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.

Are you gonna poke my bear?

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“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Except for bears…bears will kill you.”

Every now and then someone comes along and pokes my bear. This is an expression I heard several years ago which simply means, someone comes along and taps on your wounds or stirs up your shit or your baggage to put it a little nicer.

I really love the expression though. I felt it added a layer of humor that resonates with me. It’s like my own personal safe word minus the S&M. If someone is stirring up my stuff and I’m too uncomfortable, all I have to do is look at them and say, “you’re poking my bear.”

But if only it truly worked that way.

Most of my bear poking has to do with the idea that I am not enough and truth be told, most of the people that come along and poke my bear are men. My daddy and abandonment issues run deep and who better to poke that bear then whoever I’m dating.

But I’ve noticed my bear getting poked in all areas of my life, not just dating. There is a story that was set a long time ago, deep in the back of my subconscious mind that says I’ll never be good enough for much of anything or anyone. Work, friendships, my art, even my health has it’s own bear. It’s inevitable that wherever we place our sense of worth will be a prime target for bear poking.

Last night I sat on my couch and listened to Ben Howard’s hypnotic melodies echo throughout my quiet home and I read over my old blog posts. Tears filled my eyes as I relived old memories and feelings that were, at worst, horribly painful and at best, life changing.

I came across the piece I wrote called, Sit In Your Shit and it reminded me how, for the last few months, I’ve felt called to sit in all the uncomfortable feelings instead of run from them as I so often do.

Being a perpetual runner has offered a lot of excitement in my life however, it’s also caused a lot of my shit to reside just below the surface waiting to be poked.

And I’m still here. I’m still being called to sit in my shit. And I’m reminded, once again, that it’s never fun to lean into your past traumas and barely healed wounds. Instead of running or numbing, I’m sitting and at times, it feels as if my skin is crawling and I’m a recovering drug addict, desperate for my next fix.

I want to show you what sitting in your shit looks like…

Sitting in your shit ISN’T about being a victim or pointing a finger and placing blame. Although a lot of our wounds and traumas are the consequences of someone else’s actions, at some point in our adult lives we must find it in ourselves to let go of the blame. We’ll never fully heal unless we do. Sitting in your shit is ABSOLUTELY about getting curious about these traumas and wounds and asking ourselves what the TRUTH is. Not the story we’ve created from it.

For example, if I’m dating someone and I start to feel my bear getting poked I take pause whereas in the past, I’d lash out and stir up the shit. Now, instead I sit in the discomfort of whatever their actions are creating within me. Because we know really this is merely a projection. It’s a memory from the past that is telling you a story triggered by this new person’s actions. So I ask myself; what is the truth here? I get curious. I lean in. I talk to the six your old me who was desperate to be loved and seen by a man who just didn’t have the ability to do so. I tell her she IS loved. She IS seen. She IS enough.

Sitting in your shit after someone has poked your bear is about asking questions. It’s about reacting less and inquiring more. It’s about doing things differently. It’s a curiosity of the unknown. The belief in the possibility, that maybe, just maybe, this wound may loosen it’s grip on you if you understand it more.

And I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it over and over, it’s gonna hurt like hell but each time you address it, that pain subsides and softens and transforms into something different.

So what I’ve allowed myself to get really intrigued by lately isn’t so much my baggage but rather HOW the act of really looking at it has dramatically CHANGED it’s hold on me. I’m intrigued by how I’m showing up different when old bears get poked all because I finally succumbed to the reality that, what I was doing in the past just wasn’t working so why not try something different? Why not look at it all in a different light?

So that’s what I’ve been doing. With dating, with work, with friendships, with communication, with my overall feelings of never being ENOUGH.

Because truth be told, I am enough. We are all enough. Every single last one of us is enough right this very moment.

I’m imperfect and flawed and at times moody and emotional. But this makes me who I am too. Just as much as all the other “good” aspects do. I can’t deny them because by doing so I am only feeding the bears and constantly confirming the story that runs through so many of our minds…I am not enough.

But we are enough. We have to begin to understand that and fully integrate that into our being. I think that our bears and those that come along to poke them are actually, and I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, a gift to us. In a weird and twisted way, they are really doing so to get us to wake up and do our work so that one day when that bear get’s poked it no longer needs to rear it’s defensive head and instead, just slowly turns and walks away.




My Ted Talk

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Sometimes, when I'm in the shower, I like to pretend I am giving a Ted Talk. It’s one of those secret dreams of mine I haven’t shared with anyone.

Yes, one day I want to give a Ted Talk and I often practice in the shower. It goes a little something like this. 

I’m introduced and eloquently float out and take my spot center stage. I stand before an audience of hundreds waiting for me to speak. To bare my soul, share my truth and change their lives in some way.

Then maybe all the pain I've experienced in mine will finally have meaning. 

I pause and scan the audience as the nerves settle in my belly. And then I begin. Words flow gracefully from my lips as I deliberately and meticulously speak. 

Line after line, I stand before the audience with grace and ease and pure poetry escapes from my mouth and I feel alive. As if I am finally living in full alignment with my purpose.

And this is what I would say:

When I was a little girl I was desperate to be accepted and loved by everyone. 

I learned early on that if I said and did the right things, molding myself to every person in my life, I would always feel a sense of ease and acceptance. 

I would always feel, loved. 

But that really wasn't the case. 

As I grew older, trying to create that sense of peace started to be become like draping individual chains over my shoulders. Eventually the stories and facade became too heavy. I hit a wall and could no longer continue carrying that weight around. 

This was about the time I stumbled across my first personal development book. It was a few months after I turned twenty and I had just made my very first big life decision all on my own. And I was scared as hell to go down this new path. 

I had made the decision to drop out of college. 

This decision proceeded a massive nervous breakdown in the middle of a raging frat party. My friends found me sobbing uncontrollably, wrapped in a tiny ball sitting on a bed in the basement. They couldn't console me. I was unconsolable. In shock.

They took me home and called my mom. It was 2 am. The next weekend I was driving back to Seattle to tell my family I was leaving school and in that one decision, I felt one of the weights release and fall to the ground. 

This decision changed the course of my life. It sparked something deep within me that would take years to turn into a full fledge fire. 

You see, it was the first moment I realize that I am not going to be for everyone and neither would my decisions and I had to be okay with that. It sparked the courage to finally explore what  I really wanted and ask some really big questions. 

Years later I stand before you with one message and one message only. I truly hope you take it in. 

Under no circumstances, whatsoever, are you going to be for everyone either. And that is okay. 

It's easy to get caught up in what other's think of our lives and it's really easy to paint a pretty picture that we have it all figured out and that our lives are picture perfect.

We do this because we are all longing for the same thing; to be loved and accepted. 

But here is the thing, no matter how hard you try, I promise you, there will always be someone who is just itching to find your flaws. To point out your mistakes, bring you down to 'reality,' burst your bubble and keep you feeling small. 

Certain individuals will look your life and criticize and judge no matter how perfect you paint it.

So drop the act. Lighten up your load a little. 

There are always going to be people who have so many opinions about YOUR life because they are too afraid to step back and address the areas they are unhappy with in their own.  

Caring too much what family and friends, acquaintances, and strangers think is a paralyzing behavior. It will prevent you from serving your purpose and doing those things that your heart desires. 

I've realized that when I get caught up in thinking about what I should say and do with each and every person in my life I’m actually deeply neglecting my own needs, wants and desires. I'm completely out of alignment and in some place in my life I am not giving myself the love I deserve but rather, judging myself in some way. 

As cliché as it may sound, it took a year of dealing with a rare cancer diagnoses to get some real clarity into the trajectory of my life and accept this one very crucial and important thing; I will not, under any circumstance whatsoever, be for everyone.

I may not even be for people in my very own family and I'm learning to be okay with this too. 

Every single day I have to fight the urge to crawl back under the covers where it is safe and warm. Where people can't see me. Where I can play as small and feel as safe as I want to. 

Why? All because I'm scared of what other's think? 

I’m not perfect. I’m a work in progress and I still find myself grasping for acceptance and the idea that to be loved, I have to say and do everything in accordance with everyone else.

 I still fall short of my best self every single day.

However, I often think about those who conquered great things in their lives didn't do so by playing small or spending too much time caring about how they looked to others. If they had, they would have never done the thing that helped the person that changed the lives. Now would they?

And in the great words of Oprah, this is what I know to for sure:

You will not, under any circumstance whatsoever, be for everyone.

You will not, under any circumstance whatsoever, be accepted by all.

And you will absolutely, under no circumstance whatsoever, be able to make everyone happy.

And you will absolutely, under no circumstance whatsoever, be able to fit a square peg in a round hole. So stop trying.

So please, I ask this of you with so much love in my heart, just be you. Every single beautiful part of you. 

If we continue living our lives for everyone else, we will never truly know what we are capable of creating. Your purpose is in no way shape or forms the same as any other person's in this lifetime. When you step back and look at it that way, maybe you can find the strength to act in accordance with your own self, your own desires, your own needs. 

I want to leave you with just one more thing before I go.

Before you open your mouth to speak to anyone, pause for just a moment and ask yourself this, "Is what I am about to say imparting my own judgments onto them? If so, don't say it.  

When I have nothing more to say I turn off the water and dry myself off. 

Then I go back to my life and leave my dream in the shower for another day. 

10 Subtle Ways to Feel Different in 2018 and Keep the Momentum Going

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It's a new year. Doesn't that feel so good?

The beginning of a new year always seems to be full of so much hope and clarity. It's an opportunity to begin again. Start over. Do things differently. 

We charge into January with so much intention, so much motivation, so much gusto. 

We are moving and shakin' our bodies. We are eating clean and healthy. We are in a state of gratitude and practicing some big shifts. We are on a roll. We are abundant!

Then, slowly, it starts to taper off. We skip the workout class to meet friends for happy hour but on the drive there, promise ourselves that tomorrow we will move our person once again.

But we don't. 

We crave pizza and cocktails and tell ourselves that it is just this one time. Tomorrow we will eat well again. 

But again, we don't. All of those things we wanted for ourselves start to slowly slip away. 

We find old thoughts and behaviors creeping in slowly and before we know it, it's as if we are back in 2017 all over again. 

Nooooo!

Kidding. 2017 wasn't that bad. 

Again, I kid. 2017 can take a big old hike!

Okay, okay,  it wasn't that bad. I had some pretty incredible things happen in 2017 too. But I am rather happy to flip the calendar on that one. 

I know I'm not the only one who is happy to say goodbye to 2017. It seems a lot of us had a bit of a difficult year and were more than happy to say peace! See ya later! Sayonara! 

But you see, the thing is, I really don't ever want to wish a year away again. The years are moving faster and faster and well, we are only allotted so many of them and I hope to make them all count. 

Be it a "good" or "bad" year,  all of it has an offering for us. This is coming off a year that more times then I care to admit, had me wailing on the floor in the middle of my living room.

So much of it made no sense to me.

However, I am starting to see things a bit clearer and although I may never say that it all happened for a reason, I am starting to see more clarity in how I can take those crappy moments and turn them into something really meaningful. 

And damn it feels good to feel optimistic again. 

I have something pretty awesome and big things in the works. I'll be so excited to share it with you soon. 

Until then, I spent New Year's Eve in a deep reflection, thinking about the previous year and drawing my biggest learnings from all the events that happened and the conclusion that I came to was that 2017 was a catalyst for some pretty intense personal growth on all levels

Physically, emotional, mental. You name it and 2017 challenged it all. 

Parts of 2017 really did stink. However, even those hard events have created new ways of me wanting to be with myself and in the world. 

This year for New Year's Eve, I decided to forgo the usual get dressed up, find a party, drink too much and feel like utter and complete poop the next day for a quiet, reflective night at home by the fire.

I'm not going to lie, my FOMO definitely kicked in. (Mom, FOMO means, fear of missing out.)  But if I have taken anything away this year it's getting really honest with myself and asking what it is I truly need.

I needed to end 2017 in the most positive, intentional, loving way I know how. 

That involved getting quiet, playing my favorite tunes, making a fire, diffusing my favorite essential oils, and then answering some really honest questions I'd been avoiding for, well, ever. 

2017 may have had some doozy experiences but my ability to draw goodness from those happenings is what gives me confidence for 2018. 

And from the events of this past year, I realized that as much as this space is an outlet for me to share, process and heal, I want to get back to a place of offering you something more. 

So I took the last year and I came up with ten subtle ways to feel different in 2018. Use them, don't, use one or two, use none. 

Overall, I hope you too can look back at your 2017 with kindness and love and take exactly what you need to make this year the best.

10 subtle ways to feel different in 2018 -- and keep the momentum going.    

1. Take stock of what is and what isn't working in your life. 

If you've been reading this blog for awhile you know I am a big fan of having my "come to Jesus' moments. These are those sometimes painful, sometimes liberating moments when I stop hiding and get really honest with myself about the various areas of my life that aren't working. Or are working. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Those things that aren't working are merely catalysts to create change and go down a different path. A lot of the time you have to experience the pain to get on the right path. And those areas that are working -- well celebrate it! We all could probably use a little more celebrating in our lives. 

2. Go slow

I think one of the keys to creating lasting change in your life is going at it slow. This is speaking from years of experience. I'm what is called an Activator. I get an idea and wham! I want it all to fall into place right now and will do whatever is necessary to get there. Then I lose steam and move onto the next thing. I forget that sometimes, slow and steady wins the race. So my advice, and only because I've learned this the hard way, treat your idea, your dreams, your goals or whatever you call it, like a houseplant. Take all the precautions to allow it to grow big and strong. Good, organic soil, water, light, time to root down, and slowly but surely, it will in fact grow. 

3. Start small

You know that saying, Rome wasn't built in a day? Well, why the heck do we think we can take a lifelong habit and wish it away overnight? Patience is pretty important when it comes to making lasting change. And kindness. To yourself and others. Baby steps my dears. Just put one foot in front of the others and before you know it, you've walked a mile. 

5. Build self-trust

Every time we make a new goal or want to change a way we do something we have the opportunity to build self-trust. A healthy sense of trusting yourself is imperative to create habits that last. However, every time we don't follow through, we are breaking that trust with ourselves and others. We may be able to brush it off, but again, speaking from experiences, it starts to compile over time and feels like a big heavy weight on your shoulders. It doesn't feel good at all. So this is why going slow and starting small is really important. 

6. Live and breath your values

I remember one day I realized while talking with someone that I really didn't have a clear idea what my values were. That made me sad. Then I remember thinking if I don't know what I stand for, how am I ever going to get the things that I want? So I came up with a list of my top five personal values and I wrote them out and posted them on a board in my room. I base all my decisions, er, well, I try to base all my decisions off of whether or not they are aligned with those five values. I truly believe if you do this, you'll feel so much better about how you make decisions in your life. 

7. Say goodbye to those that aren't a fit anymore

You'd think this one was a no-brainer but it's amazing how many people we tend to keep in our lives without really taking a good long look as to why. I've had to silently say goodbye to a few friendships this year and mostly within the last few weeks. Not because I don't care about them deeply but because it wasn't healthy for me to keep them as am active person in mu life. It was what was best for me to propel forward on my path. I knew it in my gut. Holding on to them was like holding onto a giant weight. I felt like I couldn't get any forward momentum.

It's okay to say goodbye. It's hard. It's not always black and white but most of the time you know, deep down, that it's the right thing to do.  

8. Let go of expectations

Expectations are a huge killer of happiness and joy. When we expect a certain outcome, we limit ourselves from the possibility that life could offer us something so much better. When we have expectations, we are often met with great disappointment when life doesn't unfold how we think it should. Sometimes it can derail us. Often it will prevent us from moving forward with our goals, hopes and dreams. And thus, we get stuck. Really stuck. 

I know it may feel totally unrealistic to never have expectations but I think as we learn to adjust them we stay in the organic flow that is life and our let down isn't as extreme. We allow life to redirect us and from personal experiences, the redirection is usually better then anything I could have crafted had I forced my way into fruition. 

What's that saying? Oh yeah, let go, let God. 

9. Give up the ego labels

I learned this lesson big time this past year when I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that had no known origin. I found myself feeling really confused and lost, like I didn't belong. People would ask what kind of cancer I had and I'd just stare at them blankly. "Um, well, I was diagnosed with metastatic cancer of an unknown primary."

I'd be met with blank stares and looks of confusing and I'd want to reach out and say, "Yeah, I'm confused too."

Eventually I had to find a way to just stop caring so much about the label and focus on other things. This made me think about all the other areas of my life I am attached to certain labels. Labels help us compartmentalize ourselves into little boxes.  However, I think that sometimes what we identify ourselves with can cause overwhelm and internal chaos in our lives. I find myself feeling this way a lot. Especially being a 'jack-of-all' trades kind of gal. But when it comes down to it, I'm just me, Amanda, and feels so much better.

10. Get a Dog. Seriously. Or a cat. Or both

Okay, this really has nothing to do with feeling different in 2018 but Rocky kind of changed my life in 2017 and so if you are teetering on the line of deciding whether or not to get a pet, I say do it. 100%, get the dog or cat or pet. As long as you can responsibly take care of them, do it. 

 

The Dangerous Place of Maybe

"The way to develop decisiveness is to start right where you are, with the very next question you face." - napoleon hill

There is this dangerous place people seem to live in these days. It's that place between yes and no; that one called maybe. We roam from here and there, drifting amongst this indecisive and delusional place because it makes us feel as if we have choices, as if we are the ones in control.

But it's an illusion I tell you. A big scam full of lies. I know this because I've lived there for a very long time. 

Living from maybe is dark and lonely. It makes us feel as if you are strong. It's convincing at times but really, its noncommittal and makes you feel complacent. It's delusional and dark and leaves you thinking you are free but really, you're a prisoner of indecisiveness, bleeding with regret and longing for those things that your maybes let slip through your fingers. 

Be a yes or no person. 

You see, real power, the one you can truly hold yourself up on and feel good about, comes from having conviction. Real power comes from knowing yourself so well that deciding comes easy because most of the time, you already know before you are even given the choice. 

There is no lingering, no wondering or questioning what is right or what is wrong. There is a deep knowing, a trust that only comes from journeying into those dark and lonesome places of questions most of us try to bury with compulsive sex and drugs and iPhones and material things that leave us starring numbly off into space. We feel a momentary high only to find ourselves empty, never knowing who we really are or what we really want. 

You see, this place of yes and no comes with doing the so called work. I'll tell you this though, it's not gonna be easy. What is easy is living in maybe. Yes or no is hard. Understanding who you are is hard. Yes or no takes commitment but most of us are so afraid of this dreaded 'c' word that the idea alone sends us into fits of panic, feeling as if we are a trapped animal beating ourselves against a rusty cage, desperate to escape. 

But I promise you, you want to be a yes or no person.

Commit. Do the work. Dig. Stir it up. Question everything you were taught when you couldn't think for yourself. Trust yourself, even when it may not make sense. Stand firm in what you want. And figure out who you are. Choose. Believe deeply in something, anything, please. Even if the very thing displeases others. Have position and for Gods sake, please have passion. 

Don't spend your life teetering in between yes and no. Don't be a maybe.

Be a yes or no person.