How to Stop Depriving Yourself of Happiness

I used to believe that one of the reasons I was not ‘happy’ was because I did not know what would make me actually happy.

I knew of all the things that would make me feel sad, disappointed, angry and stressed out. Those things I could rattle off like an expert when asked or slip them into any conversation surrounding the ‘What I do not want in my life’ list.

Yet, for all that I knew with pinpoint laser clarity what I did NOT want in my life, I had no idea what I truly did.

I was still unsure about how and what I wanted to spend my days, I was unsure of what would really give me pleasure, make me smile and just give me that boost of joyousness those High vibe people were talking about over the internet.

Then I realised with a start one day, as I caught myself actively dismissing something that would have actually made me feel better, that it was not that I did not know what made me smile, or made me happy… it was that I was actively burying them and choosing to not take action towards doing the things that invoked those happy feelings.

For me and when I asked, a lot more people, it seemed as if  the concept of ‘Happiness‘ was easier to deal with if we allowed it to be a pipe-dream. If we convinced ourselves that happiness was conditional, then when things got rough, we could use this emotion as a cop out and something to day dream about .

To say, ‘this sucks because I’m not happy. I just want to be happy,” even as we know full well we’re not going to truly put in the effort to actually put true happiness into our lives.

Happiness is not a one-off kind of thing, it’s a state of being and it does not negate other emotions. You can be living a very happy life and still get upset or angry about things – trivial or otherwise…, the real difference is your mindset.


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what awaits you:

What genuinely happy people know and do.

Seven (7) key things you learnt when you were younger that are actively blocking you from receiving joy and happiness easily and simply into your life.

Ashlee breaks down how to stop depriving yourself of happiness daily and embrace it instead.

The shocking and neccessary role your intuition plays in this process.

The existential questions that keep you small

How to move forward from your well learnt limiting beliefs, so you can achieve your goals, your way.


The day I let go of my safety line and dove deep

I remember the first time I did something I was afraid to do and was still afraid of even as I did it. I remember the first time I jumped into the deep end into cold uncharted waters, on purpose.

It was one of the first swimming lessons I had as a teen and I remember being super excited and at the same time scared of the unknown because I was very new to swimming in general.

I, like most islanders love the sea and love to frolic in the turquoise waters however, we never venture further than where our feet could firmly be planted on the shifting sands, because  ironically most of us can’t swim, or  at least swim  well.

So there I was with my class-mates who had all signed up for swimming as our P.E elective. I was one of the shorter ones in the group and while I loved and was drawn to the cold, beautifully blue, pool water my anxiety sky rocketed when our Coach marched us straight past the kiddie pool- my comfort zone- and over to the ‘Adult pool’ as we had christened the Olympic sized, competitive pool.

And I thought I was going to throw up, when she lined us all up at the deepest end of the pool and grabbed a long pole with a hook at the end, looking at us with a slightly mischievous smile on her face. I tried to listen to her instructions, but my heart was beating way too loudly when I heard her explain that we would be jumping into the deep waters of the pool, one by one and touching the floor of the pool.

She told us that it would be safe and would help us to get more comfortable in the water. I heard her words, but really I was overcome by my own brain screaming at me to turn tail and run away.

I stayed. I stayed and watched as one after the other, my class mates jumped into the water. I watched as they became submerged blurs and then popped back up, only to be scooped to safety by our Coach, or guided to the stairs.

All too soon it was my turn. I was the last. Dammit.

So I walked to the edge of the pool, feeling my poor heart try to lurch away from the sure danger that was me about to jump into the deep end of this water, knowing I couldn’t even thread water, even as I knew I had a safety line.

And then I was jumping.


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My heart frozen by my brazen actions and then I was submerged by the cold water.  And I could not touch the bottom. We all held onto the hook of the pole as we got into the water, and in that moment, when I realized that I was too short to touch the bottom, and that the water was pushing me back up, I made an executive decision.

I let go of the hook- my one safety line- and pushed myself to the bottom of the pool. Touched the tiles and then jumped to get to the hook again.

In that moment of snap decision, it was no longer about my fear; it was about proving to myself that I could do this thing. It was showing myself that I was safe, that my trust in myself and my coach was not unfounded. It was to show myself that I could follow through.

My coach was impressed by my determination, if a bit scared by my decision.

And I felt lighter than I had ever felt in a really long time in my young life. I felt buoyant and I felt fearless but mostly, I felt inspired.

There have been many times since that clear and defining moment in my life, where I felt again like I was on the precipice of jumping into the deep end. And I have not always been ready for it, because I what I knew about what would happen if I did.

I knew that jumping in meant change. It meant that no matter what happened, good or bad, I would no longer be the same person I was at the moment just before I jumped.

I hesitated a lot, because I could see the waters, be them still and deep or, rolling with waves, I knew that once I jumped in, I would have to make a decisions about my survival, and I would have to take action to live and in doing this, I would have to grow, I would have to be better and I would have to make it all the way to the other side no matter what.

So sometimes I stay on the precipice and just look at the water beneath me. I allow the fear to grip me, to hold me and encourage me to rethink my life decisions. I stay looking at the water and fearing all that it would mean, because I’m afraid to take that next step, life line or no.

And in those moments, where I feel trapped, stuck and paralyzed, I force myself to remember the times that I was brave enough to let go of the safely line and achieve my goal, even though it was my first time in the deep end and I remember that I survived it all.  I remember that in those moments of calm and trust that I would not only survive, but I’d blossom and it would be ok.

It would be ok, to allow myself that change, that metamorphosis and as sacred of the plunge and all that it would mean, I would be free.

And it’s enough to challenge my initial fear, enough for me to assess my own self- trust levels, my own belief that I have done enough due diligence to make sure it is safe to jump…enough to take a deep breath and dive right in!

What about you?

Do you have those moments where you are afraid to dive into a new idea, a new goal, a decision that will impact you way of life?

Do you remember anytime in your life where you were brave enough to dive in and fierce enough to decide that no matter what you’d survive, that you’d flourish?


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Sometimes It All Sucks & It’s Ok

Sometimes, all you feel to do is cry, and rage and scream and the urge is so strong, it takes over your whole body!

Sometimes you want to curl up on the kitchen floor and drown your sorrows in your fave alcohol or in your fave comfort foods.

Sometimes positive platitudes are enough to make you  want to commit acts of violence and there is no real reason why…

Sometimes my Luvs, you are simply human-

…Human in a world that seems to delight in chewing you up and spitting you out….slowly.

A world that others keep telling you, you have the power to control, but every experience that pops into your head reinforces that this control is true for other people. Never you.

You’re the one who just cannot catch a freaking break, you’re the one who seems to have committed some terrible crime in a past life. You’re the one that keeps being kicked down, again and again.

So what are you supposed to do?

What do you do?

The latest motivational/ inspirational  post you probably read told you to not give up!

It most likely encouraged you to persevere and to not let these feelings take control of you. It probably reminded you that you should be grateful for all you have, because there are others with so much less and it tried to motivate you to believe in yourself and to just keep on going.

And you probably looked at that post and wondered what kind of happily ever after hippie person wrote that ish.

Persevere? Haven’t you been doing that ish for like forever?

When is the change supposed to happen anyway?

When is it YOUR time to shine, have all the things and feel better about your life?

When is it your time to be abundant, to feel as if you are in control of your life and time and finances?

What exactly are you doing so wrong that these others seemed to have perfected?

Because right now, in this moment, you are seconds away from flinging your hands up, and caving to defeat.

And it will not be pretty.

You are seconds away from screaming at the fury and angst that has been building up within you but worse of all, you are moments away from settling into your surrender.

Moments away from deciding that all your naysayers were right and your end goals are silly, too big or just not for you. You may be one final push away from thinking you are a failure and that you are neither good enough nor worthy enough and that is why you keep on failing…

And really, all you want to know is ‘How do I make this better? How do I make me better?’

If no one else knows how you are feeling right now, I freakin do.

I know the days of watching others get the attention, praise, money and validation for their ‘bravery’, talents and  dedication.

I know the headaches, backaches and restless sleep of wracking your brain trying to figure out what you need to do, that you’re STILL clearly not doing, because no matter what, you’re not the one getting those amazing results.

And I know how easy it is to straight up start blocking those positive a-holes who keep sprouting rainbow-like possibilities from their posts.

Seriously, EFF them, -even though you are also reading their posts and secretly wishing it was all as easily doable as they made it seem for you too.

All I can say to you, my friend, is that this is normal and natural. 

Of course you’re going to feel frustrated and stressed out when you’re trying to shape your life into someone else’s image.

Of course your life is going to feel empty, if you’re focusing on your problems and what is lacking in your life, rather than what is enriching it.

Of course you’re not going to be sure what you deep down want, because you’ve been actively running, fighting and burying those intuitive nudges so deep down in your psyche, that now that you’re ready for them to guide you, you no longer recognize your own voice.

And of course you’re going to be seeking comfort when you’ve been trying to prove that you are worthy, prove that you can make those important in your life happy and be what you think they need you to be, even at the detriment of actually being and living your life as yourself…

So yes, all of these feelings, emotions and resulting frustrating situations are all normal when you are actively living a life that is not at all in alignment with your true self or purpose.

So again, what to do?

First, we let it all out!

Rage around!  Let the pain and frustration out.

Scream!

Find a sport that allows you to HIT something or exert yourself.

Lift weights and do cardio exercises.

Rage Journal!

Let it all out, exhaust your emotions and let yourself release it all, so that you can come back with a leveled, less pent up brain and then, only then, refocus.

Refocus on your ULTIMATE goals, the ones that are constantly in your mind and makes you so happy and excited that your freaking heart skips a beat while thinking about them.

This gets easier, the more you reconnect to WHO you are and what you need in your life to make you feel so much better consistently!

Release all the ‘I did this already’ and the ‘I can’ts’ and the ‘I ‘m just so freakin done with this’ and ‘what will people think…’ and ‘what if..?’

Screw it all.

Release the rage; refocus on your goal, de-stress by doing something fun and let yourself recover.

Tomorrow, or even later- depends on how fast you listen to your intuition-, you will find the path you need to.

When it’s time, you will be able to recommit and know that it is safe to go after what you truly desire. In time you will learn that sometimes it all sucks and it’s not a bad thing.

You’ll learn from your mistakes and come out so much stronger, wiser and patient from it all.

It is safe to feel it all and to react and to respond and to take a moment and to come right back with an improved strategy.


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How to Stop Manipulating Yourself Into Settling

We manipulate ourselves every day in some way and while it is not always a bad thing depending on the circumstances and the reasons behind this , it can also be one of the fastest ways to losing track of you real end goal(s). 

There are a host of ways and reasons why we may manipulate ourselves, and that includes trying to feel better about a situation, talking ourselves into  doing things  that really we don’t want to do, trying to protect our reputation and/ image,  including staying out later with friends, when really we want to go home, but don’t want them to think you’re a ‘stick in the mud’, rationalize why someone was mean or unprofessional to us, just so we can clear the deal…and the list can go on and on.

The really big challenge with self – manipulation is when we get lost in the lie so deeply and so quickly, that we no longer know which way is actually up; when we tell ourselves that we no longer know what we want or that we should give up on a certain huge outcome that we actually desire.

This is what can lead us to settling for what we have right now, even as we KNOW deep down that it is not what we truly want.

I liken it to when the waiter screws up your order, and instead of calmly explaining this is not in fact what you wanted, you accept the slip-up because of what ever excuse you come up with at the time.

Only it’s times one thousand.

Self-manipulation is not all it’s cracked up to be, when we’re actively doing it to take away our own hopes, dreams and giving up on what our real end goals.

It’s not ok, when we self manipulate out of fear, desperation or anger, because then, we are not pushing ourselves into a better zone, rather we are pulling away from the journey of happiness and growth only to end up entering the bad lands.

 If your feelings are NOT coming from an authentic place within you, then the lie, no matter the worthy cause will start to burst out of you like Poison Ivy’s vines and when that happens, it will cause you to feel all sorts of emotions you’d rather not, all while doubting yourself and getting even more tangled up in the lie-vines.

I’ll tell you my own story with self-manipulation gone wrong!

I self-manipulated myself for about 6 years, telling myself I was happy with my lot in life, while I was not. 

During that time, I would have told anyone that I was happy, that yes life was rough but I was making due. I would have lied to your face and said I believed it was all going to get better.

And to protect my lies, I pushed down and tried to BURY those urges, those whispers of dreams that resonated too loudly within me.

You know, those fantasies that feel right, but make no real sense because of where you are in your life right now?

Those day dreams that pull and tug at you and haunt your days because really they are exactly what you deeply want and need, but it makes you feel sad because you’ve already decided they are not realistic. And you know on some level that you’re killing off your own potential.

  I almost got myself to believe that I was happy and everything was just fine after a while of constant repetition, but it just refused to stick. 

How could it?

The truth was that I wasn’t that happy about the life I was living or the lack of control over where I was going to be at any hour of the day. I was not happy about feeling trapped and unable to just embrace that feeling that comes with truly happily living!

In the end, I had to stop trying to run from myself and really face it all.


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What awaits you:

Ashlee spills the tea on how she got her self to stop settling for way less than she actually wanted.

Exercises and tips on how to deal with the thoughts and limiting beliefs that keep you playing small.

One of the best ways to stop settling for thins in your life revealed.

How honestly makes it all easier to go after your dreams and what you truly desire.


How to Be Inspired, Without Losing Yourself

Have you ever met someone who inspired the hell out of you?!

Like in your mind, they are freaking amazing because of how confident they are, how poised and elegant?

They get stuff done, they look AWESOME and their lifestyle is what you imagine yours to be someday.

They are living the life that RESONATES with you. They are doing the things that you wish, dream and fantasize about doing and you have a little, secret crush on them.

( You know it’s true!)

That’s why you follow them on any and all social media accounts.

Why you need to let them know that you are around in some way- or you’re more of a lurker and you don’t like anything on the accounts, but you are always aware of their posts and they give you LYFE!

They just freaking resonate with you and they inspire you to be better and to want more from your life. They did it, and they are so sure that you can too.

Annnnd here’s where things get tricky.

For some of us, it’s not enough that we are inspired and motivated to be better, instead we get triggered and start to literally model ourselves after our role models or celebrities.

It starts off small, maybe we start to mimic some of their behaviors, the way they express themselves, even their gestures. Maybe we start altering the way we think about things and can recall how they dealt with a specific situation, so we try it as well.

 And then we start to compare ourselves, which in some cases lead to either you deciding to improve yourself, or you try to replace yourself with a version that is more them than you.
The problem comes when you start to forget who YOU are and what is so SPECIAL about you.

When you start to compare yourself and keep coming up short and decide that you are just not good enough.

People, it’s time to get real and realise that you are you for a reason. That you are special in your own way and to realise that the same people that are inspiring you, are not trying to change their core self, but has accepted it and has chosen to continue to grow.


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what awaits you:

Self reflection exercises to gain clarity on what you think is so awesome in their life as it compares to your own.

Guided prompts to help you get specific on the success you’re actually desiring and how to get there for yourselff.

Guided prompts into reconnecting and boosting your self-confidence that you can have and be exactly what you desire.