Becoming braver day by day: a Q+A w/ Ashley Pena

What does body positivity mean to you?

To me, body positivity is loving your vessel fully for what it is. It is easy to get carried away and discouraged by societal body image. Body positivity is not only about loving yourself from head to toe, but about being kind to yourself and making a constant effort to speak lovingly and positively to yourself.

Have you always wanted to be a model? How did that deam transpire?

I have ALWAYS desired to inspire and impact the world in a large scale. I have always loved music, art, creativity, writing, dance, painting, pretty much anything that allows me to use my creativity.

Due to the many many years of self doubt, low self esteem, and insecurity, I didn’t even think modeling was something I could ever do. When I started my self love journey, I was inspired to share my results and confidence publicly.

I started to work closely with myself to become a better version of myself. I was deathly afraid of my body. I couldn’t even change in front of people. Through stepping out of my comfort zone constantly and becoming braver day by day, I slowly but surely built up the courage to do my first photo shoot.

The experience was INCREDIBLE and so empowering. I was so nervous the day before that I was going to cancel the shoot but I forced myself to do it anyway and it kick started my career as a model. I fell in love!

When was the last time you practiced self-care and why is self-care important to you?

Today. I practice self care EVERY DAY. Through small actions and sometimes bigger actions. Self-care is so important for my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

I neglected my self-care for such a long time because I put everything and everyone before me. Self-care is how I show myself that I truly care about me.

What’s something you’re currently working on that’s both super challenging and exciting?

Being an entrepreneur is extremely challenging and every journey I embark on is equally exciting and challenging. At the moment my career is growing in every aspect but I specifically want to see my music and modeling career skyrocket. I aspire to host seminars and do a lot more paid photoshoots as a freelance model.

What’s something you wish you could say to your 16 year old self?

You are loved. God loves you. You are not alone. Never have been, never will be. At this age, I was at my lowest. Struggling with eating disorders and substance abuse. I had almost thrown my entire life away and God saved me time and time again. Knowing what I know now, I would have used my shortcomings in the way I do now, then.

What’s something you’re working to unlearn?

Limitation. We are conditioned to believe that we cannot accomplish certain things. It has taken years to decondition any limiting beliefs about myself and it is still a daily struggle. I am constantly trying to unlearn that we can’t ALL be extremely successful.

Who do you go to when you’re needing support and guidance?

God first always through prayer and meditation. My mom, my best friends and closest family members.

What’s one challenge you face in your work that you’re still working on navigating?

Keeping my authenticity. In the industry I am in along with many other industries you are expected to fit a mold. My goal is to break those molds and stay forever true to myself, but it definitely is a challenge.

When was the last time you practiced self-care and why is self-care important to you?

Today. I practice self care EVERY DAY. Through small actions and sometimes bigger actions. Self-care is so important for my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

I neglected my self-care for such a long time because I put everything and everyone before me. Self-care is how I show myself that I truly care about me.


You were made perfectly and have been given everything perfectly in your favor, even the obstacles.

Ashley Pena

What’s something that’s been bringing you joy lately?

Life itself. Travel, family, the many little beautiful moments filled with love and laughter.

What’s something that’s been pissing you off lately?

The people that want to stay in your life even after they have mistreated you, and you have made it clear you don’t want to keep them around any more.

When was a time that self-doubt was at its worst for you while on your career and life journey?

The moments where I worked extremely hard and no matter my efforts, I found myself with a bank account that didn’t reflect it made me doubt myself and my ability to obtain and maintain success heavily. Not being able to provide for my family crushed me and gave me moments on not believing in myself.

What are your unshakable values and when did you become clear on them?

Put God first. Love and respect yourself and those around you. Love yourself and others unconditionally. Be true to yourself no matter what you are offered. I became clear on these values throughout my self love journey and over the past three years live by them religiously.

Who are a few amazing people that we should follow and why?

These women are so inspiring and their stories are incredibly powerful. They inspire me every day.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone struggling with self-doubt and feeling like giving up on their dreams?

We all struggle with this, you are not alone. We have all been taught and conditioned to doubt our potential but with God’s guidance and unconditional love, there is nothing, NOTHING, you cannot do.

You were made perfectly and have been given everything perfectly in your favor, even the obstacles. Appreciate them and force focus on how magnificent you truly are and were meant to be.

It’s years in the future. You’re on stage to accept an award for your life’s work.  What’s your five word acceptance speech?

Nothing is impossible with God.

Imagine that all your life’s work disappeared and you only had 1 minute to tell the world what you truly believe to be true. What would you say?

The truth is, we are all here to experience all of it. Love, hate, joy, sadness, anger, peace, freedom, sweet, sour, hot and cold.

We do not have to do anything more or less than that. We are spiritual beings living in a physical body to experience. So, experience.

Learn more about Ashley + connect!

Ashley Pena is a 23 year old, Puerto Rican/Dominican self love influencer, model, and mind body soul life coach born and raised in Miami. She packed her car and drove across the United States to California to pursue her dreams, find and follow her true purpose. Through taking many leaps of faith, she beat statistics, broke molds, and transforms lives on the daily. Instagram. Twitter.

An Open Letter to First Time Black Fathers Anywhere

Dear Brothers,

I won’t begin to assume what you’re going through, for there’s a spectrum of Blackness and man-ness and person-hood that exist, but I just had to write this as I sit in the delivery room hours before the arrival of our firstborn child.

I’m mostly writing to connect, reach out, and encourage.

To let you know that you’re not alone, and to remind myself that I’m not alone.

See, there’s this perception that a lot of black men aren’t there for their children. That a lot of us are either dying, killing, being killed, imprisoned. But, we know the truth: we’re not a monolith and a lot of us are here for our children, our families, our communities, our world.

Some of us are graduating from college. Some of us are owning businesses. Some of us are the best gamers, chefs, delivery men this world has ever seen. And some of us are struggling to get out of bed because of ancestral pain and trauma.

We come in so many shapes, sizes, belief systems, and lived experiences, but there are some things that connect us:

  • Many of us will have the talk with our child, especially our sons. We’ll let them know how different they are and what to do when they’re pulled over and how they’ll feel the need to be two steps ahead of their peers.
  • Many of us have experienced some type of othering in our lifetime. Personally, I was called too white and not black enough as a child. That’s part of what led to the self-hate I’ve been working to unlearn in my 30s.
  • Many of us had fathers or father figures who were really really tough on us. Who hit us, or swore at us, or made us feel like we were worthless in order to help us survive a cold world. They inherited much of that from their fathers and so on. If this is your story, you may often find ourselves at the crossroads of restoration and resentment.

And many of us are trying to figure out what type of dads we’ll be, and we’re doing everything we can to break generational patters and curses, and do better.

I know I am.


For we are enough and we’re exactly where we need to be: in the life of someone who we mean the world to, before we even utter a word.

Sinclair P. Ceasar III, First Time Black Father

I feel the pressure to do well with this baby that will come any hour now. With this black baby that will live in a world that often weaponizes, sexualizes, brutalizes their body (see Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates).

A world that doesn’t understand what it means to “always be thinking about race” or to “often be wondering if we’re code switching or actually saying the right thing for the moment”.

I will make an assumption now.

I assume that some of you are reading this and going, “Oh, no. This author clearly isn’t in touch with his true self and his roots. He needs to read up on his history and learn.” And you’d be correct. I have a lot to learn and ways to go, and also, I’m right where I should be — that’s a big takeaway I hope most new dads have from this letter.

photo x allee illyse photography

We are exactly where we need to be.

We are ready as we are to be stewards of this new life form that is before us.

Who can say what a whole, sound, and perfect black man looks like? I’m sure someone can, but what matters most to me is being a father — a parent — who shows up every single day to his child.

As someone was raised by resilient and loving grandparents with middle school educations, one of the best things they did for me was be present.

Present to invite me to sleep on their bedroom floor when thunderstorms rolled through. Present for the tears I cried after bullies had their way. Present for the times my hands couldn’t stop shaking after my own father stopped by to berate and abuse.

Presence.

That’s what’s required, dear brothers. And if you can, some grace, love, and patience.

Grace is the space we hold for someone to be imperfect and unfinished. Love is the acceptance and validation we fill that space with. And patience is what we give ourselves to do better at the former at the latter.

My heart both panics and smiles as I think of holding my newborn child.

What will become of them, what will they dream of, will I be enough for them, will we succeed in keeping them safe?

What will they accomplish?

How will I ruin them?

How will I help them thrive?

And so, I find myself overwhelmed with favorable and unfavorable outcomes, and it’s imperative for me to give myself the same grace, love, and patience my child will require. The same you require. The same we all are so desperately needing as we parent, teach, lead, and guide.

For we are enough and we’re exactly where we need to be: in the life of someone who we mean the world to, before we even utter a word.

Shit happens, so never give up: a Q+A w/ Isabel Dresler

You are a multipotentialite, a Photographer, Videographer, Director, Shameless Smut Peddler of Shameless Smut & Unabashed Sexplorer. Have you always been unabashed about your sexploration? How have you been able to be so transparent?

I have not! I spent too many years in a vicious cycle of shame, self doubt and guilt. As I slowly allowed myself to explore and accept my sexuality, both as a queer and as a gender nonconforming person, my view of myself as both a human with value and an empowered sexual individual improved exponentially.

Nowadays I try to live my life with as little shame as possible, and I work so hard to be as ethical and transparent as I can while I’m at it.

What do we get wrong when talking about consent?

We assume that consent is a cut and dry, black and white concept. Consent, or the lack thereof, is often a messy gray area that requires more negotiation than just a simple “yes” or “no”.  

Sometimes people give consent for things that they aren’t actually fully comfortable consenting to – whether it be because of financial, social, political or any other menagerie of self-induced (or not) pressure. I’ve had a lot of discussions recently about the concept of “Fight, Fight, Flee, or Fawn” – it’s a lot to cover here but definitely worth looking into if you’re up for falling into a rabbit hole of complicated consent politics!

What do we get wrong when talking about sexuality?

That sexuality, like consent, is a cut and dry concept. As someone who is very sexually fluid I definitely am hyper-aware of this concept. Sexuality is a spectrum, and people can fall and fluctuate anywhere on it at any given day.

What do you love about photography?

I love being able to create a tangible example of how I see the world in a way that I can share with others. I love being able to show people how I see things because I’m terrible at explaining it.

What’s something you’re currently working on that’s both super challenging and exciting?

Over the last year I’ve begun directing scenes for a popular gay site, and while I love taking on additional responsibility the pressure to deliver a product that is consistently up to my quality standards is super tough!

I’ve been getting an amazing response from my viewer base though and I love being able to have so much creative control in a setting where I can make content that both me and my models feel good about!

What’s something you wish you could say to your 16 year old self?

When I was sixteen I was struggling with my sexuality and gender identity, as well as self harm and depression issues. If I could tell myself anything, it would be to please keep going because I promise it will get better.

Who do you go to when you’re needing support and guidance?

I am so fortunate to have a close-knit, reliable support system. It took me a long time to assemble, but has been an absolute life saver – especially in the last year. My parents have also been indispensable in my personal growth and success in the last several years, and I owe so much of my success to them.

When was the last time you practiced self-care and why is self-care important to you?

Before I left for the trip I’m on now,  I made sure I took a good day for myself! I’m definitely a creature of habit, so I did what I usually do – a bath in the morning, a trip with my dog to get a healthy snack which we then take to the park and enjoy in the sun, followed by a trip to the pet store to pick up fresh treats, and then we head back to the house to curl up on the couch and binge watch horror movies!

What’s something that’s been bringing you joy lately?

Knowing that the boys I get to work with feel safe, comfortable, empowered and happy with the work we are doing!

What’s something that’s been pissing you off lately?

Constantly feeling like I’m at the whim of a society run by cisgender white men.

What are your unshakable values and when did you become clear on them?

I am committed to being as ethical as I possibly can. I’ve been aware of my ethics for as long as I can remember, and am constantly working hard to be mindful and aware of both my privilege and my ability to use that privilege to enact positive change for everyone.

It’s years in the future. You’re on stage to accept an award for your life’s work.  What’s your five word acceptance speech?

Shit happens. Never give up.

Who are a few amazing people that we should follow and why?

I am constantly in awe of all the amazing babes doing cool ass shit all over the internet.

Here’s a couple of my faves, and their Instagram handles:

Jay Austin – @jasegrimm
Colton James – @coltonjamesart
Noelia Towers – @noeliatowers
Mia Little – @alittleedutainment
Jetti Lewis – @jettilalewis
Tuesday Bassen – @tuesdaybassen

What’s in the space between where you are and were you want to be? So much. But hopefully I’ll be able to overcome all of it if I can stay dedicated, motivated and true to myself.

Learn more about Isabel + connect.

Isabel Dresler is an award winning genderfluid queer director and cameraperson/tortured artist based in Las Vegas. They spend most of their time traversing the west coast creating elevated smut for various gay porn sites and individual performers, and constantly strives to create the most ethical, authentic, unique content they can. When not spelunking into people’s orifices with a camera, Isabel can be found binge watching horror movies with their dog, wallflowering at gay leather bars or getting lost in the wilderness. Instagram. Twitter. Website.

Self-talk can be destructive it you let it: a Q+A w/ Adam Molanado

What do we get wrong when we talk about mental health?

Mostly everyone misses that it is necessary to deal with the world of today. We all could escape the world outside before the trends of social media and the 24/7 reach of others opinions reaching into your pocket with smartphones.

Today people have to deal with the influence of peer pressure from the time they can read and get a phone out of their parents. Mental health needs to be a daily topic we are all comfortable with.

Why did you name your blog Diabetic Cyborg?

I basically just fell into it and it suck. I am a hardcore fan of sci-fi TV and movies. I just know that my Medtronic Minimed 670G is called an artificial pancreas.

I know from TV and movies that people with artificial origins and body parts are called cyborgs, so I by definition are a Diabetic Cyborg.

Why did you choose to be so open about your health on the internet?

Why not be so open? It’s hard to relate and discuss our lives when trying to hide things about our lives. I just tell it like it is and hope to show who I am. I cannot expect everyone to understand or love me if I am hiding things from those I want to like my posts.

I go deep into what is happening and what I a thinking and it is too hard to try to hide things. I honestly see it as dishonest and wrong if I am not totally out there with everything I am. I have a responsibility to my readers. I call them my digital family now.

I don’t lie or hide things from family, digital or real life.

What’s one thing you wish everyone knew about being a diabetic? That diabetes is genetic. You are either diabetic or not diabetic. Your pancreas works, or it does not work. I was Type 2 at first, but that changed in September 2017 when my endocrinologist did blood tests.

She found that my pancreas made no insulin. Eating and living a certain way does not make your pancreas stop working. It can make things worse, but not cause the illness.

Who do you go to when you’re needing support and guidance?

My mother mostly provides all guidance I need from the lessons her mom taught her. I get support from my anyone in my immediate family or digital family. I, also, can talk myself into being optimistic and supportive.

Self-talk can be destructive it you let it, but it can be a great asset if you are in the right state of mind.

When was the last time you practiced self-care and why is self-care important to you?

AI practice self-care daily. I mostly just think about my life and what I overcame to get a master in art in history, and how I fought off the doubts that came with comprehensive exams. That diploma hangs in our hall and I walk by it at least 20 times a day. That is great thing that helps me.

It is important practice it since the time in my life that I undertake high things like diplomas and college classes is over. I focus on the weekly task of blogs and vlogs that need writing and shooting.

I know everyone will say that I can do anything I set my mind to, but I have to be real. I have two chronic illnesses that limit the stress I can deal with, and the physical tasks I can take on.

I gave up driving for safety after all. I loved driving. I drag raced at a local drag strip on weekends in the early 2000’s . I just did not feel safe driving anymore. I did not want to wind up killing someone out of my stubborn belief that I was okay driving still.

What’s something that’s been bringing you joy lately?

Our rescue puppies Lola and Maggie mostly. Lola is a min-pin mixed breed that looks like a yorkie, and Maggie is a terror mix of some kind. They are fun and always make me smile.

I usually can escape into Star Wars, Marvel Cinematic Universe movies or any season of Doctor Who when I need a quick escape from reality.

What’s something that’s been pissing you off lately?

I get more disappointed or let down than angry. I tired to get that emotion out of my system. The constant fear of losing my health care insurance. That is a source anxiety that is always there with the current party in power in DC. My medications average 8,000 to over 10,000 dollars before insurance.

I have the real fear of running for Canada and claiming medical asylum if the affordable care act is totally killed and I am no longer insured. I was once “private pay,” but that was before Type 1 diabetes, and the pump, and relapse and remitting multiple sclerosis. Anxiety is the biggest emotion  I lately.

What’s something you’re currently working on that’s both super challenging and exciting?

The most challenging is maintaining my health and mental health. The most exciting is my weekly blogs and vlogs. I feel that I am actually making people’s lives better with my posts.

I guess their problems seem less challenging. I feel that I accomplish something when someone mentions me in their posts or comments that I help put their lives in perspective.

The feeling of achievement I get when I know I helped someone get through their own struggles with anxiety or stress is amazing.


I believe in being kind as possible and being the best person you can be. Optimism is a frame of mind you fight for.

Adam Molanado

When was a time that self-doubt was at its worst for you while on your career and life journey?

My broken hip in September 2013 was a tough time for my life and career paths. My aid was suspended since I had to drop my first semester of grad school.

My broken hip repair meant I could not ride in a car for 6 weeks.

I questioned if my academic quest for a graduate diploma was foolish at the time. I wound up getting the MA since I was allowed to get aid again that to my advisor fighting for me. I made sure to thank her until I graduated in August 2016.

My career path is really my academic journey. I never worked more than 3 or 4 months for anyone. Last time that was substitute teaching, and that lead to my first MS “spark” of brain lesions. The stress was way more than I can take on now.

Imagine that all your life’s work disappeared and you only had 1 minute to tell the world what you truly believe to be true. What would you say?

I believe in being kind as possible and being the best person you can be. Optimism is a frame of mind you fight for. Life is short in a historical point of view and can be horrible if you let it be.  The world is over 3 billion years old. Humans live to be less than 100 on average. You live for your fellow humans that live in your lifetime. Be as kind and helpful to other cohorts of your lifetime as possible. Do you really think anyone thing you do will be remembered historically? The least you can do is leave a good impression on the people you are living with on the mud ball called Earth.

What’s something you’re working to unlearn?
I believe in being kind as possible and being the best person you can be. Optimism is a frame of mind you fight for.

 Vanity is something I am unlearning. I still care too much about worthless things. Social media and the internet in general have give us all the ability think of ourselves as too important to be who we are.

💎💎💎

Adam personifies hope. In 2017, he was diagnosed with relapse and remitting multiple sclerosis  and Type 1 diabetes. They made for a total new approach to life, and he realize his chronic illnesses are truly a blessing in disguise. Instagram. Twitter. Website.

Why I Chose Homelessness With a Baby On the Way

They smashed my car window the day after Thanksgiving.

When I saw the damage, all I could do was laugh to keep from hitting something. Who does that?

Who throws a giant brick through someone’s passenger side window, consequently crushing the printer that was atop the seat, and getting annoyingly small pieces of glass everywhere — the kind that cuts you because you sat on it after thinking it was all vacuumed up — who does that?

Ugh.

After laughing, cursing, and shouting about it, I check the glove compartment for my passport. That was one of the reasons I flew back from L.A. to Baltimore the night before.

Thank, God. The passport was in tact.

I report the incident to the police, make a failed attempt to get insurance to cover anything, and seek to raise the funds I needed for the window repair because I have $10 to my name.

My pride is pretty much broken at this point, I’ve successfully reached another low, and I’m too tired to even cry.

My life was much different a month earlier:

  • My pregnant wife and I were together in what looked like a healthy, fulfilling marriage
  • We lived in the two story town house that came with my job living rent free with free parking in the city
  • My credit score was a little over 800
  • I had a full time job making almost $50K/yr
  • As far as the world knew, I was a heterosexual Black man who went to a job he loved, and spoke out about mental health stigma and worked with brands to dope stuff. I had made it. I beat the statistics.

All that changed around my 31st birthday, October 20th, when I left my wife, quit my job (consequentially forfeiting our housing), came out to my 12K+ social media followers as Queer, told the world about how depressed and anxious and miserable I actually was, accrued $20k+ in credit card debt in order to travel the world, and basically became a pariah in all of my circles.

I had been drowning.

Having intense panic attacks while on Zoloft.

I wasn’t living my WHY at all.

My job required me to respond to 3am calls for university students who could be throwing up because of alcohol poisoning, showing signs of suicide ideation, or preparing to be kicked out of school because of a marijuana policy violation on any given day.

I wasn’t on call every day, but when you live where you respond to crisis, you take work home. Work is home. And, I failed to manage the extreme stress that comes with working a job where you’re being treated like crap, a relationship where you feel absolutely unfulfilled, and a life where you excel at being everything to everyone but suck at being kind to yourself.

I realize that I wasn’t just drowning. My ankles were chained the ocean floor, there was no light. There was me with only the last breath I took before plunging into something very dangerous.

Behind It All

It’s important to note that I’d been working with one of the world’s kindest, graceful, and amazing therapist up until this point.

My goal for therapy, starting January 2018, was to have the career, relationship, and life of my dreams. To manage my anxiety and depression that came from being molested a few times, growing up with an abusive father, a mother who left, and grandparents who provided basic needs but knew nothing of empathy — this is often the Black story.

And my story could have been me dead, arrested, on drugs. But, for me, my hell was obesity, a broken mind, and self-limiting beliefs that I could never step out and be who I really am.

When I took the leap and left all the things, I had a few commitments that I’d made at the same time. I would be there for our child no matter what. I was dead-set on breaking the cycle of fatherless children.

I’d communicate with my wife every day so she knew where the father of her child was. I’d take care of myself no matter what.

I kept these commitments. I went to the OB/GYN visits. I sent money I didn’t have. I did the best I could.

And still. me leaving all the things, all at once, seemed to trigger people in a really bad way.

I received texts and dms from friends, colleagues, and followers concerned that I was manic. Their official source of my mental health diagnosis: Google + the Twitter profile of Kanye West.

Deep down, I appreciated them trying.

But, mostly, I learned:

  • to always greet a person from a place of inquiry when trying to support them — no matter what they’re going through and no matter what you think you know
  • that because I made it known that I was leaving my pregnant wife, I would automatically be seen as leaving weak feeble woman out in the Siberian tundra (none of which was true and pregnant women are not weak nor feeble)
  • that people’s Egos hate hearing, “I’m happy for your help. But, I need you to ask me about what I’m doing to take care of myself before firing off advice at me.”

What hurt worse were the women (both friends and strangers) who empathized with me until they found out my wife was pregnant.

Then, they’d berate for me for being an irresponsible-deadbeat-of-a-father, and the conversation would continue to take a turn.

This happened no matter where I was. It happened in New Orleans, Orlando, Costa Rica, Los Angeles, D.C., Baltimore, everywhere I found myself these past couple of months.

What hurt was my mom telling me I was going to hell for being queer.

What hurt was people telling me they wouldn’t support me unless I admitted myself or got help.

What hurt was watching an entire network of support burn away.

And, still, I kept my commitments.

When it feels like the world has literally left you in the dust because they think you’re some kind of crazed monster of an erratic loser, you really find yourself.

I found new friends and new support. Solid support. Gracious-I’ve-been-there-before-what-do-you-need support.

I also found myself at a life-changing crossroads. I could either choose drugs, alcohol, tons of food, and enter a brand new co-dependent relationship — these were my vices. Or I could chose God.

I chose God.

I had been a practicing Christian all my life but never really believed in something bigger than me. When I found myself prostrate in the sand of Long Beach, New York, I finally just surrendered to Spirit, God, the Almighty.

I didn’t nor do I know what to even call it these days. But, all I felt was warmth and security in that place.

It was like jumping out of an airplane with no parachute, and realizing there was no airplane nor need for parachute, and right there was the Divine.

photo x e.michaux

That New York awakening happened at the beginning of my unintentional pilgrimage. And as the money began to dwindle and the secure housing did as well, my faith increased.

I realized that I had been so immersed in a life lived for others, that I had lost my intuition, empathy, gentleness, power. I had lost my power.

I was finally getting it back. The person who had always been in relationships he didn’t really want to be in was feeling powerful. The person with the low self-esteem was finally feeling like a 10.

It wasn’t always a high though.

I’d experience excruciating pain at night at least once an evening. It’s the kind of pain you feel when you’re breaking up with the person you thought you’d spend the rest of your life with.

I hear divorced people know this pain.

The kind of pain you feel when you miss your unborn child you used to read Goodnight Moon to.

The kind of pain you feel when you’re tearing away things and people and places and habits that don’t belong anymore.

It’s January 2, 2019 as I pen all this.

I’ve moved back in with my wife and the baby is due any day now. We’re seeing marital counselors. We’re trying.

Our child is the priority.

It’s different though. I’m different. I’ve grown and changed so much. I recently re-branded and relaunched my life coaching services. I’m writing again. I’m hosting events again.

But, it’s not the same when you’re rebuilding.

Still, I’m thankful for the freedom.

I wrote this because I know I’m not the only person who’s gone through it. I know there are ton of people out there feeling misunderstood, abandoned, guilty, full of shame, and needing to know that someone else is clawing for their liberation too.

So if that’s you, keep clawing.

Know that:

  • we don’t (nor can we) do life in a vacuum. Ask for help often. Even when it feels embarrassing and you have to accept food and money to just get you through the day. Pride won’t save your life.
  • you’re not going crazy or off your rocker, but seeing a therapist is super helpful. You gotta get it out. I know I do and it’s so great to have someone hear me out from a non-judgmental and empathetic place. Also, only a licensed therapist or psychiatrist can properly diagnose you.
  • you get to smile and feel joy and breathe even if others around you are hurt by you actions and even if you feel incomplete. Because you will feel incomplete and like less than on many days, and you still get to feel the sun fill you up.
  • you get to take your time with restoring past relationships especially if people are refusing to apologize for how they’ve hurt you. There’s no need to try to repair and rebuild your world all at once. One conversation at a time. You set the pace.
  • you’re gonna do — or have done- some regrettable things on your journey to freedom. That’s okay. So have I. I hope we can find a way to accept it all. It all happened. What’s most important is to avoid being a harm to yourself or others. Have a line. Have integrity. And if you don’t know where that line is, get help. Fast.
  • you’re okay and it’s okay not to feel okay.

Keep clawing.

Keep breathing.

Keep sharing.

And get some rest, because no matter what anyone says or does, this is the only life you have. And, you gotta treat yourself well. Because, as we both know, sometime no one else will.

Sex is as natural as breathing: a Q+A w/ Ashley Cobb

What is something we often get wrong when talking about sex and sexuality?

That’s the thing we dont talk about it enough.

The one thing we get wrong is keeping it a secret, not expressing our wants/desires with our partners. Not talking about it with our friends, without the fear of being judged.

Sex is as natural as breathing, everyone is doing it. We should be talking about it more.

Why do we need adult sexual health education? And what’s different about it than our first introduction into sex ed?

We need adult sexual health education because a lot of adults are CLUELESS about sex. There is a HUGE gap between what we were taught about sex as adolscent in health class and what we learned as adults through experiementation. Adult sex educators are essential to help bridge the gap.

How did you become a sex educator? Were you always comfortable talking about sex?

I always wanted to be health educator, hence why I went to school and got a degree in Health Promotions. However once I gradudated it was extremely hard to find a job at a health department, so I created my own job.

I first started with a sex blog, then I dabbled with a podcast for a bit, then eventually became  a certified Sexuality Coach. I now have a YouTube channel and educate women on various sexual topics.

What’s something you’re currently working on that’s both super challenging and exciting?

I am currently working on opening a cannabis health boutique. This is extremely exciting because the legal weed business is about to be BIG business however it’s also challenging learning the laws and regulations.

What’s something you’re working to unlearn? (about yourself, about the world, about a population of people, etc.)

That life isn’t black and white. It’s ok to live in the GREY!  

Who do you go to when you’re needing support and guidance?

When I need support I go to God (prayer), friends and my therapist LOL.

What’s one challenge you face in your work that you’re still working on navigating?

One my biggest challenges is learning to overcome Imposter Syndrome. There will always be somebody who knows more than you, has more experience etc BUT THERE IS ONLY ONE YOU!!! I’m learning to be more confident in my abilities because I do have something to offer the world.

When was the last time you practiced self-care and why is self-care important to you?

I practice self care weekly. I have to incorporate some form of self care into my week in order to maintain my sanity. I go to the gym twice a week, as well as enjoy a weekly tub bath with a  good book.

When was a time that self-doubt was at its worst for you while on your career and life journey?

ALL OF 2018!!! This whole year has been one of self doubting and testing of my faith. I don’t know how many times I’ve asked myself this year, “God, are you sure this is what I am suppose to be doing?”  But as 2018, I have been reminded that yes I am indeed on the right path.


Sex is as natural as breathing, everyone is doing it. We should be talking about it more.

Ashley Cobb

What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone struggling with self-doubt and feeling like giving up on their dreams?

Journal and Pray regularly. Also TRUST THE MAGIC!

Imagine that all your life’s work disappeared and you only had 1 minute to tell the world what you truly believe to be true. What would you say?

Happily Ever After just doesnt happen, you have to create it! Go get the life you want. Make it happen.

💎💎💎

Ashley is more than a sexpert she  is an certified Sexuality Coach and Sex Educator. She helps women get comfortable discussing SEX out loud and teach them how to effectively communicate their desires and needs without feeling shame. Instagram. Facebook. Website.