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The “Too Much-Not Enough” Woman

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This is for the women who have been told that they are “too much,” and “not enough.” For the women who are too intense, too smart, too talented, too thin, too fat, too tall, too short, too loud, too quiet, too emotional, too serious, too humorous, too energetic, who love too much, care too much, are too much.

It is for the women who, along with hearing they are too much, too intense, too everything — to tone themselves down so that they can fit in, find a partner, make themselves fit into a round hole like everyone else — have heard that they are not enough. Not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not tall enough, not go-out-there and get-it enough.

Be yourself, but not fully yourself. Tone down, but not too much. Play the game, but not too well. Be confident, but not too confident. Take your womanhood and stuff it into a box. Become a woman-man. Become a woman who is more in her Divine Masculine than her Divine Feminine so you can fit in to this patriarchal society. So you can play the game just right. So you can get ahead, not by fully being a woman, but by woman-ing yourself down to wo-man yourself up so that you can be like a man in a man’s world, playing the man’s game.

Don’t be wild, child. Be tame. Be quiet. Be still. Do not be like the ocean tides ebbing and flowing with the waxing and waning of the moon. Do not, under any circumstances, allow yourself to dance with the moon, with stars in your hair, dirt between your toes, pine needles under your feet, your smooth, soft, silky skin glistening like diamonds in the sun. Do not, under any circumstances embrace the dark, wet, tangled forest that lies within you and between the fold of your legs. Do not run wild, free, or howl with the moon. And, do not listen to the ancient, ancestral wisdom that flows through your very veins.

Oh dear one. Be tame, be still.

From Ashes

It is time to set yourself free. It is time to unlock the wild woman-child from the bonds and chains of the cage she has been placed in, not just in your lifetime, but in the lifetimes of lifetimes before you. It is time to set yourself free and heal not only yourself but the lineage of women that stand behind you, to the times and days when they too danced with the wolves under the light of the moon.

It is time dear sister, my fellow too much, not enough woman, to rise up from the depths of your be-longing, to embrace all that is and all that you are. It is time dear one, to dive into the depths of the dark earth, to allow yourself to meet yourself in the warm, dark, nourishing arms of the Mother. To allow yourself to feel the mycelial network that lies within the darkness connecting all aspects of life, communicating in an instinctual, intuitive way. It is time to join together as One.

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It is time dear one to be who you are as you are. It is time dear one to allow yourself to be yourself to be your too much, too intense, too loving, too caring, too emotional, too woman self. It is time to rise up from the dark, nourishing mud, rise up wild-child and set yourself free. Rise up wild-child and embrace the woman you are here to be. Rise up wild-child and set yourself free. Set yourself free. Set yourself free.

 

Shake off the bonds, the chains, the shackles holding you down, holding you back, holding your ribs so tight. Shake off the bonds, the chains, and allow yourself to experience the ecstasy of being breathed into. Allow yourself to receive the gifts that are yours by Divine Right. Allow yourself dear sister, to toss off your clothes, to shake off all the stories, the perceptions, the beliefs that no longer serve you. Allow yourself dear sister to dance naked under the sun. Allow yourself dear sister to lie upon the earth under the light of the moon in ecstatic rapture. Allow yourself to feel yourself, feel yourself as one, as one with the dark, tangled roots of the forest, sensual, soft, smooth, silky flower petals. Allow yourself to feel yourself to embrace yourself as you are.

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Invite the stardust to come down from above and rain upon your hair. Let yourself embrace yourself and howl at the moon. Dip your toes into the dirt, pine-covered ground. Walk gently upon our Mother, singing Her song, the same song that flows within you, flows within your veins.

Allow yourself. Allow yourself to roar with such laughter that the ground shakes like thunder. Allow yourself to cry your tears and water the earth. Allow yourself to feel and embrace the power, powerful purpose, that flows through you. Embrace your Gaia-like, Goddess-like nature and allow yourself to give birth to all that you are. It is time. It is time to stop playing small, to stop being the “too much, not enough” woman. It is time for you to rise up as you are and allow yourself to be all that you are. You, dear one, you are woman rising.

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A force that can move mountains. A force that softens rock. A force that moves the ocean tides, billows fire and ash, gives lift under the wings of birds, provides the energy for the creation of Life itself.

Be you. Be wild. Be free. Be that too much woman. Be all that you are, naked and free, with flowers and leaves in your waterfall hair, moss upon stone, heart beat of drum, and welcome yourself home.


More Exciting News – Online Course Launch!

I don’t know about you, but I am jumping for joy. I have been preparing over the past several months to put together online material that is relevant, accessible, high quality, and affordable. It is with great pleasure and excitement that I share with you the launch of my online courses!

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The material I’ll be sharing with you over the next several weeks and months will cover a range of topics — everything from getting your first full push-up and pull-up to holistic lifestyle courses and a special online course for women which will be released late 2016/early 2017.

In addition to sharing this online school and course launch with all of you, I’m also going to share with you the official launch of…

0001yU…rather than create a downloadable pdf of the blog I shared with you all a while back, I decided to take the material and create a FREE course for you that you can access at any time. If you are looking to develop your upper body pushing strength, want to feel the connection between your core and your arms, or want to begin the process of developing shapely shoulders and triceps, then this is a good place to start.

More exciting news in the days and weeks to come! If you’d like to keep abreast of all that is coming down the pike, be sure to follow me on any of the social media accounts in the sidebar; or subscribe to my newsletter (I’m only going to be emailing once per week unless I have something to share that cannot wait) and receive your FREE copy of “9 Secrets to Living a Vibrant Life.”

 


The Magic and Beauty of not Knowing

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There is a certain magic and beauty to not knowing, to not knowing the answers, to not knowing the how, to not knowing what is next other than some seemingly magnificent step or leap into the unknown. There is something quite incredible about it all, really. Just like the wonderful reality of fireflies glowing on a warm summer’s night.

I didn’t always feel this way. I felt quite the opposite for a long time. There were times when the unknown, the uncertain, the most challenging, “turn your world upside down, rock the very foundation you stand upon events,” the “what-ifs,” the “now what’s” and the “how am I’s” left me feeling anxious, ungrounded, crying at times — a mess. Those times when I first got divorced and wondered how on earth I was ever going to raise two boys on my own, where the next meal was going to come from, how or what I was going to do to make ends meet, how I could possibly keep my head about me when both of my boys were seeing specialists at the same time…how, how, how…

It all worked out though. Each and every single time I perceived myself falling, perceived myself panicking mid-flight and feeling like I was about to crash head-first upon the pavement, I survived and everything worked out just fine. Better than fine, most of the time.

As I enter a new phase, a new period of growth, of exploration, of shedding the skin that no longer contains the person that I was-am now becoming, there isn’t much of that “how, how, how” panic do I do this? There is quite the opposite. There is a something, a distinctly feminine, gorgeous amazing, wild-woman rising-up-to-meet-herself something on the horizon like the new moon rising out of the depths of the ocean floor. There is a wildness, a beauty, a deep magical, intuitive trust and knowing, an inner sense, that everything is going to be absolutely, positively amazing — far beyond the “just fine’s.”

Not that long ago, one of my sons said to me,

“Mom you are magic.”

When I asked why he thinks I’m magic, he replied,

“Because, you always find a way.”

I don’t know how I always find a way, but I am always guided to. The path appears before me each and every time, and I choose to listen to the whisper, to the gentle sigh of the wind whispering through the trees to my ears. And, rather than get my feathers all in a ruffle wondering how, I now close my eyes, leap, and trust that these beautiful wings of mine will open and that I will soar upon the currents of the whispering wind into the most wonderful sunset that I have seen to this date. Is it unsettling at times? For sure. If you were jumping out of a perfectly good airplane into who knows what, chances are you’d feel a bit unsettled, a rush of adrenaline, butterflies in the stomach too.

You see? There is magic in letting go. There is magic in the whisper of the wind, in the knowing of not knowing anything about knowing anything at all. And, there is such beauty, such grace, such wild-kind-hearted surrender in the unfurling of ones wings when we choose to stop worrying about the how, trust in the great big nothing, and dance.


Basic Push Up Progression Guide for Women

 

IMG_4705We all have different reasons why we feel called to do push-ups. Or, maybe we don’t. Maybe our only reason for doing a push-up is because our trainer says we should. o_0

Before diving into the nitty-gritty on how to go about developing the strength and confidence to rock your first push-up, or to develop the courage to push yourself out of the muck that you may fall face first in, and you will, if you are aware of it —

Yes, that did happen to me once while backpacking in Alaska. I was hiking along a river bed, tripped over a rather small rock, and, since I was wearing a heavy pack, the momentum propelled me forward until…you guessed it…I landed face-first in a pile of silty mud. Life has also landed me in the mud more times than I care to count, and it has always nourished me, even if it didn’t seem nourishing at the time. I digress…

I would invite you to consider your attention to your intention.

Set an intention.
Why do you want to do push-ups? What’s your intention behind wanting to learn this skill? Take a moment now, pull out your journal (or pen and paper if you are journal-less), and write down your why. Allow your imagination to flow. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. The answers you provide, or the questions you ask yourself, are unique to you.

How often do you want to work on developing this skill?
How much time, energy, and/or effort are you wanting and willing to devote towards learning the push-up? There is a fine balance between not training a skill enough and training it too much. This balance is unique to you, your goals, your lifestyle, and your biology.

Who will help keep you on track?
Although as women, we have somewhat fallen into the trap of needing to “be strong, independent,” and do everything on our own (sound familiar?), having a support network is crucial to keeping you on track and helping you keep going when you run face-first into the metaphorical wall. Develop a list of 3 people who are in your corner, who will be here to support you, and have your best interests at heart whilst in this role.

Where? When?
The good news is that push-ups can be practiced anywhere and at nearly any time! It’s a skill that is very simple to incorporate into ones’ day if the attention to intention is there. 😉

Cooking dinner? Take a few moments to do a couple of sets of push-ups using the counter. Watching TV? Do some push-ups during each commercial using the wall, the couch, or the floor for support depending upon your current level of ability.

Now that your intentions are clear, you’ve set up a support network, and are pumped, primed, and ready to go…

Push-Up Progression 1 – The Wall Push-Up

Perhaps you’ve never done a push-up before, or it’s been years since you’ve done one. If you’re getting back into training, this is a good place to start. Continue practicing the wall push-ups until you can do at least 3 sets of 10 reps with ease and good form.

Push-Up Progression Level 2 – the Bench Push-Up

The great thing about the bench push-up is that you can adjust the height to change the difficulty of the movement without needing weight machines, pulleys, or any fancy equipment. Begin by using a bench, or counter top that is roughly waist height. As you develop the ability to do 3 sets of 10 reps with ease, challenge yourself by moving to a bench of a lower height.

It may be challenging to set your ego aside and accept where you are. A lot of people want to go straight for the lower bench without honoring the journey to “get there.” Take your time. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. When we rush through things too quickly we set ourselves up for a metaphorical, or physical, face plant in the mud.

Do you ever find yourself doing that?

One you’ve become confident exploring the bench push-ups at lower and lower heights, it’s time to move on to Progression 3.

 Push-Up Progression 3 – The Eccentric/Negative Push-Up

Pause for a moment and give yourself a virtual high five, a pat on the back, and a “heck yeah!”. Although it may seem like everyone can do push-ups, outside of people who regularly train and/or do this for a living, the majority of women have lost the capability to do a push-up.

The eccentric push-up will help you develop the strength and grease the groove towards doing a full push-up.

Watch for common compensation patterns as you get tired, such as: head dropping towards the floor, elbows splaying far out to the side, chest or bum dropping, bum lifting, and…holding your breath. Remember, breath = life, so breathe.

Push-Up Progression 4 – The Full Movement

Wowza! You’ve made it to the end of the Basic Pull-Up Progression Guide for Women. How cool is that?! You’re now rocking out all of the other push-up progressions and have hit the last phase in the basic push-up progression series. No doubt you’ve learned a lot about yourself along this journey. What have you discovered?

One thing I have noticed in my journey is that life will knock us down at times so that we can learn. There may not be a branch for you to grab onto to pull yourself up. There are times when no one may be there to extend a hand and help lift you up.

There will be times when you are invited to dive deep within yourself and find a way to push yourself up out of the muck. You’ll be invited to explore, experience and integrate an inner strength that perhaps you did not realize you had.

Incorporating holistic movement will help you do that. Training push-ups will help you do that. They’ll also help you develop those sexy, toned arms you desire, develop a strong core, and shapely legs, and they will help develop your pectoral muscles which  may help keep your breasts on the perky and lifted side.


I would love to hear about your journey through this guide. Send me an email with your questions, progress photos and/or videos, and/or comment or ask questions directly on the YouTube video that corresponds to where you are at so others may benefit from the learning experience as well.


Can I Train Hard when I have my Cycle?

period, cycle, moon cycle, training, work out, training with cycle, training with period, training hard, training hard with period, training hard with cycle, menstruation

This one’s for the ladies and any men who work with women, train women, teach women yoga, and care about women in general. In other words, although moon cycles are a “taboo” topic, discussing them and the impacts it has on training can benefit everyone. Besides, I’m all for demystifying and diving right on in to “taboo” topics to rock the boat and see what I can stir up in folks. Put on your life-jackets and let’s go for a swim…

period, cycle, moon cycle, training, work out, training with cycle, training with period, training hard, training hard with period, training hard with cycle, menstruation

Some of the frequent questions I receive from women regarding their moon cycles are:

  • Can I train when I have my cycle?
  • Can I train hard when I have my cycle?
  • What does it mean when I’m training a lot and I miss a cycle?
  • Is it ok to practice inversions when I have my period?

While it’s great to have plans and goals during and throughout your cycle, it’s important to keep in mind that your monthly visitor may or may not invite you to alter your training habits. Many years ago, women’s cycles were seen as a time to gather together, to create, and to rest. Nowadays, women’s cycles are seen more as something to hide, something to be ashamed of, something unnatural. And, this is shifting. Yes!

Can you train when you have your cycle and can you train hard when you have your cycle?
It depends. It depends entirely on you, your body, and the changes your body is experiencing during your monthly cycle. If you have a cycle with little to no challenges — your flow is fairly regular, you’re not gushing or passing large clots, you don’t suffer from severe cramps that leave you laid up in bed with a hot water bottle on your abdomen…basically, if your cycle days are pretty similar to your non-cycle days, then by all means train away.

If your cycle tends to resemble a scene out of a horror movie — super heavy, passing large clots, painful, irregular — then perhaps it’s time to slow down a little (or a lot) and honor your body. Allow yourself to take advantage of the invitation to explore a more restorative, rejuvenating, self-nurturing practice rather than beat yourself up in the gym. Your body will thank you in more ways than one.

What might this look like? You could go for a walk in the woods, practice gentle yoga or yin yoga, turn down the intensity and volume of your regular practice, allow yourself to create art. Maybe the most loving thing you can do for yourself during this time is take a warm, soothing bath with essential oils and epsom salts. Receive a foot massage. Let yourself be held and nurtured during this time.

What does it mean when you are training a lot and start missing cycles?
Unless we’re pregnant or going through menopause, irregular cycles and/or missed cycles are a sign that something is off in our bodies. We are out of balance. It’s often a sign that we’re experiencing stressors beyond our capability to handle them. I often see women in the bodybuilding world who lose their cycles when they cut, continue to train hard, and their body fat percentages drop below levels at which we’re able to sustain the life-giving force that is inherent within us as women.

In my opinion, this is a big sign to slow way down and reevaluate what you are doing, why you are doing it, and get really clear as to whether or not the stress is worth it. When your cycles stop due to over-training or low levels of body fat, it’s an invitation to take care of your health. To me, it’s a gigantic STOP sign with flashing lights and sirens blaring.

How to begin to bring the body back into balance — slow down, destress, reduce training volume and intensity. Eat pure, vibrant, high quality organically grown food, not processed crap and stop starving yourself. Eat healthy fats and incorporate hormonal supporting and balancing herbs and tonics into your meals.

Is it ok to practice inversions when you have your cycle?
Again, it depends. If you follow strict, dogmatic yogic principles, then no. However, I tend to shy away from anything dogmatic. Perhaps I’m being dogmatic in my distancing myself from and calling out practices or beliefs that are dogmatic. Hmm…

Anyway, it totally depends upon you and what works for your body. Chances are unless you are in Cirque du Soleil, you’re not spending hours upon hours upside down on your hands. So, if you feel up to it, there’s really nothing wrong with popping into a headstand, pincha mayurasana, or a handstand when Cousin Flow is in town. You may not want to if you feel particularly bloated or if the river is flowing more like Class V rapids than a quiet, meandering brook, but again, that’s completely individual and may change as quickly as the weather in the northeast.

The bottom line is to develop a relationship with your body and with your cycle. Your body will tell you what it needs, when it needs it, whether to train hard, to rest, to go upside down, or to take a relaxing stroll through the woods. The largest considerations are whether or not you hear your body when it speaks to you and whether or not you choose to listen to your body when it speaks to you.

You’re a male trainer/teacher. What can you do?
If you’re a male trainer, movement or yoga teacher, or male in general, there are some things you can do to help support your students when they have their cycles. Have some feminine products on hand just in case your student unexpectedly gets her cycle in the middle of a session or class with you. Organic…

Your menstruating or nearly menstruating students may be more in tune with their emotions during this time. Please don’t call them “emotional.” This is a natural part of the intuitive process of being a woman. Granted, if there are significant mood swings, it may be a sign of a hormonal imbalance, but that’s a post for another day.

Your student may feel fat, bloated, gross, worried about leakage, and/or in pain. Please be kind. If your student has made the decision to show up and be present on a day when she may be feeling less than stellar, support her. Likewise, if her cycles are spot on and she feels great, wants to crush it in the gym, let her.

If you notice your student chooses to not practice inversions around the same time each month, chances are mentioning it in front of class isn’t going to be the most supportive time to share a conversation. She’s likely already self-conscious about people noticing that she has chosen to not go arse over teakettle when she has her moon cycle.

The more comfortable you are regarding women’s cycles and discussing women’s cycles, the more likely your female students will be in opening up and discussing this natural part of life with you.


I love comments, questions, and feedback so please post below.


It’s *that* Time of Year Again…

You know what I mean, single folks, divorcees, widowers, in-a-non-relationship-relationship women…

Valentine’s Day.

The primary day where our existence and our rating on the love meter is determined by some external influence. The day when if we’re not in a loving, giving, accepting, compassionate, understanding, yada yada yada relationship, we tend to stick our heads in the ground, bury our face in the blankets, put on a sappy chick flick and cry our eyes out over the box of chocolates we bought for ourselves – the one day out of the year when we tend to feel the most lonely, worthless, and unlovable.

It’s time for that to change.

Your rating on the love meter has nothing to do with some external influence. It is not defined by how many roses you get, how many boxes of chocolates you receive, or whether or not you’re taken out to some fancy restaurant where you wine and dine on champagne and duck.

It’s time to toss that perception right in the ol’ recycling bin.

Your rating on the love meter has to do with how you love yourself. It’s time to drop the bullshit stories you keep telling yourself as to why you’re not lovable, why you’re not good enough, why you’re not pretty, desirable, etc., etc., and act like you are! Why? Because you are lovable. You are good enough. You are beautiful. You are desirable. You are worthy.

True love begins and ends with you, not someone else.

Wild-hearted one, I invite you to dust off your clothes, dry your eyes, lift your chin and go spoil yourself. Show yourself how much you love YOU this Valentine’s Day. Treat yourself to a massage. Buy yourself that heavenly box of artisan dark chocolates and enjoy them, under candlelight, with an amazing glass of organic red wine (or Guinness if you prefer beer). Get dressed up, and take yourself out on a date to the restaurant of your dreams. Order that champagne and duck and treat yourself like the goddess that you are.

Why? I believe in you. I believe you are worth it and I believe you are worth learning how to love every inch and aspect of your wonderful self.

“Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty.” ~Courtney A. Walsh


How are you treating yourself this Valentine’s Day? I’d love to hear in your comments below, how you are embracing #fiercelove2016 for yourself this year.

xx, Amanda


I have a bit of a secret…

secret, fierce love, poverty, unworthy, connection, love, freedom, abundance, relationship, hunger, pain, emotions, physical, physical pain, harm, parent, single parent, tears, joy, choose, choice, fiercelove2016

secret, fierce love, poverty, unworthy, connection, love, freedom, abundance, relationship, hunger, pain, emotions, physical, physical pain, harm, parent, single parent, tears, joy, choose, choice, fiercelove2016Why do we do anything that we do? Why do we move our bodies? Why take care of our health? Why work? Why experience financial abundance? Why enter relationships?

Oftentimes, it boils down to a few things — we want to feel connected, we want to know that we matter, we want to experience freedom, support, and love in all that we do.

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being naked, hungry and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved, uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” ~Mother Teresa

I understand what it feels like…

…to have nothing. To choose to leave a relationship with no sense of security. To wonder where the next meal is going to come from.

…to feel so overwhelmed with emotional pain that you contemplate hurting yourself. Or, beg for physical pain so you can be distracted from feeling what is inside you.

…to numb yourself from feeling anything. To choose to bury the pain you are feeling so that you can go about your day and do what you must in order to survive.

…to put yourself last. To give until there is nothing left to give. To feel so exhausted and drained and broken that you cry because you no longer have the strength or the energy to open that jar of pickles.

…to experience physical pain. To not be able to roll over. To not be able to do what you love. To be told time and time again that this is something you are going to have to live with.

…to feel incredibly alone. Worthless. Undesirable. Not good enough.

I understand how it feels because I’ve been there.

That woman who left a marriage with two young boys and no means of support, was me. That woman who wondered where the next meal was going to come from, was me.

The woman who contemplated physical harm was me. And, I was the same woman who buried her emotions, who sustained two devastating injuries, and who stands here before you now having made the conscious decision to change —

To live a life of freedom, of infinite support, of love.

A life by design, created and fueled by my passions.

How?

It’s a bit of a secret, and I am going to share it with you.

Fierce love.

Learning to love yourself as much as you want to be loved by others.

Stay tuned for the launch of the #fiercelove2016 campaign. I’m so excited to share this with you, and look forward to a select number of people joining me, as I walk beside you on your personal journey towards fierce love.


Life By Design

life by design, climb, authentic, joy, mud, nourishing, excitement, excited, let go, friends, people, creativity, passion, mission, love, purpose, focus, drive, commitment, self

When you begin to live your life by design, listen to and follow your organic timeline, and build your life, & your business around your passions, you may notice & experience the following:life by design, climb, authentic, joy, mud, nourishing, excitement, excited, let go, friends, people, creativity, passion, mission, love, purpose, focus, drive, commitment, self

  1. People leaving or entering your life. Or both.
  2. Conscious decisions to let go of what isn’t serving you.
  3. A tremendous amount of freedom in being.
  4. Excitement. Pure unbridled excitement.
  5. The beautiful and painful process of bursting forth from your shell, into the nourishing, dark mud.
  6. Unbound joy as you burst forth into the light of what is.
  7. Immense focus, clarity, and creativity.
  8. An unwavering commitment to yourself, your passion, your mission. Psst – it’s ok to take care of yourself and to do so beyond what you thought was possible.
  9. Profound awareness of your innate biological rhythm and what your essence needs in each moment.
  10. A zest for life that draws people in and welcomes them to ask and be curious about you…sparking the life force within others by shining your own light.

What are you most passionate about? What would you choose to do if time and money were of no issue? Are you doing that now? If not, why not?


The Best Day Ever

life, live, happy, emotions, consciousness, present, buddhist, past, future

When we’re having a great day and really enjoying ourselves, it’s pretty easy to say that we’re having the best day ever. Have you noticed that?

What happens when less than ideal things happen to us? Maybe we were in a car accident, lost our wallet, dropped the cell phone in the loo…maybe we broke a bone, found out we’re experiencing an illness, or are mourning the loss of a loved one.

worst, day, horrible, no good, best day, choice, choose, conscious, subconscious, victim, power

Image by Lesli Woodruff.

Perhaps you’ve realized that you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship and you sit there, on your bed, locked in your room, with a bottle of Tylenol next to you, wondering…

“Is this all there is to life?”

Or, perhaps the emotional pain you are feeling is too present, too intense to process and…

…you beg on hands and knees for some sort of physical pain so you don’t have to feel the pain within your heart.

You receive that pain only to spend three years learning how to get out of it, chasing your tail in circles. In that blind, circle-chasing process stumble over your own two feet to discover

in order to let go of the physical pain you’ve been feeling, you have to allow yourself to feel all of the emotional pain you’ve been numbing yourself from and hiding from.

What happens then? Do we say that it’s the best day ever? Probably not. Chances are, we’re more likely to sound like Alexander from “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”

I get it. I’ve been there. Up there, that woman who sat on her bed, who numbed herself, who begged for physical pain, over 10 years ago, was me. I understand what it’s like to have hit some sort of rock bottom and to wonder if you’ll ever pull yourself out of the hole that you’re in.

rainbow, light, sky, emotion, numb, choice

Image by Lesli Woodruff.

Just as a rainbow can light up the darkest of skies, we can choose to light up our own sky. Regardless of what happens to us or what we’re experiencing, we have a choice. We have a choice to choose whether or not we’re going to have the best day ever — regardless of the circumstances that come our way.

You may be sitting there saying that that is absolute cockamamie bullshit. That’s OK. I invite you to hear me out.

I suspect one day, you might reach a point in your life when you’re tired of “having bad days.” Is any day really bad? What defines a bad day? The day itself doesn’t change. The sun rises and sets, the earth rotates on its axis and around the sun, the moon waxes and wanes, the tides rise and fall. So, what’s different other than our perspective about that particular day?

sunset, sun rise, sun fall

Image by Lesli Woodruff.

You see, we fall into the carefully designed trap of living a life of comparison. We consciously and subconsciously compare each moment of our day, each experience we have, to all of the other experiences we have experienced and decide — good or bad; the best day ever, or the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Why? Why choose to compare? Why live your present life in the past?

Each and every single moment of every single day we are free to consciously choose what kind of day we are experiencing.

India, door, choice, choose, emotions, day, best, horrible, decision

Image by Lesli Woodruff. Delhi, India. Asa Khan’s tomb.

Wouldn’t you like to experience the best day ever, each and every day? Now, I’m not saying that dark, negative, or challenging experiences won’t ever fall your way because they will. It’s inevitable. It’s part of this human experience. However, you can choose how you react to those dark, negative, or challenging experiences. You can choose to flip the coin. You can choose to open the door to a part of yourself that you may not have experienced.

You can choose to reclaim your power rather than victimize yourself by giving your power away to the situation.

How?

Notice the next time you find yourself saying “I’m having a bad day,” or “this is the worst day ever.” Make a conscious decision to flip the coin. Make a conscious decision to open the door behind which a new experience of your Self lies in wait.

Morocco, door, choose, decision, best day, worst day, horrible, no good, bed, rock bottom, emotions, today, only day, present, past, future

Image by Lionel Martin. Morocco.

I invite you to choose to say “I am having the best day ever.” You may not believe yourself at first. I certainly didn’t. Once I said that a few times to myself though, I experienced the cathartic, cleansing release of tears.

In that moment, I realized that the only thing holding me back from having the best day ever was me — my mindset, my thoughts, beliefs, and opinions, and my attitude. You too can choose to shift your perspective.

When you stop comparing this day, this one moment which you have never experienced before, with any other day or any other moment, when you choose to live life like there is no past and no future, and all that exists is right here, right now…you will shift.

If all that exists is this one precious moment, regardless of the experience and the visitor that has landed on the doorstep of your Home, what will you choose?

life, live, happy, emotions, consciousness, present, buddhist, past, future

Image by Lionel Martin. Morocco.