Fear

My relationship with fear

life long

I despise you

The cause of many passed opportunities

The cause of so many anxiety attacks

The cause

But also my protection

I remember you used to warn me as a teen

You used to warn me, hanging over me and twisting my stomach

Calling attention to yourself but I never knew why.

I didn’t understand or know who you were

I only knew the feeling of impending doom

That by the end of the day,

I’d be beat

Beat by the fists of his erupting, volcanic anger

Paired with the taste of leather and,

Belt buckles to my purple-welted thighs.

Always my fault.

But it wasn’t.

Though at the time, I was convinced it was my fault

No perfect child was I

But fear stood by my side, became engraved like a shameful tattoo

Somehow you tried to help me, but it never worked.

On days I felt your presence, it only ended badly

In tears, even though there’d be hours of apologies

Still.

Today I realize you were nothing but a poser.

A fake.

You were never there to “protect me”

Only there so that you could dig those gnarly nails deeper into my very being.

So that you could become stronger as I grew weaker

You nasty little fool.

Years and years and years and years and YEARS

Living under your control, my every move and decision,

Every interaction, Every thought.

Until eventually, I began healing.

I began to slowly realize who you were and how much you had consumed me.

As though you knew you were losing strength and I was rising,

You’d attack me.

Throwing me down to the floor with panic attacks, anxiety and depression

Hoping I’d stay on the ground, long enough to erase all the progress I’ve made

Yeah, you used to win.

For years.

This last time though??

Nope.

By far the hardest blow you’ve thrown

Only because I’m on the cusp

The cusp of something greater than I’ve ever been able to be

Getting back up is difficult, but God is on my side

Something you seem to forget,

You can NEVER win against God.

The reason I write this is because I want to break your power

To weaken it even more, one must expose you

I choose to help erase the stigma

Feelings of shamefulness because of the depression

Feelings of embarrassment

All in attempt to cause isolation.

NAH.

You WILL NOT WIN.

Because, today, I CHOOSE TO WIN.

Success is mine.

You are not.

God has not given me a spirit of Fear, but of POWER, Love and a SOUND mind.

Today I’m winning.

 

 

 

 

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Widen Your Horizon

Being the new year, I decided to do an instagram clean-up (myheart_in_ink) and I couldn’t help but be astonished at how far I’ve come not just physically, but mentally and spiritually over the last 8 months.  Life is definitely NOT the same. Eight months ago, the things I’ve tapped into were not even a question, let alone did I even BELIEVE that I was capable or deserving of these things.  I am beyond grateful for how far I have come in this journey to wellness & as each day passes, that fire, that passion within keeps burning more and more.  Now, I’m to the point of truly having goals that are far to reach, but are not impossible whatsoever.

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Through this journey, I’ve had many question and doubt but my life is far too important than to choose to stumble on what others think I should and should not be doing. This, after all, is my life- following after God’s heart. So, if I make a mistake, that’s a learning opportunity and a chance to get better and try something new. I even lost a few people along my journey, and I’m 100% happy with it. I learned a hard lesson a few weeks ago, not everyone in your life is for you- sometimes those “haters” are the closest to us. Sad right? But truth. When you begin to move in and towards your purpose, those “friends” will fall away- because you’re progressing, doing something right, and they’re not.

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It is so foreign to me to even have someone jealous of my progress. It sounds wrong!  Thing is, when you have a vision, you’ve got to go for it anyways, no matter who says what.

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So, with that said- here’s what’s been on my heart the last week and a half-
My passion for dance has ALWAYS been there. I began dance when I was 3 1/2 years old- ballet, tap dance, gymnastics. Somewhere along the way, life happened, the good and the ugly, I got older and insecurities set in, belief that I was not capable of greatness was engraved in my brain and that love got buried- almost to the death of it. Junior & senior year came and I took 2years of dance. I choreographed our dance for our group final & our dance teacher begged me several times to join the dance team BUT I had to turn it down due to my parents.  So then, I graduated- and life got REALLY bad- I spiralled down real quick doing anything and everything, my life was without boundaries or sound judgement- because I just didn’t care anymore, I believed my life was pointless. I became an object, something to be used but never a keepsake.  My view of men was so messed up and I began hiding behind my weight so I wouldn’t get all those looks and whistles. It disgusted me- but that disgust was rooted in bitterness and unforgiveness. I was angry and I took the victim role, I was broken. Gaining and gaining, all the while being controlled by fear.  Sure, I accomplished a few things over the years, but it was like fighting tooth and nail with myself. New mindsets would never stick because who I was told I was (a failure) was too engraved in my brain.  Many people gave up and said I was a lost cause. Only one person stuck it through, and I gave her hell, lemme tell you!  My best friend, my pastor, my big sis.  Several times in the past, I had the typical “I can do this” spurts and they were progress short lived because I was still chained by fear. I didn’t believe I was worthy of anything great. I believed I deserved a life of complacency, a life on a treadmill- going but never getting anywhere. I was afraid to try. Afraid to dream. Afraid to fail.  Dreaming made me want to hyperventilate!   Then I turned 28. Everything within me was awakened and I felt an urgency to move, to go forward, it was time to come out of hiding. I didn’t know what it all meant at first, but I knew I had to run and never look back. Zumba was and still is a legit answer to prayer- but as the months passed, it became more than that. My passion for dance came Alive again. As if my passion for it wasn’t enough, I went on an all dance-type movie binge one night about 2wks ago, right before Christmas. It was then that a new dream was birthed. I don’t just want to be a size 14 or size 12…. That no longer is my tentative end goal. I want a dancer’s body. Yeah. I said that. No, I don’t want to be a size 4. What I am saying is that, I want to be fit. I want to be able to move with agility and grace, to be sharp on my moves, and my endurance twice as what it is now. I want those toned arms and abs. Yeah, that’s a lot for someone who was once pushing 300 lbs- but it isn’t impossible. That, my dear readers, is a miracle. That I am finally able to dream that big & to believe it’ll actually happen.

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Every time I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror, I ask myself “who is that girl?”…. My mind is changing but at a slower pace then my body is. I’m getting there!  Sometimes I still think I’m much bigger than I am- but tonight I saw my old pics in a different light- “wow, I WAS a lot bigger there!”, that is a step in the right direction & yes, I’m proud of myself for finally seeing the change rather than being highly unsatisfied with my amazing progress.

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So, this passion is woven in my veins- it’s not something that will go away. What I thought could be true a few months ago, I have realized and accepted as truth. Part of my purpose is wrapped in this passion- what 2015 holds for me, I believe, is a year of being fearless, having courage & love. What all that entails- I don’t know yet, but I’m moving full speed ahead, I know that if I thought that God blew my mind in 2014, then 2015 is going to be an explosion!

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I am fired up and by the end of 2015, I’ll be looking back, as a completely different person. Ever changing, moving forward, living fearlessly.

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Until next time,
Amanda 😘

Breaking Away

Through these last several months, my journey hasn’t soley been about my health, but also about wellness- in mind, body & spirit.  In June, I was awakened to how bound by fear I was, more specifically, fear of Failure.  As of recent, another big one has been surfaced- one in which I am sort of embarrassed to even say- BUT I’ve got to be transparent, because anything left in the dark, will remain, but what’s brought to the light, will be dealt with. The Fear of Rejection.

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This one has haunted me, again, all my life.  So many of my reactions & responses to people I truly care about have been rooted from the fear of rejection- these reactions and responses I am oblivious to, I do it habitually not even knowing until someone tells me. When it comes right down to it, it is annoying. It’s like always trying to escape from something that just won’t budge. Being that it has been built in me, my every thought, word, body language and even actions come from it. It’s literally like being tangled up in something and it’s blinding- because you won’t even realize your working out of it, it’s second nature.
So to those that know me personally, I want to apologize, and please bare with me as I journey through this- this too I shall be free from!! 
This isn’t an easy feat- but I know God is my helper, my deliverer and my healer. I bet He’s waited for this day for me to see it, be tired of it and want to be free. Whew. Here goes to stepping on some more fear, FEAR WILL NOT WIN! 
Until next time,
Amanda

Growth & new beginnings

Alot has happened in the last several weeks! To begin with, I’ve since begun my own ItWorks Business as of last week!!  I have lost a total of 44 pounds as of today, just 6 pounds away from my first goal!!!  I’m fitting into things that I haven’t been able to wear for 7years at least, even my holloween costume doesn’t fit me right anymore from 4years ago- so much for trying to bring that outfit back!  I’ve faced a couple tough decisions, and had to make choices that didn’t make sense to me, but were the right choices.
There are things I’ve had in my heart for years that God planted there, that I have wanted so badly for the time to come, and now is the time it seems!  I have been in awe and suprise that things are actually happening and it’s because I chose to do what I knew was right. So often in life, God will ask something of us, that is of course, a betterment to ourselves, but until we finally obey and do what He’s asked, we won’t see what’s in our heart come to pass!  What we want is possible, but often, we have some growing to do prior to God giving us what we asked for. I know without a shadow of a doubt that everything happening in my life is a product of my obedience and doing what I’ve always known I was supposed to do. For me, it is getting healthy and treating the body He gave me with respect and honor. To honor my body, I must feed it right, keep it hydrated and moving. Most importantly, He needed me to love my body, even in it’s transitional stages. It’s required alot of self-discipline, patience (with myself), and forgiveness (with myself)… fruits of the spirit!  How can we practice those fruits in life, if we can’t practice it with ourselves?   It has been more than a weightloss journey, more than a wellness journey, it’s been an awakening, alertness and awareness of myself.  Being able to identify an issue/feeling/thought/action and seeing the truth. Then, in identifying the truth behind it, I set it straight with what the word of God says. For example, 3 weeks ago, I admitted to a friend that I had difficulty in an area. She was giving me testimonies of how God has worked and I saw the truth behind my issue. Fear. Yes, fear, again!! That little stinker!  I was making a decision out of fear. I’ve made the decision to not let fear rule my life, that fear will not win, so I have since made the mindset change, and God has been showing up even more ever since!!

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The new things in my life, teaching and running a business, do scare me some- but I refuse to be bound and stuck. God’s plans are to prosper me in this life, but if I let fear be my ruler, how will I ever prosper? I won’t. To prosper, I must move forward. To prosper, I must use the fear as a stepping stone. I am capable of so much, but it’s up to me to believe it and move with faith. Faith and fear cannot co-exist!
Until next time,
Amanda

Acknowledging Fear

An opportunity has been presented to me and want to know the truth?  I’ve been avoiding anything that has to do with it… but today, after being asked yet again, I had to self-evaluate. Why am I acting this way? Why do I feel as tho I’ve stopped breathing and my heart has sunk to my stomach? The answer came so clearly, “because I’m scared”.  Wow. As I felt that truth ring through, I saw that conquering our fears are often alot like an addict’s first step: admitting to thier addiction. I had to acknowledge the specific fear…. and ask, “why am I scared of this?” The answer? Because I’m afraid that I’ll fail & do not know enough… as if I’m unknowledgeable of this particular thing. What if that fear is just an imaginary wall I’ve just set up inside my head? Because staying where I’m at is safe, while stepping out and taking on more responsibility is what I’m destined for but I’m holding myself back….because “I’m scared”. 
I remember years ago when this opportunity was just a “maybe, one day, but I don’t think so” and suddenly it’s become a reality and I’m the only one on the verge on turning my own dreams down? What is it with self-sabotaging and fear of failure? My whole life, bound by fear of so much, being fed that I was destined to be a failure all my life….
I am so thankful to be at a place that I am recognizing those fears, and putting them where they belong- Beneath me. So, I may be scared to death and I may not have a clue how I’m gonna do it, but I have to trust that the person asking this of me is only doing so, because it’s finally time.

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I know that God has so much planned for me to do in this life and alot of it, I am afraid of!!!  These things, I am wholeheartedly passionate for, all the more reason for me to push. We can’t ever enter into greatness if we’re too comfortable staying small!  Until next time,
-Amanda

Words: either life giving or to death- choose wisely!

No one can make you do it. The only excuse holding you back is you.

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I was the girl who had a sea full of excuses, and those excuses were rooted in fear. I didn’t want to try because I thought I couldn’t do it, because I thought I’d fail anyway, because I believed the lies inside my head. I allowed the unknown to leave me complacent in life, unbeknownst to me, literally BOUND by fear. I believed I wasn’t deserving of good things, of treating myself as one who deserved the goodness of life.
Despite my beliefs and relationship with God, I was still tangled up by the lies and roots of all I was ever told as a child. Never tell your child anything negative about themselves- YOU are molding thier definition of self. It’s the most difficult thing to break out of and rebuild, don’t do it. Love your children no matter how many horrible things they do. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS believe the best, have faith, let your words be full of life, love and encouragement. I know what it is to be bashed by your parents words. It’s horrible.
So, today, choose life, not just in how you live, but in WHAT you speak. It begins with our thoughts, not everything that runs through our brain is true! Some of it is rooted in fear- fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of success etc etc… The battle truly begins in our mind, and IF we can filter out the negative, then what comes out of our mouth will be life giving. Whether it be words and beliefs of your ability OR to a loved one. Our words are so vital to our success or failure. If you don’t believe in yourself from the beginning, then you’ve already failed. You ARE capable.
You ARE smart. You CAN do whatever you put your mind to. Believe that it’s possible, and for myself, I rely not on my strength, but God’s. It is truly through Him that I can do anything, and He is the ONLY reason why I’ve been able to do this. So, so, SO many times my thoughts got in the way!!  I prayed that God would send help my way, not just his supernatural strength, but people. People that are hands, feet and mouthpieces for God- He sent me 2 people. How do I know that they’re Heaven sent? Because I didn’t know either of them before I began the journey to a healthy me. I began the journey, I prayed and there they were. I’m so thankful for them, I can’t even begin to explain!  Ha. Well, until next time,
-Amanda

Your passion is on the other side of your fears

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We fear the unknown. What our human experience has yet to endure, areas yet untapped, an area that we can’t control because we know nothing of what this unknown beholds. Perhaps, perhaps we are meant to relinquish our control of “life” and just go.
This goes out to those afraid to try, to those so afraid of failure that they’ve already hit failure just because they never tried. This goes to those that tried to control the future by thinking up what could happen and just get scared to start. JUST LET GO.  Scary isn’t it? Like stepping out on the water, what if you fall? Who cares! If you do, that’s ok, at least you can say you tried, and you can get back up again! I speak for myself, I have experienced all this, I have felt all this, thought all this. After months of breaking into the new me, I am finally at the point of not being afraid to fail. Our failures are part of our success and failure is what we learn from. Life should always be full of learning, we’re never to old to learn something new. So, if I fail, eh, who cares, it’s  not gonna stop me. When a baby is learning to walk, how many times do they fall before they get it right? When they do get it, do they take off running or take ONE step at a time? We adults can learn something from babies. They always get back up no matter how many times they fall- tiny in stature but full of determination and focus to eventually walk!  So, let’s conquer our fears, step on em, use them to your advantage. That’s what I’m doing, one step at a time… and it’s working!! Until next time,
-Amanda

Dream Again!

As I sit here doing some research into what will one day become a goal accomplishment, I find myself stretching that ability to dream again. Right now, this goal seems reachable BUT will require even more discipline than what I have going now. I’m still not entirely able to wrap my comprehension around one day having the ability to do what I so desire to do. I stop to think, what if, my whole life, just as God knew the plans He would have for me, that so has the enemy?  I believe it to be true. With that said; what if my whole life- obstacles and certain things happened in attempt to permanently block me from one of the things I was made to do in this life? What if?? Then I am reminded of the scripture “For I know the plans that I have for you, plans of good and not of evil, to prosper you and not to harm you” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Here’s another area that God is challenging me to dream in- my finances. God says I’m supposed to prosper in His plans. There’s a new avenue in my life that’s opened up, that I’ve honestly been afraid to take seriously. Not because I don’t care about it, but because it all boils down to the lie of  “I’m not good enough, I’m not deserving of good things”. But all I hear in my spirit is “PLANS TO PROSPER YOU, AMANDA”

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So, is it time to stretch that dreaming?  Let myself dream some more, outside of my fitness goal? To let it reach into my finances?  To take another leap of faith and use that fear as more stepping stones? Is it time to take this opportunity serious? Yes. I say yes.
They say do it afraid, but I always thought that term was stupid… until now. I now understand what it is to “do it afraid”.  It means use that fear, step on it and accomplish what you need to accomplish. Do it anyways.
So, dream again. If you’re already dreaming, dream some more. Life is what you make it, we’re the only ones limiting ourselves in this life. Know that it really isn’t too late and whatever time you feel has been lost, know that God will restore that time to you. Take risks. Be adventurous. Do what you’re passionate about and thrive. Go above and beyond. Push yourself. Dream again!
-Amanda

Step on your fears, they’re stepping stones to your dreams

Some update as to my life in the last 2 weeks:
I made a leap of faith by choosing to do a detox, which I was scared to do, but I did it anyways. I made myself accountable to a couple of people, in which I was also scared to do. I broke up with food, meaning, I literally got rid of all the fake, perservative-filled, sugar-filled foods. This was the most difficult thing I’ve done, it took me by surprise how hard it was to do. I didn’t realize how connected I was to food!  I kid you not, I cried. Yes, I cried. I was scared to do this too, so many fearful thoughts ran through my head as I put everything in a bag for charity. I did it anyways. I knew I deserved this. You know what? I don’t regret it, and I am happier and healthier today because of it. Another thing that’s happened,  I chose to dream again. Yes, dream.  Upon having a deep convo with my friend (also my health coach), I chose to dream big. Maybe the dream isn’t so huge now that I’ve accepted it, but at first, I felt like I was so underqualified and undeserving that my goal at hand seemed out of reach!  I’ve also chosen to stand strong when people I love question my actions in regard to my health journey. I always used to be the person that cared too much about others oppinions. God’s approval is all we need! This also was a difficult choice. I cannot believe the amount of things that have happened in so short of time, and how much I’ve grown. Since making my first blog, and embarking on this journey full speed, I have lost 17+ lbs total and many inches. Since doing the detox and clean eating, as well as incorporating Zumba (my fav!), that’s where most of the weight dropped, about 10lbs of it! Why? Because I chose to step on that fear and used it to get closer to my goals. Had I not stepped out, I wouldn’t be as far as I am today. You know what else? Doing what’s right for you and feeling good about yourself enables you to show love to others. In the past, I was always a funny, bubbly person- when I wanted to be, which wasn’t all the time. Because I am loving myself, I can truly be a voice to other people. I am astonished at the people that are inspired by me- ME! This girl!
So, I say today, LOVE YOURSELF. do what you love. ACCEPT yourself.  Trash all the negative thoughts in your head and replace them with God thoughts, of how wonderful you are. We cannot be the change we wish to see if we don’t first work on our inner being. Do what makes you happy, and thrive on it. Stay focused and stand your ground.  Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Refuse to make self-sabotaging moves. Step on that fear that’s holding you back, do it afraid!!  Life is what you make it, don’t let it pass you by!
-Amanda

Dear Old Self

I have since parted from your actions and immature ways, however, you seem to have left your mindset of failure and fear here with me.  I have been using it this whole time because I didn’t realize it belonged to you. So familiar this mindset was to me, I didn’t realize how debilitating it has been to my life.  Causing much unnecessary chaos, stress and doubt in life. 
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It’s time, old self, that you take your mindset back.  I want to not fear goals, I want to know that no goal or dream is too big for me.  This mindset is all you have known, and it used to be all I knew too.  This mindset has kept us linked together and it’s way past due that we sever our ties. So, take your exceptance of complacency, your file cabinet of excuses, your inconsistency, your will to control something except for yourself, and your treadmill of going and never getting. I’m done with it.  I desire to finally move forward. 
This is the year that I treat myself for who God says I am, not for who I used to be and what, you, old self deserves.  I am deserving, I am worthy of the goodness of God. I am deserving of the ability to dream, the freedom to make a goal.  You know what else, I AM CAPABLE!!!!
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Sincerely, the real me.