Resourced vs. Overwhelmed

resourced vs overwhelmed

When was the last time you felt resourced? Peacefully energized and equipped to handle all that life has to offer, you rally to the present moment with positive enthusiasm and willingness to be of service.

When was the last time you felt overwhelmed? Quietly drained and dulled to despair, unable to deal with even one more thing, your plate holds too much and your cup runneth over, you crawl back in bed, defeated.

If you are like some of my coaching clients, the overwhelmed state is more familiar than the resourced frame of mind.

If that’s true, read on…

Identifying overwhelm

You’re up in the middle of the night because the to-do list screams at you.

When you want to help your boy with homework but the work emails snatch your attention.

Ironically, you then beat up on yourself for not getting stuff done or hanging out with your son on his day off, which only serves to overwhelm you more, it doesn’t motivate you.

What does feeling resourced mean

When you are “resourced,” you have energy to focus and finish on the task at hand, corresponding with the hat you are wearing.

Set a timer for 20 minutes and pat yourself on the back for keeping your commitment to yourself for getting it done.

Go outside and feel the power of the Rock, Sunrise, Wind, and Rain. These are all powers greater than yourself.

Enjoy the energetic exchange with the Rock and her steadfastness, with Sunrise and his new opportunity. with Wind and his desire to clear away the stuck energy, and with Rain and her nurturing presence. Whatever is going on outside, you can join forces with that energy and let it fill you up and leave your more resourced.

Rekindle your Spirit

A sobering truth told, “if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not feeling God.” Well how in the heck do you do that, “feel God?”

A humbling truth told, my dear husband said to me, not long ago, “you make things so complicated.” What else can you do?

A simple truth told, you simply long to feel good, to feel God, and to be a force for good.  How can you do that?

You can indeed feel resourced and use those resources to be a force for good

You can quit feeling overwhelmed and start feeling God by allowing yourself to simplify focus to the present moment.

Set a timer for 20 minutes and focus on the moment in front of you.

Your kid is calling for you? Well then be mom for 20 minutes.

Your planner says chapter 7 rough draft due? Write your book for 20 minutes.

Perhaps your morning routine shines when you do your yoga practice first thing before the day gets away from you? Wake up and do yoga for 20 minutes.

Breathe in the sweetness of this moment

Take a breath. Connect inward. Go outside. Overcome overwhelm with harnessing the power of your mind. Use your mind to rekindle your Soul.

Allow yourself to be fully present

When we land lovingly in the present moment, our Soul smiles. Our soul is our manifestation of Spirit that surrounds us. We naturally soften to the situation at hand. We light up with positivity. Even if what is happening around us has the potential to overwhelm us! Don’t lose connection with grace.

Grace is God

Release of the pinch of powerlessness and you can feel powerful beyond measure. Focus on what matters most.


Intentional Dialogue Builds Bridges of Connection

bridge of connection
We communicate on levels way beyond words. Eighty percent of our communication is non-verbal, including glares, pheromones, facial wrinkles of genuine smiles, touching the nose during lies, and much more. Yet words have the power to hurt or heal.

Choose your words wisely, dear reader, they matter

Intentional dialogue is just that, words chosen wisely.
It’s about showing up with your whole Self, not just physically.
It’s also creating a safe and secure container for both people to interact.
Without interrupting the sender, asking questions, finishing each other’s sentence, checking messages, or mind-reading.

Build a Culture of Appreciation

Practice Intentional Dialogue in Sharing Appreciations.
Get really familiar with the process before using it to bring up hot topics.
Take deep belly breaths before, during, and after engaging in intentional dialogue.
Use the intentional dialogue to bring up a difficult subject instead of letting it fester.
Resource yourself so you can be fully present, to fully give as the sender, and freely receive as the receiver.

Set an Appointment

It is a good idea to make an appointment for the dialogue.

Once example is your partner might be taking the trash out and it might not be the best time to launch right into a dialogue.

Try this instead, “Iʻd like to have a dialogue with you where I share some appreciations with you, is now a good time?”

If it is not a good time, make an appointment for it within 24 hours. If it isnʻt scheduled, it doesn’t always happen.

Seeing your partner as an enemy is a choice

Look for places to stretch into a new way of being:
Do you have to react with suspicion when you feel triggered or can you remain open and curious?
Are you willing to let go of the knee-jerk reaction to see your partner as an enemy whenever there is conflict?
First of all, trust this process.
The safety and containment helps to lessen reactivity and negativity.
Second, use your breath to calm down whenever you feel triggered.

Third,  engage in intentional dialogue with your partner.

Instructions for Intentional Dialogue

Choose a sender and a receiver. Sender sends short bits of information; digestible chunks of information.

For example, “As I’m sitting here I’m experiencing some neck and shoulder tension from computer work today.”

Receiver mirrors what sender sent:

Let me see if I’m getting you, what I hear you saying is …your body is talking to you after a long day at work.”

Receiver checks for accuracy:

Am I getting you?

Sender says “yes” or “You got part of what I said, what I really want you to hear is…my neck and shoulders hurt”

[We discourage the sender replying with “no, you’re not getting me” because this destroys the bridge of connection.]

Receiver asks,

Is there more?

After mirroring, over and over, move into validation:

Receiver: “You make sense to me, given what I know about you, and what makes sense is…”

Then move into empathy:

Receiver: “I imagine you might be feeling


Say these phrases with an open heart and active engagement. Put your phone away. Even having a smartphone in the room with you makes you dumber, meaning, you are less likely to be fully engaged. Make sure you are not hungry or tired.

Open  to hear that your partnerʻs experience in life may be very different from your own. Validation does NOT mean that you agree. You are simply acknowledging that the other person makes sense. We all make sense, and we all love to be validated.

  • When  triggered, simply say, “Let me see if Iʻm getting you, what I hear you saying is…”
  • The invitation is to be impeccable with your word. Don’t make assumptions.
  • Skillful communication builds bridges, eliminates walls (or perceived need for armor).
  • It honors the unique perspective of every person on the planet.
  • Invite others into your sovereign world and respectfully enter their worlds.
Build the bridge of connection now!
Please share your experience in the comments section below.
What is one dialogue you wish you could have and with whom?

Space for Grace: Enter Here Now

Space for Grace

Are you tired of being tired? I was. In order to harness the energy required to tend to my amazing life and engage lovingly and consistently with my husband, I invited space for grace to enter. From this S.P.A.C.E. of Soft, Positive, Active, Clear Energy, I entered a state of grace, of calm abiding. Here, I found I am more approachable, more supple. I softened my gaze. I hugged my beloved until I more fully relaxed, experienced comfort in my own skin, and came home to myself.

Remember daily practices

Here’s what I do: Regularly drink water and stay hydrated. Deeply breathe into my heart center. Fully exhale what is no longer needed in this moment. Willingly inhale the sweetness of this moment, right here, right now.  Then, my friend, when I do these things, I’m stepping into Command Central of my nervous system. My relationship with myself thrives, and so does my marriage.

Imago training to reclaim my lost self

During a training in Imago Relational Theory, I had the great good fortune of experiencing a jewel of British Columbia, the amazing metropolis of Vancouver. Here I continued the journey of healing my relationship with myself and learned essential practices to enhance my relational health coaching practice.

Per my mentor’s request, I entered the world of my lost self. Thinking about my childhood and what messages I got, I remembered how I was not encouraged to do sports, to be strong, to be successful. I wasn’t told not to, I just wasn’t encouraged to. So I entered the space for grace, dressed up as Serena Williams, and reclaimed my lost self of a strong athletic and driven woman who can succeed beyond measure.

This was many moons ago. Now I am paddling, running, spinning and going to Chisel class at the gym twice a week. My daily practice of yoga, meditation, and writing are more consistent than ever. I am both soft and strong. Strong back, soft front. Both structurally sound and vulnerable. Both, and.

As far as success, it waits for me across the street. I hear it, clearly, chirping in a language I understand, GO NOW.

As my dear friend Molly would say, I’m a bad-ass mama. I am reclaiming my wholeness.

Here’s a poem I wrote while in B.C., with a few modern edits. Please enjoy. Invite space for grace to enter; now.

unburden my heart

unburden my heart as i embark on adventure

prepare to discover myself anew

how do i want to sound, look, feel, interact

with all that is around me


big trees towering

fresh beauty flowering

Vancouver, glorious

the humming of commuters

entering the tunnel after a long awaited pause

a birth canal to a new self


Self, now whole

reuniting parts forgotten

reclaiming parts of my lost self

welcome home


willing to strengthen

willing to soften

move, sweat, write, pray


practicing a daily practice

i preach


i can do it

my senses alert

i see the tv across 13th street


no need to focus in there

i hear the chirp of the crosswalk saying, GO NOW

gently –in another language–

i smell the coffee in the corner shop



since the poetic thoughts while driving have evaporated

trust the process of condensation and precipitation

the cycle of water is steady











always available

infinitely accessible

readily ready

open my heartmind to it now

long time manifest


this calm abiding

a result of inviting space for grace

to enter into my heart

and work in a way

that is indeed,



therefore, no longer am i

an afterthought

to myself

i am claiming it all

having fun


hanging out




always cheering

for love

Unlearning: Our commitment begins

Tuhoy, Tame Iti

Our unlearning begins when we release the strongly held inbuilt distrust of ourselves and each other. We must unlearn to relearn. Taking full responsibility for the vision of life we want, we uplift ourselves and the world. Our commitment to the vision begins.

These sentiments speak volumes to me of the integrity and grit of The Tūhoe people of Aoetearoa (otherwise known as New Zealand). They struggle with the costs of colonisation, with the depth of brokenness, with worry and despair.

And still, meeting with them, seeing their land, standing on the edge of civilization, and sharing our breath, was one of the most uplifted experiences of my life.

Mana, the power of knowing who you are

As you can see in the photo above, I met one of the Tūhoe, Tame Iti. His passion for change, his creative spark, and his deep compassion transmitted across the internet as I watched a TED talk : Mana, the power of knowing who you are prior to our trip.

Then I met him. Unexpectedly. Wow. Mind-blowing-ly cool.

The meeting is not about the ego, the self, it is about the place. Introductions start with your mountain and the river. The felt sense of respect in every pore of my being, connected to the Tūhoe. Weʻre interconnected. Though look at us, at first glance, it is too easy to simply see the differences.

In the past, Tame Iti was known as an activist, considered a trouble-maker by some, jailed, and freed. His people, the Tūhoe, have attained sovereignty from the Crown, and are now doing the vital work of restoring peace to the people and the land.

According to one person of the Tūhoe Nation, when the people work out their relationships, the land will be restored. I get this. On a very deep level I get this. I care passionately about the land, but I am a relational health coach, my focus is on people. When we are okay, the land is okay.

Gives more than it takes

The Living Building, on the Tūhoe Nation, is a building that gives more than it takes, is indeed remarkable. As we walked through the space, we discovered much about the purpose, the vision behind it. The impetus, as I understand it, was to demonstrate what is possible.

The Living Building impressed upon me the importance of having a vision, a purpose for living. While many still live in poverty, and struggle with addictions, and unhealthy conditions, the question of the use of resources to build this feat of wonder surfaced.

And so it is with me, I demonstrate what is possible. I live as a sober woman of integrity, in a committed and happy marriage. I am well-rested, fit, awake, and fully alive. I work on my relationship vision, which grows to encompass family, both offspring and parents, landscapes and Hawaiʻi lifeways, vocations and creative pursuits. I want a lot from life, and I give a lot to it.

Yet, ironically, I no longer strive. Striving begets strife.

Part of my unlearning has been to give up striving, striving for more, for perfection, for winning. Instead, I have a relationship with enough, with good enough, with cooperation, and, ironically, all of this invites abundance. Abundance of spirit, of connection, of time, of health, and of willingness to keep on keeping on, saving the planet one relationship at a time.

Despite cataracts, clear vision

Tame Iti showed us around his art studio. Depictions of Frida Kahlo peered at me as he told me he quit banging his head against the wall with his activism. How I heard that, was that he quit fighting anyone or anything, and quit hurting himself in the process.

He sees clearly. He understands we are all the same.

He looked me in the eyes, thoughtfully. I commented on his purple eyes, he told me they were cataracts and he was due for surgery next month. And yet, his vision is clear. He knows what matters most. To tap the creative spirit within all of us to create a better world, to restore the land, to heal the minds.

Unlearning to relearn

I must unlearn the role of colonizer and the accompanying guilt, remorse and shame I feel as an relative of one who colonized. I must unlearn addiction and the subsequent numbing out to lovingly show up to the present moment. I must remember where Iʻm from and tend to the land and the space between wherever I am.

The importance of mana, knowing who we are and where we come from, is vital. When I told him I was a recovering alcoholic, he replied, but where is your Tūhoe? In other words, I am more than a recovering alcoholic, a recovering colonist (via my ancestors), and a recovering American.

I am Proud to be Tūhoe.proud to be Tūhoe

Believe in the power of love

Love: Romantic Phase

Why love matters is beyond simple description. Falling in love entices my embodied presence in incredible ways. Feeling powerful, free of pain, invincible and higher than high is an amazing life experience. Yet this experience eventually fizzles out; it’s not sustainable.

We can chase it; we can’t contain it.

Romantic love, and the stories I tell myself about it, pull me higher than I’ve ever been before and push me into deep funks.

Love is a powerful force indeed

In the early stages of our romance, we felt the chemical swirl of feel-good hormones and daring behaviors. The hot and steamy seduction connected us deeply. The pursuit of these passions dominated our days.

Then came the mental wrestling match: Is this really happening? Is this okay? Is this the right time? What about _____ (fill in the blank)?  All of this mental meandering resulted in the back and forth, together/apart dance of our relationship.

You know what I’m talking about?

Then came the subsequent surrender. I fell, in love, hard. Hooked on the drug of love. Biological imperatives called the shots; we were hooked.

From here all things are possible

And it was complicated. There was a lot going on in graduate school as these flames of passion licked our beings. Rarely is falling in love a clean situation. Other people are often involved. Difficult decisions determine the future.

During the lulls, the resultant longing and disappointment sometimes made me hurt so much I would wish I’d never even engaged. My body’s wisdom knew this man could heal me in ways I couldn’t on my own. My body’s wisdom knew we would create amazing things together.

Surrendering to the wisdom of my body, I committed to the relationship. I quit stirring the worry pot and I let the mental meanderings settle, my soul softening to the moment.

Romance reminds me of my meditation practice

In romance, I’m falling in love with my wholeness. I see my wholeness when I look in my beloved’s eyes. I think it’s outside of me. It’s not. In meditation I am searching for my wholeness. I think it’s outside of me. I realize it’s not.

In romance I feel blissed out; I can experience this in meditation also.

My mind, left unchecked, bounces back and forth between things I want more of and things I want less of. I praise people or I blame them (including myself). It is a dizzying game of push and pull. This game creates suffering.

This doesn’t get me where I want to go. I’m basically manufacturing my own misery.

Romance can do this, too, but we oftentimes stay stuck in blaming the other person.

When my mind is freed of the burden of attraction and revulsion, I’m free to settle into the moment. Fresh moment. New awareness. Joy and freedom. This is the joyful journey I’ve discovered in my primary love relationship. I’ve moved beyond push and pull, for the most part, and settled into sustainable sweet connection. We recalibrate back to this again and again. I believe in the power of love.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. Lao Tzu

Faith and Developing a Buddha Brain

buddha brain: faith

Developing a Buddha Brain one simple practice at a time. Without faith in the world and in yourself, life feels shaky and scary. Rick Hanson, PhD, neuropsychologist, tells us why faith is important.

Try a little experiment: in your mind or out loud, complete this sentence a few times: “I have faith in __________.” Then complete another sentence a few time: “I have no faith in _________.” What do faith–and no faith–feel like?

In your experience of faith, there’s probably a sense of trusting in something — which makes sense since the word comes from the Latin root, “to trust.” (“Faith” can also mean a religion, but my meaning here is more general.) Faith feels good. To have confidence is to have faith; “con+fide” means “with+faith.”

Faith comes from direct experience, reason, trusted sources, and sometimes from something that just feels deeply right and that’s all you can say about it. You could have faith in both biological evolution and heaven. Sometimes faith seems obvious, like expecting water to yield each time you prepare to dive in; other times, faith is more of a conscious choice–an act of faith–such as choosing to believe that your child will be all right as he or she leaves home for college.

What do you have faith in–out there in the world or inside yourself?

For example, I have faith in the sun coming up tomorrow, my partner while rock climbing, science or scholarship, the kindness of strangers, the deliciousness of peaches, the love of my wife, God, and the desire of most people to live in peace. And faith in my determination, coffee-making skills, and generally good intentions.

In your brain, faith (broadly defined to include assumptions and expectations) is an efficient way to conserve neural resources by not figuring out things each time from scratch. The visceral sense of conviction in faith integrates prefrontal logic, limbic emotion, and brainstem arousal.

Without faith in the world and in yourself, life feels shaky and scary.

Faith grounds you in what’s reliable and supportive; it’s the antidote to doubt and fear. It strengthens you and supports you in weathering hard times. It helps you stay on your chosen paths, with confidence they will lead to good places. Faith fuels the hope and optimism that encourage the actions that lead to the results that confirm your faith, in a lovely positive cycle. Faith lifts your eyes to the far horizons, toward what’s sacred, even Divine.

This is chapter 16, Have Faith, in Rick Hanson’s gem of a book entitled, Just One Thing, developing a buddha brain one simple practice at a time 

Visit him

Buddha's Brain book
Buddha’s Brain : Rick Hanson
Just One Thing
Just One Thing : Rick Hanson



Join us Saturday, April 3 at noon Pacific for this exploration of faith

trust + focus + repair = faith 

Amy E is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Monthly Variety Hour on What Matters Most in Relational Health

Join Zoom Meeting