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.
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’ve known for a little over 15 years that I would deliver the eulogy at my grandmother’s funeral. It was in May of 2003 that I spoke after the passing of my grandfather and her husband, Jim. My grandmother talked with me many times about how meaningful it was for me to speak at my grandfather's service. I knew this was her subtle way of asking if I might do the same. Below, you'll find the words I shared at her service, including a prayer inspired by the writings in Marianne Williamson's book, Illuminata.
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.
...The Hidden Answer That Actually Surprised Me
Today I received an email from a reader who resonated with my decision to quit drinking (if you’re new here, I stopped drinking back in January of 2017 as an experiment and decided to make it a new way of living. As of today, I’ve been alcohol-free for 463 days...but who's counting? Read more posts on this topic here.). The reader closed their email with this pondering, “Why did I ever drink in the first place?”
Who really wants to hit rock bottom? To find yourself curled into the fetal position on a floor somewhere, sobbing uncontrollably from pain, heartache, and distress so deep that you’re willing to do something radical to heal from it? Praying to whomever it is that might be listening, pleading for assistance to help you recover. This is the scene I’ve heard described over and over by wise mentors, teachers, and students alike. And, while I’ve certainly had low points and found myself crippled over, sobbing uncontrollably, I wouldn’t say I’ve experienced this tremendous breaking point as others describe. While I could be relieved that I’ve not experienced a rock bottom, it’s actually left me quite fearful that it could be just around the corner.
Somehow, I managed to spend nearly an entire week in the same room with some of the most revered minds in personal development. I was literally feet (if not inches) away from influential writers and speakers like Deepak Chopra, Brené Brown, Shawn Achor, and Simon Sinek. PINCH ME. IS THIS MY REAL LIFE RIGHT NOW??? Yes, I’m happy to say it is. Each of these awesome human beings has either A) Been interviewed by Oprah or B) Had a wildly successful TED Talk, or C) both (in addition to their crazy speaking and writing careers). They have each made tremendous contributions with their work, so you better believe I absorbed every ounce of what they said like a little sponge and took pages of notes.