Remember to Listen

Listening is a powerful tool when it comes to relationships and family life but is often taken for granted in a busy modern electronic device filled world…

I challenge you to pay closer attention to it and the affect can have in your everyday lives by making listening to the important people in your life a priority

BUT HOW????

At the end of your day reach out to your loved ones and see how their days went. Usually….This question is followed by a simple answer somewhere along the lines of…”It was okay…It was normal…It was good…”

Unless you have a talker on your hands who is in touch enough with their talking side. In that case they’ll just spill the entirity of their day and put it up on the table for all to see..

Sometimes peoole aren’t really sure what you want to hear about their day…some probing questions might be needed to encourage people into talking mode. 

WHY WOULD I DO THIS??? I WOULD RATHER BE WATCHING NETFLIX???

BECAUSE. IT IS IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!!

It keeps your relationships in a healthy place. It shows to the other person that you care about their day and how it went. It shows that you are interested in their life not just your own experience from day to day. It creates intamacy and a geunine care inside of your relationships with others. 

It makes everyone feel appreciated.

Appreciation is soooooo important. It shows the other person you appreciate them and that you are there for them. That you are a safe open place to come to when someone needs to talk. 

Ways you can probe into the details of someone else’s day? Come up with some questions 🙂 you should know your loved ones well enough to have something in mind…little details…

Ask them everything and listen. <3


 

Bringing Gracefulness Back

Gracefullness…

Carrying yourself with Grace throughout everyday. 

Carrying yourself with Grace throughout the hills and the valleys of life. 

Carrying yourself with Grace even though the waves are crashing into you and also when the seas are calm. 

I feel like more than often we associate grace in terms of religion. Constantly being reminded that Grace forgives us for the wrongs we have commited throughout our lives. Thats some A++ stuff…but do ever stop to think about the Grace that we bestow on others? 

I feel like term itself is almost lost and forgotten amongst a younger generation where it is maybe not as cool to use Grace as a response to the world and the people around and closest to us.

Im trying to keep this as simple as possible really…like a mini awakening.

What does Grace mean to you? 

Grace to me is sometimes thinking before responding to people on fickle and fussy emotions. Which I admit can be hard caught up in moments.

 That is where sometimes I try to pause and ask myself If what I am trying to express to others may not be absorbed in such a way I might have intended it to be?Is what I am saying hurting anyone? Is what I have to say worth the way it might affect someone else? The fickleness of it though? Really.

During lifes tough conversations I try my best to be soft and understanding.

Its hard. Sometimes to even be aware of our own Grace

All we can do is try….and maybe just maybe bring Gracefulness back a little bit at a time. 

The Lack of Realness

I can’t remember where exactly it was I came across this phrase quiet recently. I believe it was within a youtube video about a cinematographer explaining his biggest struggles with creation in a modern world.

Who have we become?

Our generations biggest downfall argumentively could be it’s Lack of Realness.

What do you mean??!!

I mean we have anything we want at any time through the internet, tv, devices, but possibly the real thing.

In our human experience we grow by struggles and learning from them. We learn from the good times as well. The ups and downs show us who we really are as a person and who we can become. 

But what if alot of this experience is robbed from because we are too distracted to realize it is even there? 

Do we even have to truly look our problems in the face when it’s easier to eat ice cream and watch netflix? 

Do we really want to grow when we are pushing our problems aside over and over again. We don’t like pain and we don’t like suffering so we will do our best it distract ourselves from it.

We do things like binge watch netflix to avoid communicating and truly knowing the people around us. 

We do things like reading books or playing games on electronic devices instead of really sitting down and facing one another.

Talk about your hopes and dreams. Talk about what you need to feed your soul. Truly. Especially in romantic relationships. 

It seems so hard for two people to really communicate in ways that should be easy…but we lost track of how because there are cute outfits on instagram to be looking at or vloggers traveling the world…

But what about ourlives? The realness of them? 

A little bit of “me-time” on social media is good for the soul…but not the point to where we forget about our own.

People are becoming so distracted by their habits that they are loosing out on a rich-fulfilling realness of their own.

I think if we are going to fix this we must first assess what we are lacking.

If you feel motivated to restore the realness factor…stop running away from everything and face it head on. 

If you crave realness with those around you. Start by asking questions. Try your hardest to understand people with an open, non-biased, selfless heart. 

Cut the tv habits back a little/video games/distracting habits. Set aside time atleast once a week to really dig in with the people who are important to you. 

Assess with yourself. It dosent have just about your family/signifcant other. Be real with yourself too. 

Bring back the realness. Spend more time being true. 

A Cheerful Heart 

They say a cheerful heart is good medicine. It brings joy and happiness to those it meets. A cheerful heart to a cheer-filled soul. Which hope turns into a more cheer-filled community.

You can tell when one carries a cheer-filled heart around inside its caged home. It beats with a fire for life and for truth. 

Like the song says…Set a fire down in my soul that I can’t contain… that I can’t control. So that those around me can see the flames that it carries. So that they see hope with each smile… with each once of laughter. Let it burn like wild fire so that those around me catch fire too. 

A cheerful heart carries joy to new plces this way. A cheerful heart makes those smile when they need it the most.

A cheerful heart lists off things it knows will make you smile…until it brings a tinch of joy. 

A cheerful heart exudes true authentic joy just by being. The realest way is to just be you. Bear the gifts of what makes you YOU.

A cheerful heart will dance silly in front of you until you can’t have any other reaction but laughter. 

A cheerful heart will walk into a stale room and paint it with colors.

A cheerful heart is one of life’s mightyest glues that holds us together when we are falling apart. 

Be the glue. Carry a cheerful heart. <3

Kiwis are so Underrated

Like for real? Do you ever hear anyone talking about kiwis? Almost never are your friends like omg I had to best kiwi for breakfast. Like OMG. 

But…..They should be. Kiwis are like the bomb of fruit. The fruit bomb of immunity boosting goodness!!!!

Not long ago I was looking into foods that boost the immune system because…mine sucks. I am pretty sure of it. Everytime the work place plague comes around. I catch it. 

Needless to say…Kiwis came up…over and over again. They took me by surprise. So I bought some and stuck them in my fridge.

….Tried them later that night. Cut one in half and ate it with a spoon. I was INSTA like omg…WHAT?! These taste like fricken candy from heaven itself????! 

So needless to say….They taste good but tell us more!!!

Okay Things about Kiwis that make them awesome 101: 

I think facts explain themselves…

1 little  Kiwifruit is 106%-275% (Numbers vary ask the fruit.) of your daily Vitamin C intake needs! Some say it even surpasses an orange in Vitamin C levels. One kiwi is all you need to booost it! Boost that Immunity! 

They are packed full of Vitamins and Minerals that are good for our overall Health and Well-Being.

The antioxidants in them have been studied closely by scientists who claim they protect the DNA within the nucleus from oxygen-causing damage. As in they protect our precious DNA baby! This was figured out by scientists while studying phytonutrients. I just read it okay? Lots of times.

If you eat some kiwis in the middle of your cough whalloping cold. It might decrease those unpleasant cold symptoms. Or it might not. Worth a try.

In the long run….with a kiwifruits’ high level of Vitamin C it can protect from heart related issues like heart attacks and strokes

They also have good amounts of Fiber, Vitamin K, Potassium, Manganese, and Folate. But hey!  I’m no scientist so look into them for yourself. 

Remember boosting your immune system also helps protect against asthma and allergies as well. I always forget this but…the stronger you make that immune system the higher your chance to lessen asthma and allergy related annoyances like inflamed sinuses and inflammation in general. This inclues inflammation like arthritis as well. 

More often than not the kiwi is praised most high for its HEART related health benefits. Daw I knew I loved them.

Peace and Love

Here’s to the People

Here is to the people that join us on this journey. Who walk across our paths and find us.

Here is to the people who light our way and guide us. 

They might stay for little. They might stay for a long…yet each one is a part of our story.

I am not speaking of family, friends,or loves. I am speaking about the people who cheer for us from the sidelines each and every day.

They come as Customers, Guests, Co-workers, Children, Employees, Peers, Students, Classmates, Teammates, the list goes on and on…The people who don’t come to stay but help shape who we ARE because simply they put up with us. 

They saw us at our best. They saw us at our worst. They saw us because they probably had to, but they where there. They where a constant.

They shared their support in forms of laughter and cheer. They shared advice. They shared their experiences. They shred themselves

Sharing ideas! Sharing inspiration and hope for the future and finding yourself lost in that. Because as a whole; all of them….all of these people helped you get to the you that you are now.

The doctors. The architects. The dreamers. The playful. The ones who heal with a license and the ones who heal because it’s in their soul. 

They remind you of what point you where at in your life when they came along. They remind you where you came from and what it took to get to here. The NOW.


They listened to your stories. They listened about the good times and the bad. They shared their piece of the puzzle before you moved on the next.

No…we where not always aware of these people while they are around. Maybe not as thankful as we could have been. When we look back the past we can still see them smiling and the thoughtfulness it took for them to be a part of it all. 

 They are unique. They are blessings in disguise. I have never been more thankful for all the ones who came across my path. I have had my fair share of classes, jobs, & teams. It brings me joy to see where these people are now. 

This goes out to them

So here is the people who didn’t have like us yet made a choice to lift us up. <3

I am here for you. 

I am here for you. I don’t want you to feel alone. I don’t for you to ever be so upset with who you are turning out to be. I don’t want you to feel like this world has failed you because there is soooo much beauty left in it. 

I don’t want you to ever feel so weak that you don’t know where to go. That you are so sooo drawn towards a path where no light can be found. I hope you never feel this way. I hope that even though you think that there is no hope…I want to promise you that there is. 

Choose a different path. Choose the light. Know that you have made it this far and for that you are strong. Don’t you dare assume that it can only get worse from here!
THAT IS THE BIGGEST LIE YOU COULD EVER BELIEVE ! 

Do you know what that is? Do you? That is the realest evil in this world. 

When you have those thoughts or if you ever feel like that….my hope is that you will be consciously aware that you are better than that. Even if you think that you can’t escape those thoughts… I want you to know that that is not the truth

That I am here for you. That you are one of a kind. That you where made for this. Made to live your life in truth not lies.

That if you look around you have people willing to be there for you. That you are loved greatly by them. That they would be the support you need if you just use your words to tell them how…how they can help even if just for a moment. Tell them you need them. Tell them how grateful you are to have them around.

Stand tall. Stand proud. If you’ve ever thought you have messed up so bad that you yourself are unfixable. Don’t it is a lie. A mighty stupid one at that. All your mistakes are what make your fingerprints unique. They are what make you human. Everytime you have messed up….that is forgiveable. That is grace.

If there are people in your life who can’t forgive you. It happens. But you can forgive them. That’s grace! You can take that piece of warmth called grace in your heart and love them with all your might! Be the bigger person. Be the definition of love. I promise it will warm you right up and bring hope.  

On top of all of this. You need to forgive yourself. You need to be able to look yourself in the mirror and love the crap out if that person! It will take time. Step by step but you can get there. You are the only person who can be you. So give it your all. Choose life. Choose to live. 

My highest hope for you is that you LOVE yourself. Take care of yourself. Don’t bring harm to yourself because things can get rough. I don’t want you to ever feel like the only you can turn too is negative forms of addictions. The only thing I want you addicted to is loving yourself and those around you. Keep them close and stay on a true well lit path. 

Xoxo 

38 Ways to Surprise Your Love & Things you can do together this Winter.

 

    Here I am. Here to give you ideas. Here to keep you inspired! Here to remind you to spice things up out of the normal everyday routine. Relationships and Marriages can become too complicent when we let them sit for too long. Love is an action.We let routine take over…whilst LOVE the gets put on a backburner to soooo many things.

      Life is busy….kids are put first….work is put first.  Bump it up a notch! Take control. Throw some surprises in there to spark it up. Stir the pot. Be love. 

1.) Be nice to them. Lol. No, but for realllll!
     There is a reason I am going to go with this one first. I see it all too much on a daily basis. I don’t seem to have this problem myself. I don’t have it in me. Yet, I watch sooo many couples I know treat each other like garbage. Even if they think they are being funny. 

     Name calling, cold shoulders, dirty looks. Become aware how often you do this. Start bringing to nice back. One smile at a time

2.) Surprise them with their favorite candy bar. 

3.) Cook their favorite meal. (That you are capable of re-creating.)

4.) Pop popcorn and watch some of your favorite movies from when you were kids.

5.)Tell them how grateful you are for them, and everything they do for you! Practice gratitude….always always alwayss!

6.) Make them pancakes for breakfast at random!!! Pancakes are the bomb!

7.) Suggest board game night!

     In front of the fireplace? With a glass of wine? Or possible whiskey for your fella. Snacks? Non-alcohol fun time? Sub for pizza? 

8.) Pizza night. Make pizza! Cuz pizza pizza pizza! 

(Don’t worry they make gluten-free dough these days….refer to organic section of your local grocery store for that. )

9.) Ice cream Night! Brownie Sundaes?

10.) That one thing they’ve needed for forever but haven’t gotten around to purhasing it. Spoil em

  11.) Spontaneous back massage! Everyone is falling apart. Life is rough….and don’t go cheap on em! Put in a good effort sport! 

12.) If you really are too lazy for 11.) Spontaneous neck message whilst watching night time tv. This is also great for headaches. Ask your other half what points of pressure help relieve migrine symptoms the best for them.

13.) If they share chores with you. Do some of theirs sometime…maybe they will return the favor. I know alot of my friends assign specific chores for each partner…so if that’s you and you have some extra time…maybe help relieve their stressful day by giving them one less thing they have to do. 

14.) Tell them to dress up because your going out. Surprise them with that new restaurant. Yanno the one on top of that building in downtown or at that new casino…(Just a guess we have alot of both around here. Just maybe something unique?)

15.) Cigars. If your man is into it. Get him a nice cigar.

16.) Plan a trip to go see a family member they haven’t seen in a while. Whether it be a parent, a sibling, a grandparent, a cousin, aunts and uncles. Family is important. Don’t forget to go see them!

17.) Go see that friend they haven’t seen in awhile! Same idea. I feel like we don’t see our friends enough…unless they’re our coworkers. Love you guys too though :p <3

18.) Surprise them with…. Night sledding!!!!! If your lucky like we are and the snow came and never went away ».« LOL. Tubing? Snowboarding? Load up the car grab some hot cocoa (which you can find at a local gas station if you lazy.) Don’t forget to dress warm.

19.) Go try one of those movie theatres that serve food and beverages. The one near us is called The Movie Tavern!.

20.) Indoor go-karts! Race time!

21.) Meet them for lunch.…if you can. If not surprise then with a premade lunch to sometime.

22.) Make them a playlist of some of the songs you both used to jam out too when you first got together.

23.) Listen to them. Ask yourself are you really listening to them?  Do you really let yourself absorb into their life? Do you ask them about their day? Okay so you asked how their day was….did you ask what they liked about it? What their favorite part was? If anything funny happened? What parts sucked?

Don’t fall into the regular it was okay how was yours gig……really dig in. Get to know them more each day. Be a bigger part of that day by really wanting to be there and being there to listen

24.) Watch their favorite show…instead of yours. If you are one of those people…share the love.

25.) Go out for breakfast. Diners are so charming and full of the best greasiest breakfast bundle of love you will ever get. Also waffle houses are cool too.

26.) Get all the ice and snow off their car too. Its the little things!

27.) Pick up baked goods! Everyone loves surprise donuts! Pastries! Canolis!.

28.) Bake a dessert yourself! Maybe an old favorite or something new just for fun!

29.) Technology takes over. Its 2017… We all know it. Suggest a quiet book reading night. If you don’t have any books lying around, Library’s still exist and I am sure they would appreciate the company.

30.) Invite family or friends over to you. Don’t be hermits! Have a movie night or plan a dinner. It can even be themed with a dish to pass.

31.) Try a new at home activity together. They are free! Duh! Try doing a yoga work out together or learn a dance. Youtube is great for stuff like that. Maybe I will even find some good examples to share with you guys. I am almost positive it will bring laughter.

32.) Local brewery or wine tasting sesh. Theres so many new places popping up everywhere! Support local. Support dreams.

33.) Make a cheese plate! Be fancy at home.

34.) Visit a park you would normally go to in warmer weather. I am sure they are just as beautiful when the snow falls! 

35.) Find pictures from when you first got together and talk about the memories that they bring. 

36.)  Thank them for just being them. Thank them for the truth they bring and the light they share. 

37.) Make a blanket fort. I know it is probably overrated on the internet but is it really ever??? Blanket forts are for indoor camping in the winter. Make an event out of it. You can roast marshmellows on the stove.

 Send pictures of yours so I can be filled with laughter and joy <3.

38.) Compliment them 138273282372723 different ways because love deserves that. Don’t let them forget all the ways they are amazing for being them. How they are unique, driven, loving, patient (with you), how fun they are, what they mean to you. What YOU like about THEM. Reasons you still fall for them every day. Tell them those reasons through compliments. 

Remember to love. 

Xoxo Ashley