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All Emotions are Equal




Hey friends,


It’s been awhile since I’ve written on this blog! Truth be told, I’ve been processing a TON of emotions and things going on in my life. If you’ve been keeping up with my YouTube videos, you’ll know that Austin and I are moving back to Wisconsin at the end of April to look for a home and some land to start a homestead. We’ve had this dream for years now, five to be exact… and finally decided to go for it since the circumstances are in our favor. Our original plan was to move to a community in California, but upon meeting with realtors and chatting with the community, it turned out to be something we dreaded rather than dreamed of. The decision to change our plans and location brought up a lot of scary emotions within me, so I wanted to talk about them in this post and share that “scary” emotions can actually be our friends and guides to show us onto new paths.


The first visitor I had from emotion land was Anger. Upon arriving home from California at the beginning of February, I had a lot of anger for where I was in my life and my current situation. The last four years I’ve settled for much less than I desired, a sort of suppression of my needs and desires. I did this because I saw no other way… I was in a ton of debt and couldn’t afford to live anywhere comfortably since I wanted to follow my own path on the career front. I was making hardly anything, so I had to find a way to survive with little to no income. Austin and I bounced from place to place, traveling much in-between, becoming transient. We’ve had a place to live this last year and a half, and I’m grateful for that sort of stability, though my anger has come out from being confined to a small room in a garage. I feel as though I’ve been living a “glittery” lifestyle, one that looks great on a phone screen but actually sucks in the behind the scenes. I was angry because my creativity was faltering away, as well as my newest book being discontinued from the printing company I so desperately wanted to publish through. Anger is not here to ruin my life. Anger is here to show me that I deserve better, that I have been wronged and that I can do something about it if I choose. It is a spark of fire that is getting me out of my self-pity to do something about my situation rather than settling for it. I know I deserve better, and I intend to give myself exactly what I need, no less. So for this epiphany, I thank you Anger.


Next, I had a visit from Inspiration. For about a week straight, ideas flowed through my head as easy as air blows in the sky. I received insights on my newest projects, a few new books plus an exciting addition to my website. I’d go to sleep at night bursting with ideas that needed to be written down, and stayed up late to record them so I wouldn’t forget. My dreams showed beautiful farm land and prairies - my ideal of our homestead. I couldn’t sleep half of the time because of this influx of new energy - seeds that were being planted. Though seeds don’t germinate right away, which I was about to find out soon after.


Most of the last couple weeks I’ve been feeling grief. Grief for a lot of things. Grief of running out of that creative energy, so to speak. To me though, this grief carries the tears that are watering those dream seeds I planted earlier in the year. Our homestead dream is getting watered, my projects too. It’s my dream to make my living from what I do here on Adventures Across, and some of the grief is from the stagnation of energy flowing into this little business venture. All of the hard work I’ve put into this platform, yet I haven’t received the return yet through monetary means… The grief of giving up my glittery lifestyle out West to go back to a modest way of living in Wisconsin carried through my soul for a few days. Many people I’ve talked to about this make me question our decision to move back to Wisconsin. Many people who live out West came here from east of the Rockies, to start a better life with better weather and a different mindset of people. I’m one of those people, yet I realize that it isn’t that important. While living out here, I’ve felt such isolation and loneliness no matter how many community events, or how much community involvement I find myself doing. I realize it isn’t my home, the Wild West, and I must go back to where my roots are to nourish the deepest part of my soul. And for this, I find myself grieving and thankful.


My dad died almost a year ago, unexpectedly. It was because of him that I am able to start a whole new book of life and create our homestead, and it was because of him that I was able to pay off all my debt and finally start making my life better for myself. I find myself grieving now over losing him. Now that my dreams are finally coming to fruition, he isn’t around to experience it with me. He isn’t here to help me pick out the perfect homestead and to help me move into our new house. He isn’t here to meet his grandkids who will probably come around in five years or so. He isn’t here to be with the rest of his family, through all their successes and celebrations of life. And for all of this, I find myself grieving. I didn’t grieve much when he left this plane of existence, of course I cried and went through all of this with my family, though it didn’t hit my heart until recently. Now that a huge change is happening for me, I wish he was here to help out. I miss him so much.


I’ve been reading this book, Belonging by Toko-Pa Turner, and she talks about how “negative” emotions are actually good for us, they teach us so much and we can befriend them if we choose. Lately I’ve been choosing to embrace these emotions, especially grief. Experiencing grief is like a chapter ending and a new one beginning, your tears watering the way for something new to grow. It is the feeling of losing something you loved dearly, a deep connection that made you feel like you belonged. It’s like crying for the past, and then letting it go smoothly. It is okay to grieve. It is okay to go through a time where you can openly express sadness, allow your heart to feel the hurt it does, as allowing yourself to do this creates room in your life for new things to emerge.


So much in the “spiritual community” I see things like, “your thoughts create your reality, so you should always think positive!!!” I agree in a sense, though shutting out our deeply engrained emotions such as grief and anger and disappointment get stored in your body and then end up manifesting in your life in other ways. There’s no wrong in allowing yourself to feel these things, to accept yourself for your feelings, acknowledge them and gently let them fade away as they finish processing. It’s just… part of being a human. We’re lucky enough to be able to feel and withstand so much, it is seriously like a superpower.


Yesterday, I went on a hike into a canyon. To be honest, I’ve been cooping myself up in my room out of a bit of self-pity… and though I say I’m working I haven’t had the creativity or motivation to do so, so I end up binging Netflix or wallowing. I’m saving as much money as possible, which means spending less and less, so I don’t go places much. Tourist season has begin, bringing an influx of people to the area and going anywhere feels like a nightmare being stuck in traffic. Enough complaining though… I couldn’t stand being stuck in my room all day so I went out for a super long walk at a trail I’ve never tried before. It ended up being enlightening, allowing my energy to flow through my legs and into the earth. Sparky and I walked for about three hours, stopping in the woods along the way. The trail was called Woods Canyon Trail, and was a 10 mile out and back trail into a wide canyon. The dry creek runs through it, so it is lined with sycamores, ash, and other peculiar trees I’ve never seen before. A true woods, which is why it’s called Woods Canyon.


Just about the end of my journey in, I came to a wash that broke the trail and needed to cross. For anyone who doesn’t know, a wash is a land feature that runs through deserts. Washes are like natural culverts where the rainwater flows into and collects, eventually meeting with a dry creek or a normal creek. In the wash were pools of water, the edges piled with bees sipping their first drinks of spring. As I walked into this little oasis, a yellow swallowtail butterfly flew overhead and landed on a bush nearby. When my dad died and I arrived back in Sedona after his funeral, he started showing himself to me as a yellow swallowtail butterfly. I hadn’t seen one in months, maybe since September, so the instant I saw this butterfly I knew my dad was visiting me. Many times in a few minutes, the butterfly came to me and flew right over my head, a mere inch from landing on me each time. It was like a gentle play with nature, and one with which I knew my dad was involved. It was like he was saying, “Follow your wonder, you are on your right path. Be patient, we’re working on everything for you.” It was then that I gained a sense of relief, and yes, some more grief because I missed him so. I continued on the trail with tears in my eyes as he flew further down the wash, and when I came through this spot again tears blurred my vision on the treacherous path down. This trail had such beauty and tranquility that my heart needed to process some of what I was going through. Later that night, I was driving home from band rehearsal, and the song Wish You Were Here blared on the radio, one of his favorite songs and one that we played at his funeral. To process the feelings that flooded my body I screamed the lyrics in the most unmusical way and cried until I got home. And that’s totally okay. Today I feel so much lighter, much of the heavier emotions have subsided, and I believe it is because I allowed myself to process them in the way I need to.


I want to leave you with something from this post, and that would be to allow yourself to process whatever you are feeling, unapologetically and unconditionally - not only with others but especially with yourself. There’s so many unique ways to process emotions, I’ll share some below!


With anger:

  • Go for a hike somewhere where you’ll be alone. Throw rocks and scream out what’s making you angry, be vulgar, be honest, get it all out! (This is actually really fun and if you can find an echo-y place it makes it all the funnier!) I find myself laughing hysterically afterward, because it is so fun expressing yourself in this way.

  • Write an angry letter to the person or situation pissing you off. Let it all out. Don’t censor yourself! When you’re done, burn your letter when you’re done and release it to the Universe.

With sadness:

  • I like to go to a river or creek when I’m sad and stick my feet in the cold water. As I do this, I imagine my sadness flowing out through my feet and into the water, the river using the energy to change it into something new.

  • Find a pretty good sized rock, like a softball size, and whisper your sadness into the rock. When you are finished, declare to the stream that you are letting these emotions go into the rock and throw it in the water!

With grief:

  • Go for a walk in nature. Walk for as long as you can, allowing whatever thoughts run through you as you carry on. Allow yourself to cry, just cry, cry, cry and let all of your tears hit the earth. Speak what’s on your mind out loud. Ask your guides, or the Universe to be with you and listen to what you have to say. You can ask for guidance and for them to take some of this grief from you. Declare that you’re ready to let it go of what is bothering you, if you are ready to do so.

With suppression:

  • If you feel someone has wronged you or suppressed you in some way, get in your car (or another safe space to be alone) and invite their soul to come and sit next to you. You could also have a picture of them next to you if you need the visual. Speak everything on your mind to them and share your most authentic feelings. You may find some compassion for yourself or even with them for the way you are feeling.

And as always, journaling is so simple yet so profound in the way it can heal us. It has been challenging for me to write lately, but I know for a fact that writing every day, for 20 minutes or more at a time can really change us and heal those stuck emotions inside. When I lived in Oregon, I had so much down time, and no technological distractions because I was living off the grid, that I wrote for the majority of my free time. I filled up multiple notebooks with all kinds of feelings and stories. And it was because I did this that I was able to heal the relationship with my dad and have happy memories with him before he died.


I hope this post saw you well and helped you in some way! Remember that all emotions are valid, all emotions are equal and you are entitled to feel everything you feel. Try out some of the exercises in this post and share with me and your friends how they worked for you! I appreciate you and love that you’re here <3


Much love,


Ashley


P.S. I have a Patreon page now! If you love my content and would like to help me out with my earnings for this month, head over to my page and you can donate as little as $1/month to help me pay for things like food, gas, and coming pretty soon here my mortgage! I’m saving up for some equipment to record a musical album and to help Austin start a podcast. If you’d like to be a part of it, check out my page :) I appreciate your support! www.patreon.com/adventuresacross


P.P.S. We started a Go Fund Me for our permaculture homestead project! If you’d like to donate to that, you can find more information and the donation page here: