Let Love Shine in

This is a post a wrote about 3 weeks ago and didn’t publish it. I am rereading old posts and journals as a way to remind myself of my strength, my joy, my passion, my Love and my life in Rwanda. The transition phase is the most difficult for me and I, in the past, have often gone into depressed state during this time so I am finding ways to remind myself of how I felt about the potential of this part of the journey now that I am in it.

I have been cracked wide open. My heart no longer safely stored away behind my chest wall, it’s found a new place to live and it is right on the outside for everyone to see and feel and touch. Rwanda has simultaneously softened and strengthened me in all the right ways. The culture, like all others, has its flaws but I have found exactly what I was looking for and that out weighs any downsides to being here. I have given it 4 months and now I feel the time to shift has arrived and I act on my own knowing and make plans to leave.

Something shifts as I make the most concrete plans I have made in a while and suddenly life opens up in a new way. Something about the false sense of security that making plans gives me allows me to then fully embrace the moment. In that moment I was able to allow more love into my life than ever before.

The Universe provides me with exactly what I need to learn and grow on this journey and once again I was lead to a next step through MJ. The kids that I am dancing with have become so special to me and my heart is connected to them in a way I have not experienced before. They allow me to see my own potential in a new way. It has become very clear that after the event I can do more good for them by being back in Canada, temporarily.

As I stand before them offering words of wisdom from my own journey, encouraging them to keep going and believe that change is possible I know the words are for me.


All the pain, the fear, anger and set backs were mine to conquer and I can place blame on as many people as I choose but that does not move me forward, this experience does. Taking steps, taking action (I Am Love in Action) and making my ideals a reality is what makes change. I have a strong belief in myself and I see it being demonstrated in my actions, my speech and my thoughts. I love myself. I love what I am doing with my life and I am living my life with the intention of helping others with my own natural abilities, which makes my life an amazing journey of self growth and selfless service.

My heart opens by surrounding myself in a completely different culture full of life in a way that I had only held as possible in my mind, making it real allows me to then trust that part of me that fantasized about it and know that I can do anything I want. It may take a lot of hard work and I may have to let go of a lot of things but what I receive in return is so free, alive, real and awesome.

I will never be able to explain fully all that I have experienced here but the proof is in me, my interactions, my actions and the way I simply am now incorportates all the lessons I have learned. Rwanda/Africa is now a part of me at a cellular level. I am Africa and Africa is me. I have attracted wonderful things and people into my life because my intentions are pure, I believe in Love. Not love in the way I think most people immediately think of when I say that but Love in the most powerful, unconditional and intense way, Universal Love. The belief that we are all here to help eachother.

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Love that lets us give up everything for a complete stranger. Love that allows us to forgive those who hurt us. Love that feels like a speeding train of goodness. Love that leaves us speechless and in awe of the raw beauty of simply being alive and human.

Because of all the work I have done to heal my heart I have found the strength to allow Love into my life in a more classic sense, with a man. Embracing the fact that I am a human, I am a woman, I am a sexual being and I am capable of such intense love has given me the most wonderful experience this week. It is possible to Love something in all ways and not loose myself. It is possible to join together to make something stronger and this is that moment.

Since allowing sexuality back into my life with someone who pushes me to walk through my fear and actually take steps towards who I want to be  in this area I feel like a wave has crashed down on me and swept me into a flurry of emotions, tides and the ride is wonderful and so different than ever before.


I am seeing my growth and strength in action. It is more proof to myself that I have healed and am capable of the kind of relationships that once scared me. I am ready to be more of myself and this was the perfect time to have a beautiful Ugandan man come into my world and mirror back to me my own knowing and strength. He holds me to my ideals. He moves me through the fear and leads me out the other side as a willing participant. Allowing someone into my journey in this way takes courage, trust and strength which I am clearly seeing I have.

The other side is where I want to go, it is where I am meant to be. So I let go of the past and get out of the choke hold that it has had on me in this area for years. I breath life in in a new way. Its one thing to dream about what life can be like but the work to get there is not always so romantic. It has taken years of intense work to be ready for this moment and I am very proud of myself for all that I have accomplished. I deserve to feel someone’s arms around me in a romantic way just as much as I deserve to have the arms of man I just helped pay rent for around me in gratitude. They are both Love and now I see that they are both very necessary.


The spark of life that has returned to my life since allowing in all forms of Love makes me feel like a shooting star. I have more zest for life, more passion for myself and what I am doing, I feel more complete meaning that all of me is able to be expressed. I cannot continue to hold back the parts that scare me, not if this is what it feels like to embrace them. Life has a new momentum now and I am just flowing freely along with the waves.

Even though I am writing about the love I am experiencing in my life right now I am, at most times, speechless. My life is a feeling that has no words. It is just for me and for me to share through my actions in this world. I am fully committed to continue this journey and can’t really imagine it getting better but I have said that before! I am right, I can’t imagine what is next and I am not meant to. I just need to watch for the signs and be brave enough to follow through. The momentum of the Love that I am creating is strong enough to pull me through any uncertainty.

Thank you to Gilbert, all the dancers, Justin and his family, my friends and Collin for meeting me exactly where I needed to be met and dancing me to another side of Love.

Self- induced Hibernation

Even with all the work I have been doing on myself, focusing soley on my healing for nearly 4 years now, I am again surprised with the reality of who I am and where I am at on this journey. My recent relationship revealed to me just how deep the impact of how I was treated as a child/young woman by the men in my life was and how much abuse I am willing to take, or rather where my self worth is really at. I am not placing blame for my actions onto others but instead just seeing how deep the impact goes and where it still impacts my choices in life. It stirs up emotions of sadness, frustration, anger, defeat, but what it doesn’t do anymore is trap me. I have grown so much and I do recognize the abuse when its happening, I just don’t really understand why I still feel I deserve it and therefor stay in it. Emotional abuse is soooooooo tricky, sneaky and hard to prove. I don’t need proof – if someone says something to me to intentionally make me feel pain – that is abuse. And if they refuse to acknowledge it, or turn it around on you telling you it is your fault for feeling pain- that is abuse. If they make comments about you to belittle you or tear you down – that is abusive. This relationship relates back to my family dynamics so much and I have received many insights  surround that relationship as well so I am grateful for that.

What I have learned is that I am much more aware. I did see how I was being treated inappropriately and there was a part of me that said “I want to leave now” but another smaller part that said “stay here, he needs love and you want to give it.” This time the little voice told me to stay and I was aware that I didn’t want to do it long term but I knew there was reason so I listened. I was able to be quite detached throughout the time we spent together and just sort of watch him treat me unkindly, as a witness to my own life but not be effected ( not always but most of the time), I saw threw his attempts to play games with my mind. I saw my strength and was impressed.

I have a habit of giving love to those who hurt me in the deep seated belief that I can make them see their worth and ultimately change into the person I see when I look at them. I was able to Love this man for his Soul only and watched myself let all of his personality traits that bothered or annoyed me or tried to hurt me go, accepting him for who he was which was a victory for me. I am still learning to see men as human beings worthy of respect. Because I practice identifying with my Soul, I found it much easier to do the same in relationship. But what if these human traits hurt me? I am learning to Love and let go. Loving others doesn’t mean allowing someone to treat me badly just because I see that they need love.

The holes in my self-love were revealed, now I know I have work to do before I can be in a healthy relationship. I saw how much Love I have for others and how opening myself up to this kind love again healed me in many ways. I let someone into my life, my journey, my thoughts in a new way and I learned more about myself more about how important boundaries are for me and how much to let others into my process. This new way of being in the world is tricky because I want to learn and grow and I do that best through personal experience. Did I use him just to learn more about myself? In some ways I feel like I did. I watched as I put a lot of what I was feeling in general onto him on an unconscious level and when it was revealed to me through my practices I had to go back and eat my words. What was my intention then? I wanted to Love him just like I wanted to Love the kids I was working with for Thriller but is there a layer of selfishness underneath both of these – yes. I was there to heal and I needed others and experiences to help me do that because I am human and we need one another. Is it possible to be human and not be selfish in some way, shape or form? I believe in Love but I cannot always put myself LAST. At the same time I cannot expect anyone to think or feel the same way I do about what Love is. This makes me feel alone.

I learned that I am strong beyond my imagination and confident in ways I hadn’t seen before. For the first time ever my parents weren’t sitting on my shoulders (in my mind) in the bedroom telling me I was a bad person for being  sexual – huge victory that I would not have seen if I hadn’t met this particular man. He pushed me in many positive ways as well, which lead to the growth that I now know is revealed in my unconscious actions. But I also made some really poor choices and put my self at risk, which again shows me clearly where I need work on my ability to Love and care for myself.

Am I destined to label everyone who doesn’t treat me the way I want or need as abusive? I can hear my best friends voice telling me that is ridiculous but I do see how I choose these people and then point out their flaws when it was me who allowed them in or even attracted them in the first place. That part of me inside that only feels Love when someone is mean to me is getting much, much smaller but it is still there and it still attracts those who see it. I see my part in these relationships and I see how I even took this most recent one for a ride in my own way. I have no regrets but can learn more about who I am now and where I want to go as a person. No one is perfect and Collin helped me heal in many ways through being exactly who is. I know we were brought together to heal each other and I am happy to see that I was brave enough to rise to the challenge.

Is it possible to have a relationship with someone who does not see life the way I do and can I ever really be honest if I am constantly in the process of changing and growing? What is honest in one moment is not always honest the next day and that feels very unfair to involve another person in. What I do know for sure is that I am not ready for a relationship. I know I want one when I am ready and that I will be even stronger when I do. I believe the Universe gives us exactly what we need,  when we need it. I am grateful for all of it and hold no grudge against myself for the mistakes I made or the other person, we were in it together with, I believe, with the best intentions and Love. Ultimately what I see when someone is mean to me is the pain that they have within themselves and  because I have been the mean one, the abusive one in relationship as well and know the root of those actions, I can have compassion.

I am happy to be free of this relationship as it was clearly a distraction for all the emotions that I was feeling about leaving Rwanda. My heart was wide open while I was there and the magnitude of all that happened needs time to process. I know I was afraid to feel it all. I know that part of my intense feeling of attachment to my relationship was due to the immense feeling of loss once I left. Now I am free of the distraction and can now begin to feel. Currently I  am feeling “homesick”, which when I look at it deeper is more an unsettled feeling that is completely normal considering what I am doing. I also feel like I am in control this time of my down phase but am resisting going into it after all the momentum that my life just had.

Having been diagnosed with Bi-polar II disorder in the past I know about up’s and down’s and how they  play out in my life. With the practice of Yoga as  a major part of my life, I can see that I need some down time and I have planned this next step as a way to give that to myself. I need time to go inward, time to reflect and deal with all that has and is happening. I am choosing this down phase because I know what is good for me and that I need it to be balanced. This is big step forward in creating a life that reflects self-love and allows me to take control of my life in a new way by creating emotional stability.

I have been asked many times since I arrived here in The Pas, “Why would you come back here?” To which I can only say, “This is exactly where I need to be right now.” I am realizing that to live a great life I don’t always need to be in foreign countries, doing big projects and living in extreme conditions. I can be right here, where I was born, living with my friend in a small, northern town surrounded by natural beauty and piles of snow! As I settle into this next phase I know I am surrounded by Love both from those around me and within. Its time to rest.


in the in-between



(On the highway from Winnipeg to The Pas, MB)

Every time I move onto the next phase of this intentional healing journey there is an adjustment period which lasts about 3-4 weeks and it never fails that by the end of the 4-6 months that I end up staying in one place I am smack in the middle of, what I feel at the time is the most amazing life I could possibly live, which makes for a challenging decision to leave. I am not surprised by my feelings at this point in the journey but I am however surprised at my ease and comfort with the unknown. Yes, I feel anxious, afraid, overwhelmed and like my momentum has come to a stand still but it is more what I don’t feel that is evidence of my personal growth. I totally trust, 100% that I am in the right place and that I need to be doing exactly what I am doing and I know that because I didn’t even really think about the things that normally we as humans worry about – shelter, food, money. Everything just lined up so perfectly and things were handed to me with such grace that it really has been a seamless transition from  one side of the world to the next.

While in Rwanda, I would sometimes let the power of my imagination take over and create many big dreams and goals for myself here in The Pas. In my mind I have so much potential and am met with open hearts and minds with all that I want to do here. But as I practice living in the present moment I realize that I cannot move on to those next steps until I complete my last step. I still feel like there is a gapping wound in my chest and it needs attention. There was potential for me to continue working in Rwanda but it just wasn’t sustainable for me and it would not have helped me continue the work with the kids in Kacyiru the way I can by being in Canada but for now I need to sit in this in between space and let it all settle before I move into the creation phase.

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(Rwanda projects: Thrill The World Kigali and Love Hoop Rwanda that came out of this same space)

I still have so much to process and write about but I am not sure I can, will or want to. Writing about it will never, EVER be able to convey the raw emotion, the lessons, the connection and the amazing healing that took place while working with the people of Rwanda. The magnitude of what really happened for me and for them hits me harder and harder each day and I see how I have created a distraction in the form of a boyfriend, a link to expressing all my emotion about Rwanda onto one person that I can have contact with while I am away. I see how unfair this is to everyone involved. It doesn’t allow me to truly feel what I feel for all the people there, the experiences and clouds how I feel for this person. I see the mistakes I have made in the last few weeks and how they keep me somewhat numb to the reality of how much I actually have to feel right now.

My Yogic practices are always with me, easy to use and I know from experience that they work but that doesn’t mean I am perfect in using them. I falter, I waiver, I make mistakes but the difference is I am aware that I am doing all of this – that is a practice in itself, next step to enlightenment is to take a step towards a different choice. I want to do art, paint, dance, write, swim, hoop, and be back on the back porch with things all set up and ready for me to express myself but I have to be patient. What do I do in the mean time? So far, I have been putting it all of this new and unsuspecting person in my life, which is totally unfair and a classic behavior of mine in relationship. So this I am dealing with first and then I can face myself more clearly and take small steps towards beginning to feel my experience more clearly.

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My reality is that I am here in this frozen, little northern town that I called home for many years and am being asked to surrender to the fact that I need to slow down, rest, feel, work through all that has been stirred up during this amazing journey. I have to get used to people saying things like “How was your little adventure?” or “Cool, that must have been a blast!” I plan to use one of the techniques that I was told about when I was leaving the Ashram, which is to not really open up about my experience until that person has asked me 3 times about my trip, this indicates that they are genuinely interested in hearing about what really happened and protects me from feeling let down when all the person wants to hear is a simple “Great!”

I feel  very protective of my experiences and in some ways I want to keep it all to myself. Right now though, I feel extremely sad, a little bit lost and like someone has taken my heart and broke it into a million pieces. I cannot explain the intense sadness that I feel inside now that I am back in a culture that to me feels incredibly closed off towards one another (in comparison to the culture I was just immersed in) and the added layer of winter isolation feels like I’m being pulled even further from connecting with others. There are so many signs telling me to go inward. Could this be the time to start writing my book? Perhaps, but I will not be able to see clearly my next step if I do not first unravel the past.

As I enjoy the beauty that is all around me right now in the form of love and support from my best friend and her family I am also reminded of my own nieces and the relationships that keep me from having them in my life in the same way, which adds a new layer of intensity to the sadness. I am and have been an honorary aunty to many children in my life and have lots of love to give to everyone but miss my nieces so much.



(Carrie’s Daughters 2013)

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(My nieces, Kennedy and Nicole – these are old photos! Happy Birthday Kenny, I love you and you too Coley!)

But I am surrounded by familiar faces, places, things that for this period of time can make me feel very loved and cared for. My life can be very easy here, which is a big change from the last 5 months in Rwanda. So, as I slowly cut the cord that was created between myself and Africa I feel the severing deep within my soul but I also know that it frees me for the people who are next in line to be with me in this next step of my life. I wouldn’t trade any of this for anything. This is why I live, how I live and I love feeling alive, even when it hurts!

Gratitude, Gratitude, Gratitude!

Hold on or Let go

Amanda when she was just a little girl-1

While living at Yasodhara Ashram, one of the first things I really  realized was that change is the only thing that I can count on happening in my life. When I choose to surrender to what is happening, whether I agree with it or not, my life flows. We would often be asked to change things including where we were living with very short notice and I learned to embrace the opportunity and see the light in the situation. I also found that I could have a sense of humor about it all which really made it easy to deal with. I see how the Ashram prepared me for the life I am living now as I transition to something completely new about every 4-6 months.


Since leaving the Ashram nearly 2 years ago, I have not had a permanent residence and have lived all over the country and in two different countries. If I had not had the uncomfortable experience of being at the Ashram and learning to detach from anything other than my spirit I would not be able to do what I am doing.


So here I am again in transition and as always it feels intense but this time is different. I have just come from Africa, a culture that flipped a lot of what I held as “true or real” for me about how to live life on its head. In Hidden language Hatha Yoga, created by Swami Radha of Yasodhara Ashram, we were asked to see things from a different perspective by literally standing on our heads and seeing the world from a completely different angle. This then translates into daily life and with practice I learned to flip situations “on their head” and see it from this alternative view almost on command. This was manageable within the confines and support of the small spiritual community, but the real practice happens out here in my life now.


I watch as my mind attaches itself to people, things, places in an attempt to feel calm, safe, and secure. These things are all just distractions from what I am feeling and yet I know that I am fine and this is just old patterns playing out. Like the tortoise, I carry my home with me always. My spirit is strong, my heart wide open and my home is within – this I truly believe and living this way for this long has shown that to be true.


I am here in Santa Barbara, physically but spiritually and emotionally a big part of me is in Rwanda. I can feel that part of me missing and I wonder when it will catch up with me. Will it ever or did I leave it there? It feels really obvious to be feeling incomplete after all that I accomplished there and so I practice patience with myself and know from past experiences that I am about to step into something else that will open me up to more of myself.


The good thing about life is that is just keeps on going wether I am ready or not, so I have a choice – hold on and enjoy the ride or resist my beautiful life. I will ultimately take the ride so why not enjoy it! I choose to let go and go with the flow.


Long Overdue

 What’s more important, writing about life or living life? To me it is the living. Things shifted so much after I expressed my truth about my family and suddenly I had all this space in my life, my mind and my body. Within that space I found inspiration, love, freedom and energy like never before. I allowed in what was awaiting me and it filled me with so much love and joy. My life became more full and rich as my projects began to take full bloom. I was living in the moment and there was so much to write about yet no time or real desire to sit down and do it – I was enjoying the ride. My energy had so many new opportunities  and I was juggling so many new creative expressions that writing felt forced.

I realize my commitment to myself and to those who read this blog was lacking and it is only now that I see I had let both of us down by not communicating. I apologize for the sudden drop off in writing and now see that if I want people to follow, to be connected or to be a part of my life I need to step outside of myself even further and make time for those that I love in a new way.

During my time away from writing I allowed more love into my life in ways I did not know I could. My social life became more rich, I took on extra projects to help others, I hosted Thrill The World, I had so much going on and I found a new kind of love that once I let in I could not let go of. I was surrounded by Love in so many ways here in Rwanda and letting in a man was the last thing on my agenda, actually it was on my “not to do” list and has been for nearly 4 years. Once I let go of that concept as well the love just poured into my life and I was basking in it. Not that I didn’t have or feel love in a very rich way before I met Collins, which was only 3 weeks ago, but opening my heart to him allowed me to feel even more love for those I already had in my life.


I fully intend to keep writing and to write about the last month in Kigali but I also have to listen to what is real for me in the moment so I have no regrets, only lessons learned from mistakes made. In hindsight, I would like to say that I am sorry for the lack of consideration on my part for my readers and that next time I will at least write something to keep everyone informed that I am taking a break. 

I am now sitting my a living room in LA, California feeling a bit surreal about the whole thing. I had a hard choice to make – follow my heart to where I know I need to go next in order to grow or go down an old path and let myself down once again. I made the right choice although I see how it effects others in negative way but the only option in my life now is to keep going with what I need and trust that it is the best thing in the end for everyone. 

Leaving behind all the sweet kids I was working with, Gilbert, my friends, my lover, my new family and the energy of Africa was or is painful but I know I will be back and am connected to them all in a very,very unique way. My time in Africa showed me my strength, my courage, my immense ability to love and so much more. I am a changed being because of it and am forever grateful for my time there.

As with every step of a journey there is change. After communication with a trusted mentor I had time to reflect on my intention with my blog and how I was going about my healing process. I have no regrets but feel like my time spent dipping into the past is nearing an end. Is there really any point to continue reaching back into events that caused me pain in order to heal and is that what will serve me now? My time with Collin helped me see that living in the moment is much more powerful for healing the issues that remain present in my life from the past. He helped me move forward and out of the past by pushing me to act in the moment the way I want my life to be in the present. I have been afraid to step into the present for fear of my past, he helped me see that taking the steps out of the past, memories and fears is where the healing happens. I can choose to replay the same events that keep me hostage or I can acknowledge them, honor the lessons and move forward. 

I am able to see how important it is to live life and not just sit and think/write about it. Collin helps me to actually be the change that I want in my life and it opened me up to more challenges and fear which lead to growth beyond words. I see myself more clearly, I see my potential more clearly and my mind has expanded exponentially since I opened my heart to him because it  forced me to open my mind in a new way. Letting in Love from children, friends and strangers all felt very safe to me but letting in romantic and sexual energy was a huge place of resistance. In letting down my guard and relaxing into all parts of myself I found a fountain of Joy, Happiness, Peace and Love within. I feel more complete as a person now that all parts of me are being expressed. I am a sexual being, I am a woman who wants to be in partnership, I want to be a mother and letting Collin in allowed me to see myself more clearly. 

The things I resist most are usually the things I want in my life and somehow, somewhere I learned to deny myself what I really want. Now I have a new understand of how to care for myself and that giving myself what I want is healthy. Rwanda helped me see what is important and where my energy is being wasted, or where I am using it as a distraction from being who I really want to be. Potential expanding, creativity, openness to opportunity and a life I never allowed myself to dream of is all my reality now. I love the person that Rwanda got to meet and I know that I am only going to continue to get better, bigger, stronger, more potent and expand into my own Self. 

As I sit in limbo between potentials I feel a familiar pang for the life I was just living and an excitement for the blossoming life before me. It is always this place that I live in, never really knowing what’s next and in each moment feeling like it couldn’t possibly get any better  – but it does! I am living my full potential, as my beautiful friend Jean would say, and I feel incredibly blessed.

Thank you to all my readers who stay connected, send me kinds words of support and help motivate me to keep going on this journey. I appreciate you and your patience with me as I learn how to transition out of my very personal and self centered journey of healing and into a more selfless and global vision of what my journey and life is to become.