dear lauren — letter to my 27 year old self.

dear lauren,

that saturn return thing that all of the magical black women who are slightly older than you, but worlds wiser, told you about last week at your black girl in om new moon gathering? it's real. but don't be afraid.

remember—fear and love can't co-exist. when either show up strong, one of 'em's gotta give. 

twenty seven through 30 are about to be a wild ride, but you're divinely supported.

here are the spiritual lessons you will start to master*, some of them the hard way, some of them with great, almost unbelievable ease:

identify, own + actively cultivate your values + ethics. what is in alignment will stay. what isn't in alignment will fall by the wayside. this goes for opportunities, people, and partnerships. learn to let people be. they operate according their own personal truths, seen and unseen. operate at your fullest capability according to your own values, with love, and watch your life flourish + your contentment expand.

that abundance mentality notion that your new friend and mentor janice bond speaks so highly of? it's going to be your biggest asset in how you do business + how you approach balance in work and life. there is more than enough resources for you and countless more black women to thrive in the space that you're cultivating. move accordingly. there is more than enough time in your life to realize your purpose. move accordingly. there is more than enough room in other people's hearts to accept you, as you are, right now. move accordingly.

boundaries: what are they good for? absolutely everything, say it again! you're new to chicago. no one knows you. newsflash: in order to bring your vision of black girl in om into a reality, you're going to do the absolute most for awhile—expend a lot of energy, say "yes" to all of the coffee dates, make new colleagues, acquaintances, partners, supports, do lots of things for free, take on countless labors of love, be your own PR/manager/mentor/best friend/advocate/marketing team, build a team, build your reputation and integrity in an entirely new community. girl, that's a lot of energy expenditure. you'll learn, again and again, to discern what and who is worth your energy. what reciprocity feels like. what energy and resource vampires feel like. and you'll learn to unapologetically set yourself up best so that you can thrive and fulfill your purpose on this planet.

love yourself, love others. forgive yourself, forgive others. the level of self-acceptance you can muster, mirrors the extent of your acceptance of the person you dislike the most. stop trying so hard to forgive, and instead focus on self-acceptance and watch both increase.

death, both physical and metaphorical, is but a rechanneling of energy. don't fear it, open yourself up + soften into it when it comes around. and it will come when it needs to, despite what your small, human perception may say. when your elders die, their strength and wisdom is gifted to you. when you choose to step away from any of your beautiful contributions to this world, you take with you + even more fully receive all that you poured into it tenfold as God redirect's your steps. open yourself up to death + endings, and signal your complete surrender + trust. 

self-care, self-love, and holistic wellness. repeat. rituals will become some of your deepest spiritual grounding. from these practices, a rooted foundation strengthens. your branches may sway, but they are always connected fundamentally in your Source. 

manifestation, your new favorite spiritual practice, is more powerful than you currently realize. you'll learn to become even more specific with what you ask for. and will attract all that you desire. document your own best practices, let intuition be your guide. 

reflect. often. it'll serve as inspiration because you will see how much personal and professional growth you're going through at a rapid pace these next three years. and it'll help you discern when it's time to let go of old practices that once served you and implement new ones. you're never the same from one moment to the next, one month to the next, or one year to the next. 

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these and more. girl, everything you need is within you or around you. you are love, don't let any circumstance or any person distract you from this Truth.



*all spiritual lessons continue to show up again and again. the same challenges + truths embodied in different people, a diversity of places, all to encourage you to continue to awaken to your Highest Self and surrender to God's will + purpose for your life. you will forget this. that's okay. 

p.s. thank you to my mentor and dear friend janice bond who encouraged me recently to write a letter to the version of myself who decided to say yes to a whole new world in 2014. an entrepreneurial path that hadn't yet been forged; an intentional wellness journey that needed to go deeper; and an inquisitive exploration into my creativity, curiosity, and spirituality. thank you. 

did what you read inspire you? motivate you? assist your personal development? i'm honored.

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for more about me & what i'm about see here.



Lauren Ash