I'm glad you're here. Authentically Amanda is a wellness and personal development blog where I share my obsession for seeking, living, and sharing my authentic truth. It was only a few years ago when I was decidedly not living in this truth, but rather a material, surface-level, dulled-down, fear-based version of life that I thought was completely normal.
What I know now is that living in your authentic truth requires dedication, gentleness, and raw vulnerability. In this blog, I share my own journey and what I'm learning along the way. I'm passionate about using this knowledge to help others find the path to their authentic truth as well.
On the blog, I share about personal development & wellness including spirituality, singleness, and relationships. Most importantly, I dive deeply into what it's like to be a single, social, thirty-something living an alcohol-free lifestyle (and my mission to help re-write the narrative about sobriety).
I truly hope that there is something here which serves you in some capacity.
In my opinion, there’s nothing better than a quiet day in the country, spent sitting by the water. I’m always dreaming of spending the day soaking in the views and reading by the pool or lake. I love the convenience and excitement of living in a great city like Austin, but long for time to disconnect and relax in the country.
Located on Lake Austin, Lake Austin Spa Resort is perhaps the most lush expression of my weekend dream. With ample lake shore views, a scenic country setting, mature trees, foliage, and...oh yeah, a beautiful spa, two restaurants, and amazing accommodations, Lake Austin Spa Resort is the ultimate spot for a day away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
In my last post, I wrote about how saying “no” to others is really saying “yes” to ourselves. But knowing when to say “no” and knowing how to say it are difficult - especially when someone puts you on the spot or is relentless in their request. Saying “no” in these situations can make us feel uncomfortable, uncaring, disinterested. But “no” is really none of those things; it’s simply a boundary we set that says, “this isn’t for me”. Personally, I find that practicing how to best say “no” is a valuable way to prepare me to do it gracefully when needed. I feel like I’ve finessed this process during my 9-5 and am able to confidently and kindly decline sales calls and offers kindly (even when they're rather persistent)...but I realized recently that I hadn't fully transferred this skill over to my personal life. When I thought about it, the tactics I use to say "no" in my professional life translate rather well to personal situations as well. Here are my best tips for helping yourself to say “no” gracefully:
My name is Amanda and I am a recovering people pleaser“yes” person, and be everywhere / do everything gal. Saying “no” makes me feel kind of uncomfortable. Case in point: I recently made the conscious choice to say “no” to a seemingly simple request. Saying “yes” would have been the easy, people-pleaser thing to do, but I’ve been working really hard to become protective of my time and, based on my own criteria, the request was a “no”.
Since I’m (always) being honest, I’ll admit that I didn’t handle the “no” very gracefully...I felt compelled to explain myself and when the other person wouldn’t take “no” for an answer... I snapped (eek). Losing my cool is a sure sign that I have some reflection to do (I know, I know; we’re all human, but I am human who has gotten freaking good at self-reflection and unpacking things that disrupt my good vibes).
When I started to feel like drinking culture was no longer serving me a few years ago, I was admittedly resistant about being “sober” because of the social stigma I held around the label. I didn’t want to be “sober” because I didn’t want to have a “problem”. As it turns out, you don’t have to have an addiction-level “problem” with alcohol for it to be a “problem” in your life.
It’s officially summer, which means many of us are planning an adventure or relaxing getaway. Vacations are traditionally a time to cut loose, relax or explore new places and experience a new culture. For most people, this means gluttonous eating and drinking. I gave up the latter almost 18 months ago and have navigated the waters of sober vacationing many times since - and always with a travel companion (or companions) who were decidedly not sober.
Whether you’re newly alcohol-free, working through recovery, or just trying to be more mindful - getting outside of your normal routine can be a test of your commitment to sobriety. You are surrounded by messages that suggest you deserve a drink to relax or that you need to have a cocktail to be normal. Here are my tops for rocking a group vacation when you are (the only one) not drinking.
I had a conversation with an acquaintance this past week that really tried my patience. While my relationship with this individual had been wearing on me for some time, our interactions of late - while less frequent - had really taken a lot out of me. So, this week, when I most felt the desire to react from an unloving, ego-driven, place; I took it as a sign to take pause and call upon the tools I’d been diligently adding to my toolkit over the past few years…I took the opportunity to practice these four steps to find peace when someone is testing your patience
I found myself holding space recently for a friend who was going through a confusing time in a romantic relationship which she felt might be coming to an end. I felt deep compassion for her because I’d been where she was; sitting in a gray area of uncertainty and anxiety…
What I wished for my friend (and what I wish for anyone going through a similar situation) is that she would come to know these four important truths about relationships:
How living alcohol-free has helped me elevate my expectations & priorities in every area of life.
There is no way I could have imagined how much giving up booze would transform my life. Sure, I’ve been on my a-game both physically and mentally; a level of vibrancy which was not my reality as a drinker. However, I would have never dreamt that giving up alcohol would be the best decision I ever made...and one that would become the catalytic mechanism for growth and higher standards in all other areas of my life.
How to make the most of the single life & prepare yourself for the relationship you want.
I can attest that as I've become more intentional with how I spend my time as a single gal, I've become more understanding and aware of why this time exists. To say I'm grateful would be an understatement. My singleness has provided me with tremendous opportunities for personal growth; I've accepted them all as graciously as possible. I know, with certainty that this time has made me a stronger individual and prepared me to be more present in all areas of life; especially to be a better partner. As a result, I know I have a lot to give and will add value to all relationships - romantic or not - and I seek for the same in others.
...And Why I Wonder If They’re Changing Modern Dating For the Worst
Last week, I deleted all dating apps off of my phone...this isn’t the first time. It isn’t that I’m not interested in dating or finding “the one,” I simply couldn’t commit to the dating lifestyle that I felt dating apps encourage or the energy-investment they required. I’ll begin by saying, I think I have one of the most optimistic outlooks on life out of anyone you might meet. For the most part, I approach life from a glass half full, sunshine and rainbows, anything is possible, the Universe is working in your favor point of view. But, I’ve also committed to cutting out or minimizing behaviors, habits, and relationships that don’t contribute to the positive-energy, high-vibe, mindful lifestyle I strive to live.