2014 has been a year of change. It has been a year of challenge. It has been a year of sadness and loss. It has been a year of growth and ownership. It has been a year of very hard decisions and a year of avoidance.
In 2010 I founded a 501 (c) 3 Non-Profit Organization. It was meant to lift and support birth mothers, women who like myself were at a crossroad and chose adoption. It was meant to be a place of love, healing and forward movement. It was meant to be a place of education and awareness. It was meant to be a place for acceptance and forgiveness. It was an amazing space for those that truly made room for it.
Over this past year there were a chain of events that took place that have caused a shift, that have pushed me out, forced my hand, changed my heart and direction and that damaged the way I viewed myself, caused me to doubt my capabilities and started to dim my passion.
Over this past year there were another chain of events that took place that lifted me up, that loved me and supported me and that changed my heart and direction. My views of myself, my faith in my capabilities and my burning passion started to boil inside of me, I was excited for the first time in a long time. I was focused and driven, I was moved by reaction to my new focus and encouraged by those closest to me.
These two sides have been battling each other for almost 12 months.
I have spent most of this last year asking myself all the wrong questions, listening to the negativity of the wrong people and released my power and control to those that hate everything about who I am and what I stand for.
I have also spent most of this last year crying on the shoulder of my Amazing Grace (the hubs), and pouring out my soul and dreams of the future to my Sunshine (the best friend) and rebuilding who I once was, who I wanted to be again, and a dream that would not only satisfy my heart but the hearts of all of those that were a part of it.
These two sides have been battling each other for almost 12 months.
During this time, during the epic battle between the desire for good in my life and my desire to please everyone else I learned a few things.
1. It is not a life if I am living it for everyone else. I was so worried about making a change, about finally breaking out of the box that I had been shoved into. I wanted to breathe, I was dying in that box! BUT my dying seemed like a small sacrifice to make so that others would still have a place, would still be able to take advantage of me day and night, that others would be able to dictate where I worked, how I worked and what I did for work. I was willing to stay for the sick pleasures of others. I was willing to stay and continue to look like a fool when I walked into a room, I was willing to keep quiet when my name was being dragged through the mud. For the past year I have been living in a shell, in fear and in pain and anger and sadness because of others. Because of what they did or didn't do, because I poured my heart and soul into something and they "didn't get me". I was trying to change, adjust and transform for people who didn't even want me around in the first place....a place that I didn't really even want to be.
I read something that is now on my inspiration board in my office. I look at it every day and it keeps me on track when I get lost in the shadow of others!
After that I removed the people that I needed to from my life, blocked who I needed to and started to move forward without the voices in my head and the voices behind my back.
2. When your passion calls, pick up the damn phone! I have been fighting this change all year. How could it be time? How could I walk away from everything that I have built? We put so much time and money and energy into it! What about all the people? How will the world go round without it?! (yes I really was thinking that). But once my heart started pulling in this new direction I couldn't go back. I had broke out of the box...I wanted to go back in, it is what I knew and what I was good at. How could I possibly do anything else? Did I know how to do anything else? But guess what, there was no stopping it. I started to disconnect emotionally from the life I had been living and starting dreaming of a life that I truly wanted. I couldn't shake it. It consumed me. And the harder I tried to ignore it the stronger it got. It was time to answer the call.
3. Get out of your own way. With all of the self-doubt that I had collected over this past year I was having a hard time diving in to what I really wanted to go after. I had a hard time letting go of what was. I was scared to death to start over and jump in with all my energies. I had already done that, I had built a business from nothing, a community from nothing and now I was going to do it again?? It had all gone so badly this past year, why would I want to do that?? Well I answered the call, there was no going back BUT I still have left ONE foot in that door. Because what if? I can't walk away it is who I am! I can't let go I have worked too hard. No one will know who I am or care what I have to say! (I was under the lame assumption that people have cared for the past 5 years....hello wrong reasons!) That foot in the door was holding me back, it was keeping me from truly doing the work that I was meant to do. BUT WHAT IF?? over and over, months and months, back and forth. I couldn't let go. I was making excuses, I was holding myself back from something beautiful and amazing and true and pure and that allowed me to be ALL of who I am, not just a small part of who I am. It wasn't until this month, two weeks before the end of the year that I finally am letting go...of all of it. I am out of my own way, I am embracing what has been coming all along and I am opening the door for this to breathe great life and become whatever it is destined to become.
All of the events that have taken place, all the things that I have been working through, the epic battle between one life and another have come to a head. It was all designed to PUSH me into what I am supposed to be doing. Without fear, and without regret!
The work that I have been doing for the past 5 years has been amazing and has literally changed my life, changed who I am and who I want to become. It has helped me heal and find peace and find joy and happiness and find love and passion and drive and MOXIE.
I will never regret my time doing something that I have loved so dearly. That I literally poured my blood, sweat and tears into. That will remain a part of me forever.
Why would I leave something that was so amazing and good for my soul??
That is a really good question and one that has taken me the better part of 2014 to figure out. As some of the events were taking place that were forcing my hand in a different direction, one that I secretly really wanted to head in but was SO scared to let go of what I had built, I received an email.
On Pinterest a woman and I had been repinning each others stuff for a month or so and I would laugh every time I would get a notification. We were like minded in our thoughts and attentions and were both immersed in THE DESIRE MAP.
I finally reached out and posted a comment, we shared a mutual appreciation for the hilarity of our "stalking" and I thought that was that.
On June 15 I received an email. In a time when everything was falling apart, at a time when I was saying goodbye to friends, realizing true colors in others and at a time when I was turned inside out about taking the next steps this woman from Pinterest emailed me.
OH MY HEART! It soared and a fire sparked deep inside that I was convinced had burned out!! She got it! She hit it right on the damn head! She knew what my soul was screaming to do, what I was too afraid to jump into. This wasn't the first of its kind. I have received hundreds of emails over the past 5 years of this similar nature.....but this!!!!!! It not only appreciated where I had been but it was expressing HOPE and SUCCESS FOR THE FUTURE!!!!! And for me that was everything!!!!!!
I started to move forward, I started to build this new business that was stirring, a business that I knew even when I was running my other business, would spring its own life, I just didn't think it was going to be RIGHT THEN.
Here we are, 2015 starring me in the face and I am just NOW taking the steps, I am just NOW letting go, I am just now accepting that this is the life that I want, that I have always wanted. I was finally getting back to the business of MY business. My mission was finally clear, my passion is burning bright and the doors are opening, things are lining up and I am no longer fighting to stay in love with what I am doing, it is flowing naturally.
You are here reading this on THIS site because this is where my journey has brought me and this is where I am planting my feet. You are joining me here on my new journey because this is where I am supposed to be....and maybe you are too.
This new adventure is ABOUT YOU AND FOR YOU! This new adventure is all about sharing stories of the heart, inspiring each other and lifting each other. It is about the heart of a woman and the power of community. It is about celebration and NOT competition. It is about HOPE and forward movement. It is about peace and simplicity.
Thank you for being here. 2015 will bring great things for my heart, and I pray for yours as well.
xo, Ashley Mitchell, OWNER BTG