My Daily Practices in a Life of Serenity


In the past, my life was riddled with active addictions, misunderstandings, and intense self-judgment. I had difficulty looking in the mirror without criticism, acknowledging what was enough, and coming to terms with the illusion of control. I turned to drinking, drugs and dudes to escape from the pain of Suffer. This only led to even greater Suffer.

Now, I enjoy the fruits of a well-examined extraordinary life of Serenity: sobriety from alcoholism, healthy assertive communication, and radical self-care. Here’s a peak at how I do it:

The three c’s create an extraordinary life of Serenity:




Connection is necessary for my top value: Serenity. Serenity is the opposite of addiction. Serenity is comfort in my skin, clarity in my mind, and calm in my heart. I make a daily practice to connect with a sense of ease. Recovery meetings, true friendships, heartfelt hugs with my beloveds. These all happen. Regularly. This is proper use of my will. Connection with truth and beauty happens with a flower outside.

Communication is essential for connection and Serenity. Even if I’m on a 10-day silent meditation retreat, my non-verbal communication reflects whether I’m calm in Serenity or caught in Suffer. The inner self-talk impacts my soul’s expression, so a look in the eyes is enough to tell you how I’m doing. The mirror meditation of each morning, rounding the corner and saying, “Hey Buddy” to myself is much easier when I do the first act of Serenity: Smile upon awakening, before feet kiss the earth.

Contemplation is the art of accurate self-examination through communicating with my higher powers. Prayer (yep, the Serenity Prayer is a daily practice), meditation (metta, maitri, lovingkindness) and writing. These all work. I get to use my will to allow space for them to happen.

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the Serenity

to Accept the things I cannot change

the Courage to change the things I can

and the Wisdom to know the difference

In conclusion, I want to offer a reminder about dialogue. One specific and powerful communicational tool called the Imago Intentional Dialogue helped. Today’s guest blog, from Shambhala Mountain Center (a favorite place of mine for meditation, now called Drala Mountain Center), highlights the power of the Imago Intentional Dialogue.

surrender to silence & stillness

Why Am I Talking?
When is the last time you let yourself surrender to silence and stillness?

It’s been a minute or so for me, so I’m listening to my na’au (my intuition) and the full-bodied yes that is taking me and my family to Thailand for a 10-day silent meditation retreat here.

Join me (in Spirit) anytime between December 29-January 10 to drop into deep contemplation. Let’s sit in silence and stillness together, even if we are miles apart, together, we shift the drift of dominant culture. Here’s some of my thoughts, influenced by my studies of and transformational interpersonal work in Hawai’i lifeways & healing White Body Supremacy and Somatic Abolitionism.

Dominant Culture has these common characteristics:

Sense of Urgency and Optics
Either/or Thinking
Power Hoarding
Intention to control & dominate nature
Linear understanding where everything is separate

Through our contemplation we can move toward greater Unity and accessing the wisdom of the tender heart, in order to better…

Trust yourself to no longer abandon yourself
Focus on your part in the nightmare
Repair your part and drop stones of resentment
Have faith and joyful commitment in constant trust of the power of prayer to ease the burden and enhance the beauty of everyday life. 
Hold Spirituality in high regard
Change occurs as part of a cycle in nature
Steward the land and live in harmony with nature
Be indigenous to your own heart. 

Thanks to Shawn Murray Brown, PhD & Kekuhi Kealiikanakaoleohaililani.

Take good care of yourselves and spread Aloha. 



Amy Elizabeth Gordon | Relationship Doula
Serving Hawai’i Island and beyond

You Reading This, Be Ready


I love this poem by William Stafford. My favorite line, “Are you waiting for time to show you some better thoughts?”

A little over a month ago I shared a vulnerable bit of my traumatic background around random acts of racial violence. I declared my Moonshot: to drop the stones of resentment and experience holistic heart health and be of maximum service to God and my fellows.

Through mindfulness of the moment, addiction recovery, breath awareness, self-compassion and a whole lot of forgiveness, I don’t carry the role of victim or perpetrator; I am free. 

Today, I grant myself space for Grace, to feel the feels, and then carry on with the work of personal transformation. I may cry about the state of affairs, and then I remember my crying isn’t gonna solve anything. I get to declare another Moonshot, another something extraordinary that wouldn’t otherwise happen…

So in doing anti-racist research and study and having the difficult conversations with our two boys about the digestible chunks of world events we digest daily, we aim to be part of solution vs. part of the problem. We read, write, meditate, heart-storm, and live, together. 

The boys are growing up Caucasian, in a dominant culture that is riddled with broken social contracts, where I imagine it is hard to be male and Caucasian, just as I imagine it is hard to be female and Black…

Just as I imagine this moment in history is hard for humanity, period. 

The invitation is to take a moment to pause.



You Reading This, Be Ready
by William Stafford

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life —

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

here I am reading it aloud


for a brief while we lived in Lake Oswego, Oregon where this amazing poet died. William Stafford was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, on January 17, 1914. He received a BA and an MA from the University of Kansas at Lawrence and, in 1954, a PhD from the University of Iowa. During the Second World War, Stafford was a conscientious objector and worked in the civilian public service camps—an experience he recorded in the prose memoir Down My Heart (1947). His presence on the planet has enhanced my life. His legacy inspires me. May it be so that my legacy matters. And may yours. You matter. Your relationships matter.