Fragmented Promotions

12.01.2018 Fresno, CA

I've been on a slight blog hiatus, I know. As I've mentioned in posts before, this year has been an extension to my personal growth and self-discovery journey. However, I'm so happy to be back and revamped with a brand new look! Sometimes, you just have to dress up a little to prompt some motivation, so I hope you all like the makeover as much as I do. Since I've been absent there's a lot that has changed. For one, I no longer work for CBS and NBC. It's really funny how much your growth changes your interests with time. One thing I can say though is that my position truly opened my eyes to what I wanted that I was too blind to see before. Mentally I had already walked away from the job, but I was physically still there.

I truly believed that starting my media career was a dream come true, as time went on, I just wasn't feeling it anymore. Honestly, sometimes jobs just don't turn out to be the right fit and that's okay. One thing I have noticed is that we usually take pride in what we do and hold our identity within that position. Often we'll get a position that in our eyes looks like an absolute upgrade, then it doesn't live up to our expectations. For me, I left Los Angeles to get my foot in the door only to semi-regret it. I say semi because before taking the position with CBS, I was in a temp position with the government. The day I gave my two weeks notice about getting the job at the station, I was told that they knew I wanted to work in media and had planned on positioning me for PR work with the Mayor. That sounded nice, but I was so focused on the fact that CBS handed over the position I didn't consider anything else. Once I started I loved it but I started feeling unfulfilled, again, with time. I still felt I was doing some things that I liked, but not everything. That's all I really wanted. To be able to do everything I enjoy all in one place. That's when God answered and the bigger vision came.

A consulting agency. For high school student-athletes. A full rundown of services and ideas for expansion once targets are met. I will admit, It kind of scared me a bit because I never had an experience like that with God until then. It was like an overflow of affirmation and an obvious answer to the questions I had been running through my head, plus what my soul desired. Only thing I didn't have was the idea. So I took that and ran with it. On the other hand, I kinda had a feeling that I would be let go from my job. I had already been looking for other positions because I had never been fired before and didn't want to experience it. I think most of that came from pride. I was too prideful in working for such an accredited network, I'll be honest. Not wanting to be let go was me linking firing to failure. That's not the case at all. I left on great terms. All my old co-workers/managers still keep in contact and express how much they miss having me around. The best part? Even though we decided to go our separate ways, they didn't want to. It's just the way of the industry. Leaving lasting impressions on people is always a good feeling and works in your favor in the end. The day I packed up all my stuff and turned in my key card was the most liberating feeling. I was happy. I felt free in a sense. I had not one ounce of disappointment, fear or uncertainty. I knew God had already placed my next move in motion.

The next four months after departing ways with CBS, I worked day in and day out to bring my business to life. I studied the market. Found a web developer. Researched high schools/athletic departments. Perfected brand colors. Created letter of agreements, business plans, policies, chose price points and everything. I utilized all the free time I had with unemployment and dedicated it to creating something for myself. I used the money from unemployment checks to put in my savings and finish out my rent. Now, Protegé Athletic Consulting is here and also the reason behind my new job. I'm back with the government as a mentor aiding at-risk high school students, preparing them for job readiness. I was hired the same day as the interview because they felt my business could work collaboratively and increase growth, connections and build my network (since I am contracted through Fresno Unified School District). You really can not tell me that isn't God. Perfect job, perfect fit. Everything is just positioned properly.  From being fired, to accepting the task of being God's vessel for his vision over my life, to him placing me accordingly. It was all a fragmented promotion. Every piece led to fixing the puzzle correctly.

For everything we lose, we gain something better. For anyone who has been fired before, I know it isn't the greatest feeling. Often times, the first emotion that comes up for some reason is embarrassment— especially if it's a job we take a lot of pride in. We think we've failed ourselves or that we weren't cut out for the job. Only one of those is true. No, you didn't fail yourself and yes you weren't cut out for the job because you were meant for more. In my case, I felt like there were a lot of talents that I brought to the table that were overlooked. Sometimes positions can hold back your light and gifts.  Find comfort in the fact that nothing is removed by God without the intention of aligning you with better. Ever notice how as you grow your surroundings do too? You have no reason to feel embarrassed about situations not working in your favor. You are always placed somewhere for a purpose, whether it be for a long time or a short time.

I want to end this by saying, with the new year approaching— start applying intent with the decisions you make for your life. When you do things with intent, there is no pressure and focus on the outcome.  When you set expectations, you are expecting something to go the way you envision it, which produces a lot of disappointment in the end. Sometimes blessings aren't in what God gives, but in what He takes away. 

Here's to a new month, new business and new alignment, all right in time for a new year. 🥂

Season of Pruning

8.02.2018 Downtown Fresno

God has truly been developing me this year. I can say that deep down inside, I felt it was going to be a different kind of outcome than what I expected. Lately, I've been detoxing because I needed clarity. I was experiencing major shifts with what I wanted in life, my vision and my outlook on where I saw and see myself going changed ultimately making me feel out of place. One moment, I'm excited for the new year, firmly believing it was a breakout season and the next thing I know, God completely repositions my heart towards my career. Imagine how confusing that feels.

My blog has always represented my transparency and every crack and sharp edge that I experience, I share. However, in the last three months, I have felt like I had absolutely nothing to share at all. As the months continued to come and go, I slowly started to be drawn in a direction I honestly wish would have dawned on me sooner. Moreover, it took me finally working in television to feel the need to do more and gain the idea which is equally important.

God's humor is interesting. I seem to always have these times of awakening the month I embrace a new year of age. It never fails. As I get older,  I'm realizing I don't want anything remotely close to what I once thought I wanted.

I promise this isn't a mid-life crisis, but people change. Our interests grow and I would be doing myself a disservice if I stayed in a lane I chose for myself at nineteen years old. I had no clue what life even held back then, let alone the struggles I would endure. Maturity has shown me that I didn't really know what I wanted, but connected common similarities that I felt would help my transition from life after sports into the workforce easier. Yeah, being a Sports Broadcaster sounded great to me then. The fact of the matter is, I'm just too shy to be in front of the camera like that and I always have been. Although my passions lie in sports, media, and writing, that specific job isn't for me plus a new found love for consulting, which I just figured out from working in media consulting, developed! Sometimes you'll discover new passions by taking a chance on yourself to try something new. Being in your twenties/thirties and still figuring it out is ok. Society may expect us to have certain areas and qualities of our lives together by a certain age, but I live for me... and if I'm being directed in the opposite direction than I was originally going, I'm trusting my gut feeling over everything. I have no problem switching lanes into what is going to make my life and career feel worthwhile.

It's one thing to say you are "becoming"  and another to actually be living it. I didn't know what was happening but I knew then and still know now, that God is uprooting me to plant something better. To get a clearer message, I decided to detox from social media. The focus of the detox included three areas:

rest: to bear fruit through trial.
revival: to change how I pray and where I put my time.
renewal: to make old things in my life feel brand new and accept new work under God.

Every day I'm realizing the many layers that come with growth. It's like an onion. Each time you pull the skin back and confront the emotions that come with it, you find yourself peeling yet another layer until you have met every flaw and overcome the discomfort.

 This specific season of growth in my life is my time of pruning. I'm nurturing and watering my next step with the belief that caring hands bear the greatest fruits. I want to be aligned with what God has placed on my heart, cutting away and trimming dead stems and overgrown branches that I have invested in.

 My career is slightly transitioning and I'm fine with it because the most important thing to me is utilizing the degree I already possess and figuring out ways to capitalize with it. The support I receive from family and friends is extra encouragemnt pushing myself that much harder to bring Gods assignment to fruition. I can go as far as I want to go, through every door that's mine. It's time to realize that as long as we create excuses we miss out on an opportunity to develop and become a master at what comes naturally to us TO produce a living from it like we all truly want. It starts with your perceptions. You'll continue to be dissatisfied the more you build your tolerance for it.

My plans were fine, but I had to realize that God had the right to change them.

motto: pray on it, plan on it, act on it and pray on it some more.
Here's to living in truth and power.


5.06.2018 Downtown Fresno

Have you ever prayed for something so hard and God blessed you with it? It's one of the most reassuring feelings ever. All you can think of is how good He is to you. Now, have you ever prayed for something really hard, received it and grew tired of the blessing you really wanted? It makes you feel ungrateful. Constantly guilt tripping yourself to believe you're undeserving of the favor God shows you. We always talk about all of the good that He provides, but never about how you come to outgrow where you've been placed. It's similar to how we outgrow people, they serve their purpose and we learn from it to apply in new relationships and friendships. Well, life placements can be outgrown too.

To be completely transparent, I've prayed for something and then God placed me there I was so excited about the new chapter. Then it seemed once I reached the point I wanted to go in, I started getting hungry for more. I was upset at myself because I felt like I was never satisfied. How dare I have the audacity to ask for something and not want to continue moving forth with it. I thought to myself, you just got just got here, why are you asking for more? However, I soon learned that it wasn't me that was asking for myself, it was God. He was making me uncomfortable and outgrowing my situation, directing me. He was teaching me that just because I wanted this, didn't mean he planned to keep me there. Every stage of our life isn't meant to be fulfilled long term. I think that's what messes us up and throws us off course. God uses stages to prepare us for the next place he wants to put us in. So, I began to look at it as God not allowing me to get too comfortable and complacent because there's more to come and it's much bigger. He places the desire in the heart to fire us up. I know that my purpose is meant for much more than where I currently stand in life, but most importantly, that each stage is necessary for educational purposes. 

I've found myself irritated for being in certain jobs, that didn't seem to have a cause or any relation to what I want to do. I was complaining, expressing how much I disliked it, feeling like I wasn't going in the right directions or obtaining the correct experience. The whole nine. Yet, I found myself questioning and asking for him to show me the reasoning in where I'm at. 

God's not going to put you anywhere just cause. 

After I asked him why I gradually started getting little signs that related to my end goal. The first time it happened I just took it as an oh, that may be a sign kind of thing and it grew into complete reassurance. More and more signs were popping up and I knew it was no longer a coincidence. That's when I started to look at things as steps and stages. I'm one who gets anxious when it comes to going after what I want. I want to move, move, move and get things started but going about it that way can cause destruction rather than taking the time to build a solid base for the foundation of your goals and plans. 

That's where steps and stages come into play. 

Take in everything and find the little nuggets you can use in the core of your foundation. If you are in a time of uncertainty pay attention to signs that align with your passions. The more you notice them, the more fired up you will get to continue pursuing them. If you don't like your job or don't understand exactly why God placed you there, use it as a knowledge base. No matter what position you may be in or what the functions may be, there are qualities that you are using on a daily basis that you can use towards your end goal. You weren't placed there randomly. Really think of your day to day work and tasks, then correlate some key attributes that you will need in the line of work you truly want to do; whether it be at a higher corporate level or entrepreneurship. Dig in to really find the gold nuggets you overlook at work because you're too caught up feeling or expressing what you don't like. 

Another point to consider, it's normal to feel like you are going backward rather than forward, but preparation comes before promotion. The way up may go down or feel unaligned for awhile at first. It's not unusual for progress to feel like stagnation but the embedded lesson within that is the experience you're getting where you are, that will help you rule in the long run. It's a lot easier to become impatient with God's timeline than understanding why God is not prospering and promoting us like we think we should be.  It's okay to outgrow your current placement, but God is trying to teach you something that will be valuable for a bigger mission. 

Prepare your work outside; 
get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.
Proverbs 24:27

Fall in Love with Your Solitude

2.18.2018 Cultural Arts District, Downtown Fresno, CA

The balance between solitude and connectedness can be challenging sometimes. You want to be present but very much alone simultaneously. Many are afraid of being completely comfortable in solitude because it can often be confused with loneliness or anti-socialization, which doesn't have to be the case at all. I hold company within myself so sacred to the point that even when I am alone, I am completely whole. Between my career, brand, family, friends and a relationship; constantly trying to make time for everything can be an overload. It's easy to forget to carve out time for yourself. Once I acknowledged that solitude was my way to recharge I started to spend a lot more time with myself unapologetically.  I learned how to be truly content in my own company and there's honestly nothing better than knowing how to enjoy things by yourself.

Temporarily, but willingly disconnecting from whatever causes the most amount of noise in your world is imperative. A serious gem in self-care. It's freedom. A chance for restoration and a pathway to discover who you are in silence. An opportunity for spiritual maintenance. Once you see how peaceful it is— you want more. I give myself full permission to go off the grid and disappear when need be. Sometimes it's better to be missed than to be everywhere in order to repair and refine your soul. One thing that I have learned throughout my personal development journey is that you have to protect your energy, you can't let the disallowance of others to have a swayful impact on how you recoup. See, I'm an ambivert to the core. Very outgoing, but can be very shy as well. Life of the party, but once I'm low on energy I just want to be with myself. I can talk your ear off, but sometimes I don't want to say one single word. Too much time on the introvert or extrovert side will cause me to be irritatable or quite moody.

I used to be the person who had a really hard time saying no to people. I didn't want to let anyone down or make it seem like I wasn't being supportive so I would say yes to things I truly didn't want to do. Yes, I'll be there. Yes, I can do that for you. Yes, I can help. Yes, I'll drive. Yes, I'll get up out of my time alone to keep you company when I truly don't want to be bothered. It was always yes. Rarely did I ever say no, and if I did it was hard to get it out. I soon learned that I had to stop saying yes to things for the sake of other people's feelings. So, I began to learn how to prioritize the times I needed alone. Ignoring how you feel and going against what your body and demeanor are telling you only makes the matter worse because then you come off like you have an attitude when people ask something of you. I didn't want that. There's no need to feel like you're obligated to do anything for anyone. No is a complete sentence that needs no explanation whatsoever. If you say it, leave it and don't let anyone try to change your mind. Also note that even if you said yes before and suddenly have a change of heart, say no, and don't make yourself feel guilty for it.

Minimalism gets applied whenever I seek solitude. I go on many decluttering sprees because it's another way to interact with my feelings, collect my thoughts and rearrange what needs better placement within my soul. I acknowledge when I need to be more in tune with myself and I've made being alone a luxury to be immersed and aware in the fullness of my own presence. Ample time with myself is about being authentic. Having boundaries for socialization and enforcing them. Catering to my space first and everyone else second.

Solitary is truly about being your own friend sometimes and figuring out what you need more or less of in these moments. The silence reveals the truth to all solutions. The escape allows you to release, detoxify and gain more clarity. Honestly, all that comes with being a 21st-century working professional can get in the way of your healing energy. Connect and find new characteristics about you. Be comfortable with telling others no in order to say yes to yourself. It's your time to delve into the depths of what you're truly feeling. Identify what's being consumed and produced throughout your day to day life and evaluate where you can correct any draining or destruction of your energy.

Whatever revivifies balance is essential.

Use solitude as your bliss, follow it and achieve happiness by yourself.

Keepin' It Honest

1.27.2018 Downtown Fresno

January, I need a re-do.

Let's just rewind this back and start fresh in February, sound good? I honestly don't even know what it is about this month. It's been a slow one for me. I'm still really optimistic about all of the great things I believe will happen for me this year, but this first month to make early moves have actually been the opposite. Now, I wouldn't be Ashley if I didn't keep it honest and open with you. My blog is centered around my self-discovery and personal development and surprisingly that's what January has consisted of for me. I hate feeling like I'm uninspired to write because it's the one thing that I love to do, but I can't help but take the necessary time to myself away from online connections to dive more into what I need (no matter how badly I wish to put out content). What is it that I need? I can't even answer that for you right now, but I feel like God is forcing me to isolate myself in order to dig deeper if that makes any sense at all.

I can tell you my first mishap was trying to do too much all at once. I burnt myself out, kinda. I piled up all of the things I want to do and zeroed in on every single one of them. I overwhelmed my own damn self with my own damn goals. Isn't that something? (another characteristic I need to immensely work on).

2018 is the year I want to do more and right now, I need to step back. I feel like there's this rush to put out content and be on a nonstop grind that maybe I'm completely making up in my head, but not really. Feeling like you have to constantly be active on either of your platforms isn't healthy but for some reason, that's the only way we feel we will grow at the rate we want.

I would love to engage my audience on the daily if I could and sometimes, depending on the month or what I have going on in my life, I can absolutely do that. Other times in between I'm just trying to catch up with my loved ones and enjoy the life I'm living. I know the best way to build your brand is to do as much as you can but I can't help but feel like I'm pressuring and forcing myself to do that sometimes. I have seen the growth and the way my words impacted more people by being online more and remaining consistent. It was great. It makes you want to get into that same routine and do it repeatedly, but what happens when you can't? What happens when that fire is temporarily burnt out? I know when I get this way I start to feel guilty that I haven't been doing much or that my followers are going to forget about my blog if I don't post anything, which ultimately leads me into trying to publish something that never gets seen because it's forced.

Truthfully, all of the great things I originally planned to get a running start with in January have been at a standstill. Not because I'm lazy, not because I don't enjoy blogging anymore but simply because my mind is dragging me in all these different, yet necessary directions and my body just can't keep up at the moment. I forced myself to make 2018 the year of action effective January 1st, when in reality— I need a little more time to strategically plan what it is I'm trying to do. I overpromised and God pulled me back and placed me in a situation where I have to reconnect with myself once again. The first month of the year hasn't been utilized in going forward with plans and goals that were drafted in November and December. It hasn't been utilized for more hustle like many of us intended. This month? Unknowingly has been about doing less to get more. That sounds backward right? I know. It's true though. For as long as I can remember I have had this mindset that the more you do the more you get. In most cases, this is true. Consequently, doing more has also caused me to stay in the realm of "when I do a, I can have more time for b" or "when I get to c I can finally do d, e, and f". However, I don't want more of everything to eventually be the cause of my undoing.

 This month is about doing less.

I feel that at the moment that's exactly what I need. I'm just as surprised as you that I'm even saying this but my journey is a never-ending learning process leading to self-mastery.

I've started to take notice that I can be completely proud of my accomplishments and underwhelmed by them at the same time. It's crazy. Some might call that unsatisfied but that's incorrect. I'm more than grateful and I'm definitely not one to be greedy, but I'm learning that I'm always itching to do more. Once I get to one place I feel like okay, level complete and it's on to the next one. I feel like I have to be doing more and better than before always. (again, trying to do too damn much). Truly a gift and a curse, because although I'm driven, my drive can cause me to get ahead of myself by trying to work harder when I need to work smarter.

I'm using this month to continue doing less while I  connect the dots. I know it may seem like a recipe for being unproductive, but that's the most important point of it all.

Doing less allows me to have more energy to focus on what matters.
Doing less allows me to feel less congested and more satisfaction with life as a whole.
Doing less opens more intentional space.
Doing less makes my passion louder and ideas more fluid.

I'm not throwing in the towel or skipping out on the work, I'm giving myself permission to change the tempo when I feel like I'm not aligned or connected. Sometimes it all gets a little overwhelming and it's best to tackle things in small chunks. Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including myself.

January, I didn't fail you. The flow this month is just a little different.

© Ashley Avenu. john 15:5 .