Life-Altering Lessons Learned from the Sacred Valley

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Many of us are on a journey. For some of us, it is a physical journey traveling or nomad-ing around. For others, it is an inner, spiritual journey. And for some of you like me, it’s a combination of both.

As some of you may know, I am in the beautiful and sacred land of Peru where I am spending three weeks traveling and participating in an Embodying Love retreat (hosted by the incredible Cora Poage and Ginny Muir) and exploring the mystical and magical parts of this exquisite country (along with my inner world). And, what a powerful trip it has been!

Not only have I been blown away by the beauty of the land and the people of this country, but I have also been blown away by the lessons that this trip has in store for me.

In today’s blog, I share the top lessons this land has taught me during my time here on retreat as I reconnected with the Earth, my Inner Light, and experienced Divine Love on a cellular level.

If you’re anything like me and have ever found yourself wondering if you’re deserving of receiving this kind of love, I invite you to read today’s blog and be reminded of just how deserving you are and what exactly it takes (and doesn’t take).

As a lifelong member and current President of the Soulful Inquirer Club, I have gathered a lot of lessons and timeless reminders over the years. I’m always on the lookout for a new awareness or a-ha moment as I continue to reveal more and more of my True self.

It never fails to surprise me that many of the lessons we learn aren’t new lessons but rather ageless reminders that we’ve heard many, many times before. And so it was the case as I uncovered even more of my True self in the depths of the Sacred Valley in Peru. The lessons I learned here weren’t necessarily new but they resonated with me on a whole new level.

The thing I want to share most with you is that we are all deserving of Divine Love (with a capital “L”).

I was reminded on a deep, deep level that while there is a price of admission, there is one thing we do not need to buy into which totally blew my mind (and might blow yours, too).

So, what’s the cost (and what’s the belief we can give up once and for all)?

We do not need to suffer.

Yep, that’s right.

I know it might go against nearly every grain in your body—at least it did (does) mine. 

It became crystal clear to me just how undeserving I have felt of Divine Love because I haven’t suffered enough. I can recall all the times I told myself (and others) that I haven’t had enough tragedies or never “hit rock bottom” and, because of this, I developed a story that I wasn’t deserving. 

To top it off, because I hadn’t yet suffered enough (and believed I had to), I decided I needed to create more suffering in my life. I certainly couldn’t just go around as if everything was hunky-dory or enjoy life!

The lesson that hit me like a ton of bricks is the Truth that suffering is not a requirement to receiving the love, peace, and ease that each and every one of us are innately deserving.

While this may require a shift in paradigm or creating a whole new story, I invite you to really hear these words and see where in your own life you either feel undeserving or possibly even create suffering due to a belief like this.

Now that we have been reminded of what we no longer need to do to receive this Divine experience, let’s take a look at what is required of us. (We’re not off the hook completely.)

We do need to commit to radical self-responsibility.

As the youngest of four, it’s been all too easy for me to say those magic words more than once: “It wasn’t me."

My desire and ability to off-load responsibility at any opportunity has been pretty comfortable and easy for me for much of my life. However, what I’m learning more recently is that as I begin to see myself as a co-creator of my reality, taking responsibility is part of the game.

We are all deserving of love, peace, ease, and experiencing what it feels like to experience more of our True selves. The price of admission for this incredible ride includes taking full responsibility for each and every one of our choices. This may not always feel natural or comfortable, but the alternative is much less desirable. 

As we begin to take full responsibility and get out of our victim mindset (which the ego just loves!) we lighten our load and we begin to experience our own power. We acknowledge that we are responsible for how we feel, how we react, what we choose to do (or not do), and for all of the incredible love, peace, and ease we co-create in our lives.

Something I invite you to ponder is: Where are you not claiming responsibility in your life? What’s one thing you can take full responsibility for in this very moment?

The price of admission for Divine Love isn’t suffering; it’s radical self-responsibility. {Tweet that!}

One of the first things we can do is take responsibility for the suffering we have created in our lives and then, lovingly, choose a new way. 

We do not gain brownie points for being miserable and our suffering does not diminish the suffering of others—it simply keeps us from providing the love and light that is necessary in those situations.

Now that we have been invited to let go of the belief that we are not deserving unless we suffer, let’s commit to radical self-responsibility. I invite you to join me on this radical quest to notice all the ways we create our own reality and choose our own circumstances. While it may feel a little scary at first, I promise you the empowerment experienced far outweighs the fear.

After you’ve read the blog and reflected on the questions posed, share your commitment to choosing responsibility over suffering in the comments below the blog.

And, if you know someone who could benefit from being reminded of their deservingness and experience more love and peace through their own empowered choices, please share this with them.

With love & devotion.

What I've Learned about Being Enough

I’ve done a lot of “soul searching” and learning how to “fix” myself over the course of my life and most of this brought me to a realization (or rather a story I chose to believe) that I’m not good enough.

Here’s the thing. Over the last few years, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ve always been enough, and it’s not about “fixing” it’s more about “releasing” that which no longer serves me or the higher version of myself.

Still, that doesn’t mean every day is a cake walk. I still have doubts and the questions, “Am I good enough?” and “Who am I?” still creep in.

If any of this rings true for you, I invite you to watch today's video as I share with you part of my real and raw story of what I’ve learned from not being enough.

Just because certain stories feel real sometimes doesn’t mean they are true. {Tweet that!}

And so even if my life isn’t “perfect,” I still have something valuable to share because I believe we are all lightbulbs shining light on the collective unconscious and the more lightbulbs we turn on, the better we all can see.

Now it’s your turn! What’s your story? What have you learned about being enough?  Leave a comment in the Facebook post or below this blog. I'd love to support each other as we get real and raw.

Shine your light in whatever way you want. Know that you have everything within you. You are enough. {Be a lightbulb and tweet that, too!}

With love & gratitude,

Amanda

PS If you haven't already heard the exciting news, you can now get a copy of my FREE ebook that explores this whole idea a whole lot further. Get your copy today!

How to Get out of Overwhelm

As a world-class list-maker and scheduler, I know all too well just how to fill my calendar with to-do’s, appointments, and deadlines.

For a very long time I actually wasn’t sure if I could function without these things in place.

It’s only been in the last few months that I’ve tried something new. And, during one of my Masterclass calls this week with Jeannine Yoder it became really clear to me just how overwhelming the idea of all of these lists and deadlines are to me now.

I admit that I might have swung a little too far on the pendulum, and I don’t necessarily suggest that everyone rid their life of to-do lists and deadlines.

But I will say that the greatest thing I’ve learned from doing so is that I’m okay without these things and my days feel significantly less overwhelming.

If any of this resonates with you and you’re interested in experiencing less overwhelm in your life, then be sure to check out this week’s video.

In the video, I’m going to share with you some great advice I received on how to assess where we spend our time and develop a deeper sense of true productivity and power.

If you know anyone who tends to create lists or fill their calendar in order to feel productive or accomplished, then please share this with them so that they can learn one simple question to ask each day to stay out of overwhelm and in their truth.

I’m not suggesting that all list-making and deadlines are useless.

Sometimes the best thing we can do in the moment is make a list or move towards a deadline. And other times we use these things simply as a distraction to help us think we are being productive.

There’s an alternative to lists and deadlines to feel productive and empowered. {Tweet this!}

Now I want to hear from you. What are your favorite tips to stay out of overwhelm?

Hop on over to the blog to share your wisdom in the comments below this video! I absolutely love learning what works for others and your tip might be just the thing someone needs to hear today.

Life isn’t about filling our task list and calendar with things to keep us busy and feeling productive. So please pass this along to anyone who might benefit from learning how to stay out of overwhelm and instead focus on those things that matter most.

With gratitude ...

PS I’d love to include you in my updates on the program I’ll be launching later this summer, so be sure to sign up here if you haven’t already! As a gift, you’ll receive my dirty little secrets to loving the life I have.

The Only “What If” Question We Ever Need to Ask Again

I cannot count how many times I wonder things like, “what if this happens” or “what if that happens” and “oh my god, but what if…?!” These questions and focusing on the future are not nearly as helpful as I want them to be. Instead of getting answers and feeling better about things, I often end up with more questions and feeling a lot worse.

So … I’ve decided that I’m going to do my best to refrain from asking any “what if” question EXCEPT for the only one that actually helps me experience more peace, ease and flow in my life. One that actually provides me with more answers and feeling better than before I asked it.

Wanna know what the one “what if” question is ….?

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WHAT IF IT ISN’T TRUE?

I imagine many of us have stories that we tell ourselves on a daily (if not hourly) basis that limit us or hold us back. These stories usually aren’t fairytales or even awesomely powerful “I can do it” stories.

They are more often than not stories that tell us how we aren’t good enough or why things don’t work out for us or why we could never do this or that.

It is these stories that make up our belief system — about ourselves and about the world around us.

And it is our beliefs that beget our actions and behaviors. So … if we want to change a behavior, the first place to look is at the stories we tell ourselves and what beliefs we carry.

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

If we want to start moving the needle in the direction towards global sanity, we need to start by looking within at the beliefs we each hold that are driving the same ol’ behavior over and over again.

Here are a few suggestions on how to start this process.

Acknowledge that a story and belief even exist.

Before we can change anything, we must first admit it exists. We need to admit that the beliefs we hold to be absolute truth are just based on stories that we have been telling ourselves for as long as we can remember. And while these stories are based on our personal experiences or the experiences others have shared with us, they are still our creative interpretation of reality which started to form our view of ourselves and the world. Before we can do anything else, we need to take the first step (albeit possibly the hardest) and say, “This is a story I keep telling myself."

Question the belief.

Now that we have acknowledged that our beliefs are nothing more than stories we made up and reinforced time and time again, we can begin to question them. We can start to ask ourselves, “what if this isn’t true?” Another way to do this is to question what other possibilities exist? And one of my favorite ways to reframe our beliefs is to ask “who would I be without this story?” This helps us take more responsibility in how we are behaving based on the story or thought we choose to believe. The more often we can put ourselves in the driver’s seat and make powerful, conscious choices on what we believe and how we act, the more often we will experience peace, ease and flow in the world.

Replace your stories with new ones.

Once we start shifting our perspective and see that there are other stories that are equally as valid and probably even serve us better, then we can start to form new beliefs. This can be done by establishing some positive habits and rituals like gratitude, affirmations, setting soulful intentions and focusing on that which we want to bring more of into our lives.

The great thing about stories is that they can be rewritten.

I get it — we like our stories. We think they are who we are. They are comfortable and we know them all by heart!

But when they hold us back and limit us from being our best authentic self, then it is time to get out the red pen and start making some edits. It might even mean scrapping the whole story altogether and starting over from scratch.

What is one story you keep telling yourself over and over again that you are willing to acknowledge, question and possibly even replace? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

3 Paths to Get What We Want — Which One Do You Choose?

A few months ago, I challenged myself to eliminate caffeine from my diet for 2 weeks. The 2 weeks turned into almost 2 months. Initially, I started exploring alternatives like herbal teas and even decaf espresso at times. Then, I started to notice how in my search to expand my possibilities and remove my need for something I actually started to institute a new limitation. All of sudden, I couldn’tdrink caffeine. I was afraid to drink it as it might reignite my addiction. This became its own limitation. Just another extreme. When I noticed this, I consciously ordered a cup of coffee. While I didn’t enjoy it as much as I used to, I appreciated the fact that I permitted myself to know what I do and do not want at any given time.

When we are about to do something or not do something it is because we are going for something we want in life — to relax, fit into our jeans or just feel better.

This may come in the form of making resolutions and choosing to restrict certain things from our lives. Or perhaps by indulging in anything and everything that we want.

Either way, these both limit us from making mindful, purposeful choices in each moment.

There is a third — and much more empowering — way to get what we want in life.

The Buddha once said that “a path of moderation, between the extremes of sensual indulgence and self-mortification … was the path of wisdom."

When we are about to do something to get closer to what we want, there are three ways we typically come to this conclusion.

"I can’t, so I guess I won’t"

When I eliminated caffeine from my diet, I initially did so from a conscious place — choosing not to drink it mainly for health reasons. Then, it became an “I can’t so I guess I won’t” decision which was very limiting and no longer based on the few specific reasons I had originally identified.

When we make decisions based out of self-denial, we lose an opportunity to get to know ourselves and get really clear on why we choose not to do something. We also end up making decisions out of fear, judgment, resistance or attachment.

"I can, so of course I will "

Before I gave up caffeine for those few weeks, I had gotten into a habit of having one or two cups of coffee each morning not because I actually wanted it but because I could … and I always had. It had become just as limiting because I was no longer checking in and making a conscious decision to have it.

When we permit ourselves to indulge in whatever we want just because we can, we miss an opportunity to really check in and see if that is what we want in this moment. We become a slave to ourselves and lose a chance to actively guide our life in the direction we want it to go.

"I can, and I choose …"

… to do it or not. In either case, I empower myself to choose what serves me best in that moment. We can still choose not to do something, in which case it is done from a place of knowledge and acceptance of oneself and not out of fear, laziness or greed.

When we realize we can do something and choose not to, we demonstrate our strength and power in the world. When we realize we can do something and choose to do it, we honor ourselves and have a chance to practice acceptance and letting go.

Living at the extremes of life can ultimately be quite limiting. The joy comes when we live somewhere in the balance of it all.

Striving to live a life in moderation is more than saying “yes” to some things and “no” to others — it is about getting quiet and making mindful decisions in each moment that reflect and uphold our values and principles in the world.

That is how we can ultimately get what we want out of life.

Think of one thing you consistently deny yourself of or indulge in. Is that based in a value or principle and, if so, what is it? If not, think about what it would feel like to empower yourself to no longer live by this limitation and instead consciously choose in each moment what you want to do.