Thursday, January 30, 2020

TRUST



Now that we are a month into 2020, I have had some time to really do some deep thinking about what I'd like this year to look like. My Word of the Year is TRUST, a word that I'm not too keen on in my natural form; but not this year. This year I am diving in fully to TRUST.

My first encounter of Trust this year has been moving out of our home, the home we've shared for over 4 wonderful years. It's been the space where memories have been made by loved ones, dear friends, and for us personally. We have grown as a partnership and also in our own unique, individual ways. We've also come home to loss, grief, and confusion among these walls. But all of the celebrations, saddness, and the inbetweens have shaped us to who we are now and who we will become going forward. You don't truly know how much you'll miss the 660sq feet that you always complained about until you're saying goodbye and locking up the door for the last time. But, we are trusting. 

It's been a truly humbling experiance, saying farewell to our home. SR and I have truly needed to throw our hands up and surrender our lives to God. We have a plan, one we have been really dedicating ourselves to but also in a very flexable way of allowing what needs to happen right now to happen. Let me explain more: We have known for a while that we are moving out of state in May 2020. If you are looking at your calender than you know that is in 3 months. 3, rapid fire approaching months. Idaho has been calling our  names for over a year now and we can't believe how quickly the time has come. We were given the beautiful blessing of an opportunity to move in with my Father in Law to save money until we make our big move and it has been our plan for a while now and I have been so excited and ready because this only means we are one step closer to the wild adventure we have coming up soon. However, We are now in the stages of our move where our home is 90% packed away, things have been donated or tossed in the trash. My anxiety decided to jump out and send me into a screeching halt of "What the Hell are we doing?" A question that has never been a question for me because with this move I have been all in and ready to dive from the highest mountain to get to Idaho. And yet, I found myself sitting in our living room that is now couchless, plantless, TV less, and only full of moving boxes and bubble wrap - crying uncontrollably and repeating to SR "We can do this! We can do this! We can do....CAN WE DO THIS??

And the answer is: Absolutley! Hell Yes We can DO THIS and even more so, we are MEANT TO DO THIS. Here I am, here SR is, throwing our hands up and surrendering our lives to God in total TRUST - especially through this somewhat uncomfortable time of the inbetween as we are out of our home as of Janurary 31st and living with my with my father in law for the next 3 months. 5 Dogs, 1 Bird, and 6 adults all under one roof for 90 days. Here we go: TRUST! BLESSED!

I guess the moral of the story is this: Life will always unfold in certain ways, even when you think you've made the perfect plan. It's up to US to lay in surrender and trust to the path laid before us. It's also up to us how we choose to look at it and handle our current situations that life hands us. We always have a choice. And in 2020, I am making the choice to TRUST fully, even when I'm unsure. 

LOVE YOURSELF and LOVE OTHER PEOPLE!


Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Medicine of 2019




January brought Strength and Vision
February celebrated Love and Growth
March created Peace and New Energy
April manifested Truth and Motivation
May was Heart-Breaking and Compassionate
June showed Confidence and Perspective
July was Shakey, yet Determined
August Showed Desire and Bliss
September created Change
October remained Present and Gentle
November brought Patience
December Gave Clarity and Intention


I set the intention to look back on the Year 2019 and discover all that I have gained instead of lost. I believe that sometimes when we look back on the previous year all we tend to focus on is sadness, death, heart-break, and struggle. And I made the choice to see not what we aren't bringing with us into the New Year but rather to see what we are bringing with us. As reflection arises, I'll look at Gain instead of Lack. I'll look at Gratitude instead of Greed. Like will only attract like - and I refuse to bring heavy, negative baggage with me into this upcoming Year and Decade. Our greatest gifts come from Gratitude and I'm abundantly grateful for the lessons each month has taught me along the way this year.

Has it been easy? Absolutely Not. However, Balance = Healing. and I realize how much I needed to struggle from time to time in order to heal and emerge. My Word of the Year 2019 was GO and although I wasn't entirely sure what that meant at the beginning of the year; I now have a better perspective on what "Go" would come to mean for me. Go was short for KEEP GOING. On the first of the year I was met with the mantra: "There is Medicine in my Shadow" and it became my quest in understanding what exactly that meant. Truthfully, we aren't in a deep understanding. However, I have gained some knowledge and insight along the way. When I began Therapy in October, I knew that talking through my darkest moments and reflecting on them would bring medicine - Infact it would manifest itself as the medicine I would come to need the most - Compassion, and as long as I kept going, I'd come to learn more and more about what compassion truly was.

Choosing to live with Compassion is making the choice to honor our humanness. A Human that is bruised, wounded, cracked, mistaken, faulted, and reactive. But a human who is also healing, togther, graceful, rising, loving, forgiving, and peaceful. So my question has been: How Will I Honor Both? My Answer is this: To Lead with Compassion, Give Grace Unconditionally, Expand with Love, Choose Understanding, and Embrace the Fault. With the Reminder to not Practice compassion, rather though, to commit with compassion. Lead with compassion intentionally. Compassion is fuel for intention, Intention is fuel for growth. Growth is fuel for love. Commit to Love. Just Love. Only Love. Always Love.

Because here is the thing, we could all use a little more compassion in our lives; for ourselves and to others. Everyone is just trying to Keep Going - in whatever direction they are being pulled in. This year, I learned, I accepted that direction is different for everyone and it's okay. Let me repeat: It's Okay. It's Okay to greet a fork in the road with people, places, and things - and choose to part ways. Does it make it easy? Heck No. Maybe your paths will cross again and maybe they won't and that's okay too. Honor the path you've taken, though may it be winding, it will lead you to where you are supposed to be. Have faith in that and just Keep GOing. Release the control (this is hard for me) and let yourself GO with the ebbs and flows of life. Cry when you need to, even scream a little, but ultimately be abundantly grateful for the experiance. 

As we head into 2020, I lead with compassion and I commit fully to the experiances that compassion will show up in. I will Keep GOing, with direction of the winding road and gentle wind. I'll take the lessons I have learned along the way and apply them to each day, with grace. And I am sending you all, if you may find yourself reading this, Love and Compassion through your experiances. 

Keep GOing, My Darlings. This is yOUR year. 



Thursday, December 19, 2019

Life After the Surrender

Oh! Hello There, Old Friends.

I never expected that falling into surrender in mid-august would bring me to a 4 month period of silence on my blog. I didn't want to write here; in fact all I wanted to do was curl up with a notebook and a pen - and so that's what I did. I'm not sure what has triggered me to open up my laptop and write this post but I'm not letting it pass me by because honestly, I've missed my blog and this outlet. I've also missed the small connection it has brought me to you, the readers.

Since it's been some time, let's do a update on life, shall we? But I should warn you that although it's been 4 months, it's been more quiet around here than exciting. Surrender has meant Stillness and silence. And for once, I'm totally okay with that because it's been nice. 

Mentally.
I have been going through it, mentally. It's been no secret that my focus has been on my mental health over the last year and a half. I've been to the ER, twice now, with panic attacks in which manifested themselves has health scares (like thinking I was going into cardiac arrest). I also have made the decision to begin taking CBD Oil, which is a post I can do in itself. I began taking it towards the end of July and I can definitley see the difference in myself and my life. I'm also taking anti-anxiety medication perscribed by my doctor but we are on the path of trying to bring me more natural, holistic approaches. In October, I begun Therapy. It has been the scariest yet most exciting moment of my 2019 thus far. I have battled with the thought of seeing a therapist since I was a teenager due to the media representation and the stigma behind going to Therapy. But now I can see, Therapy is something that is needed and I reccomend it fully to everyone. In the short 2 months I have been going, I have seen such a difference in myself and how I navigate through life with my Anxiety and Depression. Therapy has been a game changer in my opinion. Not every day has been easy on my Mental Health, but I am starting to see that warm, bright light that is reminding me daily that I have to keep going and that I CAN do this because I am worthy of it. I am worthy of a Healthy Mind and a Beautiful Life. It's a work in progress and I'm not done working..

Phyically.
I am healthy, physically. Even though my mental state has often told me I wasn't. I have seen the doctors more times in the last year and a half than I have in years. But Physically, I am in the clear. In other terms of physically health: I am still taking the steps to remove myself from triggering situations, I'm putting myself into more fullfilling spaces, and I'm making physical changes in my life that contribute to my overall being. It's been a task on most days but it's also getting eaiser and more liberating as I do it. Learning to say "NO" to things and learning to say "YES" to others is something a think we need to focus more on. 


Spiritually.
I am finding my place. I want to write a deeper post about this, honestly. But what I can say now is this: Once I began shifting my energy to Faith, Intention, Growth, and my Spritiual beliefs and practices - WOW! The transformation has brought me to such a wonderful place that I never expected. And for once, I'm not afraid of it. I have always felt like I needed to hide the things I believe in or needed to explain myself even when it doesn't make sense to others. Yet, diving more into my spirtiual practice and beliefs has brought me a new sense of Self that I have always known to be there, for as long as I can remember, but that Self now has the room to sore freely amoung this etheral plane. 



These are just a few of the many changes that have happened in my life within the last 4  months, and I want to dive deeper into them. I am ready to come back and write again, for I know I have so much to write about for the upcoming season of my life aka the New Year and New Decade (What!)

And so, I'll leave you all with this, in true Ashlee fashion:
Allow yourself to fall down and fall into surrender. Don't fight it, just go with the flow even if that means you become a hermit for 4 months. It's needed. It's a winter hibernation in of sorts. Which makes sense because the Winter Solstice is this weekend! 

Stay Tuned, My Loves. I'm Back and ready to get to work...

Love Yourself & Love Other People


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Surrender.



Surrender.
As in - Let go, Stop Resisting, Stop forcing. 
Surrender.
As in - Be Still and Listen.

Let's be honest for a moment, I am not one to surrender and be still. Nor am I the one to listen. I have the need to be right in the middle with the knowledge to know everything that is going on. If though I know I have no control over various  most situations -  Letting Go is still a challenge for me. So now, here I am, sitting on our front porch listening to the soft wind and the crow singing out above me. This comes after a day where I so desperately wanted to crawl under my bedsheets and cry. I woke up emotional and uneasy as I do most days nowadays. Yet I knew that I was meeting one of my dearest friends for lunch this afternoon and I just needed to keep it together until then. But on my way to meet her, my car stalled and wouldn't get power enough to move. I tearfully called my truck driving husband at work and cried that he needed to send one of his co-workers to come to get me and my car. The emotions of the day got me. When my friend picked me up, as we still made it a point to go to lunch, I sat in her car and said: "Well, I'm raising my white flag, my hands are up in the air, and I surrender." 

The word surrender has been poking at me for over 2 weeks now. I would hear it in a song, someone around me would say it, or I'd read it in a book. I keep thinking "Okay, I get it. Surrender!" but then I'd roll my eyes and keep doing whatever I was doing. Which was trying to keep my anxiety and depression under the best control that I could. I knew there was something that I needed to do and I knew that something was to sit back, look up, and say "Okay God. I'm laying it all down at your feet and I'm giving it all up to you to decide what happens next." But, with me being the overbearing control freak that I am. I couldn't do it, not full-heartedly at least. And then my car broke down and that was it. Full-heartedly, I threw my head back with tears in my eyes and said: "What now?" but no answer. I moved through the rest of my day doing all I could to keep my mind and body busy. When I got home, I went to my space where I meditate, pray, do yoga, and write. I saw the sticky note I had placed a few weeks ago on the backboard of the bookcase with the words "I SURRENDER TO THE FLOW," written in all caps and a black marker. I grabbed my sticky note pad and wrote two words: GOD PROVIDES. They are two words I had repeated to myself back in June of 2018 when I felt defeated and lost. God Provides. God Provides. God Provides. On the second sticky note I wrote my mantra of the year 2019: "WHERE THERE'S SHADOW, THERE IS LIGHT."  A very cliche but true quote that you can find in one of my favorite songs "Battle Cry," by Kyler England. 

I fell to my knees, bent my forehead down to the floor with my arms out wide, palms up and whispered an old worship song we used to sing before every show when I was growing up in musical theater. 

"I cast all my cares upon you. I lay all of my burdens down at your feet. And when I don't know what to do. I cast all my cares upon you."

I lay in silence - my heart, mind, body, and every ounce of my soul down at the lowest point I have been at. Surrendering. Letting Go. Not asking questions. Not seeking anything other than my breath. 

"Okay Child, Get Up. We Got Work to Do."

Is all I felt in my body. It's all I heard. It's all I knew at that exact moment. To Rise. To Move. To Keep Going. Undoubtedly towards tomorrow. 

Surrender.
As in - Let go, Stop Resisting, Stop forcing. 
Surrender.
As in - Be Still and Listen.

Ok God, I'm Up. Let's Get to Work!