I sit down with the first ever bisexual contestant on The Bachelor as she dishes on what goes on behind the scenes. She speaks on the audition process, how it felt to be on the show, as well as what life is like after. She is also giving you some dating and life advice, so tune in for our most exciting episode yet!
Learn how I went from VICTIM to SURVIVOR. I am speaking to you from the most raw, unedited position I have ever been in before. I am sharing my #MeToo story. I even forgot to unmute my microphone when recording, but refused to re-tape and lose any of the emotion I bring to you. So, recorded through my MacBook mic, I give you vulnerability, understanding, and love. I hope this helps just one person to find their strength and purpose from a dark time.
I remember my “friend” telling me to relax. That the only way I would know if I wanted to marry my (then) boyfriend is if I messed around with another guy because he had been my only serious relationship. That she set something up, to just trust her.
I remember being pinned down. Feeling weak and overpowered. I remember not remembering.
I remember how much my nails hurt the next day from scraping the walls of the hallways and my thighs from clenching my body through every door frame leading to his room.
I remember the room like it was yesterday. I remember the jerseys on the walls, the smell of his cologne, the creaks in the floors.
I remember saying no, saying stop. Thinking about peeing my pants so he would be grossed out and leave me alone. I remember my “friend” leaving me there. I remember my ESCAPE and the gut wrenching feeling of shame washing over me on the long ride home.
I remember feeling numb, drinking every night to forget, sometimes alone. Not answering my phone, disappearing felt easier. My “friend” later told my boyfriend I cheated on him that night, cheated?!!! She dyed some of my dresses with bleach and shredded the bottoms with scissors. She sat me down to tell me she was jealous of me and felt the need to sabotage my life, but was working on being better. (This is for a whole other thread of loving yourself, or perhaps mental illness: She is now a wife and mother and to this day, I still pray for her and her family).
I remember having a graduation party KNOWING that I failed out of school (and keeping that secret for the past 10 years). Listening to speeches of how great I am and how my family couldn’t wait to see all the big things I would do! I remember when my parents got my transcript in the mail. The sit down at my living room table of disappointment. Me being on the brink of telling them why, but instead muttering.. “yeah, it was my fault. I just stopped going to classes. I don’t know why”.
I remember losing so many relationships because I lost my fight. I was “that girl”, and just plain checked out. I remember feeling so alone and wanting to…. (deep breath). I remember not trying to change anyone’s minds because it would mean telling them what happened to me.
I remember sharing and not being heard. Being talked down to as if it was my fault. I remember fighting for what I lost and being too late. Fighting again only to decide I lost those relationships for good. Panic attacks when I’m just wrestling with a friend. Gagging because a customer is wearing that same, all too familiar cologne.
I remember deciding not to be a victim, but a survivor and a testimony. To RISE again. Fall in love again. LIVE again.
I got and internship doing what I loved and finished college. I moved to NYC and met some of the best people I know today. I decided what I wanted and I went for it.
This happened to me and unfortunately, so many of my sisters. But, it DOES NOT define us.
So many people wonder why we don’t speak up. For me it was the embarrassment. My mind twisted the story in so many ways where I decided it was my fault for being in that situation, for taking the red cup, for not being a little more stern from the beginning. Maybe I led him on? It will just cause more problems. I escaped, it didn’t reallllly happen.. so, it’s okay. If it really happened, I would have a case.
Wrong is wrong. Speak up ladies! Holding it in is not healthy. If you aren’t ready to release it in a public way, try speaking to one person you trust. Or, a person who has been in it, through it, survived. I am here for you and I come with no judgement and no convictions. Write me if you need a friend. Let’s love one another.. we’re in this life together.
Me too… me too.
Instagram is truly an art form & there are tons of apps surrounding it that help you come out at the top of your game. I’ve just about tried them all. And, since I wholeheartedly believe in community over competition, I am here to share my absolute favorites with you so that you can get your business, or personal gram running like a pro!
I LOVE instagram… it is 100% my most used app in my phone. I grew my account @weswipedright from zero to over 7k followers in less than 6 months. I have taken several courses to master it and love every bit of knowledge I have obtained.
5 Quick bonus tips I have learned:
- Instagram is successful because we are all very visual, the better your photos, the more legit you will appear. The more likes, comments, and follows you will receive.
- It is completely true that the more work you put into it, the more success you will have. You need to curate your feed with planned content.
- Stories are the future, more users are looking at them then their feed, and they help you get ahead in the everchanging algorithm. It is almost an untapped field that is growing. The time is now to be recognized for your stories over your feed.
- The more engagement, the more you are seen. You absolutely need to spend time liking, commenting and building relationships with people.
- Instagram can truly be a full time job, but it doesn’t have to be. There are so many apps that can help you. And, it is definitely something you can outsource.
Now, let’s get into my Top 5 Favorite Apps that I use every day alongside Instagram..
- Tailwind – This app allows you to schedule your posts and if you have a business account it will even post them for you. It chooses the best times to post based on their statistics and your audience. It also helps you come up with the best hashtags that won’t be too competitive. Plus, you can save them so you can use them over and over again without ever having to retype them. I can load a months worth of post onto the Tailwind scheduler, walk away from it completely, and everything will be posted as planned. It is a lifesaver. Tailwind has a try it before you buy it, Free Trial where you can use it for up to 30 instagram posts and 100 Pinterest Posts before you commit to $9.99 a month (cancel anytime). I tell you, it is absolutely worth it to live stress free with the app, especially if you are building a business or trying to get products, or services out. If you want 15 bucks off the Tailwind app, go ahead and go to https://www.tailwindapp.com/i/ashleyvives or email me firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Tailwind 15 and I will send you a code. No, I am not signed to their affiliate program. I just love the product and I am trying to spread the love to you, my listeners.
- CutStory. This app allows you to take a video that is long and cut it into 15 second increments that will fit on instagram stories without the awkward pauses. So, imagine you have a 45 second video. Upload it into CutStory and it will save 3 – 15 second videos into your camera roll. You can then upload them into your story and they will play back to back. You can add music and you can make slideshows of your photos. The free version leaves a small logo in the left hand corner. And, I believe you can get rid of that if your purchase the pro app for less than 4 bucks. CutStory is amazing.
- InShot. This app is great for making cool photo edits. I use it for my stories a lot to add interest and make them stand out from others. InShot lets you do some cool things like blurring or changing the background, placing a picture on top of another, text, stickers, filters, you name it. I really like to play around in this app. It is so much fun and I highly recommend it.
- HypeType. This app is just cool! It makes your stories look so friggin fun. You can play with all of the types of fonts and animations. I’m sure you have seen it on stories before and thought whoa… this is professionally done. How’d they do that? Yeah, it’s HypeType. If you want your story to pop out when someone is clicking through their story feed, get HypeType for sure.
- VSCO. I edit all of my photos with VSCO. You can buy the presets and create a warm or cool look to your feed. You can adjust everything from brightness, cropping, shadows… you name it. I find it the easiest to use for a medium skilled DIY photographer like me. You can save the edited photo and pop it right over to instagram to post. It’s my go to.
An honorable mention for number 6 (in this top 5 list) would be Capture. I use this app when I want to show you what I am doing on my phone screen. I can record it and show it to you in my stories or in a post. I use capture a lot when I am showing you something you have to click through on my website. It is helpful and takes the guesswork out of the equation.
Well, there you have it my top 5 Instagram Apps. If you aren’t already following me on instagram, please pop in and say hello @ashleyvives. I always love connecting and building relationships with you all.
Do you practice self-care? Do feel happy, hopeful, or maybe anxious, stressed, or tired? It is so so important to be present and aware of your feelings at all times. Your mood and your energy are a direct link to your experiences. If you are operating at a low level and expecting great results… oh, I’ve got news for you, girl!
Knowing where you are in your mindset is the best way to know where you are in your self care routine.
I always know that I am overdue for some self care when I am aggravated, anxious, stressed, nagging, or easily annoyed. Too often we look for happiness in our lovers, friends, children, and in our day to day lives, when we NEED to provide it for ourselves. The American Psychological Association describes self-care as an “ethical imperative”. Self-care is non negotiable, my dear. Just like on an airplane when you must put on your mask before helping others. You must love yourself in order to have the capacity to love another.
NOW, Let’s get into my top 5 ways to practice self-care
- Meditate – I meditate every day! When I don’t, I feel the difference. I do it in the morning before doing ANYTHING else. It sets the tone for my day and puts me in a space of love, light and openness to whatever the day may bring. If you do not meditate, I highly recommend it. There are tons of apps to get started like headspace or insight timer. Start out with 5 minutes and build your way up. It has literally changed my life and I know it will for you. I recorded a free meditation and you can access it on the homepage of my website ashleyvives.com. Check it out and if you like it, would you mind letting me know on here or on social media. Just say, hey Ash… I loved your meditation. It is always so great to hear from you.
- Exercise – Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood. I notice a difference in my mindset and focus when I exercise. I wholeheartedly believe in its benefits. Find an exercise that you like and do it. There are so many different kinds that any excuse of “I don’t like exercising” just won’t cut it with me. If you hate running, don’t do it. Dance instead. Find what works for you and create a routine. Block out time in your schedule and write it in. Pay in advance if you can, this will make you really want to go. If someone asks you to go for cocktails at 6pm on Tuesday, but your schedule says workout… stay strong to your routine. Now, let’s be real… I’m not saying bail on your friends or cocktails. Just get that workout in and push em back a little. Balance, my dear.
- Journal/ Write – I absolutely LOVE writing in a journal. I have been doing it since I could remember. I was that teenager that would write a letter to my boyfriend who pissed me off, read it back, realize it was cray cray and throw it away. But, girl… it saved me from saying some insane shit. I think writing is such a great therapy. It makes you reach into the back of your brain and see things from different angles, it is where dreams become plans, it is where ideas have become empires. I recommend it to all of my clients and I do it myself each and every day.
- Take yourself out on a date – Now, this my friend, is important. How do you feel when you eat alone in a restaurant? WOULD you eat alone in a restaurant? Actually, more important, COULD you eat alone in a restaurant? I’m talking no cell phone, no bar seat… just you and an empty chair across from you. Your answer to that question could tell you the degree of self love that you have towards yourself. I’m not saying it is the only measure for knowing if you love yourself. But, it is a good test in seeing if you could enjoy your own company, be present within the world happening around you, and not feel intimidated by the thoughts and cares of others. Take yourself out. Do something YOU want to do. Love up on yourself… you are the only person who knows EXACTLY the love you need.
- Go out with people you enjoy – So, remember that friend who asked you to go out for cocktails during your workout time. Yah, that was a self care thing too! Go out! Have fun. I must warn you, this tip only works with people you enjoy. Studies show that you are a product of the top 5 people you surround yourself with. So, it is so important to CHOOSE your people wisely. Are they kind, smart, fun, loving. Do they push you to be better? Do they have your back? If not, it is important to understand why you are saying yes to their invitations. Is it because your bored? Use that time to practice your self care in another way – a yoga class, journaling, upleveling to new friends. Is it because you don’t think you deserve better? Become someone who does. Practice kindness, study the things the person you WANT to be would know, become better. You deserve the absolute best… strive for it, work for it, be it, get it.
You ever have a day when you feel like the world is against you? Where every little thing aggravates you? Maybe you have scheduled in a good cry because you know it’s coming? A day where you just want to hop back into bed and redo it?
Well, my love, in those days, ask yourself.. what have I done today for myself? We excuse ourselves and say we are “running on fumes” or “running out of steam”. We fill that void with coffee and sugar and even a stale piece of bread we found in the employees lounge. Instead of running on fumes, why don’t you fuel yourself? Self-care is easy and can sometimes take only 5 minutes. Why sit on empty for 5 hours when you could change it in 5 minutes?
Now, take this time to think about 5 – 10 things YOU can do to practice self care. Write them down, do 3 things a day. Show up at your best and great things will come to you.
Self- love and relationship coach, Ashley Vives will be introducing herself with 10 facts that you couldn’t possibly know just from following her on social media. This comes with a fair warning that she is not sugar coating ANYTHING. She is exposing some of her deepest secrets (the good, bad, and weird), things that even her best friend may not know.
You will learn how she got into the coaching business, what she teaches, and why she was born for it.
She will also be sharing one extremely personal story that she has NEVER shared publicly before. And, it’s juicy. Tune in to see what it is.
Self- Worth is crucial to your happiness and growth as a human being. If you are in a relationship (friendship, professional, or romantic) with someone who strips you of that… lace up your sneakers and RUN!!! Seriously, run as fast as you can and never look back. So often the ones lacking confidence look to tear it down in others rather than just fixing the root of the issue in themselves. More often than not, they are not even aware of their agenda. They have a real manipulative way of making you think that you are the cause of everything wrong in the relationship. You begin to question who you are and why you are. You make changes within yourself and you seek their approval in all things. You lose your voice and soon enough, lose your identity along with it.
The crazy part about it: When someone is capable of taking your self-confidence hostage, they often succeed in making you powerless and dependent. You fall under their spell. Furthermore, falling into a state of denial.
It is important for you to assess your relationships often and make note of whether or not you are exercising your self-worth. If you are sad more often than not, questioning if you are enough, or feel like you are holding on solely because you don’t want to restart… RUN!!! You are better than that!!! You are not only damaging yourself, you are now putting yourself in a cycle to do it to to others.
5 questions to check your balance in a relationship:
- Do you feel like you have an equal voice in the relationship? Are you being heard and finding compromises?
- Do you both WANT to work? Life will give you moments that are hard and you will see hitches in the road, but are you both willing to truly work through them?
- Do you do everything in your power to find little ways to make their life easier? Most importantly, do they do that for you too?
- Do you think about them? Do they think about you?
- Does it never feel like work? It will be hard.. but, it shouldn’t feel like you HAVE to do it. You should WANT to do it.