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The Truth About Rock Bottoms

August 3, 2023

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an ocean floor full of sand, a picture that describes what it might look like at a rock bottom

My perspective on what you should do when you hit rock bottom has completely changed this year. Mostly because every time I thought I hit a rock bottom, I didn’t realize another drop was waiting below me. 

I laugh at the version of myself who thought she had hit her rock bottom a little under a year ago. Oh sweet, young Ashley. You have no idea how much worse it could get. 

I remember when I wasn’t in love with my business anymore and I hated everything I was selling. That felt like rock bottom. 

I remember when I decided to take a month or so off from actively selling in my business because I had payments coming in for the next 6 months. A month into my pause I had all of my clients run into financial crises and stop their payments. That felt like rock bottom. 

I remember putting hours upon hours into planning and selling multiple retreats that no one wanted to buy. That felt like rock bottom. 

Then, there were all the times this year that I watched my bank accounts get to numbers lower than I’ve ever seen. Every time my funds dipped lower, it felt like a new rock bottom. 

“How low can I keep going??” I constantly thought to myself. 

It’s safe to assume the answer is always lower. Turns out there’s a reason they say, “it could always be worse.” 

So, if the bottom could always go further down, how are we supposed to recover from rock bottoms? How can we prevent rock bottoms? What’s the meaning of going through a rock bottom in the first place?

From what I’ve learned, the answer to all of those questions is nothing like that popular advice people give on the matter. Here’s what I’ve learned… 

Believe me, I’ve tried to listen to all the advice people have out there on what to do about rock bottoms. 

So many people think your rock bottom is meant to teach you a lesson. Misguided people think your rock bottom is supposed to make you an expert in whatever you’re rock bottoming in. 

They say if you rock bottom in finances, that means you should become an expert in money so you never struggle with money again. Learn how to invest, learn how to save, and learn how to manage your money better. 

If you’re rock bottoming in relationships, then you should learn about what a whole, loving relationship looks like. Become an expert on what it means to have an autonomous and healthy connection. 

The first time I hit a rock bottom it made sense. Weird stuff was happening with my finances, so I went on a mission to better understand them. I learned about investing and where I should put all my money, you know once I had more. I spent hours creating a budget so I could better manage my finances. 

You know what happened? I rock bottomed with my money AGAIN. To be fair, I never got out of the first rock bottom. My financial situation just took a deep dive to the next level down. 

No offense, but whoever says your rock bottom is about becoming an expert in the topic of your rock bottom is an idiot. I shouldn’t say idiot, because they’re probably just someone who feels deeply unworthy and feels the need to control everything to feel safe. I know, I’ve been there. 

I do think rock bottoms come with lessons. The specifics of the lessons will vary, but the root is always the same. The point of a rock bottom is that you know it doesn’t matter how low it gets, you are worthy of your needs being met and you are safe. 

I have spent months and months trying to understand the lessons in my rock bottoms. At first I thought I had to learn how to detach from material success and my old way of doing things. Then, I thought I needed to let go of control around the way things happen and trust things will always work out. Then, I thought I needed to learn how to be patient as I waited for things to work out. 

While yes, those are all things I needed to learn, none of them were the point of the rock bottom.

Rock bottoms are about learning that no matter what happens you are good enough, you are worthy, and you are safe. 

I’m at a point where I could lose it all. I could lose everything I once thought was valuable. I could lose all my money. I could lose all my things. I would still feel safe. I would still trust that everything I needed would come to me. 

All those people who teach about becoming an expert in your rock bottom or learning how to prevent it are scared. They’re scared because they don’t know if they would be okay if the rug was pulled out from under them. 

Which is fine. I used to feel that way too. That’s why every time I dropped in status or income I lost my mind. I cried. I freaked out. I wondered what I would do and how everything would work out. I would worry about what I would do if things got worse.

Then, things got worse. I hate that I had to learn that I’m good enough through this life shaking method, but it worked. Things kept getting worse and I kept getting proof that I was safe. I wasn’t alone. People loved me. People supported me. People would always take care of me. 

There was a point last year where I spent 6 months trying to believe that I am safe and taken care of. The problem was I only opened my mind to get taken care of by myself and the universe. I’d hit a rock bottom and get a mystery check in the mail from some business from forever ago or find random cash in my drawers. I’d see my bank account dwindling and help myself regulate my nervous system so I felt safe.

Those things were cool and helpful, but it didn’t make any of my rock bottoms feel any better or safer. The stream of tears still came every time I felt like I lost something or I hit a new level of failure.

It took almost 6 months more for me to ground into a true belief that I am safe and taken care of. I kept rock bottoming until I got to a point where I couldn’t handle the burden alone anymore. I couldn’t sit up at night crying by myself. I couldn’t keep regulating my nervous system and hoping that something magical would come from the universe. I had to get honest and vulnerable and share with the people I loved how deeply I was struggling.

So, I opened up and told the people closest to me the truth. That I felt scared. That I felt stuck. That I didn’t know what to do. I cried and cried and just let them hear me. 

Then, they helped. They didn’t say any of the mean things I thought they would say. They didn’t call me a failure. They didn’t tell me that I created this rock bottom myself. They didn’t ask any questions. They just helped. 

They made me realize that I’m not alone. They made me see that no matter what happens in my life I am safe and taken care of. Not just because the universe always delivers or because I’m good at regulating my nervous system when it starts to freak out over things I can’t control. No, I am safe and taken care of because I am not alone in this world. 

Even more than not being alone, I am safe to be myself. I am good enough. To let people in on the challenges I was facing, I had to trust that I am good enough. That even if I wasn’t perfect people would love me. That even if I didn’t have the successful business I once had that I am still worthy of having my needs met. 

That’s how you get through a rock bottom. You do whatever you can to believe that you are good enough as you are right now and that no matter what’s happened your needs are worthy of being met. 

That’s not a small ask either. It can feel incredibly difficult to get to a place where you believe those things. But, truly, that’s how you find safety in a rock bottom. 



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Hi, I'm Ashley!

Certified Life and Business Coach and
Co-Founder of Living Adventures Retreats


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