Counseling Pensacola

Ashley Pennewill, LCSW

About

Born and raised in Pensacola, Florida, I went to college at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, majoring in math. After graduation, I was a cable guy in Wyoming, a math teacher in Virginia and then a computer programmer in Washington, DC and Palm Springs, California. I moved back to Pensacola in 2002 after the passing of my father. I was in my late 20’s at this time.

It was at this time that I needed more meaning in life. I had the thought that I could work jobs I don’t really like for the rest of my life, retire when I’m old, and then die, but what’s the point of that? Why not just cut to the chase? I came away from this thinking that there must be more to it. I actually returned to math at this point, getting a masters at the University of Florida. My real education was in spirituality, though, since I used this relatively quiet time in a new town to inhale books, attend workshops, and the like. For more on the details of this, see My Journey To Peace below.

The result is that I’ve learned how to be more peaceful. How? By focusing on how I see things – not on the things. We can’t always control what happens in life, but we have a choice in how we see it. This is where our power lies. This really should be taught in middle school.

In order to get credentialed as a counselor, I got a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of West Florida. I am now working at the private practice of Karen Adams, LCSW.

My Journey To Peace

From nice, innocent kid to long-haired math major college student at an elite southern university to short-haired math teacher to computer programmer to math graduate student to crystal-wearing energy healer/yogi to gig-playing mandolin player. Along the way, I got interested in the deeper questions (you can probably see where in the progression this occurred). I needed meaning in life, and the voice demanding it would not be quiet. A string of coincidences and one very strange occurrence had gotten my attention, and the logical “mathy” part of me could not deny that the world operates much differently than I had previously thought. My small world had been split open.

Before I knew it, I was a spiritual seeker with a very singular focus. My journey began in the energy world on a yogic path. I was a Pranic Healer and Arhatic Yogi. After a pretty intense year and a half, I had greatly expanded, but I realized that there were some serious questions that were not going to be answered there.

These answers soon came in the form of some audio recordings by two particular spiritual teachers, Eckhart Tolle and Gangaji. Now I was in the consciousness world. This was a much simpler path, as well as much more powerful and mature in my limited experience. I was ecstatic and free. The honeymoon ended after maybe a year or less, though, because another question surfaced that was not being adequately answered. That question was, “Why?” This world is a pretty cruel place when you really think about it, after all. Even vegan Buddhists have to kill things to live.

Once again, my question was answered right away. I was in the bookstore one day, and Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard practically fell off the shelf at me. I had long grown weary of anything that sounded New Agey, but something about this book was different. It led me to the spiritual document entitled A Course In Miracles, which has finally answered my questions. So far, anyway.

That was in late 2006. I’ve been putting the teachings into practice since then, getting better and better all the time. The result is a much more peaceful life. I’m still quite the student and make no claims otherwise. I have a lot to say, though, for those who are ready. That’s why I became a therapist/counselor.

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All anybody really wants is peace. The good news is that peace can be learned. I’m serious. This should be taught in middle school, but it’s not. So I’m teaching it now.