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Running on Empty – The Up-Side

By Amanda Elo’esh Johnsen, M.A.
As my journey continues to walk me through more loss, I’ve felt myself like a dreamy shell, emptied out, raw, vulnerable and transparent. As I’ve gone into this experience, deeply and slowly, I’ve realized that I have been blessed with some insights that have made this process an immense blessing, full of graciousness, and I wanted to share it with you so that, in your times of loss, you can fully receive all that is here for you. Watch my video where I share why being empty after a loss can be a good thing. I’ve recognized, as I’ve witnessed this death and loss, that the emptiness is a great gift and something I don’t often allow myself to drop into. I empty out during meditations, but when the universe wipes the slate clean, it is a clearing that we wouldn’t ever choose for ourselves and yet this powerful time is ripe with so many opportunities to allow something new and even more fully aligned with our highest good. The biggest key is to make sure not to hurry and fill up that space with the quickest and easiest distraction/filler we can find. To truly honor what has passed and to really make sure that we are letting this clearing away be of service in our lives, it’s essential to hold that empty space in reserve for something that is truly worthy of that space. Is TV or getting lost in on-line distractions what we want to take the space of a relationship? With the blank slate in front of you, what new art do you choose to make of your life? Pay attention, because the universe never takes away without offering something to fill it up. It may take some time, but it is always worth the wait. How have you chosen to deal with losses in your life? Have you had the opportunity to turn a loss into something that has made more beauty in the world? Please share your insights and experiences in the comment section below. And, if you like what you’ve seen and read here, sign up for my weekly inspirations, they’ll get these gifts delivered directly to your inbox for free and you’ll get extra insights and tips that I don’t share anywhere else. Oh, and please tell your friends. If you like this content and you like your friends, then share the goods! To all of you who are grieving a loss, great or small, my heart and prayers are with you. Much love and all blessings, Read More
Holding the Light

Sacred Passages – The Grace inside of Grief & Loss

By Amanda Elo’esh Johnsen, M.A.

Have you been experiencing intense loss and change too? It seems like there has been so many powerful life transitions right now and my heart is feeling really full of all that this process brings: grief, beauty and grace.

This past month has been full of death, loss, and a call to grieve on a level I haven’t experienced in several years, yet I’ve felt the most blessed I can recall in many years as well. It may seem contradictory to be face-to-face with what could easily be seen and labeled as a tragedy, and yet feel so much peace and grace, and it seemed really important to share this experience with you from this raw place I’m in so that it may serve you in your times of great loss. This week’s video is all about what I’ve learned about death and finding grace and peace inside of the loss.

Have you been experiencing powerful changes? I’d love to hear how you are navigating loss in your life, and if you have any wisdom you’d like to share, please leave a comment below!

And if you like what you’ve seen and read and you’re not on my mailing list, feel free to sign up. It’s completely free of charge and hassels and you’ll get my weekly inspirations delivered directly to your inbox along with other special personal shares you won’t find anyplace else.

Until next week, blessings on your journey!
xo & <3

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What's the big deal with "Divine Purpose"? Who cares?

By Amanda Elo’esh Johnsen, M.A.

Hey all you wild at heart thrivers, have you been getting bombarded by all sorts of messages about awakening your Divine Purpose? (Some of them were from me, it’s true : / ). I certainly have, and recently, I took a moment to think about it and thought,

“What is the big deal, anyway?”

Well, I took a moment to think about it and then share a little bit about why knowing and living in your Divine Purpose is such a great idea. I also share some insights into this whole Divine Purpose deal that might make it a little less painfully woo-woo sounding and a little more understandable and approachable.

Check it out here

And please tell me about your insights and experiences with uncovering and manifesting your Divine Purpose in the comments section.

Don’t forget to check out the other treasures I’ve left here for you. My Living Wisdom School and the Journeys of WISE are here to fully support you in the mystical and practical ways available to us in making our soul’s calling a reality in this lifetime. Go ahead, check it out, and drop me a line! I’d love to hear from you!

Until next week, may you remember the Divine within you.
xo & <3

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Go Ask Alice Oracle & Spiritual Composting Under One Umbrella: The White Rabbit Speaks

By Amanda Elo’esh Johnsen, M.A.

Hey friends!
Did you know that I wrote an oracle? It’s true! It’s maybe another side of me you haven’t yet seen and I’m so excited to share all of me with you under one umbrella – here at my new epad!

As the result of asking for a dream for the collective in 2008, I was guided to decipher the archetypal wisdom held within the Alice in Wonderland Adventures and it became a wildly popular website and newsletter with over 10,000 hits each month. Despite the fun I was having, I felt really stretched in too many directions and it seemed wise to gather all my offerings together here at my new epad for all of my friends, family and fans to enjoy in one convenient location.

It’s all me whether it’s silly or sacred, from the Divine or the Land of Wonder. And as an authentic human helping my earth tribe to THRIVE outside the box, it seemed important to give you ALL I’ve got. So, without further adieu, here’s my first video blog from down inside the rabbit hole. Here we meet the White Rabbit and discover what he has to teach us about time, and passage into the realms of the subconscious mind.

Enjoy!

Oh, and PLEASE take a moment to share any experiences you’ve had where time stood still or flew by OR any journeys you’ve taken with the White Rabbit!

I really want to hear from you!

So leave your stories down below in the comment section!

Thanks and big hugs with tea and jam from the kitchen of the White Queen. She’s a bit of a mess, but she makes a killer crumpet!

xo & <3

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Feeding the Holy – Altars as the Mouth of God

By Amanda Elo’esh Johnsen, M.A.

Hey beauties! I have a question for you. Have you ever thought about what the Holy eats?

It’s something that’s only come into my consciousness over the past few years and continues to become a more and more profound question.

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to learn, directly from one of my sacred altars, that an altar is actually a mouth of God:dess/Creator. It’s a place where we receive Divine wisdom and inspiration. It is also something that needs to be fed.

Check out my latest video where I explain why you’d want to and how you can feed the Holy through keeping a sacred altar.

Want MORE depth? Soon you can access chapters to my new book: “Sexual Bliss Through Good Housekeeping: The extraordinary woman’s guide to a better EVERYTHING” where I’ll dive deeper into making and keeping a sacred altar, co-creation with the Divine and other practices for making more magic (so much that it squeezes out the mundane).

Like what you see? Don’t keep it to yourself! Share it with your friends! And if you REALLY like what you see, sign up for my weekly inspirations. You’ll get my vlogs mailed directly to your inbox and you’ll get special treats and offers you won’t find anywhere else.\

DO YOU have a sacred altar? How do you work with it? Have you ever experienced it as something that speaks to you and something that needs to be fed? PLEASE SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES BELOW in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you!

Until next week, remember the Divine within you.

xo & <3

AfroDite Hippie Heart Mudra

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Making Love with GOD: Divine Co-Creation of Your Divine Purpose

By Amanda Elo’esh Johnsen, M.A.

Woohoo, Wonderbeings! I’m so excited to say that my new website is officially up and ready to receive all the SuperSt*rs like you who are saying “YES” to live JOYFULLY outside the box!

My personal mission is to help more and more of us who are choosing (or more accurately, really feel there is no choice about it) to live outside the comfort zone, far beyond the mainstream and at the edge of the Mystery, to walk the fringe with unlimited JOY! I’ve found some secrets (mostly the hard way), and instead of standing by smugly and watching my cohort scraping and bruising through the same mistakes I made, I want to share what I’ve learned with you so we can get on the magic carpet ride together and en-joy!

So, to celebrate, I’m going to share with you a powerful download I recently got on how to birth our Divine Purpose, so you can feel the love too. Check out my video blog here, where I give up the goods (there are adorable baby kitties too – I know, it’s a cheap shot, but I couldn’t say no to them).

Make sure to check out the new e-pad. The other pages of this site have other offerings you may like. The shag rug is still all fluffy and welcoming and I’ve got some appetizers you’ll love (sign up for my weekly inspirations and they’ll come directly to your inbox and you’ll get magical bits & bobs you won’t find anywhere else).

xo & <3

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Doing the Hokey Pokey with Grief – Turning Harm into Harmony

By Amanda Elo’esh Johnsen, M.A.

I am so excited to be posting my VERY FIRST VIDEO BLOG EVER!

Yeah!

I wasn’t expecting to dive in quite yet. This new website (which I’m annoyingly excited about) has just a few little bits and bobs I’m attending to so that it’s super fun and inspiring to engage with. But I couldn’t help myself. This transmission came through about grief and I just had to share it. It felt too important to wait. If you stick with me to the end of this transmission you’ll get:

1) Some great insights about how we humans turn grief into MORE grief even when we don’t want to and, even more importantly . . .

2) HOW TO STOP DOING THAT!

Below I’ll include 7 great ways to let go of grief so it doesn’t get passed on AND HERE’S THE KICKER- it’ll feel really good doing it.

And so, without further adieu, here’s what I learned about Grief and how to heal ourselves, our ancestral wounds, and feed the Holy with it. Sound too good to be true? Watch this video above and then read on, I’ll explain.

So, I decided to NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY, but that actually opened the door for the real, deep, archetypal and ancestral grief to show up. And at first I didn’t want to have that grief handed to me, but when I saw this woman’s spirit handing me her grief, I realized I didn’t have a choice. Well, truthfully, what I realized is that I actually had several choices, but the ONLY ONE that felt right was the one that was going to be the most painful for me at first.

THE OPTIONS:

What we tend to do with grief: a) send it inward and cause disease and/or depression inside of us, b) pass it forward to the first person who accidentally stumbles across our path and steps on our toes, or c) ricochet it back to the source we think we got it from. ALL of these choices magnify the harm, feed it, and make it to grow. The only option that actually heals and prevents the spread of more harm is to be willing to d) process (or metabolize as my teacher, Martin Prechtel, so beautifully puts it) the pain through our body, our mind and our spirit so that it becomes food for the Holy instead of fuel for more pain.

How do we metabolize grief?

GREAT QUESTION! One we don’t tend to address in any way in our modern “civilized” culture. We tend to justify and condone the anesthetization of the grief: TV, depressive fatigue/sleep, food, alcohol . . . Ironically, even at this amazing class on Restorative Justice, I didn’t hear any talk about the grief that’s brought up and responsible ways for releasing it so it doesn’t generate more of the same (maybe, just maybe, this is why I was gifted with this missile launch, so I could have this deeper “ah-ha” moment and help to raise awareness about it). We aren’t taught how to do it, or that it is even important to do it in the first place.

Here is what I do to process the pain so it not only doesn’t cause harm, it actually turns into something(s) beautiful:

1) I cry – a good hard cry, especially in front of an altar, holding a medicine bundle, or out in nature with your bare feet touching the earth and your heart pressed up against a big old mossy tree is the best, but any way it comes out. Just allowing the grief to flow authentically is what matters.

2) I tone – a nice deep sigh, a moan, sounds that resonate from the belly and the heart that vibrate out feel SOOO DELICIOUS. I like to morph the grief toning into chants or, if it feels appropriate, into ridiculous sounds and pulling silly faces that help me to laugh at myself and what I have chosen to get caught up in.

3) I move – it used to be, and sometimes still is, that really intense exercise that gets my heart-rate up, sweat pouring and body feeling its strength was what I needed. Now, I find that dance (at home, Ecstatic Dance, Sweat Your Prayers, Barefoot Boogies, Dance Jams . . .) are my most helpful practices for letting the grief out of my body. I also really need Yoga to release stuck energies, and bring myself back into alignment after getting “bent all out of joint.”

4) I talk – it is so helpful to share what’s happened, but IT’S PARAMOUNT to share with someone who knows how to hold that experience with me. Someone who won’t magnify it, turn it into drama, or try to fix me or my “problem.” Someone who WILL simply hear me, understand my process as a sacred witness and love me no matter what, is ideal. If I don’t have access to that, I write about it, or literally talk to an imaginary person so I can get it out of my system but not launched as an angry attack at anyone.

5) I feel – it is the most difficult piece, but it’s the key to the real healing and it creates immense insights and SUPERPOWERS that only reveal themselves when I allow myself to feel everything. I think it is necessary that we really feel, deeply, all of what is being grieved on all sides. It’s painful, but it has so many gifts inside of it and once you experience it a few times, you start to really like feeling the whole spectrum of the human experience. If I hadn’t chosen to just sit with the grief as it metabolized, I wouldn’t have seen and learned so much. It was completely worth every tear I shed to have this greater capacity to be compassionate and to be less likely to cause future harm to myself or others. And there’s something really nourishing & satisfying about being totally real.

6) I pray – this one is key in my daily life. I pray for help in letting it go, and insight on how to turn my pain and grief into beauty that feeds the Holy. I’m always guided in a direction that dazzles and delights me with its richness and deeper connection to joy.

7) I transform – through the art and alchemy of spiritual composting, I’ve learned that when I strip away the projections and story-lines wrapped up in any negative feeling, what I’m left with is just pure energy which I can then use to fuel my body, mind & spirit through the metabolization process. It turns the GRrrrr! into (deep breath in and a long sigh out) Aahhh!

If you try all this stuff and still find yourself wanting to make an all out assault on someone or something, consider testing out my Love Bomb. It’ll work wonders and you’ll still love yourself in the morning ; )

So, that’s pretty much it.

I know it isn’t popular to choose to metabolize grief. Few people will recognize the hard work you are doing. Few people are going to come up and say “Hey, I’m really glad you processed your pain in a helpful way and didn’t crap all over me today.” BUT, if EVERYONE chose to metabolize the grief that they were holding, we’d have an immediate mass shift in consciousness that might just blow our minds into permanent joy. It’s one of those things that is almost invisible, and yet it is what this conscious evolution thing is all about.

Yes, my friends, THIS IS THE HOKEY POKEY.

It’s painful, it’s real, and it’s the most beautiful thing in the world. Are YOU ready for the stealth superhero ride?

GOOD! Stay tuned, I’m still putting the pieces together and not even officially opened up shop yet, but soon, yes very soon we’ll be riding the magic carpet together.

Now, as promised, here are the resources I was given for Restorative Justice:

Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth: www.rjoyoakland.org

Community Works: www.communityworks.org/

Restorative Justice Training Institute (Rita Alfred): rjtica.org

Insight Prison Project: www.InsightPrisonProject.org

National Council for Crime and Delinquency: www.nccdglobal.org/what-we-do/restorative-justice-project/current-projects

These resources were taken from handouts offered at the California Institute of Integral Studies Public Programs Course: The Emerging Field of Restorative Justice, taught by Fania Davis & Sonya Shah

xo & <3

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Loving your Pain: A liberating journey through darkness

By Amanda Elo’esh Johnsen, M.A.

When I look at the rich and diverse ways that I have worked with people, and the rich and diverse group of people I have worked with, it might seem difficult to really wrap my head around the question “what do you do?”  But when I lay everything out and look for the common thread, what I find is that the practice of loving my pain is at the core of my personal healing practice and the work I do with everyone: from the child welfare service I did for years, to the support I offered women faced with cancer diagnoses, to men and women struggling with co-dependent relationships, to healing from heartache, to physical and medical challenges. Pain that was physical, pain that was mental, pain that was emotional and spiritual suffering as well.

When it comes right down to it, we are here in our bodies. Regardless of our beliefs about why or what happens after the body goes, we are conscious beings inside physical bodies and the reality of that physical existence includes pain.

Most pain, I have found, comes from separation. Otherness, abandonment, neglect, distance, there are lots of different levels of separation and lots of different ways it manifests, but when we feel disconnected from self, others, the body, Source, we feel pain. Ironically, pain frequently inspires us to want to pull away and distance ourselves from the discomfort, which leads to more separation and more pain.

My work, which I’ve found to be surprisingly powerful, effective, gentle and fast (sometimes verging on the miraculous), focuses on shifting the consciousness . . . doing a u-turn, and going right into that pain as fully and as deeply as possible. I’ve found that connecting with this difficult part of the self is the most powerful and long-term way of transforming that pain into something better. Usually, in fact, it can become the most celebrated part of the self.

This practice started when I was 11 years old, dealing with intense menstrual cycle cramps (which I had at the very early age of 10). I was a part of a program for “gifted students,” and had learned a sort of self-hypnosis technique that was the seed of my guided imagery practice. It was called a “fantasy trip,” and included consciously relaxing each part of the body and then going into a beautiful fantasy world I made up with my imagination. When I started having cramps that felt beyond my ability to cope, I would do the fantasy trips, but sometimes found that this did not take me out of my pain. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the solutions I sought would be the foundation of the work I now so effectively do not only for myself but with countless others to help them.

I started going right into the pain and asking it what it needed. It would usually tell me, and then I could take care of it and feel better.

This practice became much more conscious and more refined as I got older and studied Buddhist Insight Meditation and other methods of visualization and pain management. It is a natural part of my personal practice, so much so that it is almost automatic for myself. And it is the foundation of what I do with my clients who have found emotional, mental, spiritual and physical relief from pain, suffering and all sorts of stress.

I have been blessed with good health and a body that does not frequently experience a lot of pain, and so I had not, for a while, been challenged to really test the limits of my ability to turn into pain that is really powerful . . . not for a very long time, that is. But recently, I was given the opportunity to test the whole practice of moving into pain.

I was riding my bicycle down a winding narrow road when I came upon an injured squirrel. I slowed down and wanted to possibly stop to see if I could help it. As I got closer, the squirrel was alarmed and bolted towards me, then in a panic bolted the other direction. In a few split seconds in response to all of this, I rode my bike to the very edge of the road (which was at the edge of a little drop off that went down into a drainage ditch about 15 feet down). WIthout any warning, the asphalt and dirt gave way under my tire and in a flash, I was headed down the steep slope with my bike.

As I tumbled, I could hear myself saying “Oh, this isn’t good,” but I relaxed and allowed myself to seek the softest solution for each contact with the ground. When I finally came to a stop, I chose to just lay there. Not try to jump up, which is very common for people in an accident. I laid there and just breathed. My first response was to just breathe and come into my breath. As I did this I felt a panic and throbbing in my left hand and my left knee where I’d taken the worst impact. I was out of my body and couldn’t really feel anything but a throb that was filled with fear and trauma. As I tried to figure out what to do, I realized that I needed to take my own advice and bring my full attention to my pain. For just a brief moment, the fear said “No way! That’s going to hurt! You may have broken your hand and badly injured your knee. This is too messed up to handle. Just distract yourself until someone comes to help you,” but I knew that I was probably the best help I could have, so I allowed my breath to carry my consciousness to the pain that was screaming for help. I started to feel my hand and then my knee and they were in acute pain. I kept an even and deep breath and just focused on the intense pain that was shouting at me from my body. I started to do Reiki, and gently held my left hand with my right hand, and just laid there and started to open up my heart and call in as much love as possible. I started to notice that the sun was shining and I could feel it on my face. I took a moment to remove my bike helmet (thank goodness for it!) and allowed myself to get as comfortable as possible. I then just continued to lay there, breathing into the pain and sending it as much love as possible. Adding to it, the sweet warmth of the sun. Then I noticed I could hear the birds singing and I took that into my breath and felt a sense of joy in my heart. I realized that, no matter what the reality was of my injuries, I was alive and able to appreciate the birds singing and the sun on my face and so I got a big smile on my face and sent that smile into the pain too.

I then realized that the poor squirrel was up there on the road suffering too, so I started to send some of my Reiki to it, and as I brought my consciousness outside of myself, I realized there was a man walking down the road towards me. I continued to just lay there and love myself as much as possible and he walked by, looked at me, smiled and continued on. He had no idea that I had just taken a nasty spill on my bike or that I was laying there, not because I wanted a nice little break half-way down the steep hill for a little sun-bathing, but because I was injured. I got an even bigger smile and reassured myself that if I appeared to be perfectly happy and natural laying there, then I was probably going to be alright.

I gave myself plenty of time to fully return all of my consciousness to my body. After a little while (time definitely dissolved into the experience) instead of the panicked, distant throbbing, I felt the very real pain of my injuries, which told me that I had fully re-entered my body and could move safely. Gently, slowly, and cautiously, I sat up and looked at my body. I looked at my hand, which was swollen. My left knee had a huge goose egg on it. I gently moved my fingers on my left hand. They were sore and stiff, but they moved without excruciating pain, so I knew I wasn’t going to need a doctor for that. I gently bent my knee and it seemed to be alright too. I continued the Reiki until it felt like time to get up and go home. I gingerly ambled up the steep slope. My bike had, luckily, stayed at the top of the road (only now it was upside down and somehow facing the opposite direction I was biking), so I picked it up, made sure it was rideable and then looked for the squirrel. He had run off the road and was hiding in a bush close by. I knew he was way to frightened for me to approach and offer help, so I said a prayer for his well-being and got on my bike and road home.

I did all the good things to assist my body. I put ice on my swollen parts, took an epsom salt bath, gave myself Rescue Remedy flower essences, and rest. I was really amazed to find that I could walk normally, without pain. My hand was quickly fully functional (well, lifting heavy things took a while), and the most amazing thing was that I had almost no bruising, and very little aches in the following days.

Now, in my days as a child welfare worker, I actually studied injuries and how they progress (for forensics evidence), and so I was certain I was going to have some SHINERS! But there wasn’t anything that was very visible without being pointed out. I did have some obvious road rash, but the injuries appeared to be incredibly mild; not at all in synch with the big hits my body took and the initial pain I was feeling. The craziest thing is that I bruise easily. I can have a deep dark indigo bruise that I don’t even remember because I just didn’t feel it happen. There is no logical reason why I was able to go dancing just 2 days later, do yoga (with postures that put me on my knees) and just go on as though nothing had happened. There’s no logical reason why I have almost no bruising almost a week after this accident. And yet, it’s true. I am almost completely healed from something I thought I might need to get help for.

I am so grateful I had this opportunity to test myself and really take this practice to a deep and undeniable place.

I know it seems absolutely counter-intuitive, but going into the pain and giving it as much love as possible, in my experience, has only ever brought powerful, and sometimes miraculous healing. Whether it’s physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual.

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Signs of SUCCESS

By Amanda Elo’esh Johnsen, M.A.

I’ve been incredibly blessed with the opportunity to live in the Bay Area and connect with some really amazing holistic/spiritually centered women’s entrepreneurial communities, such as The Goddess Collective (Montclair, CA), and FEMtalks (Berkeley, CA). These communities are really supporting women in nurturing their Divine Feminine nature AND embracing success as entrepreneurs, which has been so life altering for me! It’s helped me to let go of old paradigms about being successful, making an abundant living, AND offering my gifts to the world in a way that reflects my spirituality and deep sense of devotion and service. It’s also been incredibly inspiring to find myself continually surrounded by other amazing women who also want to serve in big ways, from the heart.

I have noticed an interesting practice that, I feel, can be a growing edge for us all to explore as entrepreneurial women. We are still frequently putting our main focus on financial success. Not only financial success, but fast financial success. THIS IS NOT A BAD THING! I do not want to suggest that making one’s way to a 6 figure income within a year of starting one’s business is wrong or anything but absolutely inspiring. I would ALSO like to suggest that there may be wisdom in looking deeper at the path to success and honor the many ways we measure it, and the many ways we get there.

Making it to 6 figures quickly feels like a very yang-based experience. Again, nothing at all wrong with it, but more masculine. I would LOVE to see us look more deeply at the DIFFERENT paths our successful women entrepreneurs are taking. I would LOVE to hear more about valuing the path of staying centered in loving self-care WHILE growing one’s business. I would LOVE to hear stories of women who chose to focus on joy while gaining more and more success in their work. It very well may be that these are the experiences of the women who shot quickly to success, but that isn’t at all mentioned, and I feel like the lack of acknowledgment is reinforcing a pressure or value in that more masculine push for quick success.

As I learn about how to grow my business, I have been moving at a pace that feels good to my heart, my body, and my soul. As I learn new techniques for writing “hot copy,” creating an irresistible “opt-in page,” and making well-received offers, it has felt really important to sit with all of these perspectives and feel into which ones are a genuine reflection of my work in the world. It has felt necessary, as a conscious emissary of the Divine Feminine in business, to really feel into how to use what I am learning in a way that is a genuine reflection of me.

The Dalia Lama said that the Western woman would be the one who helps us awaken our consciousness and it’s not just learning how to be successful and bringing our gifts out there. I think it is HOW we become successful. The path is all we have, and I would love to explore with my communities how we dance with success in a way that nourishes and supports us.

Here are some of the practices I am currently engaging in to help me stay centered in my Divine Feminine nature:
*Every piece of advice I receive about how to grow my business, I allow myself to sit with it. To feel how my body responds to it. If there is resistance, I ask if the resistance is based on a fear of success or if it is some wisdom that is arising. I allow myself to trust anything my heart and womb tell me, regardless of what someone else tells me I should do.
*I feel into the energy inside a new business practice and feel whether it is a match in frequency with what I am doing or not. (For example, one really great speaker suggested not to ever do anything you can pay someone else a minimum wage to do, BUT I feel so nourished and joyful making my own food. I also feel a deep connection with clearing my personal temple space and I could pay someone minimum wage for this, but it wouldn’t feel as nourishing or supportive as me giving myself the time to take care of myself in this way).
*I try to recognize that JOY is my continual goal and can be accessed NOW. Making a ridiculous amount of money doing what I love is a really great goal which I feel worthy of and hold as a goal, but it is absolutely secondary to the constant goal of joyfulness. If something feels heavy but will bring me money, I ask myself if it is really in service to my life’s path to say yes to it.
*I remind myself that making money is only one way of marking success. My health, my relationships, my sense of peace, spaciousness in my schedule and feeling centered are the most important elements of my life and if they are all reflecting abundance, then I feel I have succeeded. These are also the more feminine gifts to the world, and I feel it is incredibly important to continue to look at these parts of our lives and value them at least as much as we do making money. What is the money for, anyway?
*I try to notice what my motivations are behind making money: Am I trying to keep up with someone else’s success (comparison)? Do I base my self-worth in it? Am I tricking myself into thinking I’ll finally feel “worthy,” “valuable,” “acceptable” if I’m making a certain amount of money? Even something as subtle as thinking that once I make money all my problems will be solved can be a maze that can be difficult to find an exit from.

So, I wanted to share my 2 cents. I really believe that we have the power to manifest a new way of being in the world and while money is a wonderful, desirable tool, I would like to invite all of us to recognize its limitations and not let it overshadow the other elements of our lives that give us joy and make life worth living.

HOW DO YOU navigate success in a way that assures self-care and honoring all parts of your Divine Feminine nature?

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Freedom of Forgiveness

By Amanda Elo’esh Johnsen, M.A.
As I continue to explore the quality of compassion, I am continually brought into the powerful reality that there is no way I can be free of old wounds that keep me feeling disempowered and victimized if I don’t forgive others. To hold onto the idea that someone is a perpetrator, is to also hold onto the reality of victimhood. This is one coin and it is impossible to just throw one side away. So, as I choose to empower myself, shed old self-perceptions of being wounded, I also choose to release others from my projections, judgments and beliefs that they are anything but perfect. It has been difficult at times and for the more intense relationships that have come to completion under painful and challenging circumstances, it has required repeated attention and nurturing.

When I was 13 years old, my mom’s sister, Sharon, someone who was vibrant, full of child-like enthusiasm for life, and someone I delighted being around, was murdered by her husband. He then committed suicide soon afterward and it was such a shock to my system I couldn’t even understand what had happened for quite a while. As I have experienced my relationships with men, I have come to realize that there was a fixed, almost frozen stuck, part of myself that had crystallized around the idea that men want to harm women, that it is just an innate experience. I hadn’t consciously thought it, but that shock I had so many years ago was never fully grieved. 

It is common, in the midst of serious trauma and tragedy, for us to work at quickly picking up the pieces and moving on as though we are fine and nothing has happened, and in doing so, I think we end up holding on to hardened, petrified grief in our psyches and our physical bodies and on subconscious levels, it informs us and influences what we draw in and manifest for ourselves. I recently did yet another ceremony to release my uncle from the perpetrator role, and consciously asked for a release of that stuck part of myself that has held onto this idea that men will always harm women in some way or another, and have found that I am releasing that old story from my body. It is coming out in tears, and finally grieving what hit me so many years ago, and I am seeing how my beliefs (as they pass out of my mind and allow a more expanded way of seeing) had kept me in a repeat pattern of calling in (or at least perceiving) destructive behavior from men.

I see how easy it is to only see one small piece of the whole when looking from inside the hole of an old wound, and how much more liberating it is for me and the relationships in my life, to allow something bigger and love-filled to show up.

Whether we believe the “other” deserves a pardon or not, WE DESERVE A BREAK from being held down by the labels of victim, wounded, broken, and we have to let go of the whole story all together if we want to be free from this heavy mantle.

In the prison of judgment, both inmate & prison guard are behind bars. Forgiveness is the key to liberate yourself. Are you ready?

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The Secrets of Self Love

By Amanda Elo’esh Johnsen, M.A.

I remember a long time ago, having a bunch of chaos going on in my life. My boyfriend at the time just had no ability to stay centered and hold space for me. After one particularly frustrating evening, I found myself driving home early after a big eruption. I didn’t want anything but to just relax and enjoy and he just couldn’t be there for me. So, there I was, diving home and I started feeling sorry for myself. It was an old self-pity story I’d run before. “Every time I need something, my partner just can’t/won’t show up for me! I’m always left taking care of myself!”  And, fortunately, right in the middle of that old programmed response, I caught myself. Thank goddess, I caught myself . . . I thought “Wait, I’m always left taking care of myself . . . I’M AWESOME AT THAT! I do a fantastic job of showing up! I know how to be compassionate, loving, supportive . . . I’m going home to take care of myself and that’s not a booby prize, that’s the freakin’ jackpot!”  So, when I got home, I acted like I was my ultimate boyfriend. I lovingly drew a bath for myself, put in some nice epsom salts, lavender oil, lit candles, turned on some music, and that started a whole new concept for me. I started spending time imagining, “If I was a man who was in relationship with me, how would I want me to show up?” I started recognizing that I had a lot of great things to offer, and I started offering them . . . to me. It was so nice! I quit expecting it from my boyfriend (very soon after he was my ex-boyfriend), and quit putting all my unrequited and unappreciated acts of generosity outside of myself and started offering it with great enthusiasm to myself. It has continued to nourish me through break-ups and other hard times. It has also helped me to, much more easily, detect when a potential partner just doesn’t/can’t show up the way I want. Then I get to make a decision of whether that is important or not. If it’s important, I can ask for it, and if I don’t receive it, I know I can offer it to myself. I can also make a much more empowered decision about who I enter into a committed relationship with. It certainly isn’t based on unspoken expectations or co-dependent needs anymore.   Being my own best lover has liberated me from needy relationships, but most of all, it’s given me a new best friend . . . ME.  During this month of LOVE, I encourage you, whether you’re in a relationship or not, to start giving yourself time and space to court yourself. Imagine your ideal and then make your dreams come true! You might learn some really amazing things about yourself. And then, when those yummy gestures show up from someone else, you’ll be even more appreciative. Happy Valentine’s Day! May you be surrounded by LOVE!

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Failure: the new "black"

By Amanda Elo’esh Johnsen, M.A.

Is it possible that failure might just be an important foundation of success? I sure as heck hope so because I have a lot of failure “bricks” with which to build the foundation of my life, career and relationships.

I’d like to share with you a little about this fascinating concept (one that might seem counter-intuitive) and how it has served me.

It was just a couple of days before Thanksgiving. I’d been spending months wrestling with my Sagittarian nature, trying to hone down my niche, concretize my offerings, and create a website that would be simple, effective and a reflection of who I am. NOT AN EASY TASK for someone who likes to think outside the box, and defy labels and perimeters.

I was feeling like things were getting to a good place and was ready to take a break as the holidays were about to commence and Mercury was about to go into retrograde. Now, don’t get me wrong. There have been MANY times that I have stuck out my middle finger and said “IN YOUR FACE, MERCURY!” as this pesky planet has decided to do the moonwalk backwards across our stellar landscape. And most of the time it has little to no impact on me, but I had a feeling that, along with the coming of the dark, this planetary phenomenon was a signal to be more inward and to allow the rest of my business platform to come together with grace and ease . . .

However . . . something unexplained but very clear came to me in a meditation just 2 days before our national day of giving thanks: “Do a Thanksgiving Day call to support people who are going home for the holiday.”

It would be the first day of Mercury in retrograde. I had just barely signed up for Maestro Conference and had only just a brief opportunity to check out the site. I had never done a teleconference before in my life. “Sure! No problem,” I thought, and once again, with a cocky little strut taunted the fates yet again.

I like to surf the unknown. Surprises are my bread and butter. If it’s new to me, I am drawn to it, at least to understand it a little better. So, needless to say, I frequently find myself on adventures, and sometimes not the good kind. The famous explorer, Roald Amundsen, once said “Adventure is just bad planning,” but to me, no adventure is a bad plan altogether, and real adventure is about what happens outside the plan. Now, I’m not promoting irresponsible treks to the South Pole without some good gear and a bit of research and experience, but I would like to suggest that when we try to exert control over our circumstances (which can appear in the form of “planning,” we are 1) Fooling ourselves if we think there is any such thing as control and 2) Cheating ourselves out of the opportunity to have an experience much bigger and more fulfilling than our limited perceptions and projections could have manifested.

Stepping into the unknown is CRUCIAL if you are going to have anything different than you have now.So, here it is, just a couple days before Thanksgiving and I am choosing to defy the fates and hostess my first teleseminar. I invited my friend, Betty-Louise, to be on the call with me to help me to relax and to help keep me on topic so I could focus on managing the Maestro Conference calling system. Betty-Louise has a radio show about Organic & Orgasmic living (she interviewed me for her show: http://www.coachbettylive.com/2011/11/05/cbl143-the-inner-beauty-and-sexuality-of-the-goddess/), and brings out so many great ideas and has such a great flow. I knew it was going to be a really great call. I went on to Maestro and looked around and everything seemed really straight forward. So, I scheduled the call and sent out announcements.

A lot of people signed up for the call. Even though it was last minute, so I had a lot of wind in my sails. So, the morning of the call I woke up early and had a nice meditation. I logged on early for the call and got everything set up. Turned on the pre-call music, checked in with Betty-Louise, and just focused on getting present with what we were going to share.

The call lines filled up and the moment came to start our call. I felt good right out of the starting gate, but within a few minutes, several people dropped the call. I was a bit disheartened and wondered what I was doing that was turning people off, but I couldn’t get distracted by it. I had to make sure I delivered from the heart to those who were into what I was sharing.

I took a few moments and then introduced Betty-Louise, who is so fun and dynamic (www.CoachBettyLIVE.com), but within less than a minute, more than half the calls disconnected. I couldn’t believe that people were responding that negatively. It was puzzling, but I decided to not give too much time to Betty-Louise since this seemed to not go over so well with our listeners. There are ways of communicating with a guest without letting the others listen in and I wanted to just let her know what was happening, but I was new enough at this and already felt like my brain was at its multi-tasking limit, so I had to just trust that she wouldn’t be offended at me hogging the mic.

I had an intuitive hit that there might be technical difficulties, so I mentioned, several times, that if there were any technical difficulties, the callers could communicate that to me by typing in questions for me. Nothing came in.

So, on I went. A bit puzzled, feeling anxious, but not letting any of that stop me. The content, despite the dwindling audience, felt like it was really coming from Source, and I was quite enthused about it. I chalked the dropped calls up to elements outside my control and sallied forth. As the class continued, a listener here and a listener there would disconnect.

I tried to take questions. A hand went up and I “called” on the participant . . . total dead air, and then more dropped calls. At this point, I realized that it was just me, talking. No Betty-Louise, no opportunity to take questions, and I sure wasn’t about to try to figure out how to do break-out groups! I may be brave, and I might be brazen, but I’m not set for self-destruct.

We got to the end of the call with a whopping 5 people on the line! Call it the undying optimist in me, but I felt really excited about the experience. The words that came out felt authentic and felt right and I was inspired by what flowed out. It was like opening my mouth, and letting the Wise Woman speak through me.

So, we ended the call and I checked in with Betty-Louise. She, too, was really enthusiastic about the content of the call and was perplexed as I was about the dropped calls. We only had 5 people on the line at the end! Just as we were finishing up our check-in, I got 2 text messages from friends who’d been on the call. One of them hung up early and the other had stayed almost to the very end. Both of them snet the same message: “There is Spanish guitar playing non-stop in the background that won’t shut off and no one can hear Betty-Louise.” Well, that explained it! No wonder people were dropping like flies! I wouldn’t have stayed on it either! And then I realized that 5 people had suffered through till the very end despite the crazy distractions and dead air! Then I was ecstatic! It’s one thing to keep people on a call when everything is perfect, but to reach the finish line with people who had to fight through frustration after frustration, well, that was a real vote of confidence.

I also found out, later, that none of the dashboards had been activated, so no one was able to type in questions. I’m still not sure why we couldn’t hear the caller, and there is no real explanation as to why I didn’t get the text messages about the technical difficulties until AFTER the call was completed . . . except for that darned Mercury in retrograde. I was humbled, I must say.

Then I really sunk into the perspective of the brave 5 who finished the call with me. God love ’em, they were real troopers!

The next day I got the following e-mail from one of those brave souls who stuck it out to the finish line:

Hi Amanda, Even with the technical difficulties, I thoroughly enjoyed your talk. You are SUCH a divine sweetie pie. I could tell you weren’t aware of the music and us not hearing part of it so I just enjoyed sitting and deep breathing and staying present until you would come back, and when you did, you had wonderful things to share with us. I was actually in tears a couple of times. Good ones. . . I really appreciate you! Thank you!
Namaste, [keeping this anonymous to respect privacy]
There will be so many other opportunities to get it perfect. The old me would have perseverated over the myriad ways in which that call did not go the way I’d planned, but instead, I allowed myself to focus on the gems, and that e-mail was at the center of it all.

Now the next time I do a teleseminar, I’ll have this deep experience under my belt, so much more confidence, and there’s almost no way it could get worse ; ) I’m walking away from this experience having learned how to navigate another sort of chaos, how to laugh through catastrophes, and I also learned that it helps to take the FREE on-line workshop that shows how to do a seemless tele-class, which I, of course, did after this comedy of errors. Wow, my dad really was right when he said “When all else fails, read the instructions.” Maybe next time I’ll even use that strategy first!

As I close, I want to share a not so verbatim quote by one of my teachers, Martin Prechtel: “It’s not so important that one accomplish perfection as it is to fail beautifully.” I think that I got that one down pretty good!

Stay tuned! I will be offering more of my personal experiences as a goddess emerging. It’s raw, it’s real and sometimes it ain’t so pretty . . . but deep down, it’s beautiful!

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