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  • Would you love to have lasting bliss in your life?
  • Do you dwell in inner peace or is your life full of chaos?
  • Have the strains of stress, loss, or conflict drained the joy from your life?
  • Can you access self-love and self-compassion?

I am a licensed psychotherapist, writer, spiritual director and Reiki master with over 30 years of professional experience in the wellness field. I believe that all of life’s challenges can be portals to personal and spiritual growth.

I would love to help you reorient yourself to a life of love and abundance, ease and bliss — starting today.  Here are resources to help you deepen and enrich your life — check out my articles, books, videos, and blogs. Or contact me to set up Online Counseling.  Love and light are closer than you might imagine!

Latest Blog Posts:

Searching for Silver

In March of 2020, life in Antigua, Guatemala (my new hometown) changed dramatically, as it did across the world.  We went into a lockdown the likes of which no one had ever seen.  Doors around the city were shut and shuttered.  Virtually nothing was open — no restaurants, hotels, shops, gyms, parks, pools, churches, or markets.  The rules of the lockdown meant that we had to be in our homes by 4pm every day.  And no one could leave their home on the weekends at all, from Friday at 4pm until Monday at 6am.  To break the curfew would risk jail time.

The expat adventure that my husband Daniel and I had embarked upon a mere three months prior had taken a sharp turn.  We  shook our heads in disbelief.  Not only had our lives changed but the lives of everyone around the world had changed as well.  There was global illness, death, fear, and uncertainty raining upon us like a mist.

At first, for me, there was fear.  Then grief.  Then restlessness.  Then curiosity.  Where could the silver lining be for me, for the collective us, for the world? I wondered.  While I am a staunch proponent of acknowledging our grief, leaning into pain, and honoring our feelings, I am also confident that silver linings abound everywhere.   We simply have to train our mind to search for the silver.  The practice of searching for silver means to find and focus on the light out of darkness, the hope out of despair, and the positivity out of doom.

For me:

1–Daniel and I got to spend a lot of undivided time together.  After more than a decade of raising children together and having lived life at a breakneck pace, we finally had time together with time to spare.  And we were nourished by love.

2–I was inspired to write another book, since that is what happens to writers with extra time on their hands.  Six months later, I have a manuscript called “Spiritual Grief:  From Suffering to Higher Healing”, which is ready to publish (and should be available in 2021).  I hope it will be helpful to many grievers around the world.

3–With a local friend, we initiated a fundraiser called the “Help Your Neighbor” drive and have been able to raise over $20,000 to assist impoverished families in Guatemala who were devastated by the economic toll of the pandemic in Antigua.

For the world:

As we live into and through these historic events, time will tell what silver linings will emerge.  I pray that our collective pause will help us focus on what is truly important: love over greed, contentment over growth, time with loved ones over nonstop busy-ness.  And I hope that collectively we will birth an era of higher consciousness and respect for our sacred connections.  We really are all united as a global community. 

Look and see — where do you see the silver in your life right now?

www.ashleydavisbush.com

Everything’s Coming up Roses

The flight took 10 hours.  That would have been terrific if I had been flying to India, but we took off at lunch and were expected to land within 3 hours.  I had plans for dinner!  But life had other plans:  7 hours of stuck-on-the-tarmac-delay, no food, crying babies, and thunderstorms all around.

I always ready myself for the opportunity to practice patience and acceptance when I board an airplane, but this tested even my limits.  Breathing deeply, I pulled out a tried-and-true gratitude restart:  the Glad Game.

I started with a few ground balls: “I’m glad I have water”, “I’m glad I’m not throwing up”, “I’m glad I’m not in a middle seat”.   And then knocked it into left field,  “I’m glad I’m not in pain”, “I’m glad I’m not trapped in turbulence”, “I’m glad we’re not making an emergency crash landing.”

In any challenging situation, we always have a choice:  focus on the weeds or focus on the flowers.   A little perspective does wonders when life throws a curveball.  I wasn’t happy to be delayed by 7 hours, but I sure was glad to be safe and alive.   

When you notice you’re not pushing up daisies, everything comes up roses.    

Peace, Ashley

www.ashleydavisbush.com

The Secret to Inner Peace

Amazingly, 2017 marks 20 years of my life in New Hampshire.  Why is this amazing?  Because I don’t like cold winters. I don’t ski, snow shoe, ice skate, drive, or even walk when there is snow about – I simply hibernate … and complain.

In spite of my efforts toward joyful living, I have complained for 19 of my 20 winters.  I’ve known that my own resistance fuels my discontent but when my body gets cold, I simply feel trapped in a frigid world.  Like there is no way out but south.

But this year things shifted for me, I lightened up and I just accepted the cold.  Maybe I was stock out of complaints, maybe no one listened to me anymore.   Maybe I was tired of hearing my own inner grumbles.  So, I simply accepted it — not grudgingly or resentfully — but with a full-on acceptance of the reality of a northern winter.

And therein lies the lesson that I learn over and again, the ultimate secret and key to inner peace: relaxed acceptance.

Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hit the slopes or play in the snow.  And I did spend 2 weeks in a warm climate, which helped a lot.  But there were still many months of cold for me to manage.  This year, I accepted winter and didn’t worry about it.  Then, ironically, I noticed happiness creeping in to even the coldest of days. Snow in April?  No worries.  Plus, I know that spring is on the horizon.

Ashley Davis Bush

www.ashleydavisbush.com

Three Simple Steps to Self-Compassion

If you’re feeling more Grinch than Santa, more Scrooge than Elf, then you may need a little extra dose of tender loving care.  And guess who is the best person to provide this TLC?  YOU are.

Self-compassion practices are remarkably effective in helping you feel supported and understood.  You come to internalize that YOU have your own back.  You validate your own experience.  Here’s how it works, in 3 easy steps:

  1. Name your suffering
  2. Universalize it
  3. Apply loving kindness

Sounds simple, right?  But how do you actually do it?  Your script might be something like this . . .

  1. I notice that I’m feeling really grumpy this holiday season.  I don’t like the darkness or the cold.  I hate the pressure to spend more than I have and give the perfect gift to my family members.  I feel (fill in the blank): lonely, sad, depressed, stressed, grief-stricken, hopeless, bored, defeated.
  2. I know that I am not the only person to feel this way, not at the holidays and not ever.  There are millions of people around the world who know what this particular experience feels like.  I am not alone.
  3. (Holding your hand over your heart).  I’m going to be ok.  In fact, I am ok.  I can get through this.  May I know some peace.  May I know some happiness.  May I open my heart to myself.  May I rest in serenity and love.

That’s it.  Use this practice every day, several times a day.  And know that this season will pass, just as all the others eventually do.

www.ashleydavisbush.com

Practicing Self Compassion

Having had the honor of listening to clients for over 28 years, I know that it’s very easy for people to fall into patterns of self-judgement, self-criticism, and even self-harm.  In fact, depression, anxiety, and relationship conflict are often exacerbated by self- judgment:  “What’s wrong with me?”  “Why am I such an idiot?”  “I’m a loser.”

In my own life, a pattern of self-criticism has arisen around my need for sleep. I need an extraordinary amount of sleep – always have.  And if I don’t get my requisite nine hours, I cannot function well.

Recently, I was in a community theater production of “Oliver”.  After three months of rehearsals and performances I needed sleep, sleep and extra sleep.  I found myself conserving energy by saying no to friends for lunch, skipping family functions, and avoiding evening engagements.  Suddenly, the old nagging voice was heard:  “Why do you need so much sleep?  What’s wrong with you?”

I knew it was time for self-compassion. When I first became aware of the critical voice, I reminded myself that everyone’s body is different.  I sympathized with myself that it’s challenging (and humbling) to feel one’s physical limitations.  And then I was able to be grateful for all that my body is capable of.  With this foundation of self-compassion, I was able to better care for myself:  trust my body, get to bed early, and be grateful for sleep.

Self compassion is your best self-care.

www.ashleydavisbush.com