a swollen tenderness of unusual proportion

This past weekend was an opportunity for me to rest deeply. Napping three days in a row, I metabolized the 2nd vaccine shot and felt a swollen tenderness in my armpit of unusual proportion. Here are some ways I used this swollen tenderness, this restful weekend, and really the last year:

Swollen Tenderness Practice

  • a mindfulness practice, noticing my yoga practice is vital to my wellbeing. It requires reaching with my arm, doing downward dog, pulling on my armpit, and so many other activities of daily living require and benefit from this stretch!
  • a reminder that I’m willing to care for others in a way my selfish (read this clear example:”I don’t need the vaccine”) part of me doesn’t. Prior to the pandemic, I opted out of many vaccines. a demonstration of how I shifted from the extremes and became more “middle way’ in my approach to communal health. (see above)
  • a curiosity as my in-laws, in their mid-70s, had little to no reaction to their 2nd shot and my friends and I did? (a reminder “we” are not me; we all respond differently to life.)
  • a reminder to tap into my tenderness over and over again: Releasing the pain of my right hip and embracing the tenderness of my lymph system doing its job. an opportunity to be grateful for what I have and what I don’t. I don’t have a list of family and friends who died in the pandemic. I have privilege. (How do I use it for good is a vital question for me)
  • an inspiration for me to share and be grateful I know myself even more after the last year of the big pause. (I hope you do, too.)

Mother’s Day 2021

On Sunday, Mother’s Day, I cherished the time with my boys. Snuggling and reviewing assertive communication skills and sharing joys of familial connection. I realized after our hour long huddle/cuddle puddle about this very topic that Everett and I actually taught a Masterclass on it years ago.

Here’s a recording of this golden nugget. The link is below and it is also embedded in one of my favorite photos of him when he won the “Compassion Award” three years ago.

This Masterclass Recording is My Mother’s Day gift to you. Please share freely with others who you feel might benefit from deeply knowing themselves and being able to assertively express that to others.  Your Relationships, Reimagined: Assertive Communication with your Child

You matter. Your relationships matter. 


Amy | Relational Health Guide
for a heart-storming phone call or an empowering communication clarity Zoom

p.s. Have a laugh with this great video about relationships upon re-entry!!! 2 min Gum commercial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7mOX7NE8ZI


How are you being these days, People?

Being the Miracle You Are

People ask for an update on how I’m doing/being during these pandemic times and I wonder how to reply. You know me, real, raw, vulnerable. Here’s what I know for certain, as I’m sitting here, I’m feeling grateful beyond measure. I acknowledge my privilege to pause and reflect, and for this, I am grateful.

The briefest answer of “how are you?” is in the form of this haiku:

life gets lifey again
waves of energy exchange
lift me high once more

The longer version of my personal update is this:


Grateful for health in 2020 & 2021 and for today’s massage and last month’s acupuncture and chiropractic work to restore me to alignment. I’ve felt a collective exhaustion and neurologic re-triggering of old trauma, mine and ours. Healing on profound levels happening little by slow. And sometimes it happens in an instant. It’s both/and.


Grateful for the ability to slow down and take a break from paddling and learning new skills as a steers-person. The intensity of this during pandemic-mask-wearing-winter with my own hormones surging has been quite intense. But the whales and dolphins lifted my spirits. I’m learning to voice what I need and want without throwing a fit, though I have erupted a few times lately. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. (yes, you, too). I detect there is some spiritual progress and definitely I’m nowhere near spiritual perfection.


Grateful for all that is and an even deeper knowing that the Creative Spirit of the Universe is everywhere; in you, in me, in my guts and in the rocks and roots around me. Inhale, Exhale, Spirit.


Grateful for the unflappable calm within me as a result of the above relational health. I’ve lost friends and feel estranged from some family, but I’m not beating up on myself for it. I’m humbled by the challenges of being human and how, no matter what we intend or do, we still end up hurting others. Today, I have greater reservoirs of compassion for self which offers skillful means with others. And, you know what? Sometimes the most skillful means I can muster is to back off, go within, take time and allow space for grace to enter my heart and mind and work in a way that is indeed miraculous.


Grateful my mothers’ pelvis is healing after she fell and broke it a few weeks ago. She lived alone in Florida during the pandemic and is an incredibly resilient and resourced woman who inspires me greatly. My husband still works his state job out of the laundry room and the boys were lucky to be in-person at Parker School. My in-laws are struggling getting older, but teach me kindness and loyalty daily. We miss hugs with others.


Right livelihood continues to elude me and we filed bankruptcy in 2019 and had some debt discharged in 2020. We still owe 100k in student loans and remain in committed action to unplug from a system of debt, overwork, “owning” land, and numbing out to the addictive currents running rampant in dominant culture. Sharing resources, valuing health, and honoring connections, we march into gladness, tenderness, wholeness and return to love, again and again.


I consciously choose mental wellness, radical self-care, continuous sobriety, and a desire to serve others. This means I’m unwilling and no longer able to play the game of the system. I don’t want to medicate in order to cope with the hustle and bustle of capitalism, toxicity of white supremacy, and chronic exhaustion so rampant in dominant culture. By medicate I mean take psychotropics or pain meds or self-medicate with booze or pot.

I’m committed to invoking wholesome states as much as possible, and learning to release judgement of other’s decisions around this. Forgiving everyone everything, including myself, I release shame, blame and criticism as coping strategies and instead invoke resilience, compassion and service.

Let us dwell here, in these realms of a tender heart.

Finally. Powerfully. Thankfully.

Thanks for asking how I am. Now I’d like to know how you are.

How you be, Dear One?

Let me know if you feel motivated to join me in my new core connections coaching program. Learn more about these powerful Realms of Resilience, Compassion & Service so that you can finally unhook from exhaustion and live an extraordinary life of gratitude and relational health with Self, Other & Spirit. click here to contact me and get on a waitlist

Holding you tenderly. You matter. Your relationships matter.

Chillax & Relax


My poetic words today, 4/20/20:

when I wait for the world to be just so

in order to take a nice deep breath

I generate my own suffering.

when I wait for my husband to do the next inspiring action

in order to take a confident step forward in my passions

I am generating my own suffering.

when I expect others to behave just so

I hold them up to such a high bar that invariably,

I generate suffering for them, as well.

when I release the stones of resentment from my heart

my presence automatically gives us all permission 

to breathe sweetly.

when I tend to the wisdom of my heart

my relationships thrive

even in the midst of pandemic & pandemonium.

when I cut myself some slack

my perfectionistic sensitivities chillax

and I no longer bristle when I hear the word, “relax”

May it be so.

my bubble includes grit and grief


Grit and Grief

The bubble I live in expands and contracts with my breath. It’s a daily spiritual practice to create space for grace to enter my bubble and work in a way that is indeed miraculous. The bubble expands into comfort and ease with a deep breath, it contracts naturally when it is time to regroup, to replenish; the exhale is a natural part of this rhythm. Ideally, I hold myself tenderly, not too tight, not too loose, and here, in this breath, I find comfort and ease.

For decades I blamed myself for not being comfortable in my own skin, for being too much for other people, and for being too sensitive for this wild world we live in.

Up until now, the bubble felt cloyingly tight, pinching, gripping. I thought I was doing my level best. Trying to figure it all out, trying to hold it all together. Here, in the bubble, the pungent stench of regret wafted past as I hustled for more, for better, for the purpose of striving to be my best. All that striving created more strife. Striving to be my best gave no space to simply be.

And so I reflect on a prayer, Be still and know that I am God, that I consume in bite-sized chunks.

Be still and know that I am.

Be still and know.

Be still.


All the while, heartaches and unseen losses piled up. Blocking the sunlight of the spirit from streaming in and inhibiting the windows from opening to allow a fresh breeze of delight to refresh me, the detritus of the past (both mine and others) piled up heavily. Burdened, I found the bubble gravely uncomfortable. Now I inhabit a far more expansive bubble, that I can decorate and fill with the energy of my choosing. Be still and know. Be still. Be.

Living close to the bone, I feel things deeply. I noticed this bubble stretched as the un-lived lives and unnamed dreams gnawed at my gut and vied for even more attention with stomachaches and headaches. Stomachaches, representing the complaints of my inner guidance system, used to haunt me regularly. Headaches, symbolizing the agony of trying to figure it all out still surface from time to time. When stomach and head hurt, I remember my body speaks my mind. When the day is full of new changes, new realities, my dreamscape harkens me with vivid echoes of the deeper voyage of my soul.

My bubble includes grit and grief. It’s purplish hue, the tinged reminder of a massive bruise. The yellow healing phase freshly tender and replaced with the calloused complaints of too much pressure, too firm a touch, too heavy a hand.

My old traumas are showing up in my dreams this week, this week of continued orders to shelter-n-place. I reflect, here, through the lens of grit and grief.

Three nights ago, this nightmare roused me from slumber. Suddenly, some guy named Stanley, bald head, massive gut, showed up and towered over my face, and pushed his crotch further into my bubble. My energetic exchange with him intense, even in my dreams, especially in my dreams.

I awaken cold and clammy, frozen and pissed. Warm fuzzies eluded me. It was hard to awaken to the seemingly innocent husband next to me with any urges of loving connection, much less thoughts of deep appreciation. These qualities of loving connection and deep appreciation are descriptive of the bubble in which I intend to reside.

May my bubble be as wide as the world and big enough to house my hurts, and allow space for the deep sorrow of trauma.

Trauma lives in my body like frozen energy. I thought I’d thawed. I’ve done so much work to get better, to heal, to integrate the lost parts of my soul. From shamans offering soul retrieval to becoming a relational health coach myself, I’ve asked for help, offered help, and embodied the notion, we are wounded in relationship and it is in relationship that we are healed.

Grit describes me, a committed, monogamous and caring women in an almost 18-year marriage. Grief swallows me with the ever-present loss of innocence, adoration, and courtship that my angry-adolescent-girl-inside never had.

Two nights ago, another nightmare. Suddenly, some shot-glass full of gin, a mini-martini, appeared in front of my gaze. I think my friend Andy put it there. Earlier in the day, in my waking hours, I told him I was sorry I didn’t go to his big 60th birthday party at Anna Ranch a couple months ago, pre-pandemic. Wished I hadn’t been so tired. That now, during these strange times of shelter-in-place, in fact today is day 33 of shelter-in-place, the invitation to a loud party of drunken enjoyment sounded good to me.

Not that I consciously wanted to get drunk, but the angry-adolescent-Amy sure the fuck did. I didn’t like gin, found it repugnant and never recalled having a martini. Surprisingly, that’s what landed in my dreams, twenty-five years after alcohol last passed my lips.

Trauma lives in my mind like dark neighborhoods of hoodlums and howling heroines. I thought I’d gentrified and remodeled the wreckage of my past. I’ve done so much work to get sober, to stay sober, to soothe my mind without the need for numbing agents. I woke from the nightmare with a start, sweating, hot, fearful. Questions peppered the map of my mind. Did I relapse? Did I drink that gin? Hellish moments of doubt finally settled as my heart resumed a steady beat, a more peaceful pulse.

Grit describes me, a sober woman of integrity of over 25 years in recovery from addictions. Grief is in the ever-present shadows of lack energy, scarcity, want, longing. Fueling Ben -n- Jerrys binges and Bacardi rum dreams. Howling for more of what it thinks it wants. Robbing my soul of the beauty of the present moment.

Last night in my dreamscape, I faced some twisted form of financial-judgement-day. In reality, it was April 15, 2020, and I didn’t file my taxes. Even though there exists an extension until July 15th due to the novel corona virus pandemic, my guilt, nonetheless, is stoked into inflammation. Via email, for virtual connections are all the rage, my accountant had a come-to-Jesus conversation with me and told me my expenses were too high. Upon hearing this, I dove deep in the (all-too-familiar) pool of self-aggression. I did something wrong, I’m so bad. Harkening on residual notions of original sin, I felt like shit. My bubble became a jail of woe is me.

Trauma lives in my soul, neighboring compassion and grace. The deeper voyage is allowing space for everything. The rising collective consciousness invokes the shadow-dancers to the stage. As I shuffle to the stage with trepidation and awe, my courage rallies me to dive deep into the unlived lives of my ancestors. I breathe deeply, in gratitude, for my grandmother, my mom’s mom, who died of cirrhosis, and for another elder who died telling me my only responsibility in life was death and taxes.

The stage of the greater collective, which now shows up on the screen of my I-Phone, often terrifies me with incredulous horror, moments of inspiration and greater awareness, and recently it delighted me with this:

Message from the Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers:

“As you move through these changing times… be easy on yourself and be easy on one another. You are at the beginning of something new. You are learning a new way of being. You will find that you are working less in the yang modes that you are used to.

You will stop working so hard at getting from point A to point B the way you have in the past, but instead, will spend more time experiencing yourself in the whole, and your place in it.

Instead of traveling to a goal out there, you will voyage deeper into yourself. Your mother’s grandmother knew how to do this. Your ancestors from long ago knew how to do this. They knew the power of the feminine principle… and because you carry their DNA in your body, this wisdom and this way of being is within you.

Call on it. Call it up. Invite your ancestors in. As the yang based habits and the decaying institutions on our planet begin to crumble, look up. A breeze is stirring. Feel the sun on your wings.”

I needed to read this.

A permission slip of sorts. A call to action that guides my soul gently and tenderly to the now. My elders are dying. My ancestors, alive and dead, and tidying up their plans. Yesterday, after three nights of major dreamscape activity, we, our family, met with a death doula to discuss concerns about the dying process for my 76-year-old in-laws.

All the while, in Florida, my 83-year-old mom has a fever and possible lung cancer and cardiology appointments. The heart aches and skips a beat. The right lung lobe wheezes for a breath. On Easter we heart-stormed the unresolved religious matters. Nothing resolved, yet finally acknowledged. Again, inviting space for grace to enter. Be still and know. Be still. Be.

One step at a time, one day at a time, we face the grief, the unresolved traumas, no longer seeking resolution perhaps, rather recognition. These concerns matter.

You matter. Your relationships matter, I whisper.

Over and over again, I whisper this, to anyone who will listen.


breathe sweetly Dear One, we don’t have a problem here

Suddenly, we’re told to rest


“Suddenly, self-care doesn’t seem like an indulgence — it’s absolutely essential.”

This is a line from a recent New York Times article espousing the benefits of sleep, hydration, stress management, etc. I say YES! to radical self-care as a daily practice toward everyday enlightenment. The world out there is in crisis, you don’t have to be. Step into command central of your nervous system to change in here to ignite out there. 

Let’s view this pandemic for what it is:

  • We are all interconnected. This is a global pandemic. Realize that just one person standing in unconditional love is 300,000 times more powerful than one contracted in fear. Be the one to choose love. 
  • We need to put the oxygen mask on first, everyday. Remember it is our responsibility to practice radical self-care in order to truly love and care for others. 
  • When we pause and limit travel perhaps the earth takes a heavy sigh of relief. Less toxic waste. Reimagine your reality: this is a positive reframe for all the canceled events. 

Watch this quick 3 min video: Radical Self-Care and the Serenity Prayer

Be loving and kind to yourself. If you’re home, please rest, recharge, and take good care. Remember: We are not alone. Social distancing can exacerbate feelings of aloneness.

Be responsible for the energy you bring into each and every situation. The world needs you as a social pioneer. Find leadership in your being-ness and be a role model for your family, your community, your world.

Let me help you tap into your true calling, your true nature, so that you can enjoy the life of your dreams and the best relationships possible. 

We’re waiting for you to join the Moonshot Magic Movement:

Moonshot is that declaration of doing something extraordinary that wouldn’t otherwise happen. Magic is the sweet surrender to support and success and the trust that your way of being matters most.

  • The problem is we contract in fear and isolate.
  • The solution is connection, accountability and inspiration.
  • The result is everyday enlightenment and success based on your own chosen standards. 

As the Buddha said, “If we are loving and kind to ourselves, we cannot harm another human being.” 

My best quality of love,

Amy Elizabeth

ps: Don’t forget to sign up for this incredible resources, accountability, and connection with the Moonshot Magic Movement! The founding member price of $33/month is available for a limited time. hit reply now and let me know you’re in. we launch on the new moon 3/24 and we can start sooner than that if you ask. I LOVE it when people ask for what they need and want. I’m here for you. Just ask.