Our “GUEST BLOG” series continues and we excitedly introduce you to Ashton Cantou.
A few self words about Ashton as we introduce you to her uplifting and inspirational positive energy blog:
Ashton is a passionate servant leader that thrives on supporting others in living out their highest potential and best life. She is certified in Transformational Life Coaching Leadership Coaching for high performance. She hosts numerous workshops and serves as a guest speaker to various organizations.
Owning Your Happiness
How important is it to you that you feel happy? From my teen years on into my early 20’s I lived as a victim to my anxiety and fear. I was chasing the next goal for a sense of achievement and tied myself up in relationships that really didn’t light me up. Although my life looked amazing on the outside, I wasn’t truly happy. At the age of 25, I decided to take radical responsibility for my life and that meant taking full ownership over my happiness. The realization I had was that happiness can be fleeting especially when the source of our happiness is outside ourselves. When we allow the actions and energy of others to impact our thoughts and in turn our feelings we basically give them the key to our happiness. Realizing this truth, I shifted my life pursuit to live out the joy that is sustained from within, meaning happiness became an inside job. Since every result in our outer world is a reflection of how we are feeling on the inside this has proven to be a great success strategy for me as well! Joy is always present and waiting to be tapped into. The question is how? How do you align with your inner joy? How do you live with a positive frame of mind despite all of the negative influences that surround you?
Commit To Your Happy & Protect Your Peace
You’ve got be fully committed to your happiness. There is so much around us that can steal our joy if we let it. Therefore, a critical decision you have to make is to cut ties with things that are no longer serving you. This especially means getting radically honest with yourself about what really is draining you and doesn’t feel good. It could come in the form of relationships or mean ditching habits or environments. Without guilt saying bye-bye to the people, places, and things that are no longer serving you is an act of self-love in the highest form. Although it isn’t entirely possible to rid yourself of every negative human interaction, you can love yourself enough to set boundaries. I personally am committed to protecting my peace and my energy. I’ve seen the impact on my health and happiness when I allow negative energy, other people’s opinions, or unwanted outside circumstances run my mood. So, some helpful boundaries I have set for myself are not engaging in gossip, not fueling someone who has a limited viewpoint and being okay with saying NO to things that truly don’t light me up. Doing this in addition to carving out time for self-care and soul-care daily has been a game changer in my overall health and vitality. Burnout is a real thing, make yourself a priority and your happiness will follow suit. Overall, you must learn to let things go, stop forcing things that feel upstream, and surrender to the process.
Honor Yourself By Doing What Lights You Up
Although we can’t follow our bliss all of the time we can choose to align with the things that light us up as often as possible. This is a massive part of honoring our truth and ultimately cultivating joy from within. The more we are in tune with ourselves and choose to listen to ourselves we are better able to say no to the things that drain us. Too many people are living out what the think they “should” do. Taking action towards things that don’t actually align for them, trying to fit a societal mold that isn’t them at all. This produces serious discontent in our lives. Instead, the goal here is to live out our bliss. In order to do so we must trust ourselves and start putting more weight on our own opinion of ourselves and go for what really turns us on rather than listening to the opinions of those around us. Listening to yourself is the path of living our authentic truth. It’s risking being who we are at our core no matter who is looking for the joy that the freedom brings.
Speaking of listening to ourselves, how you talk to yourself matters. No one who is listening to their inner critic is going to feel good. The way you talk to yourself and others is a reflection of how your thinking and feeling about yourself. So, to shift your mindset to positive you have to love yourself enough to rid yourself of negative self-talk. If the thought doesn’t bring you more joy ditch it and find a more empowering thought that fuels your happy!
Take on a CEO Perspective
Where do these negative feelings come from and how do we shed them? Our Ego (wounded self) is consistently at odds with our higher self. It’s always projecting judgments and fears out into the world. As nothing is really separate when we fall into fear traps and judgment traps we are really only hurting ourselves. That being said, cultivating joy means you get to embark on the journey of judgment detox. You get to step into radical self-acceptance. My favorite frame to look through as I live this out is a CEO perspective, with this perspective we are able to show up to life as a compassionate empowered observer. From our CEO perspective, we can see that hurt people hurt people and we can offer compassion. We can empathize with the angry teller or observe the negative Nancy putting their unsolicited two cents. Knowing that every act is either an act of love or a cry for it we will no longer allow the actions of others to disturb our peace. This removes the block to loves presence and the whole question of “what does this mean about me?” Followed by the typical feelings of being unworthy or wrong. The answer though is nothing, it means nothing about you, go on and be happy.
Chose Love Over Fear
Here’s the deal, at all times we are truly running off of one of two emotions; fear or love. Choosing to view life through the lens of love instead of fear we diminish the negative picture that fear portrays. When fear is dissolved feelings like anxiety, stress, irritability, and anger are far less present. In addition, when choosing to see life through the eyes of love and most importantly ourselves through this lens we don’t fall victim to competition or comparison. Two major thieves of joy! Why? Because we are stepping into self-love and self-acceptance and when we do that we have no need to compare or compete. What a great feeling it is to feel whole in yourself and from a full cup allowing your overflow to spill out into the world. This inner confidence breeds joy and is massively contagious.
Feel ALL the Feels
Now, although it may sound counterproductive, this last tip for true sustained joy is a must. No one is 100% happy all the time. In order to truly cultivate joy, you have to allow yourself to be in your humanness and actually feel all of the other contrasting emotions as well. Without judgment, let them come, feel all the feels, and let them go. If you’re mad go let it out at the gym. If you’re sad go cry it out on a pillow. If you’re stressed go journal that stuff out. Too many people stuff down their not so fun emotions like fear and anger and in doing so they outwardly wear their anxiety and irritability. Have the courage to feel, deal, and heal. Doing this will remove the chip on your shoulder so you can show up to life more cheerful.
Choose How You Show Up
Lastly, remember this truth we really can’t control how others show up. There will always be situations outside of our control, but when we change the way we see things the way we see things can change. I no longer look at the obstacle and rather I look for the lesson or opportunity for growth. I don’t focus on problems instead I channel solutions. Choosing joy means that a healthy positive mindset must be present. They say mindset is everything, and it’s ultimately true. We can always choose how we show up to life, how we respond to the stuff that comes our way, and what energy we bring to the people that surround us. Often times, our own high vibe positive energy is enough to shift someone out of the negative mood, so bring your sunshine and shine on everyone!
What are you committed to going forward? What is one shift you can make in order to live out your joy more regularly? You can not fail at being you, so follow your bliss, and do what lights you up. Life is too short to live any other way.
Life Mastery Coach & Speaker
Founder of Intrinsic Beauty Program for Women
Stay in touch and reach out to Ashton:
” Train your mind to see life through the eyes of love and watch negativity, fear, and insecurity wash away.” – Ashton Cantou
I love this quote because applying this as a practice to my life has truly helped me cultivate inner peace and happiness.
Inpirational Kindness/ Pay it forward video:
Young leukemia survivor collects toys for kids with cancer…….
Additionally, Ashton is the founder of the Intrinsic Beauty program for women, helping them to gain the confidence and clarity to get what they want out of life!