A Wedding Unfolds in Puerto Rico

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There is love in the air— flowing all around us, captivating our long weekend with appreciation and joy. The beauty of Puerto Rico, especially at where we are staying (blog post to come) illuminates the kindness and admiration in the hearts of my mom and soon to be husband. With wedding festivities on the cusp of the day, we are reminded that love is gentle and it’s kind, but you can’t deny it’s also trying and moving. It pushes you to be a better you, and along the way the true depth of love shines above all else and moves mountains to be.

And that’s the thing about love, it’s about just being. 

Being you.

Being enough.

Being loved for all that you are. 

I talk about this all the time— there are billions of people in this world and somehow these two souls found each other to adore, to build a forever with, and to love unconditionally. They found the one their soul needed and wanted, even if they were unaware of it at the time. Flaws and all, there is love to be shared. After five years, it was inevitable that they were hooked on one another for the long haul. The way Mark looks at my mom is as though she was the one who put the stars in the sky and could walk on water. He looks at her the way Nicholas Sparks writes in his romance novels, the way we all dream of being loved.

My mom and Mark taught me the importance of valuing myself and trusting that someone, someday will love my entire essence as they love one another, but my worth is not defined by someone else’s ability or inability to see all I have to offer the world.

You can’t settle in this life, there are billions of people awaiting your presence. It’s okay to love big because one day, it won’t go to the waste side. 

Love is at the center of all my interactions and my friends and family cant attest to how often I tell them ‘I love you SO much’. It’s a powerful lesson to love unconditionally without expectations or demands or reservations— let it flow openly and be enough to keep you afloat. 

As I sit here on my villa’s porch and write while watching the waves crash, I reminisce on my mom’s love story. I’ve watched hers and Mark’s love blossom over the years, an undeniable pull to one another, one that couldn’t be avoided if they tried. They are a force to be reckoned with, spit fires with adventurous souls. They bring out the best in one another, even if mom can’t navigate. It’s about having fun and enjoying this life together, and that’s what they are doing. 

This life is precious and short, and watching my mom and my soon to be stepdad love one another through trials and twists and turns, I’ve learned that you shouldn’t waste another minute with space between you and the one you love.

If you love someone, be vulnerable, give your love freely and accept them for who they are and who they will be. Nothing stays the same— this world is not stagnant, so grow together and make the conscious decision to be present and love into the depth of your core. 

So thank you Mom and Mark for showing me what a beautiful love looks like and I cheers to you a lifetime of happiness and loving adventures. 

The Experience That Taught Me What Love Is

The Experience That Taught Me What Love Is

I once loved someone so much that I was blinded by my own fascination and couldn’t see that his heart didn’t yearn for me, his hands didn’t reach for me, his mind was fixated elsewhere. I once loved someone so much that I was unable to face the reality that he just wasn’t into me, no matter what I was going to say or do, he wasn’t going to fall in love with me, he wasn’t going to wake up one morning and see that I am everything he could ever need.

I was vulnerable in my endeavor to dig digger, to give him the benefit of the doubt, but then the texts got shorter, our nights together became infrequent and I knew that, I had turned the corner from being caring and compassionate, to being pathetic.

I had to look myself in the mirror, and face the music that what I had been doing for a year was wrong. I was wrong— my gut didn’t lead me in the right direction this time….. or did it? I firmly believe everything happens for a reason and exactly the way it’s meant to, so as I experienced myself pining for someone to give me a chance, to look at me for me, I realized that’s not love, it never could be.

I was naive and became set on someone I couldn’t have— not because I wasn’t good enough for him, but because he wasn’t good enough for me and it only took me 365 days to figure that one out. I never wanted to feel like that again, and that’s why I had to endure breaking my own heart.

As I laid in my room, crying onto the letters I had poured my heart into, I learned I had loved the fairytale I had created with a mediocre guy, who could never truly be my prince charming. I created a love story and allowed my heart to pick someone who would only leave me wanting at the end of the day. Maybe, all of this, wasn’t love at all. My false perception of love that time round has taught me what love is, and what love is not.

Love is patient, kind, and forgiving— it’s full, promising, and warm; it makes your body weak and strong in the same instant, as if you can conquer the world, but you don’t want to do it alone. Love is freeing, with the birds you fly, open and observant, without fear of falling. You are free and secure in love, and isn’t that all we could ever want? I once thought I loved someone so much that I sacrificed the truth in order to be in his presence, and oh never again will I turn a blind eye to what my heart deserves.

5 Ways To De-stress From Your Chaotic Life

5 Ways To De-stress From Your Chaotic Life

 

Creating a balance isn’t always ideal— especially when work or school or family life is overwhelming and prominent. We can’t always control our circumstances, but we can control our stress levels with some life hacks to put some ease back into our normal, filled day. Being a college student, who works and has a full class load with extracurriculars, I don’t have an overabundance of time for some R&R, so here are some of the tricks I use to destress whenever I’m about to lose my marbles.

 

  1. About a year ago, I started to try something new whenever I had a rough day or needed a pick-me-up and that was Meditation, eventually it just became part of my everyday routine. It leaves me feeling at peace and uplifted, no matter my situation. To get a great meditation app, download the Deepak and Oprah 21-Day Meditation Experience or if you are in Fort Myers/Naples area, there are Drop-In Meditation classes  but once you make this part of your everyday, the “big” stressers don’t seem so big and bad.
  2.  Yoga. Hear me out, yoga is by no means easy, but you don’t have to be good, flexible, or athletic to enjoy it. I started going to yoga on Fort Myers Beach, and loved the environment and relaxation I got from it. So even though I can’t make to the beach every Saturday morning for yoga, I find time to do it at home with my yoga mat from T.J.Maxx.  Some great apps I use are– Yoga Studio and Daily Yoga and also if you want more information on the best Yoga apps, Healthline is a great resource.
  3. Making time to focus on your health and being active is so important. When I work out, everything else is put on hold and I get to focus on me and where I’m at. If you don’t have time for a gym, download The Handstand App for fitness plans and workouts. If you can join a gym, I go to LA Fitness and really enjoy the equipment and classes, and I’m also a fan of Crunch Gym. However, I do want to start going to my University’s gym FGCU more to workout, so see if your school has one so you can swing by after studying or class!
  4. Cooking isn’t always my speciality, but it’s something I’m working on. I’m always finding recipes I want to make and I get most inspired from foodie blogs. Anyways, as basic as it sounds, I google yummy food that is also healthy and started making some of those: Healthy Yummy Food and one of my favorite Food Blogger’s site called Daily Dose of Pepper   or you can be like me, and like to bake. In that case, I love Baking with Blondie  and anything chocolate, so of course, here’s some delicious recipes to take your mind off of anything else: Chocolate Heaven
  5. Lastly, when I’m stressed or having a less than fabulous day, I try to find some distraction. Something that isn’t work or tedious or overwhelming, so what’s better than online shopping….. not much. I like to keep a budget, so I don’t recommend doing this everyday, but here are some of my favorites to bring you a little bit of happiness. For jewelry: Gem and Company For clothing: Thirty One Boutique and Henri Girl.

Let’s continue to be GirlBosses, who find peace in the midsts of all the chaos. You’ve got this and you are capable!

xo, Ash

 

 

 

 

It’s Okay To Have A Mr. Right Now

It’s Okay To Have A Mr. Right Now

Previously featured on: HARNESS MAGAZINE

One day, you’re going to wake up, so in love with the person laying next to you. You’re going to be over the moon, head over heels for the person you’re going to spend forever making memories with. The pieces of your heart will be mended back together and those guys who broke your heart throughout the years won’t matter in the slightest bit, and you’re going to thank God for not answering your pleading prayers about so and so after many sleepless nights. You won’t have to question if you’re good enough, you’ll know you are. You will feel complete and loved and oh so important.

One day, all of this nonsense will have a purpose and all the heartaches or little love affairs will only be simple memories. However, today is not that day because we woke up in our empty bed, checking to see if the boy we like finally texted us back, only to be let down and disappointed.

We woke up, wanting more love in our lives and impatiently waiting for that day to come. So in the meantime between today and someday, here’s a few thoughts and reminders: you can’t make someone fall in love with you and your soulmate is probably not the guy you’ve been stalking on Instagram for the last two months. Also, everything works exactly the way it’s meant to with who it’s suppose to work with. Love has a funny way of working it’s way into our lives and before we know it, it’s all consuming and right, but sometimes, love can stay dormant, just long enough to make us question if Mr. Right will ever come around.

For me, I started out my adult life, in a committed relationship and that carried on until almost the start of sophomore year in college and while I was in the relationship, I learned an overabundance about myself, my worth, and what I need when it’s time for my next relationship.

Even Mr. Right might not be your Mr. Right. He may be a great guy— charming, lovable, and impressive— but you and I both deserve a guy who looks at us like we put the stars in the sky and loves us for the way our inner light shines.

I’ve learned I’m a believer that true love should be kind, all-consuming, and beautiful, but I also learned true love requires patience, openness, and God’s blessing.

When I got out of my lengthy relationship, I was convinced love had failed and with a valiant effort, it could not be saved. BUT, love never fails. True love never fails. It’s okay to have fun with Mr. Right Now because when it’s time for Mr. Right, he will be there, ready to love you with everything in his being and vise versa.

The best things happen when we aren’t searching for it— our own serendipity. If you are anything like me, continue loving deeply and exploring different avenues as new people enter your life, but you don’t have to be consumed with finding the one. When it’s meant to be, it will be and all will be right in the world. So it’s okay to kiss Mr. Right Now, but don’t expect him to be the one you bring home to meet your mom and love you forever.

 

The Rarity Of Connection

The Rarity Of Connection

Sometimes a connection occurs when your mind starts screaming, “YES, ME TOO!”

A simple smile or conversation are good mediums of connection, but the connection I’m referring to is the gut-wrenching, soul changing vibe and draw to someone emotionally, mentally, and even physically. We know that doesn’t happen everyday— it’s rare and should be valued when you come across someone who sparks your heart and impacts you by being present.

Whether it’s instantly or formulates overtime, it’s so special to be able to completely you, without guards, reservations, or worries of judgement.

Often times, we go through life, morphing into what society wants from us without even doing that consciously, but when you are around someone you connect with on a deeper level, you become raw, real, and who you really are.

You can’t force it, and it can’t be one sided or it else it fades and fizzles because real connections never falter and fade, even through the years or distance.

When you see someone’s bare soul and they see yours, your heart cares for them for a lifetime through growths, downfalls, twists, and unexpected changes.

Life gets away from us at times— things change, people leave, distance fills in the spaces between us. But when you look back on your time around those people and how your energies meshed, you know it’s depth. That’s why I hold on so dearly to people, who just simply get me.

I believe it’s worth fighting for, cherishing and valuing it in the process. Fighting for people who make your heart flutter and push your mind to new heights isn’t an easy task, but anything worth having doesn’t come easy and sometimes people needed to be consciously reminded of the rarity of true connection.