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Is your dream big enough?

Dwellingup |  Photo: Amanda Viviers

We were shopping for something very specific, school shoes, school bags, you know the painstaking trip. My three year old became fixated on a pair of shoes that didn’t really match my idea of what was school efficient, plus they were a size and probably a half too big, with no smaller options. A meltdown was ensuing on both sides of the Mummy and Max team, with Libby slowly pulling anything within reach off the shelves.

This was the beautiful background context to today’s inspiring story.

We were one month old in launching our new business Maximus & Liberty, we were one week out of the craziness of a last minute trip to New Zealand and my patience was thin from the pain of growth and living a life inspired.

In fact, I was probably regretting taking courageous risks, more than I was feeling the beauty of our newborn dream realised.

Have you ever had those days.

Days of regret?

Days with overwhelmed feelings of “what have we done”?

Days when you realise that your friends and family are asking the exact same question without whispering the words out loud?

Dreams awakening are not for the faint hearted, it is easy to come up with ideas, but to actually have the courage to take the risk and have a go, that is next level faith. Back to Target and our school shopping expedition and what happened next.

As we walked past the linen and home wares aisle, my husband pulled a throw pillow off the shelf and threw it casually into our school themed trolley. I looked at him, not much was said between us, until I got home and I rolled my eyes.

As much as I live my life seeking and drawing out inspiration, there are days when another quote is just not what I need.

The pillow said this…

If you dream big enough anything can come true.

Some days lately I have wanted to throw the pillow out of our window.

Living an intentional life, living a life where you are designing the type of future of your dreams is not the kind of life for the fearful.

We were sitting in church on the weekend and our pastor spoke a message that challenged every regret in our today. His words were steeped in faith and expectation. He spoke about courage and taking risks, it was the exact message we needed to hear.

Courage to take risks,

Courage in wisdom,

Courage to take the steps necessary to live the life you have dreamed of.

It reminded us of a message we heard from Erwin McManus last year when he made this profound statement;

One of the great ironies is that most people do not think of themselves as artists or believe that they are creative.  Yet we all have dreams and aspirations.  We all have, if only as a quiet whisper, a voice within our souls calling us to awaken our creative essence.   Too often the voice calling us to embrace our artisan soul is overshadowed by all the voices that tell us we are less.

Most people have been diminished by the voices that have silenced their childlike wonder and faith.  Here, by the way, is a good measure for when you are hearing the voice of God- God never makes you less human; He always make you most fully and beautifully human.

True courage takes great risk.

The future does not belong to the faint hearted, it belongs to the brave.

Ronald Regan

Every day that I see that pillow sitting on the chair in the corner of our lounge room, it is like a beacon of hope to my soul and it implores me to take heart and courage stepping into the brilliance of God’s plans for our future.

Are your dreams big enough my friend?

Or can you do them without hope and help?

If your dreams are not scaring you, then maybe they are so achievable that you are making them safe and therefore God-less.

Step out and dream brave my friends.

Take risks and have courage to actually act today on the dreams that lie dormant.

Pick up that manuscript,

Type that blog,

Put on those exercise clothes,

Step into the great unknown,

Pull out that camera,

Write that book proposal,

Contact that person,

Step forward with what you have in your hands today, even if it is very, very small.

Be bold and courageous, your future self will thank you.






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those childhood memories that ruin our creativity

Sydney, Australia “The Grounds”

Every time I try to diet, go raw, eliminate sugar, go dairy free, gluten free or paleo, the worst result of my efforts is what I like to term my “Hangry Bear”.

One day I am focussed, motivated and determined, next minute I want to tear the head off any person that is in my vicinity.

Food and I have a very sordid past.

I don’t have a long list of ex lovers or a deep history of family dysfunction but I have a whole cupboard full of stories that will make a decent memoir one day.

A memoir about diets, failure and the never ending New Years Resolution of finding my health again.

My Hangry Bear self is always associated with food or lack of it.

My Hangry Bear comes out roaring especially when I feel embarrassed, when I feel shame and when I feel defeated.

The Bear self is not actually hungry, it is just demanding attention, it is asking for my help, it is seeking someone to tell it to calm down everything is going to be okay.

Lately I have discovered a story that is directly linked to the birth of my Hangry little bear. I was ten years old, I remember the colour of my ballet leotard, I remember the moment when my Ballet teacher read out the words, that would forever change my relationship with food.

One line written in stone, that birthed a angry, shamed filled relationship with food that has plagued me ever since. A little ballerina, who desired so much to live her adult life on a stage performing and dancing to make people smile.

The examiners words on my report card that year, completely changed the course of my life.

She wrote this; (I was not even in highschool yet)

“Amanda, has the capacity to go all the way to the top with Ballet, except she is too fat.”

Full stop.

Hello Hangry Bear.

Hello food as my comfort

Hello food every moment when I feel shamed, embarrassed or on the verge of dreaming for greater days.

I battle with food, because it is my arch nemisis of both pleasure and pain.

Talking with a counsellor recently she asked me this question “If you could go back to that moment and speak to the little girl what would you say?”

I replied “I wouldn’t talk to the little girl, I would walk straight up to that examiner and I would tell her that she was wrong. That words have such significant power over children and do you know the damage you have done in writing such condemning and shaming words over a young childs life. A child that so deeply respects and reveres you.”

My adult response floored me.

I felt empowered, I felt overwhelmed at the capacity to stand up for my ten year old me.

I felt like for the first time in my life, I could rebuild those broken ruins and calm my hangry bear.

Maybe my bear could even go into hibernation for a very, very long time.

I am still battling every day at the moment with this area of my life, but Brene Browns latest book Rising Strong is completely unravelling these parts of my life and asking my shivering, shamed self to step out from those places that are holding me captive.

Chapter four and five have been very difficult chapters for me to read.

As we rumble with those Hangry Bears hiding in our deep places and when we face the true reason why we are responding out of shame, failure and hiddenness we cannot go back again without changing.

We can read words such as;

“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort, choosing what is right over what is fast, fun or easy; and choosing to practise our values rather than simply professing them.” Brene Brown

Here in this forum I can be all “you can do it”, “live the life you have dreamed of” and “Go make your dreams happen”…

I cannot be completely true to the whole picture, if I am not facing the sewer rats from my past, those stories from my childhood so deeply connected to my creative pursuits, dreams and passions and make you think that I have it all together.

I rumble and wrestle constantly with my weight, because I allow those stories from my past to frame my appetite instead of the truth.

When I choose courage when I look in the fridge rather than comfort.

When I choose to do what is right for my health, my family and my future rather than what is fast, fun or easy.

When I choose to practise the values I write about here instead of just professing what I think you want to hear.

Only then am I able to face those places of deep brokenness and see ever lasting change.

This year I am facing down that Hangry Bear and I am determined to discover what it is that provokes Him. I am determined to find ways to woo Him. I am wanting to live beyond this place of shame and embarrassment in my life.


That was heavy,

A question for our book club members who are reading along and commenting.

What goals have you set, that rock up on your New Years List every year? Do you have a Hangry Bear running around wreaking havoc, trying to undo your efforts every year?

Today, is the first time in a long time that I don’t want to press publish.


This book is hard work,



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The year is not over, what did you promise to yourself.


Three years ago in the midst of the crazy aftermath of giving birth to my first child, I pulled out five note cards and wrote down intentions for five areas of my life.

  1. My Family
  2. My Purpose
  3. My Community
  4. Womankind
  5. Those who don’t have much

They were pinned up on my vision board above my computer and I muddled through the massive life change of leaving my job, my vocation and picking up the Job of Novice Mum.

I was terrified. I wrote big, audacious intentions that I wanted to do something with my years at home with little babies. I didn’t want to fade away, lost in a pile of nappies and wipes but at the same time I wanted to be present as much as possible to the fulfilment of my miracle of Motherhood being realised.

One of those big ideas on my intentions list for “My Purpose” was to run a creative retreat for women just like me. To have the courage to step out and create an event, that I would want to go to. An event that I needed.

A few days after I came home from this event realised, I was overwhelmed. I was scared, I was full of fear, “was it enough”, “did people like it”, “was it safe, was it welcoming, was it okay.” Questions that we all ask ourselves about most things in life, but when we step out and create something that you haven’t seen before, something that is original and full of your heart and personality, it is deeply vulnerable stuff. I had people asking for next years dates, I had sponsors offering to fund the next one. It was actually really scary.

As I sat there thinking about the most amazing stories that had transpired, I looked up on my dream board and pulled down those five cards. One by one, I put a line through all the things that had actually come to pass over the last few years.

I had intentions and I put them into action. They were focussed on a bigger purpose and I just had a go. I gathered a team, I looked for like hearts, I prayed, I worked hard. Together a group of like minded women, created a space were there was little competition and comparison, there was huge amounts of grace and it was breathtaking.

The funny thing is as I sat and looked at this dream realised, I thought deeply about my intentions for this year. I had just two things that were my big goals for this year. The first one to lose the weight I have gained with two babies in three years and also to publish my manuscript “Dear Single Self” for women over 25 who are single.

I sat there very soberly thinking even though this amazing event had transpired, the year was not finished yet, I haven’t achieved my two big goals for this year.

Then on Sunday the message at church that said this;

“Turn good intentions into great actions by having a big purpose, giving a big effort & serving a big God. Just do it.” Haydn Nelson. (here is the podcast of this message)

Monday morning hit and I was out exercising again, I have cut sugar and wheat out of my diet once again. I have opened up my manuscript and am ready to send it nervously out to more publishers.

Both of these big intentions are such vulnerable parts of my life. My hands are shaking as I write this blog. This year is not over though and I will keep moving towards the promises I made myself in my Change Reflection Pages.

What did you promise yourself this year?

What did you say that you would do?

I am here to tell you that the year is not over yet.

It is not too late to have another go and to rise again strong. If you wrote out your Change Reflection Pages, pull them out and have another read.

Just do it!


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Having courage to change the things we can…

Flowers, beach, inspiration
Flowers, beach, inspiration
Flowers are my favourite.

Humans are beautiful, humans are complex, humans are brilliant.

Every person we meet, every story we encounter is bathed in the harsh reality of humanity.

We are a swarming mix of emotions, agendas, passions, beauty, innocence, detail, forgetfulness and desire.

When Reinhold wrote the Serenity Prayer I am sure he was deep in the mess of humanity.

I can see him at his desk, with his pen in hand and his heart reeling in his throat, at the pain of trying to make a difference with his life in the midst of human story.

What part of the human story holds you back from letting stuff go?

What part of the human story compels you to step forward into the new?

I have found as I sit and listen to peoples story, many of them hold onto the stuff that they cannot change and then struggle to have the courage to change that which they can.

We get so stuck.

Do you feel stuck?

I often do.

The one thing I have been trying to do of late though is to start living the life I have always imagined. I have been stuck before because I realised I was waiting for someone to create the safety net in case I fail.

The more I step out and start doing the things I dream of, the more I realise that failure is just part of the human story. The question of those who are living deeply fulfilling lives is not whether they failed, it is whether they used the emotions and lessons from those failures to begin again.

Failure brings either two things;

  1. Belittlement. Where we allow the failure to define us.
  2. Wisdom. Where we learn and grow, living a life that is defined by what we have learnt in the failure.

My prayer this September is this…

“courage to change the things I can”

What can you change?

Do you need to ask someone for help?

The life you have always imagined to live is on the other side of fear. Yes, the brokenness of humanity means that there are some things we can never change, but what if we changed, what we can.

You might not be able to change where you live, but you can change your perspective.

You might not be able to quit your job, but you can start to build something in your life that brings forth your passion.

You might not be able to launch that dream that has been in your heart forever, but you could sit with a coach or mentor and find baby steps to start your journey toward it.

What is something that you can change?

This week I emailed another magazine editor with one of my manuscripts, I took a deep breath and just had a go. I find often in my life, the courage builds as I just step out and do it.

Taking small steps towards the massive goals I have always dreamed of.

What are you going to change today, to bring forward something new in your tomorrow?



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the space between where you are and where you want to be

Sydney, creativity, goals
Sydney, creativity, goals
Sydney, Flowers.

Do you feel like you were made for something more?

Have you let go of an old season but are unable to find the words to explain your new one?

Do you have an idea, that will take a whole heap of courage to actually see it realise?

Are you stuck, but the only thing holding you from moving forward is fear of the unknown?

The thing you are most afraid of is called the Liminal Space.

The Liminal Space, is an artistic word to describe the space when you are on the threshold of something new and wonderful, but you are just not there yet.

Another way to put it, in my words “The in-between”.

We spend more days, in seasons of transition, than we actually do in seasons of success, so how come we feel so ashamed of describing our days this way?

If we told a friend, I am just about to do something cool, I just don’t know what it is yet, they would probably look at you a little funny and say “Okay, then.”

I love this idea of threshold.

the magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction, phenomenon, result, or condition to occur or be manifested.

My definition is this…’we are destined for purpose, but are waiting in a position of hope for its discovery.’

The funny thing I am discovering about the Liminal Space (the moments right at the threshold of new) is we can so easily lose the potency of these precious moments, by filling our time with just anything, rather than the right things.

When my son Maximus had just turned one, I had a series of brilliant job offers. It was honestly the hardest decision in this season to say no, to these opportunities. I knew without a doubt that I needed to succumb to the in-between. I was on a journey of discovery and filling my time with anything, just so I could escape the Liminal Space, would have stopped the growth and potential in my in-between.

When we let go of an old season with finality and grace, it propels us into a new space of maturity.

When we hold onto anger, disappointment, lack of forgiveness and strife, it holds us captive in a holding pattern in the liminal and we will do anything to grab onto something that will drag us out of that funk.

I believe the space between the known and the unknown, teaches us more than any opportunity does.

One of my favourite writers Richard Rohr says this of the Liminal Space;

a unique spiritual position where human beings hate to be but where the biblical God is always leading them. It is when you have left the tried and true, but have not yet been able to replace it with anything else. It is when you are finally out of the way. It is when you are between your old comfort zone and any possible new answer. If you are not trained in how to hold anxiety, how to live with ambiguity, how to entrust and wait, you will run…anything to flee this terrible cloud of unknowing.

Are you willing to say no to some things, so you can say yes to great things, in the space of unknowing?

Are you happy to walk slowly in an open space of transition, rather than filling your days with something, just so you feel safe?

This is the walk of the in-between.

To keep hoping,

To keep discovering,

To keep dreaming,

but not to fill your days with something or someone, just so you can escape the terrible feeling of not knowing.

I have found, we need to take small steps, breathe deep breaths, read great words, think brilliant thoughts and reconnect with our true purpose in these seasons of change.

Beauty is awaiting discovery in the in-between.

Take a step.

Move with grace.

Don’t just fill your days with anything though, dig deep and move forward with purpose.

Let peace lead you home.

It has always been my best navigating friend.