Dr. Murad

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Dr. Murad

Last week was by far the busiest week I have had in ... well ... ever. I have had weeks even months of shooting on films and tv shows that were grueling but this was different because it was a different job everyday for a week straight. Everyday was a new adventure with a different director, cinematographer, producer, talent etc etc and I loved every second of it! It was on my shoot for Murad Skincare that really left an impression on my heart and mind. See, I was EXHAUSTED heading to set that morning. I was coming off a night shoot for a short film where I was emotionally stretched as an actor for hours plus I had special effects makeup applied half way through the shoot and was covered in fake blood till 3am. I then had to drive home, scrub and buff and try to get in a few winks before heading off to another set 4 hours later to a job that had me outside ALL day in 90 degree heat. The following day when I got to the Murad Headquarters it was like I had walked into an oasis. I was very very grateful that morning. I shot with Dr. Murad first and then did product shots where I was laughing and applying creams and elixirs to my skin which is a lot more technical then it sounds. I then ended the day shooting with one of the leading skin estheticians in the world who gave me the most relaxing facial massage EVER. Basically, I was shooting in a spa like heaven getting treatments and creams applied to my skin all day. Not a bad gig. If you don't know anything about Dr. Murad  I highly suggest googling him. He is a pioneer in the skincare and beauty world. A true artist and innovator and all around wonderful human. When I arrived he was already shooting. After I went through hair and makeup I was then escorted to set where he was waiting to shoot the rest of the day with me. We laughed, chatted about the podcast I had listened to earlier in the year where he was the guest, and then he gave me a bunch of products. ( Like I said he is a gem! ) We then broke for lunch and he made sure every person who was there for the shoot got their lunch first and had started eating and then he sat down to eat with us. Half way through the meal he was up and about walking around with a tin of gourmet baklava and serving everyone a piece. After lunch was finished I was making myself a cup of tea to enjoy with the triangle of baklava before heading back to hair and makeup and I looked to my left and there was a huge glass window. Behind that window was a class room of seniors from a local highschool learning about skincare and who was at the front of the room, you guessed it, Dr. Murad. He then gave the students a 25 minute lecture and came back to set on time, with a new shirt and tie on, ready to finish filming. It was truly inspiring. I also need to mention his paintings. Everywhere around the office are these amazing paintings by Dr. Murad himself. He had retina problems and had to have eye surgery years ago and part of his healing process required him to keep his eyes downcast for long periods of time. His wife bought him art supplies to keep him focused and his eyes down and thought crafts would be fun for him. What he paints are nothing short of masterpieces. The most bright, vibrant, abstract paintings, very Dr. Murad. 

I was truly touched by that shoot. Here is a man who built a company on his drive and desire to heal people with skin/health issues and he now has one of the most successful skincare companies in the world. He didn't let his retina issue hold him back but instead created masterpieces from a very bleak situation. He can multi-task like no one else and while doing so does not forget to treat the people around him like gold. He is also 78 years old. Amazing. 

I left that shoot not only insanely relaxed from Anita's face massage but inspired to be a bit more like Dr. Murad. Be a pioneer, take care of the people around you. Remember that sharing your talents and gifts is definitely a key to creating happiness and when life throws you a curve ball toss some paint on it and who knows, you may just create a masterpiece. xoxo 

 

 

 

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PB&J

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PB&J

Let's talk about PB&J ... No, I am not talking about our favorite sandwich when we were five but I am talking about POISON, BITTERNESS & JEALOUSY. Ooooohhhhh SNAP... Yes, this is a rather serious talk. Did any of those words strike a cord? If so, good, if not ... then you can stop reading cause you are obviously perfect and I want to know your secrets ;) For now, I want to tap into how to deal with the PB&J that most of us face in our daily lives. PB&J can come in all forms ... not nourishing your heart, mind or body with the right food or people, Poison. Letting bitterness take hold and strangle any sliver of hope you still might have left and jealousy, sweet sweet jealousy. I love when people say they are not jealous ... I know it's an ugly word but come to terms with it and hopefully reading this will help you identify it's root cause and use my tips to be PB&J free. 

Now, I am like most girls and I am ok with that. I know that there are special things about ME that define who ASHLYNN is and yes, no one person is like me, but I am also just a girl at the end of the day. Completely flawed, loves the mall and binge watching re-runs of Friends. One of my best/worst traits though is, I can seem completely fine when inside I am a HOT mess. Only the people who REALLY know me can call my bullshit, one being my sister Lexi and the other my boyfriend, Michael. No one else REALLY REALLY knows me, except well, me. It took me years to really get to know myself. To truly tap into Ashlynn and be ok with her and love her. See, I believe things start with love. You must truly love yourself, yes, blah blah blah we all know that. We all scour Pinterest looking for the perfect quote to post but how do you REALLY apply self love and those quotes to your daily life.  Well, I have a few tricks and one involved getting rid of the PB&J in my mind and heart. What does PB&J look like in your life? Ever ate something you knew you shouldn't eat and regretted it. Then all of the sudden you are craving that crap food item. That is poison. Ever been around someone who you really actually don't like but yet you still hang around them cause you would rather not be lonely. Poison. Ever found yourself gossiping about a "friend" with another "friend" and then you find that every conversation you have is negative and depressing, that would be our old pal bitterness. How many times do you look at social media and compared yourself to someone else's path, that is jealousy. Or try to diminish someone else's light so you can seem brighter... oh honey, that is jealously in the ugliest form. I confess, I have done ALL of these things. I know, painful to admit but true. BUT, I also did something really cool. I stopped. I stopped treating my mind and heart like a dumping ground. I cut people out of my life. This was hard but in the end severing ties with people is sometimes the best for both parties. I took that bitterness that had grown in my heart and replaced it with sweetness. I stopped jealousy in it's tracks. Here are my three life hacks for getting rid of the PB&J. Now disclaimer : This was NOT overnight... it took years actually. These are what worked for me, maybe they won't work for you but I am just sharing my experience cause well, this is my blog :) 

SUCK OUT THE POISON: My 7th grade home economics teacher wouldn't let us say SUCK. We had to say VACUUM. So, if I messed up sewing my pink fuzzy foot pillow or burned the baked Alaska I couldn't yell out THIS SUCKS but I could yell out THIS VACUUMES! Now how the fudge does this apply to sucking the poison out of your life. Go with me on this. Imagine all the things that are sucking the joy out of your life. Your diet, you are eating poorly thus you feel tired and crappy. That SUCKS. You have people in you life who are just shitty humans. They suck from you. They drain you. You feel more tired being around them then uplifted. THEY SUCK. Time to stop the sucky-ness and start VACUUMING your life. How does a carpet get clean? You literally have to vacuum the floor. The vacuum sucks all the crap out of the carpet and that is what you need for your life. So, start what I have coined, VISUALLY VACUUMING. Now you don't need to do this all at once and break your vacuum but start with the big things that suck in your life. Start making better choices for your health. Stop saying yes to people you don't want too. I have a visual of me actually vacuuming a floor when I know something has come into my life that SUCKS. I do a weekly check in with myself and mentally vacuum the floor of my life. I have been doing this visual for years and it works for me. Maybe you need to actually vacuum something to get in the mood. That is cool too and your place will be clean! :) WIN WIN. Just start the visual vacuum and don't turn it off till you feel your floor is clean from the poison. 

BITTER BETTY : Who here likes bitterness? I don't like my chocolate bitter, my tea bitter or my thoughts bitter. I also don't like things too sweet. Right in the middle is where I like to land. Most of us have been around an old bitter person at some point in our lives. I actually think they are amusing but what I remember most about them is their ugliness. Do you want to be remembered for your ugliness? Cause I sure don't. On the flip side we have also all been around people who you swear to God were born pooping gum drops. They are TOOO Sweet. It's gross. We feel sick off of that much sugar. I am not saying you need to be that sweet but I think we all need a bit more real sugar not that fake stuff in our daily lives.  So how do we do this?  Taste Test of course. I don't actually mean lick your friends but just do a taste test exercise. After you leave a hang sesh or end a conversation with a friend write down three things that left you inspired by that person, or something sweet they said or encouraging. If you can't, I can guarantee that person might be a bitter seed and you need to access whether that seed is good for you. Now all my friends are going to be wondering if I do this with them and the answer is yes, but I also test myself. I then make myself write down three things that I said that were positive, complimentary to them or inspiring. If I can't, I hit my head against the wall. Kidding. I then take a look inward and access why I couldn't be inspiring or why I felt negative. Was it their energy or was it mine. Start being present and you will start to see bitterness and see how you can add a dash of sweetness and light to make your days of so much brighter.

OH MY JELLY : What is jealously exactly? I was listening to That's So Mauven podcast today and the guest on was the amazing Katie Dalebout. She said something that hit me. Jealousy is when you see something someone has or is doing and you have a feeling that somewhere inside yourself is the potential to have or do what they are doing. WHOA. I feel like I need to unpack that sentence a bit. When you find yourself jealous is it because you think I could/should be doing that? When you are casually looking at someones social media and hating on everything they are accomplishing is it because you think you could do it better. Do you stop yourself and think, "Am I being jealous?" The answer is probably not ... I could NEVER be jealous. We live in a society where we throw loosely around these terms like "don't hate" or " I am so jelly" ... I am guilty, I have used these terms before. I am talking about something on a deeper level. The real jealously. The part of yourself you don't want people to see because it is so ugly and raw and emotional. See, I was once a super jealous person but no one would have known it. Remember earlier I told you I was good at seeming totally okay when inside I was a mess. Jealousy was eating me to the core. I was in constant comparison to everyone around me. I never felt good about myself. I was trying to make things in my life happen and when they didn't go the way I planned I would spiral. I was in a constant state of self doubt and feeling inadequate because inside I felt like I had this untapped potential. Like, I had not found my voice, my rhythm, I had not found Ashlynn. Then I stopped. I stepped away from everything and everyone (except a few of my closest friends and Michael) I took a 6 week break from social media and I hit the re-set button. The first thing I did was I started journaling A LOT. I then started to love myself again and my journey. I stopped comparing my life and choices to other females my age. I stopped putting pressure on myself and it's amazing how things changed. I changed. I no longer feel these deep pangs of jealousy. I no longer compare myself to my peers. Let's be real though ... do I totally still have moments where I am like "Ohhhh! Man! Come on Universe! I want that too!?" Yes, of course but now instead of letting it eat away at me, I get excited to know someone I know has accomplished something that I too will have in my life IF it is meant for me. The second thing I did besides hitting re-set and journaling is I started to align myself with people who I wanted to be like. I unfollowed A LOT of people and only follow people who inspire me. People who I believe are movers and shakers. I started filling my time with meditations, podcasts and journailing. I limit my time with friends and on social sites and I suddenly realized how awesome I felt. I now can look at someones else's path and be truly happy and excited for them. I can only do this because I am truly happy and excited about my own journey.

It was a process and a daily practice. So start vacuuming, do a taste test and journal your little heart out. Remember to enjoy your process of life and love yourself. Get rid of that PB&J and see how amazing you feel. Being truly happy is a choice and a choice you must choose daily. xoxo

 

 

 

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Pink. It's my Signature Color.

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Pink. It's my Signature Color.

Name the movie? Ahhh, yes.. Steel Magnolias. This film has my heart for many many reasons, one of them being when Shelby (Julia Roberts) delivers the Oh, so famous lines to her mama, M'lynn ( Sally Fields) "My colors are Blush and Bashful ... I like Pink. Pink is my signature color. " I have always liked pink but it was a few years ago that I started to REALLY fall in love with pink. Most people tend to think pink is a girlie color but I will let you know both my Dad and boyfriend rock pink shirts of all shades and it couldn't be more masculine. Why all this pink talk you ask ... Well, I have been really inspired to talk about finding YOUR signature color. I told myself I was going to write this blog entry and it's funny how life syncs up with what you want to do. Today on my daily hike I popped in my earbuds and tuned into my favorite podcast, That's So Retrograde, and the guest speaker was a fashion stylist/shaman/ intuitive and all around bad ass lady, Colleen McCann. Colleen was talking about clearing the energy from your closet and part of the clearing process was about finding your signature color!! My alarm bells were going off and I literally started jumping up and down with joy. ( In my hot pink tennis shoes of course!) I couldn't wait to get home and type this up. So, you have probably been told you look SO great in a certain color your whole life and you wear that color ... a lot.  Maybe you don't really even like it but you wear it because you think it's great based on what other people have said. I say throw out that idea and get in tune with YOUR color. Example: In my life people always tell me I look GREAT in green and red. Now don't get me wrong, I love both colors and do I feel good when I wear them? Sure, but not AS good as when I am in that perfect shade of pink that I have fallen in love with. I found that a few years ago I was being drawn to all shades of pinky hues. It actually all started with my boyfriend buying me a pink Swingline stapler for my desk so I would stop stealing his. ( Side note: I totally still use his ... mine is just to pretty to use. ) Fast forward and now both of my bathrooms are pink, one has 70's pink tile and the other I painted the most beautiful shade of light petal pink, I then bought two matching vintage cream & coral arm chairs for my living room and now I have a rose colored car  named, you guessed it, Pinky. Talk about manifesting color into your life. I am a big big believer in color therapy. I also do this in my acting life. When I am working on a new character I pick out my characters clothes ... I literally go shopping as my character and pick out clothes with colors that represent them. If you have seen some of my work you will notice what I am talking about. For instance in Submission, when I was creating Ashley she was really drawn to blues and grays and you see that throughout the series and in my newest film for Lifetime my character Jamie was really drawn to reds/oranges and leopard ( I know! Leopard?! Trust me. It is puuuureft for her. Yes, the pun was intended! :) It's fun to figure out YOUR color and see how it changes you. It can invoke confidence and make you radiate. Point is, find YOUR color, think about how certain colors make you feel, really meditate on why you like it or dislike it. Try adding a bit of your signature color to your home, desk, car, wardrobe ... I am not saying you should wear YOUR color everyday but I have found that having it sprinkled around my life makes me feel just as good as when I am wearing it. See what happens when you buy that orange shower curtain or it can be as simple as buying a box of Kleenex for your car but this time go for the box that has the yellow damask print on it. See how YOUR color can change your mood and color your life happy. xoxo

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Get Grounded

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Get Grounded

Wellness Tip of the Week. Get Grounded. It's Earth Day tomorrow and what better way to celebrate than to get grounded ... literally. I want to encourage everyone to get outside this weekend. Go for a walk, a hike, run barefoot through your grass and if you don't have grass then run through a neighbors :) The point is to connect with nature and disconnect from everything else. It's so easy to get caught up in the news, media, social tweets and instagram posts but try to disconnect even if it's just for five, ten or fifteen minutes. Put your hand in some dirt, hug a tree, smell a flower, look up towards the sun ( Don't look directly at the sun ... just aim your face towards those vitamin D filled rays for a few minutes, just please wear some SPF) It's the time to slow down, re-connect with nature and hit a re-set button. I am lucky that I live five minutes from a three mile hiking trail that I go to everyday but if you live in a place where the weather is still chilly or there is not a lot of nature around you can look for it in other ways. Go outside for a few minutes and take a few deep breaths while holding a fallen leaf or go to a nursery and stick your hands in a potted plant and feel the soil, just do this discreetly and bring a wet nap to clean off your hands after you have soiled them :) The point is to be creative and resourceful. I was journaling the other day and I kept writing RE before everything ... tis the season for new beginnings. Fresh starts and Re-setting your mind, goals and intentions. Pick a word like Re-new, Re-act, Re-joice, Re-charge etc etc. Then go outside, find some Earth to connect to and say thank you and repeat your RE word over and over. Trust me you will Re-connect to yourself and feel Re-freshed! xoxo 

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