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