Hi, I'm Amie

Hi, I'm Amie

MG_1506

 

I'm a certified coach, wife and mother.

At my core, I'm equal parts romantic, cowgirl and aspiring bohemian. I am a lover of compassion, an aficionado of authenticity and an unapologetic possibilitarian. My work is centered around thought wrangling, purpose pinpointing and joy alchemy.  

I believe each of us has a unique and beautiful light to shine on this world, including you.

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Wednesday
Jun102015

Working on My Masterpiece

Working on My Masterpiece

My Masterpiece

Monday
Apr062015

The Only Person I Can Change Is Me

mamawhisperer

Sunday
Mar012015

Use What's in Your Toolbox

 Your Toolbox

Image from www.shopwiltsiebridge.com

Have you ever been cruising along in your life, head down, doing what needs to be done, thinking everything’s just FINE, when something smacks you upside the head to tell you you’re really not? 

For the last several years, I’ve been in a really good place. Happy. No major complaints. Living in alignment with who I think I am. Grateful… lucky… blessed.

Bam!

One Saturday night a few weeks ago, I was getting ready for bed, at my normal and way beyond my years ridiculously early bedtime, when a huge wave of anxiety came over me. It’s been a long time, but if you’ve ever experienced a panic attack or extreme anxiety, you recognize immediately the intense discomfort of that sort of thing coming on. No matter how long it’s been, the body remembers exactly how to ride that bike of fear.

In the past, I’ve been able to rationalize when panic would set in. It’s shown up on a plane, or in a hotel room when I was questioning my career, thousands of miles away from my little babies.  

But now this crap had found me in my comfort zone, within the walls of my cozy, safe nest, when I was thinking I was just FINE. What?

“This is scary.” I thought, “If this is happening HERE and NOW with absolutely NOTHING bad happening in my life – I’m for sure going to wind up a mental institution someday. This is the beginning of the end. I’m going crazy.”

If you’ve never experienced the sensations and thoughts that accompany depression, anxiety or panic, you might be uncomfortable or worried after reading my thoughts above. But if you have, at any point in your lifetime, you could be filled with understanding or even relief that you’re not the only one who’s brain goes to these bazaar places.

(Side note:  The best tidbit of street psychology I’ve ever heard is:  If you are worried you’re going crazy, you’re probably not. Crazy people don’t know their crazy.)

This theory doesn’t bring much comfort when in the midst of being consumed by the fear that these ridiculously unpleasant feelings, thoughts and sensations might never go away.

Hard as it to remember while panicking or moping in the throws of one of these states, these sensations show up for a reason. They are gifts disguised in wolf’s clothing. They are the whispers in our life that come to knock us upside the head (with a brick as Oprah says) because we haven’t been listening to our own, internal voice and guidance.

I’ve learned every time I’ve gone through this cycle of FINE… to fear of crumbling, and although I admit I hoped I’d never visit it again, this time I reassured myself of all the skills I have now that I didn’t posses then. I started pulling out tools and put them to work.

Tool – Be vulnerable

I went to my husband and talked openly and honestly about what I was experiencing.

Tool – Reach out

I called my dear friend Nicole, who is a Doctor of Chinese Medicine and Shaman in the Bay Area, to ask for help. She suggested it could be something going on with my body… possibly adrenals. She reminded me to go back to a book she recommended a long time ago and give that protocol a chance again.

Tool – Clean it up!

A term my cousin and I have used since college to recognize we’d wrecked our bodies after a bit too much fun. A deliberate effort to get back on track. I always feel better, more grounded and less emotionally weighed down, when I eat and live cleanly. 

The book Nicole recommended is called Revive by Dr. Frank Lipman. In it, Dr. Lipman suggests eliminating several foods over his six-week program. I had a sense of urgency and dove in all at once. I cut out sugar, caffeine (except for my one cup of green tea. The morning coffee buzz is a tough one to kick), alcohol (the nightly glass of red wine, also hard to let go of – gone), gluten, dairy, soy, preservatives and all processed foods (ok, almost all) from my diet.

Might sound extreme, but this is a tool that I know works for me. I’ve recently read articles that discuss scientific research linking inflammation to depression and imbalances in gut flora connected to anxiety and depression. The correlation between physical and mental/emotional wellness makes good sense to me, but being stringent with our diet does not create a state of well-being alone.

Tool – Get help

I chose coaching this time, but therapy has been incredibly helpful for me too.

Tool – Be present

Study after study suggests meditation is extremely effective at treating anxiety and depression, not to mention all of its other added benefits. (I know this, I believe this, I preach this, and yet I hadn’t been practicing recently because I was FINE. Oh, and too busy).   

Tool – Slow Down

Our lives use all kinds of brick walls to remind us to get off that “I’m so busy” bus. Prioritizing everything = prioritizing nothing. I’m taking time to get clear on what matters most, to me, and putting my focus and attention there. I’m also reminding myself that multitasking is a really easy way for me to become completely absent from any given moment.

I’m still uncovering the layers of what this spell of anxiety is here to tell me.  And I’ve been reminded, once again, that it ironically ALWAYS shows up to help me. I am clearer, more joyful and more invigorated in the weeks post my mini-meltdown than I have been in quite some time.

If you’re struggling with some of your own old, or new, uninvited emotional guests, remember to return to your own toolbox. Take action to stir things up. Jot down a list of things that have helped you in the past, and one by one or all together, give them a try now.

Not sure where to begin? Ask yourself, what has worked in the past? When you think back to a wonderful, joyful and centered period in your life… how were you living? What were you focused on or working towards? How did you eat / sleep? How did you spend your time? Check in with your present day self. What kick, protocol or guru’s instruction feels true to you?

Hint: Truth feels like freedom in your body. It’s light and expansive, tingly or buzzy, and it just makes sense to YOU. It feels like a resounding ‘YES’ erupting from deep within you when you read it or hear it or see it.  

Saturday
Feb142015

I Used To Be A Hater

Hater

Image taken with love on Valentine's Day by Leah Davis Noreng 

Once upon a time, I hated Valentine's Day.

Not as a child, but as a teen and twenty and then thirty something, I'd roll my eyes and sigh in disgust at enormous grocery store displays of chocolate boxes, flowers and balloons. I got a good laugh at all the couples paying extra for prix fixe only menu options in crowded restaurants, awkwardly full of two tops. I think I got drunk on one too many bitter February 14ths with other self loathing singles.

Even a couple of years into marriage, I thought Valentine's Day was corny. I let my husband know he was off the hook when we were dating - I don't celebrate that stupid, Hallmark Holiday!

One day, maybe six years ago, while shopping in Pottery Barn Kids for ridiculously overpriced little kid's furniture, I ran into this girl, woman now, who I barely knew back in high school and college. I'm sure I had my fair share of judgements about her back in the day, and remember being surprised by the grace, intelligence and kindness she possessed in adulthood.

My, how she had changed... or had I? 

Likely both, and I probably never knew much of anything about her back then anyway.

We talked about our careers, children, common threads of old friends and where our lives had lead us over the last decade. She told me her husband was diagnosed with a rare and serious cancer and after a long and painful battle he got well. But not without inevitable side effects on his family; they'd been given the rare gift of perspective on what matters most in their life... love, presence, passion, authenticity and... tradition.

She told me how important it became for her to make her own family traditions that celebrated hope and joy and happiness during this difficult time. One of those was around sharing her love with her husband and children on Valentine's Day.

That stuck with me. 

How could I bring more memorable traditions into my own little family and how could I respect the cherished traditions of other's, even if I don't share them?

Since then, I've challenged myself to look at Valentine's Day through lover's lenses instead of those of a hater. I've realized my judgements were little protective walls I'd built over the years, so that February 14th didn't make me feel alone, not worthy of really beautiful love or inept because of the type of love and relationship I did have.

While I wasn't out filling my grocery cart with Valentine's chatskis on February 13th and I have no plans to be out in a crowded restaurant full of lovers tonight - I am so much more welcoming of this love day now.

On Valentine's Day, I think of my conversation in Pottery Barn Kids that day, of what kind of person I want to be, what traditions my family will honor and what kind of legacy I want to leave to my kids and to the world. I know now that I would so much rather it be of love than of hate.

And so I sincerely wish you a Happy Valentine's Day.

 

Wednesday
Jun182014

Follow Your Arrow

Follow Your Arrow