Self Concept: The Becoming

By Ashley Eugene Fall 2018

In life we are unconsciously molded. We are molded by our family, our environment, and these then create our subconscious mind. I was raised in the inner city by a mother who was brought up in a family where love was ever present however communication as not. And to a father who communicated his love with yelling and anger to cover his underlying fear. 

 In this essay I will dive into my self-concept vs self-esteem and how they came to be, the becoming of my presenting self, the ultimate discovery of my perceived self. I will review the influences of the significant others in my life which created the reflected appraisal that I formed in response to the reference group I was surrounded by.  My unlearning, finding and discovering of the who that I’ve always been.  

My mother, the most significant of the people in my life was born and raised in rural South Dakota near Sturgis. She was the oldest of 5 children born to my grandmother and grandfather who have been married since 1964. She grew up in a farm house that was built by my grandfather’s father in the early 1900’s. My grandmother was a stay at home wife who made 3 meals a day from scratch for her family and the farm hands. There was order, love and a bit of chaos. With this love there was no communication. No discussions of mental health or feelings, no hugs and I love you’s. Love was expressed through food and there was always an abundance of it. 

My father was born in metro Denver and was somewhere in the middle of 12 children. His father was not present however my grandmother remarried when he was a teen. My grandmother ruled with an iron fist and highly relied on corporal punishment to run her household. Communication was had at a minimum and when necessary but when it happened to be heard you had to yell and that worked only if you were lucky. And if you were heard you usually were not payed attention to for the opinions of children were not valid. 

My parents met while working together in 1985 at the YMCA in Denver after my mother took a bold leap to move to Colorado on her own. Six months after I was born my parents married and by the time I was one they had divorced. 

My earliest memory was that of my father yelling at 4 year old me to walk faster because we had experienced car issues and  had to walk to a payphone to call for help. Just like that one of the first reflected appraisals that occurred in my life. At the tender age of 4 I believed I was slow and caused problems in my father’s life

When I was 5 I remember my father yelling at me for telling my stepmother about a beautiful necklace that we had just got for her. He told me I have a big mouth and couldn’t keep a secret. The second consciously recorded reflected appraisal letting me know that I talked too much and was incapable of being trusted. 

At 6 I was molested by my father’s brother while at my grandmothers home. Being young and confused I wasn’t sure what happened. I told my mom and she quickly reacted with love for me and a phone call to the police and then to my father. He told my mom that he was sure that that hadn’t happened and that I was confused. My grandmother said the same thing. Another appraisal completed,  this time the message received this time was that I was not important enough for others to care about what happened to me.

At 7 I realized that I was unlike those around me. My skin color was the most noticeable difference. The cultures that I was submerged in while blended within me were very different and I didn’t quite fit into either. That pattern continued throughout my twenties. The reference groups that I was surrounded with were african americans whom I was raised with that felt I didn’t belong because my skin was too light. On the contrary the caucasian reference group was not better in fact many were more outwardly biased based on the color of my skin. I was always assumed to be of some exotic ethnicity but never fathomed I was half caucasian. 

As I went through my teen years mostly keeping to myself as I never quite fit in. I always had just one to two friends one of them possibly close to me. But always at a distance as I was unwilling to self disclose, when I did it was often built on my presented self rather than my perceived self because it was safe. I knew how to be accepted. I knew my past was not the most pleasing so I chose to hide it away in a safe place. 

As an adult while working in the emergency room of University Hospital after many years of carefully forming my face and creating a carefully formed impression management skills to help me to assimilate in this curious world I had a eye opening experience. Nurses asked me if I spoke spanish. I told them that I did not and one said well at least her parents taught her english. I was appalled but not surprised because I knew that these were not just the isolated opinions of one but the wide spread biases in the world. No matter the presenting self I created I was still a brown face in a white place and no matter where I was from people would see me however they chose. 

Within my own social group there was little difference. My “friends” who were now my reference group for my presenting self. I was considered “white washed” due to my proper grammar usage and annunciation. No matter where I was I just didn’t seem to fit. 

In my late 20’s I went through a series of traumas in relationships and in life. I experienced a unbecoming of who I had thought I was. A letting go of the thoughts and ideas that had been imprinted on my subconscious.  I was thrusted into a discovery of Ashley. It was a learning of what I always knew but had somehow been lost.  

After many days and nights spent alone, many many self help books and podcasts for days. I had to release all of the negative reflective appraisals that had been stored in my subconscious that were offered to me by the significant others in my life.  I finally was able to catch a glimpse of the woman I truly was my.. perceived self. She is a glorious being who I cannot wait to continue diving into and exploring further. I have begun the process of accepting my perceived self and the merging of my presenting self into the same being. This is a process that has taken courage beyond imagination. But the reward has been great. I am now able to fully self disclose in all relationships because I now accept myself. I now have the self esteem that I lacked for so many years. This is the key to unlocking my life and creating a life that I can be proud of and that can inspire others.

WHAT’S BEHIND ALL THAT YUM?!

by Ashley Eugene on October 22, 2017

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Imagine, it’s a hot summer day, the sun is shining, the birds chirping and you light up the grill for you favorite foods. Burgers, brats, dogs and chicken; add a little bacon to it and walah! Its perfect! 

We share these delicious things with those that we love the most, our children, our parents and our neighbors. When we do we also share with them carcinogens such as PHA’s. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are chemicals formed when muscle meat, including beef, pork, fish, or poultry, is cooked using high-temperature methods, such as pan frying or grilling directly over an open flame. In laboratory experiments, HCAs and PAHs have been found to be mutagenic—that is, they cause changes in DNA that may increase the risk of cancer.  

Within minutes of eating dead meat bacteria toxins, the body gets a burst of inflammation, stiffening, or paralysing of the arteries. This alone shows how toxic the food we are eating is for us. Our lifestyle is what is killing us. 

One study shows that atherosclerosis is not caused by old age. Examination of American casualties during the Korean and Vietnam wars showed significant atherosclerosis by age 18 or 20. Their Asian counterparts, raised on diets consisting mainly of rice and vegetables, had much healthier arteries. The elderly are more likely to have heart conditions not because of genetics, but because they may have indulged in unhealthful habits, like smoking and poor diet, for longer periods of time. Your doctor can tell you if you are one of only about 5 percent of the population with a genetic tendency toward heart disease

Many studies show the connection between lifestyle choices and heart health. An article published by Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., M.D., in the American Journal of Cardiology explains that stenting and bypass surgeries may only be a solution for a minority of patients, while a transition to a plant-based diet free of cholesterol proves to be a more effective treatment.

At the University of California in San Francisco, Dr. Ornish tested the theory that a more potent diet, along with other lifestyle changes, might actually reverse heart disease. He selected patients who had plaques that were clearly visible on angiograms and split the patients into two groups.

  Half were referred to a control group in which they received the standard care that doctors prescribe for heart patients. The other half began a vegetarian diet in which less than 10 percent of calories were contributed by fat. They were also asked to begin a program of modest exercise and learned to manage stress through a variety of simple techniques. The patients started to feel better almost immediately. After one year 82 percent of the patients who followed Dr. Ornish’s program showed measurable reversal of their coronary artery blockages. The plaques were starting to dissolve with no medications, no surgery, and no side effects. 

While the control group, following the more traditional medical routine, did not do as well. Most patients’ chest pain did not go away, but continued to get worse, and their plaques continued to grow, cutting off blood flow to the heart a bit more with every passing day. 

This information is shocking. These and many other studies have been done showing the direct link between eating a standard to multiple health problems such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

As Several studies have shown changing to a vegetarian diet has immediate and long-term positive health effects. Changing your diet to a vegetarian or vegan one will have many positive side effects. In addition to healthy inside your skin will be clear your body will feel good you’ll be more energized for your busy life.

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The chart above is one that shows the rate of heart disease in countries around the world. You will find that countries with the lowest rates of cardiovascular disease are those that have a diet that is more plant based or whole food based. 

It’s time for America and so many countries around the world to wake up. The world is not getting healthier and these unhealthy traditions are being passed along. We can stop this now. With our children. Every meal is a choice, an investment in your life.   

Bibliography

American Heart Association. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics  At a Glance .heart.org/idc/groups/ahamah-public/@wcm/@sop/@smd/documents/downloadable/ucm_470704.pdf. December 17, 2014. Accessed October 16, 2017

Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk. National Cancer institute. cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cooked-meats-fact-sheet. Accessed October 17, 2017

Center For Disease Control. Heart Disease Facts. cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm. Accessed October 16, 2017

Deopurkar R, Ghanim H, Friedman J, Abuaysheh S, Sia CL, Mohanty P, Viswanathan P, Chaudhuri A, Dandona P. Differential Effects of Cream, Glucose, and Orange Juice on Inflammation, Endotoxin, and the Expression of Toll-Like Receptor-4 and Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling-3. Diabetes Care. 2010 May; 33(5):991-7. Accessed October 17, 2017

International Cardiovascular Disease Statistics. bellevuecollege.edu/Artshum/materials/inter/Spring04/SizeMatters/InternatCardioDisSTATsp04.pdf. Accessed October 20, 2017

Ornish D, Brown SE, Scherwitz LW, et al. Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? Lancet. 1990;336:129-133. Accessed October 15, 2017

Sugimura T, Wakabayashi K, Nakagama H, Nagao M. Heterocyclic amines: Mutagens/carcinogens produced during cooking of meat and fish. Cancer Science 2004; 95(4):290–299.  Accessed October 15, 2017

Epigenetics: It is all connected

Written By Ashley Eugene Founder of Higher Love, June 2019

Epigenetics began as research that focused on combining genetics and developmental biology. This field was first discovered by scientist Conrad H Waddington and Ernst Hadorn. The term epigenetics was coined by Waddington in 1942 and was originally described the influence of genetic process on development. In the 1990’s a renewed interest started with research into genetic assimilation.

Epigenetics is the study of changes in the expression of genes in the DNA. Genes carry genetic information from one generation to the next. These genes are located in a fixed position on a chromosome. They hold within them the blueprint for our body. However in recent years research has shown that there are many other factors that contribute to gene expression. Factors such as nutrition, the environment in which we live, and lifestyle have more impact on our genes or rather our gene expression than originally thought. 

Epigenetics looks at the way genes change and express themselves over the span of our lifetime and whether those gene changes can be passed to other generations. In the study of epigenetics research into the reasons why identical twins develop in such different ways although they have the same genetic blueprint. 

One analogy that I love for this is as follows “Epigenetics is the genetic punctuation. It will not change the words in the DNA paragraph but it will change the message that is relayed by rearranging the punctuation in the paragraph. 

There are many types of epigenetic processes such as methylation, phosphorylation, and acetylation to name a few.

First let’s review. Genomes are all of our hereditary information. The Epigenome is the genome that determines what is turned on or off in the blueprint of our DNA. Every cell in our body has DNA. Chromatin (histones) bind together to let the genes know if they should express. Chromatin is the spool that DNA winds itself around. Histones change how tightly or loosely the DNA is wrapped around the histone spool. The looser it is wrapped the more the gene is expressed. The tighter it is the less it is expressed. 

In our DNA we have DNA methylation the adding or removing of Carbon and Hydrogen CH3. Methyl groups are like a switch. Chromatin are like a knob. Every cell has a different methylation and chromatin pattern that is what tells the cells what to do. These tell the cells whether they are for your brain, nerves, lips, eyes, or any other part of your body and let them know their job in that area. 

Another way to look at this is the DNA is the hardware of the computer. The Epigenome is the software that decides whether a gene is expressed or not. 

Our genes can change over time or in a instant depending on what is happening in our lives. Changes such as puberty happen slowly over time. In this time the body is giving the cells new information to tackle new tasks in the body. These include menses, hair growth, and physical changes. Another example is pregnancy. When pregnancy occurs the cells must quickly change to meet the increased demand of the mother’s body and the new life that is growing within her. 

There are recent studies on twins that grew up in separate households and what affects genes had on them. They were looking at nature vs nurture. Scientist were curious what genes were affected by our DNA (genes) or nurture (environment). 

The research showed that things like criminal behavior and addiction were more strongly influenced by nature whereas things like emotional health, illness such as cancer and dietary preference were influenced more by nurture or the environment that they were raised in.  

They are also looking into the reason that twins that were raised in the same household with relatively the same environment one twin is more likely to develop autism, asthma, and bipolar disorder. 

Today research shows that a large variety of behaviors, illness, and various other health indicators that link to epigenetics. These include cancer of almost all types, respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive, autoimmune, cognitive issues and neurobehavioral illness. There are several suspected or known factors that can have an effect on these. These include the food we eat, the toxins we ingest, lifestyle choices, heavy metals, smoking, radioactivity, exhaust, and bacteria are among some of the causes for epigenetic malformations.

In 1970 when the epigenome was discovered. When originally discovered the thought was that most epigenomes are stripped before they are passed along. New evidence shows that epigenomes get stuck and are passed from one generation to the next. Now we know that parental methylation patterns can be passed down for up to for generations. In studies with mice they were heavily exposed to high levels of fungicide and insecticide and had decreased sperm production and that gene mutation was passed down for 4 generations. 

According to the Journal of Proteome Research November 2005 issue by Nilamadhab Mishra, the Wake Forest University School of Medicine says that they were able to link histone modification and mechanisms underlying lupus like symptoms in mice and that these effects could be reversed with a drug called trichostatin A. This seems to reset the histone modification by correcting hypoacetylation at the histone sites reversing the symptoms. 

With all of the information that we now know about epigenetics and how what we eat, do, where we live, and the choices we make will impact not only our lives but that of those to come. This gives us the power back as well as giving us a huge responsibility to our future. Knowing that we are pre dispositioned to nothing is a huge. In our blueprint we can design our genes to best suit us and our lives if we are dedicated to it.  

Bibliography

  1. Bruce H. Lipton, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles, Hay House, Incorporated, Oct 11, 2016
  2. Jeffrey M Craig and Nicholas C Wong, Epigenetics: The Reference Manual, Caister Academic press, 2011   
  3. Mukherjee, Siddhartha. “Same but Different.” New Yorker, May 2, 2016
  4. Nilamadhab Mishra, Journal of Proteome Research, November 2005
  5. Trygve Tollefsbol, Transgenerational Epigenetics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2014

Healing

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In our modern world we believe that healing and life is general should be hard.. that is why we remain in a state of illness.

We must accept that feeling better should feel better.

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Not just your literal lawn but your lawn.. your body.. your mind.. your spirit.. connecting to Mother Earth is one of the best ways to do that.

When we connect with our mother transforms your bodies charge and balances it out creating harmony in our body.

The benefits of connecting to Mother Earth or Earthing are:

Defuse the cause of inflammation, and improve or eliminate the symptoms of many inflammation related disorders.

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I am here to spread love and knowledge of higher love..

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To spread the reason for our being..

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Love

Kindness. Compassion. Understanding. Forgiveness. Patience. Acceptance. All. Equal. Love.

All words that break love down into verbs. So simple yet for so many it is foreign. What is love.. where does it come from.. who does it come from.. that answer is you, you and you.

How can you embody love everyday? You selflessly love everything and everyone ESPECIALLY YOURSELF!

Love lives inside of us and radiates to everyone we come in contact with.

Love starts with our loved ones and children and is demonstrated in the way we interact with them.

Whatever we present they grow and adapt to.. the way to talk to them and talk around them.. either deepens the love in their life or separates us from love.

starting now reflect on how you can deepen your connection to love.

Love lives in and starts within each of us and is deserved by all.

Once we shift from hate, fear, and separation the world will shift in a way never seen before.

This is day 1.. the most important lesson of all in this life.

Love.

Love is looking back on yourself at your lowest and being sooooo thankful for that beautiful strong person that made it through the hell to get you to your bliss.

Love is finding the light in all things.

Once I began to tap into MY HAPPY my life changed.. My life completely shifted.

In this picture I was 21 almost 22.

I was miserable I tried to take my life shortly before and I was saved not by another person or a hospital.. I was saved by my higher self.

Over the last 11 years I have completely transformed my relationship with myself.

Step by step day by day I shifted into love into what felt good.. what happened.. I FELL IN LOVE WITH ME!!!

This lack of love for ones self is the very reason why depression runs rampant in this world.

But through love the world will shift.

This is the start.

This is the beginning of actively everyday in Higher Love for the ascension of all.

I will be the way and the light wherever I find darkness ✨

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me and welcome to Ashley Eugene! This site has been a long time in the making similar to the journey that I have been on. The beginning of it starts lifetimes ago but where to start I’ve not been sure. This journey has been one of extreme hurt, trials, and strength. For years I struggled with the why’s and faulting anyone that I could. One day so beaten by what I thought was the world I stopped and thought.. what is the common denominator? 

In this journey I was the constant. That was a relief and a shock.. I had been causing the pain in my life. I did the only thing that made sense to me. I started to dig. This started in 2014 and since then I’ve found my calling and it is to help my fellow humans however I can on this journey we call life. 

Be the change you want to see in the world

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