We Must Move Into Love

“To transcend fear we must move somewhere else emotionally; we must move into love.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

We must move into love, and in doing so we make it an active choice rather than an intellectual one.

We’ve heard the call to choose love over fear.

Has it worked for you? Because I’ll admit I’m starting to get that choosing isn’t enough.

And so I did, mostly because I pride myself on walking my talk, but also because I reached out and asked for help.

Some time ago, I began thinking about shooting video, but every time I thought of it my entire being clenched, gripped by the fear of putting myself out there in a new way.

It felt dangerous and vulnerable.

I let myself feel the fear, and I even began to question it, examining it from various angles.

One day I found myself reaching out and asking a friend for support. He was brilliant in that he didn’t just give me advice on how to make videos.  He showed up on my doorstep with his equipment and proceeded to record our conversation for two hours.

Two hours of facing my fear, and moving into love.

Two hours of talking about love and fear and freedom, and other topics I’m passionate about.

At some point I realized I’d almost forgotten about the cameras I was so into our conversation.

I realized that love and fear can’t coexist.

We can never feel them at the same time. It’s impossible.

I realized that choosing love is only the first step.

Moving into love must follow, an ongoing practice that breathes life into us when we most need it.

In saying yes to doing the video, I chose love over fear.

In sharing it here with you, I move into love once again.

Because to keep this to myself goes against how I want to live my life.

I want you to get, just like I did, that I’m OK exactly the way I am.

If I want to help others reclaim their freedom, I have to make the move into love, over and over and over again.

It’s not a one-time thing.

And I am reminded of Marianne Williamson’s prayer,

Dear God,

Help me today to choose love over fear, that I might work miracles for myself and others. Where I am tempted to attack or defend, please guide my mind to a gentler place.

Amen.  

Choose love, and have it be that simple.

Crush your fear.

Become fearless.

An inspiring rallying cry in the personal development world.

Or is it?

Does it really motivate you to hear “be fearless,” when time after time your dreams and desires are shut down by fear? Or does the call to fearlessness leave you in doubt that you could ever be that bold?

Just because we hear something a lot doesn’t make it right or true, or even helpful. That it is believed and widespread doesn’t make it useful or effective in the reality of day-to-day living.

Because the truth I’ve learned is that becoming fearless isn’t the point; nor is mastering your fear.

That’s just ego talking, doing it’s best to stop you.

Fear has its uses – survival for one – and it keeps us from doing stupid things, but the thing we don’t often hear is that fear can even lead you to a positive outcome.

What if leaning into your fear is what sets you free? 

Hard to believe? Challenging your beliefs? Stay with me.

When I launched my business almost 15 years ago, I was afraid.

When I got married after heartbreak in my first relationship, I was terrified.

When I learned how to scuba dive, I was so scared I could hardly breathe.

When I faced a video camera for the first time? Heart-racing, deer-in-headlights fear.

I was wracked with fear every single time.

I certainly didn’t ‘crush it’ or eliminate fear from my life. Instead, I tested it, leaning in to see where it would lead me.

That video recording I mentioned?

Yeah, that happened recently, and I can still hardly believe I did it.

For some time, I’ve thought of doing video, every time coming to the conclusion that it wasn’t for me.

I’m not a video person.
I don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera.
I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing.

A few my logical reasons for saying no.

Then I asked myself what was choosing to say no – love or fear?

Fear – deep and dark – a fear of being seen in a new way. Exposed. Vulnerable. I wanted to run and hide, get away from my discomfort.

So I did the opposite, leaning into it as far as I could. And the most amazing thing happened.

Love showed up and said yes.

Choose Love: photo credit - Sandi Amorim

Love for my work, and connecting to people.

Love for the friend who offered to record my first video, and help me face my fear.

Love for myself, and my desire to keep growing and stretching beyond what I think is possible.

I chose love, and it said yes.

Two hours flew by while we talked about life, and vulnerability, and why the general advice to be fearless is fucked. I talked about how scared I was to do this with him.

Two hours of recording that showed me that being afraid and being filmed (or being afraid while being filmed) was something I could lean into rather than avoid.

Instead of crushing fear, I chose love.

Can it be that simple?

Yes.

Simple, and not always easy, but I’m willing to practice.

Choose love, and have it be that simple.

 

p.s. Video to come, so stay tuned.

 

The Art of Defining Negative Space

In art school I was taught to look at negative space as simply the space between the objects I wanted to draw or paint.

No judgement. No right or wrong.

Just space – the area in between objects or parts of an object, for example, the area between the zebra’s legs. It’s also the space between an object and the edges of the canvas, i.e. the space surrounding the zebra. 

Zebra Legs Red

Negative space is simply the area not occupied by the object.

Which got me thinking about negative space in life.

What if we took the view that it’s space not yet occupied by our desires?

We are hardwired for negativity, so this shift may be a challenge.

Eckhart Tolle said, “Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.” 

It takes letting go of the judgment you have of the negative that shows up in your life.

Curse if you must, then move on.

Choose to see the negative as space.

“What does one do with experience? Do we react negatively, or do we (pro)create from the space of positivity?” – T.F. Hodge

Choose to take back your power and reclaim your freedom.

Choose to acknowledge the energy between you and the things you want.

It’s there. It happened.

Now choose.

 

 

 

The Myth of the Overnight Success

Transformations and overnight successes are common, especially in the online world. We see them all the time: blueprints, roadmaps, and quick-fixes to success.

We forget that there’s no one-size-fits-all path.

We live in a world of over-promising that has a negative impact on our confidence and ability to pursue what’s important to us in life.

The problem with stories of overnight success is that is we don’t often hear about what had to happen to get there, and we almost never hear about the effort involved to reach the successes.

We only see the result, which if you’ve tried and failed in previous attempts to change, only serves to trigger self-recrimination and judgment.

So how do we get there from here?

When you make a promise to yourself, it always comes from a desire to change.

The truth is that change is what most of us want, but we deny that we want it.

Maybe you think you should be more accepting of what is instead of focused on what is not, i.e. your desired outcome.

But change is natural and to resist it is…well, kind of crazy.

“Every single thing changes and is changing always in this world.” – Saigyo

Always in flux, nature is the greatest example of change.

A few years ago we had a violent storm in Vancouver that included howling winds, power outages, and massive damage to our beloved park in the heart of the city. About a week after the storm, we drove through the park and I cried at the loss of so many trees. Yet, driving through the park now, I can hardly tell that anything had happened, and what was once chaos is again beautiful.

Change. From something that was, to something that different, and new.

At the time however, the media focused on the destruction and judgment of what had happened. That judgment was human and had nothing to do with what had actually occurred in nature.

The same thing happens in our minds when we desire to change, and make a promise to ourselves to do so.

The problem isn’t that we want change; the problem is that we judge ourselves harshly when we fail to change the way we want.

This judgment creates a vicious cycle; an endless loop of disappointment and self-recrimination that colours any future attempt to change, sabotaging our promises in an instant.

When we really want to make a change, but feel defeated before we begin, is it possible to fulfill a promise we make to ourselves?

How Does Change Work?

Change is too often thought of as a dramatic shift, i.e. from unhealthy to healthy, from debt to riches.

We’re led to believe that if we’re given the right kind of training, information or education, change will be quick and inevitable.

Except if this belief were true, many industries (weight loss for example) would cease to exist, and sadly that’s not the case.

In Changing for Good, Dr. James Prochaska found (after working with thousands of patients) that there are natural steps we all go through when making changes in our lives.

Since a promise is creating a change in the future, this is a good place to begin. 

cycle_of_change_prochascka, Changing for Good

It doesn’t matter what area of life you choose, we go through these stages every time we declare a desire to change, every time you make a promise to yourself.

Unless you understand how it goes, the cycle will keep undermining your ability to keep your promise.

This points to the fundamental truth that the process of change is seldom a straight path.

That’s why the 100 Day Promise is effective.

You’ll walk that path armed with tools and strategies, in a loving and supportive community.

Join us.

 

Hello Desire Map, I Love You

 

At this time of year I start to look forward , and while I’m no fan of resolutions, I do love creating the future. This year, I’m feeling anticipation more than usual.

This feeling has a lot to do with the my journey the past couple of years, which has been an opportunity to embrace more of what I love and want in life.

And what’s leading me there with a new-found intensity is my deep dive into Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map.

Reading the Desire Map is a soulful endeavour that wreaks havoc (in a good way) on my psyche, and makes room for new thoughts and feelings to emerge.

red rose of desire, the Desire Map process

desire

: early 13th century Latin, desiderare – “long for, wish for,” original sense – “await what the stars will bring”

Await what the stars will bring…

So I willingly immersed myself in the desire mapping process which led to feeling good in all areas of my life.

Now I’m not new to the Desire Map having gone through the process last year, but this time I gave myself fully to the experience.

My motivation came from a longing to create this year in a new way, but also to deepen my own relationship to desire.

I’ve had plenty of experience wanting something and not getting it, and wondered how desire could transform that sense of striving. I also committed to leading two Desire Map groups, and public declaration is a powerful motivator.

I settled in to explore my desires, and what showed up were these core desired feelings:

Cherished
Free
Delight
Spacious
Wonder

While doing the work my guy came home, and after a short while, he asked what I was doing. I casually responded, “Getting clear how I want to feel this year.”

Silence, and then…“Can I do it too?”

We sat side by side, me asking the questions out loud, both of us writing in notebooks. No idle chat, just silence and the sound of pen on paper, accompanied by the warm light of the fire.

What happened next surprised me, and was a direct hit of delight.

When I asked him to share one of his feelings ‘joyfully connected’ came out of his mouth, along with a simple statement that it’s how he wants to feel in relationships, and specifically with me in our marriage.

Hello Desire Map, I love you.

This process works.

It guides you past the same old stuff that comes up every January and takes you deep into what’s important.

For me it was,

Feeling joyfully connected vs. “let’s set up another date night”

Feeling cherished and delighted vs. driven by my goals

When you allow your feelings to guide you,

“…you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be.”  – Danielle LaPorte

 

 

Let’s Talk About Love

 

Blinded, statue at Fraserview Cemetery, Vancouver, BC

It’s easy to love the sun.

It rises each day and generously shares its light and warmth. It literally brightens our days, wanting nothing in return.

So easy to love.

It’s less easy to love another.

For they are not nearly as reliable or generous as the sun. They come with feelings and expectations and needs. Often demanding, it’s a wonder we love them, but we do.

We do so love to love.

It’s not that easy to love yourself. 

This is the greatest of loves, for it informs the rest, and yet…it’s often the love we’re most challenged by.

Imagine this love.

This great love that has been with you since the beginning. Maybe it was suppressed long ago, tucked way back in the recesses of your heart.

“To say “I love you” one must know first how to say the “I”.” – Ayn Rand

But this love is still there, longing to be expressed.

I know this is true.

You are here longing to hear the whispers of your heart, yearning to feel the “I”.

So, let’s talk about love, and create the foundation of a new reality.

 

Embracing the Woo

 

In speaking with a client recently, I was reminded yet again how little we accept ourselves.

We reject and judge those parts of ourselves that fall short – of perfection, and comparison.

We blame and beat ourselves up – for being vulnerable and human.

And what does it get us?

Exhaustion, dissatisfaction, and a general malaise in life.

Your one precious life.

The more we tolerate the self-recrimination, the more we struggle. The more we struggle, the less we accept ourselves, and the vicious circle continues.

But what if…

  • you accepted (and even loved) the parts of yourself you judge
  • you viewed these parts of yourself from a place of compassion
  • and what if you held these parts close, allowing them to become integrated in a way that feels sacred?

This IS possible.

You have to be willing to break the cycle, and interrupt long-held patterns. You also have to decide that yes, change is possible.

It’s not only possible…it’s likely.

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LET FEAR STOP YOU?

Just like you, I have felt confronted in life.

I’ve faced some hard truths in my life and work the past year. I found myself spinning round and round, paralyzed by the fear of sharing the most important change I’ve experienced in my career.

Even though I knew firsthand how powerful this change was – I let fear stop me.

  • Fear of what you would think.
  • Fear of being perceived as a flake.
  • Fear of judgment, instilled in me by others, not even my own fear to begin with.

I felt vulnerable and afraid, and the fear slid in making itself at home.

But what happens when you suppress something that is truly important to you? What happens when you hold yourself back at the cost of making the difference you’re here to make?

Sooner or later, the pressure cooker will blow.

Sooner or later, you’ve got to say FUCK IT and honour what’s true for you.

Sooner or later you’ve got to embrace what you’re most afraid of.

And so I did.

What was my greatest fear?

What was that big scary thing that had been slowing me down?

This: That you’ll think I’ve lost my mind and embraced the woo.

Woo woo…you know what I mean, right?

 

EMBRACING THE WOO

woo-woo

adj: concerned with emotions, mysticism, or spiritulism; other than rational or scientific; mysterious; new agey.

Deepak Chopra says that woo woo is “…a derogatory reference to almost any form of unconventional thinking, aimed by professional skeptics who are self-appointed vigilantes dedicated to the suppression of curiosity.”

Suppression of curiousity?

That is like suppressing the essence of who I am, and suppression never feels good – ever.

While I was debating the dilemma of woo, I also realized the following:

  • Science has always played catch-up to the woo which typically begins with creativity, curiousity, and imagination
  • Embracing the woo doesn’t exclude the many years of experience and training I’ve accumulated
  • Trusting what works feels better than trusting the status quo

These past months I have trusted what works, and the process has been healing in a way I’d never imagined.

“Healing is not a science, but the intuitive art of wooing nature.” – W.H. Auden

Imagine wooing yourself to a place of self-acceptance.

Dare I say, even self-love?

divider

 

The process I went through also created space.

  • Space for healing in all areas of mind, body, and spirit.
  • Space for producing unprecedented results in life and business.
  • Space to discover what’s most important, and of highest value and meaning to me – and ultimately, to my clients.
  • Space to develop mastery with the Freedom Sessions.

This work is currently confronting many old paradigms in the personal development world because it’s producing results in fewer sessions, and with more long-term effectiveness.

Why do we think change has to take a long time?

If your body can store memories, emotions, and negative feelings in an instant, it can also release them in the same way. But somehow we’ve come to the collective conclusion that this can’t happen. That we have to spend hours and years, talking about our traumas in order to heal the wounds.

What if this doesn’t have to be true?

Let that sink in.

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” – Albert Einstein

 

And consider this…

Suggesting such a fundamental shift in the coaching relationship at first glance means fewer sessions, less long-term commitment and consequently, less income.

If people reach permanent and positive change in fewer sessions, they will need far less of my time.

So why would I do this? Sounds a bit crazy, yeah?

But it also means more satisfied clients living more fulfilled lives, which leads to many more referrals – and an even more fulfilled coach.

And people are experiencing some pretty jaw-dropping results:

“I’ve always been an anxious person but since my son was born 2 years ago it has intensified, and I’ve become obsessed with getting sick. This anxiety has become a nauseous feeling that stays with me most of the day, from the first thought I have when I wake up to the constant body scans throughout the day. I started to worry that I would need to be put on anti-anxiety medication and I really didn’t want that! Sandi led me through the Freedom Sessions, and here’s the AMAZING part – the obsessive anxiety has dissipated, and I am not consumed by worry. This has had a huge impact on how I am living life, and I now have the freedom to enjoy my son and my family without the shadow of anxiety.” – M.T.

I want this kind of result for more people, and I’m not afraid to say:

These sessions work better than anything else I’ve used with clients in 13 years of professional coaching.

 

WHAT DOES IT TAKE FROM YOU?

You have to want a breakthrough. Badly.

It’s not enough to want to feel better or experience some relief (although you will.)

This work is most effective with people who are frustrated and fed up with where they’ve been stuck. People who REALLY want to make a change.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

 

You have to be willing to go deep.

Think of the difference between treading water on the surface of the ocean and diving deep.

Deep is where you’ll find the pearls. Deep is where you’ll experience sweet release from painful issues that have been part of your life for way too long.

But it can be difficult, and you have to be willing to go that far.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama

 

You have to trust the process.

You don’t have to understand how it works. You do have to show up, trust me to guide you through the process, and be willing to let go.

I had to do this too. I had to embrace the woo, and trust the results. Science can catch up with me later.

“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.” – Eckhart Tolle

When you trust, things like this happen:

“I am a skeptic who tries to suspend disbelief, but my experiences with Sandi have made me a believer even though I do not understand why it works. Quite frankly, I don’t care why or how it works because I feel exponentially better, and that’s all that matters.” – E.B.

 

You know how I used to go on and on about ‘someday’ thinking?

That hasn’t changed.

If you are ready for a change – I mean really, really ready – let’s talk.

 

How to Create a World of Connection

 

It’s easy to turn your yearnings into goals.

Ever notice how quickly this leads to planning and strategizing?

Sounds like fun?

Yeah, not so much.

Slowly but surely, the meaning behind your yearnings disappears, squeezed out by the minutiae of planning and you’re left with what exactly?

Empty results.

Example: You yearn to feel connected.

You brainstorm ways to feel more connected, and suddenly, your schedule is full of commitments: networking events, social engagements, scheduled calls to connect with people you love, etc.

Do you feel more connected?

Connect

In my experience, you’re more likely to feel exhausted, and resentful of the whirlwind you created.

Now imagine you create from a different starting place – a world where you already are connected. 

You don’t have to reconnect.

You only have to remember, and bring awareness back to the connection that is always there.

Let me say it again. . .

The connection is always there.

You can’t NOT be connected.

“We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

The roots of a tree are there whether we see them or not; reaching deep or spreading wide – always there, always connected to the earth.

When you come from the place that we are always already connected, you open up a new view of life which then allows for a new way of being.

Instead of asking what you have to do to reconnect, ask yourself what needs to shift in you to feel your connection to the world and those around you right now.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” – Mother Teresa

 

Over to You:

For the next 24 hours, notice your connection to life. Feel the already existing connection between you and every person who crosses your path.

Notice what shows up.

Notice what displaces your connection.

In becoming aware of what takes you out, you’ll also discover how to access your connection any time, anywhere.

 

 

Telling the Truth About Love and Freedom

 

“Freedom and love go together.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

Yes, they do, and this belief has caused a shift recently. . .

a seismic shift away from traditional coaching towards a more freedom-oriented way of working that focuses on harmony and integration rather than goals, productivity, and the usual suspects of the coaching world. That doesn’t mean you won’t get those results, but that you’ll get them with more ease and alignment with your values than you’ve ever experienced before.

And since I’m telling the truth here, this shift feels more like 6.3 on the Richter scale in the magnitude it’s had on my life and business.

Because as I’ve been mastering this new way of working with you, I’ve been going through it myself and the word that comes to mind is transformative; like those imaginal cells that have been at work for so long have finally completed their role.

What does that mean?

It means I really don’t give a crap about:

  • fine-tuning my niche
  • developing SEO practices
  • following traditional coaching guidelines
  • and other sundry tips from the experts on how to succeed online!

It means I’m trusting my gut and my soul’s whispers.

It means you get more of the depth and breadth of fifteen years of my own personal development and coaching journey.

“In the Freedom Sessions, Sandi brings knowledge, humor and genuine compassion to the process.  Everything is done in relationship, in an atmosphere of non-judgement.” – Ellen Berg

It means my deepest yearning is to cherish life in such a way that it exposes its tender heart.

It means I’m in service to that desire by focusing on love and freedom in every interaction.

It means my primary interest – and yes, I do have an agenda – is to help you expand into love and freedom in any area of your life where you currently experience struggle and constraints.

Love & Freedom collage by Sandi Amorim

This my friends, might be bad for SEO, but it’s right in every other way.

Especially in my heart.

Especially in my heart.

Set Yourself in Motion

 

At Rest, photo of gravestone at Mountainview Cemetery, Vancouver, BC

Walking through the cemetery,
present to life.

In all its messy, splendid glory,
this life is what you have.

With dreams and yearnings,
secret wish lists tucked away
at the back of your mind.

Newton said,
“a body at rest will remain at rest
unless an outside force acts on it
” 

So you wait for that outside force,
to strike, and set you in motion.

Going at it ass backwards,
when the source of your power is inside.

How long will you let it lie dormant?

How many more hours, days,
and years will you let pass you by?

Strike.

Set yourself in motion;
exchange your inertia for freedom.