If you're human, this pandemic has been stressful to say the least. You may have started out very enthusiastic about being home and perhaps, now you're tired of it. You may have started out with a new hobby: gardening, making banana bread, or painting. Maybe you were excited to go through all of your closets Marie Kondo Style. Or, you started with panic and frustration about how long this “new normal” would be. Either way, we're here, we're doing this, and we're in this together. I feel a mission on my heart to share my story to show you that you're not alone and your feelings are valid. Good things happen, bad things happen, but at the end of the day I'm here for you. I'm human just like you and I’m going through it too. Together we can find the right tools to beat this thing mentally and emotionally.
Permission to let you into my world a little?
A behind the scenes look to my pandemic diary, if you will.
This pandemic has been extremely hard for me and my family. My husband and I both lost our jobs in the food industry. If you recall, we opened a restaurant just a few months ago. All of that hard work and there we were putting a closed sign on the door. Just weeks later we both lost our grandmother’s, just two days apart. My husband’s grandmother passed of covid-19 in her nursing home at 96 years old.
Our grandmother’s Zoom funerals were on the same day later that week. We spent the majority of the day grieving with our families from 3,000 miles away through a screen. During the funerals we received news that my husband's other living grandmother has terminal stomach cancer.
Just a few weeks later, we noticed our sweet pup, Mason was not doing well. He stopped eating and walking. He had no interest in moving or even keeping his eyes open. He was extremely sick and my heart was broken. We took him to the vet and we found out that he not only has heart failure (which was diagnosed just a few months prior), but also has signs of kidney failure. We were told that we should make a final decision in the next few weeks if he was in pain. I pleaded with the vet for any alternative help and she offered a very risky idea of lowering his heart medicine and giving him some kidney medicine to see if he reacted well. We took the risk. We felt we would rather risk him getting better than not do anything at all and let go. I'm happy to say that he is doing much better! It is almost insane to me. He's eating, walking, playing, he's giving his kisses like usual. We're hopeful for some more time with him, but also realistic as he will be 13 in August.
Are you ready for the biggest piece of news? I know, you’re probably thinking, how could this get any worse? Well, my friend, it did. I got covid-19 shortly after that. My husband too. In fact, he gave it to me (what a butthead). I began writing this from my bed on my stomach because that is the only way I can lay comfortably. My husband and I had completely different symptoms which is insane because we had the same virus. My husband's symptoms were from the neck up. He was experiencing sore throat, fever, congestion, stuffy nose, no taste, and no smell. My symptoms were from the shoulders down. I had serious muscle aches and shortness of breath. I suffer from asthma which almost landed me in the hospital on the first day of covid when I couldn’t breathe efficiently. I felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest and my heart felt very tight. I took two puffs of my inhaler and I immediately felt weak, dizzy, and started to slur my words. Every day it got a little better and a little easier to breathe. My back pain slowly started to dissipate and I felt relief. Not the most fun 2020/ first year of marriage.
Okay, Ashley… you’re a life coach. Your job is to make me feel better and help me find happiness. What does hearing all the bad things that happened to you this year do for me? Well, I told you all of that because I want to bring attention to the fact that all of those things happened to me and yet here I am still showing up still mentally and emotionally strong. And, still me. In those moments I gave myself the permission to feel and heal. I have a self-help toolkit that arms me with what I need to get through to the other side quicker and easier.
Outside circumstances can often cloud your judgement and make you sad, upset, or angry. Tough situations can make you want to hibernate, stop living life, bring you down, or stress you if you let them. I'm not saying I'm not human because I absolutely am. I absolutely cried. I absolutely felt the feelings that I had in each one of these moments. I had moments where I thought I couldn't go on and I picked myself back out of those. It is a true art to learn to find balance in being aware of your negative feelings while placing them next to you and saying, I acknowledge you, I see you, but you're not going to take control of my life.
Every single lesson, tool and technique that I teach in my courses like The Self-Love Masterclass, my one-on-one sessions, and my group coaching are the tools that I use personally. I'm literally writing this right now in a time where I should be down, sad, lonely, and upset. I did feel those things and that's okay, but only for a moment because I have the tools to battle those thoughts. Before this knowledge it would have taken me years to get back to a positive state of mind after something like this. I would be thinking woe is me, all of this stuff is happening to me, I can never catch a break. I would think, “I'll never make it back out of this financially, emotionally, mentally, physically”. I would be asking why. I would really need to know why all of this is happening. Now I know that life is a series of ups and downs. I know that the downs are there as a necessity to show me what's good in life. The same thing that would have taken me years to process and get through can take me just a few days or even a few hours because I have all of the tools I need to combat these feelings and pains.
I've done the work to eliminate limiting beliefs, let go of my fears, remove my ego, and not let anyone or any thing affect me or seep into my values. I've done the work of forgiveness. I’ve done the work of learning how to say no to something that does not serve me. And, most importantly I've done the work to have infinite self love for myself because that is a crucial part of getting through anything life throws your way. And, I will always continue to evolve, grow, and do the work. I truly use every single method that I teach and I am living a full life because of it.
I want you to have these tools. I want you to live a full happy life. So, I’m going to share 5 steps towards having the emotional freedom to combat any obstacles that come your way. Once you have gone through these once, you can always reorder and revisit any as needed. Shout out to my Self-Love Masterclass Insiders. If you have gone through the course with me you have all the tools and methods to implement each one of these. You’ve got the keys to the kingdom, my dear. If you're not in my course, it’s okay! I'm giving you a little teaser of a few of those steps right now. Alright, let's get into it:
1. Forgive Your Past and Let Go of Limiting Beliefs
In order to move into a place where you can understand that not all bad moments are meant to hurt you, you must be willing to let go of negative past conditioning. You must be able to accept that good things can come to you if you allow them in. The way to do this is to forgive your past pains, strip away previous conditioning, and remove any limiting beliefs. This can be a long process, but with the right coaching you can make the mindset shifts you need to get there faster.
Some examples of limiting beliefs are:
love is meant to be stressful and hard
I am hard to talk to
I’m not good enough
I don’t deserve it
A quick tip you can implement right now is bringing awareness to your negative or limiting words each time you think (or speak) them. Pause, breathe, and replace those words with an opposite, positive phrase right in the moment.
For example: “I’m not good enough” can become “I am enough exactly as I am. I don’t need anyone to validate me”.
2. Understand Your Unique Core Values
You know when you start a new job and they give you a manual with their values and standards? That’s what we are talking about here. Having a personal set of values is a crucial part of knowing yourself. When you live life with a manual unique to you, you are able to know what is for you and what is a “hell no”. You can quickly pinpoint what went wrong and figure out how to move forward. There are many ways to find your values. One of my favorites (that I teach in The Self-Love Masterclass) is through a Neuro Linguistic Programming technique that elicits your subconscious mind. This trick really gets through to your deep, untapped values that can only be accessed in this way. It is phenomenal to see my clients receive years worth of breakthroughs in this one quick exercise.
3. Let Go of Anything That Does Not Serve You
There is freedom that comes with the power to say no to anything that does not bring you joy. It is one of the most difficult and empowering skills to master. We often feel that saying no is rude or looked down upon. When you are saying yes to something or someone, you are saying no to something else. Too often that someone can be yourself. With the right tools, you can begin to understand that there is an art to being able to say no without hurting you or anyone else. Then, you can begin to understand that more often than not, the people who truly care for you will completely understand. Heck, they may root for you to say no more.
4. Find Your Why and Create a Future Vision
Understanding why you do what you do is a crucial part of knowing who you are. Knowing your why is the single most important thing you can do for absolute clarity over your life’s mission. When you know your why, have a strong set of values, and can say no to anything that steps into your way of true joy, you are unstoppable. You are completely and unapologetically your authentic self. You can move mountains with this knowledge and inner peace.
5. Step Into Your Future You
Now that you have all the tools to know where you want to be, why not make a decision to step into that person right now? I teach a visualization technique in The Self-Love Masterclass that is out of this world. My clients know exactly who they are meant to be down to the outfit, the smell, the internal feeling. You can sit with your eyes closed and visualize your future self with all of the knowing that you have learned. Your future self is a person who does not let fear, stress, or worry get in the way. Your future you is filled with inner peace, abundance, and pure joy. Your future you is equipped with all the tools to get through the darkest times. Step into that you. Become that you. Embrace that you.
These five tools are crucial to finding the good when there isn't much good to find. I want you to promise me that you will reflect on these and use whatever resonates with you in the moment going forward. You may want to use only one or two of them. You may want to use all of them. Come back to this list anytime and know that it's here for you as a guide. Let this list be your best friend, your sidekick, your “it's going to be okay”, your “I've got your back” in the moments when you need it most. As always my door is always open to you. I am here to help you through these times because I love you and I think the world of you. Feel free to DM me on instagram.com/coachashleyvives or email me email@example.com.
Thank you for allowing me this space to be vulnerable and open with you and share some of the personal things that most coaches don't share enough. A life coach once told me that I should never ever share anything about myself. She said that I should never make my business about me and I should never ever let anyone into my personal life. Don't get me wrong, when I do 1:1 coaching it is all about my client. However, I could never personally trust a coach who puts on a “perfect” facade. I prefer someone who is human, authentic, vulnerable, and raw. After all, this is why we all love auntie Oprah, isn’t it?
So, I made the personal choice to make my brand and my company about surviving together, getting through life one day at a time, and having a safe space to share and grow. I will never be one of those coaches who stands on a pedestal to tell you what you should be doing and how you should be doing it. That is not me. I am a coach who leads through imperfection and grace. I will only teach you through what I have already gone before you and fully healed from. I will stand next to you on your journey. If you trust me to share your life and your story then I trust you to receive my life and my story as well.
If any of this resonated with you, would you mind sharing this post? I know there is someone out there who needs to hear this. It just may be through your kindness and sharing that they do. I would love to hear how these techniques work for you. This is really just a sliver of what I teach in my masterclass, but I really hope it brings you clarity and joy. If you would like to dive deeper into these trainings, my course waitlist is open. Anyone who joins the waitlist now will receive $100 off the price when the course opens in just a few weeks. I can’t even believe I am offering such a huge discount because this course is my baby. I will not be offering this particular course again for months and when I do the price will likely double, so jump on your chance now!