Gratitude | What this highest vibration means to me...

Technically I have more than another day until my official 30th birthday having been born in Eastern Standard Time, but for the sake of being present, let's just say it's the last 8 hours or so until I flip the coin into a new decade of wisdom, experiences and understanding.... Gee Golly! 

What I've found incredibly helpful, grounding ("new age" talk for becoming present and connected to your current physical, spiritual and mental state) and uplifting is the act of being grateful / communicating gratitude with all that I have and experience in my life. I try to do this every day. Especially on days and moments when I'm pissed off, confused, frustrated or am otherwise throwing a direct or passive aggressive temper tantrum because things aren't exactly as I'd want them in my day to day interactions.

What I've learned, is that every time I stop to notice and give gratitude, I am instantly transported into a place of compassion for myself, and also that whatever I'm grumbling about is probably (and by probably I mean definitely) best serving my personal development path.....even when it's very clearly upsetting me or in direct reflection of someone else's less-than-flattering ego / human needs. 

All that to say, I LOVE me some gratitude. 

And any friend relatively close to me, knows I often just stop at any given moment and tell them what about / how much I appreciate them and their role in my life, or how I start talking to the green grass and blue skies for their brightness and vibrancy on a daily basis (Thanks Mother Bali!) These are simple examples off the top of my head... but the point I want to make is that GRATITUDE can change emotions and context and connection damn near INSTANTLY for me. 

And I have a hunch, it just might do the same for a lot of folks, if we took some time to do it more often. So, below are a few very specific things I'm super grateful for, that go a bit beyond the day to day interactions with life.

I hope they inspire you to reflect on what makes your life more whole than you sometimes remember...


  1. CLARITY — Hands down, this is it. BAM. BOOM. Clarity is what I bubble up and over for. Anytime I am faced with making decisions, feeling into my heart and deepest desires and/or receive confirmation after acting on intuition....I'm STOKED. One of my biggest areas of human need lies in Certainty... and not certainty as it relates to predictability or routine (you guys know I'm a pretty independent freebirdie ;) but rather certain that what is meant for me, will be and that all things are floating towards and with me according to my own mindset, beliefs and effort (aka behavior). That is what POWERS me every. single. day. Not kidding. True statement. It's because of clarity I know the 4 things I require in order to FEEL and BE successful in my life. 

How do I define success? I'm so glad you wondered! ;) 

  • Flexibility / Freedom — What a surprise! By location, In how I choose to spend my time, etc
  • Good + Trustworthy People — In and around my life; family, friends, guides, lovers
  • Doing Good — I believe in and need to provide service, apply passion to purpose, live for a reason / reconnect to the WHY when I'm unsure or have lost my way
  • Good, Stable Health — I can do all things....if I'm healthy. 

Regardless of what I'm doing in my life (although I really love what I'm doing right now) I know that if all of these boxes are checked in any capacity, I'm living a very full life completely on my own terms. That's all this Piscean Goddess with Liquid Eyes, Charming Smile, Bold Heart and Sassy Attitude can ever truly ask for... truly. And I deserve every bit of what I choose to create (how's that for a powerful affirmation!?)

    Other things I choose to show gratitude for:

    • Space to #dothework — I've made sacrifices so that I could live in a place where personal development is every day common language and everyone and their Mom does transformational workshops at least monthly. It's amazing and SO Bali! However, sometimes, I feel torn between feeling the need to show gratitude for this privilege, and also feeling I shouldn't need to show gratitude for what I believe is a birthright. Regardless I still choose to show and share gratitude on the topic because it just feels nice! LOL 
    • Reflections, Accountability, Mirroring — I loop these together as they all pretty much make me feel the same: HAPPY + HEAVY. It's pretty amazing to see my limitations as a human, woman, woman of color, immigrant, single individual, etc etc And when I get to see those attributes, both "negative" and "positive" I'm forever grateful for the opportunity to choose to change. Note that while I'm using language like "choose to change" know that these aren't instantaneous decisions like —— CONFLICT, CHOICE, CHANGE. Nope, not at all. In fact it usually goes a little like this for me —— CONFLICT, CONFUSION, AWARENESS, NOTATION, AVOIDANCE / SHELF IT, REFLECTION, CONVERSATION, REFLECTION, CHOICE, SLIGHT CHANGE.......TIME......MORE CHANGE, SHIFT.  So basically, it takes time.

    Ok, I've got less than 8 hours now, so I'll sign off, and look forward to opening my eyes to my 3rd decade around the Sun and on this Earth. With thanks and gratitude to all this message reaches... I appreciate your time and understanding. And may my words in some way inspire or bless up your day!

    A special thank you to:

    Donna Hamilton, my Mother and the amazing woman I am grateful to be becoming an evolved version of daily. I see her in me often and couldn't have picked a better one to be my first personal development incubator. She is mother, and flawed, and beautiful and full of more patience I haven't channeled yet. May I be your best parts coupled with your deepest lessons. Thank you for your consistency with your wild child. 

    David Washington, my Father and the man I believe to have inherited much of my charm and clarity from, among other things. I'm extremely proud to be his daughter and that regardless of my decisions, he will love me in his own way. A man of few words, but a heart that radiates farther than even he knows — his absence spoke volumes into my life. I admire his principle and moral code. Thank you for coming to me. 

    Lamar Hamilton, my Dad. In all his life blunders, he taught me how beautiful the fall can be, especially when we rise with a humble spirit and be big enough to say "I'm sorry. I fucked up." It is because of him, I feel empowered when I fail and smart / sharp enough to "roll with the boys". It is because of him, I know the power of forgiving myself for dimming my own light and not pointing the finger at everyone else. Thanks for all the lessons Dad, you don't know all the greatness you gave to me. 

    And to all my Ancestors, God-people, mentors, friends, acquaintances, etc THANK YOU. 


    Ash Johns