Hi! I'm Ashley, a writer and speaker.
I'm also trained as a meditation teacher and a life coach.
I’ve recently founded the The Shakti Foundation,
a non-profit organization committed to the empowerment of women and girls.
I’m a born and raised island girl who was brought up in a tiny village in south Trinidad.
Even though my family was poor in terms of money, we were never poor in when it came to love, joy and hope.
My insatiable curiosity has been my one constant throughout my life.
When I happened upon my first personal development book as a teenager, I was hooked. The idea that we’re not meant to be imprisoned to our circumstances, that we have a hand in writing our future, gripped me like nothing else. I started reading, watching, learning as much as I could to be able to create a life different than the ones I saw around me.
I was smart, motivated and hardworking.
My life had its challenges but I was in school studying something I was passionate about, I was living on my own in the most vibrant part of the country and I was making enough money to take care of myself.
Then something happened which completely derailed my life...
I was raped. In my own bed. By someone I knew.
I tried to ignore what happened to me, but pain like this doesn’t stay buried for very long.
A few nights after my assault, I found myself crying in an old, unfamiliar bed begging God to please let me die. I didn’t want to kill myself but I had no idea how to live my life with this much pain.
I spent the next few years trying to move on from what happened to me.
I graduated from university with second class honors, I found a new job that was safe and stable, and I had started dating someone I really liked.
My life, in most regards, was okay.
But one night, after the worst anxiety attack of my life, I finally realized I needed to do something to deal with what happened to me
I had no idea what that something was.
So I did what we all do when we don’t know what to do. I Googled it.
I found a book on trauma called “The Body Keeps the Score.”
Out of all the ways this book said would help, the combination of meditation and therapy seemed most doable to me.
While therapy provided the space I needed to confront the demons of my past, my daily meditation practice provided the space I needed to feel safe on the inside.
Throughout this past year, as I’ve moved through this healing process, I began to see that the life I built to keep myself safe also kept me small.
And as I started throwing off the shackles of my past, I remembered my hopes, dreams and passion which I assumed died when I begged for death all those years ago.
So I decided to quit my corporate job to become a meditation teacher (since meditation was such an essential part of my own journey.)
A few months after this, in just a few minutes again, my life changed once more..
I won a competition to attend and speak briefly at the TEDx event in Trinidad.
I decided to share what had happened to me, the impact of it on my life, and one of the ways which helped me heal from it.
The people there were kind, compassionate and encouraging.
After this very short talk, other people began to contact me to speak about the things I’ve learned on my journey.
(Image Credit: TEDx Port of Spain)
That’s how I ended up here, creating this website and The Shakti Foundation.
They were borne out of a deep desire to share tools, insights and resources to help women awaken to their true potential and create the life they deserve.
It’s the privilege of my life to take these first steps in what I hope will be a long journey of service.
I sincerely hope you’ll join me.