Saturday, February 16, 2019

8 Things I've Stopped Apologizing For:

I've stopped apologizing.

Okay, I'm learning to stop apologizing and explaining. And I feel it won't be long until everyone is following in suit. Let's all be honest here, we've been waiting by our doors for the release of Rachel Hollis' new book "Girl, Stop Apologizing." I'm not the only one and I know it. I've read "Girl Wash Your Face," 3 Times. THREE! I'm not ashamed. I have told myself many times over the last several years to stop apologizing for all the things. I, Ashlee, have OAD: Obsessive Apology Disorder. I say sorry after everything. EV.ERY. THING. and it's a real problem. I think I use the word sorry more than I use the word "Like," and if you have ever heard me speak you would have thought I am from the valley. Totes a valley girl a heart. Not really, but you'd think so by hearing me talk. It used to be so bad that my dad would count out loud every time I said "like," while talking. Like, Oops! - Anyways, I believe sorry is my second close used word and it's totally not my fault. I use sorry as a way to ensure I don't say anything offensive, upsetting, or could cause an argument due to misunderstandings. I do not like confrontation. But, I finally realized that as I continued to use sorry and apologize for everything, I was allowing myself to get smaller and smaller to the people and world around me. I was apologizing and avoiding just to save other peoples feelings. Yup, I was taking care of the feelings of others before my own. Constantly walking on eggshells, tiptoeing ever so lightly so I didn't cause a disruption. 

I became aware of a few things in the last several years. Let's say, ages 21-24 and then 26-28 had been the year(s) of all the lessons. During ages 26 through 28, I have focused on not apologizing. Last June, on my 28th birthday, I wrote a mental letter in my mind to not apologize or explain myself this year. I refuse to do it. And so, I've stopped apologizing. Here's How:

I have stopped apologizing for being too dramatic about certain things, or everything in general. I'm dramatic. Everyone who knows me knows that! Maybe it's because I'm a Gemini, maybe it's because growing up my favorite show was Days of our Lives, or maybe it's because I just am just a drama queen. I grew up performing, I like the theatrics of things. I like the dramatic entrance and exit. And hey, at least I've acknowledged that I'm a Drama Mama. Honestly, I'd be worried if I wasn't aware of this. Worried, Maybe. Sorry, Never!

I have stopped apologizing for apologizing. Meaning, I have stopped apologizing for being "The Fixer," in every single situation. I have always been the fixer and always been the one who cares too much. I used to believe I had to apologize for caring too much because people would tell me I care to much and it was annoying. It was really disheartening hearing from people that I care too much. They were right, I do care. But I'd rather care too much than not at all.  Caring isn't a bad thing, it means I'm passionate, and I'm okay with that.

I have stopped apologizing for being who I am while trying to figure out who I am. The 20's man, they are a ride. 28-year-old Ashlee is not the same as 25, 23, or 21 year old Ashlee. It has been quite the experience, my twenties. The first half was trying to figure out where I fit in and with who. This is the part where I remind you all that fitting in is total bullshit. Do your own thing, it's much easier. When I realized this, I was able to be myself more. And being yourself around people who don't know or accept themselves can be really difficult and disheartening. But I stopped apologizing for trying to figure myself out while accepting myself at that moment.

I have stopped apologizing for saying No. There is so much power in saying no to things. I remember the first time I said no to an invite out, I was full of anxiety and worry that I was about to be the topic on the conversation in a really negative way. One thing that I highly dislike, is someone seeing me in a negative light when  I am not that kind of person at all. So, I always said Yes to things to keep my reputation positive. News Flash: You can't control what people say about you and they will talk however they want. So, I started saying No without the fear of backlash. If something doesn't feel right to me: NO! If going to certain places gives me bad vibes: NO! If a conversation isn't up to my standards: No! No, No, No! It's a beautiful word. 

I have stopped apologizing for making decisions that are in my best interest. If you take anything away from this post, have it be this.   The need to explain myself for decisions I've made or my feelings was such a problem for me. I constantly explained myself and why I do, say, and feel specific ways. Once I stopped, it pissed a lot of people off. Like, A LOT! But we as individuals have the freedom to make our own decisions based on what does or doesn't feel good to us. I stopped going places that felt stuffy to me, I stopped accepting invitations to parties where I walked away feeling bad about myself, I stopped hanging out with people who made me feel less than.  I made the decision to be aware, present, free, and happy. 

I have stopped apologizing for being the "weird one." Yup, I am the one who grew up knowing from age 8 she wanted to be a writer and not a doctor or executive. I am the weird one who is into tarot, crystals, moon cycles and astrology. I am the weird one who would rather curl up and read a book then go out and party. I am the weird one who would rather talk about meaningful things like future life goals, spirituality, and mental health; rather than about drama, rumors, who did what, etc. I'm the weird one who would rather meditate than take shots. I'm the weird one who still believes in having coffee with your neighbors and sending handwritten letters. I'm the weird one who would rather own a small boutique in the middle of town than the one who wants to be a CEO of a big firm. I'm the weird one who'd rather live in an old Victorian house with open space than in a mansion with nice cars in the suburb. To quote my one of my favorite movies: "We are the Weirdos, Mister" - and I'm Damn Proud! 

I have stopped apologizing for stepping back from situations that hinder my growth. One thing I highly dislike is feeling stuck in places and situations. Not in a claustrophobic way, but in the way of "we literally aren't getting anywhere and this is starting to take control of my health." And as much as I like to push my hardest for a success story. I have learned that in order to keep myself protected and healthy mentally, physically and emotionally. I need to stop pushing and walk away. I won't be stranded in a situation that I can easily walk away from. This was another one of those situations where I felt the need to explain why I did something. But, this is my journey and I learning to step back from growth hindering situations has been absolutely powerful! 

I have stopped apologizing for repeating the same thing over and over because I feel like nobody hears me the first 4 times. I have stopped apologizing for putting more creamer in my coffee then I should. I have stopped apologizing for liking pineapple on my pizza. I have stopped apologizing for not like chocolate. I have stopped apologizing for continuously talking about how One Tree Hill is the best show to ever exist (it is, fight me) and that the Simpsons and South Park are ridiculously boring. I have stopped apologizing for setting up Christmas decor before Thanksgiving. I have stopped apologizing for dancing in my car and singing into half-empty water bottles. I have stopped apologizing for wearing leggings as pants because yes, they are pants. I have stopped apologizing for only have 4 pairs of shoes but always being barefoot. 


I can't wait to read Rachel Hollis' Upcoming Book "Girl, Stop Apologizing." I think it will be a great reminder for me to stop apologizing about certain things. I also think it will put new things in perspective that I need to stop apologizing for. I'm all for seeing things from a different or new perspective. It's all part of the growth process. What have you stopped apologizing for? OR What do you need to stop apologizing for?

 Instagram: @ash_felkner || Twitter: @ashleefelkner

Monday, January 28, 2019

10 Forgiving and Healing Lessons + PRINTABLE Worksheet

"In Order to heal, we must first forgive; and sometimes the person we need to forgive is ourselves." - Mila Bron

2018 Rocked the boat for a lot of us, myself included. And through that, I have learned to so much about forgiveness and healing. I have learned a few important lessons that I feel are important to share with you, and at the end of this post, I have linked a FREE Printable that I have created for you. It's a prompt, a guide, for you all to use while going on this Personal Growth Journey of Self Discovery. 

Let's talk about Forgiveness and Healing:

The Following is stated on my Instagram:

" We've all had that moment in our lives, that one event that took place, where we subconsciously decided that we were meant to stay wounded. We have told ourselves and been told by others, repeatedly, that we don't deserve to do the one thing our bodies were meant to do, Heal. Maybe it wasn't those exact words but we've been told those very things in some variation and because of this, we have placed the fate of forgiveness and healing in somebody else's hands. 

Repeat after me: " I forgive myself First, I deserve to Heal" - and repeat this over and over until you believe it. Because you see, there is no greater power than that of our own thoughts and words that we speak to ourselves. When we learn to have this open conversation with ourselves about what needs to heal and what needs forgiving, we grow stronger in not only our relationship with self (over what ego tells us) but we strengthen our relationships with others by being compassionate over the healing that they are working through, or have yet to work through. We deserve to heal. We deserve to feel compassion, love, happiness, and warmth. 

We may encounter those who have yet to heal themselves and that's okay; this is where the work truly begins for us. We must learn that we cannot continue to take on the burdens of others' pain. The only thing we can do is focus on ourselves and give grace to those around us who are still suffering. " - @ash_felkner

Lessons I have learned:

1. We are in charge of our emotions, and OUR emotions alone. 

2. We cannot force someone to heal their own wounds if they aren't willing to face their past and their traumas.

3. We cannot force someone to forgive us or apologize to us. But we can control how we forgive them and apologize to them. 

4. We must forgive ourselves first! We Must Heal ourselves First!

5. Personal Growth is not Selfish. You can't serve others from an empty vessel. 

6. You can practice self-love while practicing compassion for others.

7. When someone lashes out against you, it's not about you, so don't take it personally. They haven't healed themselves or forgiven themselves yet. Say a Prayer for them and move on. 

8. Learning to call yourself out on your BS is the most important area of Self-Awareness and Self-Discovery you can learn from. 

9. You are responsible for how you feel and how you react. Nobody is in charge of that, just as you aren't responsible for their feelings/actions. 

10. Life is lighter when you release the weight you've been carrying around. 

* Click the Linked Photo Below, It will Open to a page that's printable!

Open your mind and your heart to the growth process. This isn't always easy but growth isn't meant to be. We can't truly grow without going through the hard times and filtering back through suppressed emotions. I hope these questions and this worksheet is of service to you, as many times as you want to use it. Print it once, Print it 5 times. Save it. Use it as a guide when you feel stuck and need to release built up feelings. Forgive yourself first, Heal Yourself First; and the rest will follow. Good Luck! - A

- Ashlee

Instagram: @ash_felkner | Twitter: @ashleefelkner 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Full Moon in Leo + Lunar Eclipse + Aquarius Season

Happy Full Moon in Leo + Total Lunar Eclipse
Sunday, January 20th, 2019
Exact at 9:16 pm PST

The Full Moon is a time where our emotions filter out and release themselves from our physical and emotional body. The moon rules our emotions, thus, why people believe that "the crazies are out" when a Full Moon is in the sky. A Full Moon occurs when the sun and moon sit in opposition, causing their energies to come head to head; much like a yin and yang. With these two energies, we find balance and clarity. This Full Moon has an added aspect, the Total Lunar Eclipse with the sun that has now moved into Aquarius; bringing forward multiple energies. 

The Total Lunar Eclipse causes the moon to turn red for a period of time, giving her the name "Blood Moon." In ancient times, many believed the blood moon was the sign of a bad omen, while others believed that this particular moon had mysterious energies that gave them more physical strength and heightened their physical abilities. Lunar Eclipses allow us to cut ties with our past and anything hindering us from our growth. There is an added element of release with the high vibration of the lunar eclipse and the full moon. Changes can sometimes take 6-18 months but with the energy of the eclipse, these changes can happen in the blink of an eye giving you a clean slate to begin working with. 

We are at the beginning of Eclipse Season, and eclipse often comes in twos with the occasional three. These last in an 18th-month cycle. This Lunar Eclipse is connected with our last eclipse that took place August 11th, 2018. The New Moon in Leo, a solar eclipse. Reflect back on that day, if you keep notes (as you should) read what you wrote down and meditate on the energy you held that day. What intentions did you set? Were they manifested into your reality or were they lost? Are you still working on those intentions? Did you alter them in any way? These answers can really help guide you through this Full Moon as you'll see how far you have come and it can help push you further. 


Our Leo is the leader of the Zodiac. She brings the element of fire and passion to our energy. She is the holder of the brave, warrior heart. Leo cannot do anything without expressing herself fully and raising her roar so that she can be heard. She is a fearless leader, compassionate, and seeks justice for all around her. She does not care about the opinions those around her may have about who she is but she handles it with grace. She is fiercely independent and will no apologize for exploring with an open heart and wide eyes. In any storm, you can find her standing firm against the winds. With the Full Moon in Leo, she is asking us to release our fears and rise up into our courageous lion heart. She asks you to not shrink yourself to make those around you comfortable; yet, encourages them to rise with you. 

Leo Rules are Natal 5th House: the house of self-expression, child-like play, joy, and creativity. Leo energy is reminding you of what is important in your area of self-expression. Leo doesn't mind what others think about her. She is playful, she loves bringing out her inner-child to spark creativity and imagination. She is fully aware that happiness is the goal she wants to achieve and she knows how to get there. She is unafraid of her true identity nor is she afraid to show who she is to the world. This Full Moon, really ask yourself what your true identity is? Who are you to the world? Who are you when you're alone? Are they the same person? What is inside of you that you want to unleash? This full moon is the time to do it, without fear. 

Happy Birthday, Aquarius.
January 20th - February 18th

Another Aspect of this Full Moon is, it falls on the day we move into Aquarius Season, bringing forward yet another energy to work with.

Aquarius, our fixed air sign is assertive, independent, and original. Our 11th sign in the Zodiac is our sign of the future, our visionary. The best energy of Aquarius is their quirky, witty personalities. They refuse to follow a crowd and like to do things their own way, as they march to the beat of their own drum. The symbol of our 11th Zodiac is that of the Water Bearer; Dispensing a gift that flows freely and equally. The water that the water bearer pours symbolizes truth and the truth you share with the world. The Written Symbol of Aquarius, represents the water that flows from the vessel of the water bearer.  The ridged unbroken lines represent electric energy, universal though, and the wisdom of the future.

Aquarius is Ruled by Uranus; the planet of change, disruption, the unconventional, and unexpected. The Ruler of our Natal 11th House, the house of Friends, Hopes, and Wishes. It has to do with long-term desires, goals, and intellectual pleasures This House governs all that has to do with groups and clubs that have to do with your work, professional life, and family. It also brings forward the types of friends you connect with depending on your interests. 

Leo Moon X Aquarius Sun
 This Full Moon will combine the energies of the two Polarities: Leo and Aquarius. While Aquarius wants you to look at things more idealistic and larger issues of the world. Leo wants us to look for fun, playful times that will make them happy. 

Playful Leo is our primary focus this Full Moon, however, we must look at the 11th and 5th house axis to understand how both of these energies can affect us. Leo's focus is on individual expression of creativity and leadership. Whereas, Aquarius is focused on the dynamics that groups can bring us. The Shadow Side of Leo is Ego. The Shadow side of Aquarius is Detachment and Criticism. We are asked to release our ego and balance our heart and mind. We are asked to look from both energies and know that we are unique just as the others around us are too. We have something to offer the world, just as others around us have something to offer as well. There is room for everyone. 

Full Moon Practices:
1. Cleanse Your Crystals - Run them under cold water for 5 min to rid from all heavy, stale energy. 

2. Place Crystals Under the Full Moon to Charge with New Energy.

3. Meditate. Practice focusing on your breathing with Pranayama Breathing. "Life Force" - Breathing, to help you become more aware of your breath. Meditating will also help you clear your mind so that you are more connected with yourself and are able to let go with ease. 

4. Let Go. This Full Moon is a great time to Let Go of Ego. Release all attachments that are connected to your Ego. 

Ask Yourself These Questions. (and Write Them Down)

1. What messages is your Ego telling you are true?

2. What attachments are you holding onto because of Ego?

3. How do you criticize yourself? How do you criticize others? What have others criticized you for?

4. What are your defense mechanisms? Are these conditioned traits from your parents or your own? 

5. How can you open up more to your inner child? What can you learn from them?

6. Do the intentions you set only serve you? Do they Serve others? How can you open them up to serve a larger group of people? How can you close them more to serve yourself?

7. What makes you feel fulfilled in your sense of purpose? 

Before you do these rituals, practice being without your cell phone and any form of technology. We cannot truly get to know ourselves when we are congested with outside influences and distractions. Once you are done with your practice, try going to bed without checking your phone or turning on the TV. Once you have meditated, did reflection, and connection - we can get more rest when we aren't automatically going back to what can make us feel heavy. Break the technology attachment. Build the habit to go to sleep with a clear and mindful mind - this will help with more mindful resting. 

Love Yourself and Love other People! Good Luck!

Monday, January 7, 2019

12 Books to Read in 2019

I grew up in a land of books. I loved being in a home with two parents that loved the comfort of having a good book around. Both that I believe inherited from their parents. My sister loves to read and so do many of our cousins. I'm so grateful to have grown up with a family who reads. It encourages me to put down my phone and to stick my nose into a good novel. My Favorite smell is paperback books and coffee. The two best combinations a girl could have. 

I always challenge myself to read a book or two a month, I am currently 1/2 way through A Tribe Called Bliss - By Lori Harder. It is definitely a book to read if you are part of a book club, but you can totally read it if you're not. And I, am not. Nevertheless, it is nearly time for me to start my next book. I have about 24 books on my list thus far, but I thought I would start off by sharing my first set of 12; in case you fall into the 1 a month category - A 


If You want to start a virtual book club, Let's do it! I would love for you all to join me on this list and the other books to come. I'll link the books for purchase down below so that you don't have to go search for them, I've done the work. You are welcome! 

Let me know how many of these books you have read and how many of these books are going to now be on your list! I'd love to know! I'd also love to know what YOU are planning on reading this year, especially if it's something that isn't on my list above. Sharing is Caring!

Happy New Year, New Books to all my fellow Bookworms out there!
Now Get Off Social Media and Go Read a Book with Me! 
Love Yourself and Love other People! 

INSTAGRAM: @ash_felkner || Twitter: @ashleefelkner