My name is: Ashley Wick.
I’m known as: A leadership coach and communications consultant at Wick and Co.
My expertise is in: Helping entrepreneurs and companies discover and magnify their own “gold.”
I stay physically healthy with: Hiking, barre classes at The Dailey Method; and I recently discovered The Movement Collective, which combines strength training, martial arts, acrobatics and performance arts. I’ve never seen a group of more physically fit and graceful people in one room!
I’ve taken up mountain biking (mostly to keep my marriage intact—the couple that plays together, stays together, right?!). It’s exhilarating (mostly terrifying), and I think it’s important to have one sport in rotation that is challenging and gets your adrenaline pumping.
I’m also experimenting with red light therapy. It stimulates the mitochondria in your cells and the studies proving its effectiveness in reducing inflammation, increasing collagen production and improving sleep are pretty compelling. We shall see!
I keep my emotions balanced with: My own personal coach and a circle of coach colleagues who I trust and admire. A friend taught me a simple Buddhist meditation I am practicing. Box breathing, which more or less functions like an adult “timeout.”
I’m intellectually stimulated by: Lynne Twist’s book The Soul Of Money. Lynne is a family friend and I was given this book 20 years ago, but just recently finished it. (Books have a funny way of reappearing when you need them.) I am looking at the concepts of scarcity and sufficiency in a new way that is helping me access and appreciate what I already have (money, creativity, wisdom, resources) rather than focusing on what’s missing. As a mom, it’s not unusual to wake up feeling deficient (of sleep, time, freedom), so the practice of re-directing my attention to sufficiency has created a powerful shift.
I am inspired by the 16-year old Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg’s passion for our planet, and my friend Dagney Tucker’s reusable cup service Vessel that recently rolled out in Boulder. The Cut’s Ask Polly by the brilliant Heather Havrilesky serves as weekly comic, therapeutic relief. And, I’m partial, but I love Laura Vinroot Poole’s new podcast What We Wore, and the intimate, candid stories that fashion insiders share about how their lives have been shaped by sartorial moments.
I was recently transformed by: The birth of my second daughter, who was diagnosed with heart disease in utero. She had open heart surgery on her third day of life to correct a narrowing of her aortic arch and the surgeon was confident her aortic valve would need to be replaced within the next four months (a more complicated and risky procedure). Lucinda came home with a feeding tube and a severe case of reflux (read: six months of sleepless, stressful times with little relief from screaming). Today, she is a thriving 2 year-old and has not yet had that second procedure.
Through this experience, we have been forced to surrender to uncertainty—first, when we handed her swaddled little body into the buff arms of a tattooed male nurse when it was time for her first surgery and, now, every three months when we visit her cardiologist (our family’s true hero).
Lucinda has transformed our lives in every way, and one of the most important things I have learned is how to step aside and trust her natural resourcefulness to tell us what she needs. Likewise, I’m learning to trust that this event is a means by which we can evolve and create, rather than being at the affect of it. We are learning to embrace the circumstance and her, just the way it and she is.
In the last six months, the ritual that has become so important for me is: Practicing self check-ins, which I typically do in the car before I pick up our eldest daughter from school in the afternoon. If I’m a 4 or below (on a scale of 10), then I will make different decisions about what I plan to do with my kids that afternoon. This kind of spiritual hygiene helps to keep me present and creates a buffer that allows me to transition more seamlessly between two equally important parts of my life.
Here’s how you can do it too: The beauty of this exercise is its simplicity. Find a consistent time during the day and pause to ask yourself, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy, fulfilled, alive, peaceful, and/or content am I?”
The goal is not to be a 10 every day, but to be clear and aware about your state of well-being. Write down and keep track of your number. In the moment, you can make decisions about what is called for (exercise, a walk around the block, celebration, diving deeper into a project, a trip to the zoo, etc.) and, in the longer-term, the log serves as an opportunity to reflect and get curious about the quality of your daily life.
If you experience a run of low numbers, that might lead you to questions like: What’s missing? What am I tolerating? What values could I be living into more consciously? What perspective am I typically in, and would it be worth looking at adopting a new one that could serve me in a better way? And on from there.
It helps me live my process because: I am able to build a deeper connection with myself. As someone who can easily get caught up in doing, it slows me down and reminds me to connect with how I am being.
Take a “Moment” to learn more about Ashley Wick’s journey here.
Photo by Jill Burrow