Thank you and Welcome
Thank you so much for visiting my blog and connecting with me, it really is appreciated. Welcome.
Admittedly, I’m new to this but I thought it would be best to use my first blog post to set the scene a little, introduce myself and perhaps add some colour on the reasons behind me starting this blog. I feel that I need to clarify exactly where I am and frame what I am trying to achieve with this blog in order to be able to manage the expectations of anyone reading.
My name is Ashleigh. I’m 39 years old and I live in Kent, although am originally from South London. I am married to my lovely wife Alex and I have a beautiful baby daughter called Amelie, who blessed us with her presence in Feb 2017. My opinion is that life is an amazing gift to be cherished and I embrace spirituality and the concept (and challenge) of trying to be the kindest and most loving human being I can.
I consider myself to be a normal guy and the notion of writing a blog, at the moment although really exciting, also makes me feel little anxious. The prospect of digitising myself publicly for all to see, even in this age of sharing everything we ever do online, is somewhat daunting; This isn’t a picture of my breakfast, this is a peak into my private and personal headspace. My current niggling thoughts are ‘who am I to say these things’ and ‘what makes what I have to say so important’? I guess the answer to those questions are embedded in one of the fundamental reasons for writing this blog in the first place and that is not just to try and convey my own views and lay my thoughts out so that they actually exist in the real world rather than just in my head, but to also try to identify with others and explore the mutual confirmation that there are other people like me who have similar thoughts and might just resonate what I have to say.
Perhaps you and I even have similar personal ambitions around these themes and that maybe by sharing experiences, together we can all contribute to us all collectively achieving our goals. For me that would just be awesome.
I am not a religious man, in the traditional sense of the word, but I have always prayed. I’m not religious, but I do believe in God. A contradiction you might think, but only a contradiction if you apply those sentences to the man-made framework of what we have historically been forced to believe by others. I am not religious, I am spiritual. I guess the fact is currently there is no scientific proof of any version of God, so I say no one should tell you how to limit your beliefs and we should all do and say and believe in what we feel is right for each of us.
To this point, constantly in the background and from a very young age, I have always had a distant, but very real and immensely comforting feeling somewhere down inside me, that ‘everything will be ok’. This lovely reassuring feeling has been with me my whole life and although during various ups and downs it has sometimes seemed far away, I always knew it was there and, I still have that feeling today. That feeling evolved into the foundation of my own belief system and I guess as a child, I subconsciously and almost automatically translated this to be my belief in God. Over the last few years however I have begun to understand more, that my instincts were indeed correct and that feeling did come from my own personal belief in a higher power. I believe the power of the Universe (God) was what I was feeling. I believe that the message of ‘everything will be ok’ was me being told, by the universe that my soul is loved and whatever is to come my way in my life, I can deal with it because love is all around, not just me but all of us and that we are all loved and guided.
I’ll be completely honest with you, as I wrote those last sentences, my eyes welled up; I am a very emotional person. Quite often the most apparently routine or normal things can sometimes touch me in such a way, that I am moved to tears and being a sensitive person is something that I fully embrace.
As my personal understanding of the Universe has become clearer and naturally more prominent in my life, I have been through a number of welcome transformations which have been completely life changing. These changes find me compelled to be more compassionate and loving and desperately needing to help others more. I would compare it to how Ebenezer Scrooge must have felt when he awoke on Christmas morning with a heart bursting full of love along with the almost indescribable realisation that the world is a beautiful and amazing place to be cherished and loved and that it wasn’t too late to make a difference. (I feel I should clarify that I certainly wasn’t a mean spirited or unkind person at all before the changes and so that’s where the comparisons between old Ebenezer and I stop!) It’s kind of like that distant feeling I had before, and as a child, has now been rubber stamped and amplified, even crystallised. I am now empowered by that feeling to take action and to allow myself to manifest and fully integrate this belief system into my life. A small and simple example of this, is the fact that I have never ever thrown litter. Ever. Even as a small child something inside me would never allow myself to throw litter because I knew it was damaging to this beautiful world of ours. I would literally chase a scrap of paper down the road if I accidentally dropped it. Now however, that underlying emotion and sensation is utterly and completely magnified and as a result I now often go out and pro-actively pick up litter, because I have to super charge my efforts and just ‘not throwing litter’ is no longer enough for me. I urgently need to make a difference, something inside of me absolutely aches to make the world a better place. It’s an amazing feeling of uplifting clarity. Being an sensitive person however, means it does come with its own challenges. Environmentalism, Humanity and charity take new priorities in my life. Does any of this ring true with you too?
I should add as well, a few years ago, I would have probably scoffed at the notion of being spiritual. I guess even the word itself can be daunting and may conjure up all sorts of peculiar imagery such as spaced out hippes prancing round in a field naked or perhaps strange old hermits performing mystical witchcraft in their candle lit hovels. I understand now however, if we break it down to its core and most fundamental basic elements with all the noise removed, it can simply mean just being a bit kinder and more loving to everyone. Not so scary. Actually, pretty cool.
Now, more than ever I find myself continually considering the various events and interactions in my life and contemplating what their ‘bigger picture’ meanings might be. How does my piece of the puzzle fit into the jigsaw of Humanity as a whole. Why do people act the way they do, why do we not always treat each other correctly, why so often does money, power and greed take precedent over love, charity and kindness? What life changes can I make in order to play my part in a universal shift of these destructive behavioural patterns? I’m going to use this blog as an outlet for me to share my views and ponderings with you and hopefully spark some familiarity, recognition and connection in anyone who chooses to read.
If you’re still with me reading then I assume at least some of what I am saying either strikes some resonance with you or at the very least has your interest (Why would you still be reading if not!). I’ve touched briefly upon a number of subjects that I feel very much deserve dedicated focus but I am keen not to waffle and to keep this initial post as high level as possible. My aim is to go back and expand on each of those subjects in their own posts where I have the opportunity to get fully stuck into them. Of course, I have some deeper points to touch upon as well but will get to them as the blog continues.
I’d also like to state that if anything I write does resonate with you or strikes some chord of identification with your own life, I would love for you to leave a comment and let me know. As mentioned, I’m writing this blog partially to express my own thoughts and experiences but also to connect and encourage input from others and to share comfort in the fact that there are many of us with similar mind-sets and who face the same challenges and obstacles on our journeys. Any of your comments or views are very welcome, even if they fundamentally disagree with mine! I will try to reply/react to all of them. (Thank you. No trolling though please!)
In summary, my aim is to try and express my thoughts and opinions and share my own life experiences on a number of hopefully interesting themes around Spirituality, Morality and Humanity in a thought provoking way. I welcome your responses and comments. Through these views I would love to help promote a positive mind set and encourage altruism and spirituality in our day to day lives. It is very important to me that I express my views without at all sounding judgemental, self-righteous or dismissive of any other perspectives. Something that I work on in my own life is to try and always live and let live. Whatever my own belief system may be, I believe it is generally not productive to ever be critical of others beliefs, even if I fundamentally disagree with them. (Which it is OK to do!) I remind myself frequently that as individuals, each of us is changing every day and I know for a fact, that I myself am very different compared with the person I was a few years ago. Was I a bad person previously? Of course not! Each of us have our own paths to tread and we’re all at different stages of our journeys. I believe none of those stages are wrong, rather they are necessary. They equip us with the tools we need to continue improving and moving onwards and upwards in our lives and to aid us in our potential pursuit of consciousness.
I’m no Spiritual Guru – far from it, I’m a human being with a soul, on my own journey of discovery. I’m not special, I’m regular. Actually scrap that – we’re all beautifully special but I’m no differently special from anyone else. I’m learning my own lessons. I’m trying to ground them into my life every day and I’m trying to be the best and most loving human being I can be.
On a lighter note, some other things about me that will probably become clear in future posts; I love Star Wars, I love the 80’s, I’m a music freak, I love animals and I have a start up charity called ‘I have enough’. Also, I don’t drink coffee, I take tea my dear.
I’m going to start publishing blog posts shortly and in no particular order, I’m just going to randomly whack them out there as the inspiration hits me. I hope you enjoy and I hope what I share is of some value to you or at the very least gives you something to think and smile about. So, welcome again, thank you for reading this far and I look forward to sharing the journey with you.
Have a lovely day x.