The Low Down On Working from Home

One of the many appeals for working from home for me was, of course not having to get up super early and get ready for work and the belief that I would be able to choose my own hours.

In the beginning of this journey, I was lured in by the siren call of not having to wake up at a specific time, not having to do the ‘ work day grooming’ routine, including wrangling the mane I call my hair, not having to don another suit and pack my work bag and figure out lunch, etc.

 Rather, I could stay in my comfy clothes all day, make lunch when I was ready, work out more and then set time in the day to grab my laptop and work!

Everything I needed was here at home with me and it was awesome!

Sounds like heaven yes?

And it was for a while, until things inevitably went completely out of control!

Let’s start with the Grooming.

You do not understand how important it is to have a grooming routine, until you have thrown yours right out the window, watch it shatter into a million pieces as it hits the concrete ground and laugh at the fragments.

One day, after I spent way too many hours (more than 12) on my laptop, I caught a rare reflection of myself in the mirror and it was roouugghh!

My hair was a wild, unkempt mess, I was in distressed ‘comfy clothes’ meaning they had holes they were not intended to have, I had not moisturized my skin in too many days, since I’d gotten into the habit of moisturizing only if leaving the house….so…yeah. 

 I hadn’t worn jewelry in forever and of course if I’m home all day, there is no reason to actually put on any kind of make up or get my nails done.

Then came the eating habits.

You think you’ll have time to make lunch or just go buy something, but I’m telling you right now, you will not.

Many times, I would hear my stomach grumbling (make it roaring) and belatedly realize that I hadn’t eaten anything in a very long time and then have to make the decision to stop whatever it is I’m working on and go make something, which also comes with the hope that I had in fact actually shopped and had anything in the house to eat.

Sometimes, in a pinch I’d grab a snack and feel the workflow pushing, because usually I’d be working with a deadline and I get a little manic about those.

Needless to say, I started to gain weight, a direct result from not eating properly or at correct times, not sleeping nearly enough, and not making the real commitment to work out, because in my silly mind, if I had time to do these things, then I should be trying to push off my workload.

Next up, came the home chores. 

While I took lunch, I would look around and see the seemingly endless list of chores I could be doing as well.

After all, if I’m home, then I should be more on the chores. I should be able to keep the house clean, do the work and also magically take care of myself too.

It took me a very long time to realize my slacking on my health and beauty routines were all due to having a guilty mindset.

I was trying to show that I could find the jobs, I could make the money and that I could handle it all, so I approached this new chapter in my life like I was an employee gone wild…which in retrospect was what I was.

 And let me tell you now, that was a big mistake. Huge!

Something we who work from home, will never admit to, is the fact that even though we are not doing the ‘ getting ready for work’ routine and even smirking at our mates as they do, we have a routine all of our own and we are not as ‘ free’ as we like to let others believe.

In fact, when you work from home, you end up working way more hours than your last job and feeling pretty miserable, because your home is now your ‘office’ and no longer your sanctuary.

It’s all about mindset and whether you are willing to put in the necessary boundaries you need to make this transition work for you.

Here are a few that has saved me from jumping fully off the brink of insanity.

Boundary 1: Choose Your Working Times.

This does not have to be a linear- 9 to 5 if you don’t want it to be, in fact depending on what you’re comfortable with you can decide how to align your hours and how many to your day.

You are the boss and your hours are in fact up to you, this means you have to uphold and enforce these business decisions with your employees, your clients and your own mind.

During the working hours, there is no time for home chores, personal phone calls etc. It’s time to get your work done!

Boundary 2: Your Health is the MOST Important Thing

If you’re a workaholic seeking validation about your new life choice like I was, then you’re going to want to prove over and over again that this thing you’re doing is right and that will come at the expense of your health. Nope. Not this year.

Wake up, and take the first few moments to focus on you, and how you’re feeling. Pay attention to your hydration, eating what you should and make the time to workout at least three times a week. Have a cut off time for sleep, so that you are well rested and ready to go again tomorrow with even more endurance and creativity. Sleep heals the body and the mind, so ensure you get your full quota.

Boundary 3: Your Identity is Not Tied to Your Bank Account

It’s easy to get disheartened and stress over money, over how you perceive your business to be going and to freak out when you do not have enough for bills. 

I’ve been there and I was almost nominated for Mayor for there!

Your identity, worth and raison d’être have nothing to do with the health of your bank account or the level of success of your business.

You have no one to prove anything to, instead try shifting your perspective to enjoying what you are actually doing, rather than trying to prove that this lifestyle choice is right.

If you’re not comfortable, hopeful and committed to this then, what’s the point?

Boundary 4: Fun and Happiness is a Priority

When I first started this journey, I was a workaholic and I would tell myself that if I had time to be ‘slacking off’ then I could be working harder, because I genuinely believed the amount of money I made was directly proportional to how much I devoted myself to this business.

That was wrong.



In the end, I found that self-care was what made me the money.

Detaching myself from the business and the pressure of making money, allowed the money to finally flow… insane right?

Yes, but it works.

So I started opening my life up to social events with my friends, listening to music, spending alone time with myself, where I’d go on self-dates and walks and indulged in my own creativity.

It is amazing and the more fun I had, the more I strengthened the bonds with my friends, the more positive abundance came into my life.

Boundary 5: You are Important

Too often we get caught up with the need for purpose in life, for conditional results and as an entrepreneur; I can tell you that results are correlation at best. 

You are your business, but your business is not you.

Being able to work from home is to my way of thinking, the path to the future, but the way we get there will be determined by us who are laying the foundation.

You are important as an individual.

You are amazing just as you are, whether you are jobless, have no ambition, or afraid to start something of your own, it  doesn’t matter.

Work is just a tool, not a measurement of who you are as a person, so stop punishing yourself and LIVE!

Have fun, laugh, socialize, be merry and allow yourself time to find the path you want to fill your days with.

You made it to the end! Wooot!

Now come join me in the Ash Files, where we are talking, sharing and story-telling about this and other Ashlee Unscripted posts! Subscribe here.

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When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned

Life it seems is a master of going off the rails the moment you let your guard down, or at least, that is how it feels sometimes, when things just don’t work out even remotely in the vicinity of possibility you had prescribed for it.

I grew up in Barbados, hearing the saying ‘Man plans and God laughs’ and if I’ve learnt anything at all over the last three years, it’s the veracity of that saying, along with the bitter realization that I am not in control of even 10% of the things I tried so hard to hold dominion over.

Was it a terribly bitter pill to swallow?

Yes, yes it was.

And I fought against swallowing it, much like a toddler does, head shaking, feeble hands coming up to ward off the oncoming pill to tightly buckled in lips.

And fight as I might, run and hide as I tired, it did nothing to belie the truths that were battering with typhoon like strength at door of my mind and life.

In the end, I found relief not in the belief that I could control people or things or even my cats, but in letting some of the pillars in my life crumble and shatter onto the ground. I found relief in being honest with myself, my wants, true desires and letting go of the ‘old me’.

A caterpillar will never become a butterfly if it does not allow itself the pain of change, if it does not allow that life as a flightless worm to recede and embrace the transformation of wings and new diet, complete with a whole new perspective on life.

And so, that’s what I had to do. Relinquish my death grip on my caterpillar self and trust in God, in the cosmic energy that he placed here that I was going to be ok, that these set-backs delays and the things that threatened to turn me greener than the wicked witch of the West was all steps in my journey to my ultimate truth.

And my truth, was that no matter what happened, so long as I believed my intuition, and kept going, growing, learning and letting things go, could I turn into the beautiful blue butterfly, I was always destined for and live that very new yet totally intrinsic life.

Next Up shop our self-help book, Releasing Fear, Embracing Life e-book.

The Work Life Lie Revealed

“Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.”

Can we talk about this statement please!

So I remember the first time I heard this magical quote, it was coming from the mouth of a very happy man who owned a taco food truck and I remember thinking ‘look at how freaking happy he is’ and I like everyone who was watching whatever show it was, started to melt at the idea and how true that seemed right then and there.

It hit me profoundly, because, yeah!- work shouldn’t be boring, stressful or make me want to cry just by thinking about it right?

Work should be something I look forward to, something I thoroughly enjoy doing day in and day out and something that allows me to learn new skills and then apply them. Work should be something that I am passionate about and that grows right along with me.

Then, no less than five seconds later, my old school training came back to me and all those amazing, magical thoughts I had about loving work, came crashing down like an empty glass being pushed off the table by a indifferent cat , impassively watching as the glass shatters upon impact to the cold tiled floor.

What could have been the thought that triggered this level of destruction?

“ But he doesn’t look like he makes a lot of money…and isn’t that food truck situation super risky and not financially secure?

And yeah, just like that I remembered every one of my teachings that had been ingrained in me about needing money,

needing my money to come from a secure and dependable source,

needing to make a whole lot of money

and the belief that a lot of money could only come to me if I was as endlessly industrious as those freaking ants…because no one wanted to be that slacker grasshopper and then be totally screwed!

(Even though if you looked at that story in a different light, the grasshopper played music for those ants and then the Universe provided for the grasshopper via those same ants).

And so I did what any normal, red blooded female who had been taught that life was hard and making money was the only thing that would make your whole world go round, I thought about my skills and talents, picked the ones that Society seemed to pay a reasonable amount for, that I didn’t hate and I applied for a job at all the places that I prayed would pay me.

I was not thinking about myself in terms of what actually landing this job would entail or even mean.

All I thought about was the fact that I had a University degree that I was now pretty sure I was actually never going to get a chance to use, three Associate degrees that I was definitely not going to gain money from and I needed to show my parents that I had not infact wasted time on the subjects that I had loved at the time.

So basically I needed a well paying job to justify my ‘higher education’ that I partly paid for with my temp job as a Sales Clerk in a High-end Shoes Store, also because I desperately did not want to continue to work in the shoe’s store after so many years of freaking study!

And for a while I admit that I was very happy! I felt as if I had cheated the system, because my job was perfect!

I wrote for a living and it was decent pay- though I wished it was more, even as I didn’t expect it to ever be and I got to learn new skills, meet new people and eventually move out of my parents place and into a shared space with my then boyfriend.


So in a very real sense to my mind, “I was doing what I loved!” and it paid well enough.

And it was almost perfect, as perfect as my young brain could imagine it could get….until of course, it was not.

Until I was no longer doing what I loved, because the atmosphere had changed and I was starting to feel anxious, starting to realize that while I loved writing, meeting people, sharing their stories, I no longer enjoyed doing so in the environment I was doing it in.

So the catch to this fairy tale is that all too soon, the job brought with it all the stresses, pressures, drama and time constraints that I could not help but to shaft at, and I was now working at all hours, felt like I was no longer in control of my time or where I had to go for work and my boss had me on call always.

And the worst part was that I believed deeply that I would never get a better job or money making opportunity than this.

 So what was I going to do?

I genuinely did not like the ‘how’ of what I was doing anymore, but I felt as if all the reasons this felt so wrong to me were not actually valid enough for me to leave and so that level of impotence and anger built up in me, trapping me, stifling me and slowly I went from a happy person to one that was not and let’s just say it does not take very long for misery to infect all aspects of your life.

Eventually I realized that I was torturing myself for no reason and poisoning my own well of happiness, and all because I was terrified that this thing that I had outgrown was all I was ever going to have.

Why was it that I was placing everything over my own happiness?

Why was it that I was convinced that my happiness did not matter and needed to be sidelined in favour of bills and my superior’s needs?

One day, I remembered the quote: “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.”

And it truly hit me the significance of this quote as it relates to my own life.

It made me realize that I had sacrificed a lot of myself to my old training and I wanted to have new teachings.

I wanted to actually give myself permission to allow myself to ‘ do what I love’,  I wanted to be working for hours and hours on something I genuinely enjoyed because yeah that’s technically hard work, but I’d be smiling, I’d be happy and I would have no complaints.

I wanted to have to be dragged away from work, instead of being eager to get away from it and the most important thing I realized was that I owed it to myself and the rest of my life to have that experience.

This meant that I needed to find out what I loved to do, what I truly enjoyed and then to be brave enough to pursue it.

And this would not be based on how much money I thought it would bring, not on psyching myself up to do it and knowing in my soul I was settling, or that I was doing it to please others, while I found no pleasure in it.

I wanted to experience that quote- I wanted to love what I do and never feel like I was ‘working’ ie stressing, frustrated, wanting to escape it.

And to do that, I had to realize what I wanted for my life, not just financially, but on the real scale, the This is ME scale. I had to be brave enough to pursue a healthy relationship with myself where I got to know myself, my likes, dislikes, loves and desires and validate them.

I had to relearn the way I spoke to myself, the things I did, how I took care of myself, and allowed happiness to enter into my life.

This came with repetition, with patience, with the understanding of unconditional love, support and the importance of my own health.

This allowed me to clear away some of the misery I had been harbouring and to bring light into my life.

The more I did it the more I realized where my passions lied and I want that for you as well.

You deserve to allow yourself to feel truly happy, to feel that sensation emanating from your heart and spilling to fill up your body.

To wake up and smile because today you GET to do what you love and it easily supports your whole life.

The only question is : What are you waiting for to truly get to know yourself?