It''s so nice to meet you...
It is lovely to have you here.
I hope this little space on the internet has as much peace for you as it does for me. I created my website about 6 years ago with the intention of it being a place where educators and parents could find little bits and pieces about mindfulness and wellbeing.
So much more has become available now and I've learned so much over the last couple of years.
Now, it really is time for my site to grow to offer you much more to support your overall wellbeing - we need it more than ever.
Love, Ashley x
Once upon a time, a little girl named Ashley used to sit on the back step of her home and watch the birds in the garden. Even then, she appreciated the beauty in the little things around her. She did all the normal things little girls do like ride her bike and play with her friends outside, wind rain or shine, as most children did then in Scotland.
Primary school started with a magical lady called Mrs McGlennan, who was the kindest teacher Ashley would ever go on to meet. With her whole heart, Mrs McGlennan taught all the children how to read and write with her friends from Letter Land, she gave them rainbow coloured cubes to help them count and she even made them a pea green boat from thick brown card, where lucky chosen children could sit in whilst she read 'The Owl and the Pussy Cat' in her sweet voice that always sounded like a song.
Later in primary school, Ashley met a not-quite-so-nice teacher who would shout and sputter; learning was not so fun then and became a bit scary for Ashley when she knew she wasn't going to finish her work on time. But one day, this teacher asked Ashley to stand in front of the old wooden framed blackboard and teach the rest of the class how to add numbers together. Cautiously, Ashley took the powdery, white chalk from the veiny hand and did as she was told. Much to her surprise, the teacher commended Ashley for being so clear and with words that sounded unusually kind said, "You could be a good teacher when you grow up."
And that is exactly what Ashley did.
Life teaches you so much along the way and everything in your experience imprints on you some form. As life would have it, Ashley ended up teaching in a Middle Eastern country, far, far away from Scotland. And although she was brave in making the move at 25 years old, she was by now, an anxious person, who worried far too much about a whole host of little things, especially what other people thought of her and if she was saying the right things to everyone around her.
This was mentally exhausting in itself, although Ashley didn't realise it yet; this was her normality. Another problem she seemed to repeat was being with people who made her feel worse about herself and believe that as she was, wasn't enough. Her life became peppered with dark spaces. Sometimes she would fall in the hole and stay there for a while.
But, there were sources of light. One source came from those special little moments a teacher has with a child, where their joyful energy washes over you and reminds you how beautiful life can be. These moments are never really during writing or reading or maths, rather during a moment of humour and connection. Another source of light was meditation. Time and space to feel, look inwards, see what is there.
Then Ashley had a lightbulb moment. Why aren't we teaching children how to care for their mental wellbeing? Why aren't we teaching children how to love themselves? Why aren't we teaching children to hold their strength in a storm?
For the next few years she dedicated much of her time to learning, researching, sharing and above all, teaching the children in her class about mindfulness and self love. More people started to listen and she ended up in China, America and Australia talking and listening to a whole new tribe of people who loved all of the things she did. Her heart sang upon learning about the world of wellbeing science and how much it can help people so they might be better equipped to recognise things within themselves and care for their wellbeing better than she had been able to in her younger years.
She furthered her studies with a master's degree in positive psychology and coaching and wrote some books for children to help them feel well. She made cards that little hands could hold and learn from while being wonderfully creative! Still being a full time teacher meant Ashley could share all of her things with the children and watch with joy as they learned about ways to improve their wellbeing.
Even though all of this gave her purpose and meaning in life, sometimes the dark spaces opened up out of nowhere and she still found herself in the hole, which seemed darker each time she lay there.
But to this very day, when she focuses inward and trusts the process, a tiny fire sparks in her heart that lightens her path forwards like the soft glow of a candle. The more she learns to love herself, the more the light brightens. The more she listens to her intuition, the more the light brightens. The more she focuses on her own wellbeing, whilst being of service to others, the more the light brightens.
The future is looking bright.
This is not the end of the story, in fact it is only the beginning.
Today is the beginning of the rest of your life too.
We all have stories where there are high points and low points, painful parts and joyous parts. But connection to others and to self, somehow gets us through it all.
Let's keep in touch as we navigate this journey together.