How to Say "No" Gracefully

How to Say "No" Gracefully

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:

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Why Saying "No" To Others Is Really Saying "Yes" To Ourselves

Why Saying "No" To Others Is Really Saying "Yes" To Ourselves

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).

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Four Steps to Finding Peace When Someone is Testing Your Patience

Four Steps to Finding Peace When Someone is Testing Your Patience

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

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Four Relationship Truths Everyone Can Learn From

Four Relationship Truths Everyone Can Learn From

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:

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A Modern Girls Guide to Appreciating Singleness

A Modern Girls Guide to Appreciating Singleness

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.

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Why I'm Taking A Break From Dating Apps

Why I'm Taking A Break From Dating Apps

...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.

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Are We Afraid of Bliss & Joy in Relationships?

While reading this weekend, I found a really interesting perspective on what I would call the “spark” in a romantic relationship; the rare, but awesome chemistry you feel when you’re both attracted to someone physically and stimulated by them intellectually. For me, the spark is a reason to be excited and curious; it's a sign of connection. For some though, the spark - while still exciting - is a reason to remember past wounds and be skeptical.

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How To Honor Others' Paths

I had a conversation with a friend recently about someone she knew in high school. After describing him and how he’d taken on a “too big for his britches” attitude, she said, “I’m really proud to say that I’m the same person I was in high school.” Although I understood the heart of her message, I clung momentarily to the initial shock of the statement. She looked at me for affirmation, but I was frozen. My mind flipped through an imaginary list of all of the ways I was drastically different than the person I was in high school. My head spun as I counted all of the lessons I’d learned - typically through necessary struggle - since I was in my late teens and early twenties. Heck, even since I turned 30. I came back to the room, barely able to find my words. I wanted to say, “I couldn’t be more of a different person than I was in high school.” It was true. But, through some great blessing, I found something more appropriate for the moment.

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How to Heal Negative Energy in Relationships

How to Heal Negative Energy in Relationships

Hopefully this is no surprise to you, but our bodies are full of energy. Whether you’re familiar with chi, chakras, auras, meridians, or some other “life force” energy; the common consensus is that this energy flows through all beings in order to maintain health and wellness in mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual capacities.

Just as we have our own energy, we exchange energy with one another when we engage in relationships.

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How I'm Doing Life Differently Than I'd Thought

I paused to take note this morning as I listened to a podcast interview with Dr. Jon Mundy as he spoke about applying the principles of A Course in Miracles to everyday life (for those unfamiliar, ACIM is a metaphysical text that teaches us to break down old thought systems based on fear, lack, struggle, and separation; and accept a thought system based on love, abundance, ease, and oneness). Dr. Mundy shared that (in his experience) most people don’t come to the realization that there might be a better way for living life until they are in their 40s. He suggested that the years before are often spent hustling to meet outer expectations placed on us by our rational minds (and society).

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Three Common Reactions to Judgment

Judgment is all around us. We silently evaluate and judge others for what they say, what they do, how they look. We make assumptions and project personal fears and beliefs onto people and situations. We compare ourselves, deeming our situations and decisions as better or worse than another’s. We judge ourselves, creating beliefs about who we are and expectations about who we should be.

Recently, I wrote about an interaction with a friend that left me feeling judged and hurt. I also shared that I chose to forgive my friend rather than being angry and to forgive myself rather than taking on the judgment as a reality about myself.

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Just Watch Me

I originally titled this post “F*ck You, Just Watch Me,” but I decided it was a little crass and not aligned with the high vibes I like to send out. But, in all honesty, it’s pretty accurate to how I was feeling when I first started this post after recovering from a completely awful “it’s not you, it’s me...but actually it’s you” conversation where I took on some heavy shit that didn’t belong to me. I left the conversation feeling judged, broken and angry.

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Be Willing

The last couple of months have been a little bit of a roller coaster. I’ve had awesome opportunities for growth come my way professionally, personally, financially, romantically, spiritually - you name it. Although there are always lessons to be learned, those that have been presented to me in the past few months have been particularly amazing and synchronistic. I’ve embraced each one as a powerful opportunity for growth. Yet, these past few months have been some of the most challenging I’ve faced. I’ve been challenged to think differently when I craved the comfort of familiarity; to speak my truth when silence would have been easier; to make myself vulnerable when I desperately feared pain; to be curious when I most wanted to retreat; to be forgiving when many would choose anger; to be patient when I yearned to intervene; to see possibility when I am being presented with problems.

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Single and Self-Aware

How Looking Within Drastically Changes the Dating Game

They say one of the first steps to finding love is to first know and love yourself. I completely agree: Successful relationships are not born out of two people trying to complete themselves or find the love they lack in another. However, as a single lady who has done a lot of work on the self-love and personal growth fronts; I can attest that increasing your self-awareness and emotional intelligence actually adds a new and unexpected challenge to the already complex world of dating. While being self-aware and growth-minded is absolutely a positive attribute, here are a few of the unique challenges you might face out on the modern dating scene:

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The Relationship Manifesto that Got Me Thinking

I sat down to write this evening pretty certain about the topic I was going to riff on. I sat with my fingers perfectly positioned on the keyboard, but the words weren’t coming. So, I took a break...which is when I saw this Jay Shetty performance piece based on an article by Krysti Wilkinson called We Are the Generation That Doesn’t Want Relationships. I’m almost certain I’ve seen the video before, but I watch it again anyway. The performance is catchy, the words are eerily accurate

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How we Let our Fears Limit Us

I woke up several times last night with something weighing heavy on my heart. Fear. Not my personal fear, necessarily, but the fear we all experience subconsciously. Fear that we avoid at all costs. I'm not talking about the fear of heights or small spaces. No, I'm talking about the fear that creeps in when we aren't paying attention. The fear which limits us and holds us back from having the things that will ultimately bring us joy. What I’ve learned recently is that it goes back to an interesting concept called “Upper Limit Problems.” 

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The One Reminder you Need to Help Process Fear-Based Thinking in Others

For the longest time, I lived with a fear- or lack-based mentality. There was never enough to go around - be it money, jobs, love/romance, opportunity, etc.. When I lived in that mentality, it became my reality. I’d attract or anticipate lack or disappointment in every area of my life, always waiting for the worst possible outcome to surface - often, I’d attract just that.

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How to React when You're Feeling Disappointed

Four Principles to Guide you From Judgement & Anger to Forgiveness & Peace

Sometimes, people disappoint you. A friend, a family member, a lover, a co-worker, even a near stranger. Disappointment occurs when we project our own desires and expectations onto others rather than accepting them where they are. The reality is, we disappoint others just as they disappoint us, but this fact doesn’t make it easier when someone fails to meet our expectations.

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What to do When You’re Freaking the Eff Out

5 Simple, Non-Traditional, Ways to Get it Together When it Seems Like Things are Falling Apart

+ Four Practices to Avoid

It doesn’t matter how often you meditate, how frequently you practice self-reflection, how many self-help resources you consume, how “together” you may have it in your personal life or career - you are allowed to freak the eff out from time-to-time.

These freak outs can come from a variety of places: chaos of the holidays, work, relationships, whatever. The general onset of a freak out is a disruption to our own plan that sets us into mental overload, regressive thinking, and general impatience. We tend to freak out when things don’t go “our way” (more tips for managing these situations here) or when there’s some sort of big-picture uncertainty in play. So, what are some steps we can take to bring ourselves back to center when we’re freaking the eff out?

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Affirmations for Improving Wellness in Every Area of your Life

Being “well” isn’t just about being healthy physically or mentally. Complete holistic wellness involves focusing on multiple facets of our overall wellness - financial, professional, physical & nutritional, intellectual, interpersonal, and emotional - in life. Often, we become hyper-focused on one area, leaving one or many of the other areas lingering.

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