The Blog.

12 Ways to Feel More Beautiful, Confident, and Sexy

It's Time to Embrace Your Inner 'Yoncé

You ever feel like you missed the boat when the confidence trait was being passed out?
Or, maybe you feel like you had it once before, but lost sight of it through heartbreaks and tough times?

Feeling beautiful starts from within. Confidence, my love is a journey. Makeup and sexy clothes can be fun, but the real work comes when you start to implement a self-love routine into your daily life. If you're unsure where to even begin, keep reading because I have a list of 12 things you can start doing right now. This one is jam packed with little nuggets. You may want to take notes, print this, or bookmark this page to come back to them as you need them.

1. Start Each Day With Affirmations
This is hands down one of the quickest ways to boost your self-confidence every day. Write a list of 5 or so affirmations that speak to you. Place them in a visible place so you remember to recite them every day. I suggest your phone background, computer screensaver, calendar, mirror, or bedside table. Or, you can set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself. I know this may sound silly or trivial, but your thoughts are powerful and the act of speaking them out will help to reprogram your subconscious mind. With practice, you can actively begin to feel these affirmations as truth. I recommend creating affirmations that resonate with you and your life. If you are not feeling particularly inspired, here's a list of affirmations to get you started:

▪️ I am worthy of love
▪️ I know my worth and have the power to say no to what does not serve me
▪️ I am strong, confident, and happy
▪️ I let go of negative feelings of myself, and accept all that is good
▪️ I am beautiful as I am. I don't need anyone or anything to validate me

2. Eliminate The Competition (and anyone who makes you feel less confident)
I'm sure you have fallen into a rabbit hole of comparison before on social media. Sometimes, It is hard enough to find strength and confidence in yourself before adding in the stressors of instagram and Facebook. Bringing in the jaded stories of perfection and glam that are on these apps daily only cloud your mind with questions of being enough. You are enough, my dear. Just as you are. I implore you to unfollow anyone who makes you feel less than, insignificant, or negative about your life choices. We all follow people who don't support us or our mission. It is time to stop being "nice" to them while being rude to yourself. Choose happy, choose joy, choose yourself for once. Feeling jealousy, frustration, or the need to compete is a thing of the past. Hit that unfollow button and watch yourself grow an inch (umm, metaphorically - I'm no magician).

3. Make Quick Decisions
When you think confidence, you may think of the word BOSS. When, you think of Boss, out pops the words DECISION MAKER. Bosses are known for their ability to make quick, unwavering decisions. A quick way to assert yourself and become an authority figure of your life is to make fast decisions. I'm not talking President level decisions. Let's start small with, "I want pasta for dinner!" or "I want to watch Game of Thrones tonight, not The Bachelor." The important piece of this is that you remove that long pause, the "doesn't matter to me", or the "whatever you want". So, the challenge is to start seeing how often you can make a decision in 5 seconds or less AND stick to it. The more you practice, the more you will feel in control of your own life. Your decisions should matter to you and those around you. It is time to fight for your voice. I recommend reading the book, 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. She's the bomb! And, this book is super helpful in implementing quick action.

4. Write 3 Things You Like About Yourself Daily
Celebrating your good qualities and wins daily is an amazing way to train your subconscious mind to look for what is beautiful inside of you. As you start out, you may feel awkward doing this and that is totally okay. Your 3 things could look more forced or bismal. If you cannot think of 3 things about yourself, switch it up and write 3 things you are grateful for. Give yourself grace through this process. You are learning and building your self-love muscles. A beginner list may look more like: my hair, my butt, my nose. As you progress the list may evolve to something like: the way my smile tilts a little to the left side, my ability to understand a situation from both perspectives, My springy curls fresh out of the shower. You got this, love. Just keep at it.

5. Dress the Part
You know that saying, "fake it 'til you make it"? Well, this is that. Invest in some quality items that make you feel like the goddess you are. Now is the time to uplevel from your head to your toes. I'm talking skincare, hair care, lingerie (even... nope, ESPECIALLY if you are the only one who will see them). No more granny panties, no more period panties. The bra you've had since middle school needs to go. I don't care what you have to do to say goodbye, but it is officially time. I know I preach that confidence comes from within, but feeling good on the outside and presenting yourself as your highest, most sexy self is a huge piece of it too. And, sexy does not have to mean tight dress. Sexy is what you want it to be. If sexy panties under sweats is your little secret, then I am all for it. If feeling a glow from your sexy skincare products is your truth, do it up! Need inspiration? Start a "sexy" board on pinterest and start to pin anything that makes you feel confident and sexy. Want to take your own boudoir photos in front of the mirror? Pin it! Comfy sheets make you feel luxurious? Get em! Look at clothing inspiration, hair, etc. It's time to walk the walk and talk the talk, baby baby!

6. Immerse Yourself in Personal Development
One of the best ways to cultivate a strong, positive mindset is to dive into the world of self help. You can hire a coach to get you to the peak of your self-confidence journey quickly. Or, you can choose the DIY route with books, courses, and seminars. I must let you know that DIY will take much longer, usually several years longer as you may have to weed through the fluff a bit. A coach is able to provide a non-bias regimen and keep you accountable and moving forward in a fraction of the time. There are so many tools for getting to a life where you feel like your absolute best self. And, the great part is once you start on this journey you will have a huge arsenal of resources to get you through anything life throws your way in the future. Just hold on to whatever methods work for you and store them away for a rainy day. If you want a place to start, I've created a Free Workbook for you. Head on over to ashleyvives.com/selflovemadeeasy to get your hands on it!

7. Stand Up Tall
Shoulders up and back, stand tall... your posture has a direct link on how "high" you feel about yourself. See what I did there? Just making the simple correction of a straight back when sitting or standing can add inches to your spine, which in turn makes you feel taller and more authoritative. When you walk into a room with that extra glide from standing tall and present, you will notice a shift not only in your mindset, but of those around you. You will command respect and ooze confidence and grace.

I have a joke with a friend saying, "it's a crop top day". I was feeling bloated, stressed and down one day so I put on a crop top, a smile and proceeded with our brunch plans. My friend was super confused when I casually threw on a crop top of all things and headed out the door after having a mini meltdown about how nothing in my closet fit. "A half shirt is what you chose?" I told her, "when you wear a crop top, you have no choice but to walk tall, sit straight, and rock it with confidence." I was simply restructuring my mood (and quickly) by making a quick decision (#3 above), Dressing the part (#5 above) and finding a way to celebrate my body while also fixing my posture (#7). Feel free to borrow my trick! Heck, I would love to one day meet you and have a crop top brunch together!

8. Become Your Future Self
It's time to take an inventory. Go through your closets & drawers. Assess each item and let go of anything that no longer makes you feel confident. And, don't think I'm not going to mention that panty drawer again. This is where feeling sexy comes into play. If you didn't already... throw out the sad panties. Ain't nobody got time for them!!! You are a Queen. You deserve to feel sexy every single day. Having special occasion panties that you pull out every once in a while is not cool, boo. Every day is a special occasion because you are hot, sexy, and fierce.

I want you to set a timer for 5 minutes and sit with closed eyes. I want you to visualize your future self, a woman who is confident, sexy, intelligent, happy, and beautiful inside and out. A woman who does not need anyone or anything to validate her. Feel her, see her, hear her. What does she look like? How is she dressed? Where does she live? What does she do for a living? What is her romantic life like? Ask her questions until you get a full understanding of her. Then, look at life through her eyes as if you are her. Where will you go? What do you see? How do you carry yourself? how do you speak? How do you smell? You now know who you aspire to be, the rest is in your hands. Start to dress like her, speak like her, style your hair like her, exude her confidence and joy. You will be that woman in no time. In fact, you already are.

9. Bring Awareness to Your Negative Thoughts
Start to notice your negative thoughts whether mental or verbal. Whenever you have one replace it with a kind, positive thought.

For example:
I'm so stupid becomes I am learning so much.
I hate my body becomes I am so grateful for my ability to walk, talk, and breathe
I'm so fat becomes I am on a journey to accepting my body and I am so proud of myself

If you are not quite ready to speak kind to yourself, that is okay. Everyone's journey is different. You can use the rubber band trick by wearing one around your wrist and snapping it lightly each time you think or say something negative. When you are ready you can start to replace the rubber band snap with kind words. I believe in you, love.

10. Give, Donate, or Volunteer
Giving your time, items, or money can release feelings of accomplishment and joy. Sometimes helping yourself is better achieved in helping others. Compile a list of 10 ways you can give or donate and keep it handy. Commit to doing at least one thing on this list monthly, if you can. Not only will you be helping others, you will give yourself a boost of confidence doing it. Whether you are helping an important cause like, Black Lives Matters or a friend who needs an ear to listen, show up fully and within your means. Make sure it does not drain you too hard mentally or physically or push you back financially. Boundaries are important here, especially with friends. But, with the right mix of kindness, resources and boundaries you will be feeling accomplished in no time.

11. Move Your Body
Alright, I want you to commit to moving your body at least 3 times per week for 30 minutes or more. Why? Well, regular exercise is proven to lower stress and anxiety, improve your mood, depression and self-esteem. It helps increase brain functioning, memory, and helps you sleep better. When you take the time to love your body, it loves you right back. I know it's fun to Netflix and Chill, but exercise is the new Sex & The City (I'm aware that line is so corny and yet I didn't hit delete). So, start the brainstorm for yourself. How can I make movement fun? What does that look like for me? Dance? Zumba? Running for personal best? 5k sign up and go? Yoga? Hiking? Walking the mall? Jumping Jacks during commercials? Cycling? Or, perhaps a mix?

12. Choose A New Hobby/ Do Something You Love
Have you always wanted to pick up macramé? Do you want to learn a new language? Are you really into painting, but have neglected your inner calling for years? Get in your zone and do the damn thing! You have my full permission to enjoy your life fully. If money is an issue, think how can I make the first step? Is there a youtube version of the course I can't afford so I can start right now? Can I get secondhand supplies? Do I know someone who already does it? Can I barter with someone? When you put enough passion behind it, you will find a way to get it done. Doing what you love is a sure way to feel abundance and total confidence in your life.

I hope that some of the solutions above resonated with you, my dear. This is just a small piece of what I teach my 1:1 clients in my coaching business. I wanted to let you in on a little secret as a thank you for allowing me to be a part of your growth journey. For the first time ever I am giving away the keys to all of my tools and techniques that I teach my 1:1 clients. What you just read was not even a taste of what I am offering. To sweeten the deal, I am also adding group coaching sessions and a private community where you can ask me anything along the way. The doors to my 8 week step-by-step self-love course will be open in just a few weeks. I am not sure the next time I will offer this course. And, if I do, it will double in price because this deal is INSANE. I am giving you $100 off the already low price just for reading this and signing up. There is literally no risk if you sign up and decide not to purchase the course later. But, you will certainly be kicking yourself if you decide to sign up later and miss out on this waitlist discount. If you are looking to take your self-love journey to the next level and become the person you know you were always meant to be, head on over to ashleyvives.com/waitlist to get in line for my signature course, The Self-Love Masterclass.

I hope to see you in there!

Are You Embracing Your Hero’s Journey?

In the midst of a breakup, heartbreak or transition you really have only two choices. You have the power to become a victim of your circumstances, filling your story with woe is me, I can’ts, and why did this happen to me? Or, you can embrace your hero story. You can decide that you are in control of your happiness, you can overcome this obstacle, and rewrite your story. It is the pivotal fight or flight moment in your life. 

I look back at my life and think of how many times I could have given up. How many times it would have been easy to make excuses like, I am not worthy, I am unloved, or I am depressed. I could have stopped living my life when I failed out of school after my #metoo moment, but I chose to get back up. I fought for my degree, moved to my dream city, and landed an amazing job. I could have given up on love and fell deep into a sadness when I came home to find out my ex fiancé got cold feet and moved out. Instead, I decided that my life was precious and I needed to protect that. I grabbed my hero’s cape, created my own business, landed amazing opportunities, and later married the man of my dreams. 

Jenn was left by her husband who was cheating on her with her best friend. Jenn decided to get even and find every reason to break them apart instead of finding gratitude in the fact that she was released from such a horrible man (and friend) and had a whole life of freedom ahead of her. Before she knew it, 6 years had gone by and Jenn had lost track of who she was. Her health was a main issue, she lost friends because she said no to hanging out too many times, and her son had asked to move in with her ex husband because his new stepmom was much nicer. The worst part of it all was that Jenn couldn’t understand why this was all happening to her. She was confused why she got the short end of the stick. And, she just could not see a way out of it. Jenn chose to stay in her victim story. She couldn’t understand that she could use this anger and frustration to rise from her circumstances. She lost herself and her loved ones along the way.

Sarah was on top of the world. Her fiancé was the love of her life, her family was a huge support, and she had just received a raise at work. Her fiancé developed a rare, undetected disease and passed away just before she could say “I do”. 11 months later, her mother died suddenly. Her father was in shock and pushed the family away in his grieving process. She could barely get out of bed and ultimately lost her job because she could not handle the pain of it all. She felt like her whole world had crumbled in just a year. She gave herself time to grieve and feel, but set a 3 month goal to press play on the life she wanted to live. She started to train for a marathon, she traveled to places around the world that she had dreamed of going her whole life, and she created her own business dedicated to her loved ones she had lost. She realized she could not control what happened to her, but had the power and grace to choose how to react to it. She embraced her Hero’s Journey.

It is totally normal to feel like a victim in the midst of your trials. But, it is when you choose to stay buried in these thoughts and emotions that you have actually decided to remain a victim. It is when you decide that the attention from staying low is much better than the victory of going high. Your parents weren’t good to you? You grew up on food stamps? You lost a child? You suffer from past trauma? These things are hard and can rock you, yes. I am not taking that credit away from you. You are a soldier, you are strong, you are incredible. You took on obstacles that no one would dare to. You carry pain, you carry hurt, you carry fear. And, that is okay. Allow yourself to understand that what you feel is okay. Find someone you trust to allow your story out. See it, hear it, understand it, accept it, forgive it. You deserve that. You are a hero! It is time to move forward into your hero’s journey and become the person you were meant to become for so long. And, know that I am rooting for you and I love you. 

The easiest place to start loving yourself is to practice self-care. Now, a victim may say that self-care is hard, expensive, and time consuming. But, a hero will say that self-care is easy, vital, and priceless. Grab my free Self-Care Made Easy Workbook for tips and tricks on how to implement it into your existing routine. You will never believe how easy it is to change your mindset around what is for you.

006: Apologizing, Forgiveness and Accepting Compliments | She Lives Fully Podcast

Today I am calling you out! Do you have a strong weight on your shoulders because you have not forgiven someone? Maybe they don't deserve it. Maybe they do. Do you apologize when unnecessary and struggle to when it is absolutely needed? Do you have a problem just saying thank you when someone compliments you? Often saying "thanks, but..." and fill in the rest with a counter to their statement? Well, this episode is for you! If you enjoy this episode... Let me know!!! How can you do that? Well, you can send me a screenshot of you listening in and tag me on your instagram story. You can send me a message! Or, my favorite of all - rate and review! I would love you oh so hard!

005: Behind the Scenes of The Bachelor with Jaimi King | She Lives Fully Podcast

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!

004: #MeToo – How to Find Strength in Your Weakest Moments | She Lives Fully Podcast

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.  
#metoo 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. *EXHALE*

003: My Top 5 Favorite Instagram Apps | She Lives Fully Podcast

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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The more engagement, the more you are seen. You absolutely need to spend time liking, commenting and building relationships with people.
  5. 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..
  1. 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 hello@ashleyvives.com 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.  

002: 5 Easy Ways to Practice Self-Care | She Lives Fully Podcast

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

001: 10 Things you don’t know about me | She Lives Fully Podcast

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.

A Balanced Relationship

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:
  1. Do you feel like you have an equal voice in the relationship? Are you being heard and finding compromises?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. Do you think about them? Do they think about you?
  5. 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.

Self Care: 3 For Me

“Self care is not selfish; You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” – unknown   Have you been feeling alone, easily annoyed or angered, exhausted, nagging? Do you wish people would appreciate you more? Well, I know this may sound a little harsh, but maybe it’s that you need to appreciate yourself. I recently unlocked something so near a dear to my heart that has changed every essence of my being. I am more positive, radiant and full than I have ever been before. I want you all to take out a piece of paper… I will wait… (insert elevator music)… OK. I’m going to assume you have paper in front of you, or the notes section of your phone. Now, write 15 activities that you do for yourself that make you feel good while you are doing them (and after). If cleaning the house does not feel good while you are doing it, but a clean house does… this is not the list for it. My list goes a little like this: comfort foods, dance classes, voice lessons, a big breakfast with lots of syrup involved, getting my nails done, long showers, praying, listening to podcasts, good conversation, a long walk, getting my hair done, reading, going to the park, lunch/ dinner with the girls, lunch alone, a good glass of wine, bubble bath, movie night, working out, getting a massage, writing, etc etc. Now, the easy part: Do THREE a day! 90% of you likely tuned out and said, “Is she crazy? I don’t have time for that!!” 100% of you are doing it right now and do not even realize it. You are taking time to read an article entitled Self- Care. Doesn’t that in the very least show that you want to care about yourself? That you have consciously chosen to dedicate this time to growth and beauty within you? I can hear you! “But, But…” Oh yeah, I hear your excuses. It does not matter if you are a new mom, an entrepreneur or have six children. There is ALWAYS time for self-care and making excuses will only hurt yourself and those around you.  You would be surprised how much your husband or children will chip in to allow you to have “ME” time when they see how calm and happy you are because of it. Okay, I suppose I should tell you why? Maybe motivate you a little to want to do three of those a day? Hmmm… Do you ever have a day when you feel like the world is against you? A day where every little thing aggravates you? A day where you have scheduled in a good cry because you know its coming? A day where you just want to hop back into bed and redo it? Well, my friend… 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 the stale piece of bread we found in the employees lounge. Instead of running on fumes, why don’t you fuel yourself? Some of the items on your list may take 5 minutes. Why sit on empty for 5 hours when you could change it in 5 minutes?