5 Powerful Tools to Getting Unstuck

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I wrote this post out the first time and then read it over and thought, “Amanda, this is not you. You are not using your true voice. You are writing to please others.” Which is ironic as you’ll read. So I hit erase and started over. When I finished I thought, there she is. There’s Amanda.


Who would believe what I have to say?

Who even wants to hear what I have to say anyway?

I suck. I’m not creative.

I don’t have a creative bone in my body.

I could NEVER do that! They can but not me.

The stuff I write, it’s shit!

I’m such an asshole.

This is all too hard. Why is everything so hard?

Work hard, play hard., that’s the only way. So why does it feel so wrong to me?

Hustle, hustle hustle. It’s the only way to be successful. I just can’t anymore.

I hear these things all the time. They are unconsciously swirling around everywhere affecting our energy, our drive, our dreams, our gut feelings, our motivation.

In fact, I’ve said these things (and more) over and over to myself. I still battle this tape recorder. It has been hardwired in us, one that’s hard to erase. Although I work on it daily, these thoughts circle deep in the back of my mind.

I’ve learned that nothing kills your creative life force quicker then the voice(s) in your head. This voice however, isn’t really ours. It’s the stories we’ve picked from the time we were born. These are called formative years for a reason. This is when we pick up our beliefs and values, how we learn to set boundaries or in my case, none at all. It’s when our parents and siblings and educational system and peers all influence us the deepest.

I know it’s easy to think they are our own thoughts because we are the ones thinking them day in and day out, but how often do you stopped and question, “Is this even what I believe? Are these thoughts even mine?” Or are you on autopilot just living out the life you’ve been told you should be living?

About six months ago I had a series of mental breakdowns that shook me to my core and made me realize that I had to make a choice: stay the same and not address what was happening within me and turn into someone I really despised or acknowledge that I really needed to make some changes and I needed help for my health, wellbeing and overall sanity.

Honestly, I felt like I was living a lie. So many parts of my life still didn’t feel true to my core. I was not accepting the truth of what I am here to do in this lifetime. Needless to say, I was left untangling a messy web of thoughts and ideals and beliefs, trying to decipher which ones were actually mine and what were stories I picked up a long the way.

Do this — get love.

Be this — acceptance.

Stay small, don’t speak up — fit in.

Wear this — please others.

Work 9 to 5 — security

I couldn’t see straight. Literally. I would lie in bed hyperventilating to the point nothing made sense and my vision would go blurry and I knew enough from watching a mentally ill father growing up, living a lie involves serious repercussions.

This one particular morning I sent me therapist (more of a spiritual advisor) a text:

“It’s time to go deeper.”

I knew that all this conditioning and past traumas were preventing me from living what I believed to be my truth and the anxiety and panic I was feeling from deep within were messengers that it was time to get radically honest with myself, my past and the way I processed the traumatic events in my life. I needed to take responsibility for my choices, my decisions and stop blaming others. I needed to accept that my parents did the best that they could with what they themselves had, really learn to forgive and relearn how to not care about what others think.

“Fuck.” I thought. “I don’t want to do this.” But it was time to roll up my sleeves and really get to work. And that, was terrifying.

We are so afraid of our pain, aren’t we? Most of us are so full of guilt and shame and every other emotions related to these it seems. Or, we spend our time chasing this illusion of happiness and we desperately run from those things that cause or have caused us pain.

But I’m here to tell you, right under the pain is the good stuff?

It’s called…TRUTH.

Right under the lies are our longings and dreams and aspirations. The things our heart and soul knows we are here to do.

The pain and guilt and shame — they hold the answers. Wake up, don’t go back to sleep.

“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you
Don't go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth 
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,
The door is round and open
Don't go back to sleep!”

- Rumi

I didn’t go back to sleep. Instead, I dug in.

Going back and addressing traumatic events and memories isn’t fun. I’m never going to tell you it is. It actually sucks balls if I’m honest. But you know what sucks balls even more?

Living a lie.

I don’t care how old you are, if you want to find freedom from your suffering, if you want to live a life of truth and honesty and authenticity, you have to actually dig into the pain and the lies. Because no matter how many times you look in the mirror and speak affirmations, if you don’t believe it on a deep subconscious level, those lies are the storylines that will continue to play out from deep within.

If you ever wonder why the same thing keeps happening to you…there you go.

The affirmations are wonderful. They feel good after you get over the initial discomfort of feeling like you are piling more lies on top of the lies you already live with. But if you follow me on Instagram you may remember the analogy I talked of scooping ice-cream on top of shit. You can keep piling ice cream on top of your shit, but eventually you will bite into the shit again.

Or you can get in, get the shit out of there so you can eventually just enjoy the ice cream without worrying if and when you may bite into shit again.

And the shit, is exactly what keeps us stuck.

Now who’s hungry for some ice cream?

5 Powerful Tools to Getting Unstuck

1. Slow Down & Create Space

Nobody likes to hear this but slowing down and getting intentional with your time really is the hidden secret. We love to distract ourselves. And by we I really mean WE. I right there with you. My numbing and distraction go-to’s are: social media, aimlessly wandering around my house, podcasts, used to be dating apps and sometimes it was sex (when I was dating someone) and occasionally drinking. But in the last 6 months I got still. I got really uncomfortable. And I just listened to what was trying to come up. You know what it was? Anger. And then shame. Then sadness and hurt. And it sucked but it provided a lot of clues and answers and when I started doing more work around these things, peace.

That is when number two came in to play.

2. To Be Magnetic

I first turned to To Be Magnetic because if I’m honest, it was a manifestation process and I was really just looking for a quick way to get what I want without having to work for it. I thought sweet! Another tool to help me magically manifest all my hopes and desires.

Then I realized this program is a bit different then all the other manifestation teachings. This one involves a lot of honest and actually showing up and doing the (your) work. So I got super resistant to it until the last mental breakdown and I realized I couldn’t keep doing things the same way and expect different results.

It all comes down to self-worth and if you are vibrating (from DEEP WITHIN) high or low self-worth. So this is why when we just do affirmations they don’t really work all that well. They are, for many people, ice cream covering up shit.

Law of Attraction and The Secret are great but as Lacy, the creator says, unless you get in to the subconscious that holds all the stories and lies and trauma and blocks, you wont ever believe you are worthy of the things you truly want.

I can’t speak more highly of Lacy and To be Magnetic. I’ll write a whole post on what has transpired in my life so far soon.

If you are interested in really doing the work to live a life that feels totally in alignment and manifest the things you truly want, you can get $20 OFF when you use the promo code AMANDA.

The Pathway, which gives you access to ALL of her programs, is only $25 a month. It’s literally 5 coffees out. I didn’t want to spend the money either but this has literally saved my sanity in so many ways.

3. Present Over Perfect

I have a thing for books and I really have a thing for books that involve raw honesty. This book, I think, needs to be read by everybody that struggles with feeling like they are enough (hello almost everyone). Those who have questioned what the hustle is really about and wondered if there is a more simple way of living and reaping the rewards of true happiness.

This book literally fell in my lap after consciously choosing to slow my life down for mental health reasons over the last six months.

It gave me permission to be human and to not get caught up in the do more to be more mentality. It gave me hope and it gave me a sense of feeling less alone.

Read it, I promise it will make you breathe out all the air you’ve been holding onto because you’ve been so busy for so long you forgot to read.

4. The Qapital App

I’m going to be totally transparent here. Money has been one of the biggest sources of my pain and shame over the last ten years. In my twenties I was really “responsible.” I had a great savings, little to no debt and I was setting myself up for success. And it felt really good.

Then just after my twenty-ninth birthday I moved to Taiwan on a whim and went through my savings rather quickly. Fuck it. I almost died I thought. I just want to live. And that has been the story I’ve been living out this whole time. (PS - totally working on this storyline in Opulence, one of The Pathway programs). And it’s preventing me from really stepping into a side of me I need to feel secure — financial free.

So how does this money managing app help?

I came across Qapital and saving and investing became fun for me. It’s actually making me look at money in a whole new light. I also love that it’s kind of a ‘set it and forget it’ thing. And while I’m not making as much money as I’d like to right now by any means, this gives me the feeling of doing something to set myself up for the future.

You can set up different goals and apply different rules to each. For the last six months, I’ve been watching my savings grow as money is withdrawn from my banking account and put into each goal.

These are what my goals look like:

Taxes (independent contractor here)
Downpayment (House)
In Case of An Emergency Fund
40th Birthday to Italy (whoop whoop, Sept. 6th 2020!)
Investments (so confusing to me)

When you sign up and when you refer someone else, you both get anywhere before $5-$25 depending on their promotion. Honestly, it’s turned savings into a fun game.

5. Human Design

If you’ve been in my company within the last few months Human Design has definitely come up. I don’t even know how to do describing it justice to be honest but basically, it’s the contract your soul made about who you came here to be, our unique gifts to live out and the karma you are to experience.

In laymen terms; straight up permission to be exactly who you are. When I first started learning about my desgin (4/6 Generator with an Emotional Authority, Right Cross of Consciousness (3)) it was like EVERYTHING I ever felt intuitively about myself made sense. I used to be so hard on myself about this weird need I had to share things with the hope of inspiring others. But it’s literally my purpose.

This energy is the ability to seize power through the use of your mental prowess. You are here to transform your mental pressure to figure things out and communicate effectively to others, turning them into followers. Not everyone can push forward ideas to lead, but you have the energetic design to do so.

This stuff blows my mind wide open and if you feel called to learn more, my friend Ilona read my chart to me and she’s incredible. You can reach out to her or myself if you have questions. (I chat a bit about it but she’s got it nailed down!)

Full transparency, if you click on an affiliate link and choose to purchase I will get a small commission but it’s really important to know that I will never under any circumstance promote anything I do not use myself or truly believe in.

Dealing With Mental Health: PTSD and Borderline Personality Disorder

Amanda Whitworth Mental Health

“Your present circumstance don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” - Nido Qubein

About a week ago I had an assessment with a Psychiatrist at Moore’s Cancer Center to be evaluated for some mental health issues that had been coming up in a pretty significant way for the last few months. In reality, these issues have been haunting me for a very long time.

I sat before him and poured out my life story, tears streaming down my face as I observed the parts I felt most compelled to share.

At the end of our session, he confirmed what I had already intuitively known, I was in the midst of PTSD. However, he also confirmed something else that, if I’m honest, I already intuitively knew as well; Borderline Personality Disorder.

I sat, staring blankly at him as my memory recalled the moment so many years ago when I found out my dad was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and over the years, a part of me always wondered if I had that in me too.

As he shared the ins and outs of Borderline Personality Disorder and PTSD, a interesting thing happened. There was a lightness deep within my chest as I felt the shackles of perfection fall to the ground. I felt the little girl inside who was, and still is, highly sensitive. The one who learned to stuff down her trauma from years of emotional abuse and abandonment by a man who was suppose to protect her shout, “finally! I am free!”.

I realize my years of numbness followed by intense anger, impulsivity, mood swings and irrational thoughts and years worth of binging and purging and starving myself were not all for naught. Rather, a way of coping with something my child mind couldn’t make sense of.

I don’t think it was just a label that was so carelessly and casually given to me because as I listened to him speak about these two disorders, my life, my behaviors, my emotional responses, they all started to make sense and fall into place.

I didn’t walked out of that appointment feeling like a victim. I walked out of that appointment feeling a deep sense of empowerment because now I understood. Now I got to really start the process of healing and knowing myself, my past and my behaviors with compassion instead of self-hatred, judgement and resentment. There was a softness I felt towards myself I have never known before.

Now I get to develop the tools to thrive instead of constantly beating myself up for a way of being that, at times, feels uncontrollable.

I’ve sat wondering the last week how much I should share. If I even wanted to share this truth openly with you or keep this part of me to myself. I worry that you have already retracted a bit and pulled back hearing the words Borderline Personality Disorder.

I worry now there is an unconscious judgment towards me.

I am afraid that someone will come to my website looking to buy my art and read this post and decide otherwise.

I’m nervous that you may think I’m seeking attention or pity or being dramatic.

I’m scared of the rejection I may face because I’m choosing to let go of the mask of perfection and embrace my mess.

Then I think about all the people out there living in their own little hell and how every time I share bits and pieces of my pain, my shattered parts, my story, it finds it’s way to the person who needs it who is quietly struggle to find meaning in their own mess too.

I realized that hiding and concealing these parts of myself isn’t who I really am and that part of my purpose, my authenticity is sharing. Not just the highlight reel but the REAL and this is a truth of mine that needs to be shared.

The truth of being a complicated human being.

The truth of suffering years of back to back trauma from a disease I feel like I have little control over — with myself and my mom and brother.

The truth of being abused as a child in a way that I justified as a normal because I didn’t suffer it physically.

The truth of the intense amount of shame I’ve carried for the things I have and have not done in my life.

And although there are parts of this journey I am not ready to share opening because I’m afraid of the repercussions of exposing the person involved, I think I can share in an authentic way none the less.

This isn’t only for my own healing but also for anyone else who is struggling with the embarrassment, shock, confusion and even relief that comes with finally having answers to some painful questions.

So now what? What does someone do when they fit a piece of their life puzzle together that may not be ideal, but necessary for finding meaning in their life?

You move forward.

You take this new information and instead of compartmentalizing it you lean into it, absorb it, integrate it and learn to listen to this side of you more.

You go to those painful places, no matter how much it hurts knowing that you will be okay knowing the truth.

You seek professional help. I can not emphasize this enough. Do not try to do this alone. That is exactly what I did for years.

You seek a community not to wallow in but to uplift, understand. and relate to.

And for me personally, I’m going to continue to slow my life down, eliminate anything that adds more stress, get more intentional, continue making small changes that are long overdue and peel back another layer.

I know very clearly that I have nothing to be ashamed of and I don’t believe this means I am a broken or unlovable woman. I will not hide from this. It’s a delicate dance that requires me to ask for help, get honest with myself regularly and let go of the shame I’ve attached to so many things in my life.

I will not fall victim to it but use it as a catalyst to know myself in a way I still don’t, to love myself deeper, heal and hopefully impact people in a genuine and helpful way.

In order to do that, I need to own and forgive my past and slow down enough to allow myself the grace of healing.

Grace is something I have only recently just met.

And we are getting to know each other slowly.

Does Surrendering Really Work?

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.” 

― Abraham Lincoln

Surrender. It’s a word thrown around so often and so casually that I feel, in some ways, we’ve lost sight of just how profound the very act of surrendering can be.

I’ve been in one too many yoga classes where the instructor touts some paraphrased version of this idea picked up in a book or from another teacher that I can’t help but wonder how many of them truly practice the suggestion they are regurgitating back to us? How many of them actually understand the true meaning of surrender? How many of them are mindfully letting go each and every day?

But then again, I found myself wondering if I even understand the meaning of the word myself?

As a self-proclaimed control freak, 'letting go' and 'surrendering' have often evoked a lot of eye rolls from me but mostly a lot of deep frustration and anxiety because honestly, I really suck at it. I’m always wondering how the hell do I surrender? Am I doing it right?

As a chronically nervous person, I often find myself full of worry, full of this need to manipulate and control as if that will bring me the peace I’m yearning for.

And then I wonder what will happen if I surrender all wrong? What if I surrender and something I don’t want shows up in my life? What if life gets all mucked up because I sat back, gave up what I think is right and gulp, surrendered?

What if surrendering actually fucks my life up?

But the last couple of years have stirred a curiosity deep within me and I realize it’s time to explore the truth behind this idea deeper.

Because one thing holds true, it seems like the harder I grasp on to the things I can not control, the more suffering I seem to experience in my inner, and outer world.

And I’m so bored with my suffering.

I’m so bored with the narrative swirling around in my head. The stories, the trauma, the anxiety buried deep in my chest.

I want it to rise up and out of me so I can just be, well, me.

I want to feel in total alignment with who I believe myself to be and have the confidence to bring her to the party no matter who is around or what is happening in my life.

I’m constantly hearing, "Let go, Amanda. Let go, Amanda. For God's sake, Amanda! Bloody hell…just let go already!” It’s no longer a whisper. In fact, it’s a feverish shout as if life has both hands clasped around my ear while simultaneously tapping on my head asking if anyone is home.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah” I mumble. “I’m coming. Hold your horses.”

I’m stubborn and a control freak and what is that saying? You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

And then I wonder, maybe I’m just not ready to give up my suffering? Maybe I’m not committed enough to being truly happy? What if, part of me, really loves my pain?

I had to find my own way to this moment.

To surrendering.

I had to wade and navigate through all the questions and the little voice that tells me all the lies of unworthiness and the self-inflected turmoil of long expired stories that keep playing over and over from deep within.

I had to find my way to letting go naturally. I had to want it that bad.

This experiment is a mix of curiosity and the profound wake up call I feel I’m having to go inward in a way I never have before.

So with much anticipation, a little nerves and a deep inhale here I go.

I’m SURRENDERING.

For the next 30 days I’m committed to this sacred act of letting go.

I’m not entirely sure what this will look like but here are a few things I do know.

When worry about money shows up, I’m going to remember that it’s always worked out. Not too mention I’m innovative and creative.

When fear of abandonment comes knocking, I’m going to tenderly love myself, hands clasped over my beating heart as I whisper to my inner child, ‘it’s ok, you are ok. I am here and I’m never leaving you.”

When anxiety taps on my shoulder I’m going to gently invite it to sit with me in silence as we close our eyes and breathe in and breathe out.

When I question my inner voice and feel like making a choice out of fear, I’m going to lovingly remind myself that I’m on the right path. That I am supported.

And when my ego kickstarts the engine I’m going to remind her that I’m driving. She’s welcome to ride along, but she does not have full control and I have no tolerance for back seat drivers.

I’m not sure where this will take me but I can assure you, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

So does surrendering really work? We shall see.


A Path to Healing

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The path to self-growth is not linear. It is a meandering journey through mountains and valleys, and occasionally there are more lows than highs. But it is a journey ever onward, and it is our light—that same light that exists in every one of us—that guides the way, if only we allow it to shine. -Rachel Grayczyk

It feels like often it takes something big happening in my life to point out the areas that need to be addressed. The areas within me that I’ve been running from or that seem too painful to really stop and take a good look at and heal.

A breakup or divorce, losing a job, losing a friend, getting sick. I’ve experienced all of these things and what I know now is that they are all messengers. They come with profound knowledge and insight. But they also come with a lot of heavy emotion that I often like to dust under the rug. Pain, sadness, heartbreak, anger, regret, resentment, fear, abandonment, betrayal — these emotions aren’t pleasant. At times they can feel like the most painful thing in the world. Who hasn’t experienced a heartbreak we thought we’d never recover from?

But what I also know now is that THOSE are the golden nuggets. Those are the moments and experiences that gain the wisdom. Those emotions are the messages waiting to be peeled back and dove into deeper. Those nuggets are actually the path to true peace and happiness.

We are all incredibly intuitive beings and already have the answers to the questions we seek within. Who said that originally? Rumi? Buddha? Whoever it was, I fully believe it to be the truth.

Recently I developed a massive rash all over my face. To some, it’s just a rash. To me, it means something more.

It looks a lot like acne but it’s not. I know it’s not. It is hot, very inflamed and itches. And that it seemed to get inflamed when I eat certain things like coconut. And I know enough, I’m intuitive enough, to know that it means something.

This rash, to me, is a message. I know, that sounds a little woowoo for some but I really believe that our bodies are incredibly smart and so many of our ailments are messages from something deeper within. Wake up calls trying desperately to get us to address the deeper issues that are in a way, holding us back.

I know on a deeper level there are several reasons for my rash. One, I’m consuming something my body doesn’t like and I need to pay closer attention to what I eat and drink and how i feel after. Do I experience a reaction right away or is it delayed? I’ll get into this more in another blog post.

Two, there is a huge emotional component. I’ve been hiding from some things in my life that need to be addressed and my body seems to like to get me to wake up through body ailments.

The traumas of my past are finally speaking up and asking to be dealt with. All that hurt, resentment, anger, it’s been bubbling up quickly the last few months and I feel my body is asking me to look at it for real this time.

I was also dating someone for the last six months whom I adore and love. However, I knew he and I were in different places and wanted different things but fought against that inner knowing and tried to fit this square peg in a round hole.

These things combined created a toxic environment inside of me, always questioning, always frustrated, always sad or questioning, “what’s wrong with me?” This triggered the only way I would listen — a horrible skin rash on my face.

And this is why I love the body. Because it never lies to us. It’s always seeking to show us the truth, get us to listen, get us to show up for ourselves, through messages.

I believe we can heal ourselves in a multitude of ways if we just stop, get really still and listen for the answers. Listen to those little pings, those nuggets of truth, those whispers that say, “he’s not good for you, or don’t eat that, don’t take the job, don’t say yes to the thing even though it “looks” good on paper — just wait.”

I would like to point out that that’s not to say I don’t believe in taking action. We have to take action. But maybe we need to pause a bit more, give ourselves space and time before we react? At least I know I sure do.

I also believe in western medicine. I do. 100%. I thank it daily because if not for it I would be dead. I know this. But I believe too many of us use it as a bandaid. A quick fix. At times, myself included. But sometimes if not most of the time a headache simple means you are dehydrated and need more water. Sometimes it is signaling you need rest or to actually look at something you’ve been avoiding. Taking a pill is a quick and easy fix but often we are reacting with the quick fix instead of addressing the issue. What would happen if we pause and just ask ourselves what we need instead?

If we just took the time to explore more of what our body, our heart and our soul are trying to tell us, what would happen in our lives?

This is what I’ve been thinking a lot about since the last time I wrote. Writing has always been incredibly therapeutic for me. It’s been a catalyst for discovery, exploration and ultimately, what paves the path to my own growth and ultimately, my healing.

Lately I’ve been called to share where I’m at in a different way. Cancer took a toll on me physically, mentally and definitely emotionally.

The last two years have been extremely challenging in a multitude of ways for me but the amazing thing is, I’m finally at a point in my growth where I can look at challenge in my life and see the parts that are getting me to stretch beyond my comfort zone and grow.

The dance for me is and always has been to learn to balance my emotions, to not be so reactionary, to let go of all the stories I took on for years, and honestly, find my voice and figure out who the heck I am and fully embody that. Even if it means others in my life may disapprove.

Developing my tumor two years ago has been the greatest teacher so far. I think I’ll have to tell that story sometime because it was one of the most frustrating and terrifying experiences of my life. Yet, looking back it’s taught me so much. Getting a rare and confusing cancer diagnoses, the whole process of learning about that, surgery, treatment, and recovery from that has felt like one big uphill climb and I just couldn’t catch my breath. My normal disposition is to keep pushing on. To do all the things in the same way I always have. What I’m learning now is I just can’t. I’m not that person anymore. Or, maybe I never was.

I actually need a lot of downtime. I need a lot of rest and relaxation. I need quiet. I need to not over schedule myself or have very many plans throughout the week. I function better on more spontaneity and I definitely need to allow myself the space to make a decision instead of saying yes to everything out of fear of missing out like I normally do.

So, I’ve spent the last few weeks sitting with that and trying my best to get really honest with myself. I’ve been asking myself some really tough questions.

But it’s always when I feel like I’ve hit a bottom that God (ie: Universe, Source, Life) steps in to remind me of the very thing I’m not addressing and if I did, it would change everything. Rashes, breakups, anger and resentments rising to the surface, massive hormonal chaos. All huge messages right now for me.

I find myself in a place I’ve never been before. I’m excited. Almost giddy about what is to come. It feels like the calm before a storm but not a destructive storm like in the past. A tranSTORMation is what I’m calling it. A big one. One that will allow me to peel back even more layers and show up as the real me even more.

So what is next?

Trauma, whether emotional, mental or physically (usually it’s all three combined), doesn’t look the same for everyone thus healing can’t look the same for everyone either. We all have the opportunity to embark on our own healing journey. And that is exactly what I am doing.

As I said to my therapist via text the other day, “It’s time. It’s time to go deeper.”

So that is what I’m doing. I’m investing in me in a way I never have. I’m taking this whole healing thing a few steps deeper. It’s not a one size fits all plan. It’s tailored just for me. I’m looking at all areas of my life and getting very honest and I plan on sharing what I’m doing for myself to heal along the way. I plan to really show up in this space consistently and offer you an experience that may open a few doors of curiosity for you as well.

But please remember, this is MY path and it may not feel right for you. It may trigger you or cause uncomfortable feelings to arise in you. May I invite you to explore that more deeply? It’s just an invitation for you to possibly look at your life differently too. You have to go on your own exploration. Your own journey. You have to try things on, listen to those little nudges and find the courage to step forward on your own path. .

So raise your glass of organic green celery juice (that’s all I’m drinking these days) and cheers with me. Because t’s time to really heal.

Dear cancer, please leave us alone.

If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans. - Woody alan

I remember the day as if it was yesterday. I was sitting in my dorm room a few weeks into my freshman year at Washington State University when my phone rang. Well before I had my first cell phone, I picked up the landline, bringing it to my ear.

“Hello?” I said.

“Hi, Mandy.” My mom’s voice echoed in the background.

“Hi, Mom, what’s up?” I asked.

“Mandy, I need to tell you something.” Her voice cracked. And then the three words nobody wants to ever hear, “I have cancer.”

The rest is somewhat blurry as she filled me in on the details. As we hung up the phone I sat, staring at the wall behind my desk and all I could think was; my mom is going to die from cancer.

This was nineteen years ago and a time when all I knew was cancer was a death sentence. And although my mom is still with us, the way I felt when I heard she had cancer for the first time has never left my heart.

And each time one of us is diagnosed, the same feelings resurface. And as much as my family has dealt with cancer, it’s never easy to hear the words.

It was only a few short years after my mom’s cancer that my older brother, then twenty-six, called to share his results too.

“Well Manda, it’s colon cancer.” He said into the phone from Texas where he was stationed as a Captain in the Army.

Colon cancer? Isn’t that…for old people I thought?

Little did we know how untrue this would be.

Less than a year and a half later, on the heels of desperate pleas from my mom, I went in for a colonoscopy because her oncologist was suspicious that this could be genetic. In my foggy haze, I woke to hear my doctor say, “Go get her mom and bring them back in my office.”

I didn’t know what it meant but I knew it wasn’t good.

Although it wasn’t full-blown cancer, the large polyp in my colon was in the last stages of turning into cancer and thus, was treated as if it was cancer. Four surgeries, one deadly infection, an ileostomy bag (which I no longer have), shunts and tubes and drains throughout my body, and almost 30 days total over the course of the year in the hospital and only a few short months later I got another call from my mom…

“Honey…I have colon cancer.”

Hands down the toughest year, chemotherapy riddled my mom with pain so severe, she almost quit. But she made it.

And we thought the “cancer years” were behind us after that. We really did. Only a year later we received a phone call from my grandpa, my mom’s dad, and learn that he now had colon cancer.

And then my grandpa, again…bladder cancer.

And then my cousin, Becca, who’s passing on December 8th, 2013, ten short months after being diagnosed with cancer left so many hearts broken.

And then our dear friend Greg. My stepdad’s best friend, who was more like a brother, was diagnosed shortly after that and after three years of fighting, passed away last October 2017.

And then me. Metastatic Cancer of an Unknown Primary source. What does that even mean?

I lay this all out for you to see clearly not for you to feel sorry for us but so you can see why my family is exhausted... It’s been almost two decades of nothing but cancer.

So cancer, please, leave us alone.

But I know better. I know better to cry out such demands.

Because on Tuesday, September 25th I got a call…

“Mandy,” my mom’s voice, hard and stoic, “Honey, I have cancer again…”

So here we go, once again...

And we will keep you posted as she wins this battle too.

Because she's a warrior now.

She has no other choice.

Prayers and positive thoughts welcomed always.