I’m blessed to be surrounded by some of the most amazing friends in the world. I derive inspiration from them daily, and especially from my dear friend Ashley Cebulka. She is a phenomenal life coach in Charleston, South Carolina, who helps people create the life they love. She was there with me in the beginning of my finding out my own personal motto, “Aim true.” She continues to be a driving inspiration force in my life and I am thrilled to introduce you to her.
Kathryn Budig: I enjoy your sparkly, positive attitude that carries over to your life coaching. Can you describe your coaching style?
Ashley Cebulka: First, I am all about having fun. We cover a lot of ground in my programs and sometimes it can involve addressing some heavy topics in life in order to bring the light to surface. I try to infuse fun and laughter into every session and encourage my clients to not take themselves or the stories that are weighing them down too seriously. This ends up making the whole process more easeful. Also, at the core of what I do with every client, is help them listen to and trust their intuition; while also helping them rediscover their unique life purpose. Every one of us has a different and unique reason for being here. I find when my clients remember their unique purpose; they end up giving themselves more permission to shine and really be themselves. Their confidence starts to soar and they approach their life with a different level of appreciation. From there I encourage them to create a life with their purpose at the center of it and their passions leading the way.
KB: You often say, “Create a life you love.” It’s even become your motto, or mantra. What does it mean to you?
AC: I believe we are creating on a moment-to-moment basis with our thoughts, and where we decide to direct our energy. When I say create a life you love, I hope it encourages people to take a moment to really ask themselves, “What do I want in life?” and “What I am doing to help create that?” Once they gain clarity, it’s about noticing if they’re placing not only their energy, but also their actions toward creating that vision. Are they surrounding themselves with people that support that vision? Are they saying “no” to things, people, or situations that take them further away from how they want to feel on a regular basis?
It’s really easy to get caught up in a reactionary state. Where you constantly feel like you are playing catch up to life and the series of events that just unfolded. Yet, that can change once you carve out time to listen to your intuition. As you lean into listening and trusting your intuition, you will find that you end up naturally taking more inspired action based on what feels good, and that creates a positive chain of action in your life.
KB: What are some common challenges you witness people overcome as they create a life they love?
AC: I’ve encountered many people who think they have to struggle their way through a career to eventually find some happiness in it. They often believe they have to pay their dues and around the age of 40, they may find some relief—as in a salary increase, the shiny new corner office, or simply just hope they’ll eventually like what they do.
As we dive into our work together, they often realize they have been basing decisions in their career on “should” bombs, meaning, what they believe they should do, rather than what they really want to do. Once they realize they don’t have to fit into some box, they really start to come alive to possibilities. Then they end up making transitions that feel really good and dive into work that they love which then encourages them to live out their purpose everyday.
KB: How did you discover your own path?
AC: I am a really passionate person, but in the past I didn’t know how to direct that enthusiasm in a positive and productive way. I found myself thinking “there has to be something more to this life than just working hard and having fun on the weekend.” As I studied life purpose work and discovered my own unique purpose, I felt like I finally gave myself the green light to fully be me and dive head first into what I’m passionate about rather than reserving it for after work hours. I inevitably became more focused and quite frankly more fun to be around. I changed my career, started doing workouts that actually felt good rather than forceful, and surrounded myself with people who supported my vision. A lot of my insecurities fell away, because I was no longer trying to force myself to be someone I wasn’t.
So to say it was a relief would be an understatement. I used to be scared of listening to my intuition, I used to be afraid of “What if it’s wrong and I make a mistake?” Once I made the decision to really trust myself, I started to take more risks; I became more optimistic. Ever since, I have enjoyed my life so much more.
KB: What are some helpful ways people can figure out what their passions are right now?
AC: I love this question! A quick trick is to answer the questions below and my guess is you will find some insight into what you’re naturally passionate about.
1. What could you have fun doing for hours without even noticing time pass?
2. If money were no issue, what would you spend your days doing?
3. When was the last time you felt really joyful, and what were you doing?
Kathryn Budig is the celebrated yoga teacher behind AIM TRUE, a regular writer for Yoga Journal, and presenter at YogaJournalLIVE!.