Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Bedroom Mirror

Around this time (9:30am) last year, I was pouring my heart into a blog post titled "Once an Abalar Girl." That would be posted in the early hours of the following morning: May 31st, 2018. 

Several Hours later I was sitting alone in my childhood bedroom, for the very last time. It was dark, cold, and completely empty. I sat against the wall next to my closet doors and looked at the dim reflection I saw of myself, except, it was my reflection of 6-year-old me. A green-eyed girl with dirty blonde hair ready to make the room her own. The room was empty then too but, it was mine, and it was ready for the stories that would be written in it. 22 Years later, I sat again, in an empty room, that was full of secrets, laughter, tears, dance moves, and memories. All I could do was cry. 

I haven't been back since. A house that is no longer home, a town that no longer feels welcoming. I have felt out of my body for 365 days, trying to find my way back to a secure location - like a small child who got lost in a department store and can't find their way back to their mother - trying to find my way back to that reflection in the mirror. 

As we grow up, every adult leaves their inner-child behind. We don't do it on purpose though. We were either told we had to grow up and do adult things. Or we just got involved with worldly pleasures that were like shiny objects keeping our attention. And I've asked myself many times this last year, why? how? when? The last time I saw my inner child, was this time last year, screaming out "Don't Leave!" - To myself and to my parents. Her reflection was sad and abandoned - yet, I promised her I would be back for her, even though I didn't exactly know how I'd get there. 

I've seen that reflection flicker before me throughout the last 365 days. If a song came on or if I found a materialistic item, or when I've traveled to Idaho to visit my family. That 6 year old me really screamed out back in October at the beginning of the holiday season.  After my major anxiety attack and ending up in the ER, all I could do was cry out for my parents. I was in the kitchen one evening making a recipe of mom's when I accidentally dropped the spoon I was mixing with. Instead of picking it up and going about - I sat on the floor and cried. 28 year old (married) me, sitting on the floor, crying out for her parents. And there she was, my inner child, that green-eyed girl with dirty blonde hair, sitting beside me. 

Since October, I've been talking to her again, that child within me. Talking about our dreams, our favorite songs, and memories. We have so much healing to do, together, but we are healing. I still look into the mirror, hoping to see that reflection from time to time, but I know she's there even when I can't see her. I feel her though, every morning when I talk to my parents via facetime, or when bohemian rhapsody comes on. 

I often think about the family living in that house now. Is there a little girl looking at her reflection in that front bedroom? Does she have it decorated in bright colors? or cheetah print? Does this family fill the space with love and laughter? And, do they think about us, my family? Do they see the little cracks and dents while wondering where it came from? Do they see our reflections in their mirrors? Do they love Abalar as much as I do? 

Around this time (9:30am) last year, I was pouring my heart into a blog post titled "Once an Abalar Girl," That would be posted in the early hours of the following morning: May 31st, 2018 -- And now, 1 year later, here I am...still an Abalar Girl, just with a different address. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

It's Gemini Season 2019

Happy Birthday, Gemini Babies!
( May 21 - June 20 )

We are waking up to the sun changing over from Taurus, the Bull, to Gemini, The Twins - And let me just bias-ly say: 'Tis The (Best) Season! Once again, Bias Betty over here!

Duality: Masculine
Triplicity (Element): Air
Quadruplicity (Quality): Mutable
Polarity: Sagittarius

Gemini is our lively, energetic, researcher, communicator, and adaptable to new situations. She brings more questions than answers because she is a student of life that loves to do her research and learn about everything she can. 

Her Symbol: The Twins - the first to have a human symbol, rather than an animalistic symbol. The Glyph (written symbol) represents two figures, which has two meanings. One being human arms or lungs which is what Gemini rules. The second are two upright lines bounded by the top and bottom lines that represent wisdom, learning, and the powers of the mind to gather/store information. 

Gemini's are, more often than not, completely misunderstood. They are humorous which some know is sarcasm but others take on as arrogant. Gemini is known for their responsiveness but because they are ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication, they may respond rash and suddenly causing miscommunication - this is a shadow side of Gemini. It's better to not take things so personal when in communication with a Gemini where words can be taken wrong. 

Gemini is ruled by Mercury -  The Planet of Communication. The easiest way to point out a Gemini is if they are talking a lot. Geminis love to talk and have a constant urge to communicate. They love writing, texting, reading, talking, public speaking, and are great at Self-Expression through many forms of Communication. Gemini's tend to be creatives, writers, and performers. (Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Blake Shelton, Sir Paul McCartney, Clint Eastwood, John F Kennedy, Tupac, and Johnny Depp are just a few Gemini's)

Gemini's love to have deep conversations that are philosophical and full of depth. If a Gemini is not talking, it's because they don't feel like the conversation is going to end well. They aren't much for small talk and will communicate this through their body language. The Bright Side of Gemini is their willingness to understand themselves and those around them. They truly believe we are all connected and can discover that through the transparency of communication. Gemini loves a good conversation over coffee or tea. They love being the center of a conversation but they also prefer one-on-one conversations for better social connection. They are nonjudgmental and open-minded to hear what everyone thinks - remember if a Gemini doesn't know or understand something she will ask questions; a total Researcher!

The Shadow Side to Gemini is her anxiety. If she feels anxious or uncomfortable this will make for small talk, which she hates. And because of her dislike for small talk, her uncomfortableness can often turn into Gossip. Gemini in low-vibration can overshare, talk without listening, get defensive (ego), and close herself off to others completely. You'll know when a Gemini feels low-vibration because she will ramble and then go into hiding to ground herself again. 

How to Work with Gemini Energy

No matter what your sign, you can work with the energy of Gemini this sun season. It is time to ask ourselves the questions that will make us sit and think about our lives. (very Gemini). If you aren't into writing or journaling - this is the perfect month to start as Gemini will help direct you.  Write down your true desires and ask yourself if what you are doing in your life now is aligned with the vision of your life. It's time to tap into Mercury-Gemini Energy and really communicate what you want for your life. Is everything in place? Or are you still finding the missing pieces? Say YES to what is jumping in joy in your heart. Say NO to what does not align with your vision. By journaling each morning or night - you are aligning with your true self. Set a timer for 10 minutes and free write - no prompt, no first-hand ideas. Just your hand and the paper. Start a daily gratitude list and add on to it every single morning. Writing allows you to become aware of yourself fully and without judgment. If your writing leads you to vulnerability - breathe! Continue to pour your heart out because this is you needing to heal. 

If your sun is in Gemini (hey-ooo that's me!) - you may find yourself bouncing around in social settings. This is the perfect time for you to get active in your community or social group. Start the conversations and really tap into what your intuition is communicating to you and through you. 

If your moon is in Gemini - Breathe! The Moon rules our emotions and you may find that our Gemini New Moon (June 3rd) could be extra emotional for you. Remember, Gemini is all about communication - so do not hold yourself back from having those conversations with yourself and the others around you. It may be very therapeutic for you if you use that Gemini open-minded energy to protect you. The best thing for you to do during this season, Gemini Moon or not, is to meditate to ease your anxiety. 

Happy Gemini Season, My Loves!
This Gemini Heart is ready to communicate, ready to write, ready to read, ready to share the love with herself and with you all!

How are YOU going to align yourself with Gemini?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

10 Minute Morning Meditation

8.5 years ago, I would be stumbling out of bed and be trying to find my way to the kitchen with only one eye open. Moans and "ughs" leaving my lips and I'd wish to be asleep for even 10 more minutes - and then, I got old. Just Kidding, I established a morning routine that helped me become a morning person, which makes me feel old. Oh My God, is this almost 30? 

For the most part, my morning routine has remained the same: Get up, feed the dogs, wash my face, make some coffee, light some candles and incent, read and write, do yoga, get ready for the day. But I recently, aka 4 months ago, decided to add meditation to my morning routine. Let me rephrase that: I decided to add meditation to my morning routine as the very first thing I do before I even get out of bed. I meditate twice a day, sometimes more if time allows it or I feel the urge to center myself. But I found that I can wake my mind, body, and spirit up more if I give it the opportunity to slowly. Many of us hit the alarm, jump up, and go go go until we are out the door. I'm not that person and you shouldn't be either. You also shouldn't be that person who jumps on your phone or computer right away to check emails and Instagram stories. This is a habit that I have been dedicated to breaking and because of my dedication, I came up with a 10 minute morning meditation routine - which also gives me permission to stay in my warm bed 10 more minutes. Who doesn't love that?

The Meditation

1. Begin by taking 3-5 deep breaths in. This will activate your lungs and other organs, telling them it is also time to wake up. As you are doing so, begin to stretch your body as long and wide as you can. I put my arms straight up so I can get that good stretch in my back, rolling my wrists and wiggling my fingers along the way. I do the same with my legs and toes. Seriously there is nothing like that first initial stretch in the morning. 

2. Place your left hand over your heart and your right hand over your belly. Do a few breathing cycles and feel your stomach expand and deflate with every breath. This is allowing the connection between your brain and your body to happen - its also making you consciously aware of yourself and your breath. 

3. Next is what I call the " 4 to 1 Method," and it's essentially a verbal gratitude list. I know you will still get up and write in your gratitude journal (if you don't do that, you should) but the 4 to 1 method is bringing awareness right away to your day. It's a tonic (positive) way to begin your day. So let's break it down:

  • FOUR: I want you to list 4 Things you are grateful for. It can anything or anyone, big or small, random or intentional. I usually do two big, two small. EX) I'm grateful for having a home to rest my head AND I'm grateful for my pink fuzzy socks. I'm grateful for shampoo OR I'm grateful for running water. It doesn't matter what you choose, just feel the gratitude as you are speaking it into the world. 
  •  THREE: Set 3 intentions for the day. By setting intentions first thing before you even get out of bed - you are setting the mood and pace for the rest of your day. Instead of jumping up and rushing in a hurry, you've made the conscious decision to create your vibration intentionally. EX) I will move slowly but diligently through my work. I will focus on what is working.
  • TWO: Next, List 2 people who want to send your love to. I found that we often jump on social media to see what others are doing and because social media is more toxic (negative) nowadays, sending love to 2 people first thing in the morning gives you a love vibration, thus a happy vibration to work with. Bonus if one or both of those people aren't positive influences in your circle. EX) I'm sending love to my wonderful mama AND I'm sending love to that lady who cut me off in the Walmart parking lot last week. 
  • ONE: Finish off your 4 to 1 list with ONE thing you love about yourself. If you just rolled your eyes at me, then you really need this one. By listing something I love about myself every morning, It has really helped my confidence and built up my self-love and worth. In return, when you feel good about yourself, you treat others in that same way. It's a win-win.
4. I like to return to my breath for a few more deep breathing cycles after I've finished my 4 to 1, just to recenter myself and give myself a few more moments of relaxation before I start my day. Then I will slowly begin to wiggle my body again, wiggle my jaw around to release tension, and slowly open my eyes. Instead of jumping out of bed, I swing my legs over to the side, planting my feet firmly on the ground, bring my hands into prayer position by my heart, and take a few deep breaths in. I finish with saying Thank You 3 times, and bow my head to "Namaste."  - My Day can now begin!

Over time I hope you come to see a change in the way you feel after starting your day with this simple 10-minute meditation. The way you've trained your mind to wake up slowly and have a moment to yourself. Making the effort to begin your day with intention and tonic vibration. It truly sets the motion for the rest of your day. 

From my soul to yours, sisters, Namaste! 
Love yourself first but don't forget to love other people!

Instagram: @ash_felkner || Twitter: @ashleefelkner

Monday, May 6, 2019

5 Ways to Focus on What's Working

To the Girl who is determined,

I understand your every move and every burning desire to move. 
2019 is going to be your year! You decided that before the year even began and now that it is here, you're working your ass off to make it happen. It's now May, and I see you. You aren't struggling but you aren't moving at the pace you'd like. Hey, it's totally okay! Why? Because at least you are moving. You are gathering all the tools you need in order to build something absolutely incredible. This pace is the exact pace you are supposed to be in, So keep going, Sister! However, I know you are fixated on what feels like a pace of total damnation. Your focus is breaking, you've snagged your oversize sweater on a fence and can't seem to move forward. How do you get back on track? How do you get back in the race?

Ladies My Question for you is: 
What are you focusing on in this exact moment? Is it success? Is it pain? Is it heartbreak? Is it growth? What is it? and more importantly, How is it helping your future? If you cannot answer that with a tonic, high vibrational, positive answer - IT IS NOT FOR YOU! I repeat It is NOT for you! Break that Focus of Toxic Energy? Whatever is weighing on you in this exact moment is not what you need to be focusing on. What you do need to be focusing on is what is working. What is working for you at this moment? I don't care if it's your size 12 blue jeans, your coffee, your new job, or the fact that you were able to wake up this morning. If it's working for you and your all together better(ness) then THAT is what you need to lock eyes with. Make that eye-lock uncomfortable as all hell - because at least you know your focus is working. You cannot keep focusing on the materialistic crap that is weighing you down. You cannot keep focusing on what the neighbor down the street did or what that girl from that party said about you. When you allow the bullcrap of daily life seep into your veins, you may as well just lie down and allow yourself to get hit by a bulldozer - because essentially, that is how damaging you are to your current and future self. Self-Destruction is a nasty little asshole. And by you focusing on the little things, the less important - you are setting that timer of self-destruction to go off in no time flat. So how do you remove your self from the path of self-destruction? How do you become the bulldozer instead of the roadkill? Well, I'll tell you - I got your back:

5 Small Things You can do to 
Focus on What's Working:

Get a notebook and leave about 5-7 lines open. Then, from lines 8 down, draw a line down the middle of the page. On one side write "Yes" and on the other side right "No" - I want you to think of what is going on in and around your life. Are you dealing with a breakup? Are you going through finals? Did you drink your water? Are you tired? Did you spread a rumor? Are you sleeping for 8 hours? ETC.  On the first 5-7 lines, I want you to write down everything you can think of, Good and Bad, Positive and Negative going on in your life. Your motivation or Lack of, Your Finances, Your Friendships, Your Mental Health. ETC. 

After you've written down everything you can think of. I want you to break those things down into the "YES" and "NO" Columns. Whatever makes you feel good, happy, motivated, loved, excited, strong, and fearless goes in the YES space. Whatever makes you feel angry, sad, confused, let down, tired, anxious, depressed, etc. goes in the NO space. So why are you doing this? This is helping you recognize what is making you feel good about yourself and your life VS what is draining you of what feels good. If you feel conflicted about something - it's not for you and it goes in the NO column. Everything that is in the NO bracket is not working. Everything that is in the YES bracket is what you need to focus more on. 

Look at your NO bracket and understand that you need to eliminate the toxic vibrations those things are bringing into your life - even when it's hard. When you eliminate what isn't working from your internal and external space - this allows new space to be open so you can invite more positive things in. If someone is bringing you down, delete them from your social media (and your phone). I dont care if it's a close friend, your cousin, Jane from Spin Class, your grandma, or your brother. Delete them. Opening your social media every 10 minutes to see how they are doing is not good for your mental health or your overall well being.  If being in a certain environment space gives you anxiety, you have one of two things to choose from. Either stop going or figure out how you can be in that space without letting external vibrations get to you. Breaking down these barriers do take time but giving yourself permission to start will help push the progress along. If you feel sluggish and have low energy - it's time to stop eating junk food all the time. Pour out that diet coke and grab some water instead. If you can drop ONE bad eating or drinking habit for 30 days - watch what happens to your focus and motivation. 

Much like your social media - it's time to clean out that closet of yours. *cue Eminem Song. Actually, it's time to clean out that workspace, living space, and transportation space. Basically, wherever you spend a lot of time at - clean it out. I suggest starting with your home which is where we spend the majority of our downtime. For me, I am constantly in my living room. It's my favorite spot in my house, therefore, I have to keep it clean and organized at ALL TIMES. It drives me insane if one thing is out of place in my living room. There is where I write, meditate, workout, and rest. I feel out of focus if it's messy or cluttered. If your work or school life is crazy, the last thing you want to do is come home to a messy home. It's springtime - get to cleaning. Same with your workspace. You cannot be inspired to get any work done if there are papers, pencil shavings, and other little knickknacks all over your desk. As a Cosmetologist, it drives me crazy if my brushes are out of their bins, the color boxes and still on my back bar station, etc. I clean before and after my clients have come and gone. (Not only because I legally have to either. ) But because I like my workspace clean. 

4. Stretch it Out.
If working out isn't your thing - I get it. But the least you can do is sit down in an open space and stretch your body. Move your body in some way. I prefer stretching over an intense workout - which is why I am a Yoga girl. There is nothing more freeing than releasing tension from my body. I have found when my back hurts, my neck is sore from sleeping weird, or my feet hurt because I stood all day at work - that I cannot focus on anything else. My physical pain makes it hard to focus on what needs to be done and taken care of. That's what stretching is so important. I take the time to relax my mind and focus on what is going on in my physical body. Once I am done stretching, I find it easier to tackle my tasks for the day. If all you have is 30 minutes to stretch in the morning - DO it!

This last one is undoubtedly the best and easiest of the 5. Gratitude. There is nothing like waking up and shouting your blessings to the sky - literally. I wake up every morning and the first thing I do because I even roll over to crawl out of bed is say 5 things I'm grateful for. When you shift your mind to the things in your life that you are grateful for, it tricks your mind by creating this feeling of gratitude at all times, even when something rocky is going on. Some days I wake up grateful for something big like being able to live in a home. While other days I wake up grateful I get to drink coffee in the next 8 minutes. Big or Small, find something to be grateful for. These are the things that are working for you. And Yes, I truly believe in being grateful for even the things that are not working because they are teaching you a lesson about what isn't for you. 


In a world that focuses on the toxicity - change your perspective, train your mind to focus on what is working instead of what isn't. Look at what good things you have going on versus always complaining about what isn't happening for you. Rewriting this conditioned habit is difficult and I totally get it. That is why these 5 small steps will help you along the way, especially if you stay faithful to practicing them. What is important to you? What eases your anxiety? What helps you grow? What is the vision for your life? What steps do you need to take to get to where you want to be? That's what you should be focusing on! That is where you should start. 

To the Girl who is Determined,
If you want it - you'll make it happen! Focus on what's working! You've got this sister! Rise the Heck Up!

INSTAGRAM: @ash_felkner | TWITTER: @ashleefelkner