New year, new me ...with a new relationship and new location.
after 6 years in singapore, i decided to move back to the uk.
i’m trying to articulate what the last few months have been like. i can’t.
maybe it’s all the eckhart tolle, but the desire to write and reflect has dwindled, and all i wanna do is stay rooted in the present.
i’ve stopped over-complicating life and instead let myself be carried like a log floating on a stream. and it’s carried me here, back to london. somehow i know it’s exactly where i’m supposed to be.
when i migrated to america, then to another state, back to london, singapore - there was rarely any logic. my body and intuition would tell me “yo amanda, you need to move that way” and i’d follow. it’d work out as a perfect unfolding, with all the right lessons and opportunities.
this is my next unfolding.
i have some love to unleash in london. maybe even work to do and light to share.
to my singapore pals, i’ll be around. thank you (every single one of you) for the friendship and sharing the journey. if you’re ever in the uk neighbourhood, holla at me.
Hello baby girl.
you are so tiny, with your whole life ahead of you.
you won’t remember these moments, but the rest of us will.
you are truly loved.
it occurs to me you may grow up uncertain or full of questions.
the stars have kissed you with your own path.
it’s your journey to walk (like we all must walk).
but know that we are here, unconditionally.
we may not always understand, but we will try. and you may grow up to feel close or distant.
whatever you go through in this life,
the struggle, achievements and heartbreak, is part of the package of being human.
(don’t worry, we’ll have many conversations on the human condition, and what we can do to shine a light on the dark places)
over the years, your beautiful human body will change.
the world will have its expectations, and so will you.
but as you get older, you’ll become more confident. you'll understand the difference between the ideas you’ve inherited and those that are truly your own.
this may be hard to understand for many years, but one day you’ll know exactly what i mean.
although, i say that without expectation.
if i had to pass one thing on to you it would be this:
kindness, presence + courage are more important that status or even intelligence.
courage is perhaps the most difficult lesson you’ll learn... the courage to admit what’s true for you even when its different to what’s around you. the courage to stand up for yourself and others. the courage to see past man-made illusions so you can kneel with any man or woman and see them as equal.
presence is the most powerful lesson you'll learn. it's the act of being fully in the moment, when you're centred in your body and heart rather than the noisiness of the mind. from there, many things will fall into place.
you’ll get to make up your own mind, though, and i’ll do my best to always respect it.
you may think i’m just your crazy, hippie aunt, but i hope to be a positive influence in your life.
i’ll always listen.
i’ll give you my full attention.
i’ll do my best to admit when i’m wrong or catch when i’m putting you in a box.
you’ll teach me a few things, i’m sure.
i’m here whenever you need me.
your aunt, amanda
Been spending most my days in the great outdoors.
hours walking alone, listening to eckhart. it's the deepest peace i know, an abounding meditation.
his words came:
look at the planet and the billions of life forms. look at the oceans and how many incredible life forms exist in the ocean alone.
it's like it's come out of someone's dream.
maybe they're on acid.
am i saying the universe is on acid? something like that.
because there is obviously some wild creation going on. some incredible dream of gigantic proportion. and that's only on one ocean, on one planet.
on land, there's trillions of insets, different plants, and on a level we cannot see, microorganisms.
and that's only one tiny planet out of trillions.
this is the vastness of the universe.
what a gigantic dream.
and within each person is a microcosm of the universe. so the awakening of humans is also the awaking of the universe because you can't separate the human from the universe. there wouldn't even be a universe without the perceiving consciousness.
the world's a stage and all men and women are merely players.
awakening is becoming aware we are playing a script.
it's the awareness of the dream world without being immersed in it.
you can see your own drama.
you can see yourself playing your own script and that there's something far beyond it.
the universe wants us to awaken beyond the dream.
Travelling. acting the fool.
bet you thought i'd be too embarrassed to post it @kimpassalacqua. i mean, just because i broke the chair and had too much 🍻 .
being back in england is (jarring but) special. we swear the same way and share a (dark) sense of humour. we watched the same programs growing up. my accent can get lazy without people saying "huh?"
hello london, i've missed you.
i plan on swinging from wild to business to somewhere in between. i'm gonna to sit on grass and listen to instrumental music. go to random events. talk to strangers. work with local companies. play scrabble with family. it's good. it's a very good time indeed.
Back in the uk in the bohemian dream house.
i've spent the last few hours reading my journals from 2001-2006. i kept a detailed record of my life... who i hung out with, what happened, what people said, how i felt. i laughed and cried, mourning treasured friendships that have become undone over time. i've had so many deeply fulfilling and intimate relationships (and interactions) in my life, it just cracks my heart wide open when i think about it.
visiting the uk and usa after years abroad is a sobering experience... it's like i take a step back and look at everything i've done and all the people i've met, in a "my life's flashing before my eyes" kinda way.
i found i only asked myself one question: did i love hard enough? cos it's over quicker than we think.
my spirit spoke back: i have absolutely no regrets. i've been grateful more than i've been resentful. i have said yes more than i've said no. i haven't been perfect, but i've always been chasing the good fight. man, isn't this crazy ride so d**n beautiful?
I've value directness.
i don't like when we (as humans) beat around the bush or try to control the outcome too much (manipulation).
phoniness happens when we want to look good or try to spare people's feelings (or more accurately, our ability to handle those feelings) often at the expense of giving people the space to grow and respond in their own way.
that doesn't mean i believe in "brutal honesty". that's just tactless and hurtful.
(i also don't believe in "verbal onslaught" or overwhelming people with too much info, but that's another line of thinking...)
but, a big empathetic but, i understand why we (myself included) struggle to be direct.
we fear reactions, burning bridges, and facing the consequences. it's like 18th century england when two suitors meet with the intention to marry (straight out a jane austen novel) to advance each other's status in society. it was understood but never said aloud (that would be crude). everyone's thinking it but no one says it. the culture around secrecy and the unacknowledged runs deep.
these are the games we play. for some its an active game of chess. for others, a culturally adopted knee-jerk reaction.
we feel embarrassed by being direct. we're not taught to ask for what we want, draw boundaries, or acknowledge mistakes without flinching.
we think its tactful to ignore the elephant in the room.
you're an hour late but don't say sorry because it amplifies your mistake. you avoid telling the girl (who keeps calling after getting the wrong signal) that you're not interested in taking it further. you tell everyone you're doing great, when behind-the-scenes you're a mess, keeping up appearances. your mate says something that gets under your skin and it turns into resentment instead of dialogue. in business, our message (and integrity) gets diluted from pandering. indirectness is subtle, but there.
being honest doesn't aways come naturally. but it's worth learning so we can call on it when needed.
Peeps, this is happening on friday by @fem.bootcamp >>>
fem real talk is more than just carefully selected speakers for the night – it's women who embody the vision as well as the strength to break barriers in business, career and life.
this stellar panel includes:
💖 prerna suri
director of klareco communications
topic: "why female entrepreneurs need to be great at communicating"
💖 fatimah mohsin
founder of fatimah mohsin singapore⠀
"how to achieve grit & resilience to run a successful business"
💖 chong su lee
founder of look good feel great always
"your last 10 years"
💖 marie nadal sharma
founder of them you and me
"digital marketing back to basics'
what: fem real talk
when: 31 august 2018, friday
time: 730pm to 930pm
entry: sgd 20
Two things that are working for me:
1) i started eating plant based cos #eczema was out of control. after 3 years, the eczema's finally gone! i tried so many things and almost gave up completely so i'm psyched and amazed that recovery arrived after a ton of trial and error. bonus: my face is clearer. i no longer look like a hormonal teenager. plus i have tons of energy. yay.
2) i started following the #curlygirl method, which basically means i joined a cult and don't use shampoo. don't worry, i don't smell (yet). instead we (i just said "we" making my role in the cult official) use a sulphate/chemical free conditioner type thing. i think it's working cos i have less of a frizz ball. #winning .
the more i take care of my physical needs, the better i feel mentally and emotionally. i mean, duh, it's all connected, but sometimes it's easy to neglect part of the puzzle.
🌏physical = nutrition + exercise + downtime + recovery + sex/touch
🌏emotional= intimacy + socialising + friendships + affection + conversation + expression + contribution
🌏mental = work + meaning + focus + acquiring knowledge + creation + play + relaxation
🌏spiritual = surrender + trust + service + meditation|prayer + connection + reflection + acceptance + self mastery/presence
any thing else to add to this list?
When ideas alchemise into reality
last night i shared with the group that i'd been thinking about running the businesses with heart event for a long time but i found myself putting it off.
bottomline: it was outside my comfort zone, and damnit, the comfort zone is comfy. why mess things up? why tilt the equilibrium? why bother? so many reasons not to and only one irrational reason to go ahead: because i needed to... because my life journey has lead me to this, planted these ideas, gave me all the signs and gut feelings and recurring thoughts: create a fun, deep, weird, creative space that breaks convention and brings people together; full of honest conversations, sensitivity and ideation.
perhaps my soul has evolved by overcoming my inner resistance.
(as pressfield says, the more important a call or action is to our soul's evolution, the more resistance we will feel about answering it).
standing there, i watched people interact and open up. a self proclaimed introvert said she never goes out, but wants to come to more businesses with heart events and even support behind the scenes. and then someone said they found a place they can be rattled into authenticity and challenged good-naturedly by their peers.
this has taught me something: it takes courage to wide awake and feeling fully when we can easily shut down, care less or play it safe.
it takes (brave) vulnerability to remain open to the good, the bad, the potential rejection and falling on your face.
it's a rebellious act. its honouring your own path over the one that's set out for you. it's a commitment to your soul's evolution even when the only compass is your inner voice, whispering wild (often inconvenient) ideas. but i'll be d****d if that isn't why we're here. to create. to remain open despite it all.
The downside of running your own business is that you have to manufacture discipline.
there’s no boss breathing down your neck. no office hours. no looming panic that you’ll lose your job if you don’t fulfil your job description. if you’re smart, you’ll have a friend, mentor or coach who’ll help you keep your s**t together as you work through the growing pains. someone to direct and focus the avalanche of your thoughts and ideas.
you need a third-party to tell you when you’re colouring too much outside the lines.
(by all means, colour outside the lines, but there comes a point when creativity can go from "art and innovation" to overkill and overwhelm. we need to arrange ideas in digestible pieces so we’re moving forward and not in circles).
running a business is incredibly liberating + incredibly destabilising.
liberation: we are the artist. we decide what matters and how much we work and charge. no more pandering to things we don’t believe in. it’s the internal middle finger to a life of obligation. it can be as crazy or tame as we like. big or small. conventional or unconventional. it’s pure creativity. a soul adventure. we are the captain of the ship, and man, if feels good to have the wind in yer hair.
destablisation: we are the force that drives the ship. if we’re not moving, the business isn’t moving. all of a sudden, there’s a lot of pressure to have all the answers: where do we start? what’s a priority? what’s worth investing in? what do you mean i have knowledge gaps and if i don’t fill them my business will rot inside a container of broken dreams and small thinking?
insecurity kicks in. we’re the spokesperson. if we’re not thinking and speaking clearly, it effects every aspect of our business. profit rivals our original vision. we compromise our passion. we take bad advice. we work from fear instead of inspiration. we resent aspects our business because growth comes at a price. at our lowest point, we even think: shit, why did i sign up for this?
then we wake up and do it all over again, like insane masochists. running a business is hard, but giving up is harder.
we stabilise. we find what works for us. this is the journey.
Overlook the cheesiness for a minute. how many real friends do you have? confidants you can talk honestly about life on a regular basis, through good times and bad? i read if you have one you're doing alright. if you have two or more you're winning.
for me, friendship has gotten harder as i've gotten older. i don't know if it's me, or the curse of adulthood, social media, if i move country too d**n much or if running a business has turned me superficial or resistant to vulnerability. i'm picky. i like crazy people who make me laugh until i cry. i like poetry and crassness and wild ideas, big hearts and inappropriate jokes. and not having to think about what i'm gonna say. a total lack of self-consciousness and self-censorship.
friendships are honed over time; they go beyond entertainment. they're earned with a bit of ugliness, tested with arguments and disagreements. my closest friends have seen me weak and whiny and snappy and mean. but we've loved each other through the worst. that takes a lot of work. it takes opening up and disappointment and bearing insecurities and growing beyond awkward silences and transactions. no wonder there's so much loneliness. i think that's part of the reason i started the businesses with heart event... as some kind of social experiment to break down walls. research showed that when a group of people were asked how many real friends they have, the majority said none. it doesn't have to be that way. we can take a step to strengthening the relationships we already have. invest more time. pick up the phone. be the first to offer an invitation or open up. or we can find our people, put out a mating call and see who turns up.