I'm sitting here working on my computer eating salt sprinkled cantaloupe. I originally spelled cantaloupe, "cantlelope" and then it gave me the squiggly "you don't know how to spell this" line. So I GOOGLED it.. confession.
Be sure to check out my show dates, there are a few up and I will continue to update them for the summer!
John Evans and I have been meeting for some pre production stuff for my album and it's been going really well, I am looking forward to working with him more! We recorded a song last week for a video for my crowd funding campaign that I have not launched yet, but will in the near future. It will be solely to raise money for promoting the album, I've already got the studio costs covered. My goal is to put at least $10,000 into promoting the album and I'm really looking forward to sharing the music with more peeps. Have you heard the first EP I put out about 4 years ago before I started playing gigs called Map Of The World? It's on iTunes and I suggest you go hear it now before I take it down. Let's just say, it helps me to appreciate my growth. :-)
There is something personal that I feel the need to share with all of you. In the past few months (give or take) anxiety has been visiting me in a more prominent way. Have you had anxiety? Yes? Then you know that it can have the ability to take you into a deep, dark hole of fear. It can be very scary and debilitating. I would not wish anxiety on anyone.. ANYONE.
Since I was a young girl, I have always been extremely inquisitive and had an innate desire for learning about humans. I am still that way. So, of course, when I feel anxiety I want to learn about it.. Where does it come from? What exactly IS it? Why does it seem to take over in moments that I feel in control? How can it go away? And why does it happen sometimes when I am on stage doing what I love most?? Hmmm...
I have been reading about anxiety and talking about it with others who have experienced it. Here is what I can conclude as of today:
When I have had anxiety in the past, I have attached myself to it. Which means I have had this belief that it is a part of me.. A part of Ashley's being. It is not. When I attach myself to anxiety, I start to shame myself for feeling it. Would I shame a friend for having anxiety? No. I would talk them down and tell them kind, soothing words so that they could see some light. Notice earlier I said, "anxiety has been visiting me in a more prominent way." If I can take a step back and look at anxiety as a visitor, then I can wrap my head around detaching from it and letting it go (same with fear, depression, stress, etc...), which is the goal. I was watching a yogi speak about panic attacks and he said that the true way to let go of panic is to become friends with it. I like that. Just become friends, say, "why are you here, anxiety?" I know I know, it sounds silly, but it can work!
When I have the courage to accept it and love it and embrace it, that's when it will be let go. When I can have the courage to share with others about it, it will be let go. When I can tell you that sometimes when I am on stage and I feel a panic attack coming on and it's really scary, it will be let go. Anxiety and fear thrive off of darkness. When I can talk about it and shine light on it, I can learn to accept it and therefor, let it go. This is not always easy, but this is human. And all is okay. :)
I write this post for 2 reasons:
1) After being so vocal about anxiety to friends and family in my life, I have learned that nearly everyone has suffered from anxiety and not many people like to talk about it. I think it's because they feel it will bring on more anxiety or that they will be shamed for it and look stupid in other people's eyes. Both false. I want to put myself out there like this so that people know others feel this too and it's okay. It does not have to be taboo. My wish is that you talk about it!
2) Writing about it for the world wide web to see (I know millions are reading this, right?) helps me shine light on it and then connect with you in a deeper way.
In my belief, we are all interconnected and this world is a beautiful place. We are free to live out our goals and dreams and we are just as worthy as anyone else! There is darkness, yes. Darkness makes the light that much brighter, enabling us to sink our roots into Mother Earth and stretch our branches toward the sun.
All of the blessings of happiness in the world to you.