Amanda is one of the two important things that got this journey going again. I had started and stopped my journey down this path and a chance encounter with a generous soul got me motivated to create. Amanda, thank you, for believing in the concept and offering your art and words to this project. Here is a note from my friend and tribemate Amanda...
My parents named me Amanda, and I am an artist, I am fluent in imagination and empathy, which often go hand in hand. I like to see myself as a creative force that radiates from a core of light.
I have walked through fire and faced many mountains to climb, but my curiosity and love for life has never been extinguished. It has flickered a bit here and there, but there are moments when it is a roaring, vibrant inferno. Regardless of “flame height”, my mission is to help illuminate the darkness for others finding their way on this journey.
I am a child of the forest, and am happiest when I am in the company of trees, birds, and animals, though the ocean is also sacred to me. I am an avid defender of those without a voice, focusing the majority of my life’s work on wildlife conservation and environmental advocacy. I seize any chance I get to form a bond with creatures great and small- there is nothing quite like the oxytocin released when looking deeply into the eyes of another species and finding a connection.
When I must be indoors, I thrive on drawing lines and splashing colors in ways that solve problems for my line of work; even when I am not at the helm of my small business, I am still constantly creating. I love to paint pictures with my words, I love photography, costuming, sculpting, painting, wood burning, knitting, dancing, reading, and learning. A jack of all trades, master of *some*- there are far too many things I love to do to ever truly master *all*. There is always room for improvement, therefore one can never truly “master” anything- if it brings you joy, mastery be damned. Do something because you love to do it.
If I could send en masse one message for my fellow humans, it would be the following- live your life bold, brave, and with love. Do not let fear take the reins and sway your decisions- it is insidious and will steal your happiness. Do not be afraid to love for fear of loss, do not be afraid to be yourself for fear of rejection. We are the authors of our own stories, but we only get a finite number of pages- choose how you spend your time wisely. Attempting complete control over your life will not bring you the peace that comes with releasing your white-knuckle grip and allowing the current to carry you. Work towards your goals, by all means, but expect unforeseen hurdles and unexpected detours. Most importantly, remember to take time and enjoy the journey, whatever chapter you are in- and above all else prioritize and proceed with love.