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Conscious love

Love is easy, relationships are hard work. They take practice, communication, patience and commitment (to name just the very tip of the iceberg). I’ve found myself at the age where all of the sudden friends and siblings are getting married, having kids, buying houses (all beautiful things! Don’t get me wrong). Like anything else, through witnessing other peoples experiences, we start to question our own. As a young women with my partner for over 5 years we often feel societies expectations creeping in on us. Like we have something to prove to the world to assure people that we are committed, we are happy, we are in love. Little did I know how much of a gift this tension would prove to be for our growth. It’s forced us to have some really open and honest conversations about our future that may not have happened otherwise. Instead of being committed to fulfilling societies ideals, or committed to “monogamy” we want to be committed to each other and to our growth. There’s a big difference! So we’ve found ourselves asking our hearts, what does that mean? What does that look like for us? What do we yearn for when the fears of judgment are taken away?

The truth is that the way that humans relate in our current day and age is completely different than the way that we related only 50-80 years ago. Marriage used to be a economic institution, where people were a part of marriages (sometimes arranged) in order to gather assets. We wanted security, children, family, property and social respectability. It’s fairly new that we marry for love, we now actively choose our partners and we expect them to fulfill us in ALL ways. As Esther Perel says, “Contained within the small circle of the wedding band are vastly contradictory ideals. We want our chosen one to offer stability, safety, predictability, and dependability. And we want that very same person to supply awe, mystery, adventure, and risk. We expect comfort and edge, familiarity and novelty, continuity and surprise.” We now ask one person to fulfill us in a way that a whole community once contributed to.  It seems that we are outgrowing the old institutions that determine how we relate with each other. This is made even clearer to me with the 50% divorce rate in the US, 65% in subsequent marriages. I find myself asking, is marriage necessary anymore? Is it causing people more harm than good?

Luckily, conscious love is on the up and up. It requires being awake and alive in our relationships. Being active in the decisions we are making, both alone and together as couples, instead of mindlessly going through the typical monogamy checklist. I’m not sure what the future holds for how we as humans relate (or rather the institutions we label them as) but I do know that instead of it frustrating me, it excites me. I think we are starting to wake up to the old ways that are no longer working for us and are instead tuning into our truths, expressing our desires, owning our shit. I hope you will join me as we commit ourselves to this ongoing practice of realizing and living out our TRUTHS as they are now and as they evolve in the future.

** If you are interested in the topic of conscious love, non-monogamy, desire and healthy, committed, new-age relationships I have excellent sources of knowledge and inspiration for you! Here are (just a few) of my suggestions:
Esther Perel – Rethinking Infidelity
Esther Perel – The Secret to Desire
The 4 Qualities Of A Conscious Relationship
Esther Perel – Successful Relationships
Amazon Books – More Than Two

Waking Up – 5 Morning Rituals

Everybody is different, duh. This is not a list of things that you SHOULD do every morning but merely a list of things to help inspire you to find what works FOR YOU. Perhaps some mornings you meditate or go for a run or surf or just drink a cup of coffee. The secret is that it’s not the actual activities that are so special, it’s the intention behind them. It’s the meaning that you infuse your actions with.  I wanted to share some things that I’ve found helpful in creating an internal and external environment rooted in presence and direction. Thus, here is a glimpse at my morning routine. I hope it will give you some ideas to try and inspire you to find what works for you.


The very moment you wake up. Say it. Out loud or to yourself, it doesn’t matter. Let the vibration of gratitude fill your body and give thanks for another opportunity to experience the gift of a new day. Wow, what an opportunity.

2. Make your bed

This is something that I’ve just recently added to my morning routine. It’s not something that I naturally find important or necessary and I’m typically the type to never ever make my bed. But I have to say, it’s been a real game-changer. To me this small act is a reminder of the importance of the little things. This one small act is the first completed task of the day. It helps me separate my night self from my day self and it gets me going with more verve than I would otherwise.

3. Meditate

If you’re new to meditation start small. Give yourself just a few still minutes to follow your breath in and out. Let it be simple and don’t overthink it! Pick the same spot to sit every morning and just observe yourself, your surroundings, everything that makes up the moment that you’re in. There is absolutely no way to meditate wrong. There is no effort wasted!

4. Write it out

I think the power of pen to paper is so massively underrated. There is something so therapeutic and powerful about taking thoughts, concerns, beliefs, stressors, inspirations, dreams, goals, ideas and/or to-do lists, etc. etc. etc. and putting it down on paper. This doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process. If you’re not into free writing, make some categories: grateful for, non-negotiable activities today, to-do list etc. Although this allows me to get really clear on some tangible tasks for the day, more than anything it keeps me in a state of connection and inquiry to a deeper part of myself. It wold be easy to get thrown into the day doing the many different things that ask for our time and energy but by consciously making a list you insure you’re spending your time on things that are in alignment with your deeper purpose.

5. Nourish yourself

By now, I’m starving and ready for breakfast. I won’t say much about what you might want to consider eating but I will suggest that there be one question you ask yourself: will this food fuel or deplete my energy? Whatever beverage or food that you decided on, savor it! It’s becoming a part of who you are. Pretty big deal, right?

When you make a habit out of laying your foundation with gratitude, intention, connection and direction, you’re set up to build a really powerful day for yourself, and for others around you.

To waking up,



The total solar eclipse on Monday was such a special event. It was so unique to witness everyone outside with a sense of awe for this place that we all share.  It felt refreshing to have something that connects us (versus the theme of separation) as the main point of conversation between people, on the news and in our papers. On Monday, and the weeks leading up to it, my social media news feed seemed to be filled with posts, from people all over the world, on ways to harness this astrological event as a means for self reflection, transformation and collective enlightenment. Rituals, ceremonies, meditations, yoga classes, surya namaskars and pranayama techniques were just a few examples of topics that I saw floating around. Don’t get me wrong, I believe wholeheartedly in harnessing the energy that is invoked during times like this but I also believe that most are too quick to give away their power to some external event. It’s kind of like around New Years when everyone is setting intentions and questioning their life choices only to fall back into their old ways a few weeks later. We cannot expect reflection and transformation to happen on one specific or auspicious day. We must be willing to put in the good work/Gods work every day. What better day than today to start doing that thing you always wanted to do? If it’s a BIG change you’re looking to make, start by doing 3 SMALL things each day to work towards your goal. Patience, persistence and faith will not lead you astray.

What if you viewed today as the most important day of your life? How then would you show up within it? Do you realize that YOU have the power to make of it what you desire? You don’t need an excuse (like a new year, or the stars aligning) to make changes. There has never been a more perfect day to begin, than today.

On a day when the wind is perfect, the sail just needs to open
and the world is full of beauty.
Today is such a day.

Journaling, surfing and reading are some of the ways I stay on the daily path of inquiry, transformation and inspiration.
What are your favorite ways to stay empowered?

Authentic Desire

Authentic (adjective) — of undisputed origin; genuine.

I had a wonderful conversation with my friend the other day on the subject of authenticity and what it FEELS like to live in such a way. We essentially spoke about how challenging it is to live in our TRUTH and so it got me to thinking. I believe living in truth requires a couple different things:

1. A willingness/openness to experience our genuine desires, feelings and emotions.
<once we are aware of these desires..>
2. An allowing of these desires to move us and influence our lives.

The thing that makes these responsibilities so challenging is that we often have a rigid idea of what we want our lives to look like, how our jobs will unfold, who we will spend our days with, whom we love, how we are treated, how we wish to feel etc etc. And so we then have this choice whether to stay rigid in our small understanding of how we believe our life should or should not unfold or instead let the shell of our understanding be cracked and laid aside. Sure, the latter might sound incredibly freeing but in reality it is more often than not, incredibly uncomfortable. Expanding, transforming, opening, requires a willingness to be radically who we are even if it means moving through stages of discomfort, sadness, loneliness. Although for sure, nothing is more painful than living a life that is not an expression of your bona fide Self.

Can you appreciate that every desire is holy? Are you willing to let it move you?

“blessed be the longing that brought you here
and quickens your soul with wonder.

may you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
that disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.

may you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
to discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.

may the forms of your belonging – in love, creativity, and friendship –
be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.”
-John O’ Donohue

Pranams to your Truth,

Chosen chains

The masculine and feminine archetypal energies at play within our lives and in our relationships are fascinating to me. The archetypes can be expressed through both men or women although most people are majoring in either masculinity or femininity and minoring in the other. David Deida says that the masculine nature is always seeking freedom. This is the onward urge that has led to airplanes, wall street, sports and endless new technologies, to name a few. The masculine thrives off of breaking through barriers, removing constraints and overcoming adversary. Deida writes, the essential “Masculine plea” is, “I want out of here!” That doesn’t mean a man (or a more masculine woman) always wants to run away, but rather that his masculine nature is going to have him constantly seeking ways to escape the constraints he experiences in the world around and within him. On the other hand, femininity carries our longing for the embodied experience of love, unity and beauty. The feminine is saying in endless ways “show me the love!”

Which one do you identify most with? Perhaps it has shifted throughout the different stages in your life or differs depending on which relationship it is concerned with. For me, the longing for freedom is something that I have become quite familiar with.
My ammo more often than not is:
I can do what ever the fuck I want
Nothing and no one can keep me small
How can I be as unrestrained as possible

I’ve done a lot of shadow work with this archetype of mine: Become aware of it, denied it, hated it, realized its limiting affects, accepted it, understood it, cuddled up and become friends with it, journaled about it, from it and around it and then finally, become(ing) free from it despite its presence or absence.

Khalil Gibran reminds me best:


Take out your journal and ask your Self:
-What decisions have I made from this belief?
– Is this need rooted in fear? What am I afraid of?
– Can I see how this need for freedom is limiting me? How it has been chosen rather than imposed upon me?
– What would my life look and feel like if I stepped into the freedom that lies within me always, no matter what my circumstances are?

“Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?” -Rumi

Naked and unbound,

Taco Tuesday

DSC_0024Tuesday is a really special day for me. It’s the one day out of the week that I have a ‘no work’ policy. Being my own boss and having the ability to set my own schedule is such a blessing but it also means that I am responsible for setting aside time to step out of my work role and just rest. Some weeks this is easier said than done but yesterday I slid into my Tuesday with an ease that I haven’t felt in a long time.

I’m a big fan of meal planning at the beginning of the week as a way to save time and money. For me, it’s the best way to plan meals with using both the ingredients that I already have on hand as well as making a list for items to pick up at the store. Andrew has been stopping at a local farm stand on his way home from work which has been featuring some delicious mushrooms and peppers (and NJ blueberries!). Thus, our Poblano-mushroom tacos were born.

DSC_0005 DSC_0015DSC_0012 DSC_0010

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the filling
– Mushrooms — I used a mixture of shiitake, portobello and white
– Poblano peppers
– Red onion
– Spices — cayenne, cumin salt, pepper

For the corn salsa
– Corn (preferably fresh cut off the cob)
– Jalepeno
– Red onion
– Cilantro
– Lime
– salt & pepper

For the hummus
– Chickpeas
– Toasted walnuts
– Lemon juice
– Garlic
– Olive oil

  1. Toast walnuts in 350′ oven
  2. Mix together ingredients for the corn salsa, let it chill out in the fridge so it has time to fall in love.
  3. Take walnuts out of the oven (after 10-15 mins), let cool.
  4. Chop mushrooms, peppers and onion and then sauté in olive oil until everything is tender. Season to taste (lots of pepper goes really well with this dish).
  5. While step #4 is cooking, put ingredients for the hummus together in a food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a bowl and top with more lemon juice + pepper
  6. Toast the tortillas over an open flame (because nothing is worse than cold tortillas and nothing is better than crispy ones!)

xo Ash

True, Deep Connection

I was recently reminded of the importance of true and deep connection. Not the kind of connection where you ask someone how they are and they quickly answer “good, you?” I’m talking about the kind where you ask someone how they are and you look each other in the eyes and wait for a meaningful response. I used to have the mentality that I didn’t need anyone. I was the classic case of “I can do it myself”. When I was 18 I moved to Europe for university, not caring that my friends and family were no closer than an international flight away. I just wanted my freedom. It’s been a slow, long journey but I have come to realize that making significant connections is a fundamental need and that having freedom is far less fulfilling without sincere relationships to go along with it. I could travel the word ten times over searching, but unless I was willing to be vulnerable with myself, true connections were not going to find me. Brené Brown says:

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to the feeling of worthiness.”

Our ability to be vulnerable and thus connect with ourselves is directly related to our ability to be vulnerable and connect with others. All of those years, the connection I was missing was the one with myself. The depth of the well we dig within us is the same depth we dig with others. Can you feel that? How deep does the connection with yourself run?

When’s the last time you…

  • Sat down and wrote in your journal about how you feel and what you need?
  • Looked at yourself in the eyes (not at your shirt or your hips but in. your. eyes.) and said ‘I see you’ + ‘I love you’?
  • Heard your intuition speak to you, and acted on it?
  • Sat in meditation and asked your spirit to speak to you?

Sit in a comfortable seat for a moment and close your eyes. Start to breathe deep and become aware of any sensations in your body. What do you feel? Where do you feel it? How would you breath if you let yourself soften and become a little bit more open? Can you pin point where you feel a sense of deep connection within you? How deep does it run? Can you open and soften and allow it to grow a little bit deeper?

We must be brave enough to meet ourselves as we are. In doing so, our vulnerability creates an environment open for true connection and that my friends, is where the magic truly, deeply happens.

Fireside Smoothie

What do you drink when it’s freezing outside, you want something more nutritious than hot cocoa but still want it to feel like a treat? This fireside smoothie! What first started as me throwing together some random ingredients quickly turned into the most delicious winter night smoothie ever. This recipe is meant to be for 2 but you could also save any extra in a mason jar and freeze it for another cold night.


What you need:
2 Frozen Bananas
2 Dates
1 cup Coconut milk
1 heaping tablespoon Almond butter
2 pumps Cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice mix)

Add everything to a blender (preferably a Vitamix). Mix on HIGH for about a minute (or until blender runs smoothly). Pour into your favorite winter mug, enjoy alone or with a loved one ❤

merry merry ❤

love and destiny

Hi beautiful people. I’m writing this from the floor of LAX. Literally, the floor! I’m bumming it for the night here waiting for my next flight in the morning. I think I started a trend in this little corner of the airport. People have been gathering and getting comfy for the night too, which makes me feel a little less crazy.

The past few weeks have been full of setting stones. Life feels like that to me sometimes, times of comfort and planning and then times of execution and adventure. Both good, both needed.

I write (and think) a lot about what it means to do what you love and follow your destiny. Now, that may seem like a daunting task but in reality it should be the most liberating, loveliest adventure of your life. The backbone of everything you do. The word destiny kinda freaks people out. It’s such a powerful word. I don’t believe anybody has a one word answer to what their destiny is. I think living your destiny is to be open in every moment. Open to the possibility that what you have made up in your mind of what you should be doing today, in this moment, in your life as a whole, might not be what’s in the cards for you. Openness, non-resistance is the aim. When we meet every moment as a guide from beyond and allow it to usher us then we are living in love, we are free.

Here I am at the airport. 2 more planes to go and I am working on this openness thing. This doesn’t come easy to me and I don’t think I’m alone in that. I try to view my actions in life under two categories. Love and fear. It all boils down to these two. Are you working your job for the fear of not having enough (money, fame, satisfaction, acknowledgment etc.)? Or are you working for the love of what you do? Are you with your partner for fear of being alone or simply because you love the person they were, are and becoming? Love and fear move people in different ways but LOVE will always move you towards your destiny.

I am off to Baja, Mexico for a month of more yoga teacher training. There was so much back and forth of whether or not to go, if I could take off work, if I could afford it, what others would think blah blah BLAH. Until I asked myself one day: “Ashley, love or fear. What will it be?” Can you guess what I chose?

Please, you do not want to miss out on this gift of life by being a prisoner, waiting to  wipe the film of fear from your eyes at your death bed. Now is a good time to start living in love. Now is the perfect time to be free.


Snow Day Salad

It’s our first snow of the season and it’s a big one! Last night Andrew and I went to the store and stocked up on all the good stuff. He was filling our cart with things like beer, Oreo’s and popcorn and I was in the produce section collecting as many greens as I could find. I’m so glad we always shop together because we kind of help to balance each other out, with food and everything else too actually. I know he will end up eating what I pick out and of course I can’t resist the smell of popcorn during a movie.

I love a good snow day (can the next one be during the week?) especially when it forces you to stay inside and cuddle up close. Unfortunately, we don’t have any real snow gear to really go out and enjoy it for long so we are staying inside, basically eating all day :). For lunch, I wanted some greens but something that still had a warming/stick to your ribs kinda feeling. Insert: my Snow Day Salad!

You will need:
Salad greens (I used a spinach and kale mix)
2 medium potatoes
1 handful of green beans
Half a yellow onion
3 radishes
1 tablespoon capers
1 avocado

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (whole grain)
1 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Olive oil
Black pepper

1. Place the salad greens in a large mixing bowl.
2. Chop the potatoes into medium size chunks. Clean the beans and cut the ends off. Steam the potatoes (about 8 minutes). Then add the green beans and steam for another 5 minutes. Let cool and place in fridge.
3. Meanwhile, wisk together the salad dressing ingredients and place in fridge.
4. Chop the onion and place in a bowl of water (so they are not as strong tasting when raw!). Chop the radishes.
5. Take the potatoes and green beans out of the fridge and cut the beans into smaller pieces. Put all ingredients together with the large bowl of greens and mix well. Top with avocado slices and some cracked pepper.




Soak the onions!



Oh and beer! Preferably cold and wheat ❤

How good it is,