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  • Ashley Monique Menard

Updated: Jul 14, 2020

I love self-help books! I am so passionate about self-discovery because I grew up a fat kid who was constantly being told I would never make it in this world as a performer. I was too fat, ugly and not interesting enough. As a child, those words created the foundation of my self-esteem. I spent my teens and twenties thinking that if I was attractive enough or funny enough I could get people to like me. Well, that turned out to be true but at the price of constantly people pleasing everyone that I knew. Does this sound like you... I see you.

Well, by the time I was in my thirties I was like fuck that noise (in my head)... I can do anything I want. I was just too afraid to make it happen because I let all the fear in my brain make choices in my life. I let fear stop me from trusting myself. After a string of unhealthy relationships and friendships, I decided to examine who I am and what I want. I started taking classes that would help me obtain my goals. I have committed my life to grow and evolve into the women my inner child would be proud of. Here are the top 5 self help books that have changed my life!

The Alchemist

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search

of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found.

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories can, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, above all, following our dreams. This is a novel but was the first book I ever ready that helped me in my life. Hence, self help book. The year was 2008 and I was unhappy in my life and this book helped me put it all in perspective. The next year I quit my secure job as a retail recruiter and manager to devote all my efforts to acting. I picked up a job waiting tables and began to go on auditions and booked more work in 2 years than I had the previous 8 years before combined.

The Secret

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne changed the scape for mainstream self help books. Well, atleast it did to me. The idea that you could ask for what you want and it would come to you seemed like cheating at life. The belief of the law of attraction, which claims that thoughts can change a person's life directly. This one changed my life when I read it in 2010! This is when I first started writing down gratitudes which help me bring more joys my way but also keep me accountable for expressing joy for the blessings in my life.

The Artists Way

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron is there to help people with artistic creative recovery, which teaches techniques and exercises to assist people in gaining self-confidence in harnessing their creative talents and skills. This book is sooooo hard to complete. I have been doing it for 3 years. Someday I will finish it. Start your 3 year journey today!!!

You are a Badass

You are a Badass is the fucking best!!! This is my jam! I listen to it on audible because I love the author Jen Sincero so much! She cuts through the crap with a meat cleaver in You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. I put her on when I am having a bad day.

Inner bonding is the process of connecting our adult thoughts with our instinctual, gut feelings -- the feelings of the "inner child" -- so that we can minimize painful conflict within ourselves. ...

Inner Bonding

This one was a referral from my friend Alanis Morissette (and by friend I mean she has been with me the past 25 years with her music so I call her my friend) The book by Erika Chopich and Margaret Paul show how Inner bonding is the process of connecting our adult thoughts with our instinctual, gut feelings -- the feelings of the "inner child" -- so that we can minimize painful conflict within ourselves.... This is also on Audible and I highly recommend getting it because it was recorded as a lecture so you feel like you are with Margaret and she is there to help you and your inner child develop wholeness.

  • Ashley Monique Menard

SYKE! I am totally kidding. Look girlfriend, if you want to wear a bikini then you pick one up and put it on your body!

When I was a kid I was fat. I never had a bikini. My mom made disapproving looks every time I put my one piece on. I realize now that she looked at me and judged me because of her own BS in her head. No one cared what I wore. But, I was a reflection of her then and she had to make sure her little nugget wasn't getting made fun of. The idea of me wearing a bikini seemed impossible to little Ashley.

Flash forward to 5 years ago. I put on my very first bikini from Lane Bryant and it all changed for me! That was a wrap! I am hooked on bikinis because I love my body. I may have gained a few from Quarantine but the fat that I wished I could cut off with scissors as a child has been replaced in my head as the thighs that don't quit.

My cellulite which I used to hate is replaced with adorable dimples.

My goal in life is to be strong and the only way to accomplish that is to work out. I cycle 3 days a week and walk 3 days a week. This is not only to keep my body strong but also to give me highs in the week. I want those endorphins So I work out.

But the point is I am not waiting for a quote un quote perfect body to be able to then think it's appropriate for me to wear a bikini. We live in the now. The body you have right now needs to be loved and if you don't do that you will end up sabotaging and binging even more. I have been there and still struggle with it. A lot of us do. But, that's a whole 'nother blog post.

You are magical and so is your body.

Be strong

Celebrate yourself and love your body. Everyday. At every pound and in every day.

Lots of Love,


  • Ashley Monique Menard

Be kind to people but start with yourself. Are you being kind to yourself?

We all have personal challenges that stop us from growing...

...but the one thing that can help us grown is out gratitude for our life. It’s scientifically proven that expressing gratitude brings more to be grateful for to you. ⭐️

I know your thinking “Duh Ashley. So what. 2020 sucks. What’s the point.? I’m single and lonely and will never meet anyone. Plus, There’s rasism, a pandemic and a shift in the world. People can’t get a fair shot at life. How can I be grateful? What’s the point?”

Well, I have been thinking a lot about all those things and I’ll tell ya what.

It’s makes my nerves frazzled.

My depression deep and my anxiety vast.

It makes me skittish and hate everyone one second then pray for a friend in the next breath.

I don’t have the answers to fix the world. Because it’s not in my control. But what is in my control is how I see the world. How I handle my emotions and who I surround myself with. It all starts with you. So take care of yourself. Love yourself. Nourish yourself.

I’ll tell what always puts me in a better mood. Taking inventory of my blessing. Counting my joys and blessings makes me appreciate them more and makes the neurons in my brain go into a different state. It literally puts you in a better mood. Don’t believe me?

Try. Write down

I am grateful for....

3 times.

But really think of what you are grateful for. What blessings are in your life?

Let me know in the comments.

You are capable of all the joys you want in life. You just have to believe it so you can manifest it. I believe in you. You can do it.

#bloggingtips #WixBlog #ashleymenard #ashleymoniquemenard #effyourfears

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