Living Loved and Free
Blog by Amanda R Tardif
Are you someone, like me, that desperately, and I mean desperately, struggled with a serious self-love deficit?
If so I have great news!
There is hope and YOU, yes YOU can learn to FULLY love yourself! Because if I can then anyone can!
I love self-love quotes so I pulled out some of my faves and jotted them below. I hope they inspire and motivate you to love yourself first. Because the rest will follow.
It is not selfish to love yourself first.
Yes, there are some people that really need to learn to love other people. And then there are those that really need to learn to love ourselves. Who are you?
On a scale from 1 to 10 how much do you love color? Wanna guess how much I do? If you guessed 11 you are right! I freaking love color! I always have. So I thought it would be fun to look up the meanings behind some of my favorite colors and create a fun blog about them!
Now, this was just a fun project for me and not something that was meant to be used as a tool to educate children or re-quote as though I am an authority on color. (I kind of am though.) I just compiled some information I found interesting from books and the internet. I hope you enjoy!
(If you are interested you can click on the pictures and they take you to it's owner or the site I pulled it off from. If you want your picture taken down please let me know and I will be happy to do so.)
The name Turquoise means “Turkish Stone." It came to Europe from Turkey. This calming color is a perfect blend of blue and green.
Turquoise has a strong link to the color of the ocean. Therefore, it is typically connected to serenity, calmness and peace.
Looking at this color gives a feeling of stability and balance. This is probably due to the fact that there are equal parts of blue and green.
Turquoise is said to evoke and encourage creativity. This is probably why I favor this color and surround myself with it.
It is also associated with the following words: refreshing, feminine, sophisticated, energy, wisdom, wholeness, emotional balance, good luck, spiritual grounding, friendship, love, joy, tranquility, patience, intuition, and loyalty.
If I HAD to pick ONE color as my MOST favorite, which will never happen, I would pick turqouise.
Any guesses what my second favorite color is?
If you guessed that my second favorite color was fuchsia you are right! And would you just look at that bird!!! Wowzers! I don't think that is the real color of this bird. The photographer probably manipulated the colors a bit. But, hey, I could be wrong. Nonetheless, I love the bright fuchsia belly!
Ok so let's talk about this rich and vibrant color. Fuchsia invokes female charm and projects casual, light-heartedness.
It looks great with black especially for branding if you are trying to get attention. It also looks great with a dark or light shade of gray for a sophisticated look. Combine it with a lime green for a color explosion. And here's some hex info for all of you color experts out there:
It is time for purple. What a funny word huh? PUR-PUHL! Say that five times fast! LOL!!!
I have a funny story about the color purple. For the past three and a half years I have been living with a woman named Robin. Robin's all time favorite color is purple. And I mean favorite because not only is practically everything she owns purple, but her hair is purple too! Yep, she has been dying it purple for about twenty or so years. And get this, the house we have been living is a few streets down from the Purple People. Ever heard of them? I had not either until I moved into Robin's house but if you want to read about them click here.
So about purple.
Purple is said to have a variety of effects on the mind and body, including uplifting the spirit, calming the mind and nerves, enhancing the sacred, creating feelings of spirituality, increasing nurturing tendencies and encouraging imagination and creativity.
The color purple is also commonly associated with spirituality, the sacred, the higher self, passion, the third eye, fulfillment, and vitality.
It can help align oneself with the whole of the universe. Light purple hues represent feminine energy and all things delicate, as well as romantic and nostalgic feelings. Bright purple hues suggest riches and royalty. This is probably why Jesus is depicted in several pieces of artwork wearing a dark purple robe or sash.
Do you like or dislike the color purple?
How many shades of gray are there? 50? Nope! Gray has an infinite number of possibilities that lie in between the color black and white.
Gray is a cool, neutral, and balanced color. It is said to be an emotionless, moody color that is typically associated with being dull, dirty, and dingy. What?! I don't necessarily agree! Yes! A gray cloudy day can seem dull and dingy but I like this description of gray more. Gray is said to mean formal, conservative, and sophisticated. The color gray is a timeless and practical color. Therefore gray is a good color to wear on a job interview. Wearing gray means that you have good taste, a touch of formality, a sense of style and self-respect.
Variations of the color gray are taupe, amber, umber, zanadu, ash, cadet, slate, graphite. These variations have become wildly popular in the past ten years for homes. More and more, people are painting their living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms gray. Then they are accenting with touches of color here and there.
Next on the list...blue! Blue has always been one of my favorites. In fact, any shade of blue WAS my favorite until turquoise came along and stole my heart.
Here's some information I found on the color blue. Obviously it is the color of the sky and sea. Therefore it is often associated with depth and stability. It is said to symbolize trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Ooooooh heaven. I like that! Is heaven all blue?
Blue is considered to be beneficial to the mind and the body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Not great for losing weight huh?! Lol!
I wonder what color SPEEDS up the metabolism? Red maybe?
Here's another fact I found interesting. Blue communicates unity, stability, significance, importance, and confidence. So this is where the corporate blue power suit, the blue uniforms of police officers and firefighters came from. It is considered a highly corporate color.
So, the next time you want to hit a home run at an interview wear blue!
Sitting in between yellow-green and yellow in the color wheel, lime green is a mixture of the two hues, making it a distinctly yellow-toned green. It is one of the freshest and most vibrant shades of green. Doesn't it just makes your lips pucker?
Lime green is a color often associated with nature, confidence, and high energy and is thought to promote feelings of liveliness, freshness, and creativity. In other words, when you are feeling down or tired, take yourself to the grocery story and stand in front of some limes until you feel lively and creative again.
It is also said to be associated with the words possibility, perception and anticipation. This makes sense. I mean, who wouldn't feel excited with possibility when seeing this dynamic and cheerful color? Try walking into a room that is painted lime green and feel hopeless and sad.
Lime green is often used for "green" companies or businesses that want to convey organic, whole, pure products. It works well with both warm and cool tones, such as yellows and blues, making it a great addition to many palettes.
Coral is a reddish or pinkish shade of orange. The color is named after the sea animal. Coral resides between the colors red and orange and is comprised of two parts red and one part yellow. It is a tertiary color. Which means it is not a primary or secondary color. Tertiary colors are combinations of primary and secondary colors. There are six tertiary colors: red-orange, orange-yellow, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet and red-violet. So coral would be under the first one - the red-orange category.
Coral and coral pink are popular colors for children's play rooms and bedrooms because they give a calm feeling of coziness and peace. This is probably because coral is said to symbolize life, restore harmony and increase warmth.
Coral is also one of the Miami Dolphins' colors. Go Dolphins!
There are many names for the color coral like pink coral, queen coral, light coral, red coral and dark coral. And last but not least coral is a popular color for weddings. Some of the best color combos are coral, teal and light grey, coral and navy, coral and gold and coral and ivory for a soft delicate and feminine feel.
Are you a mustard or ketchup kind of person? I am a mustard person. Mostly because ketchup has sugar in it and I don't eat sugar. Plus I think mustard is pretty good for you.
Mustard yellow used to be one of those colors I did not like for a long time. I didn't think it was one of the most flattering colors on me. But I was wrong because I bought this mustard colored pullover and these mustard colored pants recently and whenever I wear them I get a ton of compliments. I think it's because I pair them with navy blue and mustard and navy blue look great together.
Mustard and blueberries wouldn't though!
Mustard, or a more rich shade of yellow, stands for freshness, happiness, positivity, clarity, energy, optimism, enlightenment, remembrance, intellect, honor, loyalty and joy. No wonder it is the color of the sun! And Big Bird!
So what colors look best with mustard?
Would you like some cheese with that wine? Oh yes please! Actually I presently don't drink wine. I haven't in over 11 years but that is not to say I never have or never will.
Nonetheless even though I don't drink wine I still LOVE the color and I love cheese.
Wine is a dark red color, sometimes containing a slight purplish tinge. It is a dark shade of red and a representation of the typical color of red wine. The first recorded use of wine as a color name in English was in 1705. The term "Bordeaux" is also sometimes used to describe this color.
It looks amazing on people with darker skin and darker hair but can compliment anyone. The color wine is associated with things that are robust, rich, regal, deep, warm and alive.
Many colors look great with the color wine like the color above (mustard) and the color below (emerald green).
If you are not a big fan of bright red, the color wine makes a fantastic color to decorate or wear around the holidays.
Emerald green or one of the more regal shades of green is by nature one of the most calming of all the colors on the color wheel. It encourages growth, reflection, peace and balance. It also represents healing and fertility.
For those of you that have emerald as their birthstone here's a little tid bit of information for you:
The emerald is the sacred stone of the goddess Venus. The emerald has long been the symbol of hope and is considered by many to be the stone of prophecy.
Green of course is also associated with money. Therefore, it is also traditionally associated with finances, banking, ambition, greed, jealousy and wall street. If you are looking to create a logo, brand or business you may want to consider using the color green, especially emerald green. It will give your brand a richer and more classy look. Emerald green is another popular color for weddings, especially around the holidays. In the spring people pair this color with grey and ivory. It also goes well with gold, navy blue and white.
Well, that wraps it up! Now obviously there are MANY more colors out there that I could have talked about but these are favorites and I didn't want this to be too long. I hope you enjoyed the content here and let me know what else you would like to see me blog about. Oh and drop a comment and let me know what your favorite color is and why!
Have a colorful day!
After church this Sunday, my good friend Nicole gave me some Christmas gifts.
"How fun and amazingly special," I said to her as I reached out for the beautifully wrapped red and green boxes in her hands!
I was so touched that Nicole took the time to get ME something - and not only something - but FOUR things!
I have known Nicole for a short period of time. But despite that, we have become good friends and just get each other.
Maybe it's because we are both artists? Maybe it is because we are both entrepreneurs? Or maybe it is because we both love Jesus? I don't know! All I know is we just click. (Oh and you gotta check out her work. She owns an amazing business in the East Bay of SF called Lifted Balloons. It is so, well, uplifting! Lol!)
"Do you want me to unwrap them now?" I asked her, looking at the red and green boxes in my hands.
"Heavens no. You can unwrap them later." she replied. Very curious and excited to see what they were, I proceeded to unwrap the boxes as soon as I got home.
"How in the world did you KNOW I wanted a BLACK beanie? I mean, this is crazy! I have been wanting a black beanie for MONTHS! Did I tell you I wanted one?" I said on her answering machine after I was finished unwrapping everything. I had to call her the second I was done unveiling the gifts to myself. Texting or thanking her at a later date simply would not do.
"And the bath salts and the decadent soap and the BOOK! Wow! Thank you so much Nicole. I cannot wait to read this book! It sounds SO good and SO timely for where I am at right now!" I exclaimed halfway into the LONG voice message I was leaving her.
A couple hours later she called me back.
"You are so welcome! I am so glad you liked everything! And I also wanted to let you know that the author of the book, who happens to be a good friend of mine, signed it!" Nicole said.
"Wow! Wow! Wow! I just cannot thank you enough. Justin Dillon is your friend?! Oh, I cannot wait to read it!" I replied.
Are you curious what the title of the book is? I'll tell ya! It is called A Selfish Plan to Change the World and it was written by a gentleman named Justin Dillon.
When I first saw the book's title I noticed my initial reaction. Selfish? Selfish seems so, well selfish. But I was interested and intrigued because even though the word just didn't seem to line up with where I thought God wanted me to go with my life, something in me was beginning to welcome the thought that GOD HIMSELF was asking me and leading me to embrace the word SELFISH. From page number one I was captivated.
"What an amazingly gifted writer this Justin dude is!" I thought. Sentences like, "dismantling the popular belief that money and power are the ultimate ends," and "money and power are just the means to a better end for others," stirred my heart!
YES! Justin thank you! I may not have money and power but I want to change the world -desperately!
But, like always, the excitement I feel every time I think about the BIG visions God has placed in my heart to change the world was pulverized by my reality.
"Yeah right! It won't ever happen! Who are you to make a difference? You are a nobody - a small town girl with no money and no resources! Plus you don't believe in you own self a lot of the time. So how in the world are YOU going to change the world. "
Thankfully just when my heart could not get any heavier and more discouraged about the mountains in my life, books like Justin's get placed into my hands at the most perfect time because, a few pages into his book, he says this:
"Meaning is not measured in resources, but resourcefulness."
Yes! I may not have resources. I may be poor, in pain, scared, feel totally inadequate and incapable but I AM FREAKING RESOURCEFUL and even more than that, I have God on my side!
And on page 28 he goes on to say that, "you don't need to be qualified to change the world, because you are already authorized."
Thank you Mr. Dillon! I needed to hear that! I AM authorized. Why? Because I have been chosen by God. I have so much life experience. I have heart and soul. I have grit and determination. I have risen out of the ashes despite the setbacks, the disappointments, the hardships and the pain.
And little did I know but I also needed to hear about "rock dreams" and "soul dreams."
What is a rock dream?
Justin explains that your rock dream is typically the dream you first had when you were young. Some people have rock dreams to be a professional baseball player. Other people desire to compete in the Olympics, own a thriving coffee shop, become the president of the United States or have a few children and raise a family.
Everyone's rock dream is different. For a long time mine was to become a famous singer and artist that was known all over the world. But there wasn't any real substance to this dream other than a desire to be famous. I am glad this dream of becoming famous did not come true. Why? Because I my desire for fame was for the wrong reasons. I thought being famous meant that I would finally be valuable, special and that I had finally "made it." The problem with this desire to be famous was that I was looking for happiness, identity, worth, value, joy and success outside myself.
But what I loved reading was that in pursuing and moving forward toward my rock dream I was being led me to my soul dream.
So what is a soul dream?
Your soul dream is the good you do for others. It is your purpose. It is what the world needs from you. Just like rock dreams everyone's soul dream is different. You may know yours. You may not. Wherever you are is perfect! And if you don't know what your is then Justin explains that one of the best ways to find out what your soul dream is to ask yourself the following question:
Is there something broken in the world that makes you angry, sad or cry when you see it or hear about it?
Yes there is Justin! Yes, for me, there is!
My heart aches when I hear about sex trafficking and pornography. My heart cries when I hear about girls that are suffering with eating disorders because they don't love themselves and know they are beloved. My heart gets wildly angry when I hear or witness women being mistreated, used and abused by men.
So my soul dream is to empower every single woman in the world to embrace who they are and to SEE and KNOW that they are beloved, beautiful, valuable and free. I want to eradicate the lie that woman have to prove their worth. I want to tear down the lie that woman are only valuable if they are thin. I want to banish pornography from the planet. I want to let every girl know that they are beautiful without makeup and they are loved if they are a little chubby. I want to let every woman know that they can ask for help and that it is perfectly OK to not have all the answers. I want to tell every woman that they are strong and all the answers they are looking for are inside of themselves. I want to share that no matter what has happened there is ALWAYS a way to rise above their circumstances. I want to let woman know that the one they have been looking for is looking back at them in the mirror. I want to share my story to let every woman know that they have the power within themselves to get out any cycle of poverty, addiction, fear, insecurity, lack, anxiety and depression. I want every woman to uncover, love and embrace themselves for exactly who they are and then LIVE THAT OUT with passion, joy, gratitude and PURPOSE ever day! I want everyone in the world to know that God loves them beyond anything they could ever comprehend. Because If I can be where I am today, and go through everything I have gone through, then anything is possible!
So now that I know what my soul dream is, how in the freaking world do I accomplish it?
I am not really sure but I do know that the HOW is not where I need to be placing my focus. I am learning this. I am learning to be a be-er instead of a do-er. A trust-er instead of a worry-er.
Because the HOW is in the WHO and the WHY!
If you don't know me, I tend to overthink and over-analyze. Hey, I care! I care deeply about things. But, even though I am an action taker, this also cripples me sometimes from just taking steps forward.
I guess you could say I am scared to make a mistake or be wrong. But SO WHAT if I make a mistake? I have made millions of mistakes and the great thing about my personality is I LOVE learning from my mistakes. Mistakes are wonderful. They can teach you so much and they mean you are moving forward.
Oh and I want to let you know where I stand with the MLM company I was sharing about in the last blog post. I am not going to pursue becoming a consultant with the MLM company I was looking into right now. I have too much going on. I am moving in a few weeks and oh boy have I been in a BIG spiritual growth spurt the past few months. So I need a little break from anything BIG and NEW.
I am proud of myself for waiting and pausing. I have done my homework and found, for myself, that the company is AWESOME but I realized that putting forth ALL the energy that will be required of me to really succeed in that business is not something I can or am willing to do right now. Maybe someday. Maybe next week. Maybe never.
For me, 2018 is about flow and favor. So I am going to focus on these words and let the chips fall where they may. I am just really grateful the opportunity came into my life and am not closing the door on it. But what I am even more grateful for is that my soul dream is becoming clearer every day! The path is being laid out before me. I am seeing that by being selfish, aka - doing what helps me, makes me happy and invigorates me, my soul dream is taking shape all on it's own. And just like the Munchkins say, "All I have to do is follow the Yellow Brick Road."
So what is your soul dream? What brokenness or need in the world makes your heart angry, sad or passionate? What can you do about it today?
Please share in the comments. I would LOVE to hear about your soul dream!
Wow! Wow! Wow! Where do I begin?! Do I start with the fact that I am MOVING in a few weeks and am more EXCITED than I can express?! Do I share about a really cool business opportunity that has come my way that I am looking into?! Or do I share about all the books, opportunities and people that have recently come into my life that are helping me to learn a new level of self-love and trust?!
Aaaaaah! So much good stuff. So, how about I share it ALL?!
(If you want to read wonderful information about the topic of self-love abundance then hold tight or skip to the end - especially if you are someone that struggles with self-love and co-dependency.)
Now before I get into it, I want to take the time to say welcome! Welcome to my blog. Especially if this is the first time you are ever reading anything of mine. I am glad you are here.
I have started a BLOG many different times. But I then stopped and erased everything I wrote. Actually, I have stopped and started MANY things throughout my life. I used to make You Tube videos. I used to do live videos on Facebook. I have stopped and started about ten face book groups and Instagram accounts. Why do I do this? Well, thankfully, I am learning why. It's not that I am a procrastinator or that I am lazy! It's not that I don't have something extremely valuable to share. It is because, even though I wanted NOTHING MORE THAN TO INSPIRE and HELP, there was something deep deep inside of me that was scared to inspire, excel, succeed, achieve, influence and change lives.
What was this thing that was stopping me? It was a lack of self-love!
Now I want to add that I have also started and finished a bunch of things too. Like writing and illustrating a 31 day coloring devotional and illustrating several published children's books. So, I know I have it in me to excel and love myself.
So first off why did I start this blog?
I started THIS particular blog on the 1st of January with the intention of NOT stopping - no matter what and to FEEL all the uncomfortable feelings that come alongside putting yourself out there into the world. I started it because I needed and yearned for a place to love and express myself in a whole new real, wonderful and authentic way. I started it because I wanted to take action and stop caring so much about what people thought and just BE MYSELF. But I was afraid - afraid to succeed and also to potentially offend or hurt someone's feelings.
Now would I ever intentionally try to offend, stir up stuff or hurt anyone's feelings. Heck no! I have spent 41 years hurting my own self trying to make everyone around me feel comfortable. What I mean is that I was scared to really speak my truth because I saw sometimes, the truth did offend and make people uncomfortable. I also realized that I was scared because I wanted EVERYONE to like me, which is impossible to do if your are truly going to BE YOURSELF! Because BEING YOUR TRUE SELF WILL offend people and I had not realized, like I do now, that someone else's reaction IS NOT EVER MY FREAKING PROBLEM! (Kinda sounds cold-hearted huh?!)
So with that being said and because of all the self-love that has been coming into my life, I first want to tell you about the moving situation.
Because Aaaaaah! I am so excited!
I have been praying for a place to live for so long! With each passing month I was growing more and more uncomfortable in my home and discouraged in my pursuit of finding a new place to live. I would always think, "How am I going to find a home that is safe, quiet, supportive, faith-filled and within the range that I can presently pay?" (Notice I said presently because this year is all about abundance and I expect to be able to afford more very soon.)
I could not see how things were going to work out. I wanted to be around people that were moving forward, growing exponentially and courageously pursuing their dreams. Well, let me just tell you - I got what I was hoping for!
Yep. God found me a home to live in that have ALL the things I mentioned AND, get this - I will be paying the SAME amount of rent I was paying!!! This is crazy for the very expensive San Francisco area!!!
In searching for my new home, I was asking God to please keep me in the same town I live in now. Well, I am so thrilled because not only did God provide a home down the street, my new roommate is SO encouraging, loving and supportive AND she is courageously pursuing her dreams and stepping out each day as an independent consultant with a wonderful company.
Which brings me to the "really cool business opportunity that has come my way."
Over the years, I have been approached by several people asking me if I would like to make more money, have more freedom and hear more about their unique MLM opportunity. "YUCK! NO freaking way I would think! MLM's are not for me plus they are nothing but a bunch of people getting rich at the top off of people that me that fall for this scam."
Some of the people I have encountered have been weird. Some of them however have been wonderful - especially my friends Christina Magtibay and Eva Taylor. In fact Eva Taylor and Christina Magtibay are the reasons I think my heart has opened up to MLM world. So when the woman I will be moving in with told me about her MLM company I was interested.
I think it was the way she told me about it too. It was organic. It was not pushy. In fact, the reason I called her had NOTHING to do with her MLM company. I was calling her back because she wanted to tell me that she would be happy to have me move into her home if I wanted to check it out!
"Hey I don't know if you would be interested in this but I am an independent consultant for this amazing company. You would love it and be so good at it! There is so much support and freedom and there is a meeting tonight at 7:30 pm if you would like to hear about the opportunity." She said on the phone after we had been talking about the moving situation and I shared that I was looking for work.
Feeling an initial twinge of "HELL NO" I asked her a bit more. We talked for about 15 more minutes and in that time, I never felt pressured or like she was trying to sell me something. And trust me, if I did, I would have smelled it a million miles away some of the things that have happened in the past.
So, curiously, I was curious to check out this curiously interesting company and went to the meeting at 7:30 pm. :-) It was totally not what I expected! "How curious!" I thought. In fact, it was nothing short of great! Are you curious to hear more!?
Now, I am not jumping into anything and I have not signed up yet BUT I will say that I am feeling an unexpected, oddly peaceful and excited feeling about the people and the opportunity to become an independent consultant with this MLM company. And, get this - if I do decide to jump on board into the MLM world then, by living with this woman, I would get this rare and precious opportunity to live with someone in the business who would sponsor, encourage and support me!
Wow! Only God could arrange something like that!
But the truth is, I have not signed up yet. I am going to love myself enough to give myself the space to continue to learn about it and to MOVE into my new home. So I will keep you posted.
If anything though, and even if I don't join this company, I am so grateful to have been exposed to it. Why? Because the people I have met are real! I have been so inspired by them. They truly believe in helping woman succeed and push through their own mental battles! They want to grow and see others grow! They constantly read encouraging books! They are part of a flourishing and thriving community and the focus on self-development is out of this world. And I'll be living around them. So once again, God answered my heart's desire because, being around people who are GROWING and DREAMING, is what I have been praying for FOR WAY TOO LONG!
Which is the perfect segway to share about the "books, opportunities and people that have recently come into my life that are helping me to learn a new level of self-love and trust?!"
For many years, I have recently learned in a deeper way, that I have been suffering from what Ross A. Rosenberg calls Self-Love Deficit Disorder™ or SLDD.
If you are not familiar with him, Ross Rosenberg is a psychotherapist, international speaker, author, professional trainer, and codependency, narcissism, gaslighting, and sex addiction expert. He owns a multi-location Chicago suburban counseling center and The Self-Love Recovery Institute, a personal development and professional training company.
I am so grateful I found Mr. Rosenberg's videos on his You Tube channel because his teachings have helped me understand so much about myself. Like, why, even though I have come SO FAR, do I keep finding myself in these unhealthy relationships and situations that greatly cost me my peace, sanity, health and happiness in exchange for someone else's peace, sanity, health and happiness? Why have I not achieved a higher level of success in my life? Why am I barely making it each month despite the INSANE amount of heart, soul and energy I put out into the world?
Why am I not abundantly loving myself?
Well, thankfully the information I have learned from Mr. Rosenberg's studies and teachings have taught me a lot of the reasons why this is happening.
So what is Self-Love Deficit Disorder or SLDD?
Well, basically, it is the absence of self-love which results in deeply embedded insecurities that render a person powerless to set boundaries and/or control their narcissistic loved ones. The person with Self-Love Deficit Disorder is often oblivious or in denial about their dysfunctional relationships patterns with narcissists, as to admit to it, would require them to face their core shame and pathological loneliness.
Now, I want to say that I am not a person that is in denial. I am and have been WELL AWARE of my lack of self-love. This is why I have been INSATIABLY HUNGRY for knowledge, growth and truth! This is why I have spent and still spend countless hours researching, reading, learning, talking to different people and experiencing new things. It is because I AM WELL AWARE THAT I LACK SELF-LOVE and I am determined to change that! This is why I wrote my last book - Worthy of Love. Because the power comes in facing it, walking through the process, finding out WHY I lack self-love and HOW to stop the pattern from happening!
This self-love journey is the journey I have been on for the past number of years since I got sober and stopped the horrible pattern of bulimia. I healed a lot in a 12 step program. But that could only take me so far. I healed through books and sermons and new experiences but it has REALLY COME TO A HEAD RECENTLY.
Thus the recent significant changes in my life, like going from Mandy to Amanda, taking the steps to move out of an unhealthy environment into a new healthier one, letting go of trying so hard to make my art support me for a living, getting a better paying job to help me build what I REALLY WANT TO DO, getting therapy, working out with a trainer, breaking off relationships with people that are toxic for me and taking the initiative to treat myself well.
Through all of it, I am realizing that it is not only OK but it is imperative that I TAKE CARE OF MYSELF FIRST! Oh this is so HARD FOR ME. But things are rapidly changing! Oh boy are they changing and I welcome it with OPEN ARMS!
WHY have I struggled so much with self-love? Well, this is a blog topic all it's own and one I may expand upon in the future but to keep this blog relatively short, let's just say it is because of A LOT of things. And all these things do not have to take me down anymore because SLDD can be treated and people can change!
How do people change and grow away from codependency and lack of self-love? Well, it is not overnight! It takes TIME and everyone has a different path and timeline but basically the goal of SLDD recovery, or “The Codependency Cure”™ is the healing the trauma responsible for one's self-love deficit (SLDD) and the acquisition of self-love or “Self-Love Abundance” or SLA.
AAAAAaaaaaaaah Self-Love Abundance!!!! Don't you just love that word? I do and I imagine people will interpret this word in many different ways for themselves.
Some may say self-love abundance goes against the gospel of Christ. Some may say self-love abundance is selfish and full of self and ego. Which would make sense because self is in the word self-love abundant but for the one that has literally suffered from a lack of self-love to the degree I have will embrace this word with their whole heart shouting, "Please help me and teach me to love myself abundantly!"
So to sum it up, the antidote to codependency and self-love deficit disorder is self-love abundance. And since the human spirit is capable of astounding feats, then the all the pain and suffering that it takes to achieve self-love is well worth the effort. This is why I am willing to make so many HUGE changes in my life! I am determined to love myself. I am determined to be myself and gosh darn it I am going to start loving myself so abundantly that it will change the world!
Because the world will change when they know God loves them and in turn, they love themselves abundantly and radically!
In my last blog I ended it like this; "God, what is going on? Where do I belong? I don't feel like I fit in anywhere anymore! Please show me what I was created for. Cuz I feel completely and utterly lost."
Now, this is pretty interesting because normally I would not be comfortable ending a blog like this. Why? Because, I like to finish things on a very uplifting and positive note. It's the way I am wired.
Ever since I was a little girl I have felt like it was my responsibility to make everything better - basically I felt like it was my responsibility to fix the world's problems, my Mom's troubles and heartaches, my parents fighting, my shortcomings etc... I think this is because I am very sensitive and empathetic and value harmony, peace and order. But I think it also has to do with pride and perfectionism. I don't like feeling inadequate, afraid, frustrated, angry, out of control or baffled. But most of all I don't like feeling less than perfect.
So, for me to consciously end a blog on such a - not so positive and not so perfect note - means that something is changing on the inside.
So what is changing?
Over the past few months I have been no short of freaking uncomfortable and frankly, I have been feeling utterly lost. For the past seven years I have been diligently trying to be a self-sufficient and profitable business owner as a freelance face and body artist. Given my circumstances I have done well. But I am working like a dog and utterly exhausted. And even though this is pretty harsh to say about myself, I kind of suck at marketing. No actually I really suck. I cannot seem to figure out what I am doing wrong and why I just can't seem to get ahead. So because I assumed the problem was me, I hired a lady to help me with my business and branding. This was a HUGE LEAP of faith considering her services were EXPENSIVE for me but I thought a new fresh look would change things. So I hired her to create a whole new website and logo.
I am glad I hired her. She is amazing. But it's funny! Sometimes things just don't turn out the way you thought they were going to because after walking through the whole process with her and spending all the money I had made this summer, I realized a few things...
1. I don't want to focus on trying to make body art my main profession anymore.
2. I want to focus on writing books, teaching about God's love and Son and start my own ministry.
3. I am my biggest obstacle.
Now, I wish I could tell you that, based on these realizations, I now know exactly where to go from here because I don't.
For a while now, I have been diligently reading the Bible everyday, spending time with God and beginning to really hear HIM for myself. I started to do this because I realized, in order to live a victorious life of true freedom - the life I saw in a lot of people around me - I was going to have to RENEW my freaking mind.
So, as I began to read the word and study it for myself each morning, I saw that I was changing on the inside in a BIG WAY! I was realizing that I have freedom and power in Jesus name. I was realizing that, in the end, it was up to me, to believe what the word says and live by it. I was falling more in love with Jesus but when I looked around I was torn up on the inside because I was not living all this victory and freedom out all the time. I still felt so incapable and limited.
I had a sense that it would be helpful for me to start teaching the word. Why? Because I knew I NEEDED to be immersed in it EVERYDAY in order to live victoriously. I NEEDED TO BE SPEAKING IT, SHARING IT, FOCUSING ON IT - basically steeped IN IT ALL DAY. And what better way to have all this than to live your whole day and your whole life in ministry?!!
But this is where the confusion has been paralyzing me from moving in any direction. Who am I to teach the Word? Nobody will listen to me! Do I even know what I am talking about? How can I trust myself? And, first and foremost, how will I make any money and support myself?
But I keep feeling a tug. So many people have told me that I have a gift for teaching! So do I move? Do I step out of the boat?
Oh Lord God help me! I am afraid of moving forward because I won't be perfect.
So what is perfect anyway?
Perfect is: a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.
Perfect also means absolute and complete. Well, who is absolute and complete? Me? No! Only God!
Wow! I think that is it! I am afraid I won't do it right. I am afraid I will fail. I am afraid nobody will listen to me and because of this I am afraid that I will not be admired, respected or liked.
Well would you look at that! How many I's and me's are in the above sentences? A LOT and I think this is where the problem lies. I am focusing way too much on myself! I am focusing too much on the obstacles, the mountains, the challenges in front of me.
What will people think? How will I do? Will people follow me? Will they respect me and listen to me?
Ugh. Oh dear Lord help me. I am focusing on these things so much that I am paralyzed in fear and not taking action. Sure I am taking action. I am making my bed. I am doing my laundry. I am doing things I feel I have control of. But I am not stepping out of the boat to do the things I am NOT SURE OF AND HAVE NO CONTROL OF!
Thankfully there are people in the world that have either been through similar situations or are going through them right now because just when I needed it I listened to a video Jordan Lee Dooley of Soul Scripts put out.
This is what she said: "Focus on your mountains and you will stumble, focus on God and your mountains will crumble."
Thank you Jesus!
When I am focusing on GOD and what He can do, how big He is, what He has done already and what He says in His word, I am NOT THINKING ABOUT MYSELF or about what people will think of me. I am just focusing on God and who He is.
Oh Lord I pray to renew my mind in this way. I pray to laugh at my mistakes and failures. I pray to be very comfortable being less than perfect. To celebrate and boast in my weaknesses. To focus on God as the only absolute and perfect one. And to step out of the freaking boat!
And you know what? I just realized that I just stepped out of the boat by writing this blog and.....
it is NOT PERFECT!
In my last blog I was talking about the fact that I am in the middle of a big transformation process right now. It started a few months ago when I decided to hire someone to help me elevate the look of my face and body painting business and branding. Why? Because I was tired of working so hard yet not getting paid enough to make a living. I thought a more sophisticated and modern web site and logo would attract a higher paying clientele so I could have the things I so desperately wanted like my own studio to live in, enough money to pay the bills each month AND some left over to save and invest.
So I hired the highly recommended Kim over at Passion Project HQ.
From the first phone call I could see why so many people love Kim. She was everything I was told she would be - professional, insightful, talented and sweet. She told me about her services and how she could help me. She then came up with a one-of-a-kind package tailored just for my specific needs and sent all the information over via email. After looking it over, I signed up and we got started.
Over the next few weeks she walked me through her business branding process. First I followed the steps to create my business plan. I hated this part. It made me anxious and nervous. Then we went over branding. I liked this part more than the marketing plan. I picked out my brand colors (dark teal, deep navy blue, rich fuschia and dark plum) and then we got into the design elements like the logo and the web site.
When I first contacted Kim, I was thinking that I wanted to focus solely on body art. For the past seven years this is what I had been doing. The only problem was that 95% of the body art I did was on children's faces. Now don't get me wrong, I think kids are great, but I wanted to paint beautiful, elaborate and sophisticated things on adults and I was hoping a new look to my branding and business would attract higher paying gigs like painting on models for covers of magazines.
Kim was not the first coach I had worked with. I had worked with four others prior to her! But yet, no matter what I did, I could not seem to make a living doing body art. I thought things would be different with Kim - especially because I was getting clear on the fact that I wanted to take my body art in a different direction.
I did not want to nor have I ever wanted to paint on people just because it was fun for me or self-gratifying. From the start, I had always enjoyed this art form because I loved the fact that I could connect with the person in front of me. Body art was a way for me to love people. To serve people. To listen to their hearts and possibly bring heaven here on earth.
So after we went through the first phase and I explained to Kim that I wanted to package my body art in some way that would do MORE than just show some pretty artwork on someone's skin. I wanted it to heal people from the inside out. I wanted it to make woman feel accepted, known, understood, loved and beautiful. I wanted it to be something that would draw them to a personal relationship with God.
The problem was I had zero clue on how to do something like this and was in angst on how to make it happen. This was when I came up with the term "soul expression sessions." Because the only reason to paint someone that would make me feel satisfied and happy would be if I was tapping into my soul to bring a woman's soul and unique beauty to life on their skin so they could have a healing and transforming experience that would change them. Hmmmm. Would this even work? Would people even want something like this? How in the world would I market this? I suck at marketing and HATE SELLING things to people!
I wanted to share my story on my website too. My story about how God pulled me from the pit of despair and helped me stop drinking, using drugs, hurting myself and bulimia. Throughout the process, Kim kept suggesting that I open myself up to NOT making my website look like someone that loved Jesus so much. Or at least not put so much emphasis on my faith. She said having a lot of information about Jesus could potentially turn away certain cleints - especially potentially HIGH paying clients. Isn't this what I want? Money? Enough money to support myself? I listened and tried to be open to what she was saying but I kept struggling with this concept.
In the end I decided to listen to Kim. So she then went to work on my new "high end" web site.
Well, after a few weeks and the holidays settled down, the big reveal day came! I drove to her house so I could see what she had come up with. After sitting and catching up on how our holidays had gone, Kim asked me to close my eyes and not look at the computer screen yet. She wanted me to keep my eyes closed until she left the room so I could have some alone time with my brand new web site. Then, when I was ready, she said she would come back into the room to discuss how I felt about it.
I was nervous to open my eyes and see what she had done mostly because, throughout the process of working with her, I was discovering, more and more, that I was not 100% certain I really wanted to focus on body art at all - especially because I was going to have to NOT be myself - which is a person that is trying to do God's will and loves God.
"How in the world am I going to make this happen? How will I actually get higher paying clients to find my work and work with me?" I kept thinking. "Why did I just spend a lot of money to do something that will NEVER work? Could I really paint people for a living? And if so, why would I even want to? I mean, what is this DOING for woman? How is this helping them? How is this changing their lives for the better? I want woman to heal to the core. I want woman to live with passion and purpose. My victories in life are not just for me to enjoy. Victory is for everyone. How can I share this God? Why can't I just be myself on my own website? Why do I have to hide the things I love - like my faith and my story - just so I can attract people that have a lot of money. I don't care about stupid money. I WISH I DID! This doesn't feel fair! What do I do? I don't understand what I am feeling. Honestly and seriously, what do I do and where do I go from here?"
Keeping all my doubts inside yet feeling so sad and frustrated, I opened my eyes to gaze upon my new website for the first time. I had a feeling I was not going to like it.
And you know what?
When I saw it for the first time, I almost bawled my eyes out right there in Kim's house.
Why? Because I did not like it at all. This was hard for me to feel. I did not want to hurt her feelings by my reaction..
Is this because she did a horrible job? No! Not at all. She did great. All the artwork I had done over the past few years was plastered all over the site and she did what I thought I wanted her to do. She created a high end website for someone that thought she should and thought she wanted to reveal herself to the world as a sophisticated and classy body artist.
But it just did not feel like it was ME!!!! Not at all. So what was me?
All the questions that had been brewing in my soul for the past few weeks finally came to a head.
I have no idea what I want to do anymore!
I was afraid to hurt her feelings and show my emotions. I mean, gosh, she worked hard to create this website for me. But because living authentically is my number one value I knew, once again, I was going to have to be real and honest.
"Do you like it?" Kim asked when she came back into the room.
"Kim, you did a great job. You created something based off our conversations and thank you for your hard work. But, with that being said, I am struggling with my feelings about it and frankly, I am confused by what I am feeling. I don't understand what is happening to me right now. I have been going through a strange transformation process. Things I used to desire are no longer appealing to me. I thought I wanted to go in this direction but I don't know if I want to do body art anymore at all. Yet, I am not sure what it is I want to do. I know I want to help people. I know I want to share my story. So, if it is OK with you I would like to sit on this for a couple weeks to figure out what I am feeling and then get back to you."
"That's totally fine but just think about this..it's hard to make a living in ministry and it may just be best for you to let yourself have this website so people will be attracted to it and not turned off by what you believe, because, if they see stuff about your faith, they probably won't want to work with you and they will miss how amazing you are In this world you need money and sometimes need to play by the world's rules."
With a deep ache of sadness in my heart, I smiled, said good bye, thanked her and walked to my car.
When I got in my car and was a few blocks down the road I pulled over and started to sob for 15 minutes straight.
"God, what is going on? Where do I belong? I don't feel like I fit in anywhere anymore! Please show me what I was created for. Cuz I feel completely and utterly lost."
Aaaaah! A new year has begun! It's January 1, 2018 and something feels very different for me on this New Year's Day. Maybe it is because I have decided to finally start blogging. Or perhaps it is because I have chosen to fast off of social media for the next 21 days. But I think the main reason is because I am letting go of the old to make room for the new because I have a feeling (a knowing) that this year is going to BLOW MY MIND!
Over the past few months I have been going through an extraordinary transformation. So extraordinary that it has been almost impossible to put into words. This particular transforming season of my life (there's been many) started on March 25, 2017. This was the day I got an idea for a 31 day coloring devotional.
For months I had been praying for direction. I knew I was supposed to write a book about my healing story but was at a loss as to how to write it. Should I write my WHOLE life story from beginning to end? Should I incorporate art in my story? If so, how?
Thankfully, even though I tried, I did not have to figure it all out because I kept seeing little things here and there that were pointing the way for me. For instance, as I was eating lunch with some friends one day at a cafe, I noticed a bunch of woman sitting at the table to our right. There table was covered in markers and colored pencils and they were all coloring! Fascinated and intrigued, I immediately went over to their table.
"Hi, I love what you ladies are doing over here!" I said to them all. "Do you come here and do this everyday?'
"No, we come here once a week and color together. It is a way for us to relieve stress." One woman said.
Yes!!!! I thought to myself - coloring helps with stress - woman like to be together and talk - people like to color. That's it!!!
God what are you showing me, I thought?!
I asked the ladies a few more questions and then went back to the table with my friends.
"Wow! I think God is showing me something!" I said to my girlfriends. It was March 25, 2017 and boy, oh boy was I right!
After I got home from lunch I went straight to my room to journal and pray.
"Lord, what am I supposed to do with my life and my art? You have been showing me so much lately. I love making things for people to color. Please show my a way I can REALLY help people - a way that will get to the core and not just put a temporary band-aid over situations."
And then an idea struck me like a bolt of lighting. It was like a meteor came out of the heavens and landed in my heart. The idea was vague yet clear and it was to create a coloring devotional that would incorporate my story, art and His Word!
I was so excited. I could almost see the whole book! I could even see more books. I knew what the first page was going to look like. It was going to be a bunch of diamonds and jewels and it was going to bring Proverbs 3:15 to life - why? Because I needed to KNOW that I was far more precious than jewels!
Bringing the Word to life through art was something I had been doing for a few months. I saw how it was changing me and I was frankly desperate for this so I got to work. I knew I was going to change even more throughout the process of creating the book and I was right because creating this book, even though it was fun too, was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
I almost quit a million times. Who are you to write such a book? You are no bible scholar or pastor! You think you can call yourself an author that writes books about God's freedom and love and peace?
I knew I could not just write about these things. I knew I had to embody them if I was going to put myself out there as the author of this book and many more. I knew I would have to walk my talk. I wanted to walk my talk. I wanted to live this way but was I this person?
No, not completely. I still had fear. I was still living in the past a bit. I needed to be changed from the inside out. So this meant that I had to go through a huge transformation process.
I had no idea what it was going to be like going into this project. If I did perhaps I would not have tackled it. But I am so immensely glad I did because writing this book has changed me in more ways than I have room to share. It's one of the main reasons my name has changed from Mandy to Amanda.
And tomorrow I get to bring the finished manuscript in to the publisher! Yay! I am so excited! I did it.
I know this book is going to change people. How do I know? I know because I went through my own book! Yup, after I was done I took 31 days to go through my own book and it was AMAZING how much it ministered to me!!!
So because there are some BIG things on the horizon and because I have changed so much over this season of my life. It has been a difficult process but one that I would not change for anything. I am being buffed and refined by my Creator into the TRUE woman He created me to be. He is making my path straight and clear and for this I am grateful.
There are too many good things in store and I want to simplify my life down the nitty gritty of what makes my heart truly soar! So out with the old and in with the new!
His mercies are new every morning. He has a good plan for you and me. "For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
How about you? How are you feeling on this New Year's Day? Are you feeling hopeful? Are you extremely glad 2017 is OVER? Or are you indifferent?
What do you need to let go of to make room for the new and amazing things God has for you in your life for 2018?
Post a comment on what that is for you and what action steps you can take today toward that!
Hello! My name is Amanda Rita Tardif and I started this blog as an online journal and safe place to share EXACTLY what is going on in my life. For too long self-hate and perfectionism has ruled my life. So I am putting it ALL OUT there and claiming my victory in Christ.
OK. So here's the fun legal stuff! All artwork, paintings, photos, pictures, graphics, design, wording and text on this site and every location you find Amanda (Mandy) Rita Tardif's work at, are the exclusive copyrighted works of Amanda (Mandy) Rita Tardif.
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