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Life Lessons: Patti Ashley

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Life Lessons:
Patti Ashley

*Are you happy at the moment?

Yes, I am very happy at the moment. The Broncos just won the championship! Of course, that is not what makes me happy, but it certainly is exciting to live in this major league town and watch Peyton Manning shine. I moved to Colorado 15 years ago, which was the last time the Broncos had won a Super Bowl. Living in Colorado had been a dream of mine since I was a teenager, and I had to overcome many obstacles to make my life here. I had no idea I would become a true Broncos fan, but that year I definitely caught the football fever. I am happy to live in what I feel is one of the most beautiful places on earth. So many bright sunny days, blues skies, clear air, no humidity, hikes and outdoor concerts in the summer, all combined with an overall respect for healthy living.

*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year old self, what would it be?

Never, ever lose yourself in a relationship. Believe in yourself. Love yourself, and lighten up—you don’t have to be perfect.

*What is the most important thing you have learned this year?

That times have changed since I started my career in the 1990s. I now have to keep up with the fast-paced social networking in order to grow my business. I learned that the corner bookstore isn’t going to get me the book sales I need to rock the world with what I have to share. So, I have learned, and I am still learning all about WordPress, Twitter, Linked-in, Facebook, Pinterest and Google!!!

*What do you want most to achieve in the next twelve months?

I want my book to reach as many mothers as possible, which will then help children, and furthermore then help the whole wide world! I keep reminding myself of the vision I had eighteen years ago for my book ~ Living in the Shadow of the Too-Good Mother Archetype. I wanted to give voice to something I knew was in the air, but no one was quite willing or interested in talking about. It was a pressure to over-achieve in the area of mothering and the tremendous guilt women felt when they fell short of their family’s and/or their friends expectations. I knew I was living in the shadow of the too-good mother and I wanted to dive deeply into what that meant for me and other women. So, after eighteen years, I have finally completed the task of getting that vision into form, and I want more than anything to sell those books and help other women feel better about their role as a mother.

*What is your secret to happiness?

Present moment awareness and mindfulness. I have learned that worry, fear and stress only create more worry, fear and stress. They don’t help anything. I also have learned that somehow things always work out. I always breathe in and out, staying acutely aware of the gift of being alive, in this body, at this time. I also look around and remind myself how blessed I am, and how grateful I am for even the smallest things.

*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

I have two!! #1–The first thing in the morning I sit for 15-30 minutes and write in my journal any dreams that I may have had the night before. Then I pull an inspirational card from one of my many decks of cards, or read a page or two from A Course in Miracles or another inspirational book. Then I close my eyes and go deeply inside the silence to listen to my inner voice for guidance to start my day. #2—I dance!! I am fortunate to be part of a local dance class called Planet Motion. Kendra Howard, my dance instructor and friend has created a fantastic way to connect to mind, body and spirit through movement and dance. It feeds my souls and I can’t live without it!

*What is your biggest regret?

Wow, I can’t do regrets. I would have a very long list, and if I hadn’t done the things on that list, I may have never excavated all of the diamonds that shined through facing the pain of each regret. Okay, one example and of course the BIGGEST one—marrying a man that was totally wrong for me at a very early age. Without him I wouldn’t have my precious children. How can I regret that? See what I mean?

*What is the most important lesson you taught your kids?

To be true to yourself, and to be kind to others.

*What bad habit would you like to change most about yourself?

Snacking late at night.

*Aside from motherhood what are you most proud of in your life?

Completing a doctorate and starting my own business.

*When were you happiest?

Well, of course I have to say the present moment, because that is all we really have. The moments I am the most happy are when I can relax and enjoy my family and friends. I love to sit by a fire or under the stars, feel the breeze, laugh and smile, and take it all in, every precious ounce of being alive!

*What ten words best describe you?

visionary~healer~caring~compassionate~kind~thoughtful~loving~determined~passionate~creative

Patti Ashley, Ph.D. is a mother of four children, ages twenty-five through thirty-two, and a grandmother to two. Patti has 32 years of experience working as an educator and therapist. She also works as a liaison between schools, physicians and families. She owns Breakthrough Psychotherapy and Parent Coaching in Boulder Colorado, where she helps individuals and families breakthrough barriers to personal freedom and authentic growth.

Dr. Ashley has developed parent education and support groups in pediatric practices and women’s centers; taught courses in early childhood development at Old Dominion University and Naropa University; published parenting articles in The Hampton Roads Shopper; Kids Pages, and other local publications. She is frequently called upon to address community organizations such as PTA’s and early childhood agencies.

Dr. Patti Ashley completed a doctoral degree in psychology from the Union Institute and University; a master of science degree in education from Old Dominion University; and a bachelor of science degree in special education from James Madison University. However, raising children has been her greatest teacher. Patti believes that children are Divine Teachers, and that truth can be seen through their eyes. In her free time you will find her dancing to live music outdoors under the Colorado sky.

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