Every week on The Cultured Domestic I will be posting fun questionnaires that have been answered by some of my favorite creative and entrepreneurial women, women that I know, follow, draw inspiration from.
This week I questioned Ashley Curtis, writer/producer/actor, spiritual goddess, and all around creative. I met Ashley years ago in college through a mutual friend and in a very unlike me fashion, I took to her instantly. I didn’t just like her, I had the immediate desire to protect and uplift her…her vibe was just- special. I am at least five years her senior, but I would always walk away from time spent with her feeling like I inherited an abundance of wisdom. And although we are 29 hours and greater than 2,000 miles apart, she still manages to touch my heart. She is what I imagine myself to be if I were as fearless as my heart desires…strong, passionate, dedicated, a dreamer, a thinker, a doer.
Learn more about Ashley, her series Journey of a Goddess, and how she’s fulfilling her dreams below.
You can view episodes of Journey of a Goddess and check out her other products and services available here.
Also, follow Ashley on Instagram at @iamashleycurtis for upcoming project information and @Jog_Series for the latest Journey of a Goddess updates.
You wear many hats, so I don’t think calling you just an actor would suffice; can you give us a description of all that you do?
I’d say I’m an Artist and healer, my medium is storytelling…because all that I do falls under that category. I’m a storyteller-I’m an actor yes, but I also write produce and direct. I love the art of storytelling so much that I created and wrote a series “Journey of a Goddess” to assist in sharpening those tools. It’s definitely hard work producing, directing and starring in your own project but it’s so rewarding and lots of fun. I aspire to continue to tell compelling/healing stories through acting and directing.
I also enjoy the art of storytelling through musing (Photgraphy) it’s so fun to create a concept and capture it through still photography, to be the instrument that conveys that story through body language and facial expression.
My background is psychology and philosophy and I have lots of experience as a therapist so that actually helps with my storytelling as well.
You moved to LA a few years ago on a leap of faith, what would you say to encourage those of us wanting to make our own leap?
Just go for it! Consult God, make a plan and do it. There’s never a perfect time, and things may not make sense to other people but remember fear is a liar, Trust God. I’ve found that following your inner voice will lead you to places you can’t even imagine. When I took that leap of faith I was so afraid but because of all I had the potential to become I knew it’d be worth it. Fast forward 3 years and I couldn’t have envisioned a better, more promising life than the one I’m loving now, then.
Faith and wisdom will keep you.
What do you consider your biggest accomplishment to date?
That’s a hard one, I’d say creating Journey of a Goddess. It started as a thought, an idea, and the amount of effort, faith and focus it took to to execute and see it through has probably been the most challenging ever. From writing the episodes, to casting the characters, to scheduling the actors with the camera crew, to the editing process and finding a budget for it all- it’s been TOUGH. But I did it, it’s done, were filming the last episode now. It was nothing but favor and will that got me this far.
How do you spend your spare time?
Working out and reading- I love yoga and Pilates. Pilates more than yoga lately. I also love to sit out on my patio with my plants to write and meditate. I’m pretty chill.
You have a wealth of wellness knowledge, can you share with us one physical, one spiritual, and one mental wellness tip we should all be doing?
I have a few pointers that correlate mind body and spirit.- Id say Pilates, hip sways and openers and Kegels. I’m a huge fan of more feminine favored exercises. Pilates is all about strengthening your core/power house and everything we do derives from our core. If our root is not stable then we’ll find it hard to be stable in our every day lives. We hold most of our emotions in our hips, so hip openers and hip seats help to open our sacral chakra which releases stored up emotional trauma that we could be carrying from as far back as childhood. Kegels strengthen our pelvic floor which assists in childbirth as well as rewarding sexual intercourse!
“Food for thought. Food for mind. Nothing is more important than time spent with the Divine. In stillness there is knowing, with writing there is release, reading expands your mind, in nature you find peace.”
That’s a simple quote a created that elucidates the perfect way to balance yourself is to spend time with self, spend time with God- pray/ affirm then find stillness. Stillness can be meditation or even exercise where you zone out. Writing your thoughts, aspirations, things you’re grateful for, hurt pain, your why? That helps you understand what’s going on within yourself and helps to release unwanted energy. Reading is fundamental and in nature is where we can find the most peace, whether it be taking a walk, a hike, or sitting out on your patio for a breath of fresh air.
Place you’d like to travel to most?
I need to visit every Caribbean island there is. I’ve knocked a few off but I plan to buy or build a home on whichever is my favorite.
I also want to go to a few countries in Africa, The South Philippines and Indonesia
You’ve lived in the Midwest, down South, and now on the West Coast; weather aside, which is best?
If weather wasn’t a deciding factor I’d say -I love the Midwest, I was born and raised in the Midwest so I’m bias. I loved living in Chicago, I love the culture, the food, the museums, the pars, riding a bike and the train, the hustle. If I could morph Chicago’s culture and food with Los Angeles weather and ocean it’d be paradise.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
This really old white guy that was a member of the tennis club I worked at in Chicago told me something right before I left for LA.
He said the key to success is a 10 word sentence with two letters each.
I was thinking “sir why you tryna give me a riddle right now I don’t have the time” lol.
But it’s so true and I tell myself this all the time
“IF IT IS TO BE IT IS UP TO ME”
And it’s so true we are our own secret weapon.
If you could choose one famous writer, dead or alive, to create the character of your first feature film role, who would it be? Why?
Sheesh this is hard, because I love August Wilson, James Baldwin, Spike Lee and Alice Walker. They all depicted everyday life so beautifully in some of my favorite plays, novels, and films. I’d have to say Alice Walker. In her Novel “The Temple of my Familiar” there’s a character Lissie that lived a thousand pasts, she was so profound and the story alone educates and heals challenging our preconceptions while offering alternative worldviews in areas such as race, gender, child Beatty, womanism, love and literature.
A few of my fav quotes from the novel:
“Long will we remember pain, but the pain itself, as it was at that point of intensity that made us feel as if we must die of it, eventually vanishes. Our memory of it becomes its only trace. Walls remain. They grow moss. They are difficult barriers to cross, to get to others, to get to closed-down parts of ourselves.”
“Some people don’t understand that it is the nature of the eye to have seen forever, and the nature of the mind to recall anything that was ever known.”
“Resist the temptation to think what afflicts you is peculiar to you. Have faith that what is in your consciousness can be communicated to the consciousness of all. And is, in many cases, already there.”
“Life is very different when you have a good friend. I’ve seen people without special friends, close friends. Other men, especially. For some reason men don’t often make and keep friends. This is a real tragedy, I think, because in a way, without a tight male friend, you never really are able to see yourself.”
-Alice Walker, The Temple of My Familiar