How I Made The Most Of My Solo Vacation

How I Made The Most Of My Solo Vacation

Real talk: I’m not a seasoned travler. I spent my summers in the Midwest going on weekend driving vacations. I didn’t get on a plane until graduate school and didn’t leave the country until after I’d turned 30. I’m only just getting into the groove when it comes to knowing what types of travel I’m into. Sometimes, travel seems intimidating and I’ve been grateful to have so many willing travel buddies to guide me and share experiences with me over the past few years.

In the last few months, however, I’ve really been slipping into a season of introversion and desiring to spend more time with myself and those with whom I have really close soul connections. When it became quite obvious recently that it was time for a getaway, I made the conscious choice to travel alone. I booked a last minute trip to Tulum, Mexico (read more about my travel experience and recommendations here) with the clear intention of reconnecting with my intuition, which I’d lost sight of during a recent season of business.

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Why Every Single Woman Should Date Herself

Why Every Single Woman Should Date Herself

How a Breakup with Booze & Boys Helped Me To Truly Love Myself

I walked into the dimly-lit theater and apprehensively took my seat. At 31, this was the first time I’d ever treated myself to a movie solo. My thirty-first year would be full of many firsts. This was my first of many dates with myself.

The catalyst behind this newfound relationship with little old me was born out of necessity. It was only a few months before that I’d made the decision to take a break from alcohol. A “party girl” in my 20s, I’d had a sudden sense that my life might be better without it. So, as terrified as I was to navigate the world without a substance that had given me the confidence to date in the first place, I listened to my intuition and broke up with booze.

Little did I know that eliminating alcohol from my life would fuel one of the most intense and important periods of personal growth I’m sure I will experience in my lifetime.

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How I Moved From "Gray Area Drinking" to "Spontaneously Sober"

How I Moved From "Gray Area Drinking" to "Spontaneously Sober"

…And Three Tough Questions I Had To Ask Myself

My name is Amanda. I’m a single, social, thirty-something living in Austin, TX. I’m also alcohol-free. I describe my journey as “spontaneous sobriety” because I didn’t identify as having a “drinking problem” (though, as you’ll read, that doesn’t mean my drinking wasn’t a problem).

A former social drinker (read: party girl), I’ve candidly discussed my alcohol-free lifestyle quite a bit over the last few years. What I haven’t shared in detail is how much I struggled as social or “gray area” drinker.

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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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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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You Don't Have To Hit Rock Bottom

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.

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What I Learned Spending a Week With Super Soul Sunday & TED Talk Alum

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.

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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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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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Embracing the Power to Let Go and Choose Again

It’s the eve of my thirty-second birthday; a perfect time to sit and reflect about how I’ve grown not only in this past year, but in the last thirty-two years as a whole. I hope I say this every year at this time - I never thought I’d be where I am right now. I’m filled with so much gratitude for the lessons and growth life has brought me. There is really a lot to be excited about, yet I am overcome with a sense of peace...a sense that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Every triumph, every tear, every sad day, every hard conversation, every beautiful experience...they’ve all led up to this moment. I’ve worked hard to have these moments of serenity and clarity (though they are sometimes fleeting amidst a world of chaos and distraction), but when they come, I embrace them fully.

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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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5 Surprising Things I Did Sober in 2017...And the Lessons I Learned

I once lived life thinking there were situations -  like vacations, weddings, or concerts - you couldn’t possibly tolerate (or want to attempt) sober. I once believed that doing any of these things, by choice, without drinking would be nothing short of torture. However, I’m living proof that it is possible. You see, I’m a former party girl who - somewhat by accident - ended up spending an entire year sober. I didn’t hit a rock bottom or have a doctor’s order, I simply came to the realization that my life revolved - a little too much - around drinking, and that didn’t feel right. So, on a mission to find a different meaning in life, I made the decision to quit drinking for an entire year, but to go on living my life as seamlessly as possible.

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Falling in Love with the Light: Reflections on my 75th Day without Booze

I listened to a great podcast episode of The Good Life Project with writer and poet Mark Nepo a few weeks back. I'd originally listened to the podcast because I recognized his name from an episode of Oprah's Super Soul Sunday. During the podcast conversation, Mark said something that struck me, "Addiction is when you fall in love with the strike and not the light." 

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