It’s Been a Slice…

You know when you learn a new word and then you hear it everywhere for the next week?

Or when you think you’re pregnant, and you start seeing babies everywhere?

Well, this has been my reality for the last month. 

No no, I’m not pregnant!

The truth is that I’ve been being given numerous signs and even support on a decision to move on from this blog and newsletter.

For the last few months I’ve been working on a project called Yolopalooza. It’s an event I’m putting on here in Toronto that is largely based on my favourite topic and question that’s come out of my work here –

How can we add more fun to our lives?

This blog all started with a desire to learn more about myself and grow as a writer. Well, I feel like I’ve done a lot of that and gotten even more out of it than I could have imagined.

Because of this blog I’ve connected with so many of you around the world and gotten to know some of you more closely as my personal clients. It’s been an honour to be a part of your journey.

But I’m being pulled towards this other work, pretty loudly I must say. It’s come to me in the form of random websites, podcasts and even articles in newspapers that I never read.

I even came across some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten in my whole darn life.

So, I hope you’ll come along with me for this next part.

I’ll even share that ‘best advice ever’ at some point – probably in my first NEW post.

But if finding more fun for your life is not what you need right now and you choose to call it a day with me, that’s cool too. Let me leave you with some parting advice that is my best attempt to sum up what I’ve learned with you these last four years.
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(Whenever I get down about being too old or not old enough, I come back to this idea)

Being in your thirties is a privilege not everyone gets to experience. Sometimes it’s hard AF but, if you keep searching, you’ll eventually find answers and begin to see the greatest parts!

 

With all my love and humblest gratitude,

Ashe

 

Here’s where to find me next:

yolopalooza.com

@yolopalooza

yoloverse.wordpress.com

 

What I Did When I Was Sick of Myself

Just a little over a month ago I took a hard look at schedule and my stress level and decided to do something (actually a bunch of things) about it.

I thought it was only how I was scheduling my time but as I looked at it more closely, so much more disgusting puss oozed out of the cracks of my routine.

So ya, I stopped the blog for a while, re-did my website, started a new yoga routine and even started getting up earlier to meditate longer. Oh ya, and I also got serious about eating a strict vegan diet. I call this an ‘Overhaul’ in the Do-over ebook and, let me tell ya, it’s not for the faint of heart!

Thinking I’m indestructible because I know all the strategies and tools that go into making change, I just went for it – full on.

Not smart.

At first I was tired, cranky, uninspired and I knew so many fibres of my being were being challenged and resisting all this change. Then, all I felt like doing was complaining, sleeping, and eating potato chips and wine for dinner – Hey, it’s vegan, right?

I would try to get up early to meditate but I felt so rotten I ended up skipping it all together and hitting the snooze button for another precious twenty-five minutes. Seeing how crap I was at change, it was hard to have faith but I knew I had to keep trying.

Maybe tomorrow, maybe tomorrow. I just prayed for it to be temporary and hope that it was just the initial adjustment stage.

-Weeks later now I’m like, phew!

As usual, the Universe thankfully has stepped in and is now fully supporting my desires once again. Why did I ever doubt her?!

Since finally crawling out from underneath the covers on consecutive mornings I have full-out and gigantically been stating that I needed to change and up my game. And finally, Timing and Coincidence have ushered in a slew of new players into my life – most of whom I’d call “big-time.”

In the last few weeks I’ve met and connected with people who are on a level I didn’t know existed. I thought I was being ballzy, but these people are here to show me how to really get into the game – stand for my business, myself, my peeps and clients.

Not only that but I seem to be finding better than average blogs and websites, and being directed to much better events and richer, vibrant and more flavourful places for a good time.

All of these things are on the outside of me but I’m embracing them, using them as the key to digging deeper in myself and bringing more of myself to the “Grown-up table”.

And I’m thinking of you today. I’m standing up for you and to you by asking: Are you settling for less in your life?  Have you checked in lately on your standards? Is it possible you’ve let things slide and pass for just okay because you’ve lost faith that things           can be better?

If it’s just not enough, I’d love to show you how to up your game, your vibration and your whole entire gigantic and beautiful life…and stick with it!

Get in touch at support@ashewoodward.com and find out more at my bigger, badder and bolder site: ashewoodward.com

I’m Starting to Hate ‘Millennials’ [WARNING: CONTAINS ADULT LANGUAGE]

You may or may not have noticed the radio silence on the blog. I don’t know if anyone is reading anymore, and I don’t really blame you if you aren’t.

I had to take a serious break from being part of this cultural obsession with generations and where we all fit and how we’re all going to deal with our different communication styles. And trust me, if you’re sick of reading the word, ‘millennial,’ then you can bet I’m sick of writing it.

There was no such word as ‘millennial,’ when I started writing the blog, if you can believe it. It’s hard to imagine now since it’s ubiquitous now in news stories and social media posts. But lately I’ve started to feel like I was drowning in the buzzword of the moment, unable to compete with the constant outpour of articles on millennials.

When I first started writing the blog it was because I was in a scary-dark place – depressed and looking for answers for what I wanted to do with my life and what it actually meant to be an adult woman with absolutely no plans for her future.

When I thought that I could explore these questions through writing, I got excited for the first time in months. I loved the idea that no one was really talking about the fact that the game of being an adult has totally changed from only ten years ago and I wanted to explore it hard – I also really needed to because I desperately needed those answers for myself.

Why is everything more difficult, more expensive, more challenging, more draining, and more shitty than I ever imagined? Is everyone else getting this joke but me? Am I the only one who feels like her body is a grave misrepresentation of the scared little girl inside?

Then, I guess, because I write about thirty-somethings, my friends and family started sending me videos, articles and social media posts about the latest articles with the buzzword ‘millennial’ in the headline, thinking that this is what I’m looking for.

And yes, sometimes the topic overlaps – some millennials are now in their thirties, some are GenX and some are caught somewhere between. But really (and I must be clear here): I don’t give a fuck about what generation anyone comes from – every generation of this century, I believe (and maybe beyond that) will have a specific struggle as they transition from twenties to thirties because of the way Western society is currently set up.

… And besides journalists and marketing specialists, I don’t think anyone else really does either.

And I’m so sick of the word, the concept and the fact that every writer and their mother thinks they know how to classify the millennial mind and who millennials really are, what they want and how they behave. It’s just so stupid.

The irony is that millennials are all about breaking down labels and accepting differences, but we’re forcing them to be categorized and stereotyped every step of the way, just to impress Google.

It’s also ineffective. I can’t believe we’re spending so much time reading the articles on this instead of getting our hands dirty and just talking to the young people we work with.

Sure millennials grew up in a different time and technology makes them seem more separate and new, but isn’t every generation new, wide-eyed and full of hopeful ideologies? Didn’t the flower children of the seventies spark the same interest and become a movement that helped us all evolve into a more loving and accepting society?

Millennials are just the next step; they’re taking it all a little further once again. That’s all. It’s not really that amazing, surprising, or really as fucking difficult as everyone says it is in all these articles.

“Millennials are so hard to please and understand”.

Garbage! I call serious bullshit on this.

They’re just people. They’re just younger fucking people. Talk to them like people and you’ll find out they’re actually pretty cool, happy to help and normal fucking humans – not an alien race of weirdos that the press makes them out to be, just for dramatic effect.

And really, the only reason ‘millennial’ is such as buzzword is because at any other time in history, writers and reporters would use words like ‘today in business’ and ‘nowadays,’ ‘current social behaviours.’ But these words are too mundane to be picked up by Google and improve your SEO ranking or get you featured in a hashtag search. The result is that we see ‘millennial’ get overused everywhere when really we’re just talking about how the world is progressing.

Personally, I really don’t give a shit what generation you come from – that’s not my question; that’s not where my curiosity leads me.

So, just to be clear: My questions are about adulthood – adulthood in the twenty-first century when apparently it’s okay to dress like a child, love cartoons, shoot each other with paint but also know how to pay down debt and navigate the new roles of male and female in the workplace, online, politics and even our own sexual relationships.

Send me your millennial articles if you must, but also look through them for yourself. Do you have a millennial in your life that you can ask if the article is on point or can you perhaps smell the bullshit wafting out of the desperate writer’s keyboard? Write about millennials, she says, that’s always a hit!

So this last month I just needed a break. I needed to step back and regroup with what my intent is here. I have no interest in the millennial hype. I have real questions that I think truly matter to people over thirty, and they have nothing to do with our top ten worst cellphone habits or our work ethic as it compares to the boomers.

Right now I’m working on the questions on my own. I want to know where our culture is really heading.

I want to know if higher education is about to die because of the fear of debt.

I want to talk about the pain of not being able to conceive, or the pain of not being able to have it all in a world full of endless options and over-stimulation.

I want to know what keeps you up at night and what really gets you going and motivated to go to the same crappy job every day (besides an Oprah quote clad in gold-glitter handwriting on a rose gold background).

There’s a lot of pain we’re all holding in and a lot we might also be chalking up to #firstworldproblems, but that’s bullshit too. It’s all relative.

What if we solve some of our pain here so we can be our best selves and help others; help the planet; help animals; help help help and love?

That’s what keeps me up at night before I close my iPad.That’s what I search for and what I think is worth writing about and talking about. #everyone.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on any or all of this. Are you feeling like the millennial craze is everywhere and just too much? Are you sick of how many times I used the word ‘millennial’ in this article seemingly to up my SEO (ironic, yes, but kind of unavoidable this time, really)? How’s your adult life going so far?

Mine’s ok. I’m working it out.

With hope and more fire,

Ashe

With my extra time away from posting, I revamped the site and the blog. What do you think? Leave a feedback comment on the Facebook page before JUNE 15th and receive a 30 minute FREE coaching call!

Check out the new website here: ashewoodward.com

When Only Your Weird Will Do: How Keeping It Real Has Been My Secret to Success and Happiness

Y’know, in my late twenties I was sure I was on my way to being a success. I was teaching full time and I had my own successful hypnosis business. I was serious, no nonsense, go go go! On top of of that, I really dressed the part: super corporate chic, lots of black and brown (you know the type). BO-RING!

Fast forward to me discovering my gifts as a writer and life coach and realizing that my mindset (and my wardrobe) were so out of sync with who I really am. It was all just a part I thought I had to play to be successful.

But when I figured out that I am still the same funky and free girl I was waaaaaay back in high school, I truly found success. Weird, eh?

Turns out I wasn’t just innocently attempting to grow up, be mature and responsible; I was crushing my true soul – the one that so effortlessly and generously showed up when I was younger.

This is when I also realized that I wasn’t alone. I started to ask the people around me if they felt like this, or if I was the only weirdo. They actually all had some pretty unreassuring things to add, like:
You have to grow up some time
You can’t make money being in a garage band
It’s not like we can all be artists 
You have to be responsible and have a real job that pays the bills

UGH! Depressing!!

What makes us think that what we would love to do or BE isn’t WORTH doing?

I for one couldn’t live one more minute without reconnecting with my true self. I threw out those stuffy clothes, got rid of the boring hair cut, and threw myself at the questions I had about what and why people were okay living with a ‘just because’ and ‘good enough’ attitude. I was ready to be me and find out how I could help others shake of their imposter costumes too.

And now, the work that I’ve done since has always lit me up and never let me feel like I have to be anyone besides just me.

And don’t get me wrong – I still have more layers to peel off and BS to sift through but I have committed myself to doing that – that is actually what feels the BEST! 

 

 

Lately, I think I’ve sifted out yet another several layers of BS that was blanketing the real me, and it feels amazing. I’ve been saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ like a pro, and I’m so much choosier when it comes to my choices – not picky, just … choosier – listening more closely to what I really want and not what I think I should say or do.

Sometimes I have to close my eyes behind my sunglasses to hear that I actually don’t want to get a drink just cuz it’s Friday, after I said I’d go. Sometimes I catch myself saying, “It’s fine if there’s no vegetarian option, I’ll have a salad,” and then I regret it.

And slowly, I know, those responses will build up another blanket fort so heavy that it will crush that true soul once again until I can’t breathe and I have to start all over again, listening more carefully to the voice.

It’s not easy. Actually, it’s really f***ing annoying that it’s such a quiet voice. It’s so hard to hard to hear under the pressure of the moment, or the buzz of and whirl of the Internet, the ALL CAPS on social media, your screaming child, your angry partner, your angry self, traffic, juicers, weird yoga music, etc. But it is under there.

Close your eyes if you have to (I do).

What would it feel like to say no (politely) more often and do what you want? Freedom?

What would it feel like if we all did this more, all the time? Would honesty and trust become words we could depend on?

I’d love to hear what happens for you this week by taking on this habit of listening carefully first before you say yes or no.

Leave a comment here or with the Facebook community to share your experience with other thirtysomeones (and me).

And check out what’s new at my site ashewoodward.com, where you can also find my contact info and how to get in touch for personal, one-to-one coaching calls.

 

Our OLD Chums and How to Love Them

The list of reasons why it’s great to be in our thirties is pretty long, and I’m sure you know  I could ramble for hours about this being the most excellent decade of my life so far.

And, since you asked, some of my personal favourites are: knowing ourselves more fully, having experience in many many areas, wisdom, more confidence and, for some, a bigger who gives a F— attitude.

But where there’s light, there’s dark so like all things in life there is a dark side to thirtysomeone life. Some culprits include the seemingly never-ending stack of bills, likely identity crises, pressure to get married and have kids, and an ever-slowing metabolism, and the urge to be in our jammies by 8pm on Saturday nights, only to name a few of the great ones.

But today I want to stay positive and add one to the list that I’ve actually never thought of before and it occurred to me this weekend when I had a friend visit.

We met in our first year of university. We both lived on the all girl’s floor and it was a pretty tight community. However, she’s been the only oneI’ve really stayed in touch with.

Now, she lives a few hours and lots of traffic away, but we’ve managed a visit almost every year and we went to each others’ weddings. Not bad.

And then when I got thinking really about how impressive that is, I realized that I’ve known this chick since I was 19, and I can actually say that I have been friends with someone for 15 years!

And I was like, Holy crap that sounds like a long time!

But how amazing is that?

In high school we bond with our friends and feel like we’ll be friends forever. And maybe we will or maybe we won’t, but at the time it sure feels like we are true blue soul mates and yet we’ve only known each other for maybe a couple of years.

In our thirties, it’s possible to have had those trusted amigos in our lives for much, much longer, making those friendships even stronger and more meaningful.

I’m so grateful to have known many of my friends for many years – even if it does make me sounds incredibly old (especially when we can reminisce about mix tapes, Saturday morning cartoons, not having a cell phone until we were 20).

It’s also quite a humbling feeling to know that I’m sharing this journey with great people I’ve met along the way, and it’s amazing to be able to watch our lives ebb, flow, or even change completely.

It’s double crazy to even try to imagine the girls that met all those years ago are now these women –  still friends, but really different from who we used to be, in so many ways. In point of fact, we used to party at the campus bar ’til close, drinking the boys under the table.

This past weekend we had a healthy dinner of salmon and salad from my garden, drank some wine and hit the hay at 10:30pm, like wild women.

So, it all sounds great, but there’s always that risk of of falling out of touch over time. So how do we ensure our friendships stay friendships so we can retain all the bragging rights of being friends for decades?

The simplest way I can put it is this: make it a priority. If a friend is truly a friend and you value that person’s friendship even the slightest, you make sure you go to the birthday party that might be inconvenient. You make sure you meet for coffee when you haven’t spoken in six months. You go to the baby shower you resent going to, knowing that your friend will never buy your dog a toy or a cute outfit.

Secondly, as a priority, make sure you are THERE – phone off (potentially), kids at the babysitter, and all your attention is on the other person.

It sounds like a strict regimen, but you will never deny that it is all worth it and so much more important that you had even thought when you were first making plans.

And it IS important. So when we do get the feeling that we’re really ‘getting up there,’  I hope we have made the calls, made the trips, and we’ll end up in a place where we see a great group of forever friends right there with us.

If you or a forever friend is ready to step into your thirties with confidence and success, I’d love to chat! Find out more at ashewoodward.com or email me directly at support@ashewoodward.com.

How to Satisfy Your Inner Marty McFly: Are You Ready to Go Back?

I wish I knew in my twenties what I know now.

I hear it all the time – from friends, clients, even myself at times. This week it even came up in my interview with Scott from Power of Perception. We both agreed it’s fun to indulge in imagining the past a little bit better with some input from our wiser selves. Oh if we could just do it over!

It’s frustrating sometimes when you think about it and the urge can be pretty great – especially when you think about embarrassing moments or times when you could go back and save a little face. It truly is such an attractive concept: taking the wisdom we’ve gained and going back to all the difficult times to re-do them with more grace, more composure and maybe some better-chosen choice words.

It’s enough to make us literally stop, think and dream about the times we’d like to correct or experience again. And for thirtysomethings I think it’s even more pronounced because, after all, we are the Back to the Future generation!

You could retake exams with your practiced skills, amazing your parents and teachers and getting a full scholarship to the university of your choice. Or maybe you even get a great job right out of high school.

Or, you might want to go back to talk to your crush, knowing now that it doesn’t phase you if he or she laughs in your face because you’ve grown a thicker skin. You could even go back and face your bully, knowing now exactly what to say to brim ‘em down.

You might even be the type to go even further back and buy some Apple stock, invent Facebook, or bet on the Super Bowl.

Personally, I’d go back to save myself a lot of time by starting my business right out of university. Sure, the Internet wasn’t so great back then, which would make it harder to get exposure and do international business. But I wonder if I’d be further ahead than I am now in achieving my goals and to-dos on my bucket list. *sigh.

But the more I think on it, I’m not so crazy about repeating high school or university. It took a lot of time and I was stressed, tired and unhealthy for most of it.

I also have enough trouble with getting exposure for what I do with the Internet the way that it is today so I don’t think I’d enjoy going back to a time when things would be more difficult. Even with the wisdom I’ve gained, I don’t think it’s such a great idea.

I’d also have to be very careful to make sure I did certain things so that I still meet my husband and all the great friends I’ve met along the way. A couple different moves and I can see a lot of great times I’d miss.

So as tempting as it is to send our wiser selves back to correct the past, isn’t it more satisfying to know that through all of that, you still became you- the wise person you have so much confidence in?

Isn’t it amazing that we believe that we now have the confidence to go back to those situations and crush them?

So the thing we need to take away from this is remembering that you’re that person now – those powers are at your disposal here in the present. You’re that person dealing with whatever problems you’re facing. And if you have the confidence to send yourself back to correct those wrongs, you must have the confidence in your present self.

So what are you going to do, wise one?

The problems may look different than they did in high school, but think of how much more capable you see yourself as now. You should be confident that your experience and wisdom will allow you to find a way to solve any problem you’re facing.

Sure, you don’t know the outcomes but the great thing about being in our thirties is that we really get to know ourselves. We know how problems happen and get handled in our lives by now if we’re willing to look.

Here’s what I mean:

Let’s say you’re wanting something right now. Let’s say it’s a big one.

Looking back, I’m sure you’ve wanted something before and got it. Find that situation and analyze it. Write it out and take a look.

What were you thinking? What action were you taking? Whose advise did you heed?

In other words, how did you get what you wanted in the past? And, furthermore, how can you use what you’ve learned since then to get what you want and more in the present and the future?

The great thing about being where we are in our thirties is that, yes, we have a lot of experience to draw from. But it’s useless dreaming about taking it backwards. Life is happening in front of you – going forward.

So how are you going to use your wisdom to make life easier for you in the here and now and beyond?

What makes you so much wiser now? What makes you so much different than you used to be?

And use that. And work it!

If you’re unsure about how to use your skills and experience to help you with decisions, problems or manifesting your dreams, get in touch for personalized coaching. I’d love to work with you to uncover your unique superpowers that will lead you to achieve your goals in the present and beyond. Go to ashewoodward.com for how to get started.

What are you waiting for?

If you are chewing on something right now or you’re scared to get started on something you really want to do, you have to hear this story about my client and friend, Mary.

I met Mary in December when she was looking for a coach to help her with changing careers.  She had recently been laid off and was more interested in getting into something new, rather than wait around for her company to give her a call back when their numbers were better.

I was really excited to work with her because she was so passionate and creative and she seemed so ready to start the process – she was even inspiring me with her energy!  But when I proposed that we get started right away, I could see her taking a step back and I braced myself for the usual spiel:  no time or money right now.

Sure, it was Christmastime and the end of the year, which really does strap us all for cash and extra time, but I urged her to strike while her motivation was up.

In the end, Mary thought it would be better to start fresh in the new year and we’d talk then.  Well, between December and the end of January her job called her back.  With bills to pay and Christmastime credit card dues to pay off, she accepted her job back and put her ideas on the back burner.

Mary just recently called me up and wanted to talk. 

After two months of being back at her job, she has remembered what passion she had at the end of the year and she’s realized that she has to do something with her home business idea.

I told Mary, I’m not here to say I told you so but…

And I don’t tell you this to be a sassy know-it-all… I tell you this because I have been there myself too many times and I know what happens when I think too much about all the ins and outs of an opportunity.  I ignore my excitement, calling it a phase or momentary adrenaline that will surely pass.  And, like Mary, I rationalize and blame time and money for not being in enough supply. 

I think we all do this. But in the end, we just delay the inevitable because eventually the desire to do something can’t be quenched any longer with excuses.  So all we do is waste time when we could have been getting started and be further ahead right now.

Can you imagine a time when time and money will both align perfectly for you?  How long will you be waiting for this so you can then make a decision that would greatly benefit your life, your well-being and your happiness?  In my experience, a perfect time doesn’t exist.  The only perfect time is when you are ready to move forward and not let any obstacle stop you from your dream and living to your fullest potential.

So say ‘yes!’ to that opportunity, whatever it is.  Stop the excuses!  Try it once and you’ll be hooked. There really is no feeling like taking a risk for the benefit of your success and happiness.

What are you waiting for right now?  What have you put to the side because of time and money not being ‘right’.  Share on the Facebook community page.

If you’re ready to take a risk, you can play it smart by having a coach guide you into the best decisions and even help you with time management and making more money even faster!  Check out what’s possible for you at ashewoodward.com.