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  • Writer's pictureAshley Peterson, LPC

Reflecting in Gratitude

This year I’ve been extremely intentional in the ownership and accountability I have in creating a life that I love and deeply value. I think at times we all can find ourselves in spaces and places that are dimming our light, that challenge our beliefs and leave us feeling powerless. We fall into the cycle of if this or if that was different then xyz. The idea that our happiness is on the other side of some outside force of change. Or that someone or something controls our ability to succeed, our ability to find value and be valued. The absolute craziest thing about life is that at any time it can shift and it can change. You can shift and you can change. I found myself setting false limitations, a list of reasons as to why I couldn’t do this or that. Why it wouldn’t make sense to try this or go there.. and it all made sense until it didn’t.

Last year, I recall having a specific conversation with a Client that was speaking to the benefits of working from home and having a flexible schedule. I said something to the effect of if you have this gift as it would seem, what are you doing to take advantage of it? As those words left my mouth, I began reflecting on the fact that I have that same gift and full autonomy, so what am I doing? I took that idea and thought into the creation of my vision board and promised myself I would say yes to possibility, that I would dream bigger than I ever had! I would stop whispering my dreams and begin to say proudly and confidently what I wanted out of life to whoever asked! I started saying yes to opportunities before I could come up with a reason to say no. I trusted that I would figure it all out as I always have and I exceeded all of my expectations. I accomplished everything on my vision board. I spent time in therapy intentionally reflecting on my life. Being challenged and cheered on as I made progress that I didn’t/couldn't always acknowledge. I talked about my story, my relationships, setbacks and redirection. Reflecting on my strengths and weaknesses, my why, understanding how I came to be so passionate about mental health and advocacy. Identifying why I am so passionate about myself and my beliefs. Owning that I have changed and that I like the changes that I’ve made and that I worked hard to change. I found deeper value in helping others while seeking out help for myself. I complained more, I cried out loud when overwhelmed and I shared when I felt defeated. Reassessing old wounds with new eyes. None of it was easy, but it was necessary and has been so clarifying. My inner voice is so clear and so strong. My confidence has grown so much that even my inner critic has to come with receipts before it can even get on the calendar. My life still isn’t perfect, but I own every imperfection and find gratitude in my struggle (never in the moment but give me like a week to reset and I’m there). I gain so much inspiration from my work, it was nice to refocus the lens and be the subject of that inspiration.

On my vision board this year I left space to reflect on 1 thing I’m proud of from the previous month and a list of quotes that have stuck with me. My vision board is personal to me in a way that it wasn’t previously. I typically share my vision boards online or with my clients, but this year it was for me! It wasn’t going to serve as a tool or example as it had in the past. What I’m sharing today is just as intentional and with the purpose or shouting my accomplishments loudly and proudly, with no shame or guilt. I deserved every single win I received because I did the hard work. I showed up for me like it was my job! Never giving up, only resting, listening and welcoming redirection. I’m so grateful to be me. I’m so grateful for this life that I’ve worked for and the people that I’ve chosen as company on this journey wherever it may lead :)

P.S When I opened my practice I wore this necklace everyday until it lost a stone

Fav Quotes

"Being smart is not equivalent to being dynamic"

"The horrors persist but so do I"

"Excuses or results, not both"

"I grow from conflict, I heal from grandeur"

As always, I share this and hope it helps affirm or inspire someone, somewhere.

<3 Ashley


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