Spin the Wheel

I don’t know how therapists do it. Anytime I hear someone spew their problems, I want to shake them and simultaneously point to a list of step-by-step instructions saying, “here’s exactly what you need to do.” I don’t even know if that gut reaction could be swayed with money (probably not. #sorrynotsorry). All that to…

Thief of Joy

Often times my mind will drift to things my younger self has said or done. Some memories make me giggle, reminding me that the same silly sense of humor exists, however deep inside. Other times, I cringe. Who knows why we do the things we do? Words have always come fairly easy for me. I…

Let Your Heart Be Light

During a typical year, I feel distinct seasons of inspiration, busyness, introspection, and rest before the whole cycle gears up again. This has not been a typical year. 2018 has been one long season of journey. Only now do I feel I’m squeezing my introspection of fall and rest of winter into one weekend. The…

On the Hunt for Lovely

Hi. My name is Amanda and I am Annie Downs‘ #1 fan. With every word she writes, I want to call her up and invite her to dinner because we have so much in common and I feel like we would be the best of friends. In a totally non-creepy way, of course. After finishing…

Choosing All In

I had a rare free night last Thursday that I’d planned to fill with writing. Although earlier that day, I learned that cancer took a friend of ours and I didn’t know what to say about it (if anything). So, instead of writing, I drew. I’ve been devouring podcasts and books lately – some on…

Revisiting the Butterflies

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my encounter with the yellow butterflies. I waxed poetic about metamorphosis and dreamed of the day I’d break from my cocoon and take flight. And then I met CJ. CJ Casciotta is a Nashville-based author who spoke at a creative conference I recently attended. He challenged my…

Bending Over Breaking

A thought hit me this morning, half-way joking and wishing that I was struggling with an alcohol or smoking addiction instead. I know, I know. I’ve never struggled with either vice and I’m sure those who have would give me an earful, but allow me to explain. The term “quitting cold turkey” doesn’t apply to…

A Light at the End of the Cocoon

It all started at a gift shop in the Lowcountry. A dear friend who was caring for our fur-child in my absence sent me several photos, letting me know she was doing just fine. I proudly showed off their grandcat to my parents. “What’s that?” my Dad asked pointing to my friend’s tattoo. The word…

Artist-in-Residence

I am the world’s lightest sleeper. I am also the proud fur-parent of a 12-year old cat who loves attention at 3:00am. This morning, she gifted me an additional hour of sleep before her ritual head-butting, walking over my head, and announcing her presence. Y’know, in case I somehow missed it before. I laid there…

Finding the Light

“The gift of life gives you the greatest opportunity to live and chance to rise above any situation. With hopeful attitude you can overcome any struggle.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita I recently received a Facebook message that held no context, only a link. The website belonged to a Tennessee artist whose blog featured a raw,…