Purpose + Practice

Earlier this week I travelled to Atlanta for a day-long intensive personal development event for Lululemon. One of the reasons I love working for Lulu is that they care so much about your personal development and have really awesome ways of helping you grow. This day was so meaningful and special. I went alone, did not know a single soul in the city of Atlanta, completely got out of my comfort zone and really took a large amount of clarity away from the day. This whole day was centered around Mindfulosophy which is the new way that Lululemon is approaching their development for employees. It is all about being in the practice of personal development and living a life you love through the power of mindful practices. Now, I really geek out on this stuff so I have been around a lot of different types of conferences, events, meetings, etc. but this one was different. In true Lululemon fashion, it blends ancient yoga philosophy with behavioral science. They “believe mindfulness is the ultimate multiplier for greatness in all aspects of life,” and I could not agree more. We were asked to bring our yoga mat, clothes to do yoga in…
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your essence

The essence of who you are, are you in touch with that? What you need in your life to feel completely as though you are living your best life, do you know what that is? I am so grateful to be working with a really amazing life coach right now who had me do an exercise to really figure out the essence of who Ashley is and how to continue to stay completely authentic to myself by using this essence as my guide through life. She had me call up close friends and family and ask them, “What shows up when I do and what do I bring to a room?” This wasn’t an easy thing for me to do with my friends because they have been with me through some of the most difficult times and I truly did not want to have to ask anything of them but their answers were beautiful and completely filled me up. Along with my family and everything that I got back, I feel so eternally grateful for my tribe. From those answers she had me send exactly what each person said and she pulled out the most important recurring themes, as well…
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my yoga

  What is yoga to me? Yoga is stillness. It is coming to my mat exactly as I am that day, in that moment, knowing that after I will be a bit clearer than I was before I came to my practice. It is about leaning into the discomfort, into the unknown, into the balance. Yoga is consciousness, to me. It is a place that I connect with myself on a deeper level and become a better version of myself. Oh, and I am not even talking about the physical postures. I am talking about the practice of taking what I learn on my mat, off my mat; to life. Let’s get really real here.  I really lost myself for a solid year of my life. I couldn’t tell you what I wanted, who I was, or what was going on inside my brain because of the debilitating anxiety I was experiencing. I felt like I was living my days in a constant loop inside my mind, that I couldn’t seem to slow down. I couldn’t find a way to articulate to anyone what was going on because I didn’t know what was causing it. I felt so incredibly stuck…
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navigating the big stuff

I am currently sitting in my favorite local coffee shop, spending some time in this space in between the staff meeting we just finished and my next shift that starts in an hour and a half. I love having those little gaps of time to sneak away and sit in a crowded coffee shop to work on this blog. There is something really magical in the hustle and bustle of the movement of strangers. Each person is either focused on their own work or conversing with a friend. Some of my deepest conversations and most productive work has occurred around the buzz of strangers. Maybe it’s the strong coffee pumping through our collective veins or maybe it is just the environment as a whole that makes such a safe place for conversation and inspiration, I can’t be sure. As I sit here, half unintentionally listening into conversations and half focusing on the sounds of the baristas brewing the coffee, I am still able to get silent and focused. The aroma of coffee fills the air, the buzz of new business ventures, catching up with an old friend and stretching your limbs to continue to keep on working is all going…
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appreciating the little moments

On my way to a yoga class this week I got stuck in traffic. Heavy traffic, the kind that makes you a half an hour late even though you left a half an hour early. Yeah, that kind. I started to feel a little bit anxious because I was really looking forward to this specific class with this specific teacher. I started to feel slightly flustered and frustrated. And then, I noticed these feelings coming in and thought to myself, “feeling flustered will not get you there any faster, just be present.” I rolled down the windows. It wasn’t a nice day but it wasn’t raining so I thought, “why not feel the breeze hit my face?” Then as I was moving 10 miles per hour I stuck my hand out the window and felt the breeze between my fingers. I felt it float through and move my hand up and down and side to side with each change in the breeze and speed of the car. And suddenly, I was a kid again. I remember driving through the back roads of Wisconsin with my hand sticking out the window of my dads truck, noticing how the breeze made my…
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