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We Desperately Need to Learn How to Be Mothers to Ourselves

In: Feeling Disillusioned With Life

The truth is, we desperately need to learn how to be mothers to ourselves.

We desperately need to learn how to take our own kind hand and caress ourselves. (Not like that, though frankly that couldn’t hurt either.) We need to be soothed; instead of telling ourselves how stupid we are, we need to say the things that a mother would say to her daughter.

That she is strong. That she is capable. That she is okay. That she was built to start fires.

That everything is going to be just fine. That everyone makes mistakes once and a while. That we are still loved no matter what. Sometimes, the bravest thing you can do for yourself is to comfort, not criticize.

Because man, are we hard on ourselves. And to some extent, we’re all sitting around waiting for someone to come along, stroke our hair, put extra marshmallows in our hot chocolate, and tell us that everything’s going to be alright. (Clearly mankind’s greatest argument for marriage.)

But what if you learned to do this for yourself?

What if you made an active effort to be extra nice to yourself on your hard days, extra sweet to yourself on your moody days, extra loving to yourself on your overwhelmed days?

Self soothing can feel so good—and way better than doing it with alcohol, or looking for pleasure the quick way.

My favorite thing to remind myself:

All things considered, you’re doing the best that you can.

The “all things considered” part is important. It’s a head nod to reality; to the fact that, yeah, some days your brain is going to be foggy, your creativity is going to lag, your output is going to suck, you’re going to mess stuff up, but there’s a reason for that, and the reason is NOT YOU.

It doesn’t mean you aren’t giving it your all at any given moment in time; it means that at any given moment at time, the factors are always changing. Life is fluid—kind of like a giant waterbed. When someone jumps on the other side, you feel the waves ripple over to your side, and you’ve got to redistribute your weight to stay steady. (If you’ve never been on a waterbed, go to hell, because this probably means you’re way younger than me.)

Redistributing your creative weight is key—nothing stays stagnant, and so you have to be constantly adjusting to that reality. These are called creative constraints; constraints that must be considered when you’re giving yourself a hard time, guilting yourself over not being as sharp as you were last week, or as enthusiastic as you were yesterday.

You are not operating in a vacuum of pure awesome. Reality must be considered. Constraints must be considered. You can’t forget to weigh everything else that’s affecting you at any given moment.

Which is really just my motherly way of saying:

Take it easy on yourself. And learn how to make your own banana pancakes.

Sometimes, the best way to be taken care of, is by actually taking care.

May 18


When You Feel Like a Hot Mess Full of Walking Contradictions and WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT IS YOUR LIFE?

May 18, 2017

You don’t have to choose, you know. You can be intelligent…and sensual. Extroverted…and introverted. Complex…and simple. You…and someone who’s evolving into someone else. Sometimes, in an effort to finally define who the fuck we are, we start putting ourselves into the little boxes voluntarily—the same ones that we spent our earlier years trying to escape. […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life


May 31


Maybe We Need to Rewrite the Narrative Around “Hustle”—Because, Hello, It’s Fucking Killing Us

May 31, 2017

The wine was poured. And then it was poured again. Sometimes, a third glass. Jackpot, the whole bottle. It wasn’t really the wine I was after; it was what the wine gave me. GLUG GLUG GLUG. Look, I’m relaxing. GLUG GLUG GLUG. Emails? What emails? GLUG GLUG GLUG. I clearly can’t do anything productive now.  GLUG […]

In: Feeling Disillusioned With Life


May 3


Listen: Do What You Crave Without the Guilt. Travel to Italy. Enroll in That Workshop. Make Your Art Every Afternoon. And Hurl Yourself Into the Unknown—For This Is The Best ROI That Money Can Buy.

May 3, 2018

My almost-mother-in-law gets really fucking nervous when I travel—especially when I bomb off to South America for a month by myself to drink ALL THE WINE and celebrate ALL THE BOOK DEALS. But she doesn’t get worried in the typical way a mother might; not the way my own mother would have been worried, which would […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life


Feb 8


I Hate Mantras, And YET—I Love This One for When You’re Kinda Sorta Shitting Your Pants

Feb 8, 2019

I have a mantra (despite wanting to slit my throat upon hearing the word “mantra.”) Are you ready? My mantra is this: WHO CARES HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT IT? GO ANYWAY. Which sounds really kinda wrong, right? We’re a culture based on f-e-e-e-e-e-e-l-i-n-g-s. But sometimes, you have to override the ones that I call false […]

In: Feeling Dead and Uninspired, Feeling Disillusioned With Life


May 11


Burnout Doesn’t Come From Your Business

May 11, 2017

At one point or another, you’ll question your work. You’ll question what you do, and whether you like doing it, and you’ll wonder if you’re on the right path, after all. At one point or another, you’ll be convinced that you hate your work. You’ll be disappointed by clients, discouraged by logistics, and burnt out […]

In: Feeling Disillusioned With Life


Jul 20


What to Do When Your Work TAKES OVER YOUR ENTIRE LIFE—and You Need to Get Some Friggin’ Boundaries, Up In This Joint

Jul 20, 2018

I have a little ritual called Eucalyptus Spearmint. I’ve got it in body lotion, and in spray, and in candle (obviously), and I’ll put my little feet up on the ottoman in the living room (okay, fine, they’re big, entirely undainty feet), and I’ll slowly, and tenderly, give myself the best fucking foot massage this […]

In: Feeling Disillusioned With Life


Jan 7


You Are Not a 7-Eleven.

Jan 7, 2014

“People need to understand what the fuck BUSINESS HOURS mean. I’m not 7-eleven, folks. I am not. If I wanted to be, I’d just run a 7-eleven. Big Gulps all the fuck around.”– Got that email from a frustrated business owner yesterday. I laughed so hard I almost spit wine on my bed. (I said almost. […]

In: Feeling Disillusioned With Life


I'm a Bad Influence on Women

Hey, I’m Ash! Twenty years ago I was a small town girl growing up in a trailer park in rural Pennsylvania. Fifteen years ago, I lost my family and everything I knew right as I became the first to graduate college. Fourteen years ago, I found myself leaving everything behind for a new life in the city where I could be “normal.” Ten years ago I realized normal was the most disappointing thing that ever happened to me. Nine years ago I quit my job in advertising and pursued my dreams as a creative writer. Eight years ago, I built a 6-figure business doing what I love using nothing more than the Internet and my voice. And now, today, I’m the founder of The Middle Finger Project, an irreverent media co. that helps other women find their voice and teaches them to use it to build whatever the f*ck they want to. With a book coming out with Penguin Random House in February 2020 (YASSS, WE’RE A PRODUCT IN TARGET!) I’m proud to be a bad influence on women and guide them into doing something disobediently brave with their life and their career.

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