How to Handle Those Pesky Voices in Your Head

As a former actor, I’ve always enjoyed creating characters and learning who they are and what they have to say, and then getting to speak as if I were them.

Over the past few years, as I’ve worked with coaches, mentors, and done more self-discovery, I’ve been introduced to the different characters that play out their drama in my very own mind.

We all have these characters (or voices) that live inside our head and who try to be in constant dialogue with us (and each other). Many times these voices can really get the better of us.

Recently, I noticed that one of these voices of mine (my inner critic) started telling me that I’m not working hard enough and I’m starting to slip into an old pattern of giving up and not seeing something through to the end.

In the past, I would have either believed this voice hook, line, and sinker and gone into total panic or self-loathing, or I would have tried to stifle this voice and pretend it didn’t exist.

Now, after having learned a more effective tool based on my work with Michelle James (a Creative Emergence coach), I have an alternate approach to handling the voices in my head.

If you’re anything like me and sometimes have a hard time knowing what to do when that voice starts yammering on about this fear or that doubt or this concern or that judgment, be sure to watch today’s video where you’ll learn a new approach (and one that has helped many of my clients, too). 

Though they can be pesky, the voices in our head can offer us a lot of wisdom if we change how we interact with them. {Tweet that!}

The next time you hear those voices rattling on and find that simply observing them just isn’t doing the trick, give this tool a try and see if you feel a shift and notice the voice getting a little less pesky over time.

Now it’s your turn! What is your favorite tool for handling the voices in your head? Share in the comments below so we can all have a few more tools in our tool belt when it comes to engaging with our egos.

If you know anyone who could benefit from being free from the grips of the voices in their head and uncover the wisdom that lies within, please be sure to share this with them.

With love & gratitude,

P.S. If you desire to have someone serve as your guide as you experiment with this tool (and many others), go ahead and grab a complimentary session with me here.

Want to Know How I Turned My Perfectionism on Its Head?


You know that moment when you hit “send” and then think “oh, crap"? 

This happened to me (twice!) just the other week.

I realized the error but it was too late. It was gone. The internet had magically delivered it. There was no turning back.

I was starting the pre-launch of my virtual program, Being Good with Being You, and was so excited to share some free videos with my incredible audience (aka you).

At the same time, I decided to switch my blogging platform to my website and change how my blogs are sent to my list of loyal readers (again, you).

Right in the midst of my pre-launch, the magical mystical incomprehensible internet decided to send the same blog post to my list twice in the same day, only minutes apart.

My gut sank. Oh, no. Here I am, already sending out a number of emails and videos to my audience with the intent to offer value and inspiration and now I’m inundating their inbox with a duplicate message!

I took a moment to think about what I ought to do. The perfectionist in me was screaming, “Fix it!! Make it right!! Send another message explaining what happened so all can be forgiven!!"

Then, another voice (which happened to be the voice of a dear friend of mine) said, “It’s fine. Better not to send another email at this point."

Finally, another voice (this one coming from deep within) said, “It is what it is. Just surrender."

Just to be sure that I truly knew how to surrender my perfectionism and test my ability to stay calm through it all, the universe (or the internet, whichever you prefer to call it) decided to test me one more time just a few days later.

This time, an email got sent out with a glaring error in it. It wasn’t just a word that was misspelled or a comma out of place. It was an entire copy-and-paste-gone-wrong scenario.

Again, my heart sank and the perfectionist was ready to fight. Luckily, this time, my deeper voice was quicker on the scene and immediately reminded me to take a few breaths and surrender. It is what it is.

A major theme in my work lately has been about perfectionism and seeing how it’s cropped up in my own life time and time again, and just how limiting it can be. (If you haven’t done so already, be sure to download my free ebook on this very topic.)

With all of this introspection, I started to judge the word “perfect” as destructive and avoided using it as often as possible. I stood firmly that perfectionism only limits us and is something that needs to be overcome.

The reason I have taken this stance so vigorously in the past is because I have seen and personally experienced the negative impacts from striving for perfection. I know I’m not the only one who sees or experiences this. It bombards our society, our marketing, our bookshelves, our conversations, you name it.

Recently, I finished reading Michael Singer’s book, “The Surrender Experiment,” and he uses the word “perfect” quite a bit. At first, I was put off by it and resisted the use of that word. Then, I paused and noticed how he was using it. It wasn’t in the way many of us might think.

A few days later I was doing my Morning Pages and it struck me, “What if my definition of perfectionism no longer serves me? What if there is another definition?"

What if “perfect” doesn’t mean something going exactly the way I want it to and living up to my standards and, rather, perfectionism is when something goes exactly as it’s meant to?

This new perspective allows me to no longer have the same recoiling reaction I’ve had to the word “perfect.” I now see how everything that occurs when we release our own expectations, limitations, or control is just that. 

When we release our grip on our own perfectionism, we are free to experience the perfectionism of the universe. {Tweet that!}

For an instant gratification society, this may not be the most ideal working definition because it might take some time to see how a moment or an event is indeed perfect. This requires trust that everything is exactly as it’s meant to be. But it is well worth it. The freedom and expansion that comes from this belief is transformative.

As I think back on my two recent email “blunders,” I now see how they provided me with a perfect opportunity to surrender and share this message with others.

Had those emails not gone out with “imperfections,” inspiration for this message would not have been received, and this post would not have been written and shared.

Now it's your turn! What is your working definition of “perfect”? I’d love to hear what you think so please take a moment to share your thoughts in the comments below.

With love & gratitude,

P.S. I felt a strong calling to switch it up this week and publish a written blog instead of a video. I’d love to hear what you think and if you happen to prefer one over the other! Leave it in the comments below or share it on my Facebook page

What to Do When Someone (Who Isn't a Disney Princess) Says, “Let it Go"

“Let it go! Let it go!!"

Not just the lyrics to any current 5-8 year old girl’s favorite Disney song. This is also a mantra of sorts for most adults. 

The intention is all good, but sometimes the phrase itself can seem dismissive, flippant, or full-on aggravating.

I know for me, when someone says, “Just let it go,” I want to punch them in the face.

Okay. No, not really. That’s not at all my style. But you get my point. It can seem WAY easier said than done.

So, what does “let go” really mean and how do we go about doing it?

The question of learning to let go came up as a response to my survey and is a very common question as we are on this journey of awareness and awakening. (If you are curious to which survey I’m referencing, check it out here.)

In this video, I share my perspective on what “letting go” means to me and just how to go about doing it in a way that keeps most punching unnecessary. (Watch the video if you want to know why I didn’t say “all!”)

By redefining what “letting go” means we can redefine our relationship and experience with it. {Tweet that!}

Now it’s your turn. What is your favorite thing to do when you feel the need to "let it go?"

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.

So many of us hear the phrase "let it go" so often—yet how many of us actually practice this in a way that is healthy and supports our expansion into deeper awareness? Please pass this along to anyone who rolls their eyes at or feels disenchanted when they hear "Let it go!" or who might benefit from learning just how to experience less frustration and more ease.

With gratitude ...

PS If you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign up here to receive my dirty little secrets to loving the life I have AND be the first to find out about an exciting announcement I’ll be making soon! 

What I've Learned about Contradictions

The other day I found myself reading something that completely contradicted something else I had read just a few weeks earlier. And I noticed that I started to feel almost indignant.

Which one am I supposed to believe? How can I learn from two opposing viewpoints?!

Then, I heard this voice in my head say, "Wait a minute, Amanda.

What if it's not about which one is "right" and which one is "wrong" but rather what is the lesson here for me to take away?"

If you're anything like me you might sometimes find it difficult or even frustrating to hear opposing or paradoxical statements—especially as we are learning how to expand ourselves into our highest version of ourselves.

In this video, I'm going to share with you how when we are aware enough to receive, it's less about what one person or authority says on a matter and more about what message we are meant to learn from these seemingly contradictory claims.

It's not "either/or;" it's "both/and what's the lesson I'm meant to learn in this moment?" {Tweet that!}

Now, I'd love to hear from you.

What lesson have you recently learned when you came up against something that at first seemed either paradoxical or downright contradictory?

I'd love to see what lessons you have learned so please take a moment and share with us in the comments below this post. What you share might be just the lesson someone else needs to learn today.

As we continue to expand into our awareness and start to put our parts back together to recreate the whole, sometimes we can get derailed by seemingly contradictory claims instead of remaining in our awareness and growth. So please pass this along to anyone in your life who you think might benefit from being reminded of how we can learn from these contradictions in order to have more of the life we want!

If you want more support in learning to listen to that part of you who is tired of getting derailed by contradictions and who knows the lesson to be learned, I invite you to sign up for one of my complimentary discovery sessions and sign up to receive more tips, tricks, and insights directly to your inbox.

P.S. I'm getting giddy with excitement to tell you more about a program I will be launching soon that helps people learn how to become more aware of their own goodness and begin to SOAR! (And if you are just dying to find out what it means to "SOAR" be sure to sign up and find out when I reveal it to the world!)

With gratitude...

How to Have Less Stress by Cleaning up Your Beliefs: Part 3

Have you ever had that thought "Why does this keep happening to me?" I just experienced this again recently when I had the thought "I do the work; why am I still struggling with this?"

Then I remembered that, unlike my closet, I need to clean out my beliefs on a regular (maybe even daily) basis in order to experience the life I want.

If you've ever struggled with those pesky beliefs that just don't seem to budge, then this video is for you. We'll explore the final step in cleaning up our beliefs and some useful resources and tools for doing so on an ongoing basis.

Often it is not our circumstances that need to change but rather our relationship with our beliefs. {Tweet that!}

Now, I'd love to hear from you.

What do you want to experience more of in life? And, what beliefs are keeping you from experiencing that?

I’d love to see what you come up with so please take a moment and share in as much detail as possible in the comments below this post. Your story may be just what someone else needs to hear to have a breakthrough.

Spring cleaning our homes might happen once a year but taking stock, going through, and getting rid of disempowering beliefs occurs daily. So please pass this along to anyone in your life who you think might benefit from getting rid of some unnecessary beliefs and experience more peace and ease in life!

Did you enjoy this video series? Then be sure to sign up to receive more weekly videos and updates on my upcoming virtual program, 66 Days to Love the Life You Have, or go ahead and confirm your spot today.

With gratitude...

Gratitude Rocks! Reasons to Jam Out

Life sucks. My boss is a jerk.

This steak is overcooked.

Yes ... there are plenty of things to complain about in this world. But there are also a ton of amazing (and not-so-amazing, quite ordinary) things that are worthy of our acknowledgment on a daily — if not hourly — basis.

Practicing gratitude has a number of benefits. And who wants to be a “Negative Nancy” all the time?

Curious what these benefits are and how to cultivate them on a regular basis?

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I admit, I have said many a negative thing in my life. But I don't like the way I feel when I say those things. When those negative thoughts start to emerge — which they still do — I immediately try to interrupt them and ask "what are you grateful for?"

Then I list off three or five things that I am grateful for in this very moment.

It is amazing how much better I feel and how quickly those terrible things don't seem so terrible anymore.

Expressing gratitude can sometimes slip our minds. But the benefits far outweigh the effort required to implement a regular gratitude practice.

There is a growing body of knowledge in this area led by highly esteemed researchers such as Robert Emmons, Ph.D. Check out some of the benefits found during this gratitude research.

  • In an experimental comparison, those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).
  • A related benefit was observed in the realm of personal goal attainment: Participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal and health-based) over a two-month period compared to subjects in the other experimental conditions.
  • daily gratitude intervention (self-guided exercises) with young adults resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy compared to a focus on hassles or a downward social comparison (ways in which participants thought they were better off than others). There was no difference in levels of unpleasant emotions reported in the three groups.
  • In a sample of adults with neuromuscular disease, a 21-day gratitude intervention resulted in greater amounts of high energy positive moods, a greater sense of feeling connected to others, more optimistic ratings of one’s life, and better sleep duration and sleep quality, relative to a control group.

"So, how do I go about doing this more often?" you might ask.

Establish a system that works for you. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep a gratitude journal and list a few things in it each day before going to bed that made you smile or that you were grateful for.
  • Participate in or create a gratitude challenge on Facebook with your friends to post 3 “grate” things on a daily basis.
  • Ask a friend to be your “Gratitude Buddy” and send each other one thing you are grateful for each day — not only does it reap the benefits, it helps you develop a deeper connection with a friend you might not otherwise connect with as often. Next time you find yourself saying something negative, try the gratitude treatment. I bet you'll have an easier time finding things to be grateful for than having to complain about.

What are 3-5 things you are grateful for right now? Spread the gratitude bug by sharing your thoughts below.

3 Dangerous Myths We Live By

How many times have you heard one of these before? 

“You haven’t lived until you've…!” 

“Happiness is the key to life.”

“Live up to your full potential.”

While these are often said with the best intentions to inspire, encourage and uplift, they judge reality and place unrealistic expectations on people.

What if I told you there was another way to find the “key” to living a full life?

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I’ll be honest; I bought these "truths" hook, line and sinker for many years. Then I became familiar with a different perspective — all we have is this moment. And, by doing my best to live in each moment fully, I no longer need to chase after these falsities to live a full life.

So, what’s the “key”?

Be present in each moment. And, dispel the myths we keep telling ourselves.

Let's take a closer look at each of these myths and explore another perspective that is less harmful and more empowering. 

"You haven't lived until you've..."

For starters, this statement insinuates that someone currently alive is somehow not "living.” How can that be? Each time we take a breath we are living, right?

It also seems to insinuate that my living isn't as “worthy" as someone else's simply because I have not done something. And, well, that's just plain silly.

I prefer to accept the life experience I have than to compare myself to others or think that somehow my life isn't worthwhile because I haven't climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

How about a new phrase? "You haven't lived until you’ve become aware of and accepted each and every moment as it is.” Still a little dictatorial — and a little wordy, I know — but hopefully you get the point.

Happiness is the key to life.

While I have nothing against happiness and creating more of it, I worry that an over emphasis on one emotion can set us up for disappointment.

Happiness — like sadness and anger — is a part of being alive. And, while it’s great to cultivate more moments of happiness in life, at the end of the day, no matter how hard we try we won't rid ourselves of the other emotions.

I prefer to be at peace with whatever emotion or situation presents itself in the moment — by observing, accepting and expanding what is — than strive to always be happy (which is impossible).

New phrase? "Peace is the key to life."

Live up to your full potential.

Again, not intentionally negative, but potentially depression-inducing to believe that if I don't get that promotion or become the next Oprah or have two kids and a white-picket fence then I'm not living up to my full potential.

How in the world are we to measure our full potential? “Potential" is something yet to occur so we will never know just how big — or small — it can be. So, to strive to fulfill our capacity to become or do something in the future is, well, quite insane.

I'd much prefer to live up to my "full potential" in each moment by being 100% present in whatever I am doing whether that is listening to a friend, doing the dishes, giving a presentation, reading a book or saving a life.

Strive to do this each day of your life, and you can confidently say that you are "living up to your full potential."

Okay, so you might be thinking, “Can't this chick just relax and not take everything so seriously?!”

Well, no. I can't.

It is getting clearer and clearer to me how much unnecessary suffering we cause on a daily basis. And, much of this comes from our beliefs that our lives aren't "good enough," that we aren't "happy enough" or we haven't achieved everything we "should have."

The silver lining?

We can all live full, peaceful lives by dispelling these myths and replacing them with living in the moment and accepting what is.

What other myths might be harming our experience of life? Join the conversation by leaving a comment.

Thank You for Sharing - Lesson #3

Evolution is a process. Life is a journey, not a destination. Transformation takes time. As I continue growing, changing, learning, evolving, I find that sometimes I “fall short” and need to be reminded of the lessons I am trying to learn and strategies to move me forward. This week I am going to share one “lesson” a day that has recently come in handy for me and might serve as a helpful reminder for others. I thank my inner voice for what it has to share.photo-62

Over the years, I have found that the voice(s) in my head can be very loud and convincing sometimes. I have spent much of my life listening to and dialoguing with these inner voices. You know, like when my mind (aka ego) says things like “he must not be telling me the truth,” “she doesn’t really mean that,” “he must have met someone else,” “he must not love me,” or a myriad of other thoughts formed from my own invention. When my mind starts to make-believe or say “what if,” I now simply acknowledge that voice by saying “thank you for sharing” rather than engaging with it or trying to argue with it or even stop it from occurring. I thank it for what it has to share and I move on with my day.

If you were to give your inner voice a name, what would it be? I have named mine “Magda.” Join the conversation by leaving a comment.

Stress Is a 10-Letter Word

Stress – or what Buddhists call dukkha – is a part of life. It is necessary and sometimes even beneficial. But we no longer only experience stress in life-or-death situations or in small healthy doses. We now create stress in our lives on a daily, if not hourly, basis. This unnecessary stress is wrecking havoc on our bodies, health and relationships. It’s cause? A simple 10-letter word: resistance. We can all end adventitious stress by accepting what is.

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Life Is What Happens ...

A friend shared this quote with me the other day: "I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult." (E.B. White) While living a present-focused life, it can sometimes seem difficult to both live each and every moment fully and not stress over the "to-do" list or plans yet to be made. I wanted to resolve this predicament — "How do I remain present and stress-free in those moments when what I am currently doing is not what I think I 'should' be doing?"

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Recently, I have found myself struggling with being in the moment and not feeling anxious over how I am spending my time, especially now that I have a new job and a new partner and my time is no longer just mine to do with as I please. When I mentioned this to a friend, she offered some great advice. She said, "Fully commit to the moment and the choice you made. Some part of you chose to be there even if it wasn’t what you had 'planned'." This simple advice immediately helped me get a perspective on things and alleviate the anxiety I was causing in myself.

There are times when we need to make plans or schedule our time in a specific way, and even having a plan or intention can be very useful in life. And, many of us have responsibilities that require us to make choices with how we spend our time. However, sometimes we get so caught up in the planning and what we "should" be doing that we miss the very moment we are currently experiencing. This focus on something other than the Now can cause stress, anxiety and, sometimes, resentment.

Most of us have heard the song where John Lennon reminds us of an Allen Saunders' quote:

Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.

What recently clicked for me is that each moment we are making a choice — sometimes it is a choice we made to love someone or have a certain job or take a specific route to work one day or have children. Those choices might mean that we spend our time in some way other than how we want or think we "should." Rather than feeling anxious about that, remain present and commit to the choice you make in each moment.

I learned a mantra recently that reminds us "by letting go, it all gets done." Choosing not to commit to each moment is to resist what is. And, one truth I have discovered recently is that to resist causes suffering. Every person can feel less anxious and remain present by recognizing that each moment is a choice and committing to that choice 100%.

What do you do in those moments when you find yourself "should-ing" all over yourself to alleviate some of the stress or anxiety? Share your thoughts or tips by leaving a comment.