I Have A Confession To Make

I have a confession to make.

I’ve been a bit sad lately.

Yep. Just plain sad.

And now I feel like I’ve just walked through the trendiest restaurant in town with toilet paper stuck to my shoe, because admitting I have been feeling sad isn’t cool, sexy or exciting.

I also worry it might make you uncomfortable to know I’ve been a bit melancholy lately. And lord knows, a life coach isn’t supposed to make you feel uncomfortable! I’m supposed to stick to, “The Universe and I are totally killing this life thing together” kinds of Facebook posts and blogs. And yes, I am fortunate to feel that way a lot of the time. But, because of some recent events in my life, I’ve also been feeling sad.

Believe me, I fought this whole sad thing with a vengeance. I tried to be angry. “Surely there is someone or something I can blame for this feeling?” I thought. Yes—anger! Let’s try anger. Anger is righteous, powerful and even kind of badass.

But nope—being angry didn’t seem to help.

Hmmm…maybe I’ll try being a victim. I mean, how could anything sad happen to little ol’ me? I’ve been good. I’ve chosen to follow my heart. I try my best to be honest and kind to everyone.

Yep, I’ve been screwed. Life is being totally unfair, and someone or something needs to help me out of this pain. I mean, “Hellooooo Universe! If you were kind at all, you would save me from this horrible thing called sadness!”

But no person or thing seemed to be able to rescue me from sad-town.

So what the heck should I do now? Just feel…sad? Oh, no. That sounds so gross. So pitiful. Definitely not life coach material.

Or, is it?

Feeling sad is one of the most alive experiences we encounter. Perhaps that’s why we’re so scared of it. We feel it in our bodies. Our stomach turns. Our heart seems to actually ache in our chest. Our confident swagger slows to heavy, clunky steps. Our throat convulses in an effort to control our sobbing.

It ain’t pretty. But my gawd, it’s real. No wonder we try to numb our sadness with short-term salves like alcohol, food, meaningless hook-ups and Netflix binges.

The most panicked calls, texts and emails I receive from clients are when they are beginning to feel the dark clouds of sadness rolling in. They are scared. And honestly, these sweet, panicked pleas for help used to scare the beejebus out of me too. I mean, I better have the right thing to say. They are paying me to make their lives happier for gosh-sakes!

And when I was first starting out, I would try my best to talk people out of their sadness—a sort of pep talk/ tap dance routine that left us both looking at each other thinking, “This is bullsh*t.” I was doing this because I was just as scared of sadness as they were.

After some time and some valiant but failed attempts at avoiding and eradicating sadness, I realized that there is simply no way around it. We just have go through the eye of the storm. We don’t have to go through it alone, but we do have to go through it to get to the other side.

So, if and when you get a taste of that oh-so-real experience of sadness, I’m not going to try to talk you out of it any more. I’m not going to look at you with panic-stricken eyes and start my awkward pep talk/ tap dance routine in an effort to “fix” your unseemly condition. Because you aren’t doing anything wrong by feeling sad. And despite how it may feel, you are not going to explode into a million pieces.

I am not going to be able to take your sadness away, but I will do this:

I’ll remind you that you can handle it. I’ll never stop believing in you and your ability to handle difficult things.

I’ll remind you of your inner strength, and of your commitment to live with authenticity and integrity despite what life throws at you.

I’ll remind you to love your perfectly imperfect self.

I’ll be here for you if you need me.

And of course, I’ll always tell you if you have toilet paper stuck to your shoe.


October 23rd event- Learn HOW to Live Your Amazing Story!

Hi friends, I am super-duper excited about the new workshop I am offering on Sunday, October 23rd and it would make me smile from the inside out to have you join me!

I put some thought into what many of my clients (and most of the entire human race) spend a lot of time worrying about and it hit me that most of us just really want to make sure we live our best story–an amazing story.

We worry that we aren’t getting the most out of our life, reaching our potential or making a difference.

I get it. I’ve worried about that, too. However, I’m happy to say that I worry about it A LOT less now. But, my sense of freedom is a result of some WORK. I spent serious time and energy exploring (and moving past) the inner blocks that were holding me back and now I feel so much more free and excited about my life. And this is what I want for YOU.

You know deep down you want your life to have MORE.

MORE fun

MORE love

MORE meaning

MORE purpose


You are lost in your thoughts.

You are emotionally overwhelmed and frustrated.

You are unsure where to start.

You are TIRED of trying to figure out how to get unstuck from your current story.

I understand how it feels to be stuck.

I’ve dragged myself into work only to watch the clock until 5. Do you?

I’ve waited to start doing something that I really wanted to do until “a better time.” What about you?

I’ve looked at my Facebook feed with envy thinking “someday I’ll take a trip like that” or “one of these days I’ll take a chance on my dreams.” Sound like you?

I’ve wondered what those happy and content people had that I didn’t seem to get at the people-making factory. Is this you?


I learned how to change my tired old story.


It’s time to learn:

* HOW to get out of overwhelm and frustration to have MORE fun

• HOW to change your thoughts and get unstuck and have MORE love

• HOW to get out of feeling lost to have MORE meaning and MORE purpose

Show up for yourself on Sunday, Oct. 23rd. You can’t afford to put your amazing story on hold any longer!

Get more info and sign up for the workshop here!

Watch my short video about the workshop.


5 Tips for Surviving A Painful Break-Up


As a life coach who specializes in working with women, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the most interesting, brilliant, thoughtful and downright bad*ss women out there. I have also seen these same women feel completely and utterly shattered as a result of a painful break-up.

The truth is, none of us are above feeling this broken because romantic relationships can carry so much emotional weight in our lives. If we are doing this whole relationship thing the right way, we are allowing ourselves to be vulnerable with another person. We are giving someone a part of ourselves and, darn it, that is freaking brave!

So, while it may sound crazy, experiencing the pain of a relationship ending should also cause you to congratulate yourself. You were brave. You entered the scary and unpredictable arena of love and you played. The only way to avoid the pain of a relationship ending is to simply not participate. And sitting on the sidelines in the game of life and love is no way to live, my dear.

While none of us would choose to feel the pain and disappointment that comes with a break-up, we can choose how we want to move forward and heal. And frankly, based on my personal and professional experience, I’ve learned that some ways of going about this process are much healthier than others.

Here are 5 tips to remember as you navigate the process of healing after a painful break-up:

1. Limit communication with your ex  

You’re hurting, you’re confused, you need someone to talk to…I get it. But, your ex cannot be this person for you. I repeat, your ex cannot be this person for you. It’s understandable that you want to reach out to your ex. After all, this was the person you talked to every day, this was the person you shared all of your thoughts and feelings with up until that awful, terrible day that you broke up. This was your person. Surely talking to your person will make you feel better, right? Absolutely not..

Every time you reach out to your ex, you are putting yourself in the position of being re-injured. It’s like you’re picking at a scab that is trying to heal (a gross metaphor, but it works). Don’t sabotage your healing process by communicating with your ex when you are grieving. Give the scab time to do its job.

This also goes for social media. Unfriend, block, deactivate…do whatever must be done to avoid knowing where your ex is happy-hour’ing on Friday.

2. Put closure on the backburner

But, you say, what about closure? I need closure! I am not saying that it is never appropriate to seek more clarity from an ex about a break-up. However, if possible, try to let some time pass before you put yourself in this vulnerable situation. Get clear about what it is that you are truly seeking in this conversation. Make sure that you aren’t trying to put this person in the position of making you feel better. Because, honestly, that isn’t their job anymore. It’s your job to take care of you. I love things to be tied up neatly with a bow as much as anyone, but when it comes to matters of the heart, we can’t always know why things didn’t go as planned. Life is messy, but it is also beautiful. It may not feel like it today, but an even-better story is unfolding for you.

3. Do it YOUR way

A lot of well-meaning people will be telling you what you need to do to feel better about a break-up… “The best way to get over someone is to get under someone”, “You just need a crazy night out with the girls”, “Maybe you should get a dog”…any of this sound familiar?

You, and only you, know what you need. And, sometimes what you need fluctuates day to day… or even hour to hour. When my heart breaks, it takes a village to put it back together again. I dial up friends all over the country, my therapy appointments increase and I re-play and re-tell the same stories, feelings and thoughts to my amazingly patient support system. And, after some time, the loss begins to have less and less power over me.

The village approach is what works for me. But, maybe you feel the need to withdraw for a little while. Perhaps you need to go inward to wrestle with what happened and to find your own path towards healing. The only “right” way to grieve a break-up is your way. Listen to your gut, trust your instincts and remember that no one knows what you need better than you. State what you need (or don’t need) clearly and kindly to the well-meaning- advice-givers in your life and remember that your grieving process doesn’t need to make them happy.

4. Remember that you can be alone without being lonely

If you’ve become accustomed to living in the world of “us” it can feel terrifying to enter the world of “party of one, please.” It’s normal for this territory to feel scary and unfamiliar. But, just because you’re watching Game of Thrones alone these days, doesn’t mean that you have to feel lonely.

Seek out connection. Maybe you’ll find that with others, or maybe it will be by yourself. But, engage in activities that give you a sense of connection regardless of your relationship status– listen to music you love, set up dates with friends, go to yoga, volunteer– do whatever it takes to remind you of the many gifts and types of connection that this life has to offer us.

5. Stop calling it a “failure

This is a lesson I learned from my 75- year- old mother (who I happen to think is the most brilliant life coach ever). Several years ago, Al and Tipper Gore shocked the public when they announced they were divorcing after 40 of marriage. How could it be? They seemed so good together, so committed…so impenetrable. My mom and I were watching the media discuss the breaking news and they seemed to be almost relishing in the “failure” of this union. Well, my mom had heard enough and started shouting back to the the TV, “Their marriage wasn’t a failure! They spent 40 years together. They raised a family together. That’s hardly a failure.”

Wow, such a profound and progressive message coming from my 75- year-old mother! But, she’s absolutely right. A relationship ending after 40 years, or even one year, shouldn’t be framed up as a failure. As I said earlier, you took a risk entering into this thing called love, relationship and commitment. You were vulnerable. You were willing to let someone in and to share your life with someone. This, my dear, is not for the faint of heart.

So, pause for a moment to take inventory of all of the wonderful things you saw in yourself and in this relationship. Show admiration and compassion to the parts of yourself that chose to step into the arena. Find confidence knowing that you have the capacity to love and to care deeply for another person.

And if there are things that you wish you would have done differently, approach those feelings with curiosity. Commit to getting real with yourself about how you can learn and grow from both the relationship and the end of the relationship. This increased self-awareness will allow you to approach your next relationship (and there will be one) with even more confidence that you can be a great partner. Just think how lucky this person will be to bask in the light of your increased sense of love, grace and wisdom!

Need some help getting through a break-up or navigating the often-frustrating territory of dating & relationships? Let’s chat to see how I can be of help. www.lifecoachamanda.com

This article was first published by Reset Retreat, a luxury wellness retreat for women.

Dating with Authenticity and Confidence Course

I am so excited to be offering a 3-part dating course for smart, sassy, single women.

The course, Dating with Authenticity and Confidence, will be divided into three sessions and we will meet every other week for six weeks. I am offering this course over several weeks to allow us to spend a meaningful amount of time and energy on this important topic. Plus, spreading the course over six weeks will allow you to begin applying what you are learning out there in the “real world” while we are meeting as a group. We can support each other and, of course, talk about all the important details.

I understand how frustrating and, at times, demoralizing dating can be. The “dating game” is full of landmines that can bring out insecurity and frustration in the best of us.

Let’s make dating in 2016 a different story!Dating Workshop Front

What if the process of finding a partner could be something that you actually enjoy? I’m here to tell you that it actually can be enjoyable when you are living a life that radiates authenticity and confidence!

I want to offer you a way to get personal results at a group rate. I will only enroll up to 8 women in this course. Keeping the group small will allow us to have quality connection and discussion.

Let’s get you feeling like a dating bad*ss! Learn more here

10 Reasonable and Achievable Health Tips for 2016

(Guest post from my wise, beautiful, reasonable nutritionist friend, Colleen Flynn)

Happy 2016! Welcome to the Detox/Fasting/Dieting/”I’mGoingToTheGymEveryDay” Month.

Many of us start the New Year with a massive list of resolutions – “I’m going to detox, go Paleo, lose 15 lbs, run a marathon, give up sugar, go vegan, join Crossfit, starting NOW.”

Talk about stressing yourself out. Remember that small changes can add up to HUGE results. Taking on too much at one time usually leads to failure. Instead, pick one thing and accomplish that. Then add another, and another.  Here are some tips on how to make subtle changes in your life and have 2016 be your healthiest year yet!

1. Skip the fad detox and find a plan you can stick to, and enjoy, all year long

The store shelves are packed with detox paraphenalia in anticipation for the New Years Cleanse.  Colon cleanses, Master cleanses, cabbage soup diets, juice cleanses- these are all just temporary fixes and for most people they lead to feelings of failure and future binges.  It is also impossible to reverse a year’s worth of unhealthy eating in a one week/month ‘detox’.  Our bodies are naturally detoxing themselves constantly and as long as you are giving it the fuel it needs these trendy ‘detoxes’ are completely unnecessary. Rather than a fad detox program, try this instead:

  • Find a healthy eating plan that you can stick to all year long. This way when next New Year rolls around you won’t feel the need for an extreme detox.
  • Focus on eating REAL FOOD, which means tons of organic veggies and fruits, nuts, grass-fed organic meat, eggs, and lots of healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, grass-fed butter, lard, and olive oil. Eating real food allows your body to THRIVE.  radish 2

2. Find an exercise program that you ENJOY

For me exercise is a way to de-stress and empower myself and I want to look forward to it.  We all have different needs when it comes to physical activity. Just because your best friend loves running 7 miles a day doesn’t mean you have to. I personally could happily live the rest of my life without ever jogging again.  There are so many options when it comes to working out—kick-boxing, Cross-Fit, cycling, Pilates, rock-climbing, hiking, Zumba, Barre, the list goes on and on. Try different programs until you find the one (or ones) that excite and motivate you!  Class Pass is a great way to try out different classes in your hood.

3. Focus on what you love about yourself instead of what you want to change about yourself

This is the one I am going to put at the top of my list this year. It’s so easy to look in the mirror and focus on the things we wish were different about ourselves. But what about the things we LOVE about ourselves. I truly believe that our thoughts have energy- so fill yourself with positive thoughts of self love and see where it takes you.

4. Say goodbye to caffeine

That daily cup(s)of joe that you think is making you so productive probably isn’t. Caffeine may rise you up for a bit, but once it wears off production declines leaving you reaching  for another fix.  Our bodies are meant to function without stimulation.  Healthy eating, sufficient sleep and exercise will energize you throughout the whole day without the peaks and valleys caused by caffeine.  Try going caffeine-free for a couple of weeks and see the difference.  You may experience a withdrawal headache, which should make you think about just how much caffeine is a drug, but I guarantee you will feel more balanced and focused within a couple of days.

5. Meditate at least once a day

Meditation is one of the best ways to set your intention and gain clarity for the day.  Start with just 5 minutes every morning. There are so many forms of meditation, but you can start simply by finding a quiet space, getting comfy, and  breathing calmly, trying your best to keep a clear mind while focusing on your breath.

6.Give up refined sugar

Say it with me: “Sugar is TOXIC for my body and brain.” Sugar contains tons of calories without any nutrients. There are no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals in sugar, hence why it is said to consist of “empty calories”. Here are just a few of the positive benefits you can experience by quitting sugar:

  • Weight loss
  • Clearer skin
  • More energy
  • More creativity
  • More willpower
  • Less cravings
  • Less inflammation
  • Less anxiety and depression
  • Reduced risk of illness

7. Sleep- A LOT

Sleeping is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind. And yet a majority of people do not get adequate sleep and their health suffers for it.  Having trouble falling/staying asleep? Here are some tips on how to wind down and get those much needed  ZZZ’s:

  • Make your bedroom your sanctuary by making your bed as cozy as possible with lots of pillows and soft blankets. Keep decorations to a minimum (to avoid stimulation) and fill the room with calming scents like lavender and chamomile.
  • Avoid bright screens within 2 hours of your bedtime. This is easier said than done for some people so if you MUST look at a screen…
  • Use blue light blocking glasses. These will block the blue glow from screens which suppress our natural sleep mechanisms.
  • Make sure your room is completely dark. Blackout curtains work wonders.
  • Avoid large meals before bed. It’s best to consume your last meal at least 3 hours before you hit the hay.
  • Avoid alcohol- although it may make you feel drowsy at first, it interferes with your sleep cycle.
  • Keep your room at a cool temperature around 68 degrees.
  • Keep your bedroom a space for SLEEP (or snuggling and loving) ONLY. This means no TV or work should take place in this room.

Need some motivation to get  to bed earlier? Here are just a few things getting an adequate amount of sleep is linked to:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased memory
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Lower stress
  • Higher concentration and productivity
  • Decreased risk of depression
  • Longer life span

8. Eat coconut oil every day

Coconut oil is one of my favorite super foods and benefits our entire body and brain. Our bodies thrive on fats and coconut oil is one of the best fats out there. Here are some reasons you should consume it daily:

  • Coconut oil boosts metabolism helping you burn more body fat and have more energy.
  • It is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
  • It is antibacterial.
  • It is great for your brain and has been shown to improve memory and cognitive functioning.
  • It balances both women’s and men’s hormone levels.
  • It tastes amazing and is a powerful sugar-craving killer.

 9. Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water per day

Water is such a part of our everyday life that we often forget how unique and essential to life it is. It plays a vital role in keeping our bodies’ cells, tissues, and organs running smoothly and when consumed daily, in the proper quantities, it can also prevent and heal many health disorders. Some of the benefits of drinking water:

  • Drinking water can help you lose weight
  • It will make your skin look and feel gorgeous
  • It aids in digestion
  • It can help prevent high blood pressure
  • It can provide heartburn prevention and relief

10. Wait at least one hour after waking up before checking your email and social media

Use the morning as a time to keep a space for your own thoughts and ideas. Checking emails or Facebook first thing in the morning disrupts your personal time, distracts you during meditation, and will tempt you to start your day reacting to work and others’ requests instead on focusing on your own personal needs.  You have all day to interact via email and social media. Keep your mornings stress-free and focused on you.  Try one of the following instead:

  • Sip a glass of warm lemon water and Himalayan sea salt to cleanse the liver and boost adrenal function
  • Sit outside and breathe in the fresh air
  • Meditate
  • Read
  • Write in your journal
  • Make a list of a few things you would like to accomplish that day

Colleen Flynn Picture

Colleen is a whole-food and wellness enthusiast. She is currently training at the Nutritional Therapy Association to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and has studied at the Nutrition Therapy Institute. She believes that food should please your taste buds while nourishing your body. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Her passion is helping others heal and thrive in their lives by strengthening their bodies and minds through healthy eating and a balanced lifestyle.

Website: Nutritionalzest.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Nutritional-Zest-1449575545357895/
Twitter: @nutritionalzest
Instagram: https://www.inst/agram.com/nutritionalzest
 Looking to live and love boldly in 2016? It’s time to create the life of your dreams. www.lifecoachamanda.com

The Art of Saying No- A Crucial Step in Self Care

Self- care is commonly defined as any intentional actions we take to care for our physical, mental and emotional health. Sounds great, right? Who can argue with taking care of oneself?  So, if it’s as non-controversial and agreeable as momma and apple pie, why are so few of us practicing it?

In my experience, one of the major barriers to self-care is our fear of letting people down by saying no to their requests for our time and energy. After all, we don’t want to be rude and most of us find it hard to disappoint someone. But, whether it’s a request for two dozen cupcakes for the bake sale, an invitation to a party, or being asked on a date, if we don’t watch out we can end up running in circles with no clear direction.

So, how do we go about protecting our physical, mental and emotional health? Onecanstockphoto say no significant step is by getting comfortable with saying no when it needs to be said.

For women, in particular, carving out time to take care of ourselves can be a real struggle. We wear so many hats– career woman, friend, mother, daughter, spouse, volunteer…the list goes on. When we’re juggling all of these things, it is likely that something is going to suffer, and usually it’s our self-care. So, whether we like it or not,  learning the art of saying no is an important part of staying balanced.

Have you heard the clever little inspirational quote “No is a complete sentence?” Yes, I suppose it is, but how many of us feel comfortable throwing that complete sentence around? From my personal and professional experience, I’d say not very many (myself included).

The thing is, most of us want to be liked and going around answering requests with a simple “no” might come off as a little harsh. But, it is important that we learn how to protect our time and energy because every time we say yes to something we are saying no to something else.

I’d like to offer a friendly little amendment to the quote above… How about “No is a complete sentence, but it’s OK to be nice about it.”

So how can we approach “no” in a way that is honest, kind and protective of our time and energy? Here are some helpful hints:

  • Keep It Simple–  It is not only unkind, but also way too complicated to make up little white lies to support your answer of no. It’s okay to simply tell the truth… “thank you so much for the invitation, but I am just too swamped right now,” or “I am not going to have time to make the cupcakes for the bake sale this year. I appreciate your understanding.”
  • Honor Your Values – A great filter in deciding whether we should say yes or no to a request is to evaluate it against our top priorities and values. If it doesn’t line up with our values, the most authentic response is to say no. Giving your time or attention to something or someone out of guilt or obligation is not fair to any party involved.
  • Shine Your Light– You are a unique person with your very own constellation of gifts and talents to share with the world. However, if your light is being hidden by piles of obligation and exhaustion, you are cheating the world from basking in your glow. The world needs you to show up in your most energized, authentic way. Don’t cheat us- or yourself-  from the fullest experience of you. Say no to the things that drain you so that you can say yes to the things that light you up!

As we approach the hectic holiday season, I hope that you can think of the art of saying no as an important part of your self-care. Getting comfortable with saying no is an important part of creating a life that is congruent with your deepest wishes and desires. And, that’s the kind of life you deserve!

Amanda has a Masters degree in Counseling and is a trained Life Coach. As a recovering risk-avoiding scaredy cat, she is passionate about empowering women to live and love boldly. She has spent hundreds of hours helping women create lives that are congruent with their deepest values and dreams and her writing has been featured in several on-line journals. To learn more about working with Amanda visit www.lifecoachamanda.com

How To Access Your Magic

In today’s video blog I share a tried and true strategy for getting in touch with your own unique, beautiful, creative magic.  And, yes, I shamelessly donned a ridiculously large cowboy hat in an attempt to grab your attention.

I hope this message (recorded from beautiful Montana) will inspire you to give some time to nurturing your roots– because that’s where the magic is, girl!



Join me on November 8th for a fun, paradigm-shifting workshop!

I would like to invite you to join me and other heart-centered women for a Girl, Get Your Roots Done Workshop on Sunday, November 8th!

For the cost of a mani-pedi, you can get clear about your values, create a tangible vision of your dreams for 2016 and beyond and connect with some fantastic ladies!

You can find out more information and sign up here http://lifecoachamanda.com/special-events/

True Confessions of a Life Coach

Hi ladies and gents of Girl, Get Your Roots Done! Sorry I have been MIA lately.  Lots of changes in my life and business!

As some of you know, I received my Master’s degree in Counseling several years ago, but I was still at my day job and only able to see a few clients. I am now pursuing my passion for helping others through coaching full-time and it is sooooooooo exciting!

In this video, I get pretty vulnerable about my personal journey of struggling to find happiness and what motivates me to help women create lives that they don’t just tolerate, but LOVE.

Thanks to each of you for your support and please let me know if I can be of any help to you www.lifecoachamanda.com

Here’s to living and loving boldly!



Is Black and White Thinking Making You Blue?

sad black and white

We live in a culture of either/or. We love labels, checkboxes and neat little categories– someone is either a hero or a zero, a liberal or a conservative, a good guy or a bad guy. It’s all so uncomplicated,so nice and tidy… unfortunately, it is also completely inaccurate and so untrue.

In psychology,we call this mindset black and white thinking.  And, I’m here to tell you that this kind of thinking can make you seriously blue.

Here’s what happens when we give into black and white thinking:

  • The person you’re dating is either perfect or horrible
  • Pursuing your dreams is either going to result in soul crushing disappointment or instant,unending happiness
  • Your mother is either Mother Theresa or Mommy Dearest
  • You are either strong or weak
  • You’re either overweight or you’re worthy of love

Black and white thinking gives us a false sense of control.

It allows us to protect ourselves by making sweeping judgements about others. It fools us into thinking we know how an experience is going to unfold before we even try. Most concerningly, it causes us to believe that we are defined by one aspect of ourselves or our story. (And we usually choose to believe the negative ones,don’t we?).  

The truth is that the human experience isn’t so neat and tidy. Life doesn’t fit neatly into a checkbox or an either/or construct.

Shortly after Steve Jobs’ death, I remember watching two commentators on the news hotly debating whether Mr. Jobs was either one of the most brilliant innovators of our time or if he was an egotistical, back-stabbing jerk who would stop at nothing to succeed. After hearing them go round and round for what seemed like eternity, I shouted at the TV “Maybe he was both!! He could have been both!!”. (Let’s just ignore that I was shouting at my TV and focus on the greater lesson here, mmmkay?)

Life is chock full of ands.

  • That guy you’re dating? Well, he might be funny and smart AND not the right man for you.
  • Taking that leap towards a career you will love? It will likely be exciting AND scary.
  • You’re struggling with your weight AND you deserve love.

Living in the beautiful, messy world of “and” allows us to extend love and grace to others and to ourselves.

It doesn’t mean we can’t continue to work on the parts of ourselves that we want to improve or that we don’t get to decide if certain people or experiences are the right fit for us. But, we face life with a more open heart and mind if we don’t jump to such a polarizing mindset.

So, next time you catch yourself applying black or white thinking to a person, a situation, or yourself, try inserting an “and” instead and see how it changes your perspective.

Girl, you are all that AND a bag of chips!

Amanda has a Masters degree in Counseling and specializes in helping women feel more empowered in their relationships, career and overall life satisfaction.  To inquire about individual coaching sessions, check out her website


This simple, fast (and free) exercise could change your life!

I had a not-so- pleasant realization the other day that really stopped me in my tracks; I am not sure I have been living my priorities.  It’s not that I’ve been living without values and that I don’t have priorities.  But if someone were examining my daily, weekly and monthly schedule they might be a little confused with how my “priorities” are jiving with how I’m spending a lot of my time.

I talk about my priorities.  I think about them regularly.  But, if I added up how much time I spend actively nurturing the top two or three priorities that are really important to me right now…well, let’s just say they don’t really look like priorities.


So, I decided to try a very simple, quick (and free!) little experiment.  I wrote down my top three priorities and decided to start evaluating how I’m spending my time against this short list.

Simple? Yes.  Easy? No.

I like to make people happy and, conversely, being around people makes me happy. So, my personal challenge is carving out time to focus on my priorities because they can’t always involve other people or making others happy (ugh, just writing those last few words makes me cringe). But now I have a clear, concise roadmap to consult when I am making decisions about when I need to say yes and when I need to politely say no.

So, I challenge you to join me in this simple exercise:  Take 5 minutes to write down your top two or three priorities.  Don’t create a laundry list.  Keep it to two or three items that are really, really important to you. Then, look at what needs to be eliminated or added in your regular routine to match those goals.

Do you need to get up earlier to fit in a workout? Do you need to say no to a fun trip so that you have money to pay off your debt? Do you need to say no to taking on more work so that you have more time with your family? Only you know what you need to be better aligned with your priorities.

Congratulate yourself if you are already actively living out your priorities (and email me your secret)!  But, if you’re like most of us and feel like the noise and clutter of life often gets too much of your attention, get excited because this simple exercise can be implemented so quickly that you’ll notice the positive results in no time.

Try it and let me know how it goes.

Lucky for me, communicating with YOU is one of my top priorities.


Amanda has a Masters degree in Counseling and specializes in helping women feel more empowered in their relationships, career and overall life satisfaction.  To inquire about individual coaching sessions, please email coachingwithamanda@gmail.com.






Friday’s Fierce Female- Jennifer McCamish

Meet Jennifer McCamish- Former Rockette, owner of Dancer’s Shape studio in Austin, Texas, and admitted frito lover.  Jennifer talks about the ups and the downs of pursuing her dreams.  I think you’ll find her story and advice inspiring. And, as a gal who is lucky to call her a friend, I can tell you that she is as nice as she is talented.



Was a career in dance/fitness always your dream?

Dance was something I connected with as a young child. I was constantly turning my living room or backyard into a production of The Nutcracker or a circus for my family’s viewing pleasure (or not). When I went to college, my parents begged me not to major in dance because they were concerned with how I would make a living. Nevertheless, after two years in a Liberal Arts degree I had tried every course under the sun and nothing felt right except dance. I knew then that movement had to be a part of my life – even if I didn’t know how I was going to make a living at it.

Being from a small town I had not been exposed to a wide range of dance and theater, just the local production of The Nutcracker, Oklahoma and occasional traveling circus. My senior year of college I took my first trip to NYC for a dance program and my eyes were opened to Broadway. I purchased a ticket in the third mezzanine of Radio City Music Hall and sat on the very back row and watched the The Rockettes perform at the Christmas Spectacular. I said to myself, “I am going to do this show one day.”

What have been some biggest risks/challenges/mental blocks/fears etc. you have faced in pursuing your passion?

There are a couple of moments that really stick out in my mind as huge obstacles. The first being when I approached a college professor to seek advice about moving to NYC to pursue my dance dream. I was surprised at her response, “New York will eat you up and you’ll never make it.” I don’t think she intended her words to be as harsh as they sounded, and she was most likely trying to warn me about how difficult NYC can be. However, those words stuck with me and made me question my talent and doubt myself. But after some time to think, all I wanted to do was show anyone who doubted me that I had more tenacity than they knew. I was the only one who could dig down deep to know what I was capable of and how hard I was willing to work at something I wanted. I could have let those words keep me home bound, but instead all I could think of is that I would never know what I am capable of until I tried; and that unknown felt worse than failing.

The second was my career transition from a professional dancer into the “real world.” I was petrified of failing at something new because all I thought I was good at was dance. I had to put myself out there in fields that laughed at my lack of experience. I played with many ideas and several jobs that were not suited for me but I learned something new about myself in each situation. While this growth process was humbling, it forged a pathway that brought a stronger, smarter and more experienced me; leading me back to my passion of movement and fitness and allowed me to open my own business

Now you have a successful business, but what was it like in the tough times? Did it ever get to you?

When I first opened the studio it was the most stressful time of my life. I would get up at 5 am, go in to the studio and teach 6 classes a day (sometimes to 1 and 2 people in each class since we had just opened). On my non-teaching time I would attempt to learn accounting, clean the entire studio, train new instructors, and get home around 10:30 pm. I would then proceed to binge on fritos dipped in pimento cheese and polish it off with a huge bowl of ice cream. It was disgusting and delicious all at the same time. I’m just sayin…a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to get through tough times.

What advice would you offer to women who want to pursue their passion but are scared or unsure about how to go about it?

Be open and flexible to the change and failure it takes to find your path. What you think you want to do might not pan out exactly the way you envisioned it. However, in the process you may find a different path that is a much better fit. Don’t let your failures discourage you from trying. Let those failures teach you invaluable lessons while building a smarter, resilient you.

If you could give some advice to your 22 year- old self, what would it be?

Trust yourself more, you are wiser than you know.

And, last but not least, why should someone check out Dancer’s Shape?

The workouts will change the way your mind and body looks and feels and the community is very special – warm and supportive, no matter what your goals are.

Click here to learn more about Dancer’s Shape!



3 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Dreams

dreamsSomething inside of you is saying that you want more…that you have more to offer the world. But, the thing is, it just stays there—sitting stagnantly inside that head, that heart, that gut of yours…


Here are three ways you may be sabotaging your dreams:

1. You are waiting to feel “special”- Here’s the deal, the people who are out there living their dreams are special.  Yep,that’s right.  They were born with this super fantabulous specialness chip, and you simply didn’t get. Sorry. You’re out of luck.  

How ridiculous does that sound?

When we look at the people who we admire; the people who are using their unique gifts in a way that fills them up and makes them shine from the inside out, we aren’t looking at some kind of alien from the Planet of Specialness of which we don’t belong.  Those people don’t have anything you don’t have —except maybe the realization that they didn’t have to be “special” before they started pursuing their dreams.

Take the pressure off of yourself to be “special” and allow the flawed, imperfect, brilliant, unique, authentic you to put one foot in front of the other.

2. You think you’re “lazy”– A mentor of mine once told me, “I don’t believe in lazy”.  She went on to explain her belief that there is always something deeper behind a person’s laziness— Maybe it’s a fear of failure. Perhaps it’s disbelief that you really can be happy; or that you deserve to be. Or, maybe, you have no tolerance for the discomfort and hard work that comes with leaving your comfort zone.  The next time you blame your “laziness” for not pursuing your dreams, I encourage you to look deeper. Examine it.

Don’t let yourself believe in lazy.

3. You don’t want to be an acorn– You’ve probably heard the analogy about how every beautiful oak tree once had to start out as an acorn. But, I mean, who the heck wants to be an acorn?! We want to be beautiful, big, strong oak trees, darnit!

I am going to take this opportunity to practice what I preach about vulnerability and share something with you—I would love, loooove, loooooove to be sitting on a couch across from Ellen someday (yes, as in DeGeneres). You know, just us girls. Chatting like old pals about spreading kindness, empowering women…saving the world…yada, yada, yada. Whoa! That’s some serious Oak Tree dreamin’, right? Sure, I’ll admit it. I have some big dreams. But, if I put that kind of pressure to succeed on every word I write or speak,I’d be paralyzed.

You have to be willing to be an acorn.

Tonight, being an acorn means sitting home on a Saturday night to write this post. Other days, being an acorn means submitting my writing to a publication and having it rejected. And, some days, this little acorn gets watered and fed by hearing that my words helped someone in some way.

It’s okay to have big Oak Tree dreams.  But, you can’t skip being an acorn. And, honestly, you don’t want to because it feels pretty darn good.

So, what is holding you back from pursuing your dreams? I really hope you’ll take the time to search for the answer to this question.

Girl, the world is waiting to receive what you have to offer.


This article was first published in A Better Me Magazine.

Amanda has a Masters degree in Counseling and specializes in helping women feel more empowered in their relationships, career and overall life satisfaction.  To inquire about individual coaching sessions, please email coachingwithamanda@gmail.com.




Do We Really Get Second Chances?

second chances


I’ve decided I am giving myself 200 more second chances. I should have it down by then!”

That was a Facebook post from one of my  funny, thoughtful friends the other day. Her musings are often playfully poignant, but this particular post struck me as sheer brilliance.

How freeing would it be to feel like you have 200 second chances? What about 2,000 second chances? Or, wait, what if “second chances” were actually unquantifiable?

The truth is, they are.  Each day, each minute…each breath gives us another chance.

So much of our mental anguish comes from worrying that there is some kind of limit to our “second chances.” We live in fear that if we choose the wrong path, we will be rendered unable to change our course. The fear of running out of chances can keep us stuck in our careers, our relationships and our personal growth.  We have thoughts like:

If I choose the wrong career, I’ll be stuck in a job I hate.

I ate that entire pizza, so I’ll never be capable of making healthy decisions.

I chose to be in this relationship, so I have to stay.

I slept with him too soon and now he expects it; so I can’t say no.


You have not, and will not, run out of second chances.  You get to change your mind, your behavior and your course at any time. It’s exhilarating and terrifying to accept this truth because it means you —and only you— have responsibility for your happiness. You can no longer blame your paralysis or your unhappiness on the boss, your significant other, or your “bad luck.”

If you’ve chosen a fork in the road that doesn’t feel right to you anymore, you get to stop, turn around and change your direction.  If you’ve engaged in behavior that doesn’t feel congruent with your values, you don’t have to keep doing it.  If a job or relationship no longer feels like the right fit for you, you get to re-evaluate and, yes, even leave.

When you believe that each and every moment offers you the opportunity to choose your behavior and feelings, you leave a victim mentality behind and embrace the joy and excitement of a powerful, creative mentality.  You become the designer, architect and builder of an amazing life.

No, you won’t be perfect.  Sure, you might make a mistake. And it won’t always be easy. But you’ll move forward with a calming understanding that you have an bottomless amount of do-overs (kind of like a basket of bottomless chips, but without the calories).

Girl, don’t limit yourself to second chances or even 200 chances.  Live and love knowing that each and every moment offers you the chance to live your best life.


Amanda has a Masters degree in Counseling and specializes in helping women feel more empowered in their relationships, career and overall life satisfaction.  To inquire about individual coaching sessions, please email coachingwithamanda@gmail.com









Single On Valentine’s Day. But, Would You Change a Thing?


A few years ago, I was having a conversation with a male co-worker about relationships and my state of singleness. Okay, if I’m honest, it was one of many conversations I had made this kind man patiently endure on this topic. After listening to me drone on about my horrible affliction for the gazillionth time, he asked with a voice of exasperation, “Amanda, why do you let being single define you so much?”

I remember it like it was yesterday because it struck me deeply and I felt embarrassed.

He was right.

Something clicked and I realized that he didn’t see me as his “single friend Amanda.” He saw me as a smart, funny, interesting woman and he was baffled – and almost angry – that I could not see myself the same way simply because I was single.

But sometimes it’s hard not to fret about our relationship status, isn’t it?

And, on Valentine’s Day, when we are literally getting slapped in the face with heart-shaped balloons, it’s particularly hard to ignore the questions—“Why haven’t I met The One?” “Am I doing something wrong?” “Am I swiping left too much on Tinder?”

So, as I prepared to write this article, I went to the ultimate source for answers— Google.

Whoa! There is a lot of information out there about what you’re doing wrong and what you need to change about yourself to score a relationship: “be more aggressive,” “don’t make the first move,” “wear more skirts,” “don’t be so picky”… does any of this sound familiar?

After reading all the dizzying advice, I started thinking about the tape that runs in the heads of single women. It’s no wonder that women feel a sense of shame and responsibility for their singleness. It’s tough out there, and it’s hard not to look for an explanation as to why you haven’t found the right person.

But, unfortunately, all too often that internal tape turns into negative thoughts and self-blame about not being enough or doing enough to be in a relationship.

I’m not going to attempt to tell you why you are single or offer up a to-do list for how to get a relationship. But, I will ask you this one question: would you do anything differently?

When you look at how you live your life, does it bring you peace and comfort – and maybe even a sense of pride? If it does, then what is it about you that needs to change?

  • If you are open and vulnerable to the idea of love and relationships, don’t change a thing.

  • If you are “putting yourself out there” in a way that honors your authenticity and values, don’t change a thing.

  • If you are waiting for the right fit – even if it means being alone for now, don’t change a thing.

  • If you can accept imperfection in others and yourself, don’t change a thing.

  • If you are pursuing activities that fulfill you, don’t change a thing.

  • If you have relationships that help you to be your best self, don’t change a thing.

  • If you are a source of love and encouragement to others, don’t change a thing.

  • If you take care of yourself mentally, physically and emotionally, don’t change a thing.

Listen, I’m not trying to sugar coat the pain that comes with wanting to share your life with someone and that reality feeling out of reach. It’s okay to be sad about it sometimes, abuse chocolate in times of need, or to cry out “what is taking so long?” But, at the end of this well-deserved venting session, I hope you’ll ask yourself “would I do anything differently?”

If you can say no to that question, I hope you’ll take a moment to marvel at your life; a life that you have worked hard to create; a life that is being lived with intention, strength and character.

And, if you would like to do some things differently, I encourage you to think about what you’re waiting for… Are you afraid that if you get too busy loving your life you’ll miss out on meeting someone? Are you letting your fears and insecurities rule your decision making? If so, maybe it’s time to quit letting your singleness define you.

No one can guarantee you a relationship. However, being able to say “I wouldn’t do anything differently” can help ease the sting of the disappointments and will put you in an emotional space that allows you to be open and ready for the many gifts this life has in store for you.

Yes, you may be single.  But, girl, you are so much more. Now go out and live like it.

Friday’s Fierce Female- Mandy Rowden

Meet Mandy Rowden—a 34-year old professional musician, founder of Girl Guitar, and all-around  good time.  Her Girl Guitar classes have taught hundreds of women how to play guitar in a fun-loving, laughter-filled, wine-laden environment. And, when she’s not teaching others, she’s writing songs, making albums and playing in venues across the country.

Mandy shares her thoughts on pursuing your passion, what matters most in life and her dream roommate…

Mandy R What made you create Girl Guitar? Girl Guitar happened very organically. I’d been teaching piano and violin for years at Austin School of Music and tried unsuccessfully several times to start a women’s guitar class. It wasn’t until I moved to New York and back and found myself crazy broke and unable to pay my cell phone bill that desperation set in and I wrangled enough gals to sustain a 6 week class. What I thought of as a one-off way to pay my phone bill ended up being so much fun that the girls wanted to do it again….and again….and again. And then their friends wanted to join, and then we added another night of class, then a Songwriting class, and it just grew from there! It took about a year and a half before I was able to hang up my apron and retire from my life in the service industry, and I’ve never looked back.  

Was a career in music always your dream? A career in music wasn’t just a dream, it’s all I’ve even assumed I would do. I’ve had other interests and skills but this has always been ‘it’. I grew up in a small town where the idea of making a living at it was far-fetched but in the back of my mind I knew there was a way to make it work, so between never minding being broke and potentially making an ass of myself and just walking through doors as they’ve opened, I’ve been able to make it happen.

What have been some of the biggest risks and challenges you have faced in pursuing your passion? Risks? Being broke, feeling like I’m banging my head on a wall, wondering if I’m crazy, etc. The challenge is to wake up and just keep plugging away, because sometimes the gigs that really pay off are few and far between and I just have to keep my head down and have a little faith that I’m doing the right thing….and in then meantime work my ass off.  

What advice would you offer to women who want to pursue their passion but are scared or unsure about how to go about it? Turn off your brain and go for it. Just just just go do it.

 If you could give some advice to your 22 year- old self, what would it be? Haha! That girl was awesome…I’d tell her to keep it up. I wish 34 year-old Mandy were as brave and adventurous as she was! Honestly though, I’d like to hug her and tell her to be kinder…it’s maybe the one thing that’s more important that following her dreams.

 What woman do you most admire? Anybody funny and brave. I’ve been reading a lot about Edna St. Vincent Millay and what a firecracker she was, especially for her time. I’d love to drink a beer with her but it’s also a lifelong dream to party with Sarah Silverman…I’m pretty sure she’d ask me to be her roommate and we’d be besties forever after that.

And,  last but not least, why should a gal join Girl Guitar? Same reason we all play guitar…..to look cool ;). Really though, lots of adult women don’t do anything for themselves, don’t express themselves, and don’t make time for some good old-fashioned fun. There’s nothing like cutting loose with a bunch of other women facing fears, improving themselves, learning a new skill, and all the while slamming some wine and laughing their asses off.

For more about Mandy’s music and her Girl Guitar classes, check her out on Facebook, mandyrowden.com and girlguitaraustin.com


When Your Holiday Doesn’t Look Like A Hallmark Commercial…4 Helpful Tips.



It can feel like we are all mandated to catch the Holiday Spirit from Thanksgiving through the New Year.  But, life doesn’t always work that way, does it?  Even if the halls are being decked with boughs of holly, life is still happening and not everyone finds themselves filled with cheer during the holiday season. It’s not uncommon for the season to bring up feelings of loneliness, anxiety and memories of lost loved ones among other painful emotions. If the holidays are going to be difficult for you, I hope these 4 tips will help you navigate the season in a way that is healthy and authentic for you.

  1.       Be Honest– Be honest with yourself and the people close to you about how you’re feeling.  You don’t have to be in a good mood for two and a half months just because it’s the holiday season.  Give yourself permission to have fun when it feels right and to take a pass on activities that don’t sound good to you.  But, fight the urge to isolate yourself.  Be honest about what you need from your support system. Even the most well-intentioned friends and family members can’t read your mind.  Chances are they would jump at the chance to host you for the holidays, or would be glad to carve out some extra time for you during the busy holiday season—but they won’t know what you need unless you tell them.
  2.       Set Boundaries– I don’t know about you, but when I go home I pretty much immediately regress to my 15 year old self when I walk in the door.  In my case, this has its pros and cons (home cooked meals= pro; being told when I need to wear a coat = con).  If going “home” sounds about as pleasant as a root canal to you, you don’t have to do it the way you’ve always done it or the way other people think you should do it.  Maybe it’s time to reassess how you approach the holidays. Just because you’ve always stayed with mom and dad for a week, doesn’t mean you have to do that this year. Or, if you feel like you’re expected to be housebound the entire time you’re visiting family, start creating opportunities to get out of the house.  Go on a walk.  Go to a coffee shop to call some friends or read a book. If you’re used to having your own space and your own schedule, it can feel claustrophobic to be with other people 24/7. It’s okay to set some boundaries around your personal time and space.
  3.       Throw tradition out the window (or, gently place it to the side right now)– Sometimes we feel like we have to keep participating in traditions just because we’ve always done it that way. There is certainly a place for tradition, but you don’t have to force yourself to participate in a tradition if it is going to be too uncomfortable or painful for you.  Maybe you want to take a trip to the beach this year instead of flying to see Aunt Sally in Des Moines. Or, maybe you just want to stay home and cuddle up with your pup and Netflix.  A friend of mine goes to the same coffee shop by herself every Thanksgiving morning.  She finds camaraderie with the other patrons and it has become a tradition that she looks forward to every year. It’s okay to think outside of the box. Your plans don’t have to fit the mold of a Hallmark commercial to be fulfilling.
  4.       Give back– I know it’s cliché, but it truly is better to give than to receive. Focusing on helping and serving others has a magical (and even chemical!) effect on our emotional state.  Search for opportunities to lend a hand in your community. And, while it may seem counter-intuitive at first, think about the people (or even the pets) you love and make an effort to do something special for them this season.  It may sound cheesy, but you will attract the energy you put out there. Spend some time focusing on how you can make someone else’s holiday a little better and I guarantee that yours will be better, too.

Girl, YOU are worth celebrating this year- however and wherever you want.

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Learn more about my workshops and one-on-one coaching services in Austin, Texas here.



Tired of relationships bringing out your “crazy?” Maybe this will help.

Do you panic when he doesn’t text you right back?

Have you been called clingy or even crazy by a partner?

Do you bolt from relationships at the first sign of trouble?  

Any of these experiences sound familiar?  Yeah, me neither.  Never. That stuff is for crazy chicks…

OK, fine.  Maybe once, just once, I sent a strongly worded text when he didn’t respond in the timeframe I expected.  Oh, and there was that time he didn’t call back when he said he would… Yeah, I guess I kind of panicked a little…

What if I told you that we aren’t “crazy?”  Our intense feeling of fear and panic is understandable, more common than we think, and it has a name…it’s called Fear of Abandonment.  And, as a member of the human species, there is a good chance we have or will experience it.canstockphoto7432566

Being abandoned, hurt or disappointed by a another person can be a painful ordeal that leaves a scar on our minds and hearts.  And sadly, unless we live in a bubble, it’s pretty impossible to escape the experience of feeling abandoned – physically and/or emotionally – by someone we love.  It’s natural and understandable that we would try our darndest to avoid having to feel that pain again.  But, ironically, our hypervigilance to never feel this pain again could be preventing us from being in the kind of intimate relationships we crave so deeply.

Luckily, the book, Love Me Don’t Leave Me – Overcoming Fear of Abandonment and Building Lasting, Loving Relationships, by Dr. Michelle Skeen, is a great resource in helping women understand how our fear of abandonment is impacting our relationships.  I had the honor of interviewing Dr. Skeen about her book and was struck by her openness, honesty and compassion.  Reading her book feels like you are talking to a trusted friend.  She humanizes the experience and helps us to understand that we are not alone in this struggle.

Her approach is refreshing in that she doesn’t try to tell us how irrational we are to have these fears and messy reactions. I mean, we all know better than to freak out, right?  But, when the fear of abandonment comes over us, it can feel virtually impossible not to react.  Dr. Skeen is honest about the fact that we will likely always have to battle the fear of abandonment to some degree.  However, her book offers an incredible arsenal of tools to help us engage in the war on fear.

Love Me, Don’t Leave Me cuts to the core of what many of us dread so deeply – the fear of being abandoned by someone we love.  Dr. Skeen encourages us to explore our values and how they inform the choices we make in who we date and how we communicate in our relationships; all-the-while building awareness around where our fear of abandonment is coming from so that we can begin to face it head-on.

This book will give you the tools to be your healthiest self in a relationship – even when your fears are triggered.  Love Me, Don’t Leave Me will also help you identify the types of people who trigger your fear, and will teach you useful techniques that will help you respond to your fear in a way that won’t make you sound (and feel) like a clingy or controlling you-know-what.  I sure wish I had read this book when I was in my 20s!

Girl, of course you aren’t crazy.  But, when the fear of abandonment kicks in, it sure can feel like you are!  Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of Love Me, Don’t Leave Me.  Your fears don’t have to continue to sabotage your relationships.  Love can win.

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