To New Beginnings

I’ve gone through so many iterations of having a blog that I almost convinced myself that I couldn’t carry through with anything that involved me speaking my truth. Then a friend of mine reached out and asked me where she could start a blog. I didn’t think much of it then because she wants to blog about something deeply personal as a way to help herself grieve and share her journey with others. I love this idea and I use writing in other more introverted ways like journaling to work through stuff. But to start a personal blog for others to read? That felt way too vulnerable for me.

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Then several things happened at once in my brain - as is often the case when you’re finally ready to work through some shit (in my experience). :D The first thing I thought about was what I’ve learned about fear.

When I went to my first ABWA National Conference in October 2017 I was a totally different person. I worked at a job I absolutely loved - one that paid for my attendance, time off and my boss even attended with me! I was an employee who was treated well, but still an employee. I wasn’t confident at all in myself or my potential. In fact, I was much more comfortable whispering my dreams in the back of the room than declaring them and playing full out - succeeding or learning. #failureisnotreal

During that conference there was one thing I took away more than any other - fear is a compass and courage is freeing. So I made myself a promise - whenever anything feels scary, I do everything in my power to do it. And if it feels terrifying - I’m first in line.

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On the second day of the conference this meant volunteering to speak off-the-cuff to a room of about one hundred women for a minute. I was terrified and - unlike all the other volunteers who took our long lunch break to draft out what they wanted to talk about - I took the challenge literally and only picked a topic before I went on stage. #hardcore

I had spoken at my chapter’s meeting the prior week about Brendon Burchard’s idea of transitions in order to move between tasks and help maintain your mental energy throughout the day. Learning how to use this tool was revolutionary for me and is something I still absolutely love to teach people about. Sure, I was nervous and shaking and sweating, but I got the whole room to take a moment to close their eyes, sit in their own minds and remember that they create their reality.

People came up to me the rest of the week thanking me for sharing it with them and reminding them of that power to center themselves and it was amazing! To top it off, me and my chapter had put together a mixer for over one hundred women to meet up before the conference began in a totally informal atmosphere. Something that definitely scared me and was no small feat! But I got the word out by responding like crazy to everyone on the message boards and giving them the details for the mixer. Once people checked in the night of the mixer, they would recognize me from all my comments directing people and answering questions online. Throughout the REST of the conference people would see my name tag and say “Oh you’re THAT Amanda!” and we’d chat. It was incredible!

It wasn’t the notoriety that I enjoyed, it was the community. The ability to help people in some small way - to connect with each other, to ease into an unfamiliar town with hundreds of unfamiliar faces, or re-connect with themselves for a moment in a quiet conference room. And the courage - of the women who told me I made an impact and helped them in some small way. We all experience life-shifting moments and sometimes we recognize them and even give credit to those who impacted us most. To those who forever changed us. But just as often - we don’t. We don’t take the time to appreciate when someone helps us see things in a different light or expands our worldview.

So for these women to come and say hello and express how I helped them - well. They helped ME! I became greedy in the only way I think we can be both greedy and good - greedy for those feel good fuzzies that I get (and I suspect you do too) when we help someone else. Even if it’s just handing them a genuine compliment or buying their coffee. You know - shining a little love on other people. <3

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The next thing that came into focus was that someone I really admire recently told me she is writing a book. I was so incredibly WOWed and could not wait to support her in this endeavor. The courage, passion and dedication it takes to embark on this endeavor intimidates me.

Sure, I have a few book ideas in mind - but writing them? Not just yet. That still feels like a “someday” dream. I know it’ll come, but my focus is elsewhere right now. My words for 2019 are Brave Warrior - and this woman is hands-down braver than I am! We chat regularly and she updates me on the progress of the book and every time we do - I am reminded how much I miss writing.

Then I began to think about The International Women’s Summit I attended in Phoenix, Arizona in early March - where it feels like my life was changed. My life’s purpose and trajectory solidified on so many levels and now I can’t help but live in radical, redemptive truth.

Amongst SO MANY incredible lessons, I was reminded of one of my favorite “mantras” by someone I really admire - and even more so after seeing her speak. Glennon Doyle gave me permission to just “feel” things in her book Love Warrior. It was permission I didn’t know I needed, and I read it two weeks before the conference, so the sudden rawness of allowing myself to be open to opportunities to be vulnerable is still very new to me. Glennon says, “We can do hard things.” And when I need a little extra kick of courage - I repeat that to myself.

One of the reasons I was so drawn to Glennon Doyle in the first place was because of her struggles with both food and addiction. She was so open about her reliance on these mechanisms to dim herself and her emotions and hearing her story made me realize why I struggled with the same things. So when she started a blog to process her life - and ended up connecting with so many others who needed to hear her story in order to feel validated, heard and like they weren’t alone - I completely understood. But the idea of me diving into the blogosphere again? Terrifying.

That’s when I knew I had to do it.

It was bizarre. To have these three intense feelings - kicking fear in the face, my longing to write and have an outlet again, and the reminder that I can - and have done - hard things was something I couldn’t ignore. When my friend mentioned wanting to start a blog, I felt the Universe nudge my shoulder with a casual wink like “Remember all those other blogs you started? You learned from them. You weren’t ready to tell your truth yet, and now you are.”

How could I ignore that?

Writing a blog isn’t hard. Not for me anyway. The writing is the easy part - it’s the emotion, the vulnerability that’s the hard part. (And keeping up with it!) I can write “Why I meditate.” Or I can write “How meditation saved me from killing myself.” Which do you think will be more raw and truthful?

So here’s to my first new blog post. Here’s to not having a schedule in mind for posting. Here’s to following inspiration, telling hard truths, and allowing others to experience the full version of my story. Here’s to new beginnings!

Peace out girl scouts.

-A