Growth isn’t meant to be comfortable

7th April 2014

I am a growth seeker.

I am forever seeking and open to learning, growth, new perspectives, new tools and new understanding.
I have this drive within me to continue learning. I have a strong curiosity for how the world works. I have always had this determination, curiosity and questioning. This often leads me to being outside my comfort zone, and finding gifts that I never thought possible, and making connections with people I would not have predicted. I discover parts of myself in a deeper way. 

I also value safety. Feeling safe and secure in the world. Feeling like there are things that are “known”. People I can count on. Predictability.

The tough thing is, that sometimes these to values are in conflict. Growth Vs Safety. The more you step into growth and the unknown, the more you are in that unsafe territory. The challenge is to grow in ways that you feel safe enough to step into something new. And sometimes it’s hard to tell. Sometimes you just need to take the leap. 

I also found this great quote. And my aim is to continue learning to be comfortable in the uncomfortable in order to grow and evolve in the life.


I want to get more comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable.


The weekend I did the “Tantra is Love” Relationships workshop, run by Emma Power and Sean O’Faolain. I loved the experience, and feel so open and heart felt afterwards. I connected and was seen and witnessed by a room of people that to start with were mostly strangers. I was curious about tantra, and not just about the sexuality aspects of tantra, but how it could enhance my life, my connection to myself and the way I experience energy levels in my body. 

I won’t say too much about the actual workshop- you can check it out yourself or even go to the free evening at the end of April, but what I will say is that I left feeling full of life, full of energy, gentle, open hearted, seen, loved, loving and full of trust and hope in my path. The step into the uncomfortable, into being more present in my body, through movement and breathing, was terrifying at points, but ultimately it was my choice to be there and I stayed with myself the whole time even when I wanted to take flight away from myself. 

One of the incredible things was how strong the facilitators were in giving permission to take ownership of your own boundaries, and respecting others boundaries. This made me feel safe because I knew I could listen to myself and do what was right for me without fear of judgement or that I wasn’t being gutsy enough. Being able to honour your boundaries was spoken about with respect. This safety allowed me to even more open up and feel safe to.  (This totally helped my values of growth and safety be in harmony!)

Another incredible thing about this workshop was the authenticity, genuineness and personality of the presenters, Emma and Sean, and their supporting team. I really feel like I know them as people, and this allowed for us all as a group to build a deep connection.

I feel so grateful to myself for taking a step into something that was a little uncomfortable, and I am now, in this love bubble place, reminded of the gifts and opening that can come from this courage.


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….

Finding curiosity and wonder in the ordinary


I decided to just take photos of some of the ordinary imagery that makes up my life. The simple things that give me joy, comfort and ease that I do not always notice, the things that make up so much of who I am in the world and represent the building blocks of where I launch my hopes and dreams. The view of my room, a card drawn from my favourite deck (Goddess Cards, Doreen Virtue), The sunset out of my window.We are made up of seemingly ordinary moments. The visual landscape we surround ourselves with not only reflects our internal world, but it impacts it. Not only does our external world impact us, our internal world often is shown around us, whether it be immaculately clean with beautiful surroundings, calm streams and silent trees, or mess and chaos, sounds, sirens and beeping horns.What is the seemingly ordinary that surround you in this moment? What if you were to see it through fresh eyes? Take out your camera, your smart phone or your fingers formed into a square, and inspect the everyday in your world, what does it say about where you are at right now?


Solitude is something I forget the importance of until I have little of it. I am used to spending lots of time on my own, pondering, thinking, daydreaming, planning, figuring things out. In the silent spaces my mind is busy. I have spent time in close quarters with my family these past few days, in a lovely little town in St Helens, on the East coast of Tasmania. It is a town of about 3,000 people in the low season.

Close by is the Bay of Fires a beautiful beach with picturesque white sand and clear clean sea. I came here often when I was a child, to visit my grandmother. I have snap shots memories of the beach, walking down the Main Street, the antique shops and weekend market. I see pictures in my mind of the short walk to the peer where the fisherman catch crays. The town is quiet but the RSL is very busy on the weekend. The weekly meat raffle, the pub meals, and the pokey machines, bright and flashing and enticing for the locals and tourists. My beautiful Nana passed away a few months ago, and yesterday we scattered her ashes in Beauty Bay, St Helens. I found boxes of creative bits and pieces in her cupboards at her house, and am reminded that my nana also knew the power of creativity. She would spend hours making flower ribbons and delicate decorations even years after she spent her days as a young woman as the head of the gift wrapping department in Myer department stores.

Of course I brought my pens and paints and pencils with me to Tassie. I received a new note book for Christmas to begin creating as the year transitions.

I sat on the beach today at the Bay of fires, and became present to the sounds and sights around me and sensations within me. I sat there with gratitude for the silence, allowing me to be with the sound of the ocean. Solitude is only acknowledged when there is a comparison. If there was no connection to others, then solitude may feel more like loneliness. Because there is connection and closeness, the solitude is a welcomed polarity. The balance of the two helps me to centre myself. I feel if I spent long periods with others I want time after to be still, silent and not speak or socialise. There are some people I feel I can still be in the same space with and have space. I am also wondering if the more I create space within myself the less it will matter what happens outside.

This is what I wrote while sitting on the beach.

“Let the crashing waves heal me, from the liquid insides of this human body. The smell of salt, the feel of the fine white sand. The wind and waves mixed together with the distant sounds of kids laughter. Over and over and over again the waves crash. A mix of immense power and slow gentle bubbling froth. I am challenged to the core by the sensitivity I feel, sometimes it comes out of me as a crashing wave, and I can’t contain it. It is balanced by the soothing repetition of the contrasting gentle and powerful waves, the combination of stillness and movement.”

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Today I took some time to self care and got a lovely thai massage. When I was lying there, noticing the smell of essential oils, the warmth in the room, the silence and the low light, I also notice how many thoughts were racing through my head. I was willing it to relax and be present, when the idea of resistance came to mind. In fact I was resisting my mind. Resistance has been a concept I have been both thinking about and experiencing a lot, and when I speak with others about this, I realise how common it is.

What is resistance? There are many contexts that resistance shows up. I was thinking about it in a lecture by Shaun McNiff at La Trobe a few weeks ago. Shaun McNiff has written some amazing books about arts therapy, “Trust the Process” and “Art Heals”. He is somewhat of a mentor for me in the field. It was an absolute pleasure to have the opportunity to attend his master class in Sydney, at the ANZATA Conference in October. Shaun used movement and art, and very little talking. In the lecture at La Trobe, I noticed myself sitting there, wanting to ask a question about resistance, and feeling resistance to asking the question. I stood up anyway, chose to push through the resistance, and ask my question, only for Shaun to ask me, “tell me what you know about resistance?

It threw me only for a split second, until I realised that I know a lot about resistance. I felt that his question to my question also showed me that we can ask many people about many things, forgetting that the answers are within.

So here is my experience of resistance. I know that art heals. I know that it is my medicine, that it helps me to feel calm, it gives me a space to reflect, and I know that I feel at peace when creating. It is like I drop into another world where time doesn’t exist and I could continue for hours, not in my head anymore. I am just in the present experience, feeling and sensing the materials, the sounds, and the emotions present. And yet I spend so much of my time in a perpetual to-do list. Not wanting to stop and take time to do art because there is so much to do! The beliefs come in: it is not important, I don’t have time, it is indulgent, when I should be doing things that are productive. Responding to that email, making new posts on social media, finishing that assignment, seeing that friend who I haven’t had time to see. The resistance is there, even when I know how much art heals, art helps me connect. I am much more productive when I am rested and not pressuring myself to achieve, achieve, ACHIEVE. It is similar to the value conflict of the last post- self care vs. achievement.

So here is what I wrote about after the thai massage. While I thought about this I was also noticing that the pressure of the massage in my sore muscles caused me pain. Yet I knew the pain was also providing me with a release of tension, an opening and a softening, in order to balance and heal.

“Resistance. Pushing, pulling, frozen breath, stopping when expectations say GO.
The stepping backwards when you “should” be stepping forwards.
Stuck, still, not knowing which way to go next.
Stagnant, fearful, judging.
Resistance… Not wanting to do/say/be something that you think you should do/say/be.
Resistance… A marker, a reminder, a flag that something important is happening.
Resistance is body wisdom, a felt sense.
You have a choice.
Is this really what you want (whatever you are resisting)?
Or are you just doing it because you feel like you should?
Is this (thing, action, commitment etc) is it scary?
Is it confronting? Challenging? Overwhelming?
You can choose whether to keep going with it.
Is it the right time to take on this challenge?
Or is it a big red flag?
That even if you or others expect it of you, it is NOT your truth, NOT in your best interest and NOT aligned with your values, desires, life.
So the questions I ask myself, when resistance comes up, how can I listen to it?
How can I stop, allow it to be
To either choose something different, or give it the reassurance it needs to keep stepping forward. 
I could find a more gentle way to take. 
How can I be with myself, really listen to what is right for me, and if it is right, to step into the unknown, and trust that whatever discomfort, pain or challenge, are worth it because of the magic, gifts, growth and learning that comes are unable to be replicated.”
The dictionary defines resistance as:

1. The act or an instance of resisting or the capacity to resist.
2. A force that tends to oppose or retard motion.
3. often Resistance An underground organization engaged in a struggle for national liberation in a country under military or totalitarian occupation.
4. Psychology A process in which the ego opposes the conscious recall of anxiety-producing experiences.
5. Biology a. The capacity of an organism to defend itself against a disease.
b. The capacity of an organism or a tissue to withstand the effects of a harmful environmental agent.
6. Electricity The opposition of a body or substance to current passing through it, resulting in a change of electrical energy into heat or another form of energy.

Something that stands out that Shaun McNiff spoke, is that resistance is everywhere, it is a force that makes things happen. That your resistance is where the magic is, the gold, it is the content from which art is created. Even the very act of creating a painting would not be possible without resistance. When you put the brush up to the paper or canvas, the pressure from your hand, arm, body through the brush and onto the canvas requires resistance.

Resistance is where things meet, where the edges meet. It is the separation and the connection.
Resistance is the process of moving from being separate, to being one.
The image included in this post is the painting that was created during Shaun McNiff’s lecture. The two artists: Libby Byrne (La Trobe) & Raelean Hall (MIECAT), created this together, as a response to what was happening and being spoken about during the lecture. It was an incredible example of how the arts can come into any environment and that the process both for the artists, and for the audience gave me another element of connection that is beyond words. It transformed a simple lecture to an enriching visual experience. 


So, resistance, you are welcome. I welcome you as a guide, a reminder that at each point I have a choice in how I spend my time. Just because I am resistant doesn’t mean I should shy away from a challenge, and just because I am expected to do something doesn’t mean I have to. Each and every moment of resistance is different. It is a reminder that there is a rich depth to this experience, with many layers, and all of them are valid. So listen to your resistance, and see what it has to say to you. 

Value Conflict, when two values clash

2153729When there is conflict, there is a natural response that emerges generally, and according to our patterns and habits and what we are used to, we will generally go into a flight or fight response. If you remain in your centre and remind yourself that you are okay, and you do not need to fight or run, then you can face into the conflict and still remain grounded.

Although that is not always the way things turn out. When conflict comes up, I am learning about the importance of digging a little deeper and identifying what you value. What is important to you in relation to this conflict? It can often be a conflict in your values, internally, or the values of you and another person. Once you know what the values are that are clashing, at least you can find a way to be with the discomfort of the conflict, have an understanding of it and then maybe even find some acceptance for this difference in values. For me, I realised there was a deep conflict in two very strong values.


These two values are strong in me, and like the last post about balance, there is often a fight between the two, and often achievement wins. I value achievement because this for me means contributing my gifts to the world, expressing myself in the world and following my heart, dreams and purpose. This takes hard work, and is enjoyable also.

The other value is self care. I have in the past experienced burn out, due to lack of self care, of putting other people and other things first and this has meant that I do not enjoy the things in my life that usually I love. I find myself exhausted and unmotivated for the things I value. So when I am focussed too much on achievement and not enough on self care, I am not productive and I don’t enjoy anything. I noticed yesterday, when i took the day off to walk in the sunshine and wander and make art and play guitar and take a hot bath, I felt very inspired, full of ideas and inspiration and energy to put into my work and my life and my workshops and my study.

So this was another message, a reminder that self care is not selfish, that it means I have so much energy to give and so that I can experience the world and people around me fully.

What do you do for self care?
When was the last time you took the time to fully experience those things that really care for and honour you?
What can you do this week for your own self care, to nurture your creative and inspired self?

Share your thoughts below.

Creative Endeavours

Creativity is like its own form of medicine. Art has heart. Art of the soul. Art therapy isn’t about others, it’s about self expression. It’s a gift to the world. It’s not about others but it gives so much to others. It has the power and potential to give permission to others to create and express. It can be so powerful as to help someone realize they are not alone, that others feel like them too, that they are not abnormal and crazy! Art has the ability to heal, to allow vulnerability and to release shame and judgement. Art invokes any shame and judgement that you hold onto, and brings it to the forefront to be cleared, released and healed. There is no right or wrong with art. If you fully connect with where you are at, even if it is resistance to art making, this is the doorway through the blockages. It takes courage to make art. It takes bravery and vulnerability and a willingness to face what is unconscious, what is yet to be revealed. It is unknown and can hold both excitement and fear. It is full of possibility, transformation and connection to something greater than our worrying mind. It holds the possibility for welcoming you highest potential, your highest self, and a space to listen to the wisdom that exists in this space.

So take your time, go at your own pace, be your own creative coach, your own cheer squad. Make creativity a part of your life, in your own way. And acknowledge the ways you are already creative. From writing, to cooking, to the way you dress, the way you laugh, the way you smile, the way you walk, and the way you think! Acknowledge that it takes courage to fully expressive your creative self in the world. And I wonder what you deny yourself, when you shut it down. You deserve to shine, in your own unique way, at your own pace, with whatever is present for you right now.

You are exactly where you need to be.

Creativity awakens the soul, it invites the curiosity of a child, and embraces all that is present right here right now.

Amanda Scott

A soft place to land…

“Inside yourself, is a garden. Inside yourself, is a home. Inside yourself, is a soft place to land. When we tend to this place, clean it, and make it a home, then there is unconditional comfort within. This internal place is ever present, in an ever changing outer world.” – Amanda Scott

Where is your soft place to land? Lately my world has felt like a million floating bubbles, elusive, delicate and fragile, with so many different things on the go at once. I spent the weekend studying, which I love, and yet I had neglected tending my inner comfort, my inner place to land. So this, I have listened to, I have heard. I have realized, again, that life is a tender balance. Balance is not something that you arrive at, and then stay in. Balance is a constant awareness, a constant adjusting and a constant fine tuning. With practice and tuning in with your needs, the out-of-balance cycle tends to be less extreme, and more subtle.

So I have a question for you.
Where are you now in relation to balance?
What ever comes up from this question, allow it to be here. Allow it to surface. Give it full permission. Uncomfortable feelings are flag’s, messages and hints for what may need to be attended to within yourself.

“In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It’s important to combine the two in just the right amount.”
Haruki Murakami


Morning Inspiration

Waking up watching the sunrise through the trees, reminded me of the simple things in life. It reminded me of the things I want to do that ground me and center me…. These things make space for inspiration, creativity and motivation…