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paper over screens

The crisp sound it makes as I turn a page, draws me into a deep, releasing breath. It’s hard to explain it any other way. There is nothing that compares to the feeling of paper between my hands.

Let’s be honest though; I’m sitting here in a library whilst waiting for my son to finish his Tae Kwon Do class and my daughter is next to me watching a movie from a screen. Yes, she could go get a book and on other occasions she has, but for today I am trying to finish this blog, which I have sat down ten times to try and write and the list of why’s goes on.

Over in the corner of the library is a noisy class learning computer coding and from the window vista of the desk I sit at, a Mum is playing frisbee in the park and recording her kids running around on her smart phone, I assume for Instagram.

The why’s are profound and the brilliance we have captured for the future amazing through the lens of a screen, but at what cost?

This year I have written a manifesto for my family and one of the goals is choosing paper over screens. Learning to pick up my novel rather than my phone. Being curious why I am scrolling social media accounts instead of showing up to my writing.

Writing letters to my friends rather than a short emotionless text and I have set a huge goal of novels to read for this year, instead of wasting my time reading other peoples stories.

In the past I have worked on my addiction to screens by taking drastic steps to disconnect. I am learning however, to reconnect rather than disconnect and explore why I am scrolling instead of creating.

When I pick up a piece of paper and write I let go of the story I am telling myself, allowing clarity and capacity to rise. Rather than shaming myself for the need to slow and watch a screen to decompress, finding ways to replace the behaviour rather than beat myself up, is such a powerful tool.

Some questions to ask yourself as you sit in front of a screen.

  1. Ask yourself why you are logging in? Boredom, fear or tiredness.
  2. Are you avoiding responsibility? Procrastination, hiding or frustration.
  3. How many times have you sat in front of a screen today? Work, Netflix or phone.

Write a list of ways you can achieve the same feeling without a screen.

  1. What makes you feel connected that doesn’t include a screen?
  2. What can you do that helps you relax, instead of sitting in front of a screen?
  3. When was the last time you left the house without a phone?

These are very simple questions, that can help you set more boundaries around the amount of screen time in your everyday. Boredom often leads to creative answers, but we live in a society that is very rarely bored anymore.

Do you prefer paper over screens?

How are you exploring this part of your world?

Happy Exploring Friends

Amanda

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Small things often: 2019 Manifesto

I used to think that love was birthed in grand gestures. You know the ones that hollywood blockbusters are made of. The banners sweeping across the sky, the first red rose and the unexpected gifts tied with a white ribbon, in the tone of duck egg blue.

These days I count the gifts that multiply by the thousand and they are all minuscule and inconsequential. I believe that love is made up by small things often, not the crazy online declarations of love and this year I am endeavouring to remind myself to continue to do small things often for my spouse rather than waiting for the special days to declare my feelings.

Small Things like;

Asking if there is anything I can do to help.

Putting my phone down when he talks.

Asking how his day was and then listening.

Cups of tea on the bedside.

Putting clothes away with no grumbling.

Waiting before I speak.

Clinging to what is good.

Sending text messages acknowledging how hard he works.

Waiting till he comes home to eat dinner together.

Noticing.

Holding hands.

Slowing down so we can walk together.

A glass of water.

A smile for no reason.

They all seem like inconsequential details, that maybe you have down pat. For me however, I am remembering that hundreds of details, create a safety net of love. And they build trust more than any big gesture ever could.

The bonus as well is this…

Every time I focus on the small things I bring to create love and respect in my marriage, I am reminded of all the small things he does everyday for me.

This year I am leaning into the small things that bring gratitude to my everyday.

How about you?

What are you bringing intention to this year?

Amanda

This is a part of my new year season called 2019 Manifesto. You can read the whole series here. 

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Chase dreams over platforms

I often get asked to speak on Social Media and can I tell you a secret? It makes me mad.

Like angry, served with a side of “What am I even doing with my life?”. I don’t want to perpetuate what is already a toxic part of our worlds. I don’t want to add my opinion to the flurry of noise.

You see my relationship with the online world, is like a needy/best friend. I pretty much vow most weeks I am going to cancel all my social media accounts and do something more productive with my life. Then I find a story like this email that landed today in my inbox that ended with…

“Anyway I just wanted to thank you for your words, I needed them that day!” 

and another that came yesterday;

“My plan for 2019 is to set aside more intentional time to write so thanks for prompting me and sparking excitement in me.  Be encouraged; you are helping me and so many others to tell our stories.”

I breathe in deeply and I remember the power of story.

Your story, my story, and our story together.

The importance of our shared conversations and I remind myself to find a way to wade through the mud and discover a mid-point again with my addiction to screens. My addiction to people approval. And my addiction to doing something (procrastinating) instead of showing up to my dreams

Are you addicted to scrolling?

Are you motivated by what other people think of you?

Are you struggling to find a sense of purpose in a season of transition?

This year I am choosing to chase dreams not platforms. I am allowing myself to dream again in a way that is bold and courageous, allowing opportunity finding me waiting, rather than bashing down the doors of platforms that seem so enticing by are just chasing the wind.

We live in an age of platform building. Grandstanding, shouting our agendas from behind our keyboards and then feeling frustrated when the connection feels less than real.

We live in an age where we believe that a waterfall of money is awaiting the click funnel we have found ourselves down, and just one more thing will be the releasing of our worldwide success.

We live in an age of self-made ambition, and in essence, there is sheer beauty in seeing the underdog rise up and find his voice but at the expense of what? Family, Health, Stress and Mental Health? No thanks.

When we focus on the platforms we are building, as a badge of honor for worth and worthiness, then we begin to tumble and fall.

When we allow the dreams in our hearts, to bubble like my sourdough starter sitting on my bench, enticing me to let it breathe, grow and produce.

We were created to produce my friends, not consume. If we feed the monkey that is the belief that we deserve the rights to have platforms, that we stand and shout our messages from the beast grows.

What if we chased dreams in 2019 over platforms?

The platforms may come to you, my friend, the opportunity for influence may rise and find us waiting, but this is a by-product of living a life of alignment.

This year I wrote a manifesto for my year and each statement I am blogging about here.

Manifesto 2019

Write to heal

Community over competition

Chase dreams not platforms

Small things often

Paper over screens

Ten second hugs

Quick no’s best yes!

Put photos on walls

Walk the earth with kindness

A sacred secret place

Prioritise people over things

5 min chats rather than texts

Exercise is my therapy

In the comments section of to the left:

Tell me;

What are you focusing on this year?

What do you think about the culture of chasing platforms?

Dream on daydreamer and find the courage to seek out the life you dream of, rather than the platform that culture says you deserve.

The difference between the two is profound.

Happy Days

Amanda

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Community trumps competition: 2019 manifesto

Meelup Bay

This morning I woke to high winds moving our tent and a sprinkle of rain. Last night I promised myself that I would get up early for an exercise class.

A text message came through with a message from a friend as she prayed in the early hours of the morning and before my alarm rang I stepped out of the tent into the day.

Walking down to the beach, I faced my fear and said yes to myself as the rain eased. Two friends were going to meet me for the class but the rain and broken sleep became their enemy.

As I walked back into camp, one of my friends said to me “I’m so sorry” and I returned “Our friendship is totally obligation free”.

I’m wondering this January morning how many obligation free friendships you have in your life right now?

Community always trumps competition. Relationships filled with obligation and should’ve inevitably become fraught with competition.

As you scroll social media, is there any feeds you follow that bring out intimidation and fear?

In 2019, part of my manifesto is to continue to celebrate community over competition. There are moments as I wade through all the messages and information here online that I need to remind myself of this fact.

Community over competition.

The only person I will compete with, is myself.

When I feel obligation rise in my heart, I allow curiosity to show me why this emotion is surrounding me.

When I feel disappointment rise as I feel someone copying my work and years of contemplation stepped over, I remind myself there is room at the table and no one can steal your voice.

When I wonder if I am enough as I see someone’s brilliance shine forth, I remind myself that my story is different and I need to honour my own journey.

Today my exercise instructor repeatedly reminded us over and over, do not do anything that your body does not feel comfortable to do. Compete with yourself rather than the others in the class. Inch your way forward and honour your own journey.

This wisdom I think relays to every part of our lives.

Those who walk alongside you or strangers on the internet are not your competition. Community always trumps competition.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

Amanda

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Write to heal: 2019 manifesto

Yallingup, Western Australia 

This new year, we’ve been playing games, walking the beach and hanging with new and old friends. 

A thought that has been rolling my mind lately about how we hold space for one another. 

Yesterday was not all wonderful, I encountered some online trolling. Good old fashion judgement served with a side of righteousness.

In the midst of this online conversation, I had this impresssion I needed to hold space.

What does it mean to “hold space” for someone?

It means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control.

The first part of my manifesto this year is to write to heal. I have always believed that transformation and healing can happen through creativity. That is why I give so much of myself to these online spaces and my books.

This year however, I want to remind myself to come back to journaling and writing to heal myself.

We cannot heal others. We can only heal ourselves. And if you like me believe in a greater power, I believe transformation comes through the awakening that we are not alone in this journey and their is someone else, one who stands in the gap between, who stands with us in the fire.

This year I am going to hold space for myself as much as I hold space for others. Finding ways to come back to my own writing for no other reason than to let go myself.

There are deep places in me that continually need to find release. A balm of peace digging a deep well reminding my future that everything will be okay.

I need to forgive people that don’t even know they hold a battle in my heart. I have kept them captive there and they don’t even know they are in the dark recesses of my hearts prison.

As I write, healing flows.

As I remember, the undoing begins.

As I release, peace reigns.

My word for 2019 is peaceful. Not just peace, but a life that is overflowing where peace leads and guides me. A fullness of peace that it trickles beyond my own home and transformative. A practical, life giving peace that leads me towards a greater tomorrow.

What is your intention for this year?

We all can write to heal. We don’t need to identify as a writer per say. You can journal and reflect, read and respond, journal and recover.

It begins with a little piece of a blank page.

And to my online warrior, trolling, keyboard friends who write online to condemn and judge others, maybe if you began with a piece of paper and a pen and begun to unpack the hurt within your own story, you may just write to heal yourself also.

Peaceful New Year everyone

Amanda