Friday, July 18, 2014

The Illusion Of Having It All

It's easy to get swept up in Instagram accounts, Pinterest accounts, design blogs, Facebook pictures, blog posts. We see curated selections of people's lives, intentionally choreographed & nice, bright, shiny, "this is worth taking a picture of" moments.

But you're probably never going to see the "this is me doing the dishes" selfie.

As generational consumers of high volume advertising, we have been mentally chewing on perfection for years. We are programmed to function on insecurity, it's how advertisers get us to buy things that we don't really need. But with this consumer insecurity, comes insecurity in general. We ride on the track on "not good enough" & end up feeling a vast lack in our lives in a deeper way.

With this underlying feeling of life insecurity, we participate in and perpetuate the illusion of having it all & having it all together.

But, guys, let's get real. Sometimes, life is shit.

Sometimes, we are going to feel bad, even when we are doing everything not to.

Sometimes, we will feel fear.

Sometimes, we will feel jealousy.

Sometimes, our judgements will take the front seat.

And this is ok.

This is real.

This is human.

This is where we can each, collectively, take a sigh of relief & drop the idea that life can only be good when it's good. That we somehow have to hide from the moments that don't get memes made after them. That in order to feel at peace, safe, connected, loved, our lives must look a certain way on the outside.

You can still be enlightened & at peace with your life & say this is some bullshit. 

That is a bullshit government.

That is a bullshit ego. 

This is bullshit communication.

That is a bullshit situation.

These are some bullshit dishes (which is what I said last night when I didn't do them).

We all have messy things in our lives, literally and metaphorically.

There's no need to hide from them. There's no need to affirm them away or mantra them out of our energy field. Just let it go. Just don't hold on to them. 

Just see the messiness & drop it. 

It's not who you are. 

It's important to keep coming back to ourselves, slowing down, getting more intimate with the small details of our lives that make them rich & vibrant.

Hint: It's not a clean house, yoga body, new shoes or a perfect relationship.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Enlightenment Is Not A Goal

I love talking spirituality. I really do. But it can be a tricky path to walk. A razor's edge. Why?

Because in our world of doing, we consider everything as a way to get us somewhere better.
We work hard for promotions or better pay or financial independence or to master our skills.
We put in extra hours at the gym or on our work. We stay in the grind because we know that the more effort we expel, the greater our return.

But when we take this competitive, more is more, working-for-the-final-destination attitude to our spiritual practice, we find that we never quite arrive.

That's because...

Enlightenment is not a goal.

Meditation is not a task to cross off of your to-do list.
Clarity is not a direct product of hours clocked on the meditation cushion or yoga mat.

It is our willingness to drop our stories and embody the present in whatever moment we are in.
It is a constant, lifelong practice.
It is diligence.
It is, dare I say it, work.

Not work in the traditional sense.
More a…dedication.
A do it even when you don't want to because it's good for you.
A do it even when it stops being glamorized in the main stream media.
A do it even when you aren't instagramming your yoga mat.
A do it even when there's no one to talk about it with.

It's a practice, and you will never reap the full reward of that practice unless you do it often, with sincerity and a humble heart.

You are already enlightened.

There is nothing you need to do.

Just remember. 

All my love,

xo Ashley