surround yourself with inspiring friends


This morning I woke up earlier than usual and could not fall back asleep. I stayed in bed allowing my eyes to absorb the morning light. Some of my first thoughts were about how important it is to surround myself with friends that inspire me. I feel extremely grateful this morning to have the desire to continue cultivating a community of people that are willing to do the work on themselves, the work it takes to be present in this world, the work of self-care.

While I was in Portland I had dinner with a woman I was just starting to get to know before I moved away. We would hit the gym together and go on neighborhood walks. We had lots of great talks and fun hanging out. About 5 minutes into our dinner I noticed how much she had changed. It was incredible. She was more present, calm, and grounded than I remembered her being. She told me about what she had been up to this past year, her meditation retreats, self-care, enlarging her life. It was truly awesome. I was inspired after our dinner. It was so cool to experience this next phase of her growth. It reminded me of how much other peoples energy plays a role in my life.

People either lift us up or drag us down. And I mean that in the energetic sense. Have you ever met a stranger that had a lightness about them? They just seemed content and at ease? And I know we have all felt the effects of people that don’t take very good care of themselves, that buzzing, frenetic, anxiety ridden energy that can take you over if you don’t put up a boundary to protect yourself. More and more I want to put my energy towards people that radiate light, calm, and joy. These people are really easy to spot. If you look and listen you will find them.

A huge part of the way I practice self-care is to spend time with people that are on that same path. And of course we are all at different places at different times. There are ups and downs. There are scary, hard, and painful times. There are times when we need to lean on others more than we can be there for them. I am not saying any of this is bad or wrong, it’s totally part of the deal. The difference lies in how we deal with those challenging times. Do we act out, get crazy, self-destruct? Or do we reach out, lean into it, and face our life head on. Are we cowards or warriors? Each day we have choices to step into the unknown or live in fear. How do you want to live today?

Take inventory of your relationships. Are you excited about who you spend time with? Do they energize you and support your growth or do they hold themselves back? Are your friends adventurous┬árisk takers that love and live with open hearts? It is important to look at the people that we spend our time with and decide if it’s time to let go of relationships that drain our energy or keep us from living a richer life.

I realize this is a challenging process in the beginning. I have been there. The clearer you are on what you want from your relationships the easier it will be. The more you love and take care of yourself the more you will attract people that live in a similar fashion. For years I had friends that did not listen to me, it was familiar because I grew up with parents that did not listen. When I started to come into my own and recognize what I wanted and how I wanted to live things shifted. I became a good listener. Today friends that can listen well are a true gift. I know I cannot be in relationships with people that do not hear me. I encourage you to do some writing and list out what qualities you want from your friends. Once you start to cultivate those qualities within yourself people that have them or are working towards them will start to show up in your life. The power of intention is serious stuff.

As I continue to plant my feet and heart in this new place I will take these thoughts with me in developing new relationships. I am committing to reaching out to others and showing up with a great deal more curiosity than expectation. The idea is to remain open and pay attention to how I feel when I am around people. My gut is quite accurate, if it’s all in a knot around a specific person I know to keep my distance. For years I ignored my gut feelings about people because I wanted so desperately to be liked and accepted. Today I know I have so much to offer my friends and community that I don’t need to settle for friends that don’t inspire or challenge me. I want to put my love and energy into developing relationships with people I admire.





  • Sharon

    This was a lovely, inspiring and very thought-provoking blog entry, Ashley. I loved it!

    • ashley

      Thanks so much Sharon! That means a great deal to me.

  • lisa meilen

    I love your daily shares. self care is one of the largest adventures i have been on and so scary sometimes. who would have thought…you inspire me and i enjoy walking beside you
    thanks from berlin

    • ashley

      Thanks Lisa! That means so much coming from you. I am glad we are in this together.

      Miss you!

  • kathe


    just wanted to let you know that I dropped by & that I am often communing with you in ways you may or may not realize, sending tons of love, I see you, thank you xox K

    • ashley

      Same to you!! You are often in my thoughts and I am working on something for you, a little here, a little there. It’s been all about getting settled here in my new home – lots of nesting, creating a calm, safe place. So much love to you.

  • Darcie Edgemon

    Beautiful blog entry, Ashley! Thank you so much for sharing, AND for being my friend. You inspire and challenge me, and I am so grateful for the amazing work you do. <3

    • ashley

      Thanks so much Darcie! Means a lot! I am thrilled we are living in the same city again, slightly older and wiser ;)

  • Claire

    That was really beautiful. Life is such a journey and our friends are a big part of that. It can be hard to know what to hold on to and what to let go of. Journey on!

    • ashley

      I really appreciate that Claire! Knowing when to move on and let go is such a process, very challenging to sort that out. We have been through so much and I am glad that you are part of my life.

  • Drus

    I couldn’t agree more, and I think these besties would too . .

  • ashley

    <3 <3 <3

  • Corina

    Hah, that fits perfectly to where I am right now. The list is a good idea, Ashley! Many friendships I am still in were the resuls of helplessness. People needed help and I helped. But problems aren’t the inspiration I am looking for today (not saying I won’t help anymore). But a friendship after all is the same as a relationship with your love ones or co-workers, right? You have to be careful and see if it makes you happy too. So where is my pen? ;-)

    • ashley

      SO happy you enjoyed this post Corina and that it resonates with you. I hear you about stepping back from helping a bit and wanting to be more inspired in your friendships. We’re so alike. I am a big helper too and always will be but I want to be able to have different kinds of relationships with people and be lifted up by them from time to time. You are totally right about being careful and seeing if it is making you happy! Here’s to creating more inspired relationships this year. xoa

Leave a Comment