I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Gather Yoga, right before the YogaPop event in Charleston. We talk about guilty pleasures, what kind of yoga practice I have these days and a few secrets I’ve never shared. Read below to hear all of the juicy details.
Our pals and partners at Yogapop are putting together another night of yoga, fashion, food, and music. On March 26, The Visitor Centre Bus Shed in Charleston, SC, will be transformed by the incomparable Yoga Guide Kathryn Budig, Chief Yogapop Inspirer Ashley Cebulka, booty-shaking beats from The Jaystorm Project, and the feel-good, high energy acoustic/electric stylings of Philly natives and Charleston-based musicians Regina Ferguson and Johnny Shields. Here, we catch up with Ashley to get inspired…
GatherYoga: Tell us about your craft, Ashley. What do you do? How do you do it, and WHY do you do it?
AC: As a Life Coach, I help people rediscover their unique gifts, passions, and purpose while encouraging them to create an entire lifestyle they love — one that’s fulfilling emotionally, financially, and spiritually.
I work with people all over the world, so most of the time I Skype with clients or we do sessions over the phone.
Often times people come to me because they’re frustrated with their career. They feel burnt out and want to create a radical change in life. Or they want an entire life overhaul. They’re often in the mindset, “If I just had ___( the perfect career, relationship, plump bank account), then my life would be perfect.” Yet their desires feel out of reach and they don’t know what steps to take in order to create what they want.
First I ask if they are willing to take 100% responsibility for their lives. Once they say “Yes!” it’s game on!
We actually start with helping them create self-care practices so they feel connected to themselves and understand their most authentic needs and desires. When they dive into regular self-care, they stop functioning consistently in reaction mode and begin to really listen to their intuition. Then they are able to make more intuitive decisions based on what they really want to do and what inspires them, which quickly creates more freedom in their lives. They stop giving into should-bombs, and stop basing life choices on guilt, trying to fit it in, or because of pressure they’ve put on themselves.
As they consistently commit to being authentic, they become clear with the limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging habits that have held them back from experiencing what they really desire in life, like healthy relationships, a killer career, or a healthy body.
Once this clarity rises to the surface, they create new ways of being that are more in line with what they value. Again listening to their inner guide, they realize they know what to do.
From there, they start to rediscover what naturally makes them come alive and experience joy in life. Then, they do MORE of that. They start engaging in activities they haven’t done in a while, surrounding themselves with people that inspire them and share similar values. They make changes within their current job or start a new career all together. They become dedicated to doing the things that light them up, daily.
As all of these practices are in place, then we dive into the life purpose exercise. My favorite, by far. (This makes me giddy with excitement.) Once they discover their very unique purpose that’s been inside of them all along, they come alive in a way that’s electric and beyond inspiring….
I’ve witnessed every one of my clients suddenly give themselves permission to be who they really are. They stop playing small and take big risks. They create careers that far exceed what they could have imagined. Their financial income increases; in turn, they spend and invest their money on what they actually value. Their relationships flourish, as they fill them with vulnerability, intimacy, and FUN! They use their gifts in a way they know are most useful in helping others. They create an entire lifestyle they love.
GY: So, why do I it? Because when I discovered my unique purpose eight years ago, my whole life changed. I instantly wanted to help everyone I possibly could to discover their own, so they could experience the freedom and empowerment I knew was possible. It’s my calling, I know it’s what I’m here to do. It’s the most rewarding “work” I’ve ever done. Everyday I’m inspired by the people I work with and the lives they create. I feel immensely blessed that I spend my days doing what I love…
Gy: Do you practice yoga? If so, how did you come onto the mat? Talk about the evolution of your yoga practice over the years.
AC: I’ve practiced yoga for 15 years. When I first dove into the practice, I wanted to find an exercise to counter-balance all of the athletic training I was doing. Yet, what evolved from there was quite spectacular.
It took about five years before my practice became a consistent one. I would say I dabbled in yoga and looked at it more as stretching before I made it a regular practice in my day to day life. Once my practice was more consistent, it became a grounding force in my life. It helped me heal my relationship with my body. I used to be at war with my body on a regular basis. Yet, through breathing and slowing down in yoga, I was able to approach my body in a way I had never considered before. I became acutely aware of my body’s needs and what it was capable of. That war mentality shifted to the loving and respectful relationship I now have with my body, which had a positive domino effect in all areas of my life. Yoga became and has continued to be a spiritual practice for me. I’m actually not all that concerned with fancy poses; I stay focused on practicing what feels good to my body. I no longer do any practices or workouts that I don’t like. Now, it’s much more about ease and pleasure, which makes my whole life more enjoyable.
GY: What can people expect from your performance at Yogapop?
AC: We’re going to have fun. It’s going to be a bit more interactive this go around, and you’ll walk away with a few action steps to take in the following weeks. Hint: Inspiration will be your source of motivation.
GY: What’s your guilty pleasure?
AC: I’ll drop the word guilt before answering this question. I don’t feel guilt with any of the pleasures in my life. I savor them.
One of my favorite pleasures is a savoring a home-cooked meal with friends and family. One that lasts for hours and hours. As we dive into several courses, each vivacious dish has our senses exploding with anticipation and excitement. I especially adore that precious moment of quiet, as everyone gets lost in the enjoyment of the flavors they’re tasting (that’s always a good sign). Before we know it, the lively conversation continues with plenty of laughter as we sip on beautiful wine. This is heaven to me.
GY: What’s your immediate release?
AC: Hmm, I don’t think I’ve ever shared this one before. Singing. Whenever I start singing everything else falls away.
GY: Favorite musician and/or song?
AC: I love music way too much to say just one musician or song. I’ll tell you what’s been playing on repeat a lot lately. “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson. I love to dance and I do it often, so this my jam to get in the mood.
GY: Favorite last read or watch?
AC: I recently read Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. I loved every second of it. She’s brilliant, hilarious, intuitive, driven, compassionate and has sage advice for all of us.
GY: Any final thoughts on Yogapop and what Hilary and Becca have created?
I love how Hilary and Becca are bringing the Charleston yoga and music community together and creating a lively events. The combination of yoga and music, along with delicious vendors and inspiring performers, makes a night to remember.