I Am Whole.

wholeToday’s meditation: Feeling complete. “I am whole.”

MESSAGE: The feeling of completion is an important part of inner happiness. Feeling complete means we feel whole. We know that we do not lack anything. We have everything we need within us; we are everything we need. The awareness of wholeness is the key to feeling complete, because it is the awakening of self-knowledge that provides the feeling of wholeness and the feeling of quiet joy that accompanies. As we learn to live life from this state of wholeness, we begin to enjoy everything with ease, grace, and delight.

From me to you: A lot of people depend on others for them to feel complete. Some people don’t feel complete unless they’re in a relationship, reach a certain status, or obtain some form of power. Feeling complete begins with you. As you become more aware of who you are and know how to be happy and content with yourself, then you will live more freely.  Learn to feel whole and complete even if you are physically by yourself. Surround yourself with peace, love, and happiness so that it brings the joy out of you.

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One Word with Two Letters Can Change Your Entire Life

As women, we tend to have a caring, nurturing heart. We’re so sweet and always willing to give a helping hand. We go out of our way for others without thinking twice and ultimately spread ourselves thin. Overall, we do way too much and sometimes get little to nothing in return.

But there comes a time where you have to say that one word that could give you more “me” time, less stress, and more energy towards your own priorities. A simple word with only two little letters that’s so hard for a lot of people to say, but can benefit you in the long run–NO. We need to learn to say No like we were Beyoncé backup singers, I mean, a part of Destiny’s Child, “No, No, No!”

NO

As I’m getting older, and having enough responsibilities of my own, I’m learning that I need to implement “no” into my vocabulary a little bit more. Sometimes we go above and beyond for our family, friends, and coworkers. Sometimes we don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings so we put our own feelings aside and say yes to something we would have preferred to say no to. Sometimes it gets to the point where people start expecting our “yes” and are highly disappointed when you hit them with a curve ball and say, “no.”

Saying no can alleviate a lot of stress and worry because we need to learn to stop making someone else’s problems our problems. We need to stop worrying about what someone would think when we say no. We need to learn to put our feelings and needs first.

I remember watching an episode of Girlfriends and yelling at the screen, “Yaaaasss!!!” because I could totally identify with Joan’s character (for more reasons than one). But on this particular episode, Joan went to a therapist and she had the following conversation:

Joan: “How do I keep people from walking all over me?

Therapist: Learn to say No.

Joan: If I say no, then they’re going to hate me.

Therapist: Until you learn to say no, you’re going to keep lying to yourself.

Joan realized she was an enabler and her saying “Yes” to others was actually making her say “No” to herself. Once she learned the magical word, “no” she ended up having more time for herself. She was more confident because she stood up for herself and not let people depend on her so much. She gained respect and people were no longer willing to walk all over her. We always want to be a good friend, sister, lover, or mother but need to know when we take on someone else’s responsibilities then we are actually saying No to ourselves. Enough is enough.

In essence, most of us want to be there for others and that’s totally okay. But if you think you will be inconvenienced in a major way by saying “yes” then just say no. Or you can say, “That doesn’t work for me” or “Let me think about it” if you’re unsure about your decision. It’s the same people that we say yes to all of the time who would trip when we say no; let them trip. They will get over it. They will find another way and you will still have your dignity.

10 Things To Do To Have a Good Day!

good dayPeople tend to say I have a very calm demeanor and a positive attitude and it’s because I don’t let too many things get to me. I’m what you call “calm, cool and collected.” Also, I practice some daily routines that keep me centered. No one wants to have a bad, stressful day. So I’m sharing 10 things that I do to ensure that I have a good day. Try these out and share the tips!

1) Exercise

  • Exercising boosts your mood and energy. Most cardio workouts are best for the mood boost, so if you don’t have a lot of time then at least do 50 jumping jacks in the morning and watch how great you feel afterwards.  But really try to get a 30 minute workout in before the end of the day. (For more workout tips see: For Thee Love: 4 Vital Weight Loss Habits).

2) Meditate and Pray

  • Don’t turn on the television, music, or look at your phone first thing in the morning. Instead, find a quiet space in your home and close your eyes. Sit still with your thoughts for about 10 minutes. Take long, deep breaths, inhaling with your nose and exhaling from your mouth. Clear your mind. You can also meditate on Bible scriptures and pray. Meditating relieves stress and relaxes you for your day. You can apply this tip into your nightly routine as well.

3) Listen to a motivational song

  • There is power in music. Find a song that will uplift your mood. Try listening to India Arie, There’s Hope or Mary J Blige, Just Fine.

4) “I am” Affirmations

  • Look in the mirror and say “I am…” and whatever positive thing you think about yourself or that you would like to happen in that day. You can say “I am Beautiful. I am strong. I am going to have a great day.” I’m sure there are plenty of amazing things you can say about yourself! This will make you feel happy and encourages self-love. And if you expect a “great day” then you will attract a great day.

5) Complete a goal.

  • Write a task and complete it. It can be something as small as cleaning a room or something career-related such as contacting the professional from that business card you collected. This will make you feel accomplished.

6) A random act of kindness

  • Doing something nice for someone else will make you feel good and will put a smile on your face!

7) Laugh

  • Whether it’s a DVD of your favorite stand-up comedian, a coworker or friend who always makes you smile, just find something or someone who will make you crack up laughing! Laughter is the best medicine and is good for your soul.

8) Write in a journal

  • Writing out your thoughts can help clear your mind. This also helps you to reflect. Document things that made you smile in your day.

9) Think positive

  • As easy as it is to think negative thoughts, it’s just as easy to think about something positive, so choose the latter. At the end of your day, think about something POSITIVE that has happened in your day. Even if it’s simply, “I woke up…I had a job to go to…I was able to travel without getting in an accident or having car trouble…” It’s the small things that count so stay grateful.

10) Me time

  • Spend some time alone. Read a book, listen to some music, soak in a bubble bath, cook up your favorite meal. Spend about 30 minutes doing something just for you. If you treat yourself right then you will be happier and ultimately treat those around you right.

I hope those tips helped and feel free to share them with someone else! What else would you add to the list?

“It doesn’t cost a thing to smile…You don’t have to pay to laugh…You better thank God for that!” There’s Hope, India Arie

Be sure to subscribe to this blog and follow me on Twitter: @AshleyCaprice Facebook: iAmAshleyCaprice

 

A Moment of Motivation: One Lesson I Learned Since My Last Birthday

BREAKING NEWS: Today is my Birthday! Hey now!!! Turn up? Ha!

Anywho, I am so blessed to see another year. Last year, on this day, I didn’t have half of what I have now.  At that time, I had recently signed to an acting agency and was dabbling into other businesses because the company I was working for laid me off the December before. I was still living at home. I did not have a stable job. I don’t like asking people for anything because I have pride issues (I’m working on it),  so I only had my severance checks and unemployment money to survive which was totally fine since my bills were still getting paid.

Through it all, I learned one lesson…never lose your Faith. During that time, I stayed productive, grateful and prayerful.

I have this sign hanging on my wall at home. Faith.
I have this sign hanging on my wall at home. Faith.

As I always say, everything is TEMPORARY. A lot of people tend to blame the “devil” on everything, but my thoughts are different. I believe it isn’t the “devil” all of the time, but most of the time it’s God testing you! Are you going to become frustrated or have faith that everything is going to work out? I always choose the latter. Are you going to let fear hold you back or are you going to have faith to move you forward? You can either complain and play the blame game or you can learn from each life lesson.

Well since my last birthday, I landed a Producer opportunity at 102.7, KIIS-FM, which is LA’s #1 Hit Music station. I booked a few acting roles. I’m a freelance writer for Madame Noire. I moved into my own place. And I continue to walk by faith and not by sight.

Remember, life gives you the test first and then the lesson. Always keep the Faith.

Faith is putting hope and power into that which we can not see now…but know we will see in the future.

You can find me on Twitter: @AshleyCaprice, Facebook: IamAshleyCaprice and Instagram: IamAshleyCaprice

Why Do I Have To Keep Explaining That I’m Under 30, Single, And Still Fabulous?

I called my grandpa recently to wish him a happy birthday and during the course of our hour-long conversation he managed to slip in the never-ending question, “So…do you have a boyfriend yet?” Dang! I thought we would be able to talk about sports, social issues, and family without bringing up that question…again. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case as he went on to say, “You’re approaching 30…You have to get a man.”

Sigh.

I understand my grandpa is older and that back in his day dating and marrying at a young age was common. But fast forward some decades and we’re now in an era where women are more independent. Men are not the sole providers and the only ones “bringing home the bacon.”  Women are advancing in their careers, making their own money, and supporting themselves. So we’re not necessarily in a rush to get married because we’re still living our own life. Though we will need our man…eventually. *Cues Jill Scott –The Fact Is “I need you…We need you.”

Of course I don’t always want to fall into the “Single, Educated Career Woman” category, but for now, I don’t mind being labeled as such. It’s not as though I’m dodging guys; I date. I’m completely aware that my job isn’t going to keep me warm at night, but right now I’m content. Wale said it best in his song,  Ambitious Girl, “You just wanna win, and you’d rather chase your dreams, than to try to chase these men.” Finally someone understands!

People ask about your relationship status and act as though you have a disease when you say, “I’m single.” It’s not that serious.

I’ve been described as a career-driven woman so my focus is on growing and excelling in my industry first. Besides, I’m only in my twenties! And I believe my 20s is a time for me to date around. It’s my time to figure out what I want and what I do not want in a man. I’m also learning and understanding who I am. I’m recognizing my flaws and working to improve them. I’m building my career.  I’m giving myself time to grow and mature mentally, emotionally and spiritually before I open my heart completely to a man.

Even married actress Paula Patton understands the conundrum that is women’s singleness. While speaking on a panel about her latest movie, Baggage Claim, she said, “People are very tough on women. It doesn’t matter that you have a successful career, you volunteer, hang with your nieces and nephews…it’s always ‘do you have a man and kids?’ as if everything else doesn’t matter.” I, along with many others, could totally relate to that statement. I do all of those things and people still ask about my invisible man. People always preach, “A man should not complete you, he should complement you,” but when people ask “do you have a boyfriend yet?” it implies that a woman is, in fact, not complete if she doesn’t have a man. Being in a relationship and having children does not define a woman’s whole existence.  We are much more than that.

Once I’m in a relationship and married, I will spend the rest of my life building a foundation, a family and bond with someone else. But for now, I’m living for myself.  So I’m speaking for the under 30, single, fabulous, working woman: do what’s best for you. Let life happen and don’t let others dictate what you should have in your life. One day my grandpa will be happy and see me with a great guy, but not now. As far as me getting in a relationship before I’m 30, I replied, “Well that gives me about 36 months, which is over 1,000 days, so I have plenty of time.”

Originally posted at: MadameNoire.com

New Year, New Me!…right.

Typical New Year’s Resolutions:

1) First week of January, I need to get this weight OFF! I”m getting a gym membership, going to walk and run with friends, join weight watchers, eat right, exercise every day! Time to get it right, get it tight! Fast Forward 3 months:  I mean, I’m not THAT big. My boo is cool with my weight, so why am I trippin??? I’m tired of eating spinach every day anyway… WHERE IS THE FATBURGER?!

2) Man I need to give my life to God. I’m about to start going to church every Sunday, get saved, buy me a new Bible because I can’t see anything in this pocket Bible. Going to get involved in choir, praise dancing, all that! Fast Forward 3 months: I can listen to the sermon on the radio…I listened to the Kirk Franklin album the other day, that counts right? The Bible is open on my book shelf.  Easter is coming up! I’ll go to church then!

3) I need a new job! I hate my job… going to start applying for every company in the world in the new year!  I need more money! More days off! Some benefits. Fast Forward 3 months: I hate my job, but I’m getting money…I guess.

Sounds familiar? Sure it does…. Believe me, I’ve been guilty of setting New Year’s Resolutions that fell through after a few months. So I understand.

BUT I’ve learned that New Year’s Resolutions are kind of pointless. You should ALWAYS want to do better for yourself, but it should come from the heart. Don’t wait until a specific day…a specific year. Every day you wake up is another day for you to get it right. It’s so cliché but “why put off for tomorrow what can be done today?”

A new year is just a new day. So don’t wait til Jan 1 to get your life together. Start NOW.

~Ashley Caprice

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