How to End the Year and Plan for the New Year in 7 Easy Steps

Yesterday, for the fun of it, I pulled three Tarot Cards from the Lifestyle section of MSN.com. I received the Five of Cups for the Challenges card. My question was, “What career path is right for me?” Here’s an excerpt:

When the Five of Cups is in this position, maximize what is left after loss. The receiver of this card received copious potential in the five cups shown, but three of them have been upended and their contents spilled into the earth. Whether it was carelessness or destiny that spilled these cups isn’t ultimately important.

The ending of the reading got me to think about this year and the challenges I faced. Actually, it’s been a challenging four years! Even though I have 3 cups that spilled, I still have 2 cups left. I can use them wisely to rebuild my resources. I can make the best of what is left and cultivate a new beginning. I can stay optimistic.

I use the word ‘plan’ in the title of this blog post very loosely. There’s a saying, “Man plans and God laughs.” True, you can’t plan everything in life; however, it helps if you have a ‘general idea’ of where it is you’re going or what you want to do. It also helps to Let Go and Let God which means … Throw your intentions out into the universe and release them. According to Les Brown, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” End the year with a little self-reflection and preparation for the New Year. Below you’ll find tips on how to do that.

How to End the Year and Plan for the New Year in 7 Easy Steps

1. Reflect on the year by asking the following questions:

  • What did I learn about myself that I didn’t already know?
  • What obstacles did I face? How did I overcome them?
  • What was good about this year?
  • What was not-so-good about this year?
  • What were the BIG LESSONS from this year? What did I learn from them?
  • How did I strengthen my spiritual growth?
  • How did I evolve?
  • What was my biggest success? What was my biggest blunder?
  • How did I self-sabotage myself this year? List the ways.
  • How many people moved out of my life? Why? What did I learn by them leaving?
  • How many people moved into my life? How did I draw them to me?
  • Anything else I might add.

2. If you moved during the year, remember the following, “When you move, you take yourself with you.” If you move again in the New Year, remember you take yourself wherever you go. Be mentally, emotionally and physically prepared to move.

3. Write letters to people who’ve hurt you or vice versa. Please do not mail these letters! This is an exercise for you to exercise these people from your mind.

4. Accept what happened during the year and release it. Do not carryover any grudges to the New Year. Forgive and let them go. What’s done is done. Learn from it and move on with your life.

5. Give thanks that you made it through another year. Be thankful you survived the year. The New Year is a blank slate. Do not take it for granted.

6. Become very clear about what it is you want for your life, for the New Year. Write down your dreams, hopes, and desires. Stop focusing on your current reality and start writing a script for your life. What does your life look like? What career do you have? Who’s in your family? What kinds of people surround you? Write it all down.

7. Focus and mediate on what your life will look like in the New Year. Once you become clear about what it is you want for your life, focus on it. Don’t focus on the how or when. Just focus!

Amandah

 

 

Thornton Wilder’s Our Town Teaches You to Appreciate Life

Recently, I re-read Thornton Wilder‘s Our Town. I read this play when I was in high school. But like most teenagers, I never really paid attention to it. I rediscovered Our Town by watching an episode of My So Called Life on Netflix. Rayanne, Angela Chase‘s party animal of a friend, tries out for their high school production of Our Town and is cast as Emily and delivers a remarkable performance. It was a tear-jerker.

Synopsis of Our Town

Our Town is introduced and narrated by the Stage Manager who welcomes the audience to the fictitious town of Grover’s Corner, New Hampshire on a May morning in 1901. The stage is sparse and the Stage Manager introduces the characters; they pantomime their activities and chores throughout the play. The ‘big event’ of George Gibbs and Emily Webbs wedding happens in Act II. The ‘bigger event’ of Emily’s death in childbirth happens in Act III. The audience sees the town gathered in the cemetery for Emily’s funeral. They also see the deceased residents of Grover’s Corners at the funeral who try to warn Emily not to go back and observe her childhood. Emily realizes they were right after she sees her and her family and how they really weren’t ‘present’ in each other’s lives.

What Our Town Can Teach You about Life

It’s in Act III where Emily realizes that the residents of Grover’s Corner don’t realize life while living it. They hurry through their days without noticing what’s happening around them; they brush-off their children because they’re too busy preparing meals or cleaning. They don’t stop to savor their food and drink, clothing, sleeping, etc. They won’t know how much they missed until they die and then it will be too late.

Today, most people waste time in various ways from being couch potatoes to hurrying about from one place to the other. They play video games instead of getting outside in the sunshine and exercising. They waste time worrying about this and that; they waste time being lazy. To quote Simon Stimson, “they move about in a cloud of ignorance; to go up and down trampling on the feelings of those … of those about you. To spend and waste time as though you had a million of years.” I couldn’t have said it better.

Our Town may have been published in 1938, but its message is applicable today. If people don’t realize what a precious gift life is, they’ll have regrets on their deathbed. They’ll have wished they did this or that; wished they would have taken more risks; wished they would have taken a job opportunity in another state or country; and so forth. Don’t allow this to happen to you! Pickup a copy of Our Town and learn from the people in Grover’s Corners. Allow Emily’s spirit to teach you that life is in the here and now. Once it’s gone, that’s it. There’s no coming back and rejoining the human race.

Amandah

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Interview with Farouk Radwan of 2 Know Myself — Part II

Here’s Part II of my interview with Farouk Radwan, owner of 2 Know Myself.com, a website that offers visitors practical solutions to most life problems.

About Farouk

Farouk Radwan is the founder of 2knowmyself.com, the one who wrote all the 2000+ articles found on the website and the author of all 2knwomyself.com’s books.

He’s a motivational speaker and trainer, he is studying psychology since he was 17, in addition he is the owner of the company Empowerment (based in Egypt) which is specialized in delivering personal development courses to individuals and corporations.

Learn more about Farouk Radwan at 2 Know Myself.com.

Interview Questions

1. I noticed the article category titled “Attraction Psychology.” What is it? How does it work? 

All research findings have shown that attraction, like any other process, is governed by rules. If someone managed to know these rules then certainly he will be able to use them to attract others to him.

The Attraction psychology section in the site attempts to explain how attraction works. It also contains practical advice that can help people attract friends or even lovers to them.

2. The book How to make someone fall in love with you (Based on the psychology of falling in love) sounds intriguing. If someone doesn’t want to fall in love with you, how healthy is it to make someone fall in love with you? How effective is it for long-term relationships? If someone brain washes another into falling in love with them; wouldn’t the relationship be considered fake or false? What happens when ‘reality’ sets in? 

People always ask me that question because it touches an important ethical point. Any kind of knowledge can either be used in a good way or a bad way. For example, if you really love someone then you will have to change personality in order to appeal to him instead of fooling him just to let him believe that you are the one he is looking for.

The previous advice covers half of the techniques in the book. The second important point is that sometimes the main reason people fail to attract others is that they do behavioral mistakes. By changing their behavior permanently in such a way that makes them more attractive they will manage to attract the person they love and they won’t be fooling anybody.

3. What do you hope visitors gain from visiting to 2 Know Myself? 

I really wish to make people live better lives. If someone was feeling really bad, and I managed to life his mood even a little bit then I will feel really happy.

I want people to learn how to deal with their emotional problems so that they can live happier lives.

4. What is your personal philosophy?

Life is like a battle, only those carrying swords cut their way through.

In other words, life is not simple. It was not designed for the lazy or for the coward. If you want to reach what you want in life then you must be brave and start fighting back.

5. Anything you’d like to add? 

Well it’s not about me but it’s about you. I think your blog, MisticCafe.com is really helping people as well and that’s why it caught my attention. I am really happy that I got this chance to know you. Just keep up the good work. 🙂

I’d like to thank Farouk for his interview. I found his website to be very useful and refreshing because it offers practical solutions to life’s problems. I love science and like how Farouk ties in psychology and science within his materials.  ~ Amandah

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Interview with Farouk Radwan of 2 Know Myself — Part I

Here’s Part I of my interview with Farouk Radwan, owner of 2 Know Myself.com, a website that offers visitors practical solutions to most life problems

About Farouk

Farouk Radwan is the founder of 2knowmyself.com, the one who wrote all the 2000+ articles found on the website and the author of all 2knwomyself.com’s books.

He’s a motivational speaker and trainer, he is studying psychology since he was 17, in addition he is the owner of the company Empowerment (based in Egypt) which is specialized in delivering personal development courses to individuals and corporations.

Learn more about Farouk Radwan at 2 Know Myself.

Interview Questions

1. What as the motivation behind creating 2 Know Myself? Why did you create the website?

I was passionate about psychology and after reading for years I felt that I have something to deliver to people through my writings. Honestly, I had the intention of making it an internet business since the first day I started.

2. What makes 2 Know Myself different from other personal development and or self-help websites? 

2knowmyself offers practical solutions to most life problems. You can hardly find an advice on 2knowmyself that is just based on a theory or my personal analysis, but instead you will only find practical advice that is backed by research findings and real life experiments.

2A. What do you think of the ‘new age’ movement in the 21st century? Can people really transform their lives by reading popular books like The Secret and others like it? Is it that easy to ‘think a thought’ and change your life? Or, is there actually work involved? 

Of course, I believe people can dramatically change their lives through books and personal development. However, when it comes to The Secret I strongly believe that positive thinking that is not backed by hard work and real life actions will not lead anywhere. Let’s suppose a person wants to lose weight, if he lied in bed and started imagining his ideal body he will only gain more weight unless he starts moving!

So … positive thinking, optimism and all of these factors can help the person who takes actions and not the one who lies in bed waiting for miracles to happen.

3. What is NLP and how can it help people change their lives for the better? 

NLP in fact is not a new science; it’s just a collection of information that was already available before in the form of complex psychological principles. The people who came up with NLP simplified this complex information into simple techniques in such a way that allowed the average person to apply them and make impressive changes to his life.

4. What would say is the “Number 1” obstacle in peoples’ lives? How can people overcome the obstacles in their lives?

False beliefs! A human being can do whatever he believes he can do, that is the only weak point in the chain is his own belief system. Let’s suppose that I had to lift a heavy object in order to keep moving in the same direction. If I was a very powerful man but believed that I am weak, I will never try to lift the weight that is standing in my way and will become helpless.

In short, without false beliefs you can do miracles.

This concludes Part I of my interview with Farouk. Part II of my interview with Farouk will post tomorrow.

I’d like to thank Farouk for his interview. I found his website to be very useful and refreshing because it offers practical solutions to life’s problems. I love science and like how Farouk ties in psychology and science within his materials.  ~ Amandah

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A Lesson in Self-Sabotage from ANTM’s Angelea

I’m a fan of Tyra Banks and America’s Next Top Model. I can’t believe it’s been 17 seasons already. My favorites from this season were Allison, Laura, Lisa, Dominique, Kayla, and Angelea. Unfortunately, the latter self-sabotaged her and was disqualified from ANTM. According to online sources, she was disqualified for ‘tweeting’ and posting ‘spoiler alerts’ on her Facebook page. Another speculation is that she was pregnant. Others are saying she was crowned the winner but posted it before ANTM’s finale aired. Who knows what the ‘truth’ is? Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter. Angelea, the girl from Buffalo, NY, who’s desperately trying to put her past behind her and cultivate a better life, seems to self-sabotage herself. In fact, Lisa predicted it. She said, “I don’t think Angelea’s ready for this.” I think she’s right.

I was rooting for Angelea because I felt her pain and understood where she was coming from. However, Ms. Preston would probably benefit from therapy and life coaching if she really wants to move forward and succeed in life. I believe if she would face her ‘inner demons’ head on, she’d be able to see her family’s pathology, heal from it, and move forward in a new direction that’s right for her. If she continues to ignore the ‘self-sabotaging’ signs, she’ll continue to repeat self-sabotaging behaviors and patterns until she learns from them. Speaking from experience, I advise her to face herself in the mirror and heal her life.

I give Lisa props because she was very honest about the abuse she suffered in her life. She had the courage to seek therapy and continues to heal herself. Angelea would benefit from staying in contact with Lisa who could help her work through the issues in her life. It will take great courage on Angelea’s part to reach out and ask for help. Again, speaking from experience, I know this isn’t easy. But it can be done and people are willing to help, if you let them.

I wish Angelea the best in life; whether or not she’s a success is up to her. If she’s serious about being an All-Star, it would behoove her to find a good therapist and life coach who could help her process her life experiences so she can learn from them. She could take her knowledge and experience to help other girls who’ve been in her shoes so they too can heal and move forward in their lives. Good can come from Angelea’s disqualification but it’s up to her to recognize it.

Amandah

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Interview with Vanessa Lee from Smile Inside

The following is an interview with Vanessa Lee, owner of Smile Inside, a personal development organization that advocates for the wellbeing and personal development of youth.

Vanessa Lee graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education from Ohio University and was selected for an advanced program that provided extensive experience and training in innovative methods of teaching. She has over 300 hours of professional development along with additional training that has contributed to her knowledge in the field of personal development. 

Ms. Lee developed and co-facilitated a mentoring program and developed and facilitated a grade 7 girls program at Debney Park Secondary College. She also worked with students and groups at The Grange Primary, Newport Gardens Primary, and Derrimut Primary and continued working for Mackillop Family Services on a freelance basis with individuals on social, emotional, and academic levels.

Vanessa’s experiences inspired her to develop and provide resources for professionals who work with youth as well as for parents and their children ages 5-12. Visit Smile Inside to learn more. 

Interview Questions

 1. How did you come up with the idea for Smile Inside? What was the inspiration for it? 

I started out teaching in Kansas City, Missouri and saw how social problems affected families which had an impact on learning in the classroom. I wanted to contribute to the world and thought if young people had all the tools they needed to deal with life then the social problems wouldn’t be so bad, families wouldn’t fall apart as much, and kids would embrace learning and follow their dreams. I believed that an ideal way to do this is through education in schools, but was disappointed when I learned over the years that the things I thought should be considered priorities were shoved to the side to make way for test preparation. How can a child be expected to learn if they are struggling emotionally? Another huge hindrance is that teachers just don’t have enough time, support or resources to manage to the best of their ability.

I was really inspired by the courses and camps that taught me about myself and made such a huge difference in my life in middle school and high school. I was disappointed to learn that these sorts of experiences weren’t accessible to everyone and that it just wasn’t a priority in the school curriculum. I feel it is in everyone’s best interest to have access to these types of programs and activities.

Smile Inside is about advocating for personal development in schools and providing the services and resources that schools’ and those who work with youth deserve and need.

2. What do you think about the increase in bullying among today’s youth? Does Smile Inside educate youth about bullying? What about educating parents and educators about the short and long term effects of bullying? How can bullying be avoided in the future?

I find bullying heartbreaking, especially among young people. I was a student welfare coordinator in a 7-12 high school in Australia for 3 years (similar to a counselor) which gave me a greater insight on how bullying affects lives. Victims need support and coping strategies which is a part of Smile Inside’s method, but this is only a band-aid approach. There is a disturbing lack of empathy in bullies, but there are also emotional issues which cause their behavior. One of my intentions in developing the Smile Inside programs and resources was to eliminate bullying behaviors. There are a number of reasons why bullies act out and they, along with everyone else, can benefit from support, guidance and positive attention. Some of the activities emphasize that everyone deserves respect by focusing on the development of empathy. Participants are also given the opportunity to express themselves, explore their self-talk, and learn coping skills. Other activities give individuals the confidence they need to battle insecurity which is often a cause of bullying.

I would hope that all parents and educators understand the importance of dealing with the bullying issue, but this is not always the case. In schools, most teachers do their best to stamp it out but again, lack of time, support and resources work against them. Parents sometimes get involved but they can go about it in the wrong way. Smile Inside’s main aim is to educate youth, but the anti-bullying strategies are communicated to teachers, and parents in most cases.

I think a reasonable way to abolish bullying is through focused detection and intervention efforts using a Restorative Justice approach. I also think a prevention/intervention effort using a “heal the bully” approach is effective. These kids are hurting so much on the inside that causing others suffering is one way they cope with what’s going on internally. One activity I do with youth is called, “The Problem with Villains”. It gets participants working out how to rationalize bullies’ behaviors and brainstorming solutions to solve the problem in a group situation where bullies are present, but not targeted. Once bullies realize their behavior may be coming from a problem in their life they are more likely to soften and be open to help and healing. This indirect approach is more effective than the confrontational, negative attention they receive when they ‘get in trouble.’ Schools need more support and resources to tackle this issue properly. This could be done with more government funding and by creating strong partnerships with organizations that specialize in this area.

3. According to the website, “Smile Inside trains Educators, Student Welfare Coordinators, Youth Workers, Camp Counselors, Secondary School Nurses, and Chaplains to increase their effectiveness when working with groups of youth via peer observation.” What benefits have youth received as a result from Smile Inside working with people in the above fields?

Professional development is a never-ending process to become the best we can be in our field. Gaining inspiration and new ideas from fresh approaches helps these professionals to hone their skills and try new things. The youth benefit because the ones they trust are enhancing the style of their interactions with them. A new tactic just may work with a child who before, they had problems reaching.

4. How does Smile Inside help young people be true to themselves when parents, peers, society, etc. want them to be something they’re not? 

The Smile Inside philosophy maintains that an individual with an authentic sense of self, social skills, and resilience will be well-equipped to face life’s challenges and find success in all aspects of life. In other words, if they know and feel confident in who they are, they can remain true to their convictions and stand up to adversity when it comes their way whether that be in the form of a parent, a peer or an employer.

The soon to be independently-published resource, Smile Inside: Experiential Activities for Self-Awareness, Ages 14-15 specifically gives youth the space to develop their sense of self. It helps them to explore their mind, needs, values, morals, perception of self, emotions, abilities, interactions with others and interests through activities, reflection, and discussion.

5. Is it easier for youths to master their behaviors and minds versus adults? What can adults learn from today’s youth in this area?

This is a difficult question to answer as everyone is unique. I am not so sure that age is a factor; some are more ready than others depending on many conditions. I do believe if young people are given access to techniques that will support their ability to master their behaviors and minds they have a definite advantage in succeeding in life.

Adults can learn so much in all areas from youth if they are willing to listen. Young people have a lot to offer and there is much to gain from their perspective. As far as learning to slow down, focus and follow our hearts, let’s hope we can be inspired by whoever is doing so, child, teen or adult.

6. What is your ‘personal philosophy’ for life? 

Love, peace, and happiness. 🙂

7. Anything you’d like to add? 

I am very excited to finally be publishing two resources that I have been working on since the age of 14. I have been collecting all the activities that have made a positive impact on me and have been testing, revising and creating even more since. They are in the form of handbooks for those who work with youth titled, Smile Inside: Experiential Activities for Self-Awareness Ages 12-14 and Smile Inside: Experiential Activities for Self-Awareness Ages 14-15. I am also in the process of trialing a resource for parents which is a positive reinforcement system for children, ages 5-12.

How Can Vanessa Lee and Smile Inside Help?

I’m a kid coach: In primary schools I get to see them in action in the classroom and work with them in and outside of the classroom on academics, social skills and self awareness. In the past, I have also worked with middle school aged students in relatively the same manner. At the present, I am also being contracted to work with individuals, mostly young people who are having academic, social, and emotional difficulties. Quite a few of them are in foster care or residential units.

Counseling: When I work one-on-one with young people in an academic setting whether it be at a school or private tutoring, I find that part of the job is counseling. I like to empower young people with skills that help them become who they truly want to be. If their goal is negative, I strive to steer them towards a more positive outcome through a variety of methods. Having individuals looking at their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual (if appropriate) levels of self is a wonderful base to help them realize their potential.

Meditation and Yoga: I trained as a yoga instructor and I use what I have learned to help others. Silencing the mind, using a mantra to focus, slowing the breath, creative visualization and using balancing poses to focus are all techniques that I incorporate into helping youth to learn self-awareness.

Visit Smile Inside to learn more about Vanessa Lee and her organization.

Amandah

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What’s in a Name? Nameology Can Help You Figure That Out

A few months ago, I discovered The Kabalarian Society which is located in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. I’m fascinated by numerology, Western astrology, Vedic astrology, the Tarot, Buddhism, and other out-of-this world subjects. Anyway, for the past couple years; I’ve tossed around the idea of changing my name. It’s not that off the wall because many actors, actresses, and writers have changed their names or use stage or pen names. You’d be surprised who’s changed their name. Google your favorite celebrity and I bet you they’ve changed their name.

Through the Kabalarian Philosophy, I discovered something called nameology. It’s relatively new to me. Nameology is the practice of mathematically calculating a ‘balanced name’ that’s in harmony with one’s date of birth. Who knew?

According to the Kabalarian Philosophy, “A balanced name will allow your child to attract the experiences needed to fulfill his or her purpose in life. With your support, your child could excel in school. A balanced name creates an expressive child; one who is creative, reliable, and capable and who will experience overall good health.”

I ordered a ‘free’ Name Report from the Kabalarian Society and was surprised by the findings. It was as if I was looking into a mirror. How did they know? How could they know? Lo and behold, they recommended a name change for me. As I mentioned above, I contemplated changing my name for many years; however, it’s a different story when you actually take steps to change your name. I became conflicted because I really liked my first name of Rebecca (I never cared for the name Becky — mom would call me that); it was my last name I was ready to bid farewell to. I didn’t want to wait until I got married. It wasn’t that simple.

The other conflict I had around changing my name was, “Could your name really throw your life off balance?” I’ve been working on myself since 2007 and was under the impression that if one shift’s their thoughts and beliefs, their life would shift. Wasn’t this enough? Is a name change really necessary? I read and re-read testimonials from people who changed their name, but I still had more questions than answers.

It took me a couple of weeks before I ordered the Kabalarian Society’s Balanced Name Services. I mean, could a balanced name really change my life? I still wasn’t sure.

Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled with the selected first, last and middle names that were given to me. They didn’t ‘feel‘ right. Plus, I identified with the name of Rebecca Sebek. Hello! That’s what my parents named me. Changing my name wasn’t as easy as I imagined it to be.

Luckily, I worked with a wonderful consultant from the Kabalarian Society who was very patient with me. I inquired about names that I liked but none of them were a good fit for me. She gave me list after list of names but none of them felt right. The good news is I have a lot of character names for my books!

Finally, after a lot of going back and forth and inquiring about other names I liked, I decided on the balanced name of Amandah Tayler Blackwell. I always liked the names Amanda and Taylor. However, for my balanced name the names of ‘Amanda and Taylor’ are spelled differently. It’s a process.

I won’t lie … it’s been a struggle to get used to my ‘new’ balanced name. It’s been an adjustment for my ‘close’ family as well. I had no idea how identified I was with my name of Rebecca Sebek. Talk about being attached to something. I’ve learned a lot about the art of detachment.

To help me adjust to my ‘new’ name, I researched nameology and discovered that some indigenous tribes give their children new names when they reach adulthood. Again, many celebrities and writers change their names so why can’t I?

If you’re contemplating changing your name, think and meditate about it because it’s not as easy at is seems. Order the ‘free’ name report from the Kabalarian Society and review their findings; you may be surprised. If you feel inclined to change your name — go for it. If you’re pregnant or about to have a baby, choose your baby’s name carefully. You may want to consult a nameologist. It could make a difference in your baby’s life.

Amandah Tayler Blackwell
(aka Rebecca Sebek)

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What I Learned from Reading Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through

I recently finished reading Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Best-Selling author Iyanla Vanzant. I saw Ms. Vanzant on Oprah‘s farewell season — it was a good show! I didn’t run out and get the book, but months later I ordered it from the library. I admit I started doing this as a way to ‘try a book before I buy it.’ I decided I want to add this book to my library.

I found the book to be very moving, especially when Iyanla spoke about her daughter, Gemmia. I recognized myself in Gemmia; I also recognized my mother to a certain extent in Iyanla. I also recognized my father in Gemmia’s father, even though my father didn’t leave; he was an abusive alcoholic and in a sense, checked out of my life.

Like Gemmia, I threw myself into school and got good grades and was responsible. I was looking for validation from my father that I really didn’t get. He tried to tell me how proud he was when I earned my B.S., Accounting degree; however, I always felt that a part of him was jealous that I did earn a college degree. He wanted a degree and attended college here and there, but never earned a degree.

I also learned that it would be in my best interest to let go of the anger towards myself. I forgave my mom and dad; I realized they parented me based on they were parented. They didn’t know better which is why they didn’t do better. However, I still haven’t forgiven myself for the decisions I’ve made along the way such as pursuing an accounting degree, when I wanted a marketing degree. I also wanted to pursue art and writing. I pursued an accounting degree to please my father. There’s another lesson — people pleasing seems to run rampant in my family.

Getting back to forgiving myself … I need to let go of the anger I have towards myself because my life hasn’t worked out as I thought or planned it to. For example, I moved to Arizona in 2007, and three years later I was living back home with my mom in my home state. I kept beating myself because I know I’m responsible and it should have worked out because I planned everything out. I also allowed certain people to ‘guilt’ me into thinking I made a mistake by moving to Arizona; I left my mom and sister. I now realize I can’t help it if certain family members are scared to take a risk such as moving out of state. I now know — it’s none of my business. I also realized that sometimes family members won’t have your back. It is what it is. I’m now determined to ‘create’ my own family, a family of loving and supportive people.

BTW: I released my hold on Arizona when I read Iyanla’s words about hearing her daughter say, “Let go of the physical.” I re-read those words over and over until it sank into my brain.

I realize that I need to acknowledge my disappointment about my move to Arizona and other things that have occurred in my life — there are too many to list here. It’s not easy for me to wade into disappointment; I’m a fun loving Leo (horoscope sign). I know if I want to continue to heal, it would behoove me to feel the pain and work through it. If I don’t, I could repeat the self-sabotaging pattern. I’d rather work through it.

I also realized that Gen X and Gen Y could benefit from life coaching from their peers. No offense — but most life coaches seem to be old enough to be my mom or dad. I’m not saying I can’t learn from these people, obviously I learned from Ms. Vanzant, but it’s nice to hear from my peers and how they released and forgave their past, parents, spouses, them, etc. It makes think, “Gee, I’m not alone.” This is why I’m glad Iyanla wrote about her daughter, Gemmia, and her life experience.

I would recommend reading Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through. If you’re ready to really get to the ‘heart’ of your family’s pathology and recognize the patterns, this book is for you. If not, that’s alright. Perhaps, one day you’ll be ready.

Best,
Amandah

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What’s the Point of Life?

A very ‘short anecdote’ based on the 10 random words from Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #194. Posted: 17 Nov 2011 08:02 AM PST

Put
Point
Bizarre
Weave
Spiral
Weird
Goofy
Pop
Cult
Fan

“Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!”
~ Sir Walter Scott

Melanny pondered Sir Walter Scott’s words as she gazed at the ocean from the deck of her Malibu home. She’s been contemplating life since her childhood best friend Karrey overdosed a few weeks ago. Melanny tried to help her, but she couldn’t. No one could. Life really is a spiral. We think we move backward, when in fact, we continue to move forward. How bizarre is that? What is the point of life? She continued to stare at the ocean.

Karrey had a goofy, weird sense of humor – some people thought she was over the top. She loved The Cult and was a huge fan of music from the 1990s. Karrey loved alternative music but would listen to Pop music now and again. She was a free spirit through and through. Why did she have to put those damn drugs into her body? Melanny was searching for answers that may never be answered.

Amandah T. Blackwell

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Embrace Life

A poem based on Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #193. Posted: 14 Nov 2011 07:40 AM PST

Gentle
Sweat
Guide
Design
Simple
Full
Borrow
Trace
Technique
Flip

Life is simple and you get to design it all,
Be gentle with yourself as try to live up to your full potential.
Borrow from great thought leaders such as Napoleon Hill,
And guide your thoughts to those things that bring you joy.

Can you trace the web of your life to your present situation?
Use a technique such as meditation to quiet your mind and listen to the stillness within.
Flip off the All Negative Channel playing in your head every day,
Sweat no more that you’re not good enough – you are good enough.

Amandah T. Blackwell

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