Still feeling the pain of abandonment, rejection, and loneliness, the loss and grief of bereavement and family separation, two constants remained despite his life had collapsed around him: following the tribulations of his beloved Manchester City Football Club, and developing further his meditation practice with fellow lay Buddhists at Sunyata Buddhist centre in East Clare.
Having only ever been in long-term relationships, he plucked up the courage to upload a profile to an online dating site... with a varying degree of results.
Before long, things changed again, and the would-be serial dater emerged into a single parent father who enthusiastically started collecting crystals, and who realised his healing path and soul journey included family trauma counselling and teaching meditation.
He unwittingly and painfully discovered deeper levels of love for himself and those around him, (including his wife and children), opened up to a spiritual path that took over from dating, and even found himself in a committed relationship – with himself!
There is life after depression, addiction, low self-esteem, bereavement and loss.
Carl J Ashley is a committed advocate for positive mental health, promoting mindfulness and meditation, and speaking publicly about his passion for men’s mental health awareness and how facing and confronting his own vulnerabilities as a man allowed him to pursue a path of healing and emotional development.
Quite something of a change from a pint-swilling, spliff-rolling, juke-box playing, pool-sharking student mindset Manchester lad with a twinkle in his eye …
Bereaved, separated, or divorced? Mancunian Buddha is an authentic modern-day narrative sprinkled with some ancient wisdom for the discerning reader, and contains an important message: No matter who or what you are, genuine self-love and self-care start with one simple realisation: “You Are Enough”.