TELL ME THIS...
Have you ever woke up one day (like GOT WOKE woke up) and realized....
"This is not who I am."
"I don't like this."
"I'm not using my gifts."
"I'm exhausted all the time."
"I dread waking up in the morning."
"I never see my friends."
"I don't have energy left over after work."
"Why am I not doing the things I like to do...the things that bring me joy?"
Sucks, right? There could be a few reasons why you haven't done anything about it. Maybe this sounds like you...
"There's not enough money."
"There's no other job opportunities coming my way."
"I don't know what I want, but I know this isn't it."
"I can't do that....I'm not qualified enough, talented enough, skinny enough, etc etc etc."
This was me for like, 15 years.
I lost myself after college.
Growing up, I was the shy, quiet girl who always did the right thing. I was valedictorian of my high school, was captain of the cheerleaders, attended the local university, joined a sorority, became an Orientation leader, graduated top of the class. After whatever many years of following that scholarly path and doing everything that was expected of me, I didn't know what to do anymore. Without a drive or a focus (or a clear job opportunity for me besides waiting tables which I loved, btw) I dropped out of my "safe" grad school program.
This shy and quiet little girl became quite the ruckus little firecracker.
I dated someone who wasn't good for me. I traveled the the southeastern US following rock bands and looking for affirmation everywhere, anywhere, from anyone.
Ashy made alot of bad choices. I hit rock bottom.
Now I may have found Jesus on my journey back up....but I still didn't have the clarity on my life that I wanted...that I seeked...that I needed.
Then Hurricane Katrina hit. I moved from Louisiana to Minnesota, a state whose location I didn't know on the map. I married the boy of my dreams, had the 3-bed 2 bath house by the lake, got a dog, had a decent job. It was great, but it didn't fix anything. The yearning of my heart, the knowing of what my purpose was or what I was supposed to do with my life. Every good thing I had was simply a band-aid on the fulfillment I sought after.
During a soul-seeking conversation with my dad, he gave me the most perfect advice:
You only have to do two things in the world.
I was like yes, here we go, simplicity! I love it when people tell me what to do with my life.
This is what he told me:
Number One: Honor God.
Numer Two: Use the Spiritual Gifts that He's Given You.
It's so simple yet so profound.
Knowing what you need to do and acting upon it are two separate things. Honoring God in my life has looked a few different ways:
After being married for 7 years, I moved my husband, dog and cat into my parents house 1000 miles away. The decision was hard, but the financial freedom we experienced after that was real, yall.
I've turned down higher paying jobs because something just didn't seem right about it. I would find later that my gut instinct rang true.
I quit working for a church because I felt more useful outside the church than in it. Quitting that job was the best step towards legit finding my sanity again.
I made the jump from corporate life to soloprenuer not knowing what the heck I was gonna do for money. That faithful jump inspired my risk-adverse husband to quit his job, too (!!!!). Life got really real after that in terms of what the heck now....but how romantic was THAT?!
Most recently I made the choice to leave my husband for three months....without a really good excuse except the fact that I don't like cold weather. It transformed my marriage and was absolutely worth it.
To be clear, doing those big things only happened after lots of thoughtful planning, waiting, praying. Finally acting upon it outwardly was my true profession of faith in the universe. It was never a split decision that I Towanda'd just because I felt like it.
Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't have it all figured out. Heck, I'm still living day by day over here. But let me ask you something...
What would your life look like if you truly honored yourself and your unique gifts?
What if you didn't have fear?
Fear of the future.
Fear of failure.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of being broke.
Fear of what others would think.
What if I told you that you already have the power to change everything? That taking one small step can change everything? You can decide your own destiny. This is YOUR life, after all.
You guys. It's time to take it all back. Take back what's yours, step out in faith and push through your fear to do whatever it is you are called to do.
Because guess what - it's not about you. It's about the lives that will change for the better, simply by honoring YOUR truth. Your playing small doesn't serve anyone. Your missteps are no mistake. They are a part of your story - own it. Get filled up and get going! And if my stories inspire you to move, to take the next right step, then hallelujah.
Seeing other people step into their truth makes my heart sing.
Looking back, maybe that's why I became AshMasterFlash. I want to help you step out of the darkness and into the light. Step out from behind fear and step into the life that is calling you. Let's illuminate the world with freedom, peace, abundance, gratitude, joy...all the things. You've got this.