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The Refined Collective Podcast

Oct 16, 2019


I am so grateful to have Ashley LeMieux on the podcast this week. She is the founder and CEO of The Shine Project and she is currently launching her first book called “Born To Shine.” This week we are chatting about walking through grief, finding healing, holding onto hope, and how to shine in your darkest moments.


Her Why

  • When Ashley was little, she was very shy so she would write out all of her feelings.
  • “If you asked me while I was young, I would always tell you that I wanted to be a writer who helped people heal their hearts.”
  • She let doubts and concerns of others let her stray from this path of writing while she was in college, but she decided to start a blog called The Shine Project.
  • That same blog has now grown into a product line and online community for women.
  • She acknowledges that fear can prevent us from pursuing our dreams and even just finding out what our dreams are in the first place.
  • “In our heart of hearts, if we just sit still enough, I think we all kind of already know what that thing is… we just bury it with layers to distract us so we don’t have to do it.”
  • We too often let our minds jump to all the things that can go wrong.


Holding Onto Hope

  • One day, she and her husband were called and asked to parent a four and six-year old.
  • “At that moment, it felt like everything in our lives had led us to that point and to be able to say yes.”
  • Several years into their being a family of four, they were still finalizing the adoption process and there was an unexpected contested adoption.
  • While she was away, they found out that their children would be taken from them the next morning. She wasn’t able to see them and so she wrote letters from her hotel.
  • “Every day felt like I was carrying the weight of the world.”
  • In those moments, she saw that this painful experience was a trial of their faith. She knew that they would come out the other side.
  • “I didn’t know the depths of that pain existed.”


Finding Healing

  • “My healing process will be for the rest of my life.”
  • She spent time with various therapists to help with the healing process and she felt the fog of grief begin to lift the tiniest bit after one year.
  • Her big turning moment was a moment in which she looked in the mirror for the first time in a while and she was lifeless. “It was like everything had been vacuumed out of me.”
  • In that moment, she realized she didn’t want to feel the same way looking in the mirror when she gets to be 80 years old.
  • “How can I live a fulfilled happy joyful life while still feeling pain? Because they have to co-exist. They have to.”
  • From there, she discovered the difference between suffering and pain. She could drop her suffering and hold on to joy.


How To Shine In Your Darkest Moments

  • We don’t have to be afraid of the dark. “The light within us is brighter than any of the darkness that surround us.”
  • How can what’s burying me start serving me? When she was buried in pain, loss, and heartbreak, she decided to rise above it.
  • Give yourself permission. To dream, to find joy, to be excellent, to shine! “We don’t give ourselves permission to shine and we dim our own light. There’s already so much out there that’s trying to work against us and the last thing we need is to work against ourselves.”
  • Show up to the biggest fights of your life with love. It’s easy to get in fight mode or be in the “me against the world” mentality. Anger depletes us, but love can’t be taken away. “Once we start giving it, there’s just so much more to receive of it.”
  • Ignite the light in others. Focusing outside of yourself and serving others brings purpose to our pain. Our pain allows us to understand people differently.


If You Are Walking Through Grief Right Now

  • “Your story is not yet over. No matter how dark it gets around you. No matter how dim and bleak and painful everything feels, you were born to shine.”
  • “Sometimes, the best view we have of the stars is when we’re knocked flat out on our backs in the darkest night.”


You can find Ashley at @ashleyklemieux and go to to order her book! There, you can also see her book tour and see what city she’ll be in near you.


If you are enjoying the podcast, I want to invite you to leave a rating and review on iTunes! We love hearing what your favorite episodes are and always welcome any general feedback! It also helps us be more visible in the iTunes world. If you want to leave a review but don’t know how, head over to @therefinedcollective on Instagram and find the “Review 101” under story highlights.


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