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. 

 

Poetry Challenge: Days 16 through 19

#16
The diamonds across the street are blinding me
I cannot see the other side of the lake and I know you are there
waiting and watching and wanting me to find a way
to the other side but I can’t and you know I can’t
Yet they keep shining, hitting the sun and their fragments
keep blinding my eyes and I cannot see yours
green and dark like pines at midnight.

#17

Passion lies in the dark waiting to be whisked off its feet
waiting for the skeletons to create color on empty canvases
rough, uneven, waiting to be dripping with paint

in the folds of curtains, plum and velvet
ghosts dance and wait, patient,
wanting to return to the light when they could dance
freely without anyone judging them or
telling them to go to the white light

Angels, don’t dance in the dark
don’t hide the feathers that make you whole
skeletons weren’t made to be
without breath, without love.

#18

Alice never thought of leaving,
she never thought of leaving the dinner table
and walking away, down the street
tonight the rain is pouring and
she knows the rain won’t stop
her whole life can fit in one tiny
neon pink backpack and her teddy bear
from when she was five
hangs out the side
looking for love in the place she knows best
on the tracks, in the snow, rain turning to ice.

#19

Rain pours, thunder rolls and the stone comes alive
Without blinking, without touching I try to run by,
past the angel of stone, reaching, moving
without me knowing
growing closer and out of fear
I switch eyes, twitching, wanting to feel the
refreshing clearness blinking can provide and
I remember a science show I watched once that
had these same creatures and I remember him, that
mysterious Doctor, telling me not to blink
and to run.

Poetry Challenge, Day 2: #inareddress

Hi everyone! As some of you know, Francesca Lia Block, one of my favorite authors, is having a 30 poems in 30 days challenge over on her blog, Love in the time of global warming. I wanted to share my poems both here and there. Here’s my poem for day two:

#inareddress

I wore my favorite red dress today, the one
that my best friend told me not to wear
because it looked better on her
but I wore it anyway
because I felt like I could dance on flames
and walk on water

so I waited in the schoolyard for you
texting on my smartphone and wanting to update
my relationship status
but twenty minutes later the wind whipped around me
and a cold freeze came with it
whipping my dress, round and round
and instead I ended up tweeting.

If you want to read what Francesca wrote, along with others sharing their poetry too, check out day two of the challenge here: http://loveinthetimeofglobalwarming.blogspot.com/.

Have you ever written poetry? What’s your favorite poem?

~Ashley

A Little Random Post

Tonight’s “New Girl” episode made me want to blast some great music and dance like a fool. Glee’s prom episode made me remember my own proms (or proms) and made me want to break out my old prom dress.

As I found myself dancing around my room laughing till the point of crying, I realized I felt like a kid, happy and free. Not caring what the people around them might think.

So, take a moment to dance like nobody’s watching because really, it’s fun. Smile and take notice of your laughter.

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!

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like…

Monday.

A new week, at your fingertips. In only a couple of hours.

How can you make your week spectacular?

You could:

– Read a good book
– Make one new recipe, any day this week
– Laugh wholeheartedly
– Watch your favorite movie
– sing a holiday tune

To name a few.

Here’s a few things from across the internet that are making me smile right now :

I’m currently in love with these apple pie chips from Oh She Glows.

This Nutella baked oatmeal from Girl Meets Life, which I made on Saturday. So good.

And of course, Pinterest! I’m seriously obsessed with it.

Here’s to a new week- let’s make it one worth smiling about🙂

Ashley

Midnight Writing

A will to write. A dream to create. My hands scratch the surface of creativity- touching stars and haunting moons with my fingertips. I’m a creation of desert sands, sagebrush and thunderstorms, running wild with ideas for a better world. My creations live behind my eyes, where tears dance and wait to drop. I will love and watch the magic unfold.