Lessons from the Birth Canal

As I wrote this post, Deva Premal chanted in the background; a prayer to Ganesh, remover of obstacles. This chant has been my constant companion the past month as I prepared for the business of birthing.

Creating. Launching. Birthing.

And exhausting – for it feels like I have given birth, and been birthed at the same time.

Yes, I love a good paradox.

ges·ta·tion  n.

1. The period of development in the uterus from conception until birth.
2. The conception and development of a plan or an idea in the mind.

In this case, the gestation period was two years.

In this case, the gestation period was two years.

“Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but…life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” – Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

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99 Things I Love (because I love a good challenge)


I’m always up for a challenge, especially when I know it’s going to leave me feeling a rampage of appreciation.

Judy Dunn wrote in the post that inspired me, 99 Things I Love, that in doing this exercise,

“You get a sense of what’s important in life, where your priorities lie and what brings you joy.”

That is always a good thing.

So I set my timer for ten minutes as per Judy’s exercise, and began my own list.


1.  My first cup of coffee in the morning
2.  The books that surround me in my office
3.  My girl Tarty
4.  Connecting with friends
5.  Making my mom laugh
6.  Deep soul-shaking belly laughs
7.  Fresh homemade bread
8.  Watching whales in Maui
9.  Catching sight of an eagle high above me
10. Losing myself in music
11. Foreign films
12. Standing in front of paintings I studied at art school
13. The art I’ve collected over the years
14. Coffee dates
15. Salted dark chocolate
16. Homemade pizza (and leftovers in the morning)
17. Walking our dog Tarty at Kits Beach
18. Holding hands with Mark
19. Long, squishy bear hugs
20. Christmas gatherings with family Continue reading

8 Truths to Getting Unstuck and Reclaiming Your Freedom



On the eve of her 49th birthday, she lay in bed wondering what had happened to her drive and enthusiasm for life. The tears kept her awake, as did the heightened awareness that she wasn’t happy, her experience of life one of feeling trapped.

Suffering doesn't make us weak;  only an avoidance of suffering makes us weak.  Sometimes the only way to get around it  is to burn through it. - Marianne Williamson

She lay awake for hours shocked by this realization.

Some time in the middle of the night, she whispered to herself that she would do whatever it took to feel better; to cause a breakthrough for herself. She was so very good at doing it for others, and it was time to turn that attention and care to her Self.

This was hard for her to admit, given that her work was all about helping people enjoy a greater experience of life. She’d been using all the techniques and tools she’d learned over the years, but nothing had made a lasting difference.

That was me, April 14, 2012.

I had entered my own personal hell.

A year passed, and I turned 50.

365 days had gone by since that dark night of the soul, and while I’d made some changes, things were still looking pretty bleak. So much so that I was actually considering therapy and/or drugs to help me get through this phase, which seemed to have become my life.

That’s when I asked myself one very important question:

Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get through?

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From Wonder Woman to Zen (12 truths about me)


I sat down to write today’s post and what flowed from my fingertips surprised me. It’s not what I had in mind but it’s what came through.

Going with that flow, and trusting; writing a post simply for the joy of sharing.

12 Truths About Me

Name: Born Santina Amorim, now Sandi Faviell Amorim. When I got married I added my husband’s name in the middle. I wanted to acknowledge our marriage without giving anything up. This felt right to me.

“Inside us there is something that has no name, that something is what we are.” – Jose Saramago

Nickname: Sandi, which was the name my mom chose for me. When I was born the doctor told my mom it wasn’t a real name, that she should call me Sandra. WTF? My mom didn’t like Sandra and figured by calling me Santina she would make her mother happy and still call me Sandi for short. I’ve always thought it was odd that her doctor had the nerve to be so opinionated – and wrong.

Superhero alias: The most powerful female superhero with the the best accessories ever – the Lasso of Truth, indestructible bracelets and tiara. And yes, I start my day with a cup of coffee out of the mug below.

Wonder Woman coffee mug

“It’s unfair to judge yourself by the criterion of age. A vital, intelligent woman is much more than the sum of her birthdays.” – Wonder Woman

Age: 49, and I’ve decided this is a year of transformation. As good as life has been, the plan is to be unrecognizable (in a good way) by April 2013 when I turn 50.

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Give Your Someday a Date

When was the last time you said yes to something on your life list?

Distinction: A bucket list is considered to be a list made up of things to do before you die, i.e: ‘kick the bucket.’ A life list is made up of things to do while you’re ALIVE. And things that make my heart beat faster should be kept somewhere special. . .not a bucket.

Back to the question…when?

It’s been awhile for me too.

“This is me. And I’m imperfect and I’m vulnerable and I’m afraid sometimes…” – Brené Brown

And then yesterday, I said yes.


To something that simultaneously terrifies and excites me.

I’m going to learn how to scuba dive.

On October 17 I’ll be joining my friend and colleague Jason Sugar of Breakthrough Adventures and two others in the water.

Jason Sugar of Breakthrough Adventures teaching scuba diving.

That’s Jason on the right teaching and sharing his passion!

Here’s why it’s a big deal…

When I was 8 years old I almost drowned, and while I don’t remember many of the details, I do remember the panic and fear of not being able to breathe.

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Where Are You From, Really?


Brian Tracy said, “It doesn’t matter where you are coming from. All that matters is where you are going.”

Yes, and when you acknowledge where you’re from with love and respect, the impact on where you’re going is profound.


Where am I from?

I am from a home where love and laughter reigned, a place of simple joys and comfort. giant heart stone found at Davis Bay, near Sechelt, BC

A home that prepared me for a life of connection, contribution and love; living each day fully, someday nowhere to be found.

I am from a woman, compassionate and loving, who chose a man strong and proud.

From my grandmother’s knee, oven-baked bread and rosy cheeks in the crisp wintry air.

A land, where immigrants gathered to start anew, courage and spirit to brave the elements.

A land that prepared me for western shores; where mountains and ocean collide.


Where am I from?

From the school of possibility; the spirit’s edge, my church the mountains and the waves below.

A place of coeur-age where risk and exploration connect.

childhood books on the shelf, photo by Sandi Amorim

Birthed in the stories of Jo March, Elizabeth Bennett, and a red-haired girl named Anne.

Where girls have heart, and spirit in abundance.


It’s easy to tell the stories that keep you small.

But right here as you read this, what’s the story that warms your heart?

That’s the one you should be telling.


Come to the Dark Side: permission to own where you suck


The past month has challenged me in all areas, mind, body and spirit.

I could blame it on Mercury retrograde, or my post conference funk, but whatever the reason, July took me out. You could say I’d been hit by a cosmic 2’x4′.

shadow image in black and white

Me and my shadow; welcome to the dark side.

Blocked and doubtful, Lizzie on full-blown loudspeaker about my work and what’s next, and then because that wasn’t enough, blindsided by an inflamed disc in my low back.

Really God? You thought that was a good idea?

And just like that, I fell down the slippery slope to the dark side.

The dark side ain’t pretty.

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A Feast for the Senses

early morning beach scene, Kihei, Maui

My ears delight in the sound of the surf.

waves reaching toes, Kihei, Maui

My skin tingles as it welcomes the waves that have travelled so far.

hibiscus blossom, Kihei, Maui

My eyes, they glow with thanks for the beauty around me.

sunset, Kihei, Maui

My body. . .breathes deeply,a long sigh of appreciation for the warmth of the sun

My heart beats time with the source of it all.


Over to you:

In your life, what makes your senses come alive?


Ruminating on Waves


“The ocean takes care of each wave ’til it gets to shore.” – Rumi

I’ve always loved the ocean.

It soothes me when troubled.

Inspires me when open.

And calms me when in need.

Reliable as the tides.

“It is easy to believe we are each waves and forget we are also the ocean.” – Jon J. Muth

waves rolling in at dog beach, Kits Point, Vancouver, BC

“The wave is the same as the ocean, though it is not the whole ocean. The Ocean can exist without the waves, but the waves cannot exist without the Ocean.” – Paramahansa Yogananda

You are the same as the people you admire and respect.

They’re just riding a different wave.

It’s easy to forget you are part of something bigger than yourself.

Something as big as the ocean.

You’re afraid to believe that you are that big.

But believe it or not. . .

You are that big.

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Where Your Heart Is, There You Will Find Your Treasure

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.


Whether he meant them to be or not, when my father-in-law threw these items into the box at the back of his closet they took on new meaning. Did he ever think that one day I would go through the box and wonder?

For I did wonder at these treasures.

Why had he kept them? What meaning did they hold? What did they tell me about this man I loved and admired?

And so I examined Malcolm’s treasures.

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” – Paulo Coelho

They spoke to me of a life of curiousity and passion, a life of many and varied interests. They spoke to me of values.

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