306. To Find Our Purpose, We Must Get Out of Our Own Way
Intense bullying, and the depression that followed, left Ashley virtually hopeless at age eight. At age 25, halfway around the world in Thailand, she questioned her own sanity as she began a 21-day vow of silence.
Ashley Cooper is on a mission to help people everywhere uncover and unlock their greatest potential. She overcame years of bullying and depression as a child with the “soul mission” of helping others see their divine nature. She has a gift for helping people see that anything is possible, if you just believe. She is a yoga instructor, mindfulness coach and the founder of The 6A Method from Pain to Power™. She is also the co-founder of ABC Charity™- a global art project based on kids helping kids. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised through ABC Charity are donated to different children’s charities around the world.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
Ashley began finding practical ways to use her experiences and talents after having traveled halfway around the world to Australia, then to Cambodia and Thailand. She intentionally committed to a 21-day vow of silence. At first, she thought she might be losing her mind or having a psychotic break, but then, “I realized that everything I’d been running away from my whole life, I should have been running towards. It wasn’t about traveling to the other side of the world, it was about being with my experience, and honoring who I truly was. All those moments of pain and suffering were really my greatest gift. I just had to be with it long enough for it to unfold the way it was meant to unfold.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
Ashley’s life turns on two formative experiences, beginning with her seriously contemplating suicide at age eight, and later committing to a 21-day vow of silence while living in Thailand as a young woman of 25. Her childhood contemplation of suicide was the result of being severely bullied to the point of hopelessness and depression. “Looking back on that moment now as a 36-year-old woman, I’m blown away that I had the presence of mind to see that if I could just make it out alive, maybe I could help other people going through similar struggles. I chose not to take my life because I thought my life’s purpose could be about helping others. Every moment since then has been about honoring that promise and getting out of my own way, so that I can be of service to others.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“I’m realizing that so many of us have a dream, a purpose, a mission in life. It’s one thing to hear that call, and quite another to answer it. So many of us feel unworthy of the things we truly want to do. Although we have dreams, ambitions and a sense that we were born for something, we get in our own way. So much of what I’ve been doing is to look back and see that for my whole life I knew that this was what I was meant to do. It was just about getting out of my own way, realizing I’m worthy of living my dream of helping people.”
Steps to Success from Ashley Cooper
1. Understand that failure is an integral part of success.
2. Learn to fail your way forward. It’s actually a sign that you’re doing the right thing, and that you’re in good company.
3. Understand it’s OK and normal to feel afraid and not worthy. It’s only when you believe those feelings that they become a problem.
4. Recognize that following your life’s purpose is its own reward. But that doesn’t mean that it’s an “easy journey.”
On Her Bookshelf
Pain to Power: The 6A Method, by Ashley Cooper
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle
Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill
Books and videos by Wayne Dyer, Oprah Winfrey and Tony Robbins.
Connecting With Ashley Cooper
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