Monday, April 27, 2009

hold on to authenticity

I have not liked the past couple of days. I have felt a lot of really sad emotions. I have not been gentle with myself.

After I got back from my absolutely amazing vacation this week I just couldn't pull myself together. I was feeling all sorts of yuckiness that reminded me all too much of my past. Immediatly I became fearful of everything. I was afraid of my craft room..... of my computer......of my blog.....of going back to work on Monday.....of the things I thought my friends in NC were thinking after spending time with me for the first time in a couple of years.....of repeating the mistakes of the past...of the bulge in my belly that will NOT go away no matter how much i exercise or change my diet (nope, no baby there).

I allowed the yuckiness to linger for a couple of days, teling myself that there is a time for everything. I tried to be gentle with myself but it was a struggle. I kept getting angry and impatient. Thoughts like "you should be creating something," and "your life is perfect, you have no right to feel this way," and "here you go again, you will never get it right" kept creeping into my head over and over and over again. Reruns of Law and Order were not helping. I'm not sure why I thought that would work because I never watch TV, I don't really enjoy it. But, I guess I just had to "be" in it. I had to go with it.

I am a firm believer in living an authentic life. I just don't think it is worth living any other way. But I have a confession.....I have been avoiding my blog for a couple of days because I knew I couldn't fake a happy post and I was in a wierd spot of being too scared to talk freely about my real feelings. My rationalization was that I didn't want to bring anyone who happened to encounter my blog down too. Then I realized....Ashley, who do you think you are? Do you really think you have that much power? Then I started being mean to myself again. It is an ugly cycle.

So finally today I knew I had to take some sort of action to release these very real feelings of inadequacy, sadness, insecurity and fear. I knew that Kelly Rae would be able to help. She always helps. I spent a good 10 minutes on her blog and I was able to gain perspective. I think she is one of my heroes.

Here are just a few tidbits that I picked up from my 10 minutes spent in her world:

Good stuff, right? I am grateful for Kelly Rae.

Later this evening.......posting some really fun necklaces that I managed to make during the "slump." Very easy, quick and cheap. Actually, i hate it when people say that about their projects....not only does it sound cliche' but "easy, quick and cheap" are absolutely and completely relative and can make people feel like crap. I will never say that again. I promise.

Also, I went to a VERY heavy metal concert last week and learned more than I ever imagined I could at such a thing. Now this is not something I do on a regular basis...actually it's not something I do EVER. I'll be sharing about that soon.

I am feeling a mixture of things right now. I feel freedom and peace and light. But I still feel a bit insecure and afraid. Such are the ingredients of authentic living. I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.

One more thing.....I keep seeing this really great poster that I need hanging in my home, office, car and gym....I leave you with it's message.....keep calm and carry on. Its true. Very true.


  1. Hi! It´s a bit weird reading things and feeling "I really know what she means!". At least when it is about things I don´t talk about so much with others. It feels great knowing other people struggle with the same kind of negative periods in life, even though the the reasons for the negative thoughts can be different. So, thank you for this blog post! :-) (I hate my bulge in my belly too! ;-) )

  2. Stina - thank you so much for your comment! It made my day. I had no idea the kind of response I would get (if any) and I am so grateful that you connected with my feelings and words and then told me so. You helped me feel more brave.

  3. I have to agree with Stina - I can relate. The feelings you are feeling were so real to me. Sometimes everything and I mean everything is just so overwhelming. You just have to fight to keep the positive energy peaking out and fight to allow yourself to breathe...and linger in the tough stuff without fear that it will take hold.

    Also, this friend from NC was only thinking after seeing you...WHY AREN'T WE NEIGHBORS! I am so proud of you and so thankful for you.


  4. I relate to this hugely. It is hard to be gentle with yourself. Just allow yourself to feel what you are feeling for a while and eventually you will come out of it feeling new again. Sometimes when I come back on vacation there is so much to process in my heart and mind that I am unable to jump right back into life.
    I love Kelly Rae too. She is a genius! Thanks for sharing this in your blog. I have always been nervous to write about these feelings on my blog but you have helped me to feel more brave.

  5. Hi. I just wanted to tell you that you are definitely, definitely not alone in feeling this way. Thank you for being brave and sharing your true thoughts.

  6. Hello! I stumbled across your blog thru a twitter post one day - and have totally enjoyed reading thru your posts. I have also missed you while you were away. But most of all, I totally respect your authentic truth when life isn't as fabulous as you wish it to be. While I only know of you cyberly - i think you are great! I appreciate all of the wonderful things you find fabulous in life...and from miles away...your authentic self rocks!! Thanks for being honest!

  7. That was really brave to put those feelings out there. A bit scary and cathartic I bet, too. We've all been in some type of situation (not saying I totally understand your particular situation, since life is complex, but I've had my own doubts and feelings like that). The good part is that you're not giving up and going back to the safe zones where you don't believe in these things. Hang in there and everything is going to work itself out. It's a bumpy journey, this things called life! Big hugs :)

  8. Ashley,
    Thanks for being so honest and sharing! I can definitely relate to some of those feelings, and it's so nice to hear how others cope with them. And I have a Keep Calm poster--haven't decided where to put it yet--it is a great reminder though. I hope this week brings you joy!

  9. Ashley,
    You were born to create! You’ve been creating since the very first day you learned to walk to your sand box in our back yard. Keep it up - we all love it and you!!