The first time I met her was at an event. I noticed her far across the room talking in a group of women. I couldn’t tell you immediately what exactly attracted my attention, but she distinctly stood out from the crowd. When we were finally introduced, I was overcome by the strong gravity Ashley Berges seemed to exude on her surroundings. She positively radiated HAPPINESS. For me, getting to know her was not only a personal pleasure, but also a great intellectual experience. Ashley Berges is an author, a celebrity radio talk show host, a therapist, a life coach and now a TV show personality. I met with her in her private office to talk to her about her passion, her path and her PERSPECTIVES, which in this case refers not only to her life views, but also to her celebrated talk show.
Ashley, your life seems to engulf so many different areas. How do you separate your roles and where do you find time?
I don’t separate what I do. It’s not compartmentalization. In fact, it seems very organic to me. Everything I do shares the same bedrock and carry the same message. There is so much confusion in people’s heads about what’s important and what’s not; people carry so much baggage that they cannot see themselves clearly; they cannot see their true self. Being a therapist and life coach, I simply clear away the path and illuminate how it feels to be at peace with one’s mind. On the show I talk about life situations and common issues; in private sessions, of course, we delve deeper into individual issues. I also conduct group and corporate coaching to help people get to the heart of the matter and illuminate their circumstances. However, in any case my goal is to help people find their route tohappiness.
What do you mean by “finding happiness”? Don’t we get happy when life makes us happy? Everybody wants to find happiness, but you make it sound like anyone can. Not everyone is born rich and famous, you know.
You don’t have to be rich and famous to be happy. In fact, I know many wealthy people who are distinctly miserable. One thing most people don’t realize is external conditions, like perfect bodies and big wallets, don’t make you automatically happy. Happiness is found within; it’s the condition when one is true to himself, to his or her inner voice, and to the individual needs. When I speak of needs, I don’t mean material needs. We are only talking about what’s going on in your head right now – not in the outside world.
What do you mean by that?
Well, it is simple – everything depends on our interpretation. The same exact thing can be perceived differently by different people, right? One person may interpret a negative situation at work with the end of their career. Another may interpret that same situation as the catalyst for change. Our experiences and how we accept or reject them color our perspective and change our life. This is very simplified, of course, but it is all about individual perceptions that make up their life perspective. You can change your perspective at any time; you can learn to control the negative effects of life, to resolve problems, to increase your positive experiences, and to see life the way you choose. You don’t have to stay the same and continue to make self-sabotaging decisions; you can choose to change by finding your path to a happy and authentic existence. If you listen to my show you can get very good examples. There is a large library that can guide you through different life situations: divorce, toxic friendships, loneliness, job dissatisfaction – you name it. That’s why my show is called PERSPECTIVES – I show people how to change their views, so that they can change their lives.
That’s fascinating. What about yourself? How do you become who you are? Do you practice what you preach?
Absolutely! I believe the main reason I have achieved so much is that I have freed up my energy that most people waste on self-destructive thoughts and behaviors, and I use it to do what gives me real pleasure, what makes me happy. Helping people makes me happy; educating people makes me happy, seeing people change their lives really make me happy. I am very passionate about it – it is not just a job. I want to reach as many people as I can to get the message across: you can find your inner happiness, you can be in a better place in your life – it all depends on you! I actually think there is sort of an awakening that is starting to happen in our society. This movement of positive thinking that was born of positive psychology has been gaining momentum in the last decade. More people are familiar with it, and more people are starting to practice it and realize its significance.
Are you saying Happiness is getting to be on trend now?
(Laughing) Yes, you can say so, I guess. In the 70’s it was Peace and Love, in the militaristic 80’s Anger was the popular emotion, perhaps it is time for Happiness. But, to be serious, it is not such a far-fetched thought, as yo may think. Healthy living and healthy lifestyles are trending in headlines. Society is obsessed with preserving the bodies, obsessed with vitamins and minerals and the ideal body mass. There is nothing wrong with this, but somehow the mind and heart were left behind. I think it is time to pay attention to our inner selves, not just the outer shells. Science has determined long ago that long term unhappiness, depression, and stress – all have significant impact on our physical health. Depression and anxiety have been on the rise for decades. My mission is to reverse it, by showing people a way out.
What one advice would you like to give to our readers?
Just one. If you find yourself repeating the same negative behavior, fixating on the same negative thought – STOP – realize this is in your head. Once we realize negative self-talk begins in our heads, we can recognize it and know when it’s happening. Once we recognize it, we can make small changes. These changes begin with changing our internal language. I give all clients an exercise on negative self-talk and it begins with hearing the words spoken out loud, whether it’s “I’m a loser” or “I’ll never achieve my goals.” Remember, our minds can be and usually are our worst critics. Next, I ask my clients to see the words in their mind – this time see them, not just hear, and knock them out one by one. Use your gift of creativity to knock these words down. I like to use a miniature Nerf gun that topples over negative words and leaves my mind a blank slate. Every time a negative thought comes in your head – hear it, see it, then swat, knock or poof them out. As you practice this technique, you will be amazed how your level of calm and your ability to do what you love increase over time. We may encounter adversity in our lives from outside sources, but usually the one that brings us to our knees, takes us off target, and tells us we can’t is our selves.
Changes don’t happen overnight. Realizing there is a problem is the first step to fixing it. My radio show “Live Your True Life Perspectives” discusses and offers solutions on topics such as dealing with divorce, overcoming adversity, finding your purpose and creating lasting happiness. You can also check out my daily videos on my website and social media. I wish all of you to find a path to live YOUR TRUE LIFE.
Ashley Berges concludes the interview with an irresistibly radiant smile, and I am left absolutely convinced that Happiness is indeed within reach.
For more information please go to:www.ashleyberges.com
“The 10 Day Challenge to Live Your True Life “ – book by Ashley Berges
“Hot On Homes: Home Coach” – TV show with Ashley Berges
“The Celebrity Perspective” – weekly radio show