Meeting myself in Turkey

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I have no words that can truly describe how I feel in this very moment but I will do my best. This strange sense of calm has come over me since  I arrived in Istanbul, like I have been here before or somehow know this land. I feel so comfortable. I am heavily reminded of my love for Middle Eastern dance that was a very big part of my life from around age 27. The colors, metals, intricate patterns, the rich culture, the food and the history all seem very familiar. Whatever it was that drew me to that style of dance all those years ago is being reignited by being here now. I am reawakening to parts of myself that I had forgotten about or thought I would not see again.

I am also reminded of my dear friend Kristen and her journey here a few years ago. I now see the magnitude of what a journey like this can bring into someone’s life and  how much personal growth can come from the simple act of getting on a plane and stepping out into a totally new world. There really is so much more to our reality than we can even conceive. I am filled with gratitude for everyone who helped make this possible in my life. I feel like I don’t want to leave and I just got here!

My mind has begun to open up even more possibilities for what my life could look like. Imagine, a small town girl from Northern Manitoba roaming the streets of Istanbul with her Dance group spreading love and joy – this was not even something I ever allowed myself to think was a possibility but now it is my reality. I have never loved my life more than I do right now and it just keeps on getting better. I am in awe of how much diversity there is in this world and it makes me feel very humble. Stepping outside of my own country gives me an actual physical reminder that there are many ways to look at and experience the world. My appreciation for  other cultures deepens and cultivates even more respect and intrigue.

I feel like I am finding out more about who I truly am meant to be in this world  with each step of this journey and am even more aware that I am not my past or my future but simply me, right now! The more I know myself, the easier it is to be in new and strange places because I am solid in that knowing. The fact that I am so comfortable here is all the evidence I need to demonstrate the personal growth that I have been working so hard over the last 3 years to achieve. There is no fear, only hope for more life to come. This really feels like living.

Being with this wonderful group of people has made this trip such a heart warming adventure. We look out for each other, we care for each other, we accept each other and we love each other. I am usually a solo traveller and this is a very new experience for me which I am very grateful for. The wisdom in our combined group could rule the world!! And its nice to have someone beside me that I can lean on while sleeping on a 12 hour flight!

Tomorrow Turkish Bath, Hooka Pipe and then back on the plane!


Supporting Eachother


So here we are, a group of people coming together to go on a life changing journey together to the other side of the world to help people in need. Taking this photo felt like a very monumental moment for me, like a was making history somehow. Just a bunch of ordinary people coming together for an extraordinary cause. I feel so privileged to be a part of this group. I have never before been a part of a group of people who seem to embody my ideals the way this group does. We care. We love. We act. All of us offering different unique gifts to the group and sharing a common intention of spreading love and joy around the world. Wow, this is it! This is my life and this is what I want to be doing.

We can support each other in many ways throughout our lives. World Dance gives money and sends loving energy through dance. Individuals offer their time, Love, energy and skills. We send inspiring emails, cards and notes. We spend time with each other and offer our company. No matter what it is that we do, it all has an impact and I am so proud of this group and the impact that it is having not only on my life but on the world!
Thank you Janet for your brilliant idea and to all World Dancers for caring enough to get up and doing something to change the world! A big Thank you to my fellow traveller, Diana Breslford for so generously hosting me during my transition from Canada to Rwanda, your open heart and generosity are so greatly appreciated.
Follow World Dance on Shutterfly at:
and watch for the new blog and web page!
I received an email from Justin (our Rwandan correspondent) this morning that I wanted to share with everyone as I feel it gives a very good sense of the connection that myself and the group have with these people.


You are already a blessing, that is why your trip to Rwanda/Africa is being blessed this much.It is so amazing to see that big list of people who are being part of your journey to our country .I am so proud of you Amanda. I can just imagine working with you here.It will be so exciting.I cannot wait for this opportunity.
Days are drawing near. Soon we will be together in person.

Reunited and it feels so good!


My first class back with the World Dancers since January and it felt like I had never left! I was greeted with smiles, hugs and even a new friend that had been away the whole time I was in Santa Barbara last fall but we were both told we needed to meet! I was given my old spot, right beside Janet at the front and when the music came on it was like old times! We practiced our dance routine which we will be performing for the many different co-op’s that we are going to meet. It is a mix of dances from around the world including Salsa, African, American Bandstand and more.  We sang one of our songs in Kinyarwanda to the rest of the group and we had the videographers there with us taking photos and video.

It is all beginning to feel very real and the magnitude of what I have involved myself in is starting to hit home. I have my suitcase packed, and my checked bag with 50lbs worth of balls, books, solar lights, pencils, and many other things that we are collectively taking over is sitting here ready to go. I have no plans to return to Canada and yet I have only half of a carry on packed with clothes and personal things – this is amazing to me!

What do I really need? I am going where they have very little and I am very fortunate to be from a wonderful country like Canada but there is something within me that has always known that the things I was told I needed in life by my family, my teachers, media, etc were wrong. I don’t need a lot of external things to survive and especially not to be happy. I need to go and see these people who are living with nothing and yet have smiles across their  faces and joy in their hearts. They have something to teach me about love, forgiveness and happiness that I cannot find  here in North America. I have learnt over these last 3 years that the less I have, the happier I am but this feels like a whole new level of understand awaiting me. I am willing to let it all go in my search for my own truth and finding true happiness.

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Being In Love

Here I am sitting in a Cafe in Summerland, CA with Billy Baldwin on my right -pinch pinch- really? I am staying in a multi million dollar home, one of the ones that is locked behind big fancy gates with guards, really? How can a “homeless” person like myself with no steady income be sleeping in this luxurious bed, silky sheets and be completely taken care of…….LOVE! Love really is the answer. I know that I am a good person, I know that I have spread seeds of love throughout my life and I trust that love is a powerful  gift to give. I also trust that by living in this way, open and free to go where I am needed, I am drawn to the people and places that need what I have to offer.

Yesterday I reunited with my Water Release Therapy teacher and mentor, Diane Feingold ( I have known that having a session with her would be the perfect way to bring some closure to all the healing I have been doing over the last 5 months while in Canada. It turned out to be one of the powerful and reaffirming experiences yet. If you have never experienced this work, of which I am also a practitioner, it cannot be described in words that would do it justice. It has been a major factor in my healing because it offers me a place to fully let go and to meet my true self.

Yesterday I was able to go to a place of love during the session like never before because of my experience meeting the MJ impersonator. For me it was a very really experience. Maybe I need to back up a bit and say that I love Michael Jackson and his message of love is very real to me. Looking at this man dressed up as Michael I asked him why he does what he does and he replied “The world needs Michael.” There was a tone in his voice that not only sounded like MJ but it radiated the vibration that I know for myself to be Love. This young man understood the message of MJ at the same level that I have come to so I took that image of his mouth saying those words underwater with me. I sang the lyrics to Heal the World in my mind and I imagined Diane’s hands were his. It felt like we were dancing together, creating music and love. I found a state of pure Bliss.

When the session ended, Diane confirmed this by saying that it felt like I was radiating love the entire time and that it was like poetry in the water. She commented about how much I have changed since the last time we met in the water and that she knew I was ready for Africa now! I feel ready, I feel confident, I feel safe, I feel strong and I know that I have something to offer them.

Meeting my group of travelers last night after having only been part of meeting via Skype or phone since leaving was amazing. I was met with hug, after hug and the biggest smiles. I really do have a family here that I have created for myself just by being me and doing what I love. We talked about our purpose for the trip and it is to bring Joy and Love to these people who are ready to move on from the pain of the past. Well considering I am doing the same in my life, I feel more than capable of helping them do the same, again, simply by being me.

So, I may be sitting next to people who have millions of dollars and living in a home that cost millions of dollars with only $50 in my pocket but I feel like a millionaire. My life feels more rich than any amount of money could offer me, it is more real than money and no one can take it away from me. It lives within me and is not dependent on anything external. I am rolling in the riches of Love! Pinch-Pinch!


On the Road



Its amazing to me how I can be in one place one  moment and then get on a plane and be in a completely different reality. Since Sunday I have been in BC, Alberta and now California, all of which hold memories of the lives I have lived in the past. I was reminded of the beauty of seeing a vast sky and watched a beautiful sunset while on the bus ride to Calgary. I saw the tops of mountains peaking up from underneath the tops of clouds as I flew to LA today. Coming back to LA I realized that this is exactly where I am meant to be in this moment. I just feel it and things flow so smoothly that it is hard to deny.

Walking around in Holly wood I was surrounded by people with passion for being true to themselves. Dressed up  in costumes, dancing, Film crews, stars on the sidewalk, all remind me of that part of myself that longs to be seen. I have such a strong draw towards being on stage and on film, yet this deep seated hurt from ridicule and being laughed at as a young girl seems to override my passion. This feels like pain in body as that part tried to reveal herself. What I realized is that I need to surround myself with people like me who are just doing it, regardless of what others think or have said to them. Where is that strength and can it come out without being revengeful or spiteful as it has in the past? My answer is that it is right here waiting eagerly to be revealed and that I have done enough work on myself to be able to have it come out as a true expression of myself.

“What’s your dream? What’s your dream? Everyone who comes to Hollywood has a dream?” Pretty Woman

As you know I use signs to guide me and let me know I am on the right path and this can look like many different things, some small and some big. Today as I walked to the gate for my flight I saw an actress from the Canadian TV show “Being Erica” which I have watched the entire series twice! If I could describe the work I have been doing on myself over the last 3 years this would be the closet thing to it. So she was a huge sign just waiting for me at the gate as I am embarking on this journey. Thank you “Judith!”


I am now safely tucked into my friend Michelle’s home after a big tour of the hot spots in LA, a meeting with MJ on Hollywood Blvd, and a walk on the beach. I feel so at home here. The smell of the air, the water, the energy is all so familiar. Another reminder of all that I have done in the last year, where I have been and the ground work I have laid in order to be right where I am in this moment.

I have been so loved during this transition and want to express Gratitude to all of my friends that have helped me get this far and there are many. The Love that I receive is unbelievable at times and then I give my head a shake and remember this is what I have been working towards creating in my life and no one can be forced into loving me, it is all by choice and it is all a ripple effect of what I give of myself. The love I receive is a mirror of the love I give, I have created this.


Transitioning with Gratitude

The process of transition seems to always be in my life in some way as it builds momentum leading up me actually physically moving onto the next place I am called to. I began this transition process with the small boy that I live with almost as soon as I moved in. Telling him I was only going to be in his life for a short time and was then off to Africa. This allowed for questions and conversation around me leaving throughout my entire stay. Even as I grew closer to him there was an understanding that I was leaving soon. What he taught me was that I can still open my heart fully and connect with people and be in a state of non-attachment. I learned a lot from this little being about how to be the person I truly want to be.

On Friday I began the very conscious road to transition which began with my visit to the Ashram to say farewell and receive all the love and support that I know is there for me always. I then stayed at a friends house whom I feel a warm, close connection with and was treated to a Champaign toast and beautiful crystal necklace creation. Today a farewell brunch was held for me by a young woman who came into my life via an avalanche, yes an actual avalanche! It was a mix of woman, young and old, Canadian, Japanese, French and Chec! Hosted in a house that I had called home thanks to another generous soul on my path. 

What I am beginning to realize more and more is that in order to feel loved I need to allow myself to be loved. By giving people the time and space to hear that I will be leaving, feeling that I am leaving, saying good bye and then actually going, I am allowing myself and them to truly transition through the emotions that naturally occur when someone comes into our lives and then leaves. What I am seeing is a wave effect of kindness and love that I have created. Such a wonderful feeling to leave behind a wake of goodness for others to ride. 

The gardening work I have been doing for a wonderful elderly couple has now been passed on to 2 other young woman. My dear friend who needs help with her daily life activities now has new connections to support her that were made from the farewell brunch. So many things lining up and I see the importance of impermanence. In order for the new to arrive where they need to go something else has to leave. 

As I prepare to go to Calgary tonight to reunite with my good friend who sent me on the same bus as I made my way to Nelson nearly 5 months ago, I see that this part of my life is coming full circle. I am supported and nurtured every step of the way IF I allow it. Again, I see how loving myself is the only way to truly allow and accept the love that is all around me. By allowing others to love me, I allow them to feel loved as well. Accepting love is giving Love.

Next Stop…..Calgary!


There is no easy way to say this other than to simply say it, so here I go. I was sexually assaulted in April 2007 and last Thursday I was strong enough to go and finish the report I had started 6 years ago. Why now? What changed? 

Actually lets back up, my relationship with sex in general has been a rocky one at best and it is only compounded with the views of our society that are put on us as “Normal” or expected. In our families we are taught all kinds of messages about what it means to be a female in this world, some good and some not to so good. My experience as a young girl growing up was that it was normal to be called names, hit, punched, belittled by men and made to feel worthless so why would I think it was abnormal if a man outside of my family did the same things? I wouldn’t and that’s the problem. It took me 6 years to realize that it was wrong, really wrong and that I can say so.

This is not my first sexual assault, like many other young girls I was an unwilling participant in my first experience with sexual intercourse but again had no idea just how wrong this incident was until, well actually today! This event lead to all kinds of self esteem and  mental health issues that ultimately lead to me seek out more of the same types of men until I choose to stop. I chose to stop because I was in so much pain. 

One event in life leads to the next and it just kept getting worse and worse until I just saw no way out but to die, so I tried. I tried to kill myself, I thought about killing myself all the time, I wanted that part of me to die. I didn’t want to die but I wanted the pain to stop. I had created physical pain (Fibromyalgia), emotional pain (depression), an abusive relationship, huge amounts of debt trying to make myself happy by owning things, I stopped eating in hopes that I would just fade out. But something in me was stronger than my mind and body and it woke up the day I ended my engagement.

My spirit came alive and that little voice inside that I had learned to ignore or “push down” would not have it anymore, she came out loud and clear! Now I choose to listen to her always and right now she is my heart telling me to follow her wherever my healing journey takes me and at whatever the cost. The price of not listening it too high and the result of really, truly listening is priceless!

There are many layers of the person I have become in this very moment and none of them are really bad, I choose to look at the layers as gifts or clues to the work that needs to be done. So what I am learning today is that if it feels wrong to me, for me, then it is wrong. Regardless if it is a family member, a good friend, my Fiance, a co-worker, a stranger, a male or a female no one has the right to do things that hurt me AND I get to decide what hurts me, not anyone else. I will NEVER fade out. I am Alive and for the first time I am actually Living.

“Stop existing and start Living” Michael Jackson, Heal The World

I am in the final stages of  preparing for my trip to Rwanda and it has been a major factor in why I am strong enough to have finally filed the report. The need for help in this country is great but I am aware that it is a dangerous place as well. When I knew I was going to be going on to this country I also knew I had a lot of mental prep ahead of me  in order to be safe while I was there. These patterns that lead to choices which caused me harm were unconscious until 4 months ago when I dove head first into finding the root of my choices with men. I know there is a lot more work to do but I feel much stronger than ever and am ready for the next lesson.

It has been a challenging road but it needed to be done and the people of Rwanda have been my inspiration. They inspire me with their spirit, their smiles and the gratitude that they express to us (World Dance) for our donations. This is proof to me that we are all connected and that I am doing this work on myself and for myself but that it impacts everyone. Some people have found the impact of my self exploration to be selfish or “crazy”, even family has turned their backs on me while others see the positive impact it is having around the world. We all deserve to be our best selves and if we are willing to do the work to be that then we will be supported. The people in Rwanda have nothing and yet they are supported by a group of woman in California who found them and wanted to help. Who can we help right here in our own towns or city? Who can we help in our own homes? Do we dare start with helping ourselves heal and trust that we not only deserve it but that it will have an impact on the world? YES!

Love and Light


The Purpose Of My FEAR!

So here it is my first real live Blog post on my own Blog! This is a big step considering I have been pretty anti-technology up until a few months ago. I enjoyed collecting records, tapes and VHS for years, refusing to update myself to modern technology unless I had to. There is a thread that runs through both of these things as well as most of my life and that is FEAR.

It has been there hiding behind things like what I eat, clothes I like to wear, how I cut my hair and wether or not I feel worthy to speak my truth to the world via the internet. Eating familiar foods was only a mask for my fear of trying new things. My clothes representing an image of myself that made me feel safe within the confines of other people’s view of me. My hair wrapped around my face and hung well below that vulnerable place between my shoulder blades as a shield from the judgement of others and myself. My words not being taken seriously even by myself demonstrate my fear of how I will be seen if they know how I really feel.

I fought against my fear by over compensating for it. Taking things “too far”, being the loud one, the one who everyone saw as being able to handle any kind of judgement given with a shrug of the shoulder and a nasty gesture to go with it. This evolved into a being that was so wrapped up in protecting herself from pain that she lost herself completely. I was lost in fear. I lived in this world constantly until finally I just couldn’t do it anymore. I exhausted myself and gave up playing this game of hide and seek. I decided to just come out for everyone to see with my hands up and my heart open. I finally said “NO” and in that moment I regained a tiny spark of my true self. I began to live for me and only me.

I built up enough true inner strength to begin the process of being my true self which I found to be quite calm, quiet, gentle, kind and soft as well as funny, outgoing and so much more but this part of myself that I felt I had to hide away from the world because of the shear harshness of it was ready to emerge. I wanted to change, so I am. I am facing my fears, looking straight at them and walking right up to them and giving them a hug. Once I meet them and see them for what they really are I can be kind to myself and gentle as I process how I will move through them. Loving myself, all of myself, is what has given me strength to keep on doing this day after day after day for more than 3 years.

Shaving my head, selling my VHS and record collections and eating what I am offered with Gratitude have all been small steps as well as giant leaps towards being able to write this today. There is potential for fear everyday, at any moment but its how I see it, deal with it and live it that matters. I use my fear as a catalyst for personal growth now and look forward to the next not-so-scary monster around the corner.

In this very moment, I am facing the reality of the life I have created for myself because of the changes that have come from this process. It feel shaky, fearful and anxious but I have proven to myself so many times the good that comes out of doing this work that I am able to hold onto a bigger sense of trust and faith that I am doing exactly what  I am meant to do in this life and that is LIVING.

Living to me means feeling my emotions, expressing them, seeing them as tools to help guide me to true healing and truth for myself and others. Living means taking risks, jumping off emotional cliffs, seeking the truth at all costs and embracing all that comes as a gift. I am grateful for fear because it gives my life purpose, it tells me where to go next, it shows me where the work needs to be done and I love this business of living for my truth. So here it is, my truth, for everyone to read, for anyone to judge, ridicule, mock, embrace, enjoy, love, be inspired by or care less about but most importantly to tell myself I am worthy of self express. Image