<![CDATA[Ashley Monical - Blog ]]>Fri, 15 Jan 2016 07:06:00 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Not Washing Your Hair - Give it a go! Here's How I Did It: ]]>Mon, 11 Jan 2016 20:30:14 GMThttp://www.ashleymonical.com/blog/not-washing-your-hair-give-it-a-go-heres-how-i-did-itPicture
Hi all. I recently posted on social media that I have stopped using shampoo & conditioner. Thank you to everyone for your questions and comments. This blog is to inform those of you who are interested in doing this for yourselves. I will explain my process and address as many questions as I am able! 

When I decided to try this out I did what we all do and googled "not washing your hair." After some research, I found a few blogs/articles from other women who do this (links at bottom of blog). 

With this post, I'd like to cover all the questions people have asked me (there were some questions I did not find answers to in other blogs/articles).

WHAT'S THE PURPOSE?
First, my hair is thin and by that, I mean each individual strand is thin. I also have quite a lot of hair. I am always doing what I can to get more volume & fullness - teasing, Redken Rough Paste, baby powder and curling it.  

Around the 2.5 - 3 week mark of not washing with shampoo, my hair started feeling the way I always wanted it to. Voluminous & full, soft, not oily, thick, tamable, un-staticy, wavier, is much more manageable and looks pretty dang good (at least that's what my friends have told me!). 

I stopped using shampoo, conditioner & product about 3-4 weeks ago. From day 4 to about day 10, I really wanted to wash my hair. I used to be able to go about 3 (maybe 4) days without washing and using baby power on my roots everyday, but typically at that 3 or 4 day mark I couldn't go any longer without washing. I pushed through, people, and you can too! A photo of me from when I was still using shampoo compared to a photo of me about 3 weeks after not washing. (I do use a curling iron)



DOES YOUR HAIR/SCALP SMELL?
No, not at all. I have politely asked trusted friends to stick their noses in it. I can't 100% tell you that yours won't. Because we all have different diets and put different things into our bodies that come out of our pores (this could be another blog), I can't guarantee you that yours won't, but it's highly unlikely that your hair/scalp will smell. Trust me! 

The important thing to remember with this is that you will be taking your scalp through a process of balancing it's pH level. If you have been using shampoo and hair products, your scalp is most likely creating excess oil because those products are drying it out. In the beginning your scalp may feel oilier than normal, but if you push through, the balance will come and your scalp won't produce near as much oil and will bring itself to a healthy pH balance and create amazing results for your beautiful locks. 

Using baking soda and ACV (apple cider vinegar) will help. 
 
Below I will lay out for you my process as best I remember it:

Day 4 - Wash with equal parts baking soda & water mixture, scrubbing roots with fingertips for about 2-3 minutes. Rinse out thoroughly. Then, with equal part mixture of ACV & water (I made the mixture in a little bowl and dipped the ends of my hair in it, up to 2-3 inches away from scalp). Rinse thoroughly. Let hair air dry or you can blow dry and proceed with styling if that's your jam. 

Day 6 - Rinse hair with water, scrubbing scalp. 

Day 8 - If you feel it necessary, repeat day 4. If you're okay with just rinsing with water, that is more ideal. 

Day 11 - Repeat day 4. 

After day 12, you should find a rhythm for yourself. Knowing when it's best to rinse with water, do the baking soda & ACV or just skip the rinse all together. The most important thing to remember when doing things like this is to listen to your body and inner voice. Your answer is always inside of you. Like the times you ask someone, "Should I wear this shirt or that shirt?" And they respond with "That shirt." And you say, "I think I'll wear this one instead." You knew what you wanted/needed all along. This is a metaphor for all the other things in life. Trust your inner guidance! 

A FEW KEY POINTS:
- There were quite a few days my hair felt oily in the beginning stages. You can use a bit of baby powder on your roots if you feel really uncomfortable with it. Don't use too much though, because it will dry out your scalp, making it want to produce more oil. 

- Hats, ponytails & buns are good for the beginning too.

- Brush brush brush! I use a Mason Pearson brush. It's amazing. Brush from roots to ends in the morning and evening. This will bring the oils down from your scalp to your ends, nourishing your hair and making it softer and more flowy (made that word up). 

- Put it back somehow while you sleep especially in the beginning stages because of the excess oil. This is not necessary, but just a suggestion. 

- I've heard this works wonders for curly hair. It has made my hair more wavy. 

- You will save money on products, use less water and not be bound by your hair washing routine. After 2-3 weeks, you will be free to wake up most days and not have to wash your hair. It's really freeing! This especially makes me think of all the musicians I know who tour a lot. 

Please keep me updated on how this works out for you! You can do it! If you need guidance, feel free to reach out or comment below! 

Blessings. 
AM

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<![CDATA[FINDING YOUR PURPOSE]]>Wed, 04 Nov 2015 23:33:32 GMThttp://www.ashleymonical.com/blog/finding-your-purposePicture
This is a much talked about topic - Finding your purpose. It can seem a little (or a lot) daunting to think about.

For a long time, I thought "purpose" meant something someone does. For instance: "my purpose is to play music" or "my purpose is to write" or "my purpose is to be a mom" or "my purpose is to provide for my family."  

Through experience, many tough lessons and periods of time where I have felt like I'm grinding out life on a  gravely, bumpy road - My opinion has changed about this. Purpose comes from somewhere that is not visible to the human eye. It is mystical in a sense. If you sat a doctor and musician next to each other - they might have the same purpose. If you sat two doctors side by side - they might have completely different purposes.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to find your purpose (write them down!):
  • How would you like to impact the world or your community? Not what would you like to do, but HOW? 
  • What brings you joy? And what gets you in "the zone?" And why??
  • What do you do in your life that makes you feel the most connected? (either to yourself or to others)
  • What do you have to offer that you feel you and others will get great joy from? Why?? 

Now, some or all of these questions might have the same answer. But you should at least have some facts about your purpose to work with. Purpose is the undercurrent for all that we do. Purpose drives our passion. 

Here's an example from my life - Lately, I get the most joy out of writing. Whether it be a song, a poem, an inspiring Facebook post, beginning a book, even this blog! I get this true sense of joy and almost a feeling of being invincible when I am in the act of writing. It is not really the ACT OF WRITING that brings me these feelings though. It is what I am writing about and the message that I wish to share. It is the knowing that I am one of the vessels through which this information travels to manifest into the physical world - however that may be. Everyone has the ability to experience this. EVERYONE. 

Now that you have answered the questions, think about your daily life. Think (or write) about what you do in your day to engage with your purpose. If you can't think of anything right now, write about what you COULD BE DOING to engage. It can be very simple. Think about ways to find time each day to ignite it. THIS IS THE LIFEBLOOD OF THE SOUL. 

My wish is that this message fires you up and allows you to live a purpose driven life, even if just for today, but hopefully for the rest of your days. You deserve it and the world needs you. 

Blessings, 
Ashley


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<![CDATA["FACING THE SHADOW" RELEASE!]]>Sat, 17 Oct 2015 05:11:49 GMThttp://www.ashleymonical.com/blog/facing-the-shadow-releasePicture
 "Facing The Shadow" is out as of Oct 16!
Download on iTunes here:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/facing-the-shadow/id1041860781

My deepest gratitude to all who have been a part of this project, all who have lent a helping hand, all who have contributed time and energy and all of those who continue to support the music by coming to shows! 

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<![CDATA[INSIDE SCOOP TO PHOTO SHOOTS]]>Sat, 01 Aug 2015 06:16:21 GMThttp://www.ashleymonical.com/blog/inside-scoop-to-photo-shoots

Hi Tribe! 

Here's a photo that my super talented friend, Elis Avellan, took a while back. This was a really awesome photo shoot in her father's backyard. Here's an inside scoop on photo shoots. First, I want to say that Elis is amazing - She's amazing because when we do a photo shoot, she brings out in me my truest self, and she's a gorgeous Goddess herself. I was super cold in this water. I had this huge tapestry wrapped around my body, doing my best to keep myself covered for the photo. My sweet sister is out of the shot, but just to the left of the photo making sure the fabric was flowing properly for a good shot. Elis' sister, Isabel, was holding the sun reflector and Elis was tippy toed on the edge of the pool in order to get this angle from above. All the while, I'm trying not to laugh and doing my best to look natural and relaxed, like it's just another day, floating in the water, sun shining, without a care in the world... Easy breezy, right?!? Because I fully immersed myself in the water, this was the last shot of the day and we all laughed a lot for this portion of the shoot. But she captured a great one, right?? 

You can find more of Elis' work here. Her photography name is Alice Rabbit. Follow her on IG, Twitter - @alicerabbitshoots. She also makes gorgeous jewelry called Crystal Bullets.
AliceRabbit.com

On another note - The album is finished! We sent it off to get pressed today with my Any & All Media here in Austin, TX. Super excited! So much work has been put into this and to be able to share it with y'all gives me butterflies in my tummy. In a really good way :) 

Shows! Because a lot of time and energy is going in to preparing for the album release, the show schedule is not as busy this coming month, but we've got some good ones! We will be all over the states for shows in the fall, so stay tuned for that.

Thursday, August 13th
Houston, TX
McGonigel's Mucky Duck
9:30pm
Tix online HERE

Thursday, August 20th
Marfa, TX
Padre's
8:30pm

Friday & Saturday, August 21st & 22nd
Terlingua, TX
Terlingua Music Festival
Order wristband online for only $40 ($75 at the door) HERE



Blessings.
Ashley 
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<![CDATA[GOD = LOVE]]>Wed, 13 May 2015 18:45:22 GMThttp://www.ashleymonical.com/blog/being-a-sober-musicianCall me Christian because I worship Jesus Christ. Call me Buddhist because I worship Buddha. Call me Hindu because I worship Hare Krishna. Call me a student of Self Realization because I worship Paramahansa Yogananda. Call me a Tree Hugger because I worship Mother Earth. Call me a scientist because I have explored quantum physics. Call me whatever you'd like, really :) 

This is not "new age" belief. "New" implies time, this Love is timeless. It is always now and always here for us to bask in it's Grace and Glory. 

Some folks might get confused walking into my home, seeing photos of Christ, statues of Buddha, images of Krishna and photos of Gurus hanging on my walls, Mother Mary, Catholic candles, incense, malas, sage, etc. All of these beings who blessed the Earth have high vibrations of LOVE pouring out of them. They did not wish for segregation, they did not wish for judgement. They wished for Oneness under the umbrella of God, which is All. 

God = Love. Love has no boundaries. Love simply is. 

We worship whatever Deity resonates with us. Know that God lives inside of us and around us and provides an infinite amount of Love, passion and joy!

Blessings,
AM

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<![CDATA[SAXON PUB IN AUSTIN, TX THIS SATURDAY!]]>Tue, 20 Jan 2015 19:46:39 GMThttp://www.ashleymonical.com/blog/saxon-pub-in-austin-tx-this-saturdayPicture
Friends! This Saturday I will be at The Saxon Pub in Austin, TX. I have been working away on my solo show and would love for you all to join me! I appreciate all of the love and support I have felt recently.. I love sharing and connecting with you! My friends at Colored Lion are bringing a film crew out for the show to get some footage for an upcoming project we are working on, so wear your best lipstick and fanciest shirt :) Stick around for Micky and the Motorcars afterwards! A good friend and great singer-songwriter, Jessy Napier, will be opening for me. 

--- Saxon Pub --- Jan 24 --- 8PM --- $8 at the door --- 

As always, you can visit ashleymonical.com to check show schedule, read the blog or browse the photos

Blessings and see you soon! 
AM

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<![CDATA[SACRED HEART]]>Tue, 20 Jan 2015 18:40:50 GMThttp://www.ashleymonical.com/blog/sacred-heartPicture
You know that feeling when you feel supported by the infinite? I have some to experience what when we follow our heart's guidance, listen to it and act upon it, The Divine knows and opens up for us to experience nurturing and love. These are words that came through me last night. We are so blessed to be instruments *

Your sacred heart
You have the key to unlock it, to show it this beautiful world
It wants to see
To recognize the sacredness in itself and everything else
It wants to climb the trees
It wants to fly with the birds
Your heart, you see, has a life
A spirit of it's own
You can talk to it
You can love it, like you love a friend
If you love it, your heart will guide you
It will guide you on the back of an eagle
It will guide you through the Earth into it's roots
It will guide you to mountain tops and back down
It will guide you to other hearts alike
If you truly love your heart
Your heart will guide you through the pain
If you love your heart
It will show you the wonders of the world
What if you decide to let your heart out of it's cage? 
Crack open the shell?
Are you afraid of pain?
Your heart will never leave you, know that
You heart will rest there in your bones, not in a cage
It will sing the joys of other hearts
It will reach out and touch other hearts and in turn, be touched even greater
It wants to see, feel, experience the beauty of loving you back
Love your sacred heart.



<3
AM

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<![CDATA[HAPPY NEW YOU!]]>Mon, 29 Dec 2014 22:41:54 GMThttp://www.ashleymonical.com/blog/happy-new-youPictureDelivering a Thanksgiving meal to Señora Maria
Welcome to all the folks who have hopped on my wagon recently! 

2014 was a nutty, roller coaster of a year for lots of people. I recorded my first full length album (produced by John Evans), played a bunch of really cool stages & wrote with lots of talented songwriters. I have also taken time to get involved with the SIMS Foundation here in Austin, TX. Check it out, I'm even featured on the front page of their website! They provide mental health care for musicians who reside in Austin. They have helped me (and many other musicians) so much. They asked me to share my story and it felt in line with my heart to spread the word about SIMS, so I'm all out in the open now and it feels great to share my passion and excitement for mental health! Ready for 2015! 
*If you are, or know, a musician in Austin, TX who needs help, please call SIMS at (512)494-1007, they will help you. 

As always, you can visit ashleymonical.com to check on upcoming shows, here are a few coming up in Jan. 

Shows: 

Jan 1st
Freddy Power's Picking Party
5220 Hudson Bend Rd Austin, TX 78734
3:30pm

Jan 5th
Strange Brew
Miranda Dawn's Birthday Celebration with Daisy, Miranda Dawn & Cecily Gold.
5326 Manchaca Rd Austin, TX 78745
7-9pm

Jan 6th
Mucky Duck
W/ Libby Koch
2425 Norfolk Houston, TX 77098
7pm
*Tickets

Jan 24
Saxon Pub 
W/ Micky and the Motorcars 
1320 Lamar Square Dr. Austin, TX 78704
8pm
*Tickets

I LOVE hearing back from you!! If you feel inclined, simply comment below and it will get to me! 

Thank you to all who have taken time to come to all of my shows in 2014! It is an honor and a blessing to play music for you. I am looking forward to further connection! As we say in my family "HAPPY NEW YOU!" Let us be open to LOVE and a happy, healthy life! 

With Love, 
Ashley

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<![CDATA[WOMANHOOD WITH A TWIST]]>Sun, 14 Sep 2014 18:11:58 GMThttp://www.ashleymonical.com/blog/womanhood-with-a-twistPicture
Hey frans (friends, family & fans),

What I am posting here is something I wrote for a speech I gave at my friend (and great songwriter/performer), Emily Bell's series "Can't Talk Back." Each week she has a guest woman speaker come up in the middle of her band's set to talk about what it means to them to be a woman. I put a little twist to it. Check it out :) It was incredibly inspiring for me to get up in front of about 50 people (mostly men) and talk about this truth of mine. 

I just had my 29th birthday and over the past few years I have gone through some life changes and transitions that I feel have catapulted me into my womanhood. Through hardships and certain situations I have grown. Being a songwriter, I keep finding lyrics pouring out of me about coming into being a grown woman.

There have been times where I have doubted my ability to speak out. It’s much easier for me to put some lyrics to a song and play my guitar or piano and sing what I want to say. Now I will speak out. 

I want to start by sharing a brief history of my pubescent teenage years with you. To begin with, when my parents finally gave in and let me start shaving my legs, I was in 6th grade, long after all of the “cool girls” in school started shaving theirs. Not many girls can say this, but MY DAD actually took me to the store and helped me pick out a cool razor, I still remember the way it looked, round and flat to make it easy to hold. It was pink or purple. He taught me, with patience and care, how to shave my legs around my nobly knees and tender, skinny shins. A few years later when I started my period, I was too ashamed to tell my mom. So I would take feminine hygiene products from my best friend, Tarah’s, house in order to avoid an awkward conversation. She had never talked to me about this stuff, and I was certainly not going to be the first one to bring it up. I went months without telling her, she finally found out and we still never really had a conversation about it. Now, in retrospect, I understand it must have been uncomfortable for her as well.  

This was my introduction into the beginning of womanhood. And I had feelings of shame and embarrassment.

What I have learned since then is that there is nothing to be ashamed of here! Being a woman is so beautiful, mystical, spiritual, vulnerable, sexy and powerful. Just like Mother Nature, we nurture the sick and dying and encourage the blooming. Our hearts carry compassion and love. And when our hearts are open, we can dance freely to the beat they are providing us and follow our path of courage.

Someone reminded me recently that all humans are made up of part masculine and part feminine energy. So I am not only speaking of what it means to be a woman, but what it means to be a human. Each and every person on this planet has the ability to connect with the Divine Femininity and soft, flowing, nurturing side of themselves. Just as much as they have the ability to connect with the strong, grounded, "get shit done" part of themselves. When I say this, I am not separating men and women, but combining the two amazing forces that we all have indispensable access to.

So, the message I would like to convey is that we all have the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine inside of us. Each side wants to be expressed just as much as the other whether you are a woman or a man.

A woman carries the baby that the man fertilizes, just as the rain from the skies give life to the plants and trees that grow from the earth’s inviting soil. We need both to thrive!

With this message, I encourage you, whether you are a man or a woman, to reach inside and find what it means to harness both feminine and masculine energy.

Men, I urge you tonight and in the future to dance and wave your arms in the air letting your worries and fears float up to the sky. I urge you to ask yourself how you are expressing the feminine nature that undoubtedly rests in your spirit.

Women, I encourage you to reach far and wide out of your comfort zones, just as I am doing right here right now on stage. Do something to nurture your masculine side. Fix something at your house that you might normally ask a man for help with. Find that part of your spirit that yearns to take care of yourself and loved ones in your life.

You are all beautiful people. Thank you for listening to my truth and I urge you all to live yours. Thank you. The Divine Mother in me recognizes the Divine Mother in you. 

With Love,
Ashley 


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<![CDATA[RECORDING, PHASE ONE. DONE.]]>Sat, 12 Jul 2014 03:39:29 GMThttp://www.ashleymonical.com/blog/recording-phase-one-donePictureThursday, July 10, 2014 Wimberley, TX
As I am driving to Wimberley, TX on a beautiful Monday morning I have that little nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. My thoughts are firing into places, like they often do, of the unknown. I am on my way to record an album. This has been a long time coming. John Evans (producer) is already out at the place setting up the studio with Steve Christensen (sound engineer- SugarHill Studios) and Falcon Valdez (drums, The Happen-Ins). Later to come would be Scott Davis (bass, The Band Of Heathens) & Trevor Nealon (keys, The Band Of Heathens).  Weaving through the hill country roads from Austin, TX out to Wimberley, TX, I realize I don't know anyone but John and my mind races again.....

When John and I began pre production for the album, I shot out the idea of recording in Wimberley at my family's new property. We both decided that would be perfect. There is a log cabin surrounded by a screened in porch with a breezeway running through the middle - a perfect place to relax and read and soak in the sounds of the cicadas & roosters. There is also a huge two story garage with an apartment above it AND a little love shack. The studio was set up in the garage apartment and that was where the magic happened. We kept the cabin as our sanctuary where we had a few games of poker, a couple movie nights, ate a lot of chicken, kale and spinach, and had some quite interesting conversations... Along with a few visits to the incredible spot on the Blanco River.  

I can't really explain the process of recording, nor do I want to. All I have to say is that it was fulfilling, exhausting, funny, sacred, humbling, vulnerable, beautiful. Being surrounded by nature, for me, is what helped fuel the creative process. 

On Thursday, the last day, John, Steve and I went into town to get some steak and jalapeños wrapped with bacon to grill up (*John gets the cred for grilling). We had a great "last supper" and then had a listening session at about 11:30 that evening. We all sat in the studio and listened to each song back to back. Soaking in what we spent the past two weeks cultivating. I did my best to listen without ego. I found myself resting my head back onto the couch, eyes closed and smiling. 

These songs that I have written are now born. It's like I had 11 babies. Song babies. They are still rough mixes, at the puberty stage I would say, or maybe early 20s. We have phase two in about three weeks which will be mixing in Houston at SugarHill Studios. At the same time, I am getting my funding campaign together with my buddy, videographer, Josh Dodds. Then I launch the crowd funding campaign to raise money for promotion of the album. 

I have to admit, when the guys were packing up the studio yesterday morning getting ready to head back to the real world, I got a little sad. We created a bond and it was a really amazing time. I could not have asked for better people to work with. John and Steve's ability to keep a grounded, stable environment was amazing and put me at ease, even after all the batch (coffee) they drank. :) Falcon is a badass drummer and was very innovative with his ideas, no ego there. Scott is just a brilliant musician, what they call a utility player, meaning he knows how to play just about everything and is really really really good at it. Trevor put keys on two songs, one being Trouble. He slayed it! All of the people who are a part of this are extremely talented at what they do! 

I am so thrilled to share this group of songs. This is only the beginning. 

Peace & Light
Ashley

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