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. Jeremiah 29:11.