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How Can I Love Myself More?

 

This morning I woke up feeling tired and unhappy. I know a big part of it is because my cycle started in the middle of the night and I had a terrible bout of insomnia. When it was time to get up my body felt so heavy and I just didn’t want to start the day. Thankfully I know myself well enough to take it easy today because I get tender on my cycle.

Lately I’ve been falling into the trap of I’ll feel better when xyz happens. I’ve found myself spending too much time comparing myself to others which ALWAYS leaves me feeling like total shit about myself. I’ve also been getting caught up in feeling like I’m not producing enough meaning, I am not of value exactly as I am in each moment. Part of me feels torn about sharing this with you all today but if you’ve been here for a while you know I have to keep it real. Sharing all of myself including the parts I’d like to just brush under the rug and pretend like they aren’t happening, is crucial for my self care and spiritual growth.

Telling the truth is potent medicine.

And I’m telling on myself. This move has been so much harder than I ever imagined. It has shaken me down to the core on some issues that I am going back to therapy for starting this Friday. I need more support. There are still some places in my life especially around my relationship with Jason where I am lost and want to grow. To be honest I am really afraid to go into some of these dark corners but I will go there because that is what I know to do. Experience has proven time and time again that when I shed light on the darkness I am able to live with more freedom. The pain of looking the darkness head on is so much less than the discomfort and confusion I live in when I look the other way.

I’m here to look deep within no matter what.

And this brings me to my question, how can I love myself more? We’re all going through really big stuff right now. I’m sure you can feel that in some, if not several areas of your life. Major transformations are happening in the lives of all of my friends and clients. The collective energy is there and it’s time to, as my teacher would say, sprinkle some love on it.

As I sit here writing this so much is coming to the surface around how I haven’t been loving myself enough lately. Today I am ready to take a step towards committing to loving myself more through these difficult changes. I am giving myself permission to dive deep into the darkness trusting that is where wisdom is born and true love rests. I am also giving myself permission to turn down the outside noise and just focus on being gentle with myself. There is so much power in unplugging from the noise, the unfounded beliefs and stories that aren’t even ours to begin with.

How can I love myself more? By coming home to myself. By breathing in compassion and breathing out fear. I can love myself more by reminding myself as often as I need to be reminded, that I am enough exactly as I am and that nothing out there no matter how shiny it appears to be will make me more than I already am.

I am enough.

I am enough.

I am enough.

xoa

26 Comments

  • Jennifer

    Hello Ashley, uff thank you so much for having the strenght to express the way you feel because i am totally related right now. I am going through a big change in my life, changing country again, house, lifestyle, everything, trying to overcome so many things that are changing while im on this process, and it is difficult because some of the things that have changed are things that i wanted to keep the same, and the reason why i initially started everything in the first place, but that is the way it is , everything is always in constant change and i have t adapt to it.
    I also noticed that im getting lost between all of this storm in my head and havent been loving myself as i should do it specially with my current situation, but taking deep breaths, walking or working out, doing some oil massage before sleep, and taking relaxing tea is helping me a lot, plus reading your blog and feeling that im not the only one and that i do need to take care of myself is a very good thing for me, so for that thank you!!! Have and amazing day all the best :)

    • ashley

      Hey Jennifer,
      Thank you for being here. It’s always been my dream to create community around authenticity, healing and self care and I am grateful you are part of it. Living in a new country and home is so huge. You are right, everything is always changing and it’s up to us to learn how to ebb and flow right along with it. It sounds like you are taking really good care of yourself though it all. Keep showing up and sharing your heart. You have so much to offer! Thinking of you and sending love your way. xoa

  • Hi Ashley,
    I just discovered your blog through Pure Green Magazine and I love everything about it! I am definitely bookmarking it, and I can’t wait to read more of your posts.
    Thank you for this lovely post. I am going through a big change in my life myself and sometimes I get caught up thinking about the future and how happier I’ll be when I get to where I want to be, or achieve a certain thing…. But you’re so right. I am enough exactly the way I am right now and nothing else will make me more than I already am. Thank you for this reminder. It’s exactly what I needed to hear. x

    • ashley

      Hello Sophie,
      Oh I love PGM, they are amazing! Thanks for taking the time to comment and share a little of what you are going through. I am grateful to know this post resonated with you and that we’re in this together. We are so much stronger together. Sending love your way. xoa

  • Thank you for opening up so courageously! That is hard business. I am glad you did, because your sharing was helpful to remind me of where in contracted in my life, and in what ways I can be gentler and more accepting.

    I myself am struggling in the face of that “comparison syndrome” in my work life as well. If I pay attention, I notice that I have this internal monologue of shame and reprimand towards myself when I am not further along than I think I “should” be. So not helpful, and super discouraging to the spirit!

    Anyway, sending love to you in your own journey! You know best what you need. <3

    • ashley

      Hi Blaine,
      It is hard business right?! It’s the only way I know to live anymore, just trying to live with as much authenticity and gratitude as possible. I love what you wrote about being more gentle and accepting of yourself, that is such powerful world. It’s affirming to know we all have those tendencies to compare and I know mine comes up when I’m going through big changes, it’s trying to pull me out of the discomfort and distract me but as you said it makes it more discouraging! Good to know we’re all just human doing the best we can each day to create joy and peace within ourselves and each other. Thank you for being here and sharing your wisdom with us. Lots of love. xoa

  • Katherine

    I’ve been following your blog for awhile, and you’ve helped me so much by your brave, honest, beautiful example. I too am a yogi in recovery, and have been incredibly inspired by your journey; it’s given me courage to follow my own path, in my own way, and to put myself first. This post couldn’t have been more needed, I actually just made a big move last week, so your words were much appreciated. Thank you for everything and please keep doing what you are doing. Namaste.

    • ashley

      Hi there Katherine,
      It is great to hear from you. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing some of what you are working through right now. I love connecting with fellow sober yogis, it’s really wonderful to know there are other women out there trying to help themselves and each other. I’ve moved so much over the years and each time it’s still really challenging! The beauty is being able to voice the discomfort and stay honest about it. For so long I thought once you got your life together things would never be hard again. So not the case! The difference today is in the choices we make when things get hard – that is the recovery. Feeling very grounded by your words and grateful you are here. Lots of love to you during this move. xoa

      • Katherine

        Thanks so much for responding! It’s so cool to be able to dialogue and help each other even though we’ve never met. All humans share a special unspoken connection, but especially those of us in recovery. I’m grateful for that massive community. Thanks again!

        • ashley

          Of course!!
          xoxo

  • Amanda

    Gratitude for your truth…old soul. I can bow to this deep feeling and this knowing. I have been becoming more comfortable with vulnerability and your words ring so true. It’s like a knowing in your bones. Yesterday I was contemplating Patanjali’s sutra 1 . 15 and the commentary by Satchidanada on being desire-less. He says, “Even the practice of meditation is not just done for your own peace, but is done because with a peaceful mind you can go out into the world and serve well.” I was feeling guilty for something that I planned for myself, being really hard on myself.. I planned my first solo trip since my son was born. Reading this passage helped me to see that this self care, this self nurturing, self love that I have been feeling so called to do is actually going to help me be more loving, authentic, and present. I will serve well by loving myself more.

    • ashley

      Amanda!
      So wonderful to hear from you. I love that quote, it’s true and powerful. Thank you for sharing it here, really finding resonance in it right now. Yes, yes yes to everything that you wrote. I can completely see how you would feel guilty for planning the trip and what a huge deal it must be for you on many levels. I love how you are coming full circle with it and recognizing that by loving yourself you will be able to serve at a higher and greater capacity. This is the message that I am always trying to share and you wrote about it with so much wisdom. Deep bow to you for being a teacher to your family that self care is an important value. Lots of love. xoa

  • Ashley,
    I am always in such awe of your bravery and willingness to share your life with your readers. And your writing is so beautiful.. I’m sorry you are going through struggles right now, but I agree about looking darkness straight on. It’s not always easy or pretty or graceful but better than the alternative. Funnily enough I’m writing a post on change for The Girl Who Knows right now and boy, am I struggling with this one. Doing my best to find my flow with writing, which doesn’t come easily or naturally to me. But part of what I am in the midst of writing about is how going through major life changes forces us to look deeply in the mirror and be honest with ourselves.It’s uncomfortable and often painful but imperative for our growth and ultimate happiness. Thank you, as always, for being so open, honest and vulnerable.You are an inspiration. Sending you lots of love. xx, briana

    • ashley

      Hi Briana,
      Thank you for writing. I am really happy you are writing for TGWK, that is so exciting. Really brave to stretch yourself and step up like that! My experience has shown time and time again that the only way out is through and sharing some of the darker parts of what’s been going on is the quickest way to heal. It’s like a healing shortcut! Thank you for your love and support. I am thankful for your kind energy and wishing you a beautiful week. Also, your website looks amazing, just spent some time over there looking at all you have been working on. Love how you are sharing your message. xoa

      • Briana Ryan

        Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! So appreciated. Also appreciate your kind words about my site – of course, I feel like I’ve evolved so much since then and want to make so many changes already! :) Wishing you a beautiful week too. Thank you again for being such a beautiful inspiration. xx briana

  • Meighan

    Needed to comment here and on FB. lol. I so needed this. I am in a situation where a ton of shit is getting triggered for me, and I am just not dealing with it! I’m moving in 3 weeks and I keep thinking “Oh I’ll start that then.” “It’ll be way better when I am in my own place.” So you said it perfectly, I am always waiting. Thank you Ashley for sharing this. I love it and you. Wishing you love and hope.

    • ashley

      Hey, lol, I totally get it ;) I hear you 100%. Moving ALWAYS makes my shit surface and wow, I really relate to thinking, I’ll just deal with it after I move and am settled. I am truly grateful you are here and that we are still supporting each other though so much. Wishing you as much ease and grace as possible through this transition. Thinking of you. Love, a

  • Claire

    Hi Ashley, thanks to you for being transparent about your process. I find moving a huge transition and reorganising of everything I thought I could take for certain.
    I am dizzy with the confusion of where to go next. Am I seeking something different to avoid what needs doing in this present moment or genuinely identifying where a change may be beneficial? My tendency to compare produces that constant “less than” tape in my head. I am challenged to love who I am right now even if I feel I’m holding back or making excuses to not reach my full potential.
    Thank you for baring your soul so that we can bare our own.
    Be gentle on yourself.

    • ashley

      Hey Claire,
      So grateful for your share this morning. I love what you wrote at the end, this is the whole reason I started the blog. I was looking for a safe space online to open up so that other women felt they could open up too. Your words hit home and made everything come full circle. I really appreciate you being here and letting us see you. Sending light and love your way. xoa

  • Rebecca

    Yes! There is A LOT going on. I’m moving, getting married, building a website and preparing for a year long RTW trip. It’s all coming to a head. Self-care has kind of fallen out the window. My cycle has also arrived at a time that I need to remember to slow down and be kind to myself. This week is my time to be slow, to breathe, to create space. Our bodies often know what we need and for that I’m so thankful but there’s this anger inside as well, this overwhelming feeling that I can’t do it all. So I’m listening and I’m remaining open and honest. Feel it all, express it all. I am enough. Feeling your support and sending you love. You are enough.

    • ashley

      Hello my dear Rebecca! I am reading back through this post and noticed my comment didn’t save! Please forgive this technical glitch, I wrote you back ages ago! There is SO much going on for you, I can totally relate. Thank you for sharing your heart here and giving yourself the precious gift of self care and space to rest. Thank you for this beautiful reminder today that we are enough and that we don’t have to do it all. Thinking of you and sending love. xoa

  • Hi Ashley, I really admire you for your honesty, authenticity, and bravery. I can relate to so many things you wrote. I feel like I am going through a major personality change for a couple of years now. I felt the most depressive and exhausted when I stopped listening to myself and started listening to others and comparing myself to others. Also, my therapist was thinking I should try to change myself and be more like all the others/the mainstream society. Since I didn’t know how to do that I started comparing myself to others. Very bad idea. Wrong way. I ended up not knowing myself anymore and hated myself. Sure, whats good for others is not neccessarly made for me. Now I am trying to get back to myself and find myself wondering sometimes, What would Ashley say?, cause your thoughts/posts already helped a lot! Even though we don’t know each other in person I have the feeling I am not alone with all these struggles life brings sometimes. Take good care of yourself! :-) Corina

    • ashley

      Cornia I always love hearing from you. I wrote back weeks ago and am seeing that it didn’t go through! So weird! Anyway thank you for sharing where you are and what is coming up for you. You are not alone Cornia, ever and you don’t have to be anyone but yourself. I understand completely the challenges of trying to fit into someone’s idea of who we should be. This journey you are on is a soul journey and it is very powerful. Thinking of you today and sending light. xoa

  • Hello

    I just want to say you inspiring me today thank you so much and wish you happy days <3

    • ashley

      Thanks so much! I really appreciate your kind words!

  • Krissy

    I came across your blog, specifically this post at a” mid-transition, walls feel like they are caving in, has anyone every experienced pain and confusion like this?” point in my life. I’m surprised I came across such a relatable post, but it seems as if the universe finds ways to bring you to forms of comfort in uncertain times. It’s unexpected to find yourself reading an experience of a stranger that feels as if your feelings are writing themselves out in front of you. Maintaining a feeling of connection with yourself and others during transitional periods is so vital to healing, and I just wanted to share my gratitude for your vulnerability and honesty.

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