It was Christmas day, 1974, in the suburbs of Detroit, that I was brought home from the hospital in a red stocking and a little white cap. I was the worst present my older brother and sister couldn’t imagine. From that day forward, I was to learn how to fend for, care for, and entertain myself. I suppose it was their disinterest in me that formed my storytelling. Without siblings to play with, I was left to create on my own, in my head, in my life, what I longed for in my family. I acted, danced, played sports and did my best in school to make up for the perceived annoyance I was to them. It turned out I was a good athlete, and with Title IX front and center a clear path was set for me in the wide world of sports. Which meant leaving behind the dancing and painting and any other artistic endeavors, they said, "if was serious about becoming an Olympian someday."
I didn’t become an Olympian. But I stayed in the sports world as a sport psychologist..but that’s another story.
The truth is, alone in my room I was learning how to tell stories...to see things beyond this world and into another. After forty-two years I realized, I could be a decent storyteller. Maybe Robert Bly was right when he said, “Our wound is our gold."
Today, my work is motivated by my own desire to fend for, care for and entertain others. I love that life is at once both complex and incredibly simple. For what I know to be true is this: there is nothing of greater importance than befriending our wounds, which is an intricate and tricky endeavor. And yet this is the only path to revealing our real gifts. If you can find your wound, you will find your gold. In beauty, it’s begun. -Ashley