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How To Get Unstuck?

We all get stuck. Moments and seasons when we cannot get clarity and see beyond today. In our businesses, communication and life strategies.

I think that is why New Years Resolutions get such a bad reputation because they belong in the land of “being stuckness”. Change is hard, reframing mindsets is even harder and then add to the mix negativity, bullying and good old self-esteem.

Would you like to get unstuck?

“Don’t ever let anyone ever make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want.” – 10 Things I Hate About You

Desire is a powerful emotion both for the positive and negative parts of our lives and often we get stuck in the realms of our dreams because we become disappointed when we have been hoping for something and it has not been realised.

Over the last fourteen years, I have asked myself a series of questions that have helped me reform my perspective and shift into the new season. Does that mean it has been easy?

Nope, Nah, doubt it!

Change is powerful but it is painful and unless we uncover the parts of our today that are locking us in a holding pattern we cannot access the momentum needed for the new.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

A simple sentence has been repeating over and over in my heart lately. If we keep doing the same things we have always done and we are expecting a different result, that is insanity.

The thought of setting goals and re-hoping again for the new year can be hard but is it just as hard as staying stuck where you are?

The best way you can move forward is to take the time to process, let go and find courage for your new tomorrow. Writing is a powerful way to do this exact thing.

I have designed a book that includes these questions and the process I have done now for 14 years. It includes articles to help you process, let go and dream again. It is called NEW DAYS and can be bought in a download version for $9.95 and also a printed book version for Australian residents for $19.95 including shipping.

If I can give you any advice right at the beginning of this holiday season, take the time to reflect and reclaim your future this New Year. If you are ready to explore a little and then begin again, this date with yourself was made just for you.

We need to be honest with ourselves for this to work.

Here is how this vision book works:

Print off these pages and find a favourite pen.

Get a drink that makes you smile (coffee, wine, tea, apple cider, ginger beer or a milkshake).

Set your atmosphere to a quiet and reflective space (Candles, music or people/ cafe/ buzz/ city life).

Turn off your phone. (like really, no Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest).

Start by saying thank you for the year that was and open your heart up for new inspiration for the year coming.

Then dive in.

You inspire me already.

Amanda

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ten ways I am bringing inspiration back into my life

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I was riding on the back of a motorbike in rural Indonesia, just a few short months ago and I realised something was very wrong. The wind was rushing through my hair, I was resting my head on my husband’s shoulder and everything within me should have been buzzing. This situation in the past would have filled me with adrenaline and my heart would have been racing.

As a creative, pioneering soul, my heart aches to rebel. It is like I have always been curiously designed to push the boundaries, not in an intensely negative way but an innovative edge to challenge the status quo. Honestly, I believe if we are not pushing boundaries, then we will be constantly seeking comfort and nothing new is birthed in this position.

It was this Thursday afternoon in Indonesia that I knew something needed to change for 2017 and that my time as a stay at home Mum after five years was coming to a close. It was a natural transition, as my now not so little first born Maximus was starting full-time school. My second born Liberty has that same I want to leap out of the nest innovative style like her Mum, so we have decided to put her into a pre-kindy program and I am stepping back into part-time work.

After a lot of processing, I have come to the conclusion that there are many reasons for my squashed adrenaline response on the back of the motorbike that day. One being grief, I realised that to shut down to pain was to shut down to joy. I also realised that the constant stimulation from little people’s questions and demands had depleted my creative heart. I also knew that tiredness and lack of solitude had zapped my inspiration tanks. Together, my husband and I have come up with a simple plan to refuel my inspiration responses this year with ten simple ways I am bringing inspiration back into my everyday life.

 

TEN WAYS I AM BRINGING INSPIRATION BACK

I am prioritising “rhythm over accomplishment”.

It is easy to get overwhelmed by the urgent rather than the important. The life of a parent is filled with urgent needs in front of our vegemite smeared faces and yes our attention is absolutely needed by those closest. But an empty washing basket, worn as a badge of honor, that is prioritised over a manuscript that is awaiting attention does not give me the same long-term satisfaction as expressing the gifts that lay dormant. I am pursuing a rhythm this year, where I am seeking the important over the urgent and saying no to those things filled with the obligations that drain. Five-minute journalling and reading every day, rather than a big binge once a week.

 

I am prioritising “connection over scrolling”.

There are many days that I cannot remember who contacted me where and what I am responding too. It is like social media has fractured my connection space and it used to be one of my strengths. I have messages waiting on Instagram and people texting me replies to something I posted on social media and facebook messages, tweets, likes, follows and comments. My brain is exploding from all the messages that are flying back and forth and it is changing my capacity to remember who I have spoken to about what. I have decided this year, that I am not going to feel the pressure to respond to every text, message, and invitation that flys at me. I am prioritising face to face connection and phone conversations with people. If anyone wants to communicate online with me I am asking them to email me and once a day I will respond via email. I have also disconnected email from all my different computers and screens. I am only having my email account on my laptop and will be unsubscribing from all the emails that do not add value. I am prioritising my connection with people and thoughtful responses over scrolling and half answers and emojis filled with rolled eyes and exhales.

 

I am prioritising “health over speed”.

My life as a Novice Mum has been categorised by vegemite toast on the run and coffee going cold in a cup. I have survived the last five years, by saying yes to all of you and my children over time walking, exercising and creating healthy boundaries with food. So once again I stand here at the beginning of a new year and I am faced with the weight I have carried around with me, as I have chased my children through life. I am choosing health over speed and apples over toast, water over Pepsi max and herbal tea over coffee.

 

I am prioritising “writing over pleasing”.

Social Media brings with it such instant gratification. Every time you like my post, my people pleasing nature is ignited and the loss of online engagement over the season when I turned my phone off, made me feel deep places of rejection. This year I am choosing to write instead of people please online. The requests, the reaching out and the conversations are all so important, but it has come at a cost and the cost is the voice that I have been developing each time I sit to write with intention and grace. This year I am promising myself to write more and people please less.

 

I am prioritising “music over noise”

I like to know what is happening in the world. With two little people listening to the news in all its glory, I have realised how deeply destructive our media is. Each morning I like to put on the news and listen to it as I make breakfast. I also have a habit of listening to the news at nighttime as I prepare dinner. This year I am changing that deeply engrained habit. I am choosing music, uplifting songs and atmosphere’s, over the systemic nature of the world and its media organisations. This decision is one of my hardest, as I feel like I am saying goodbye to friends. But I would prefer to read articles and books with a more balanced world view, that the way the media has turned.

 

I am prioritising “being present over perfect”

One of my greatest privileges of 2016, on that trip to Indonesia was reading a couple of books that were profound. I read Shauna Niquest’s book Present over Perfect and I think it was the grace shift I needed in this whole season of my life. Here is the link if you want to have a read. We have also decided in February to do a book club with Elaine Fraser, Jodie McCarthy and I with this book if you want to order and read along.

 

I am prioritising “listening over apologies”

This one is a hard one. My husband said this recently “Do you realise how often in a day you apologise my love?” Woah, a stop the car moment. I spend so much of my day teaching my children to say sorry and to stop and to sit in the corner, that I have become an apology machine. When I slow myself down, I have realised that I constantly apologise for my voice. So rather than say sorry, I am going to listen more and be slower to speak.

 

I am prioritising “space over clutter”

Yesterday we de-cluttered our spare room and we deep cleaned our pantry. The plastics cupboard got a good spanking and our fridge was emptied again. I am a serial de-clutterer, but I absolutely believe the only reason I am able to write today is because my space is prioritised. It is the simplest inspiration principle, but it is profound. This year I am once again prioritising buying quality over quantity and removing myself from the culture that more is more. Whoever dies with the most stuff does not win. I refuse to be drawn into this cultural phenomenon, that if my Instagram feed is full of the latest and greatest, that I am somewhat successful.

 

I am prioritising “making over buying”

In my pursuit of consuming less, I am taking the time to make things, rather than just buy them. I have pulled out my sewing machines more times in the last couple of months than I have in the last few years. Second hand to me is my delight and hand me downs are our sustenance. I refuse to mindlessly scroll the shopping centre, throwing stuff in my basket so I feel better, I am going to get my hands dirty and make food, clothes and I know I will find the satisfaction of making there.

 

I am prioritising “the pavement over the couch”

Last night as the sun was setting my husband dressed our family in their outdoor gear and pushed us all off the couch. We should have been having showers and settling in for the evening, but he forced us out to the beach and the result was profound. The whole way as the pavement stared up at me, I wanted to return to the comfort of the couch but getting active and breathing in fresh air is the best remedy for inspiration that I know. Drinking water, talking and walking is one of the greatest ways to connect as a family and I am prioritising the pavement this year over the couch.

 

What are you prioritising this year?

Welcome to my new series that I will be publishing every Friday of 2017, “ten ways with Amanda”. A series of articles that will be releasing each week encouraging inspiration and encouragement for our weekly lives.

Happy Creative and Inspired Year truth Seekers,

I’m hoping to write a lot more in this space this coming year.

Amanda Marie

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you are enough

The farm
Eagle Rest, Dwellingup

Each day awakens across our Earth with the same number of moments. There are families in this very moment savouring each and every breath as they wait and watch their loved one pass, there are Mothers today regretting times when they said something that fractured their family apart. There are wives sitting without husbands, counting the days, seconds and milli-moments, hoping they could rearrange and go back to a place when what was lost could be re found. There are men crying at the charred remains of their beloved homesteads.

Every moment across our Earth, people are succeeding, people are fading, people are burying and people are birthing.

We each have the same amount of moments, but we each spend these moments very differently.

The last month for us, has been a crazy ride of delight and devastation. From losing loved ones, to welcoming favourites from overseas. From opening presents, to New Years reflections. From the bushes of the outback of Western Australia, where scorpions landed on friends legs, to winding back lanes in New Zealand, foraging to celebrate the life of a dear friend.

Tonight as I sit here and write, the farm where this photo was taken just a few short days ago, is just one town from a raging bushfire. Life is increasingly fragile and the more we give in to the delicateness of its trust, the more we struggle with our capacity to move forward into new days.

As I have traversed the highs and lows, the long plane trips and the slow, telling forrest highways, I have had a little something raging in my heart of hearts. A few words that change absolutely everything.

These words are not just for me this New Year I suspect, I am thinking they are for you as well.

Words that have haunted me, because if I was absolutely down right, disgustingly honest. I did not achieve either of my goals for twenty fifteen. Both of them remain unfulfilled. With every valid excuse in the world, I just didn’t pull them off.

How about you?

What about your New Year?

Has it been quiet?

Has it been devastating?

Has it been uneventful?

What about quietly inspiring?

The words that have been whispering to me in the wake of such a unexpected and dramatic end to twenty fifteen are these simple three words.

You

Are

Enough.

You are enough my friend.

My dear friend Ruthee has taught me more in her passing, than any moment of intense conversation that we have shared together. That life is so short, it is a vapour, it passes through our hands, leaving joy and questions in its wake.

What stops us often from stepping forward into days of deep satisfaction, is we spend our days looking backwards and trying to make sense of our past mistakes.

This New Year the greatest gift you can give yourself is to be kind, forgiving and gracious to yourself more than others. By telling yourself you are enough.

You alone are enough

You have nothing to prove to anyone.

Maya Angelou

We stumble and we fall, we step over and around people and memories, we are impacted greatly by grief and unanswered questions but one of the greatest hurdles to living a deeply satisfied life is always carrying the burden of shame and not enough-ness. (I know it’s not a word, but I like it).

Not only are you enough, but those who are closest to you, your kids, your husband, your friends, they are enough.

Isaiah 41:10 reminds me of this…

Do not be afraid for I am with you.

Do not be discouraged, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you.

I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

In the wake of seasons that don’t make sense, when you are unsure if you can keep walking into a New Year, New Day, New Season, New Month, New…new…new..

Be kind and forgiving, take it slow and be soft with yourself.

You are enough.

Lower your expectations of yourself and just walk.

Walk slow, walk kind, walk…walk…walk.

And if you haven’t taken time to reflect this New Year yet, then it is not too late.

Ask questions.

Forgive yourself.

Let go.

Step over.

It is a new day and you are enough.

I had so many plans about how I would launch twenty sixteen, with new looks and new ideas, but honestly for today, this is enough.

Join me in tagging your creative pursuits or what inspires you this year with the hashtag #inspire16

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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.

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she knows her worth

She knows her worth
She knows her worth
Womanhood and Wisdom

Writing is the weirdest of pursuits. We sit in a room by ourselves, opening up our lives and heart, to an audience we very rarely meet.

I have readers of my books and blogs all over the world, yet it is very rare that I get to see or hear the impact that my writing has on them.

The greatest part of writing this blog, is the emotional processing and the reminder as a Mum, that there is a life outside of the four walls of my lounge room. Each and every time someone emails me, writes a comment, forwards my writing on social media, I am amazed.

Not because I think I am worthy and should be promoted, but because in some way my musings about life and truth have impacted someone and we have intersected each others moments, often alone, somewhere remote, thinking about the same things.

One of the hardest parts about becoming a first time Mum, was letting go of my career and subsequently all the friends and colleagues I worked with. My optimistic self assumed that we would continue to hang out and do crazy things together, but seasons shift and so do people and I rarely see them any more. A quick wave at an event, a hug and ‘what are you up to now’ and a smile that says briefly ‘Gosh, your kids are cute’.

I had to do a major realignment of who and what I got my sense of worth from.

It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life and I have had some difficult seasons.

I realised quickly that I had got so much of my self esteem and sense of worth out of what I did, rather than who I was.

Enter the woman of wisdom.

Proverbs 31 calls her a virtuous woman.

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth far  more than rubies.

Wisdom is far from revered in our social media crazed world. We praise beauty, we rate how many followers we have on instagram, we promote the woman with the most friends and the best resume. It would be rare in an interview for a promotion that the interviewee was asked

‘How wise do you think you are?’

‘How mature are you?’

‘Where do you get your worth and value from?’

The startling thing is though, when we dig deep and find our worth from our character, morals and strength rather than what other people say to us, we will contribute significantly to any circumstance we find ourselves in.

Proverbs 8:11
For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

How much do you value seasons of difficulty when they bring wisdom and character into your days?

Are you trying to escape seasons of anonymity in pursuit of the glamorous?

When our character is tested, when our lives are proved, we realise how truly valuable the very bland landscape of character, loyalty and truth can be.

When we grow we are shaped.

When we dig deep into places that many are not willing to go, we refine the precious jewels in our souls that make us shine in the darkest of situations.

I long to live a life that not only I am proud of but those closest to me are as well.

Proverbs 12:4
A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

Every time I reassess my sense of self through the eyes of maturity, grace and character, I grow a little larger on the inside.

Every time I rate my self by people’s comments, the number of people who are following or my job description, my heart shrinks a lot.

At the moment the screen saver of my phone says this ‘The more I fill myself with truth and grace, the less I need validation from others.’

I am determined in this season to frame my sense of self by worthy pursuits, rather than things of the world that fade away.

How about you?

What shapes your sense of self and worth?

How valuable do you think you truly are?

Wisdom would say that you are deeply valued, in fact worth more than all of the most precious jewels in the whole world.

To keep reading my series Click here She leaves a legacy

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