Blog : transformation

I’m not perfect, but I am showing up.

It’s not about being perfect, it’s about showing up.

Whatever that means for you in each moment. Maybe you can’t show up for that event or that commitment right now, but can you still show up for yourself?

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Maybe you can’t show up for another right now, but can you still stay with yourself, not desert yourself when you most need it?

You don’t need to do it perfectly, you don’t need to have the right words, or the right moves or the right lines. Can you stay with yourself in the heat of it, and companion your heart through the ups and downs?

Lately I have had the privilege of continuing with my arts based research and am using the creative process to explore exploring ‘the edges’.

I am exploring the connection between safety and growth and how we can find what we need in order to feel safe enough to grow.

To explore the edges.

To push our comfort zones.

To dance at the edge.

Finding ways to transform and expand and redefine who we are, our story of who we are in the world.

To begin to break open who we thought we were and become more of who we are in the world.

I have witnessed a spoken word night tonight, Speak up with Fleassy Malay.

I have witnessed many incredible performances, with the aim just to be real, to be vulnerable, to show up. It was not about being perfect, but just being willing to be seen in that edge, that growing, that celebrating of the humanness within us. It was incredibly inspiring to witness. I walk away feeling blessed to be surrounded by people with such courage to take those steps to the edge and be willing to embrace the unknown, even when it feels terrifying.

I am exploring my edge too- I am doing Elemental Voices, a six week singing journey with Clare Sentience, a dear friend and an incredible singer and medicine woman.

The journey I have taken with expression and my voice has been a rocky one, much more preferring to write or draw or paint, this is my comfort zone. And because one of my highest values is growth and truth, I have been drawn to exploring this, two years ago with Fleassy’s Speak up Course, and then again now with Clare’s Elemental Voices course.

It is not a natural position for me to be up on stage expressing using words, or sound.

I know that being more comfortable in my own skin, in front of others, just letting myself be seen and witnessed, and HEARD is something that will only strengthen me as a person, as a facilitator and as a therapist.

I am committed to my growth, even when it is scary.


So, I would like to share with you a recording of my spoken word piece that I performed for the Speak Up Course in 2013, something that I recorded while practicing and haven’t listened to since.

I found it tonight after attending the current courses performance, and I have such compassion for that Amanda that was so terrified of being witnessed and seen, that she wrote a piece about how terrified she was to be witnessed and seen, and the GIFTS that come from taking the steps to so the things that terrify us.

It is with great courage that I include the link here to this audio recording, if you too would like to witness my expression.

Keep showing up for yourself.

In whatever way is right for YOU.

There is no one way to grow, the only task is to let go of “should” and just be okay to show all of your humanness, and in doing so, connect deeply to yourself and those lucky enough to witness you in your truth.


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Michelle on Presence

Michelle Gardiner is a creative an passionate woman who I have had the pleasure of working with for the past 2 years. It has been an honour to watch her grow and blossom in this time, and an honour to be the host of her first guest blog post. Watch this space, Michelle is only just beginning.

Michelle, tell us you inspiration for being a guest blogger for Amanda Scott Art Therapy?

I participated in Amanda’s five week creative journalling course in September 2013. At this time, my curiousity got the better of me and after many years of writing, I had stopped. I felt like I entered a sanctuary every week when I attended the course, where I could sort through some of the inner workings of my mind. I loved the patience and calmness not only of Amanda, but also the love and support of the group. This picture is one of my favourites that I made during my course. To me, it looks perfect- loving hands holding the gift of the colourful confetti, yet bringing together all the messy parts of self with it from the outside painting.

My own blog, Shy Girl Unleashed, has been an idea in my mind for twelve months. It took me breaking my arm and not being able to dance to commit to  my first post. My philosophy is about the importance of embracing who you are and becoming ok with using that to build resilience and connect with others, in whatever way you choose. My guest post for Amanda is a little gesture of gratitude for all that she has done for me over the last two years that I have known her- for her listening ears and never ending encouragement. Sitting in her studio and being able to play with paint without judgement has greatly expanded my journalling journey and I am humbled to write for her.


Michelle on presence


It’s a new year and there’s nothing like a new year to bring up a wave of emotions as I reflect on who I am and the life I lead. At this time, I find myself thinking about what matters to me, who I want to play an important role in my life and whether the things that were important last year are still relevant for me. At the beginning of 2014 I set out with a one word “theme” for the year. My word was “abundance”, and going into 2015 I have decided on the word “presence”. With my decision to focus on the word “presence” this year, a large part of my reflection has revolved around working out what that term actually means for me, and how it relates to “abundance”.  My perception of the word “abundance” is light and free to me, while the word presence feels grounding. I have wondered if one term can truly exist without the other.


In 2014 I set out to do some amazing things, and I achieved most of them. My struggle came where I over thought and became overwhelmed and anxious in anticipation of what may happen if I didn’t achieve what I wanted for myself and my life. I made simple things seem much more complicated than they needed to be. I became caught up in external comparison and judgement. While I achieved my goals, I wondered if the mental stuff that I had floating in my mind was compromising the feeling of abundance that I was searching for. In effect, what I have more recently realised is that true abundance begins internally and then portrays itself in our external world. It is the realisation and ability to sit with our internal abundance, which makes this present in our external world. I have come to realise that abundance IS presence… and the two combined are a formidable force.


Presence for me is feeling grounded and humble in my body, mind and spirit. It is feeling confident in who I am, accepting and appreciating all parts of my being without judgement. It is being focussed and trusting that my path is individual and right for me. It is appreciating what and who is in front of me, just as they are. It is being ok without being over-stimulated and “busy” in every moment. It is truly valuing my wellbeing and intuition as a key source of my strength and worthy of my commitment. It is an acknowledgement that the quiet moments are my opportunity to consolidate the growth and learning’s that occur during the busy and noisy times.


I love dancing. I love the connection of my whole being. I love the social connection and the amazing, beautiful and diverse community that I have found myself a part of through it. I love hearing the music. I love that my body is becoming stronger and more defined. I love the personal challenge and opportunity to express myself. Over recent months I have received some recurring feedback in my dancing. I have been told to “be present, enjoy the dance, let the guy lead and trust that your body knows what to do…. then you can focus on smiling and bringing your playful, light energy to the dance”. My feedback has been to be grounded in the present, to trust the process and remember my greater purpose. By trying to get each move just right, I have been suffocating my spirit and taking from both my partners and my own enjoyment. The way to bring out the best of the moment is to embrace who I am and use this strength in creating the dance.


And so I have applied this learning to my life. There are lessons in each moment and by existing anywhere other than the present, we may just miss what we are here for. Mary Anne Williamson quotes “if we miss the moment, we miss the clues. In the present when we allow ourselves to fully live there, we are restored, made wiser, made deeper and happier”. I, like many, have a tendency to want to either live in the past, the future or through other people’s expectations. I have recently found that I can remain focussed and grounded by viewing each moment as a snap shot of my personal bigger picture.

I have become clearer about my responses to some big life questions. What do I want for my life? How is this moment relevant to my life? How is what I am doing this very second contributing to who I am becoming as a person and the life I aspire to live? Am I making this moment matter? How? In asking these questions to myself I have found it easier to focus in each moment, to build greater structure and routines in my life and appreciate that each moment exists in my greater picture in some way.


I am happier in the here and now, knowing that I am improving each day and that this is enough. Because I am committed to myself expansion, I am creating abundance in my life. In grounding myself with focus and structure within that vision, and free of judgement, I can be present.


Thank you Michelle for your heart felt writing. I am eager to read more of your blog as it grows and unfolds! You can read more from Michelle here



A Story of Transformation


Written by Lynn Kontos, workshop participant, 2014


“A few years back (2011/2012) I was involved in my first vision board creation exercise. 
I recall that I enjoyed myself and it felt therapeutic at the time, but what really hit me from that whole experience I didn’t learn until approximately 2 years later. I was cleaning house and came across the goals I wrote out prior to creating my visionboard (which to this day is still up on my wall). I had actually completely forgotten the goal writing part of the visionboard creation process, despite that my board stares me in the face every day. On the verge of scrunching up that bit of clutter I glimpsed over it and noticed some things that, throughout my entire life seemed rather unattainable and realised that, wow, I had actually achieved not only a few, but most of these goals over the last 2 years. I was flabbergasted that simply writing something down could help you bring it to life.

When my dear friend invited me to experience a visionboard workshop I was nervous and excited.
I had been rather down of late. The beginning of my summer was spent shared with an admirable individual, a relationship which was prematurely cut short.
The fact it was such a short duration provided me no comfort and I was feeling excessively lost, empty and alone – despite the fact that I was on top of the world before our paths crossed.
I carried these empty feelings with me into the workshop.

Sunday 16th Feb 2014 – Visionboarding day
I am writing this almost 3 weeks post workshop, so my memory is a tad rusty. The following is just a snippet of the activities and is mostly what I took from and how I felt throughout the day.

To begin our visionboard experience we all participated in a warm up activity.
There were a bunch of random trinkets gathered on the floor in the middle of our circular group formation, the activity was to pick one that spoke to us.
I recalled the difficulty I experienced the first time I came across this activity years ago (In a vulnerability workshop) and felt the knot of anxiousness forming in belly.

I looked over the collection and knew it as soon as I saw it. I didn’t even feel a requirement to scan the rest of the items.
I reached out to a green balloon.

My reasoning; 
1. it was green. 

[Green is the color of balance and growth. To find out more, visit:]


2. It was “empty”. 

I know that sounds rather depressing, but despite its emptiness, I also chose it knowing that it is a vessel that is capable of being filled/of holding something.

After collecting it I noticed something I hadn’t expected. I became overwhelmed with emotion at this point and silent tears ran down my cheeks. Which I tried to control and hide.

The next step however was to talk about why we chose our object. I knew that I would not be able to express myself without openly crying, so I accepted this fact (which I believe I can thank in part for the vulnerability workshop I have done previously) and I spoke.

In what I look back and perceive as an inarticulate explosion of sobs and words, I revealed to the group that I had no issue with which item was for me. I picked the balloon because it was green, my favourite colour and I viewed it as an empty object that has so much more potential, except, once I picked it up, I noticed that it in fact was not empty. There was something already inside the deflated and apparent “empty” balloon.
It was precisely what I needed reminding of at that point in my life.
This was how I intended to tell my story, however, if anyone from that group ever reads this, they quite possibly gathered a different impression at the time.

Despite how much I cried I actually felt completely at ease with everyone and in myself (something I wouldn’t have felt comfortable with in the past). I was frustrated that my sobs drowned out my words when all I really wanted to do was share what I had just experienced.

We proceeded throughout the day with other activities and eventually came to our goal writing and few hours of creating our vision boards.

I found this part rather difficult, not that I was short of ideas, but it was difficult for me to express my ideas through creativity and I became quite resistive and unwelcoming of my “child-like” work of art.

Due to that feeling, I found our closing group discussion were everyone was welcomed to discuss each piece so unbelievably comforting.

The group only had beautiful, heartwarming, meaningful things to say about my artwork and it reminded me of how self-effacing I tend to be, and the kindness and love you can receive from strangers.

Thanks Amanda for a wondrous experience.”


Thank you Lynn for the courage to share this, thank you for embracing your vulnerability, allowing yourself to be seen and bringing your real and raw essence to the workshops. I feel so humbled reading your comments and am so grateful to receive this. I am so happy that you have allowed me to share this to others too, as it is a gift.
Love Amanda

Motivation – What to do when you don’t have any.

3124666What creates motivation and what diminishes it?
What do you do when you feel unmotivated?
This is an opportunity for learning.
I either constantly berate myself to get going (which usually makes me feel worse) Or see this as an opportunity to acknowledge my needs and address them, so that I can feel cared for and then the motivation will come!

Today is a really hot day. I’m feeling tired and unmotivated. I don’t want to do anything. I keep trying to do things and feel so much resistance to it. And it is kind of frustrating, like there is a child inside of me that is acting out, and an adult who is on its back to get things done. And even though I have completed quite a lot of tasks today, it just seems like not enough. Is it because there are no set goals, and the unstructured nature of this means that there is no end point?

Maybe it is because what I really need is to rest. But how much rest is enough? And will resting just fester more resistance, more resting, more lack of motivation? Where is the point where you allow what feels right vs pushing through the resistance? When is it right to push for growth rather than go easy on yourself?

I have found in the past by having a compassionate attitude towards myself allows the resistance to be there, and therefore I am not resisting the resistance… and it passes.

Compassion & Self Care
Having compassion for myself, doing loving and self caring things for myself, which means not necessarily doing “nothing” but taking actions for things that are self caring.
What do you do for self care? A good way to explore this is through the five senses.
1. Sight – What are pleasant things to look at or see? A movie? A book? Nature? Art?
2. Smell – What are you favourite scents? Perfume? Nature? Incense? Food cooking?
3. Taste – Some yummy wholesome food or treats?
4. Touch – Getting a massage? Body lotion, having a shower, a comfy couch or cushion? washing your hair?
5. Sound- your favourite music, listening to an e-book? Being out in nature?

Writing yourself a compassion letter
1. I understand that… (describing the situation you are in)
2. I know that you feel… (acknowledging the feelings you are experiencing right now and that they are valid)
3. I just want you to know that… (offering your own inner guidance and wisdom)

Acknowledging actions and values
Listing the actions you have taken recently in your life, no matter how small.
With each action you have taken, what value is this representing or showing?

For example: I took a shower and washed my hair: I value myself, i value self care, and being fresh.
I made breakfast: I value feeding and fuelling my body to give it energy to be alive.

What now?
Do you feel any different? Are you still berating yourself and saying things like “this is not important, I should be doing all these other things etc. etc.” Maybe you are… and this is worth listening to as well. Write a compassion letter to this voice. See what comes of it. Maybe that part of you might have a few things to say back also! That’s okay, have a conversation with it and be curious to see what comes out of it.

If you do feel differently, what has changed?

The great things for me about lack of motivation is that often I get other things done that I didn’t plan to because I am procrastinating a task that is daunting or scary. That’s okay, everything is okay, you don’t always need to be productive, because everything has a natural flow and if there is no rest time, there is no pleasure in production time….