November 2018: The Gratitude Journal

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Just a gentle reminder- Maybe the person you’re aspiring to be is the present you all along!

We spend so much time planning to become this ideal version of ourselves that we forget that we can embody our greatest version in the present moment. Every single day is an opportunity to live a completely different version of your reality. You don’t need to have the perfect job, a huge income or notoriety to be satisfied with who you are. At any stage of your journey, no matter what resources you have available to you, you can be this amazing, abundant, self-fulfilled person you’ve always wanted to be.

Instead of chasing this idea of perfection, we should just ‘be’ that awesome person we’ve envisioned for our life. As the year is coming to an end, may we live everyday  appreciating the person we are right at this moment.

So guys, what are your plans for this month?

Have a blessed month! ✨☀️

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Free Printable Self-Care Worksheets

Hey guys,

I have made 5 printable worksheets. Download your own FREE printable PDF worksheets here. You can print the pages in their original A4 format. LINK- Ashs Worksheet Printouts

This document consists of 5 worksheets:

  1. Short team goals- listing your goal and 5 mini goals to aim towards it
  2. Gratitude- Listing things you’re grateful for.
  3. “I keep my cup full”- Affirmation task
  4. Non-judgemental space- Debunking limiting beliefs that stop you from your own growth
  5. “Trash Thoughts”- Debunking negative thoughts

Worksheets are an amazing tool for self-reflection and exploration. Follow the notes on each page and work through the sheets. This task is helpful for understanding self-defeatist thoughts and replacing negative narratives we tell ourselves with positive ones. If you are working on a project, a business, finances or personal growth there’s an exercise called ‘short term goals’ that is recommended to be used to track your progress, motivate you and set attainable targets. 

 

I Hope they’re helpful 😊✨

How to overcome feelings of Jealousy: Tips & Practical Steps

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (8)

 

Have you ever seen images or heard of someone’s success and instantly felt a wave of jealously overwhelm you? Has this made you feel inadequate and made you doubt your own accomplishments? Well you’re not alone. We all have our own demons and i’ve tussled with this one.

I’ve battled with jealous thoughts for years. I didn’t know how to reach out and talk about it to anyone because I found it quite embarrassing. No one want’s to be perceived as a “hater” so I suffered in silence. Over the years my jealous thoughts became self-destructive and severely affected my self-esteem. It evaded and destroyed all aspects of my life. I didn’t want to pursue my career goals because I felt like others were smarter,  more experienced and had better connections than me. Seeing other people pursue the career goals I was struggling to achieve made me insecure about my own capabilities. Being on social media sites, especially Instagram, made me more self-conscious about my body. I never really suffered from body insecurities growing up- I fell into societies perception of desirable ‘slim bodies’. Then slim-thick hourglass shapes became the new trend and now every image of this body made made me despise my own.

It affected my friendships. My jealousy inhibited me from being a supportive friend to others. If someone came to me with good news, i’d express how happy I was for them. However deep down inside my intentions did not match my words- I felt jealous and their success reminded me of the things I wanted in my life.  I think this was the most painful part of experiencing jealously. I couldn’t truly celebrate my friends as I was so blinded by my own insecurities.

I had a realisation one night after torturing myself with negative self-talk that if I continue to feel low about myself because of what others are doing, I would eventually destroy myself. Apart of me knew I couldn’t let it get that far. I wanted to unconditionally love myself and genuinely be happy for other people’s achievements.

I began my journey of understanding my jealously and getting to the root causes of it. I realised that the things that I envied in others had a direct correlation to my own personal insecurities. To defeat jealously I had to get to the root causes of the things that inhibited me from accepting and loving myself. This year I must say i’ve made significant strides with addressing this issue and it was only possible by doing a few things to help along the way.

If you’re currently battling with jealously here’s 4 practical techniques that might help you:

1.Writing- When you start to feel jealous, write down your feelings. You need to write unfiltered and get it all off your chest. Don’t judge yourself whilst you write. Once you’ve written your thoughts down, go through what you’ve written and begin to fact check everything. Ask yourself, how much of this is true? Am I being too harsh on myself or the other person? Begin to deconstruct what you’ve written and you’ll begin to unravel the reasons you feel jealous and might begin to realise that you have nothing to feel jealous about. I’ve written an example of how to do this below in ‘debunking your jealous thoughts’.

2. Affirmations- Affirmations are a great way to reprogram your mind to focus on positive and affirming thoughts about yourself. Part of the reason why we feel jealous is due to our own insecurities, so by reciting words that make us feel good about ourselves we begin to undermine our negative self-talk. I’ve listed a few affirmations below for you to use but I recommend finding ones that uplight and empower you.

3. Mindfulness- Go into a quite space and take 10-15minutes doing mindful meditation or breathing exercises. I find that when i’m overwhelmed by jealous thoughts, meditating allows me to think rationally and find peace with the present moment. There’s apps you can use such as Headspace if you aren’t used to meditating and need some guidance.

4. Stay in action- If you are envious that someone has achieved something that you want, work towards attaining that goal. For example, if you have a fitness goal or want to pursue a creative venture, work on getting better at your craft on a daily basis. If you focus your energy on being your own best version then you start to feel more satisfied with your own life.

Debunking your jealous thoughts:

1. You’re making the assumption that someone’s life is better than yours because of the ‘perfect’ images they display of themselves. You don’t know the struggle’s they’re going through or are currently experiencing. People aren’t going to post the ‘bad’ parts of their life. Begin accepting the fact that social media sites like Instagram are just filtered, distorted versions of reality. It only does disservice to yourself and that person when you compare your life to a filtered snippet of their life.

2. Their success does not undermine yours. You are jealous of someone making huge milestones (successful creative venture, popularity, career, physical glow up) and it’s making you feel like you’ve barely accomplished anything. Does that mean you’ve barely accomplished anything or that you’ve got plenty of things that you are yet to achieve? Don’t let other people’s timelines of ‘when’ you should reach a certain level of success deter you from achieving your goals. You might not be there yet but you certainly will be soon. The position you are in now is part of your journey and you should embrace it. All in good timing! Remember you belong in the realm of success just by virtue of being who you are. There’s room for all of us to win.

3. “They’re more desirable than me”- by who’s standard? You’re being harsh on yourself based on a standard that was not created to benefit you. You have to begin to create your own standard of what your best version looks like and live everyday being that person. No one can be better than you because you’re uniquely made.

Affirmations to use when feeling jealous:

1. Other people’s success does not diminish my own

2. I have all the capabilities within me to achieve greatness

3. I trust my own journey

4. I am uniquely made

5. I will focus my energy on abundance and being the best that I can be.

6. By virtue of being myself I am enough

7. I am beautiful, I am strong, I am powerful, I am talented

8. I congratulate other people’s success and use their journey as inspiration to develop my own.

 

Thank you for reading!

Have you ever experienced jealousy before? OR been the victim of a jealous person?

Let me know your thoughts 🙂

Love Ash x 

October 1st: The Affirmation Journal

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It’s October guys! I hope that everyone has a blissful month 🌻. The theme of this month is all about transition. Embracing change and making room for something greater. As the leaves fall on the ground and birth new ones, may this season remind us of the importance of letting go and allowing change to make the necessary shifts in our lives.

Octobers Affirmation:

You might not understand the chain of events or the transition you’re currently undergoing in your life right now. You might be wary of whether things will work out in your best interest. Note to self; not understanding your current circumstances is completely normal! Although things might not be clear to you at the moment, you will eventually understand why it was necessary to go through. Transition creates space for something greater. Uncomfortable change makes room for a necessary transformation in your life. Personal growth arrives when you embrace change and allow it to make you greater.

“I will take on this transitional phrase with ease. I may not make sense of it now but I will come to understand it in time.”

Question for you:

What changes are you currently undergoing?

What changes do you need to make room for?

Love Ash xx

Downplaying Compliments and Low Self-Esteem: A confessional

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (7)

Do you ever receive a compliment and instantly deflect the conversation away from yourself? I can relate. To give myself credit, this past year I have made a conscious effort to accept nice things said about me. However, I still catch myself feeling uncomfortable or deflecting from compliments especially when I receive them in real life.

Just a little background into why I am talking about this topic. I was out one night with a few friends and one of my friends complimented my hair. I began to downplay it and ended up rabbling on about how I purchased the hair. She replied back to me and said: “take the compliment and go”. I was shocked at her abrasiveness but I’m happy that she said it as her words led me to certain revelations that I had not yet realised.

The resistance I feel towards praise stems from many years of low self-esteem. The truth is for a long time I never felt like I was enough and would always find fault in my achievements. When I receive a compliment it’s unfamiliar language to me because I’ve become accustomed to believing my negative self-talk. When I get told nice things I automatically want to respond by saying “are you sure you’re talking about me”. I know that sounds negative but this was my thought process.

Another reason why I don’t respond to praise well is that I hardly celebrate myself. Rarely do I say ‘well done’ or reward me for my accomplishments. For example, I didn’t go to my graduation despite doing very well and being the first in my immediate family to go to university. I didn’t even acknowledge the fact that finally got a new job, one which brings me more joy. Not once did I organize a meal or self-care days to really celebrate my accomplishments.

Another revelation I had was that I’ve somehow conflated self-praise with bragging. I steered away from publicly sharing my accomplishments because I didn’t want to be perceived as showing off. There’s definitely merit in celebrating privately and knowing that we don’t need to be validated externally to feel proud of ourselves. But I think that I was being unnecessarily unkind to myself by downplaying and hiding my achievements from the world. I’m starting to realize that you can be a humble person whilst receiving praise and celebrating yourself openly.

I’m trying each day to tell myself I deserve happiness. I deserve to be complimented. I deserve to receive and believe nice things about me. Irrespective of what I’ve done in the past, right here and now I deserve to be celebrated. Breaking this learned behaviour which I’ve become accustomed to is proving to be harder than I anticipated. However each day I commit to being more aware of my response to compliments and to consciously celebrate my accomplishments, right down to the smallest things.

A Question for you:

How well do you take compliments?

If anyone can relate let me know your thoughts x

Gratitude list: Sept 2018

1. My ability to bounce back from adversity

2. For discovering writing as a form of therapy and healing

3. Waking up and seeing the sunrise

4. My travel experiences and being able to experience the richness of the black diaspora

5. Growing up on India. Arie’s music

6. Having friends who support and inspire me

7. For discovering Toni Morrison,my favourite author

8. Recently being exposed to the Tarot card world

9. For trees that give me oxygen

10. All the spiritual teachers in my life- my partner, my friends, strangers, the ancestors & people who battle with adversity on a daily basis but are brave enough to live within a love ethic.

 

HEY guys! At the beginning of each month I will upload a post on expressing gratitude. It’ll either be a written post, a video, link etc. I think it’s necessary that I utilise this space not only for self-analysis but somewhere to celebrate and appreciate the beauty and wonders of life.

Heyy I’m back from my blogging Hiatus!

Hey guys,

I’m not sure if anyone noticed but last month I took a break from blogging. I’ve spent the past few weeks in South Africa exploring the lovely Johannesburg and Cape Town! I’ll be totally honest, it was an unintentional break. Just as I was about to board my flight, I ended up breaking my phone (just my luck)! I was devastated however it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

There’s been a lot happening in my life lately, transitions I am going through and burdens I have been carrying that I had not giving myself the time to process. Not having my phone allowed me the space to address emotional needs and desires. I began to centre myself and delve into the personal issues that I realized have been weighing down on me for many years.

I learned this holiday how to switch off and truly unwind without the guilt of being unproductive. I realised that I am the most productive and in alignment with my purpose when I carve out time for self-care and prioritise my well being.

Not having my phone made me hyperaware of what I was experiencing, instead of focusing on capturing every moment digitally. I tuned into the different cultures, people, history, stories I was experiencing in South Africa. I connected with nature. I ate some amazing South African and West African food. I watched plenty of action movies. I immersed myself in the experience which is often missed when we are so focused on using our phones all the time.

Anyhoo I am glad to be back! I also want to say that I am so thankful for the support I’ve received since the beginning of the year. It warms my heart that I am able to connect with some amazing people on this platform. You all inspire me and reading your stories has helped me on my own journey. I do have a few new blog posts coming this month which I am excited about so stay tuned.

Do you take Social Media breaks? Do you think they are helpful?

 

love Ash x