"Ashley LeMieux has made a career out of helping others re-ignite the light within them. She is the founder and CEO of The Shine Project and is a firm believer that everyone was born to shine. Ashley is a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur who lives in Nashville, TN. Her company, The Shine Project, is an online community for women to find support, resources, motivation, and encouragement to triumph over the challenges in their lives. The Shine Project also employs first-generation college students to hand make products, ship online and wholesale orders, and work The Shine Project events to help impact the trajectory of their lives."
1. How would you describe your work-life balance? What does a day in the life of Ashley LeMieux look like?
I dropped the idea of having a perfect work-life balance when I first became a mom. I realized that trying to balance all the scales for everything I need to do in my life wasn't possible, so instead, I create daily intentions for myself. When I stick to those intentions, then I feel good at the end of the day, knowing I put my efforts and energy where it was most important.
A day in my life starts with me taking time in the morning to meditate and complete my daily practice, which is a set of 5 questions that guide my day, and then mapping out my day based on where I feel I'm most needed.
2. On your Instagram page, you discuss life lessons. Can you describe some of your life lessons?
My biggest life lesson has come in the phrase of three simple words: I am here. The phrase, "I am here", came to me at a time in my life where I was trying to run away from everything around me, because I was in so much pain. I was constantly depressed about the past, and anxious about the future, and then I realized that I was giving my power away to circumstances in my life that I had no control over because I wouldn't allow myself to live in my present moment.
"I Am Here" has given me a mindset of knowing that no matter what is happening in my life, I have permission to find joy, strength, and hope in it. When we stop trying to run from our pain, I have learned that it can actually teach us.
3. People who follow you admire your ability to be positive despite the hardships. Where does this strength come from?
The strength comes from acknowledging the truth about my life, and not trying to sweep things under the rug. When I can get brutally honest about how I'm feeling, and current realities I'm facing, then I get clarity on what's needed to find a path forward. I know that I can still find joy, even in pain, because I've felt both emotions so intensely on a daily basis. Because I know this, I know that pain wasn't ever meant to stop us from living our lives.
4. What can readers expect in I AM HERE?
My biggest hope for I Am Here, is that the reader will accept the invitation to be invited back into their lives, and uncover all of the power and freedom that is waiting for them. They can expect to find clarity they've been seeking, as we walk step by step through a process I created called Clarity Mapping.
They will be creating an actual map that will allow them to get really honest about where they are at in their life, and be given tools to start reimagining where they want to be. Through reframing their thoughts, reimagining their future, and reclaiming their power, the reader can expect to move from fear to freedom.
5. What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?
Something I am continuously learning is that our stories aren't over yet. I turned in my first draft right before I had a late miscarriage of our baby boy. I went back a few months later and added several chapters from what I was learning while in the middle of that experience. I was reminded that life is our opportunity to feel it all, the best and the worst, and that we're stronger than we think we are.
6. How often do you feel “stuck”? What are some methods you have developed to navigate this feeling when it arrives?
Sometimes I feel stuck every day! The mental loop that comes that says, you can't do this, or, this is too hard, or you're afraid, are the three biggest thoughts that keep me stuck. It's normal to feel stuck, and what helps me is reframing my thoughts. Being able to pinpoint a positive emotion that is fueling a negative fear is something that gives me a bigger perspective and gets me out of a negative thought spiral.
An easy practice I do is writing a list of all the things I have going for me in my life, no matter how small they may feel, so that I can focus on what I do have to help me keep moving forward, instead of what I don't.
7. What do you look forward to readers learning about you in “I AM HERE”?
In the stories that I share about my life in “I Am Here”, the thing I look forward to the most is the reader learning more about herself. I'm just the guide, a fellow traveler, and I will know that my words did what they were meant to when women start looking at their lives and experience freedom and clarity in ways that they've been searching for.
8. What are the essentials needed to begin “Clarity Mapping”?
Clarity Mapping starts with a willingness to get really honest about the current reality of your life. With that willingness, and my Clarity Mapping process, the reader will be walked through exactly what to do. We start with creating an intention, which is a way to keep ourselves focused and know what it is that we're trying to move towards. Having a clear intention impacts a clarity map more than anything else.
I've learned that even when we feel like life is taking us back to pain to square one, that we really never start over. I wrote Born to Shine after losing our older two kids during an unexpected contested adoption, and then I Am Here was when we lost our third child, which was not anticipated at the start of me writing the second book. Each experience we have in life contributes to who we are.
We don't need to 'move on' from them, but we can move forward with them, in ways that are healthy, powerful, and allow us to have a new lens in which we show up to the world around us. I've evolved as an author because I keep being taught how to go through hard human experiences, and give words and a voice to things that many people feel alone in.
10. What does it mean to “reclaim your power”? How have you done this in your past?
Reclaiming your power means you take it back from, or stop giving it to things that are sucking you dry. One way I have reclaimed my power this year has been learning to love myself again. After my miscarriage I blamed myself a lot, and felt like a failure. Being able to reframe that false narrative I kept feeding myself, and take my power back has been a really important lesson in my life. Sometimes other people or events out of our control take our power from us, but we have the ability to reclaim the light inside of us that feels like it's gone dark.
Since I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer who 'helped people heal their hearts'. When I was graduating from college a decade ago, I decided to create a space on the internet where women could come and feel supported, have resources to help them reach their dreams, and find community.
Places To Find More From This Author:
Podcast: I Am Podcast with Ashley Lemieux
Shine Project: theshineproject.com
Get Your Copy of I Am Here Today!