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A Year of Action & Loving Harder

 

I spent the first few hours of the new year in silence, moving very slowly and setting the foundation for this years spiritual practices. It felt really good to be quiet and center myself. The longer I practice being still the clearer things become and the more I am able to use my attention to achieve what I want in this life.

After a lovely few hours at home hanging with F and making a yummy breakfast of kale, beans and kraut I packed a little bag and drove myself to the beach. God it was such a gorgeous day. Whenever I get out to the coast I am always incredibly amazed at how beautiful it is—it never gets old to me. The sky was clear, the air was warm and everyone I passed had a huge grin on their face. As I drove up the coast singing along to my favorite pop songs from 2012 my heart felt like it was going to burst and all of the loneliness and heartache and pain I faced this last year felt 100 percent worth it.

Every year I like to write what I want to let go of in the sand and watch the water wash it away. This afternoon was such a perfect example of how some things just are not in my control – including when I get rid of certain characteristics. I wrote the word fear in the sand and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited for the ocean to wash it away. After what seemed like forever it finally did. It was awesome to watch the water wash over the letters and after about four passes the word had completely dissolved back into the sand.

On some level I don’t believe all of my fears will be removed or that I really need to focus on ridding myself of them. My work is to be aware of how they block me from following my dreams, keep me from the intimacy I crave and make it impossible to love myself unconditionally. Once I am aware of all of this I can work towards not acting on those fears and as we all know this takes a great deal of consistent effort, but effort I fully believe is worth it. By paying close attention and choosing love instead of acting on fear I slowly chip away at what blocks me from love and change the beliefs and stories I have created about myself, or those that were given to me by others and no longer serve me.

I also wrote the word doubt and watched the ocean wash it away as well. It was a very cathartic experience, breathing in all the ocean ions, admitting to myself and the cosmos that I need support in living the remarkable life that continues to unfold in front of me. After sitting on the beach for some time in silence watching the sky change I called out to the universe what my intentions are for this new year. I left my neatly written four pages of aspirations at home, so I recalled each one in my mind and said it aloud. Something transformative takes place inside of me when I speak out to the ocean. In a strange way I feel heard and supported which is why I have been talking to the ocean like this for years.

On my drive home I thought about all that I want for myself this year. All the ways I want to step through my doubt and fear and take bigger risks than I ever have in the past. To get my intentions off to a running start I did something I never do, I called someone and asked them if they would like to spend time with me again – ha! I know most of you are thinking, what?! I know. I have always been one of those women that waits around for guys to call her and I decided I no longer want to be that person, it isn’t who I am anymore. I’ve read lots of the dating books and I know I’m going against everything Cosmo says, but really who needs any of that advice! The bigger picture of this is affirming how I want to live in this world and it’s an action that will have a ripple effect in all areas of my life.

My friend texted me earlier and said this is the year of action. I couldn’t agree more. My mantra for 2013 is LOVE HARDER. Totally an action. I want to love like I have never let myself before, I want to be fearless in all areas of my life, I want to put myself out there in so many different ways and see what happens, I want to practice radical acceptance, forgiveness and kindness, I want to speak up and be authentic, I want to create, inspire and be of service. I want to love harder.

As this day comes to a close out here in Los Angeles I want to say how grateful I am to have this blog and to be able to share what I am going through with all of you. Here is to another year of challenging ourselves, making friends, slowing down, failing, showing up, being still, making mistakes, growing pains, bedroom dancing, taking chances, being bold, and loving no matter what.

I love you all so.

xoa

Photo: Erin Scott

6 Comments

  • Lisa

    Dear Ashley,
    first of all, I wish for you, all that you wish for your self to actualise itself in your life, that you enjoy these moments of stillness and continue sharing these great discoveries with us.
    I love the rituals too. I feel like we come from the same star and have EXACTLY the same wave happening. Great motto for 2013, that is my commitment too. The partner that ended it with me for his good reasons, is now one of the best male friends I never dreamed of having. We have so much to share with one another as never before, and an amazing trust…and it’s because the heartbreak wasn’t because of him, it was old trauma that needed breaking…and because he does his spiritual homework, his intuition guided him to where he needed to go, because of his fears and WHAT EVER…it doesn’t really matter, but I TOTALLY get you on the love harder bit. I will share with you the video we just released…I am going all the way with living my life this year, my joy and freedom is in being who I am without hesitation…
    Much love to you Ashley,
    Lisa

  • ashley

    Hey Lisa!
    I always love reading your comments. They are so thoughtful and I relate in so many ways. I think we were definitely cut from the same cloth – kindred spirits ;)

    I admire your courage and willingness to take chances and step into your own life with such abandon. You are such an inspiration.

    Cannot wait to see your video! Please send the link when it is ready.

    Wishing you health and love in this new year.

    xoa

  • Karissa

    Ashley, I, too, am relating to your journey and ready for a deeper commitment to overall wellness and positive thinking. I have kept myself from every dream gifted to me–until now. Your blog, sharing your journey, seeing your growth and beauty are assisting in my own rebuilding of inner strength and self worth. Your mantra to “love harder” is exactly what my spirit is telling me, as well. Thank you for working hard and for changing lives just by your example. I have signed my now-20 yr old- daughter up for your newsletter and am so very proud to do so. Much love to you always.

    • ashley

      So good to hear from you here Karissa! Love that you are connecting and relating so much. I’ve often thought of you over the years and I love that we have found each other in such different places ;) Thank you for sharing what you are going through and I look forward to continue admiring your journey. Wishing you so much health and love. xoa

  • Nicole Lee

    dear Ashley,it seems that we are on the same page… I have been wanting and trying so hard to tear down my inner demons but countless times,the battle was lost.. This year is going to be diffferent. Very, very different, I promise myself. Radical is the word I should use. Your mantra further affirms my desire.Thank you! By sharing with you here, I’m further checking in with myself of my intention. Do whatever it takes, love however it feels…

    Keep up your beautiful works and congrats to the one year annivesary of your newsletter.

    Hugs to you

    • ashley

      Hi there Nicole,

      I love that we are going through similar stuff – we really are all connected. Radical is a great word. Just saying it fills me with energy and hope. So glad you are checking in and setting your intensions. Keep me posted on everything, love hearing how you are doing.

      Thank you for the kind words regarding my newsletter. It feels amazing to know it is being read and is useful.

      Have a great week.

      xoa

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