Elements of Everyday Enlightenment


Aloha Dear One, 

I’ve been metabolizing a lot of grief lately. 

Recently, a beloved colleague, friend and sister-in-sobriety died of ALS. Diagnosed in January, her body shut down rapidly as I imagine her mind sharpened and her heart widened. She gave us, our family, all of whom loved and adored her, a tremendous and bewildering gift. The gift of her confidence. Her powerful knowing that, “in the bigger picture” she was okay.

That the insight of knowing that she is enough, this world is enough, and we are all enough was a powerful reminder of how much we, collectively, struggle with scarcity mindsets. Lack energy breeds fear and keeps us isolated.

I want you to know I see your brilliant sanity. Your enough-ness. And I’m ready to circle up with you virtually. Ready to meet regularly in Zoom through the end of the year?

I know I dreamed and dared to mention  in-person retreats in Hawaii, I’m just not ready to release dates or details. I’ve had no resources (literally or energetically) to put toward it.

Thank you for your patience. Stay tuned…

For now, let’s gather in my Zoom Room on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 – 10:45 Hawaii time.

Remember, my Zoom rooms are intimate gatherings where I ask you to be fully present and engaged. I’m looking for a minimum of 5 and maximum of 14 people to show up, starting next week, to do the deeper dive into extraordinary living.

Elements of Everyday Enlightenment is the lofty name of this gathering that I humbly offer to host as your guide from the side, versus pretending to be a sage from the stage.

More details:

Elements of Everyday Enlightenment, a 12-week virtual gathering

Based on personal experience

Contributed by Amy Elizabeth Gordon, M.A., Licensed Imago Therapist & Relational Health Coach

Shatter the Illusion

There is a pervasive illusion that enlightenment happens on a mountaintop for men and women who have taken vows of epic proportion and somehow float above everyday life. Let’s try the householder’s version of enlightenment. We can  practice the principles of our own chosen standard. We can determine what enlightenment looks and feels like for us. 

Everyday enlightenment is achieved through mundane discipline to spiritual practices. These practices are through my viewpoint and completely colored by my personal experience. It may be different for you. All I ask if for your open-mindedness to consider the possibility that some of these may spark your own brilliant sanity to shine forth a wee bit brighter. To shine your own inner light on what sparks enlightenment in your life.

Intention: Deeper Dive into 12 distinctions of an extraordinary life

Moving from despair to repair requires loyalty to an extraordinary way of living that uplifts the world through radical self-enlightenment and unconditional forgiveness. My intention is to provide the map of how I got where I am today, in hopes of inspiriting others to own their sovereignty and use their power as a strong inner guidance system to cultivate an extraordinary life of everyday enlightenment. We will explore in more depth the 12 distinctions of extraordinary life; these are the ideas I’ve contemplated and taught for years.

Need support?

Is doing what you’ve been doing getting you where you want to be? If you are anything like me, you come from hard times. Me? I’ve been robbed, raped and ridiculed; abused, abandoned and assaulted; kidded, kicked and kept. By myself. And by others. And yet all my lofty efforts kept me hustling.

Quite simply, I was creating a life of strife through positive intentions. Yet the non-stop striving didn’t get me where I wanted to be. Regenerating relationships through daily spiritual maintenance is what helped in my life.

Stop striving and surrender to thriving. That’s what’s worked for me. Thriving in everyday enlightenment, tolerating discomfort, and no longer manufacturing my own misery. This is for people who are not in crisis or dangerous circumstances. Reach out for help and contact me if you don’t know where to turn.

Each week we will explore a mundane spiritual practice. We’ll do a deeper dive into how the distinction can anchor our intentions. And we will ground in an elemental feature for additional inspiration. (see more juicy details below)

Satisfaction guaranteed

Our time together gathering in my Zoom Room will be uplifting, engaging, and energizing.

Cost: opportunity to pay what you can love offering:

suggested cost is $1200

this includes 3 private calls w/ me (if you desire)

Cost Objections: You may be quite cozy in your comfort zone with daily judgements and resentments brewing. Enlightenment has a high cost. And it’s not about spiritual materialism, like buying the right yoga mat or special aromatherapy.

It’s the cost of freedom. Releasing the toxic trio of shame, blame and criticism. Of self and others. Daily.  Investing in this Gathering is up to you. A love offering makes cost objection obsolete.

Mark your calendars:

  1. September 28, 2022
  2. October 5, 2022
  3. October 12, 2022
  4. October 19, 2022
  5. October 26, 2022
  6. November 2, 2022
  7. November 9, 2022
  8. November 16, 2022
  9. November 23, 2022
  10. November 30, 2022
  11. December 7, 2022
  12. December 14, 2022

TIME OF DAY: Wednesdays at 9:30 – 10:45am Hawaii Time. 12:30pm Pacific. 3:30pm Eastern. click here for time zone converter

Time Objections: You may be busy enough already and are cautious to not take on more practices in your already busy life (which is perhaps riddled with good intentions). I’m here to nudge you. Anybody has 20 minutes to do something. That’s what it takes, in my opinion, at a minimum, to do your daily spiritual practices.  After this weekly investment of an hour in our Gathering, you will have designed your own 20-minute practice that resonates in your tender heart.


Imagine, if you will, stepping into your own sovereignty. Sovereignty in a pure sense of the word. To quit blaming, shaming and criticizing others. Watching what goes in your mouth, body, eyes, ears. Being fully responsible for how you show up to each day. Quitting waiting for time to show some better thoughts. 


Sign up by sending me an email to [email protected] with subject line: Gathering.

First 14 responses fill this group’s capacity. Feel free to invite your beloved or friend. They will need their own registration, their own computer (or Zoom square).

More juicy details

Gathering 1. Practice: Arriving Here. Distinction: trust. Element: sunrise

Gathering 2. Practice: Nurturing Sovereignty. Distinction: focus. Element: ocean

Gathering 3. Practice: Learning to Listen & Finding Forgiveness. Distinction: repair. Element: clouds

Gathering 4. Practice: Metabolizing Grief. Distinction: faith. Element: earth

Gathering 5. Practice: Eliminating Excess. Distinction: clarity. Element: air

Gathering 6. Practice: Releasing Resentments Distinction: openness. Element: fire

Gathering 7. Practice: Titrating Anxiety. Distinction: Reactivation. Element: water

Gathering 8. Practice: Pacing Oneself & Surviving Stillness. Distinction: energy. Element: moon

Gathering 9. Practice: Cultivating Serenity & Silence. Distinction: interdependence. Element: stars

Gathering 10. Practice: Embodying Enough. Distinction: Responsibility. Element: sunset

Gathering 11. Practice: Generating Gratitude. Distinction: generosity. Element: trees

Gathering 12. Practice: Celebrating Completion. Distinction: consciousness. Element: planet

These gatherings are live. Please commit to at least 10 of the 12 sessions. No recordings.

Email me with your questions, concerns or commitment.

Your matter. 

Your relationships matter. 



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.

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