One Present Moment

Can I be honest?… I think about life and death A LOT!

Seriously though… I think about the reality of mortality and what it means to be fully alive on the inside constantly.

Now, recently the Holy Spirit said, “Just live this summer Amanda. Take the next three months and really focus your attention on living.” Of course I needed to know what He meant… So I asked, and this is what He said…

“When you focus your attention on the past, you’re focusing on death. When you focus your attention on the future, you’re too focused on life. I’m asking you to focus your attention… To focus all of who you are on living. And to focus yourself on living is to focus on just being. I know it’s a lot to ask… Especially with your culture, and the anticipation it has to be in tomorrow. But I just need you to do this. I need you to continue to cultivate this habit until it becomes your lifestyle.”

And I don’t really know how this will shift who I am; however; I’ve already begun to realize how stupid I am for ignoring the present.

You see if you’re anything like me then you’ll understand what it feels like to be miserably obsessed with getting to tomorrow. It’s a constant state of not allowing today to be enough because we’ve been taught to fear being content with the present. It’s almost like it’s taboo to say, “I’m choosing to be fully present today.”

But you know… If I can’t get my mind off of tomorrow and I’m constantly thinking about what it will produce, well then I think I’ll wake up one day in my 70s and realize I’ve wasted my life away by being too concerned about tomorrow. I’ll miss the opportunity life gave me to just live and be fully alive from the inside out.

And I’m not saying choosing to just live means I’m going to become lazy or inactive… But what I am saying is I’m trying to make a better attempt at fully leaving the past in the past and allowing the future to unfold one present moment at a time. 🌱 #cultivatelife #justlive

Year Five

Five years ago today I watched my dad take his last breath. All in one moment the reality of death made his appearance in my life.

You see it was evidently clear that I was starring at my dad, but then at the same time I wasn’t.

Every part of him (the smile, the jokes, the instigation I couldn’t stand, the love, the brilliant gifting that made him unique)… It was gone. His essence… His soul… His spirit… The aura that filled his body was gone. And so he was gone.

And so that was the moment… The moment I realized life… Life really, truly is temporal. And our bodies…. Our bodies really are nothing more than the vessel we use to travel in while we’re here on earth.

So now you might be thinking, “Amanda, why are you sharing this?” Well… To be completely honest with you, I just really care about the health of people. Actually, let me rephrase that…. I care about the inner health of people. I care that we are alive on the inside. I care that we thrive on the inside. I care that we find grace, love, forgiveness and healing; and then that we maintain that healing long after our moment of transformation.

You see in today’s culture I believe it’s so easy to get caught up in our outer appearance, race, sexual orientation, religion and political background… But don’t forget, before any of that can matter, we are all intangible on the inside first and foremost. We’re all created with some type of God-spark that makes us eternal and immortal.

And so I guess that’s why I’m writing this…. Because I want to remind you and encourage you to look past the surface of what you can see and shift your focus to what you can spiritually feel. Because the health of that “thing” inside of you, that “thing” we all so casually overlook, is what is truly alive in life. 🌱 #cultivatelife

Present Future

“Stay in today Amanda. It’s more than enough. You are more than enough.”

That’s been my constant vibe for the past two days. A resounding of “You have to move forward, but you need to be fully present in every moment.”

Is it tricky? Yeah, honestly it is. It’s very tricky to set goals and move towards more, all while being present in the moment.

But yea know? I believe it can become easier as I move with it. I believe that the trickiness of the present, paired with the future can become a simple way of life.

So, I’m going to try it a little longer… Being here, while I want to be there. Taking life one little step at a time. 🌼🌿💃🏻

Reflection…

IMG_7450 (1)Sometimes… Sometimes moving forward with life… Moving onward with the present moment… Moving towards greatness… Moving towards your destiny… Well… It comes with a price…

And sometimes that price is sacrifice…

Because no matter how much we might dislike moments of life… Well those moments have made us who we are…

And that’s where I find myself…

Reflecting on moments in the past two years… Moments that weren’t always fun… Moments that weren’t always happy… Moments that caused me to question and wonder… But moments that shaped and molded me into who I’ve become today…

And as I reflect on them… Well I am grateful… I’m grateful for opportunity… Grateful for love… Grateful for the ability to learn and to be taught be those that are younger than me…

Because as this day ends… As we put a cap on the first week of this new year… Well I find myself grateful for every moment of it…

For tearful goodbyes to children I love… And to the excitement of what lies ahead…

For I know and believe it will be great…

Make Us or Break Us…

IMG_5763

For there are things in this world that make us who we are… And we couldn’t be our present selves without the past…

Where would I be without my past?… It has sculpted me into the woman I am today… And it encourages me to continue to become the woman that I desire to be tomorrow…

Tragedy… It seems… Well it seems as though it’s helped make me… It’s helped in crafting the woman I am today… Because it’s cut the ties of control that held me down and back for so long… It’s given me life…

And as much as it hurts to know my father’s life ended so sadly… Well without his ending I wouldn’t have my right now… And because of that… Well I am grateful for tragedy…

And though the transition for my family has been real… Well it’s been so very good…

I now believe in tragedy… Because it’s helped make me… Time has taken my pain and helped spread it out… It’s encouraged me to move forward and allowed the sting… The reality of it all to seem to fade away… And though it’s still painful.. Well I’m grateful for the making… Grateful that it’s made me and not broken me to pieces…

Diamond Moment of Trust…

I have a set of gold drop diamond Kate Spade earrings…. Wearing them and talking on the phone while driving never go hand in hand for me… They clank into the glass and drive me insane….

So…. I always take one off…. And I usually set it in my lap…. Thinking I’ll remember it’s there by the time I get home…

But I always forget…. And the LA hike to and from the car is too much to go “make sure” the earring is on my seat… So I always… Well I always cheat…. I ask God if it’s there… Or if, by some chance, it’s fallen on the ground…. Waiting to get stepped on or stolen…  Meaning I need to go back and get the damn thing…. It’s not a real diamond…

And every time He tells me it’s on the seat of my car… So I rest easy… Sure to see it the next morning…

This entire scenario happened 4 days ago….

But a day before that… Well I had a “I’m 26. Not in a relationship. Not married. No kids. Meltdown.”…. It was one of those “where’s my life taking me moments”…. And I was just too much….

But as I laid my head down to sleep… Well God told me to keep moving forward… That he’s got my back and I don’t need to panic at all… Because as I trust what I’m doing… Well I should trust him for the things that I want most in life… They are becoming a reality before my eyes… I just don’t see them yet…

After that convo… Well the incident with the earring happened… And in that moment I trusted that the earring was safe and sound… Waiting… Just like he said…

And of course it was there…

But in that moment I felt God basically laugh… In a way that showed me he was teaching me something yet again…. And I ignored that he wanted be to learn something… Hurrying to call everyone I could think of before I got to work… No one answered…. I finally said “ok God… What are you trying to show me?”….

And then I saw it…. The earring scenario…. Something so valuable to me…. I love jewelry… Well… I trusted exactly what he said… I didn’t panic… I rested all night long…

But then something equally as important and valuable to me… My future… Well I didn’t trust what he said… I panicked… I panicked hard core….

But there was no reason for me to panic at all… Because he was being honest with the earring and my future…

And I guess I say all of this to remind myself… To remind myself today…. That God is watching me… He’s taking care of me… He’s still my best friend… And now he’s my dad… And he’s willing to give me the answers to what I need when he knows I need them… And if I’ll just continue to chill… If I’ll just continue to live everyday to the fullest and not panic… Well my future… What I want will become a reality….

And I’m ok with that….

Pause… And Celebrate

IMG_3258Something I’m really bad about is celebrating the moment…. You know… The victories of life… Whether small or big, I feel like I spend too much time focused on getting “there”… And then when I do get “there”… Well I just move forward and think “ok… what’s next??!”…

And while I believe it’s good to live with a mindset of moving forward… On to bigger, better and maybe more amazing things… Well isn’t it important to stop and look down at the bottom of the mountain?…

A wise man told me once that life is like climbing a mountain… That it takes so much effort to get to the top… So much work… But that when we reach the top we should stop and look around… Look in amazement at the view… What it brings us and how far we’ve come… That we should be excited and proud (in a healthy way) that we’ve made the journey to the top…

And then of course I was encouraged to not stay at the top… But to allow life to drag me down the mountain in excitement… To feel the rush of the drop to the bottom… Because soon… Soon it would be time to climb another mountain again…

And I feel like… At this stage of my life… This chapter seems to have so many small mountains… Almost like little cliffs that I have to get past… And they seem like a lot in the moment… But then when I’m in them… Well I kind of feel experienced and like I’m acing them…

That’s why I am beginning to learn that it’s good to stop and take in what I’ve accomplished… For each jagged edge I’ve gone past…

And for me this is s tight rope to walk… To be proud without being insecure… Pride is one of my biggest downfalls… It always has been…

But when I feel the goodness and the gratefulness and the grace of life well up in me… When I realize that I didn’t get where I am today on my own… But that others… Many… Have contributed to my present… Well I just feel so overwhelmed…

And then I have to remind myself of all of the things that get us to the current moment… The people… The choices… The ability to obey authority… The want… And for me… Most importantly… I feel like it’s always been my relationship with God… And the choice to continue to follow him… Even when I am so very scared…

So within this moment… This moment where I am learning to be more graceful towards life… Well I just want to celebrate a little… Just enough to recognize how far I’ve come… And then to move forward to whatever is ahead… But with the confidence that there is a mountain with jagged edges in behind me… One that I conquered…