!
    Letting go and observing are what I look towards.
    And moving through life with ease :-)

    • ashley

      Thanks so much Marie I really appreciate it! Letting go is such an important practice. Observation, yes! Grateful for that reminder this afternoon, perfect timing. Wishing you a wonderful New Year. Lots of love. xoa

  • Tamar

    Ashley, you remind me so much of me. Except without the book deal…yet :-) Congratulations on this amazing opportunity!

    As I talked about at the breathwork circle the other night, ease and value or worth have been big themes for me in 2014.

    I love the questions you ask yourself, especially the way you’ve phrased “believe or be willing to believe.” Being willing is, for many of us, a much easier jump than believing, when there are moments or days that we just don’t.

    I look forward to reading your book!

    • ashley

      Hey Tamar! I always love hearing from you. Thank you, it feels like this is going to be a big year for us all. I’m right on your coat tails with these themes, just a year behind ;) Phrasing questions about belief like this really help me because as you said the willingness is often a more accessible place to begin. I learned to write questions like this in my early recovery years and it’s a practice I’ve hung on to. Wishing you a wonderful New Year and I look forward to seeing you at a circle in the New Year. Lots of love. xoa

  • Marlon

    Congratulations on being offered a chance to pursue one of your dreams!! I look up to you so much and everything you write has been so inspiring to me; I can only imagine a labour of love such as book would be even more enriching to read. I always appreciate your self reflection and the self reflection that occurs within myself when I read your entries. You seem so able to learn from your emotional history and experiences; and it is helpful to see that you have doubts but carry through. Thank you for the reminder to believe in our self worth! I look forward to your book!!

    • ashley

      Thank you Marlon! Your words of support come at the right time, thank you for being so generous. I am grateful to know that my self reflection supports yours, that is one of the main reasons I write this blog and it makes my day to know it supports you. Yes, three cheers to our self worth today! Wishing you a delightful New Year and thanks again for being part of this conversation. Love and light. xoa

  • cristina rose

    I remind myself everything is a lesson, and to push myself because fear of fear is not the best way to live, i should be more afraid of not doing what i know would make me feel happy, regardless of what others think.

    can’t wait for your book!

    • ashley

      Morning Christina! I love what you said about everything being a lesson, what a great reminder. We can turn anything into a teaching and grow through it. Really appreciate you sharing your wisdom with us! Love to you today. xoa

  • laura

    I am always inspired by your posts. Thank you for sharing and I can completley relate to feeling enough and trusting abuncace when it arrives. Congrat’s on the book deal, you are already shinging your authentic light. Keep going! we are cheering for you! Best Wishes xoxoxo

    • ashley

      Hi Laura, it’s great to hear from you. Trusting that abundance is big right?!I’m recognizing how important that is so that I can actually enjoy it ;) Thanks for the encouragement and for being part of the conversation. SO happy to have your voice here. Wishing you a fantastic New Year. Lots of love. xoa

  • Janae

    First- Congrats! So exciting and you are TOTALLY capable of creating a beautiful thoughtful book, you are so deserving!
    Second- I loved the questions you posed to yourself. I have been incorporating more affirmations into my day and taking a spin off of the old saying “dress for the job you want’ and making it ‘think like the person you want to be’. It makes me think outside the box and pull from my own resources to accomplish goals or create change in my life that I desire. This practice has helped me accept and value who I am today to help me become the xyz of tomorrow.
    Wishing you a happy peaceful New Year!

    • ashley

      Thank you so much Janae, your words mean a great deal to me. I love that you are incorporating more affirmations into your day. It’s great to make affirmations your own and to get creative with them. I appreciate your comment about drawing on your own resources too – that is such a huge piece to all of this! Very inspired by your path and grateful to be in community with you! Sending you lots of light and love for this magical New Year. xoa

  • leonie

    Fear, a big topic. fear of failing, fear of missing fear that keeps us from acting. My experience of Fear so far is even if I am scared of doing something or interacting with someone i schould try it anyways. I try to jump as often as possible into that fears to recon if they are actually worth the energy. mostly not.
    The point with the ease is also very interesting. as more I want it, as less I get it. To end this year and feel true ease I had to get seriously sick and not be able to get out of bed to get a short glimps of what ease and rest means.
    It is an inters tin experience… I wish you all an inspiring fresh, newborn year!

    • ashley

      Thank you for sharing all of this Leonie. I totally agree that we should do the things that scare us the most – that is what living a brave life is all about. I also like what you wrote about jumping into your fears to really see if they are worth your time and energy. I love ease and rest for you in this coming year, I feel like so much will grow from those humble practices. I am very grateful we connected and am looking forward to learning how your year unfolds in the coming months. Lots of love to you! xoa

  • Corina

    Happy New Year, Ashley! :-) And thanks for these honest words. And congratulations! Well, ease… I never thought of this one before because I always feel like life is hard (most of the times) and you can complain about that or find a way. But then I invited a close friend to my place a few days ago and she said, please let there be as much ease as possible. I am only looking forward to see you (and I don’t care if you prepare a fancy meal or have cleaned up everything). No one ever said that to me before by using this particular word that brings a great focus and it was such a relief! But I guess my mantra for this year is: letting go with ease! ;-) As for my value: Well, in fact I would like to have it the way that there is just my action with a positive intension and the effect it has for other beings and myself. But that’s not how society works unfortunately and so I am always struggling with value by reminding myself of what I have accomplished yet and what my very own principles are. And as for your book deal: A befriended artist of mine once had an exhibition that was called I would do it if I only knew I could do it. ;-) But living it that way we would never move on, right? So I think it’s really something very special to have your very own book published and of course the more exciting if a publisher sees that potential in your writing! And for me (and other readers I guess) you already are a great and inspiring writer (so after all the book “only” is another format). And therefore you should go for it and have fun writing! No fear, just fun. And I am looking forward to read it! :-)

    • ashley

      Happy New Year Cornia! It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you and learn about your life. I love the words from your friend, so wise and so very true. Letting go with ease – YES! What a powerful mantra for the year. I can definitely feel the energy behind it. I look forward to hearing how you grow with that mantra this year. Wishing you a fantastic New Year and thank you for jumping into the conversation and sharing your voice with us. You are inspiring! Light and love to you. xoa

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