The Look Of Love

I have been learning to open my heart and let it guide me in life, which has lead me to a lot of really wonderful things but I realized the other day that I was still discounting my mind. I saw how I  was relying heavily on just my heart for guidance and had placed a lot of resentment, anger and fear on using my mind. I know that I do use my mind in everything I do but I have been consciously taking it out of the equation for quite a while now which is not a balanced approach to life and has led me to some painful places.

When I first went to the Ashram I did a course that included a workshop called “Life Seals” which I have spoken of before as it is one of my favorite practices. The first time I did a Life Seal, I drew an image to represent my mind which looked like this:


At this point in time I had just had a nervous breakdown, left my fiance, had no where to live, was suffering from Severe Depression, Fibromylagia with severe physical pain, Bi-polar II disorder, anorexia, suicidal ideations and more. I was a mess and this image reflected clearly to me that I was very, very afraid of my mind. I chose to stay at the Ashram and after 6 months of spiritual practices my unconscious representation of my mind looked like this:


What a difference! I haven’t done one since but have over 3 1/2 years of intense spiritual practice behind me now and am curious to see what I find when I do it again.

The point of this recent exploration of my mind comes from a comment I received from a man whom I respect very much, Peter Haslund. He said: ” Well said. And I think you are 100% half right! Listening to your heart will allow compassion to be applied to whatever you do, and listening to your head will allow you to take sensible risks and choose between “this path” or another. Both are needed in this human experience. Stay well!”

This was in response to a comment I made about letting my heart guide me in life and how it was all I needed. It was his comment that helped me see how much I was discounting my mind as a useful and necessary tool. When I live soley from my heart I leave myself wide open for pain, hurt and a false sense of what Love really is. It also led me to a place where I was very vulnerable and then became a victim when I was not met with the same heart centered actions from others. This lead me to a an extreme place of anger, distrust and hatred especially towards men but mostly towards myself.

I was not considering what my mind knew was the right thing to do because my hearts instinct is to give love always to everyone. When I chose to give love to someone I also need to use my rational mind to navigate through the rough waters that it guides me to. Love does not mean I open myself wide to everyone and allow things to hurt me, in the name of love. I can use my mind to create healthy boundaries for myself and to know when I need to be cautious with my heart. There needs to be a balance and that, I am learning, is more loving and kind to everyone in the end. The way I was going about loving people before was in someways more conditional and self serving, although unintentional.

So as much as I want to be an open hearted person all the time, there is a time for my mind to step up and step in. I also need to practice being an open minded being in balance with my open heart. I need to make sure that I am being treated in a respectful and healthy way for me and that I am treating the other person with the same respect by not forcing my “love” onto them. This means that for me “Love In Action” can look like taking a step back in a relationship to decide wether or not it is right for me. Then if needed, taking steps to end the relationship if it is not able to become something that is healthy. As painful as that is for me, it is because I have not practiced being open and loving, accepting and non-judgmental AND standing up for myself and demanding respect in this way before, especially not in relationship with men (friends, family, etc).

It hurts my heart to feel so much openness and then have to be very real with myself and admit that I deserve more. It is my job to use my mind along with my heart, my intuition, my gut instinct to really listen and take time to feel out the situation before I open my heart fully to someone. I am Worthy of Love and I get to decide what that love looks and feels like for me. It is me that chose all of these relationships in my life wether with friends, family or lovers that ultimately led to hurt and it is me that can make better choices now that I am aware of the need for a balanced mind-heart relationship within myself.

Love has many faces and many avenues of getting where it is needed and how it is needed but what is doesn’t have is a dead end. Love to me is all that we are and in every action if we are willing to look very closely there is an element of love or need for love in all that we do as humans. My journey is about finding out how to heal those areas within myself and being an example of what can come from taking these often very painful steps towards living from our true nature which is Love.

This just in…



I have always had a passion for fashion, costume, play and self-expression. I used clothing and dressing up as a way to express parts of myself but at certain times it was just a mask for my inability to express my truth. It allowed me to pretend to be someone I wasn’t able to be in my own skin. I ended up not knowing who I really was without these masks and nearly all of my clothing became a costume. I am a classic Scorpio in the sense that I really have lived my life in extremes, now I am learning to find my balance.


Stripping the facade allowed me to get to the roots of my issues and am now in a space where I feel I am able to  bring back this passion and not allow it to be anything other a true reflection of who I am. My best friend and fellow fashionista has been by my side throughout this entire journey. I am now wrapped fully in her embrace as I explore even more parts of myself as she has opened her heart and her home to me for this next part of my journey. She has loved me for who I am from the moment she first saw the new girl in town wearing awesome purple sparkly shoes! My sense of style drew her in and we shared a love for exploring it together ever since. She has been my inspiration and my strength in this area (and others) for many years so it is no surprise that she is a big part of this phase. She helps me see that no matter what I display externally my spirit is what counts and that it shines through any costume or mask I create to protect it. I love you Carrie.


The priviledge of being able to update and change my external appearance to match who I am in every moment is just that, a priviledge. I never looked at it that way before but now as I transition back into my home Country where anything seems possible I see just how much I had taken it for granted in my life and how I resisted all the possibilities that it held for me. I even used it to make myself feel like a bad person for being born into such luxury. Now I see it as a gift and I can appreciate it for what it is and use it to uplift myself which in turn helps others rise up as well.

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I went through a similar process in Rwanda with accepting what my capabilities were and learning to embrace them. Now I am here in Canada preparing to step into the next big adventure. I feel the vastness of what is out there waiting for me to grab, take hold of it and make it my reality. Instead of sitting and waiting for someone to take me by the hand and show me what to do, I am so proud to say that I am taking myself by the heart and moving forward with the momentum that I have created. The confidence I have gained in  trust that I know what is next is a force that cannot be stopped. I have no doubt, no fear, and no hesitation only the reality of the fact that I need to retreat at the moment, knowing full well that when I am ready there is nothing that will stop me.


I have decided to go the Ashram for a few weeks to give myself the space to process all that has happened in the last 5 months. The way my life opened up and what I witnessed myself do over the course of this journey still needs time to become part of my cells, my being and my mind needs time to update itself. I feel out of sorts, kind of like all my cells are trying to turn into little hearts. Its uncomfortable but I know what is happening. I am grateful that I have created this life in which I have places, people and spaces that I can go to whenever I need what they have to offer. The Ashram is not only for times when I need to heal, it is also a place of great potential and inspiration. It is full of spirit, light, community and love. Divine Mother is so present in everyday life that there and it helps to return as a reminder of what my intentions in life are and how I can make her even more a part of my daily life.


In the last fews weeks I have seen many things arise within myself that I want to change and move forward from. Thankfully I have people in my life who mirror back those areas needing work and are willing to stick it out with me while I resist and play out old patterns. My heart went to a very dark place in regards to my relationship with a young man in Rwanda and I was able to see, with the love and support of both him and my best friend that I was again pushing people away in a very typical Amanda fashion. I had completely closed my heart at one point in the name of self preservation. I did the right thing because I honored what I was feeling in the moment but it was the way I wanted to keep my heart closed afterwards that was not authentic to who I am now.

I have seen this pattern within my family and my own relationships in the past and know how painful it can be for myself and others when I choose to stay in this cut off place within myself. I tell myself it is a way to protect my heart but really all it is is Fear. Ideally, I want to learn to protect myself emotionally without turning my heart off.  IMG_3959

The first step is to let someone in – done. Then allow the old pattern to play out – done. Next step, awareness of old pattern playing out…done! Next, decide to change – done! Next, open my heart and listen – done and done! Now its time to take action. I  choose to do this because if I want to be taken seriously by myself and others  with my mission in life, which is to be “Love in Action” then I must live it. I am in no way discounting my feelings in that moment or the actions that I found abusive but what I am doing is seeing how my old patterns can taint my view in the present moment and make it difficult to see clearly.  This is a defense mechanism to protect my spirit, which I have seen play out in all kinds of relationships in my life and I am now ready to move out of this pattern.  I am taking responsibility for my part in all relationships in my life and seeing how my patterns create pain in order to make changes is the way to do that. There can be no changes if there is no awareness.

There are and were soooo many factors stacked against us during our time within this relationship and I see now how I let all of those things cloud my vision of Love. It is what it is and I know that it all happens so I can learn from it, in this moment I can choose to learn or stay stuck in the old ways. I trust myself more because of my experience with him as I now know that I will stand up for myself and speak my mind when someone does something that hurts me but it is then my responsibility to look at the hurt and find clarity within. This relationship helped me see how much work there is to do on myself in order to allow in healthy love. I am grateful to have someone who is willing to stand by me and let me fall AND let me pick myself back up again without judgement. I am in control of my own happiness, my choices, my mind and it isn’t an easy job to do but listening to my heart is what gets me to my truth.

Even though I feel like I am fixated on this one area, even being pulled into it in a way that distracts me, the shift in my energy when I decided to love allowed for more space to process everything else. This is what is real for me right now, I cannot ignore it and I cannot choose what my issues are or when to deal with them. I must surrender the present moment and deal with what I am given.

So just as it is a priviledge to change my external appearance it is also a priviledge to have people in my life who allow me do the work I need to do to change myself internally so I can live my ideals. Without others on this journey I would not have any reason to change. We are all in this together and I want to embody the love that I know exists within us all.

Open heart, open mind, open to love!

Om Om