I have an incredible guest for you today—Ashanti Johnson. I was searching for inspiration and help with getting clear on goals and visualization and I found Ashanti’s TEDX talk. It was so, so good and so powerful. I’m honored to have her on The Purpose Show and excited to let you listen in on this incredible conversation. Let’s dive in!
In This Episode Allie and Ashanti discuss:
How Ashanti discovered her passion
Action Step for Visualization
Mentioned in this Episode:
Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
The Purpose Show Facebook Community
Mom life. We’re surrounded by the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. We’re supposed to get through it. Survive. Cling on by the last little thread. And at the same time, Carpe Diem—enjoy every moment because it’s going to go by so fast. The typical mom culture that sends us all kinds of mixed, typically negative messages: We shouldn’t take care of ourselves; it’s selfish. The more ragged you run yourself, the bigger your badge of honor. But also, ditch your mom bod and work out. Don’t yell. Make more money. Show up. Be better, but not at the expense of time with your kids. I am putting a hard stop to all of this. While being a mom, running a business, and whatever else you might have going on is hard. It is a lot and there’s lots of giving of yourself. The idea that motherhood means living a joyless, nonstop-hustle-with-zero-balance kind of life where you give and give and give and never take, needs to stop.
I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime (at least most days). Stop the mom guilt and shame game. Stop cleaning up after your kids’ childhood and start being present for it. I want to help you thrive in work, home and life. I believe in John 10:10 that we are called to living an abundant life and I know moms are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, some business and life hacks, spirituality and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hello friends! How are you doing today? Check in with yourself. Take a deep breath and let’s create some time for you right now.
I have an incredible guest for you today. Ashanti Johnson is so inspiring. I found her because she did a TEDX talk.
I was searching for some inspiration and help with visualization, getting clear on goals, and creating pictures in your mind to help you get to where you want to go. I’ve seen so many beautiful things happen when I do that.
I wanted to find somebody else who was talking about this that I could listen to, be encouraged by, and possibly bring on the show to talk about this because it’s just not something that I felt like I wanted to talk about by myself.
I found Ashanti and her talk was so, so good. So powerful. She is an excellent speaker. She’s an excellent leader.
She’s actually in the fitness industry but she speaks about so many things so well. Even her fitness story is so my vibe because she talks about how she was trying so hard to get healthy and lose weight and she just couldn’t do it with limiting her food and killing herself at the gym four hours a week and all this stuff.
Then she moved, got happy, and fell in love. She stopped following all the rules and just ate what she wanted. She lost all the weight, got super healthy, and in a healthy range for her body type just from peace and joy. I love stories like that.
I am super drawn to this amazing woman. I’m so incredibly honored to have had a conversation with her, but to also have her voice and her message be a part of The Purpose Show. I’m going to let you listen in on this incredible conversation with Ashanti Johnson. She’s incredible and you’re going to want to run to connect with her.
Something that I want to say before we hear from her is that visualization is a funny thing for me, and my background. It’s not something that I was raised in. It’s not something that I was taught.
I’ve talked a lot with you guys about how I was raised, not really by my parents but through the school that I went to. It was a private religious school and I was taught a disconnection from my mind. I was taught a disconnection from myself really.
And that is probably the most damaging thing that I walked away with from that experience. There was definitely some good that came from that time of my life, but definitely a lot of damage.
When I learned about visualization and that we have been given by the Creator powerful imaginations for a purpose, that we have so much power in our thoughts and in our words for a purpose and that we can use those things to honestly grow a beautiful, abundant life, change the world, and further God’s kingdom, I was blown away that I was never taught that. I felt like I had tripped over this big secret.
But it wasn’t a secret. A bunch of other people knew about it. I just didn’t. And when I channeled that into my life, my marriage, my parenting, my business, everything—everything that I channeled it toward changed dramatically and positively.
The power in visualization is something that I am incredibly passionate about and I could talk all day about it. I’m happy to do more episodes. You guys can go over to The Purpose Show community on Facebook and comment and share.
What do you want to hear from me on this? How can I help you in this? Let me know. It’s so important.
I feel like growing a business, normalizing wealth for women—especially moms—and stopping this fear around money and visualization are things that I am so passionate about that I want to talk more and more about. I would love to hear from you guys about what you want to hear about that in terms of using the power of our minds to change your life and create amazing things. I would be happy to talk more about that.
I’m so happy to have this conversation. I want you to know that this works and it’s not a formula. It’s not a strategy. It’s the way that you were created. It’s the way that you’re designed.
It’s the way that I believe we’re all created by the Almighty Creator of the universe—God—and it’s beautiful. When you tune into it, stop avoiding it, learn to get still with yourself, learn the power that you have been given because you were made in the image of the Almighty, that’s when beautiful things shift.
I’m going to stop talking now and welcome Ashanti, but please enjoy this conversation. Tell me what you think in the Facebook community. That’s what it’s there for. We will continue to have powerful conversations like this.
ALLIE: Ashanti, thank you so much for being here with me and being willing to chat about your story.
ASHANTI: Oh my gosh, thank you for having me. I love having this conversation. I feel like it’s something that everybody needs to tap into.
ALLIE: I watched your TEDX talk. That’s how I found you. I guess what I was trying to do at this point was trying to figure out who else is experiencing this with visualization and who else is talking about this in a way that feels very real, tangible, and doable.
I don’t mean this to be insensitive to anyone else but it can sometimes feel very “woo-woo” and out there. And that’s just not really my style.
I found your TED talk. I watched it twice right in a row. Then I shared it with everybody on my team and we were talking about you for an hour back and forth on Voxer about how amazing you are.
Your story is so remarkable and you teach this in a way that makes sense to me. And so, I just want to give you the floor and have you share your story and talk about this.
ASHANTI: Oh my goodness. Well, thank you so much.
I’m just a normal girl. I’m from Los Angeles, California. I’m the classic story of trying to find my passion forever it seems like.
I grew up with a weight problem, so I’ve always sort of been in the fitness game. I never really thought I would ever own a gym. I never thought that I would choose this for my career. I did not see this for myself.
But through just living my life naturally, I ended up finding that fitness is really my passion and the thing that I would do if I didn’t have to do it. If I wanted to do something different, it would still be part of my life. So many different experiences have led me to the point where I decided to choose it.
One being that I tried everything. I dropped out of UCLA after two years because I was not really getting anywhere. I was a biology major.
I knew that I was on the five year track and I was not having the best experience in college. I changed my major. I went into cognitive science and went to computer science.
I tried to switch my major to dance. I just couldn’t change the schools. I was all over the place. I’ve always known that I was only going to flourish in doing something that I was really drawn to and really enthusiastic about.
ALLIE: And it’s hard to know what that is when you’re so young. You have had no real adult life and you’re forced to know, figure it out, and then spend so much money cultivating that.
ASHANTI: I’ve always been blessed with this courageous spirit. It didn’t matter what it was that I wanted to do, I was never shy about at least trying it. As I was growing up and making some of these more permanent life decisions, that unfortunately didn’t stop there…to my family’s surprise.
I dropped out, but I still got my degree in four years in accounting. I actually graduated Cum Laude. I did very well once I reduced the size.
I got my degree from Devry instead. That worked out for me. I started working in accounting for about a good year and realized that, even though I graduated with flying colors and loved math, realistically I couldn’t do it every day.
It was so repetitive. It was just not my style, not my speed.
I would drive up every day, 22 years old, with my Lexus. Experiencing the trappings of what people consider success at this very young age. And I would cry before I got out of the car every day, trying to get myself together and knowing that I wasn’t really in a great place.
I met a man around that time and we fell in love. He was an actor in Los Angeles, but he was from Chicago and he had kids in Chicago. Something ended up happening with them and he had ended up suddenly moving back to Chicago.
Now, this is another thing that’s making me miserable in LA with this new career, this newfound freedom, this life that I’m trying to create and it’s just not happening for me. So, I made the decision to move to Chicago to be with him.
I took a major pay cut. I was following the feeling of “this feels more right than what I’m doing right now.”
My life changed dramatically. I lost 30 pounds in two months. I moved right after Thanksgiving, so it was starting to get really cold here. I had never lived in a climate like Chicago coming from LA.
Like I said, I grew up with a weight problem, so I was very conscientious about my diet in LA. I was killing myself four hours a week (minimum) in the gym, keeping my diet clean, and I never could drop this weight. It was like the same three pounds. I would lose them and then gain them.
I moved to Chicago and I’m now eating deep dish pizza, Gyros, real bacon, and all of these things. I dropped this weight and I couldn’t believe it.
When I moved, I got back into sales. I was selling ballroom space for the Marriott corporation and doing a bunch of different odd jobs. I got into makeup. I was just exploring my passion.
My thought was that I could always go back home. I always have this degree to fall back on. I’m young enough that I can rebound, feel around, and still make it happen for myself when it’s time to adult, right? Because I was 22 at the time. And so I did that.
It landed me with Fashion Fair Cosmetics, which is owned by Ebony magazine, and I was an account exec for the Midwest region. That was a major eye opening experience for me, especially in a city like Chicago that’s very historical and has a lot of rich, deep culture.
This iconic brand was a really great experience and unfortunately, slowly but surely, my time ended with them due to some structural changes in the organization and the management. They were going through a major shift. It wasn’t really happening for me and it was the height of the recession.
This whole time I was trying to find my way, find where I was supposed to be, and find where my enthusiasm was going to thrive and where my passion lay. And this moment was the culmination of all of these odd spaces and places that I was trying, where I had to decide what I was going to do. It was springtime going into summer and I just thought, “You know what? I’m going to start this bootcamp.”
Leading up to that point, I started having this nudge to focus more on fitness. While I was working for the Fashion Fair brand, I picked up a side class that I got certified in and I started teaching kickboxing for my local Bali at the time. I was getting really excited about it because people would tell me that this was the most fun that they would have all day.
They started questioning me more about their fitness journeys. How do I do this? How do I do that?
I couldn’t bring myself to tell them the same things that all personal trainers were saying at that time. Six mini-meals a day because that was not my story. I had tried it and it just never worked for me.
So I started getting really interested in what happened to me. How did I lose that 30 pounds in two months? I fell upon a bunch of different authors—Eckhart Tolle and all of the spiritual sort of movement that was happening at that time—and I started really diving deep.
I realized the power of the present moment was the biggest sort of factor in my experience that shifted and altered. I moved to a brand new city. I was in love. I was young. Anything that I wanted to do, I was reinventing.
At the same time, the messaging in Chicago about your body image is very different from LA. So, I relaxed on my version of my concept of who I was. I really embraced who I was in the moment and it just released, you know?
I was in that whole shift personally. Then I started this class. I was in the crux of, “What do I tell everybody? I can’t bring myself to say these things that didn’t work for me.”
I started to really get deeper into, “What do I want to do and what do I want to bring? What is my offering to the world?”
These visions just started coming to me. I would wake up and I would have had these amazing dreams, these lucid dreams of me really feeling the energy in the room of this class that I had just taught and us talking about these factors that are indirectly related to weight.
I would sit down and intentionally visualize. I didn’t know that I was doing that at the time, but I would sit down and make space for it. I think all along my journey, well into high school, even all the way up to college, I was making space for something to come down and land.
I think that was my moment. It came alive and thank God I had the courage to really pursue it. I quit my job in 2008 and I pursued this fitness passion and I’ve been in it ever since.
The drive behind this mental shift that has to change in most people when they’re trying to attain a goal—whether it be fitness, school, money goals, relationship goals, whatever it may be—the shift that has to happen with you is really the thing that nobody was talking about.
With fitness, it was all about calories in/calories out, download this app, eat this/not that, get in all of the mini meals so that your metabolism shoots up, and all that. Nobody was talking about the fact that you have to choose the adherence to that walk. And the many, many moments that it’s negotiated, or put down, or something better or more sexy comes around, that you want the chocolate cake, you know?
I decided to make that my focus. It was the right time. We saw lots of results.
But that came from me tilling the ground and being ready to have that idea, that vision, land on me and me actually feeling like I can take action on it. It was the culmination of all those things coming together.
I was thinking the other week about visualization and the question was, “How are we the most effective at visualizing?”
And I can’t have that conversation without referring to my story and really stressing the importance of the pre-work.
ALLIE: That makes sense. It sounds like in that time where you finally got really healthy and lost the weight—30 pounds is a lot to drop when you’re enjoying food and living differently—it sounds like your body and I imagine your cortisol level dropped.
ASHANTI: That’s what I’m saying. I really wasn’t being my most healthy self if I’m telling the truth. I was eating real bacon. I had eaten turkey bacon up to that point for years.
So there was some not so healthy eating. It didn’t make any sense. But it taught me how powerful our brains are.
ALLIE: The mind/body connection is so real. I went to a school that was really religious and we were really taught that that doesn’t exist. That you’re nothing and you have to go to God for everything.
I’ve learned that there’s such a connection, a co-creating, that we serve a loving God, a loving being, and He wants to be in us, on us, through us, and working with us to create a new reality. I love that.
And to hear that you relaxed and enjoyed your life. You were still living as a healthy person, but you were also enjoying pizza. You’re going to the gym and working out because you love it, and you were eating what you wanted to eat.
It’s like when somebody has really big infertility issues and then they finally release and decide to adopt and they get pregnant. It’s not everyone’s story, but it’s like that release of cortisol because I don’t have to be striving, pushing, and stressing myself out. I think there’s such a huge story there.
ASHANTI: The hustle is dead. That’s the way of the past. Hustle, push hard, go hard, plow through.
There’s a place for hustle, but it’s really all about alignment. Alignment is where you want to be, because that’s how you work smarter rather than harder.
You said it, Allie. The animation behind my form, your form, everybody’s form is that piece of God—our little sliver of God. It’s always connected to the source. It’s always connected.
When we relax and actually listen from that place, beautiful things that are way beyond anything that we could ever think of from our past pale conditioning can occur. Shifts, beliefs, all of those things. There’s a knowing there that you can’t really explain.
ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely.
Can you walk us through what the visualization looked like for you when you were figuring out the fitness thing and you’re hosting these bootcamps? What were you visualizing to get to where you are today?
ASHANTI: I’ve always been the type of person and entrepreneur that listens from within. I have ideas and things, but it doesn’t go without bouncing it up against there first. A lot of times I let my inner voice speak. I refer to it as my soul, so I let my soul speak.
When I started having these visions, I thought, “Wow! I did not see that coming.”
But it feels so natural. It feels like something that’s doable and I definitely know that it’s needed. At that point, once all those green lights go off, you just get into the vein of moving forward with the next step that you can do.
As you start to take those steps, the next one is then revealed. It’s like stepping stones. If you’re trying to get across water and you have no idea how you’re going to cross this path, there is no bridge but you see a couple of rocks and if you just step on those couple of rocks that you see, then all of a sudden another one will appear.
And I believe in that. I know that it’s crazy or just not conventional.
ALLIE: It doesn’t feel safe, but in my experience, it’s actually the best and safest place to be. It’s the way to do things because that stepping stone will appear right before your foot hits the water and it’s the perfect time. It’s the right thing.
I think as humans, needing to know how it’s going to go is just the killer of everything. It’s not going to work.
Okay, friend, I’ve got a truth bomb for you and I really want you to listen.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I’ve been waiting weeks to be able to talk to you about this.
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The lifestyle that you want to live, the person that you want to be, that version of yourself that you really, deeply want to become all starts with mindset shifts.
If you only change your external surroundings and you don’t change anything internally, you will always come back to old habits. You’ll always come back to your old normal, your old comfort zone.
This is why when you decide that you want to stop yelling, you can’t just put a post-it on your mirror to remind yourself to choose calm and choose peace because internally you’re still the same version of yourself. You’re still a person that yells.
You haven’t worked on your mindset. You haven’t changed your inner identity to a person who doesn’t respond by yelling anymore.
This is why people will decide they want to get healthy and lose weight and they change their external environment. They hire a trainer. They throw out all their junk food. They buy new workout clothes. But after a few weeks at most, they fall off the wagon again, right? They come right back to where they were. They come right back to who they are.
You have to change your internal environment. This is why I am so, so big on mindset.
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ASHANTI: To answer your question about what does visualization even look like or what did I do, I sit down every morning for however many minutes I have to meditate, to pray and to center myself.
In certain seasons I definitely take the time to try to explore my visions because we all need a vision, and quite frankly, we all have a vision. Even if you’re not trying to have a vision, there is something that you see that’s possible for yourself. Not like your potential but something that you believe that you’re moving towards, however short or long it is.
There’s two ways to do it. We can look into that space, into the future, into our vision, and really allow things to appear. Or we can go in with this mindset of what we want to see and explore the video game version of what it looks like. Or we can be very grandiose and we can go in with this heady sort of way of trying to reveal what is potential.
And both eventualities could happen because if you can see it, then you can have it. But I choose to allow the vision to sort of unfold.
The important thing is that you allow detail to definitely come in. It’s not that you just want to see the house or you just want to see yourself surrounded by the people or on the beach. You want to feel the air on the beach and feel the sand in between your toes. And if you have a drink, feel the coldness emanating from the cup.
You want to see what the horizon looks like. Is the sun all the way up? Or is the sun set? Is somebody there with you? What does the air smell like?
You want to bring in those factors because if you can bring in the sensation and if you can bring in the sensory perspective, then you can believe now that it’s a real thing.
I was explaining it like DuckTails. Did you watch DuckTails? Is it the uncle or the grandpa that swims through the piles of money?
There are some of us that think, “I’m about to have a vision,” and that’s what they’re hoping to see, so they assert themselves and they miss out on all that’s within.
And so again, I can’t really talk about how to visualize without talking about the pre-work of just allowing yourself to sit with yourself, be okay in that space of unknown, and allowing things to sort of come up into your experience. Does that make sense?
ALLIE: It does. Most of my listeners are mothers and I feel like that’s very counter mom culture. Be still and sit with yourself? I hear a lot that it’s impossible, which it’s not. I visualized my business into fruition while I was breastfeeding and I had three toddlers.
It can be done no matter what. It’s an excuse to avoid yourself and to avoid your dreams. I think it comes from the fear of failing.
ASHANTI: You have to surrender. And I think that’s what you were doing while you were nursing three kids. Woman, my God!
You surrendered to it. I mean by number three, you definitely were surrendering to the fact that you are a mom now and that life was going to be very different. You assumed the role of taking care of these three children, your husband, your household.
In those moments when you surrender, there is no choice but to be given yet another stone to step on, right? It’s the fight that prevents the vision, the knowledge, the knowing from coming up. Because we’re so committed to keeping what was and not allowing that identity shift, however big or small, to happen.
When you meditate, you’re just practicing it. When you meditate, you are getting in touch with that ethereal side of yourself that can only be witnessed and experienced. It’s not something you can think of.
It’s a feeling. It’s a knowing. It’s tapping into something deeper.
That’s just practice time for when something really goes wrong. Now you can reach for that and it’s not this hard pull or this torturous sort of experience.
ALLIE: It’s not just logic. What do I do? It’s like you have a connection to your higher self that is so connected. Your soul is connected to God.
You can go to that place and you have practice of stillness. And that has relieved so much stress in my life. Having that place to go to when everything hits the fan or whatever, it’s someplace to go to connect, stop, and know how to pause because you practice pausing in the daily minutiae.
ASHANTI: Exactly. At the end of the day, we all really know if you have done that self work, everything’s gonna be okay. Everything is going to be okay.
I have had friends whose houses have burned down. Terrible things have happened and everything was okay. And there was a huge lesson to learn out of it, right? Whether it’s not valuing things or what have you, at the end of the day, everything is going to be okay.
When you experience that, you can now have the courage to do the things. I think subconsciously, that’s why I was able to make these shifts when my parents thought I was ruining my life. All the way up to quitting my job at the height of the recession.
But I always knew that, “No, I think I’m onto something. I’m just following my nose. I’m following my soul.”
You’d be surprised, when you let go of the “trying to” everything will fall into place exactly the way that it’s supposed to. I think everybody knows that without ever meditating a day in their life. There’s a fear of it, no doubt, but I think we all know that.
ALLIE: I agree.
So, getting still, connecting with yourself, thinking about what is coming up for you, what do you even want? And then when you feel that, creating a movie in your head of what it would feel like to have that. What would it feel like to be there?
What would it feel like if you were a happier mom? What specifically does that look like? What would it look like to get the new house if you’re not happy with where you’re living?
How do you hold that after you figure it out? How do you use that? Is it just coming back to that every day?
ASHANTI: A lot of people do it daily, but that can create some frustration though. I think that if you take the time to visualize and you actually see something great that you want to manifest, the vision will pull you along to do the thing.
Once you have the vision, all of your decisions can fall in alignment. You have a barometer to bump up against to know is this the right thing to do that is in alignment with my vision.
Everything from buying a new car to what activities to put your kids in. Once you have the vision, it becomes easier now because you know what you’re moving towards.
But what do we do most of the time? We don’t want to sit with ourselves, be it a time constraint or whatever reason that we’ve decided, and we’re just going around and around and around in our brain about what’s not working. We’re never really getting anywhere or doing anything about it.
We need to be sitting down and actually allowing ourselves to clarify what it is that we even want. And that might start off with a list, just as a thing that we want. That could be everything from peace to more money in the bank, kids that are well grounded, whatever the list may be. Then you can sit down, close your eyes, and decide what does that feel like to be in that space of those things actually being here, right here, right now.
Because in this space of just being with self, being uninterrupted in your private time, you can actually pull from any number of emotions that are within you at any given time so you can feel for your happy space. You can feel for the feeling of having freedom if you don’t feel like you have any time and you’re time broke, right?
If you don’t have much money in the bank, you can feel the feeling of prosperity. You can feel for that. What does that even feel like?
And once you remind yourself of all of these things that are the cadre of what you want to create for yourself and then you allow your mind to expand even more, you go from what’s happening right now to what’s possible. What’s actually out there.
It starts to do this and before you know it, you have something that hits you in a space where it’s not just that you think you can, but you know that this is possible. And that will pull you through the tough moments, the sacrifices that you might have to make to get there.
ALLIE: And I think for me, another thing that I’ve been doing is knowing that and being at that point and then calling it in, telling God, “Okay, this is what is feeling good. This is what I’m feeling is the next step. Help me shift if I need to shift. Show me how. Give me the right next steps. Give me the right thing to say. Where do I find this? What do I do?”
Because you don’t need to know. There I was with four kids and my husband was working his butt off 14-hours a days/six days a week in Arkansas. I wanted to come back home to California and had no ideas, no business.
But I just knew. I just knew it was going to happen. And there was no logic. It just was insanity really.
ASHANTI: Do you do any meditation or anything pre-work wise?
ALLIE: Yeah. Oh for sure. I was reading, learning, and really realizing.
I had gone through a faith journey from the school I was raised in to who I am today. I was really connected with God, with the Holy spirit, with what I was made to do, why I’m here, who He is, and what I’m supposed to do.
I knew there was something, but I had no freaking idea what it was. I’m just there breastfeeding my baby, trying to figure it out, read all the things, and know that this broke life with my family separated and money always the conversation is temporary.
It is not what needs to be true. There will be wealth. There will be giving generously. There will be a business. There will be an empire. And there is because I held space for that in the worst time.
I called that in and said, “Okay, God, guide me. God, angels, the universe, everybody, help! This is a big job. I’m just here in this small space and I don’t know how to do this.”
And then the right books fell into my lap, the right leaders, learning how to do webinars, learning how to make courses, doing all of this, aligned, like you said.
ASHANTI: Yes. So, you know, prayer is talking to God; meditation and visualization is Him talking to you. But that is the thing that most people resist. They resist just sitting with themselves.
ALLIE: It’s just so hard for some reason.
ASHANTI: Well, because there’s a billion things to do. And especially now with COVID, everybody’s at home, you don’t want your kids turning on the stove, there’s 15 questions.
What am I doing? What are you doing? What are we doing? I want to go outside. There’s a lack of stillness. You still have work that you need to get done.
And so, now this feels like another thing. But it is the gift that keeps giving. It is the peace of mind that we’re seeking. I always tell my clients, “You are what you have been waiting for.”
There is a resistance to just wanting to, just needing to sit down with yourself, just making yourself do it. And then the thoughts start, right? So then it becomes a rumination session and if you can quiet that down, it’s just about creating that space.
There’s the self and then there’s the concept of who you are that’s super sexy, super fun, and always trying to drag you into the drama like, “Come on!”
Who you are really doesn’t care about the dramas of the world. It really does not. It’s not concerned with what’s good or what’s bad. Who you are is the knowing and the awareness of all things.
Whose hair looked the best, who didn’t dress the best, or whose mom cooked the best brownies is not really what you care about. But the concept of you, the concept of Allie the podcast extraordinaire, and everything like that, has a certain concept of upkeep, right? And we get dragged into that.
But if we can just sit with ourselves for just a minute or two, it will change the amount of time that we’re involved in this. It will create more peace. It will bring us closer to knowing who we really are.
So then, when somebody says something about who you are and it’s not congruent, it doesn’t even shake you. You don’t feel the need to respond. You know who needs to be in your life. You know who doesn’t need to be in your life.
You know how you need to spend your time. You know what values you want to pass down to your children because you have taken that time to really go with it and understand what really matters and what you want.
As I was starting my business, I hired a coach and I’ll never forget the first thing she said and I pass this down to my clients. She said, “Ashanti, I can make sure and I can ensure you that I can get you wherever you want to go. The one thing that I can’t do is tell you what you want.”
ALLIE: That’s really powerful because we go so long and we don’t even know. Our life is happening at us, to us, and we’re just reacting.
ASHANTI: It’s a distinction that we need to make with the concept of ourselves to understand that there’s this sort of egotistical side, but we are that awareness. All that we are is just that consciousness of what we’re paying attention to. What thoughts and what people we’re paying attention to, the time and attention that we give to others—that’s all that we are.
And if we’re not minding that then we have no choice but to be acted upon. We have no choice but to allow life to happen to us because we’re not doing anything with that awareness. We have to guide that attention. And why not guide some of the attention back to yourself?
ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. This is so good. Thank you so much!
I feel like I could talk to you for hours, but this alone I feel is a light for women to listen to and feel woken up to something, woken up to another way of doing things. Another way of thinking about what they’re doing. Being more intentional in that self-pausing and finding out what they want.
And I want to say to everyone listening, asking what you want is not selfish; it’s actually how you can be of highest service in this world. Because what you want, what feels aligned is going to be of service to the world in one way or another.
ASHANTI: And it’s free of resentment. When you’re doing something that somebody has just asked you to do but it’s not really what you want, there is a tinge of resentment in there so you can’t really even service that person that you’re trying to service, be nice to, give love, time, and attention to.
But what about your needs? What do you really want? What are your values?
What are your wounds? What are your beliefs? Who are you?
And I know that that’s the age old question and you can’t really answer that; that’s a perpetual question, right? Who I was last week might be totally different from who I am today.
But just being thoughtful enough of yourself is not selfish. It is the best thing that you can do for yourself and others.
Also, it’s a practice. I want your listeners to be very aware of that. It’s not something that you can get good at or that you know that you’re bad at. It’s either you do it or you don’t. It’s a practice.
I’ve been meditating for years now and some days and some seasons when things are really difficult, which we will continue to have, it’s very difficult to focus my mind into that space. I’ve had moments where I want to be in that space so much. I’ve sat down and I’ve had so much anxiety but so much enthusiasm about finding it, but I never found it because I was searching for it so hard.
ALLIE: I’ve experienced that too. And I’m like, “What’s happening here?”
But that’s exactly it. It’s good to hear that even with all of this practice of stillness, you get there sometimes. It’s frustrating.
You’re forcing yourself to focus and it doesn’t feel good and it’s just not happening. So letting it be imperfect and just making that time for pause feels like that’s really all you can do. Sometimes it will be easier and sometimes it just maybe won’t happen very well.
That is the number one thing. If you could just make time for yourself, allow whatever is going to happen in that moment to occur without your involvement, then in the practice of that, something magical will come to you from that space. It’s just about being intentional about it.
For those who want a technique or a to-do list because in the information age it’s never about wanting to know something exists, it’s, “But how?” I also, at times, when I’m having trouble accessing something, or I’m very clear on what I want but it’s not appearing, I’ll get some index cards, regular cue cards, and I’ll write down the thing that I’m searching for, the thing that I am really wanting to bring into my life.
I have a little envelope that says “miracles” on there and it’s everything from things that I’m trying to bring in for my family, for my career, for myself. Love, more intimacy, more passion. I read them after I meditate, after I’m coming out of that space of connection, just to reiterate that these are my goals. And sooner or later, they eventually always come to pass.
ALLIE: So, that’s an action step that they can walk away with. I love that. So good.
Where can people connect with you more? I love you on Instagram for sure.
ASHANTI: Instagram is probably the best place. It’s where I am the most current. That’s _AshanitJohnson and it’s AshantiJ on every other platform—Facebook & Twitter.
ALLIE: When you show up in my feed, it’s such a light. You’re kicking butt, encouraging everyone to do the same, and move your body. I just feel like, “Oh my gosh, I’m going to do this workout you just posted.” Or you’re being hope, reminding me to be still and focus on what I want. I think that you’re such a light.
Thank you so much for being here.
ASHANTI: No, thank you so much for having me!
Thanks so much for hanging out with me! In case you didn’t know, there’s actually an exclusive community that’s been created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions around The Purpose Show episodes. It’s designed to get you to actually take action and make the positive changes that we talk about here. I want you to go and be a part of it. To do that, go to alliecasazza.com/facebookgroup.
Thank you so much for tuning in! If you’d like to learn more about me, how I can help you, how you can implement all these things and more into your life to make it simpler, better, and more abundant, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, online courses, programs, and other resources to help you create the life you really want.
I am always rooting for you, friend! See you next time! I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.