I AM...

Photo courtesy of Alaura Imagery & Design

Photo courtesy of Alaura Imagery & Design

A Blogger, Photographer, Creative Artist, Boys mom, Your BEST FRIEND, life coach, Altruist, Love-ologist, & most importantly...

...A girl set out to change the world...

Ya know, no biggie! We all just want to change the world right? 
Like MJ said, it starts with the man in the mirror.

Those are all awesome titles up there, right. Yes I had my own blog, called My Mornin' Coffee, for three years and now occasionally blog for The Huffington Post. I started Love Always, Photography six years ago and take pictures of the beautiful moments in peoples lives when I'm needed. I have an Etsy Store, called Random Ishh, that allows me to use my creative brain to sell things that I design and create, when I feel like it.

I am a stay at home mother and live with three boys. One is my partner and two are my kids, ages 8 and 2. My days consists of feeding hungry tummies, making sure my toddler stays alive, helping my oldest with homework, taking care of the house, working from home, and trying to keep the spark alive. Oh, and can't forget sports. Soccer, football, hockey, baseball, and basketball mom here.

I value relationships and friendships and am there for those I care about whenever I can be. My friend's joke around and say "You're everyone's best friend" and I'll admit, there are at least 10+ people that I can truly call my bestie and its genuine and real. I am the friend people call when they need help with life or love. I recently graduated with my Masters Degree in Spiritual Psychology from The University of Santa Monica, and realize my wisdom is now worth money. I am a Life Fulfillment Coach; I coach people in uncovering their own inner truth and using it to create the fulfilling life they dream. 

I am passionate about helping people, especially those in need. I devote time thinking of ways to help by creating/attending events and doing what I can, when I can, to give to others. Love is my religion. Whether I use the word Spirit, God, Universe, or Higher Power, it all means Love to me. It's the guiding power in my life. My world revolves around learning about, teaching, and spreading all things Love. The most powerful force in the world. It always starts from within.

And now I am the founder and creator of Let Love Surprise You, this love movement that is geared to change lives, one letter at a time. I love buying awesome stationary and writing letters. I always have at least one on me, and my favorite part is hearing how they impact those that find them. 

And although all these things are a part of what I do based on who I AM, it still only gives you a small glimpse of my heart and soul.

I AM ALSO...

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Scared to be seen, have feelings of unworthiness, fear of rejection, afraid of the unknown, and most importantly...

...Still A Girl Set Out To Change The World...

I believe that vulnerability is the true path to connection. As great as my life is at times, at other times it feels like it sucks. There's something comforting knowing that others have fears, limiting beliefs, pain, and struggle just like me. Just like you. To know that at the end of the day, we're all doing the best we know how. It's not just "everyone else" that has a life full of rainbows, as it can seem at times, and its not "just me" who has rainstorms. We all share the same experiences, even if the names, faces, and stories differ. There is magic in that.

When I started Let Love Surprise You, a part of me wanted to remain anonymous along with my letters, so on the original website there was no "About Me". "Would anything 'About me' really matter?", I thought. Ironically, I had this movement that I wanted to grow and share with the world, but on the backside I personally was scared shitless to be seen. Yea, it's been easy to sit behind a computer screen and promote my cause, post pictures (without me in them mind you) on Instagram, and urge people to make a difference in the world, but in real life, I have to admit, it's been scary to talk about. It's been scary to say that I did this, why I did this, and where I see it going down the line when I'm face to face with another human. What if I'm rejected? What if no one likes me? What if they find out I don't really know what I'm doing and I'm learning as I go? What if they see I don't really have it all together? It was a constant game of tug-o-war between "See me....No, don't see me". Up until now, I stayed in the shadow to some extent.

I got an email one day from a lady saying "I really wanted to see/connect to the person behind this movement when I saw it! If a lot of this sharing of love is anonymous, it makes it more personal to at least see who began the movement (and speaks so eloquently and is passionate enough to do this!)"

Her email made me think, did I create an anonymous love movement to remain small in my own shell? As far as the movement goes, I think the anonymity is what makes it fun, exciting, and powerful for the writers and the receivers, but as far as me putting myself out there and truly owning what I have created, now that was going to take me fully out of my shell.  I see that I have a huge fear of rejection. At times, I am afraid of my own value and worth. Afraid to be seen and acknowledged. And even more so, I can recognize when I let those fears get the best of me in ALL areas of my life. When those fears keep me small. Big dreams can't be fulfilled by the one who stays small.

Given my background, I also recognize that I am on a journey of Love. That journey consists of me continually awakening to the Love that I am. Breaking down the barriers that I've built up over the years. Breaking through the fear, the limiting beliefs, the pain, the struggles and creating change to the woman in the mirror so I can see what I am truly capable of in this world. 

 So here it is. Here is my "About Me" (and if it's too long, oh well)

I want you to know, I truly am just a girl, who used to always think success was for "everyone else", but one day decided I deserve to see my dreams become a reality too. Once the fire was lit, The other way around was no option. It's taken me very small steps to get this far, and this really is only the very beginning of my life. I'm still working through my fears, pieces of my shell are still breaking off. I'm still scared to talk about this in person, I'm still scared to put myself out there, and meet people. I'm still scared to be uncomfortable. I'm still scared to change what I've been used to my whole life. I'm still learning how to value myself and my worth. I'm still learning how to love myself fully. I mess up and I start again. and again. and again. I am vowing to feel the fear and do it anyway, because my life deserves that. That's where the true growth lies. That means, I will keep putting myself out there, and I will be seen and acknowledged. It first starts with me seeing and acknowledging myself.

This is why this movement truly exists. So we can begin to connect with people again from that vulnerable, loving, compassionate, place that says "I know how you feel". So we can let others know someone rooting for them, even if its a stranger. And so someone like us can get a glimmer of possibility that maybe just maybe, everything will be OK. The rainstorm is nothing to be afraid of, it's what creates the rainbows. Just as it started with me, It starts with you too! 

I have big dreams and big goals moving forward and a deep knowing that I will accomplish them. Combined with all of the above, I know I will leave an imprint in this world!  

I want you to look at where you want to go BIG in your life. Where you feel really passionate, and just take ONE teeny tiny miniature step towards that dream. And then another one...

...Eventually, you just may change the world. 

...even if it's just one person.

...Even if that one person is you! 

Here's to all of our dreams becoming a reality!

xoxo, 

Ashley


Below is an impromptu speech I gave at the University of Santa Monica on Mother's Day May 10, 2015to a group of Year One students about what it took for me to move forward from an idea to the creation of Let Love Surprise You and how I overcome the current challenges that arise.