Life is all about love. How we love others and how we love ourselves. Simple concepts but in practice, especially the latter, can be a challenge… mainly because we don’t always know how.
This inability can define our path, at least for a time, and we get lost along the way. Sometimes we stray so far we fall into darkness, and the light to lead us back appears dim. But there is always light. It may not be much light, but it’s there.
On this road to redemption, back to love, understanding and acceptance of who we are, we learn a great deal. This lesson becomes part of our journey, it tells a story.
As we all know, everyone has a story.
I am Mark Brodinsky and this is The Sunday Series.
The Sunday Series (135): Mind-Full
At 22-years-old she’s got it figured out, more so than most people twice her age. Spend any time speaking with Ashley Zahabian and you’ll see clearly, because she does.
Considering it’s been less than a decade since she was malnourished, scared and emotionally distraught, Ashley has made such tremendous strides it has literally caused the earth to tremor, since this girl, now woman, is trying to move the world. She’s literally a rising star.
Ashley first shared her story, (http://markbrodinsky.com/sunday-series-106-mark-brodinsky/), many months ago and was just starting to ride the wave she had created. It’s worthy of an update because the wave is building, a wave this young lady is forcibly pushing to help fix the way people think, to help put them in control of their minds and by consequence take control of their lives.
Ashley went through the pain of an eating disorder, hospitalized, in day-to-day counseling at the age of 14. But it was a blessing in disguise since she got the chance to work on her problems, to talk about things, something in truth so many need, but she also took the time during her isolation to study, to learn, to personally develop and realize the biggest thing holding her back was the one thing on which she had lost her grip… her mind.
It was the beginning of her new journey into her passion and purpose to teach others about the concept of emotional intelligence, your EI, and how it can change your life by teaching you to take control of your emotions and your reactions to those emotions.
“EI is the ability to feel and to be aware of emotion”, says Ashley. “But have the brain capacity and control to fight that emotion when necessary. I lived the example. Going through an eating disorder, without even realizing I am doing it because when someone tells me I can lose a few pounds an emotion goes through my body and the back part of my brain, called the amygdala, stores that situation, creating a memory or emotion which is then fight or flight. If I feel that again I will have an impulsive reaction and by the time it reaches the rational part of my brain it’s already reactive. It was me and being sick because I acted on that feeling… I didn’t eat. But someone who has mastered emotional intelligence has the brain capacity to fight that emotion. Now if someone tells them they are overweight, it still hurts, but you have the control to battle back.”
Basically it’s your mind telling part of your brain to not let your emotions control your life. You stay in control and your life becomes better because of it… dousing the flames of the fire in your mind which left uncontrolled can become an inferno.
It makes sense and science backs up what Ashley is teaching. Conditions such as anxiety, autism, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and phobias are suspected of being linked to abnormal functioning of the amygdala. As Ashley explains gaining control of this part of your brain is like riding a young horse. When you first hop on the animal is unsure, irrational, emotional and lacks control, until you teach it. You can do the same thing with your brain. The trick is to get the frontal lobe, where rational thought takes place to take the reins over your amygdala. But that frontal lobe is late to develop in life, so finding a way to speed up that development and increase your reasoning means you get more control of your life. More control is a path to more happiness and success.
But let’s get back to the person who is preaching and teaching this – talk about being on fire – Ashley, has just created and been approved to actually teach a course at a university on emotional intelligence and leadership. Let’s not forget Ashely is 22 and just graduating from this same college herself. The course will be offered in the fall at The Feliciano School of Business at Montclair State University. The same business school from which Ashley will graduate in the spring.
Understand AZ and her EI mean business! (https://www.ashleyzahabian.com/)
Ashley has already opened on stage for the likes of Gary Vaynerchuk, been interviewed by Grant Cardone, worked with Eric Thomas (ET), has a Ted Talk coming up in March in Vancouver and she’s working on a book about EI. In the world of personal development and self-improvement, Ashley is making tremendous strides and is doing it for one reason… to serve the world. “It’s not about me, it’s about the mission”, says Ashley. “It’s not about you and it never will be. It’s how you serve, how you give. Don’t create something for yourself, create something for the world.”
One of the reasons Ashley is so focused, so driven, is her ability to be in control, to know her EI and to know it’s more important than her IQ. She says one of the best ways to feed your emotional intelligence is meditation. “You are sitting there and feeling thoughts and the meditation teaches you not to give in to this urge and push it aside while you are meditating. It helps academic scores, business success, relationships and every part of your life. A lot of research shows as your EI increases, your income increases, your business and interview skills get better, you are more aware of what’s going on and how to serve people. It’s so subtle but it makes a big difference. You can actually pick up on what other people are thinking and how they are feeling and reacting because you are so aware.”
It’s not only what’s in Ashley’s mind, it’s what’s in her heart… and you can feel it when you spend any time talking with her. Just crossing over two decades into this life, Ashley has a heart full of good to give. The WHY that drives her is because she appreciates, as we all should, that no one is getting out of here alive, we are all going to die.. and this one fact should drive you to LIVE. While you are here, why wouldn’t you do all you can with all you have been given? Ashley turned her issues, her sickness, her isolation, her intense study of herself and of personal growth, into a tornado of understanding how the mind works and the gift of sharing and giving.
“I want the world to understand that EI controls everything. It is the most powerful drive in our brain and because everything we do is emotional essence you must learn to control that. Emotional intelligence will lead you to discover the one thing I did, that life is more than just you.”
“With all that we do, we must always keep society in mind. We must think about the person to our left and to our right, and not much about ourselves. It’s a decision every leader makes, and I believe that’s what keeps dreams alive.” – AZ
Until next time thanks for taking the time,
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