QUOTE OF THE DAY – THE MOST DESTRUCTIVE OF WEAPONS (by Paulo Coelho)

The most destructive of weapons is not the spear or the siege cannon, which can wound a body and demolish a wall.

The most terrible of all weapons is the word, which can ruin a life without leaving a trace of blood, and whose wounds never heal.

Let us, then, be the masters of our tongue and not the slaves of our words.
Even if words are used against us, let us not enter a battle that cannot be won.
The moment we place ourselves on the same level as some vile adversary, we will be fighting in the dark, and the only winner will be the Lord of Darkness.

Loyalty is a pearl among grains of sand, and only those who really understand its meaning can see it.

Thus the Sower of Discord can pass the same spot a thousand times and never see the little jewel that keeps together those who need to remain united.

Loyalty can never be imposed by force, fear, insecurity or intimidation.
It is a choice that only strong spirits have the courage to make.

And because it is a choice, it will never tolerate betrayal, but will always be generous with mistakes.
And because it is a choice, it withstands time and passing conflicts.

DON’T “FALL” IN LOVE – by Mark Radcliffe

So today, here is that beautifully written article by Mr Mark Radcliffe.

Had to share this article today, as promised yesterday, and I implore you to follow his writing. He truly is a visionary of sorts when it comes to men being quite vulnerable in a sense. Oh, and did I happen to mention it appears that he is the male version of myself?

(The original article can also be read here http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/dont-fall-in-love-fly-in-love/ . Happy reading xxx.)

“As a singer/ songwriter, I spend a lot of time thinking about romance.

Hell, I spend a lot of time in romance.

And a lot of it winds up in my music—songs about falling for someone, songs about breaking up with someone, songs about wanting someone back.

Time and time again, it hovers around the experience of falling hopelessly, overwhelmingly in love with someone.

I fall in love quite a lot, actually. Often with women who aren’t even remotely available to me, where nothing will ever come from it other than the joy of knowing how wonderful it is to utterly adore someone. Sometimes I fall in love with something else entirely—a work of art, a film, a book, or another artist’s song. I fall all the time. And I can’t get enough of it.

But I don’t always stay in love.

I even fall in and out of love with music itself on a weekly basis—some days I feel it’s the most empowering thing in my life, and others I’m ready to throw down my guitar and use it for firewood.

And why is that? Is true love impossible to sustain? Is glorious, heart-bursting, head-warping love naturally ephemeral?

Perhaps. But maybe it depends on how we pursue it.

♦◊♦

It’s a curious phrase, “falling in love.” It implies a helplessness. A descension. And a bit of peril, too. Falling is usually a bad thing. But we glorify the fall in this case, that experience of becoming so dizzied by someone, by their entire essence, or their effect on us that we lose our bearings, don’t know which way is up. Maybe it’s because our lives are so rational, so predictable most of the time, that we crave a little disorientation sometimes.

And there are many different ways that sense of falling can begin. For me—and for a lot of men, I feel—what I crave is not just the desire to be hypnotized by someone. It has more to do with a desire to open up someone’s soul in a new way, change them, bring out some side of them that even they never knew existed. To see the effect of your actions on someone else’s face is nothing short of illuminating. It’s like being one of the elements in a chemical reaction. There’s something intoxicating about being that one lone element that can come along and transform her, help release something that was previously dormant.

Something infinitely more creative and powerful. Something that everyone around can see.

And when the other person has the same effect back on you? Well that’s when you’re falling fast.

And that chemical reaction, that rush of falling, it’s a drug. One which I admit I find rather addicting. In some ways I wish I could just fall in love with someone new once a week for the rest of my life. The problem is, what kind of a story can you write if you’re always starting over?

But behind it all is the desire to experience change, some sort of transformation. As Jack Nicolson’s character in As Good As it Gets says to the object of his affection, “You make me want to be a better man.” And that’s how I want to feel when I fall for someone. And not just for her, but for myself. That only my better side will exist from now on. I will stop complaining. I will be more optimistic. I will be less cynical. I will be funnier. I will follow through on my goals more. I will embrace what I have in my life, be grateful for it, maximize it. I will be a force of good. For her. For me. For the random toddler in the grocery store I smile at and make a little less afraid of the world.

But at some point, the other person can’t provide that momentum. It would be wrong for us to expect them to continually be our motivation, to keep us in some state of falling.

Because you can’t fall forever. If you try, sooner or later you’ll hit the ground. Hard.

So maybe there’s something else we should be pursuing in love.

The older I get, the more I realize we can’t expect change to come from without, from some force beyond ourselves. Well, it can at first—that’s what happens when we meet someone new, someone who captivates us so that we want to see the world through their eyes. But we can’t expect them to keep up that role forever. And we can’t resent them for failing to continually being a force of “new” in our lives. So ultimately the longer-term momentum has to come from within us. We have to do the work. When I was an English teacher, the headmaster of my school was fond of telling students who were struggling with motivation that, “You’re better off trying to act your way into feeling than feel your way into acting.” You’re more likely to generate inspiration by just starting something, rather than by waiting for inspiration to come to you. Love works the same way. Start giving yourself to someone and pretty soon you’ll be inspired by the reaction you create. It has to be conscious action. Not just something that “happens” to you and sends you tumbling.

So really, it shouldn’t be “falling” in love that we seek out. It should be “flying” in love that we try to achieve. Because it doesn’t take any effort to fall. That’s just the gravity of someone else’s beauty acting on us. And it can only last so long before the crash. And then you resent the person who couldn’t provide a perpetual falling experience. So the real goal should be to fly. To continually soar. To stay aloft, and experience the magic of “getting somewhere” together. But flying takes work. Just like relationships. You can’t just lay there. You’ve gotta keep flapping your wings or you’ll sink like a stone.

And it’s only by continually trying to spread our wings that we can reach new heights.

The trick of course is to find someone else who’s willing to flap their wings, too. Because if they just want you to give them a ride? You can only fly so far.

So on this Valentine’s day, here’s to finding the right co-pilot.

Happy flying, everyone.”

 

REACH OUT FOR HELP. YOU MIGHT BE VERY SURPRISED…

Every now and again, I fall. I fall, and I need to seek out assistance.

I am very proud, and very stubborn and don’t like to ask for help, yet I am compelled at times to reach out and ask someone to take my hand.

Whilst I am quite shy, I am not afraid of putting myself out there. Typical contradictory me. And often times, I reach out to those that whilst are mere strangers, have seemed to connect with me on some deeper level.

On Sunday morning, I woke up from my first good nights sleep in over a year.
I was groggy, and a bit down. No. Scratch that part about me being a bit down. I was beside myself. I woke up and realised that it wasn’t all just a dream. It was real. I am alone.

I sat outside with my morning coffee, hoping the caffeine would kick in and snap me into a more upbeat mood.

I began scrolling through my Facebook page, when I happened upon an article written by a guy in NYC named, Mark Radcliffe.

(The link to it is here http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/your-soulmate-isnt-who-you-think-it-is/ ,and I will also publish an additional article on my site to one he published called “Don’t fall in love”).

I couldn’t help but notice the uncanny likeness in his style of writing to mine. It actually threw me a little.

I had one of those “is this my brother from another mother?” moments.

So I wrote to him.

I often do things like this. Follow the signs from the universe (or my heart), and go with the flow of what comes naturally.

I wrote to him, commending him on his beautiful writing style. And as he seemed to have some deep insights on what life, and relationships entailed, I asked him a bunch of questions.

I am naturally inquisitive, being the typical Gemini I am, and also highly communicative. So I couldn’t help but probe him for some pearls of wisdom.

I have decided today to publish his email response to me. As I found his words moving, and full of wisdom. And I feel as though his thoughts on going through this type of situation need to be shared. I think his words will help more than just me. And after all, sharing is caring…

So, to introduce Mr Mark Radcliffe:

Mark Radcliffe is a writer & singer/ songwriter living in New York City. He has a weakness for bourbon and girls who can drive stick. You can read more of his essays here: http://www.theradcliffescrolls.tumblr.com/ and his music here: http://markradcliffe.net/

And here is his insightful advice:

“Hey Amy

Wow. What a touching and wonderful email to find in my inbox. Thanks so much for reaching out.

And ugh, my heart breaks for you hearing about your separation. That’s got to be be an absolute heartbreaker, esp after 20 years.

I just finished reading your piece and found it truly brave, powerful and affecting. You’re quite an insightful writer yourself, I must say, and, yes, you clearly do write from your heart.

And please don’t stop.

As for advice from me, funny, I think you might have said it best here: “So I must help myself. Only you can save yourself. No one else.”

Ultimately, you’ll figure out your path through this, and what might work for me or someone else here might not work for you.

But, since you asked, I’ll see what I can do. Let me get back to you w/ a longer reply later, but for now:

The good news is:

1) While it might not feel like it now, this might be the one, difficult move you truly had to make to meet your perfect someone. (Maybe this guy was your ‘soul mate’ in the Elizabeth Gilbert manner, but maybe your ‘more compatible life partner’ is still out there.) For more on that, see my song “Breaking up the band.” 😉

2) You don’t need anyone else to complete your life. You can do that for yourself. Hell, maybe you being alone for the first time in a while will be the most emancipatory thing you’ll ever experience. (I’m guessing you’ve already read Eat Pray Love, so you’ll know what I’m getting at…) 😉

3) Hate to break it to you, but I just watched one of your blog videos, and you’re fucking beautiful. Truly, you have a staggering glow (and nice arms! Yoga, I assume?) so you’re going to have no shortage of would-be suitors. Which brings me to my next point:

4) Do not, I repeat DO NOT start dating anytime soon. Because I’m guessing you’ll be asked out at least 10 times in the next month, and it’ll be tempting at some point for you to want to have some male attention sometime soon. Sure, you might have no interest in it today, but even when you do start to have interest, I’d still wait. And you also need to make sure you’re still available when the right guy comes along, and not find out that you already started dating some “not bad” kind of guy when meanwhile Mr. Amazing was just a few weeks away if you could have waited.

5) Do not feel bad that your relationship didn’t last forever (if it’s truly done, which, hey, it might not be). You made it from age 15 to 35 with one person? That alone deserves an Olympic medal. If I’d married the girl I was dating at 15, well, it would have been my guitar, since I didn’t start dating till I was in college. (I was a bit of a late bloomer…) And hell, I’ve dated over 20 guitars since then, so clearly I couldn’t make it last even with an inanimate object. 😉 I mean, we change so much and in so many ways from 15 to 18 to 23 to 27 to 35… I actually can’t believe you made it that long. So look at it as a triumph, not a failure. I’m a big believer in Newton’s 1st law of thermodynamics, otherwise known as the conservation of energy law: “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it can only change forms.” So, it might take some imagination, but try to believe nothing is being “lost” here, it’s merely changing forms and will show up in your life in a new form. It might be in a new person you meet, it might be in a new surge in your career as a writer, it might be in a pet you adopt, or a child, or hey, maybe just in your new painting hobby you’re about to pick up. Just be open to the change. As Joseph Cambell said, ““We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

Any of this help?

So, trust that soon, this will be the thing you had to go through to get to the new life you’re meant to life. But since that’s a little ways off, hey, for now, there’s Shiraz and ice cream. (Not at the same time, of course. Although, hey, maybe Ben & Jerry’s should get working on that…)

But mostly: there’s writing. Lean into it. Let that be your partner for a while.

And let’s not let this be the end of our correspondence. Deal?

– Mark”

YOU AND ME, WE USED TO BE TOGETHER…

This is a lyric from the song “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt. And of course there is always some weight in my article titles as to what the piece contains.

Today is a very personal article.

However I will be keeping it as short as I possibly can, as this is a difficult article to write. In fact, I don’t know how to write it at all, as I want to be as diplomatic and respectful as I can.

Although it may seem as though I write very personal things at times, I actually don’t.

Well, I kind of do, however I try to find the life lesson in everything and construct my articles in a manner that offers some advice.

I seldom write about the fact that I am indeed married. It’s likely only those of you who know me personally are aware of this.

In actual fact, I am writing this article today to announce that my husband and I have decided to separate.

He has moved out today.

Which is why this article is one that has required a great degree of difficulty in writing.

It has been emotional to construct. I didn’t even want to write it.

A friend asked me a question the other day in regards to what was the looming separation.

“Are you ready?”

No. I’m not. Not in any sense of the word. How could you ever possibly be ready for something of this magnitude? To part ways with the man who has been a part of my life for two decades? To the only man I’ve ever known? To the love of my life? My soulmate? To the man I married just shy of 13 years ago? Is 13 an ominous number? Maybe. Who knows.

But no. I’m not ready.

In life, I don’t know if you’re ever “ready” for anything. You just commit, and deal with the consequences.

Gwen Stefani sung the song above which was written about her 7 year relationship coming to an end. The pain in the words to that song are palpable. Mine is triple that length of time. And the pain is no less.

I have chosen to attach a snippet from our wedding day back on the 3rd of February 2001.

I wept watching that beautiful young woman walking down the aisle, never having anticipated the changes that would occur more than a decade on. I am grieving the loss of the relationship. Of the babies I was never able to have. Of the circumstances I never saw coming. Of the dreams I had for my life being shattered. My heart is broken. But it is what it is.

Relationships are private, and we all have things which we like to keep under lock and key. And for the most part, they will continue to stay this way. Out of respect, and because I am a lady.

Whilst there is no need for me to explain myself to anyone, and this is a private matter, I feel the need to write about this as briefly and as best I can, as it is a monumental, life altering situation. And one that no doubt, other people have unfortunately personally experienced. It is by far, the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

It is extremely stressful.

In fact, on the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, marital separation is ranked number 3, out of 43, of the most stressful life situations an adult can experience. Number 1 is death of a partner, and number 2 is divorce. So for any of the people out there judging me on my “depressed” state, I’m actually holding it together quite well considering. I am doing everything in my power to not fall apart. But it isn’t easy.

We are both weary and exhausted. I am painfully thin, and unhealthy. I haven’t slept properly in over a year. My husband is tired and defeated. I have fine lines on my face now. I am no longer beautiful like I once was. My husbands facial hair has turned white at the age of 37. Neither of us have been unaffected.

You can try everything to save a relationship until one day you can no longer lie to yourselves .. to look in the mirror or really look at your partner and see that the beautiful glow of pure love that used to radiate and reflect from one another has faded and doesn’t shine anymore. . … and for your sanity, health, and future, you just have to accept defeat. To stop existing from day to day and give each other a chance to love life again.

I am impossible to get close to at the moment. I am in a lot of ways like a cactus. Anyone that gets close to me is going to feel my pain. Because I am hurt, and I am not above the law of projecting. I have gone even further into that shell of mine to protect myself, isolating and abandoning myself. Shutting myself off from everyone. I am impossibly lonely as a result. I can only hope and pray that this storm will pass soon. We all cope as only we know how.

Only those that have personally experienced a marriage, or long term relationship breakdown, will be able to comprehend the devastating toll it will take on you physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

One thing I am not tolerant of during this period of upheaval is judgement. This situation does not come with a book of instructions. And it is different for everyone. It is a very painful time. Worse than I could of ever possibly imagined. The loneliness of this situation is all encompassing. Yet, I need to feel it.

Which I don’t know why I need to feel it. A friend said to me through the week that I don’t need to be in the eye of the storm to feel it. I can be sitting in a boat at a safe distance and still feel it. She told me I’m a sadomasochist. Feeling the need to feel everything. Pushing everyone away and not allowing anyone to care for me. Punishing myself by not eating properly, neglecting myself, and destroying myself over it. She told me I’ve endured the storm for long enough, and that there is no need to torment myself once I’ve decided to leave the storm. To seek protection, and not deprive myself of the safety of it being over. To just observe it, and learn the life lesson from it.

So I must help myself. Only you can save yourself. No one else.

I do not need the added stress of being held accountable for the feelings of those that may have been affected by the breakdown of our marriage. This is between myself and my husband, and we are the ones living it, not anyone else. I cannot carry the burden of anyone else’s feelings on this private matter.

There are so many different dynamics at play here, and ones that I am not willing to disclose.

I have chosen to remain respectful and dignified throughout this time, and aside from a few close friends being let into the loop, the circumstances surrounding this will remain private, and carefully guarded.

My new journey is beginning. It is not without fear and trepidation. It is not without doubt and confusion. But it is something that needs to be set in motion in order to move forward.

I have never been single. Not since I was 15 years old. And I am afraid. I have always been part of another half. Never whole within myself. In so many ways, I still am that 15 year old girl.

I wish someone could embrace me and reassure me it’s all going to be ok. It feels like the pain of this personal nightmare will never go away. But I know it will. I am much stronger and resilient than I appear. That stubborn and tenacious nature of mine will get me through it. After all, nothing lasts forever.

My life has never been a conventional one, and it’s ironic. Because as Gwen Stefani also sung, “and all I wanted was a simple kind of life”. Yet, everything really does happen for a reason.

My husband and I have only respect and love for one another. We only want happiness for each other. We will continue to support each other through this painful and difficult time.

We have been together for 20 years, and we will continue to honour this time, regardless of how this turns out for each of us as individuals.

I have said many times that nobody is playing with marked cards and we aren’t. It’s important to close certain chapters and let the winds of destiny take us on our individual life journey.

Life experiences, as well as people, help to shape us into the person we become.

Life is short, but life is long, and we should always follow our hearts in the pursuit of happiness.

So today, I leave you with a quote from one of my favourite authors Elizabeth Gilbert.

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.

A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…” – Elizabeth Gilbert

VIDEO BLOG: RESPECTING BOUNDARIES

I counted 25 times where I said “um”. I sound like a footballer being interviewed at the end of a game. Suffice to say I will never be a newsreader. Particularly with that hair. And I’m also speaking at lightning speed as if I’ve just smoked some crack. Can’t explain that one. Shyness overcomes me at times. I am not speaking as clearly and concisely as I would ordinarily. But that’s ok. It’s all about being authentic. Although I do say “fuck”, and “bitch” in this one. Which is tempered by my feminine floral dress…

 

OH, SO YOU DON’T SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE?

This video popped up on my Facebook timeline today, and I simply had to share it.

Whilst I am not vocal about the fact that I do indeed support gay marriage – I do.

I have a lot of gay friends, and I cannot comprehend how they would be denied the basic human right of marrying the person they want. It is nothing more than discrimination, and old outdated beliefs that directly correlate to the bible. Which was written by a man. Not God. Which is a whole other blog post in itself.

You fall in love with who you fall in love with. Gender should play no role when it comes to love.

Watch this brilliant pro gay marriage video below. It certainly made my day.

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WE’RE OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD

I was sitting on the beach writing this article. Well half of the article at least. Pondering all of life’s mysteries. The remainder of this article was completed at home in my garden.

Do you ever sing songs in your head? Don’t answer that. We all do.

At first, the song I was singing in my head while I was laying on the beach was a stupid one.

As I sat up, looked at my girlfriend sun-baking topless next to me, then down to myself, also topless, then out to the waves crashing over the sand before me, my mind began singing a song to the tune of one of those baseball pump up songs.

“Tits, tits, tits, tits…”

I flipped over onto my stomach, and the playlist changed.

My mind started singing the song “If I Only Had A Brain” from “The Wizard Of Oz”.

Sometimes I think I’m a twisted combination of the lion, the scarecrow and the tin-man from that movie.

The lion lacks courage. So do I. Courage to stand up and fight for myself.

The tin-man is missing a heart.

Sometimes I think I’m missing a heart. But it’s just because I put up impermeable walls to protect it from getting hurt. I have too big a heart. In fact, I think I’m all heart.

And then the scarecrow. If he only had a brain. Sometimes I question if I do have a brain at all.

Not in the literal sense. Of course I have. We all do.

However I lead with that big heart of mine. With my emotions. There is often no logic behind a lot of the things that I do. I am the epitome of someone who “follows their heart”, in addition to wearing it on my sleeve.

But if you’re “all heart”, does that mean that you are easily hurt?

I often write about your self worth, and how it shouldn’t hinge upon the opinion of anyone else. But a lot of the time, it does. We are all approval addicts in some way or another.

When someone devalues you, disrespects you, and rejects you, how do you not take it personally?

If you are like me – all heart, coupled with what may seem a lack of a brain, with a lack of courage to boot, how could it not affect you?

But, here lies the twist.

Quite often, the people that are giving you feedback, are the very people you should be ignoring.

Why?

A lot of the time, it’s not that they are missing, courage, brains, or a heart, it’s just that they haven’t earnt the right to an opinion.

Why?

It all comes down to people having never walked in your shoes. Or having never had the experience for themselves. Having a brain does not always equal intelligence. Having experience equals wisdom.

Ok, so let’s break it down.

If you were looking for – I don’t know – tips on how to lose weight. Would you seek out someone with a weight problem for advice?

No.

If you were having issues in your relationship – would you seek out advice from someone who has never even been in a relationship?

No.

If you were looking for advice on the best school to enrol your children in – would you seek out the advice of someone who doesn’t have children?

No.

If you were wanting to learn how to drive a car with a manual transmission – would you seek the advice of someone who only knows how to drive an automatic?

No.

Yet, there are lots of people, that do not have the experience under their belts, nor any helpful advice to offer, that are more than willing to dish it out.

Quite often, they like to come across as experts at these things they wouldn’t have the faintest clue about. Are they simply missing something?

So back to the lion, the scarecrow, and the tin-man, and the things they are going to the wizard for. The things we already possess within.

The lion (courage) – be courageous, yet have some humility about you. Know that courage comes from confidence. You have it in you, it just may be suppressed out of fear. Only you hold you back.

“All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.” – The Wizard of Oz

The scarecrow (a brain) – use your brain, but don’t overthink things. And know when not to speak. That is true intelligence.

“Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t you think?” – The Wizard of Oz

And the tin-man (a heart) – having a heart is a double edged sword. It will guide you in your pursuit of happiness, but it sometimes gets broken along the way. Sometimes I think it would be easier not to have one at all.

“So you want a heart? You don’t know how lucky you are not to have one. Hearts can never be made practical until they can be made unbreakable.” – The Wizard of Oz

If you were “off to see the wizard” right now, what would you ask for? I know what I’d choose every time.

“I shall take the heart. For brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.” – The Wizard of Oz

CRITICISM AND PRAISE

I often write about the fact that I am always contemplating quitting writing for good.

I get quite a bit of criticism from people I personally know, who can’t understand my creative compulsion to write.

They may not like the things I write about. They may not understand them. They may find them confronting.

I think this is the main problem. Being confronted. Nobody likes being confronted.

A lot of people like to bury their heads in the sand, and ignore the facts surrounding them. It’s easier that way.

I, on the other hand, choose to bring those facts to the surface. I attempt to open peoples eyes, minds, and hearts.

By nature I am quite shy. Absolutely not argumentative or abrasive. I am very sweet, feminine, and very sensitive. But I do have opinions, and like everyone, I have the right to share my opinion. It is never ever done in anything other than a diplomatic fashion. It is never unkind.

Like I’ve said in the past, I attempt to carefully construct my articles in a meaningful and creative way, and I personally believe, my writing turns out beautifully a lot of the time. I actually think the manner in which I convey my stories is not only unique, but also witty, brave and honest. And it requires courage.

So why do I so often consider quitting writing?

Well, no one is immune to criticism.

For me, being an over thinker, the bad stuff sticks.

Like the conversation between Julia Roberts and Richard Gere’s characters in “Pretty Woman”.

Vivian: “People put you down enough, you start to believe it.”

Edward: “I think you are a very bright, very special woman.”

Vivian: “The bad stuff is easier to believe. You ever notice that?”

It’s amazing the toll a negative comment can have.

The friends of mine who are supportive of my craft, remind me that I need to “toughen up”, to have “thicker skin”.

I wish it were that simple.

Being a little fragile, and over sensitive is what helps me to write. Without those traits, I’m not sure if I even could be able to write the way I do. I guess that’s the shitty law of polarities at play there. Not being able to have one without the other.

In fact, I had a family member say to someone just yesterday, “go easy on Amy. She’s a delicate flower that girl”. He knows me too well.

And what happens to delicate flowers? They are easily crushed.

Now I also do get a lot of positive feedback. I get emails often from readers, as well as encouragement via my site. But it’s funny how one negative comment can cancel out any of the good. And make you question yourself.

I have spoken a handful of times to a big player in the US entertainment industry about my writing. Who actually likens my style to that of Candice Bushnell (Carrie Bradshaw). Which is of course, very flattering. That was never the style that I was going with, yet I suppose somehow, there are some similarities.

He has praised me just this morning for my “honesty and candidness”. Saying that my writing style is “exciting, refreshing, surprising, and genuine”.

He then went on to say that “I always find that the most interesting writers are the ones that are the most honest. Honesty is extremely hard for a writer to achieve, to put themselves out there and be vulnerable for the world. That’s what separates the men from the boys or the women from the girls or all of the above or none of the above, you get what I mean.”

So to that person, I thank you for your encouraging words. It means the world to me.

Whilst I am never going to be free from criticism for as long as I am publishing my work for all to see, I would hope that my strong will and stubborn resolve remains in tact to not let it discourage me from following my heart, and my passion for the written word.

So today, I leave you with a quote from the inspirational philosopher Rumi, and like I always say, follow your heart.

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” – Rumi

QUOTE OF THE DAY – Paulo Coelho on Solitude

For those who are not frightened by the solitude that reveals all mysteries, everything will have a different taste.

In solitude, they will discover the love that might otherwise arrive unnoticed. In solitude, they will understand and respect the love that left them.

In solitude, they will be able to decide whether it is worth asking that lost love to come back or if they should simply let it go and set off along a new path.

In solitude, they will learn that saying ‘No’ does not always show a lack of generosity and that saying ‘Yes’ is not always a virtue.

And those who are alone at this moment, need never be frightened by the words of the devil: ‘You’re wasting your time.’
Or by the chief demon’s even more potent words: ‘No one cares about you.’

The Divine Energy is listening to us when we speak to other people, but also when we are still and silent and able to accept solitude as a blessing.

And in that moment, Its light illumines everything around us and helps us to see that we are necessary, and that our presence on Earth makes a huge difference to Its work.

SHIT HAPPENS

I went to the supermarket last night in my super cool singlet that is low cut down to my waist.

I wear a strapless bra with it, but the bra is bigger than my breasts so I have some gapeage issues with it.

As I was leaning over to pack my groceries into the bag (I’m a Jedi at the self service checkouts, for anyone that ever has the pleasure of lining up behind me), I felt a cool breeze.

I looked down to notice that my super cool singlet had shifted to the middle of my chest, exposing my bra which had slipped down, and my nipple was on display for everyone to see.

The woman next to me kept clearing her throat. My God. How embarrassing.

I swiftly covered the offending nipple up and continued to pack my groceries at high speed.

I then went into the liquor store and bought a 6 pack of corona. I needed some alcohol to inebriate me in order to recover from the utter humiliation I had just experienced.

“Damn” I said in my head as I approached the counter.

The guy who serves me at least twice a week was behind the counter.

The one who surely thinks I’m an alcoholic.

The one who was also rostered on the night before when I had gone in there and bought a bottle of wine with my girlfriend before we went to dinner. The one who my girlfriend joked with that same night saying I’m an alcoholic.

“I’m not an alcoholic” I told him as I placed the beer on the counter. “I’m a writer. It helps me write.”

“What do you write about?”

How I detest that question.

“Just life.” I responded. God I sounded stupid. Why did I have to even speak to begin with?

It’s funny sometimes how we do stupid things and then feel the need to correct ourselves.

This whole embarrassing event took me back to the other times I’ve attempted to correct the dumb things I’ve done.

Like when I fell over once at the same supermarket in the carpark.

I was walking briskly (I’m a very fast walker), and I decided to take a short cut and walk through the garden.

I don’t know what I tripped on, but I caught my foot on something and fell over in the garden.

From my fellow bystanders I heard gasps and “ooohs” and that sound where people suck the air in through their clenched teeth where they wince up their face in empathic pain.

I quickly got up, and hurried to my car. My foot was killing me, but the humility was infinitely worse. So I walked normally back to my car, holding my breath the whole way.

“Ouuuuuuuccchhhh” I said in a hushed voice as I closed the car door.

I looked down at my foot which was now pissing blood. I think my heart stopped beating for a moment as I carefully inspected to ensure I still had five toes on that foot.

Serves me right for wearing thongs everywhere (flip flops for my non-Australian readers), which my neighbour teases me calling them “Japanese safety boots”.

Or the time I was in a gay bar in West Hollywood.

I went to use the restroom, and on my way out as I was making my way back to the bar, I was suddenly on the floor surrounded by go-go dancers helping me back to my feet.

Someone had spilt a drink on the floor and I had managed to slip on it faster than I even realised what was going on.

The go-go dancers were all like “Are you ok?” concerned I had injured myself. (In fact I did injure myself. I had a bruise on my left upper thigh, arse cheek, and hip for 2 weeks afterwards. I’m sure if if was possible to break your arse, I had done it).

Which I think made it even worse.

“Yeah, yeah I’m fine!” I responded cooly, brushing off my embarrassing display of complete clumsiness, thankful that it was dark in there and nobody could see the shade of beetroot red I had turned.

I limped back to my girlfriend who was waiting for me with a cocktail in her hand.

“Here. I bought you another drink.” She told me as she handed it over.

“I think I’ve had enough to drink.” I responded.

She started laughing.

“I know! I saw you fall!”

Damn.

In life, we sometimes unfortunately have people bear witness to the embarrassing things that happen to us.

But it teaches you to hold your head high, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep on moving forward.

I guess these things tend to happen for a reason too. To remind you to retain your sense of humility, and remember that it happens to the best of us.

So the lesson in today’s article?

Wear appropriate clothing, watch where you’re going, and remember that shit happens.