Beautiful You Series: Gratitude

Is there something that’s holding you back from truly loving yourself unconditionally or embracing what makes you beautiful? The secret to beauty is not makeup, fashionable clothing, or the way you style your hair. It’s being you. It means embracing who you are, and loving everything about yourself. And yes, even the dark spaces that make you sad, or angry, or resentful, or whatever not-so-good feeling. You have to accept those too, and  learn from those dark spaces. When you accept yourself for who you are, right at that moment, the most powerful changes can occur. You’ll become willing to grow and learn from the dark spaces, you’ll learn to accept your body for the wonderful creation it is, and you’ll begin to shift your perception of beauty to a much more positive state.

One great way to jump start loving yourself unconditionally and embracing your beauty is to have gratitude. Gratitude is the beginning of something wonderful. It’s the beginning of being able to accept and love yourself.  

So here’s the assignment: Today, let’s decide to make one small change. Instead of putting yourself down, every time you have a negative thought about yourself counteract it with a positive one. Or maybe two. Or even three.Go ahead and write them down on paper and even keep it with you so you can refer back to it throughout the day. Continue adding to it every time you have a negative thought about yourself. Let the gratitude start piling up! 

Makeup is awesome, fashionable clothes are great, and a great hairstyle can make a bad day a little better. But truly knowing yourself, loving yourself unconditionally, and knowing you’re beautiful and worthy to be happy no matter the circumstance (yes, even on bad hair days), now that’s understanding beauty. That’s owning who you are. And that’s a major ingredient to the recipe of living life with smiles even on the not-so-good days. 

 

Charlie Challenge Day 1

Ever heard of You, Me and Charlie? Well, if not, it’s this website where you can share your creativity with others. It was started by Dianna Agron, who you have probably seen on Glee. I’m addicted to the site, and today, they started a 30-day challenge encouraging us to “commit to your creativity and follow the daily prompt that we post on the website.” The first challenge for today was to share our personal manifesto in whatever medium we felt to express it in.

I decided to simply write mine out.

Here’s mine: Laugh, love and live without fear. Be kind, and have empathy for others. Smile and be thankful, because every day, you can find something beautiful.

What would yours be?

To check out the challenge, here’s the link.

Happy May!

~Ashley

Beautiful You: Loving Yourself

This morning while I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook, I came across an article from hellogiggles.com. I’m a huge fan of their site- the content always brings a smile to my face. And on this beautiful Sunday, with the window open and the fresh scent of the trees outside wafting into my room, I read a piece about loving yourself. I wanted to share the introduction paragraph with you:

“It’s natural to want to be better. To want to improve something, fix your flaws, to challenge yourself to become a better you. As we do these things, it’s easy to raise our expectations to the point that we lose sight of our self-acceptance. When our ambition cancels out our self-love, it removes our enjoyment of life. For today, perhaps challenge yourself to recognize your efforts. Imagine that you are exactly who and where you ought to be. Be gentle with yourself today.

The entire piece is beautiful and inspiring, but the introduction spoke to me, making me realize how often a majority of my thoughts lend themselves to finding the improvements I need to make and the flaws that I have, losing sight of the magic of life around me.

To read the rest of the post here’s the link. It’s worth the few minutes to read, and then to reflect. I know now that by starting out my day reading this, I felt inspired to put a smile on my face and enjoy the day-not focusing quite so much on the mirror, my negative thoughts, or what I feel I “should be doing.” Today, I was able to relax, and take in life around me.

I hope you find the piece as inspiring as I did, and a huge thank you goes out to its author, Sarah.

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!

Ashley

Never Good Enough

Ever felt this way?

You’re not alone. I’m sure anyone you talk to would mention that at one time or another, they have felt this way before.

Some things to remember: Stop comparing yourself to others. Be who you are. Never stop trying to accomplish your dreams. Be the best person you can be. Express the beauty that is yourself.

And paint the world with it:)

Happy Sunday!

Battling Insecurities, Pt 2: Grace

I have to understand that my insecurities make me imperfect.
That there is no perfect person.
And no matter how hard I try, I cannot ever be perfect or make everyone happy.

I wanted to share with you a series of beautiful things I’ve read and heard recently:

A mantra: “I am beautiful. And I want to share it with the world.”
A picture, shared from Vitamin G
A saying: “I love you. You have not failed.”
And a reminder: ” I am with you, always.”

When I feel insecure, I will fall back on these sayings and pictures. I will look in the mirror and believe that I am okay. That I am who I am, and that I can only do what I can.

Beauty is something that makes me insecure. Trying to find it, when I don’t think it’s ever been lost- just pushed aside.

But I will move forward and look in the mirror– tell myself these sayings, print these pictures and look at them till I believe it. I will pray for a willingness to not beat myself up when I cannot get everything I need to done. I will strive to understand grace, and give myself a break.

I hope you will too.

Happy Thursday!

Ashley