Category Archives: Love + Connection

Stuck In A Suffering-Healing Cycle? Here’s What’s Really Going On

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I advocate for taking 100% responsibility for our realities and relationships.

However, this belief has sometimes had the interesting effect of causing me to accept behavior that feels truly emotionally abusive and narcissistic.

In fact, these “spiritual” beliefs, when misunderstood, can actually disempower people and encourage them to stay in relationships that are unhealthy.

Our “conscious” wisdom tells us we should stay in partnerships that trigger us because they are good for us.

Because through them we can heal our primary caretaker wounds, our attachment issues, our childhood traumas, our [insert your favorite self-help term here].

Because we should be able to accept and love what’s showing up for us, and if not, well—we’re not “doing our work.”

(But wait—don’t say “should!”)

I am here to say: Fuck. That.

Elizabeth DiAlto speaks to this more eloquently when she distinguishes between resistance vs. dissonance.

“In the self-help and personal development world, there is so much emphasis on owning your side of things, noticing your triggers, etc. And we sometimes internalize and put pressure on ourselves to get okay with things or to lean into things that just simply aren’t healthy for us. And we override knowing better for ourselves,” she says.

“Whereas resistance begs inquiry, dissonance does not. Dissonance says: ‘not for you, move on.’ When something is healthy for you, it’s useful or productive in some way. Which means in no way is it punishing, self-sacrificial nor does it constantly trigger you into coping or dissociative behavior.”

So, guess what.

You don’t have to suffer to heal your issues.

Hardship? Sure.

Feeling and inquiring into your pain? Of course.

Conflict that results in discovery and deepening and doesn’t diminish your light and life? Yes!

But, staying in continual patterns of suffering to “heal your wounds” is simply another form of self-punishment.

This can be threaded back to unhealthy societal patterns we learned through religion, our parents, instilled “martyr” syndrome, etc.

You might think you’re being super spiritual and strong, but you’re actually buying into the same Type-A, aggressive, overly masculinized culture we were raised in—your ego has just tricked you to think it’s for the sake of “evolution.”

It’s a trap.

You don’t have to suffer to heal your issues.

Unless you believe that you do.

Then, fuck. You definitely do.

P.S. This is something I have to relearn over and over again. Sending you hugs if you’re in it. 💜 Let me know if I can help get you out of it.

What Breaks Your Heart Is A Clue To Your Purpose

I love noticing what breaks my heart lately.

What makes me feel deeply and intensely shakes up my inner compass, giving me information that leads me deeper into my sense of purpose.

Today at a café, I watched a little boy tell his mom that he felt sad about an interaction he just had. Her response was to tell him to “toughen up” and that he “needed to get over it” immediately.

He whimpered for another few seconds as she continued to berate him (while also tapping on her phone), then he stood up and said, “Okay. I’m over it.”

He was clearly not over it. He just shoved it down.

Why do we have to tell our kids (our boys?) to toughen up, to suppress, to not feel their feelings?

Now, this is all said with the caveat that I have no idea what was going on with this mom/son dynamic—maybe he does this all the time and the mom is fed-up, maybe there are a thousand other elements to the situation that meant that yes, this was the best response she could have had.

What is important for me to know is the response it stirred in me.

And that is:

I want to live in a world where we don’t suppress our feelings.

I want to live in a world where it’s safe to share, have and feel them deeply, alone and with others—and where we are taught this from a young age.

I believe this leads to true connection with ourselves and others, and ultimately less fear, loneliness and violence in the world.

So: What’s breaking your heart lately? How can it lead you to healing—whether for yourself or for others?

Need Help Connecting This Holiday? Try My Collaborative Inquiry Deck!

Last year, I authored/collected 19 collaborative inquiry questions for your loved ones this holiday season.

They were: “Thanksgiving and Gratitude: Four Real Questions Worth Asking at The Table” and “The Holidays With Loved Ones: 15 More Questions Worth Asking at The Table.”

This year, I’ve changed some slightly and added more questions for a total of 24—and made them into cut-outable cards to pass around the table!

Continue reading Need Help Connecting This Holiday? Try My Collaborative Inquiry Deck!

Vibe Your Tribe: How to Know Who To Keep In Your Life (And Who To Release)

Do you know who your people are?

After a series of three divinely timed events in the past week, one of the messages I’ve felt coming through is this:

Be selective about who you spend time with. This energy you give should cycle through you, not drain from you.

Continue reading Vibe Your Tribe: How to Know Who To Keep In Your Life (And Who To Release)

Desire, Wild Movement and Not Holding Back

sri-sessions-itunes

I’ve held back from sharing this interview because I was afraid.

What’s beautiful about that is then I get to explore that feeling:
 
Why does it feel scary to me? Because there’s something here I don’t want the general public to know.
 
What do I want to hide? I want to hide the side of me that comes out around the topics of pleasure, sexuality, feminine embodiment, desire, the Goddesses.
 
Why? Because it’s a part of me that’s still being birthed every day, and it’s not whole and complete yet, and if I’m not a perfectly formed human then everyone will run away.
 
The answer I always get down to is: Share anyway. Share because it helps people. Share because it helps you. Share because that’s what you’re here to do.
 
Thank you, Raquel, for bringing this through me. <3
 

Timing note: Our interview starts at 8:17, but definitely listen to Raquel speak first to set the stage for all the things we talk about.

Show description: “Amy and I [talk about] self-care in the form of movement practice and how moving your gorgeous body can unlock hidden wisdom. We also talk relationships: what to do when you start eyeing someone other than your partner, and how to have constructive communication and conversation around your relationships as they evolve.”

The Key to Feeling Empowered in Conversation (Even If It’s One-Sided)

world connection

Some friends and I were watching a dance performance at the Boulder Theater when a friend-of-a-friend arrived. During an intermission, she began to talk about her recent breakup, and the texts she was now sending him that he wasn’t replying to.

“I told him he was beautiful, and he didn’t say anything. All I need is a ‘thank you.’ Just a ‘thank you.'”

She proceeded to mention a couple of other messages she was “needing” replies from.

When she said it, it knocked me back to the person I am when I say things like this, which is a self that doesn’t quite feel like my full Self. It’s something I’m acutely aware of, and it inspires me to write about how we can start conversations that empower us—even if we never get a response to what we’re expressing.

When we have something to express, how can we communicate what’s truly in our heart?

Often, if we think we need a specific thing in return, it means that we are communicating from a state of lack—that we’re waiting for a response or reaction to fill us up or help us decide what to feel. To need in this way can feel very disempowering.

Continue reading The Key to Feeling Empowered in Conversation (Even If It’s One-Sided)

Ladies: We Need to Stop Relating This Way

women talking

I’m eating lunch at a delicious ramen noodle place in Denver (so trendy), and I overhear a woman talking to her two female friends about a breakup.

“I just put his stuff outside the house. And, of course I couldn’t do it without tequila.”

They sighed knowingly.

Then, an interesting thing happened. The other two women started taking turns offering up something their husbands do that they despise.

“Ryan plays video games for an hour after work and I’m like, can I have the TV back please?”

“Totally! Mark does that with football and I can’t stand it.”

Ladies—we need to stop relating this way.

Continue reading Ladies: We Need to Stop Relating This Way

Here’s How to Make Valentine’s Day Not Lame

Arrived here after Valentine’s Day 2016 and missed out on the sale? No sweat! You can get still The Relationship Vitalizer workbook (same content, repurposed for all your special holiday and anniversary needs) for $18 here.

Valentine’s Day is often regarded as a Hallmark holiday or something to be eye-rolled at or made fun of.

It’s also sometimes filled with pressure for one partner, and filled with anxiety and expectation for the other—or worse, both, for both partners. Ugh!

But, what if it didn’t have to be this way?

What if we could use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity and invitation to go deeper in our relationships—without spending tons of money on a fancy night out?

This question prompted me to create The 2016 Valentine’s Day Relationship Vitalizer workbook for you.

Name your price for it here!

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The workbook is laid out in the following sections:
  • Intro, Setup & Preparation
  • Step 1: Inquiry
  • Step 2: Expression
  • Step 3: Reverence
  • References for Diving Deeper

Part ritual and part deep-dive exercises, you’ll explore inward first, then play with what you’ve found with your partner in a safe space, then come together in intention-setting and celebration!

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IMPORTANT:

This 2016 workbook will only be available for 72 hours—from midnight PST on Feb. 11 until midnight PST on Feb. 14—so if you want it, name your fair price and jump on it!

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Got questions? I have answers!

Where did you source the exercises in the workbook from?

From my own experience with my partner, Tony, and from the inspired memory files of all the amazing books we’ve read and the people we’ve talked to. Special thanks to Andy & Libby, Gay & Kathlyn, Gaby & Raj, Alexi & Preston, and Amber & Farhad. You inspire us so much.

How long will the exercises take?

I recommend allotting an hour for them—perhaps after a fabulous homemade dinner on VDay, or before heading out to go dancing together? You might want to allow two hours if you really want to take your time with it (or add some champagne while you’re doing it).

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Do we have to do this specifically on Valentine’s Day?

Certainly not! While you’ll want to make sure you grab it before midnight on Valentine’s Day, you can use it whenever. This is a fabulous exercise to do on an anniversary, as a quarterly or monthly check-in, or just because. It’s never a bad time to deepen your bond.

Can I do this without a partner?

Yes, you can. Some of the questions might not apply if you’re doing it solo, but honestly, you can do these with a close friend whom you’d like to invite to support you (and you, them) in greater expansion and aliveness.

Is this a religious thing?

No. The questions are meant to help you go deeper with yourself and your partner and could be viewed as “spiritual” in nature, so be prepared for that.

Will this make me uncomfortable?

Some might call the questions a bit “confronting,” but at the same time, you won’t find: “What’s something you’ve been hiding that you don’t want to share? Now tell me!” either. On the confronting scale: If that question is a 10, and “What’s your favorite flower?” is a 1, these exercises are at a 6 or 7. And remember: You never have to divulge anything you don’t want to, to anyone. Repeat after me: Empowerment and boundaries!

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Why is the workbook only available for 72 hours?

I wanted to make this purely a Valentine’s Day offering. Plus, the number 72 is a uniquely human and embodied number—it is both the average number of heartbeats per minute for a resting adult and the percentage of water of which the human body is composed. Neat!

When will I receive the workbook?

Nevermind the pre-order time Gumroad says (a technical glitch is happening). You will definitely receive this in your inbox at 11:59 p.m. PST (or even earlier!) on Thursday, Feb. 11. You can count on it!

Name your fair price here and grab it now!

Special thanks to Wonder in Boulder for not minding me using their space as a beautiful backdrop for these photos. :)