Poetry in Motion: An Interview with Ashley Lord
A poetess & fellow Taurean sister, Ashley & I met in 2019 at one of my Full Moon Gatherings at Bishop Botanicals. She felt called to come & join on that magickal eve & we instantly connected on all things moon & spirit. Ashley is a world traveler, romantic soul & creative spirit who spends her time teaching yoga, meditation & radical self love to others. Through all of the chaos of a global pandemic this year, Ashley turned her dream into reality by publishing her first book of poetry called, In the Heart of the Light. Check out our interview below to learn more about the magick & wisdom she has to share with the world.
A R T I S T P R O F I L E
Sun/Moon/Rising: Taurus, Leo, Leo
Born: Etobicoke, Ontario, April 21st, 1983 at 13:06
Currently Residing in: Georgetown, Ontario
Favourite Music: Trevor Hall, all of his songs are magic. I am a big fan of both Taylor Swift & Lady Gaga. I love listening to full albums on my 1970’s vintage speakers, so then I should probably also mention: Van Morrison, The Beatles & Bowie & I love house music. I could write a book on my love of music.
Favourite Films: Father of the Bride, Old School & all of Jim Carry’s comedies. When it comes to the big screen, it’s gotta make me laugh. I also love all of the Back to the Futures & Batman movies.
Favourite Colour: Yellow
Places to travel: Machu Picchu, Hawaii, Sedona, back to Cali
Favourite Tarot deck: The Wild Unknown by Kim Krans
Creative/Artistic Mediums: Poetry, Song, Spoken word & Guided Meditation
Tell me a little bit about yourself & what you do.
I’m a poet, an intuitive guide & holder of sacred space. I’m the mama a.k.a. author of “In the Heart of the Light; poetry of awakening”, a divine book of poetic medicine for the soul. I channel & express medicine from the heart through words, my voice & sound. I’ve been studying yoga, meditation & the healing arts for many moons, roughly 20 years now. I hold sacred gatherings for women to come together & nourish themselves through connection, ritual, dance, play, prayer, sound, stillness & sweetness. I am known for my rebel heart, joyous nature & my radical approach to self love. I love supporting women through their journey of befriending their wise elder, making friends with their inner child & helping them transform their darkness to awaken abundant radiance.
What led you to a career in the spiritual & wellness realms?
To be honest, it totally chose me. I was born to do this. I’m grateful that I’ve always been a bit of a stubborn rebel & continued to follow the whispers of my heart that lead me to travel, explore, adventure, seek out teachers & learn about myself. You naturally become a teacher when you’re living your practice & sharing it with others. Many creatives & sensitives struggle with their mental health like anxiety & depression; I am no exception. Spiritual tools have been my greatest medicine. Fun fact, as a social butterfly, I actually spent 18 years working in hospitality, partying my ass off but as fun as that was, I got totally burnt out. My fairy heart needs a lot of quiet & downtime. I’m learning how to truly navigate living in a sensitive body & it’s been essential for me to create better boundaries on how I tend to & share my energy. I’ve been living the sober life for a couple of years now & recently gave up eating cheese, a tragedy.
What kinds of spiritual practices do you follow?
I don’t necessarily have one guru or lineage that I follow. I’ve always loved the practices of Zen meditation & have my roots in yogic traditions. I find tons of inspiration in so many different practices, teachings & offerings. There are an abundance of amazing teachers out there. If I find a practice that feels good or it feels helpful for me, & in resonance with what I'm working with in my life at the time, then I invite it in. Right now I'm practicing a lot of transformational breathwork & himalayan kriya yoga which consists of a lot of breath, energy work, mudras, mantras & chanting. I’m also very connected to the earth & love working with crystals, botanicals & I do a lot of forest bathing. My practice evolves as I evolve.
What do you wish to see more of in the modern spiritual community?
Safety & space to express more of the darkness, anger, grief & heavy shit. Normalize these very natural feelings. I’ve lived a lot of my life hiding my fierce passion & held onto a lot of energy that isn’t mine because I didn’t have ways of letting it out & letting myself be big, bold, seen & accepted in all of my light & dark. Also, Breathwork. It’s a bloody saving grace.
Do you find that your spiritual beliefs influence your creative work or work ethic?
They are essentially intertwined. Energy is everything. My spiritual practice & connection to the universe, to feeling connected, aligned, vibrant & spacious is my number one priority. It informs my best & most potent work. I must first do the practices that free up space for me to be a clear channel & allow inspired work to move through me. I’ve recently made myself a promise that I do not take any action in my business without first getting into alignment; embodying the desired feelings of the community I’m serving and having a grounded connection to source.
Magick. What inspired you to write your first book of poetry?
I’ve been writing as a practice of healing & expression for as long as I can remember. I knew from a young age that I was naturally gifted with the written word. I was a total bookworm, excelled at penning words together & just really loved getting lost in the creative flow of writing poems & putting my heart on paper. I’ve always had a vision of my name on the cover of a book & 3 years ago, during a fire ceremony on a women’s retreat I was leading, I made a declaration to myself, those souls & the universe, that it was time. I knew in my heart that my words needed to be heard, they were no longer mine to hold & I was doing others a great disservice, by keeping them inside me. I knew there were many who needed to read my prayers.
What can people expect from the book? Are there any themes you focus on in your writing?
Alchemy. Self love, Spirituality. Connecting with & leaning into the ever abundant light that lives within us all. The messages & the whole feel of the book is very soft but with a fiery undertone. It very much embodies the energy of the divine feminine. The poetry & prose whisper gentle words of encouragement & allow the reader to feel inspired, safe & connected to their peace. It’s a beautiful read & a lovely addition to self care rituals. A lot of my community have taken pictures of the book on their altars, curled up with a cup of tea or enjoying it in a candlelight bath, all things I highly approve of!
What was the process of writing a book like?
Magical. Challenging. So much surrender. It was creative & collaborative. Frustrating at times, but at the heart of it, a wonderful journey. I shed a lot of tears while writing as I was very much going through my own healing journey as this book came to be. It’s a representation of my commitment to spirit, to self love & living & honouring my truth; finding my voice. It is pure alchemy. I was able to transmute so much pain & heartache from my own life like family trauma & turn it into something so beautiful. So, you can really feel the energies of love, space, healing & the nourishment that I allowed to be present for myself in the process. The reader feels safe & held as we dive deep into the magic that has come through from the cosmos to hold our hearts.
I feel so grateful that I was gifted with the opportunity during Covid to have the space & time to really put my whole self into finishing it. The process opened a window of love to my soul & let me truly experience the purpose & joy of creating something with my god given gifts.
What has been a big highlight on your journey overall so far?
My endless solo travel adventures; hiking & exploring in the most magical places on the earth! I’ve been blessed to visit over 30 countries & I feel like I’m just getting started! A significant highlight was in 2016, I spent 3.5 months in India. During that time I hiked the Singalila Trail near Darjeeling, up in the Himalayas. It was breathtaking & life changing in the best of ways. An old friend of mine used to say that life can sometimes be defined or influenced heavily by “pre” & “post” big experiences. India was definitely one of those for me. So much richness, so much growth. I also was the sickest I’ve ever been in my life when I was there & that was most definitely a highlight plus a whole other bag of tricks. Also, becoming an Auntie. I felt a huge & beautiful shift within me when my first nephew, Cooper, was born. “Auntying” is a magical job.
Wow that all sounds so amazing. With your nephew in mind & your role of Aunty, what piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
This question brings tears to my eyes. I’d tell her to keep believing in herself, that she’s not too much, her big feelings are welcome, her sensitivity is her superpower & to keep trusting she’ll always find her way. I’d tell her I still love her even in her darkest moments, in the perils of her addictions. Wow, this question really rocked my heart, I’m still very much learning how to lean in, love & care for the little girl that lives within me. I’d also tell her that she’s awesome & to never stop wearing all the sparkle outfits she still wants to wear at 37!
That's really beautiful! Speaking of love & sparkles, what’s been the most rewarding part of your creative journey?
Hearing the heartfelt stories of healing, inspiration & faith that others have experienced through my offerings. It’s beautifully humbling & fills me with so much gratitude. We’re all so connected.
When do you feel the most creative?
It’s hard to pin down. It comes when it comes! After being in nature, early in the morning or late at night. I totally jive with the siesta rhythm, so I do like my chill afternoons. That being said it changes by the day. When I was younger I was a total nighthawk & now I’m in bed most nights by 9:30 & love it. The more I allow myself space to tap into it in the flow the easier it is to sit down & create when I need to.
How do you find Social Media affects you & your profession?
Quite the blessing & curse! I say that jokingly because of the obvious reasons we all know about in our modern world. For the most part they are such amazing tools, I just find it essential to set a lot of boundaries around my use of them, namely turning off notifications on my phone, which I highly recommend, & being very present of my own energy & feelings when engaging with them. I really do enjoy using them as a way to share my creativity, writing & inspiration. Plus I have connected with so many incredible souls through their platforms & I’ve curated a pretty sweet feed of inspiration that comes my way when I want to dive in.
What shifts or changes do you hope to see in the wellness communities?
I pray that our hearts will be held & honoured in our healing as we move towards building this new world, united as one. It’s such a wild time to be alive on the earth. I continue to witness the struggles & compromises a lot of spiritual & wellness businesses are making, going against what is truly aligned for them, to appease the “business community". Heart driven businesses are here to stir things up & my hope is that we stay connected to leading from the space of inspired action as our true north. Don’t get me wrong, this is very much happening already, I’d just like to see it become more accepted, normalized & honoured.
What’s something about you or your brand you want people to know?
I write from love, about resilience, in expression.
This doesn’t mean I’m broken.
I write to share. To bring light to the dark spaces
The ones we sometimes
Are unwilling to speak about
or feel into.
I write as a service. To serve.
I write to connect.
I write to shine
I write to move kindness
into the caverns of anger
Into the beyond
Into the wild wild truths
That breathe warmth into
Into the spaces that are burning
And I will continue
Until we are all willing
To walk through
And meet ourselves in the freedom
I write to awaken the parts of us
That are so scared and unable
To be seen
I write to take steps
For the unlocking of the
Buried deep in our souls.
And I write for all of us
Whose fears tangle
Not because we are unwilling to
But because some of us don’t know how
To uncover the thorn wrapped walls
To meet ourselves with the key
To unlock our wounded hearts
That were never really locked
But just waiting
For us to arrive.
That about sums it up! It’s such a blessing to build a brand around the potent words that pour out of my heart. “The Arrival”, this poem is from a few years ago & will be published in my upcoming book “Ashes + Light; poetry of many moons”
Do you have any other projects on-the-go?
Totally! I’m a creative, always lots on the go. But most notably I’m in the process of creating a deck of “In the Heart of the Light” oracle cards inspired by my book that will be out in 2021!
“Pursue your dreams with fierce curiosity, passion & faith. For only your heart knows, what it aches for. Take a stand for the wisdom that flows through you & be relentless on the journey towards love.” -page 192, In the Heart of the Light
Thank you so much, Ashley!
Thank you Nicole & thank you readers for making space to receive my words! I’m grateful to be witnessed by you, I’m grateful to serve, I bow deeply & I love you. And remember to have more fun! The universe works fast when you’re having fun. Fun is the key.
You can purchase your own copy of “In the Heart of the Light” at AshleyLord.com If you are interested in seeing more from Ashley & learning about her & her offerings follow her on Instagram & Facebook. You can also see her in action on her YouTube channel talking poetry, spirit & more!