New Single + PhoenixEP

Hello Word to the Wise Fam!
So I dropped my first single from my soon-come EP named Phoenix.
My first single is named: Be Loved,
you can listen to it here:

Listen to Be Loved Here

I also created some visuals for Be Loved, you can watch them here:

Watch Be Loved Visuals on YouTube

Hope you enjoy + can’t wait to share the Entire Phoenix EP with you!

 

Amber.

feel your entire life, every moment and everyday.

Untitled-1

Pain

aspiring to evolve out of pain—especially when you’ve experienced utter devastation more than once—is initially very appealing. This idea that we can evolve perfectly, that we can respond perfectly in any given instance, instead of being emotional or ‘imperfect’ at times. The notion that we should have this ability to smile and wave goodbye, in peace, at someone we loved deeply, despite not getting the relational outcome you wished for—if we only were perfect enough; perfectly ‘enough’.

just a few weeks ago i got my hopes up about something that momentarily let me down. in that moment i had a thought ‘i have to find a way to never feel this pain of disappointment ever again’

where does pain come from?

we hold onto things in life,

just to get by.

we place our hope in sandcastles that the wind-of-truth inevitably blows away, or at least shakes really hard until we finally decide to start searching for some cement to build our home with and solid ground to lay that foundation on. 

for me though, finding my own solid ground hasn’t meant achieving some idea of ‘perfection’ in my emotionality; rather it has meant an assured confidence in my understanding ; understanding of myself and the way i experience the world around me. 

i am allowed to feel; however i feel in any given moment. it’s all valid and it is all my responsibility.

why is it hard to feel pain?

one thing that i have learned about the self is that feeling your life—the entire thing—can be hard. However, it is only through allowing our feelings to pass fully through us that we can come to new conclusions about ourselves and the world around us and ultimately creates more room within us to express and experience love. but in so many ways we run away from our emotions. scrolling on any social media outlet is a great example of that.

i can remember a time when i first moved to los angeles. i had been running from a certain feeling for a while, with busyness. it was as if this great big cloud was following me everywhere. it was filled with rain and it wanted me to feel it. i ran and i ran but it always stayed in eye view of my sprint. one day finally decided that i was just going to stop running and i was going to feel it. i lay in my bed one sunny day in los angeles, under my covers. i was afraid of what might happen if i felt that cloud, but i was feeling brave. my emotions bubbled to the surface. this is the moment when i would usually run but instead i stayed still. i laid still. in my cool bedroom of the fourth floor of my apartment building. my emotions rushed in and i cried, then i got really angry, then a subtle trembling came over me, i felt shame, it was very very painful. i was afraid but i didn’t move. and eventually it passed on. the cloud broke up and some light came in. i have never felt that way since. its been years.

my EP is named Phoenix

Phoenix is my exploration of what it would mean for me to be ‘okay’ on my own terms and by means of my own definition. In my search, i didn’t find that i simply lived with a smile on my face at all times. I found that hard emotions benefitted good emotions and that i had to discover healthier ways to allow my self to feel my painful feelings. they were signaling me to go deeper and in some instances they were signaling me to fight back, but either way my response always had to be proactive because time itself doesn’t solve anything. 

 

the sounds are fun + retro + romantic but the words tell a deeper story.

 

a story about feeling your entire life

 

xoxo,

amber

 

ps. I would love to hear your thoughts on feeling your entire life. Do you have a healthy relationship with pain? not according to anyone else’s standards but your own. sound off in the comments below ❤

boundaries for beginners

boundaries for beginners by amber b, wordtothewise.coa boundary is an act of self-compassion.
a boundary is when a self-loving individual
draws an emotional line in the sand that
guards their capacity to:
trust themselves
hear their truth/intuition
love themselves
take care of themselves
heal themselves
and honor exactly how they feel and not
how their ‘supposed’ to feel in order to please
other people and not have to deal with their baggage.

many people don’t even know what the fuck a boundary is because you’re so used to putting other peoples opinions above your own. or maybe you’ve advanced to a place where you’re able to hear your truth and then speak it most of the time but you often find yourself either upset with yourself because you didn’t speak your truth or feeling guilty because you did.

boundaries are so multi-layered and have so many pre-requisites to effectively setting them.
below are a few of the pre-requisites to figuring out what your boundaries are, how to communicate them to others and how to reduce feelings of guilt when you do set them.

disclaimer: you’re boundaries are whatever you say they are. YOU qualify them. don’t look externally for confirmation look within.

 

self-compassion

so often as women we our encouraged to extend our understanding towards others without regard to our emotional needs. in order to be considered acceptable to society we are told to take on a mother-fucking teresa complex and give our empathy and our compassion to others and totally forget ourselves. we are told to be meek and demure and accommodating in order to get people to like us, as if external likability is our greatest achievement in life.

i grew up in a conservative christian household, once i got into college i strayed away and then came back to the faith more conservative than ever. during this time period and within this community of believers that i associated with the school of thinking that we all embodied was that we were all wretched sinners who were inherently wrong and because of this wrongness we owed it to God to always assume our intentions were bad and to put others before ourselves because we thought of ourselves WAY too much.

we were encouraged to always go above and beyond to serve others and give of ourselves without regard to our emotional limitations and financial limitations. during this time period i also dated someone who blamed every conflict we had on me. we were young as hell so the conflict was rampant and often occurring. because of a lack of boundaries, self-confidence and a whole bunch of other shit, the idea that every problem was of my creating was ingrained into my mind within the context of a romantic relationship for a total of three years.

an experience that i deeply regret. each of these experiences—along with growing up in a household with a penchant for guilt tripping—developed within in me a psychological complex that i am inherently wrong which has made learning self-compassion a total mind fuck—but never the less, slowly but surely a game changer.

self-compassion is an act of treating yourself like a good friend. so many of us have this harsh inner critic in our minds telling us that we are not enough. it scrutinizes everything that we say and do, its so harsh when we make an understandable misjudgment. it says ‘you’re so dumb why did you do that?’ self-compassion means that you give YOUR DAMN SELF the benefit of the doubt when making choices.

when you give yourself the benefit of the doubt you have to understand and be okay with the fact that some people are not going to agree with your view and thats ok. when you respect that you are going to be self-compassionate even though someone else is not going to take on your view and when you do not brush away that emotional line that you have drawn in the sand you are respecting your boundaries and creating room in your life to love and nurture yourself and your self-love.

when you’re self-compassionate you don’t feed the harsh critic or the self-doubt monster but instead treat yourself like a good friend and say ‘ [insert name here] i love you and am so proud of who you are, you made that decision because you were coming from a good place, you are a good person, you are talented and worthy of love, so go on about your day with a clear concious because your deserve the benefit of the doubt’ or “[insert name here] i know you made a mistake but guess what? everyone does. this miscalculation is not a set back but a learning experience. you still deserve your own love even if your action was misguided. learn the lesson forgive yourself and then do something nice for yourself to establish this new beginning that is about to take place’.

also, go back into your history and find out where that critical voice comes from and honor your wound and come to terms with it in a way that empowers you.

you have power

often times we fail to set boundaries for ourselves for others to respect because we don’t even know that we have power.

you have power. period. no matter what position you’re in.

whether you’re the consumer, the borrower, the intern, the sublet, the weaker vessel, the one who’s made the miscalculation, the employee, the rookie. you have power. you have a right to be treated with dignity, care and respect. you do not have to default to doing shit that you don’t like because you are not in the predominant position of power momentarily. you still get to have boundaries.

this comes from an internal knowing that every relationship is mutually beneficial and that no matter what goes down in life, it will go on and you’ll be fine.

it is inevitable for us all that one day we will become desperate for help from the hands that served us once upon a time. this isn’t because of karma, this is because we ALL have value and we ALL have something to offer others. but people who exploit their power fail to realize that and miss out because of it.

this doesn’t mean that you’re not contrite when you make a mistake or grateful when someone helps you, no. this means that thank you and sorry are enough. you did not force that someone to help you, that was their decision that they made all by themselves so them acting like they can treat you poorly is them overstepping a boundary and bad behavior on their part. additionally if were saying sorry and moving on you don’t get to drag me through the mud and mistreat me.

don’t be a passenger

this is an extension of the last point, but this one calls for proactivity. many of us just want to hop into someone else’s abundance instead of find ourselves and create our own to share with someone else who’s also found their own abundance. you want to simply be a passenger instead of a co-pilot. this habit causes us to not even think about boundaries, all your thinking about is how to gain this persons approval and keep them in your life.

or contrarily, have you ever dated someone who you loved, shared the same values with, wanted the same things out of life, we’re emotionally compatible with, but still experience a high level of doubt with or feared long-term commitment? its because you’re being a passenger. there is someone that you need to be to yourself that you still have yet to be. you want to find a relationship that stops you from having to show up for yourself and that relationship is nonexistent.

but nevertheless you break up with people over and over again searching for that person that stops you from having to be the person you’ve always needed to be to yourself and go from relationship to relationship. that ‘person’ you’re searching for is what is called a driver and in a relationship with a driver everything is on their terms and there is no room for you, your feelings, your perspective, your fears, your nothing. ultimately, all you can ask for in life is a co-pilot partner that you like who wants the same things out of life as you and is actively striving towards those things.

you are the driver of your own life and a co-pilot in relationships. setting healthy boundaries requires that we know who we are and what we want and need in relationships.

this passage was all about maintaining healthy boundaries for ourselves, the next will be on how to respect other people boundaries and how this empowers us, too.

 

 

xoxo,

 

amber b

 

here are some related and helpful articles on boundaries:

 

https://psychcentral.com/lib/10-way-to-build-and-preserve-better-boundaries/

 

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-twardowski/6-steps-to-setting-boundaries-in-relationships_b_6142248.html

http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/10-fundamental-lessons-onboundaries-in-relationships-part-1/

https://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/boundaries-stop-asking-for-permission/

i’ve been. broken open.

play this softly while you read my blog, for its full effect.

religion isn’t my thing anymore, i can only do relationship. theology isn’t my thing anymore, i can only do experience. it wasn’t a conscious decision i made, but the foundation of my religion inevitably crumbled because its foundation was faulty and i had no choice but to walk towards what my soul was craving; something authentic, raw, messy and real. when i walked away from religion and towards grace i walked away from living my life for other peoples approval. that is when i began to experience a spirituality that made me come alive in every moment. it showed me that i can only experience and express the amount of love i have first Received as i live my life interaction by interaction and at the whims of a loving God’s will.

it is a spirituality that has led me to follow my bliss in LA. many people have told me how brave i am to have left so much behind: social status, a good and consistent pay check, a 401k and the approval of society. yet i feel like i let go of nothing and gained everything. (no shade to my old boss if you’re reading this)

so many of us live life as if we’re not going to die one day. and yet that as well—death—means nothing. nothing significant.

” listen my beloved;
has not God chosen those who are
poor in the world to be rich in faith
and heirs of the kingdom
James 2:5 “

here in LA i spend all of my days around the ‘poor in the world’: children because i substitute teach 8-12 grade to pay my bills, artists because i am one (writer and dancer if you’re new here) and soon i will be getting paid to help a woman with disabilities run her errands.

working with children has taught me how to forgive. it has taught me how to be more generous towards the state of our humanity and to separate making-bad-choices from being-a-bad-person. even bad choices are rooted in pain, so while it is my choice to set boundaries where i see fit at the days end i know that no one has the capacity to attack me, but to only attack themselves.

artists have taught me how to love myself, choose myself, believe in myself and to not make excuses for not being my best. living out that dream that God has placed inside of my soul has developed my self-confidence and subsequently my sense of humility; i don’t try to prove myself much these days. the shinier the more damaged. i feel surrendered from worldly success and i feel that the greatest success i have/will ever achieve is to become filled with God and surrendered to Him.

surrender is all about control and control manifests itself in so many ways: unforgivness is control, pride is control, bitterness and anger and vengeance are all control. other things are control as well because control is all about intention.

preparing to assist this disabled woman is really exciting for me because of this book i recently read titled ‘broken open’ by elizabeth lesser. it is a book that is all about pain, extreme tragedy, sudden death and sudden life altering illnesses. it is one of the most beautiful pieces of literature i have ever read. every person in this book-of-true-stories, after experiencing tragedy always recounts that they did not become full of life until after God ripped the carpet from underneath their feet. for them, tragedy made more room for peace and gratitude in their lives. people with physical disabilities and terminal illnesses are forced to look at their mortality in the face every single day; what a gift. they also have the gift of considering pain on the regular and how to perceive it in a fashion that gives way to life–to being alive. and yet we are all at the risk of death in any given moment, not just the terminally ill. and yet that too—death—means nothing. nothing significant.

a poem from my book boombox in the sky

the last thing i want to speak on is love. for me, nature is the best reflection of God there is. God being love. the stunning sun always rises every morning and changes places with the captivating moon every evening, both blessing us with their beauty and presence. the ocean continues to sway and provide food and oxygen for us, the rain comes right when we need it, animals don’t hold grudges; all are consistent and loving no matter what idiocracy us humans commit. if God’s love for us is the greatest love there is, then today right now in this very moment i have everything i could ever dream of. moving to la has really taught me how to be at peace. i don’t want any of those job titles i just want to love myself and be loved by God. whatever manifests out of those relationships is a cherry on top.

 

xoxo

amber b

on self-care

Last May 2015 I decided to be single for a while. I had just gotten out of a relationship that was on and off for three years and going nowhere fast at extreme speeds. It wasn’t my first dance with romantic love. Prior to this relationship I was in a 1.5 year long relationship with my first love that came to a mutually confusing and painful ending. After my second relationship ended for the trillionth time, I was done. I wanted to heal and deal with the baggage that I gained from the relationship and somehow move on. I say somehow because at the relationships end I was still very much in love and was unsure of how I would move on and love again, but I was committed and that’s all you really need. Since then, I’ve been infatuated and even felt very strongly about some but nothing has “gotten off the ground” if you will, and I’m really thankful for that. I’m not one who dates a ton, or entertains dudes for fun. If I give you my attention, I’m really digging you. I’m a wanderer, I travel alone and eat at romantic restaurants only accompanied by a good book, a journal and maybe a glass of wine if I rode my bike. I’ve been a girls-girl basically my whole life and am satisfied by being obsessed with my girlfriends, dance and dreaming. I’m hopelessly romantic and simultaneously prefer to be single…unless I’m really digging someone. The difference between the last 15 months of being single and the vast majority of my life that was spent being single is that this time around there are no illusions. Back in February 2015 I stopped going to church. It was not my first time leaving the church…it was actually my third. Being single and leaving church gave way to so many illusions in my subconscious: A false sense of security, a false sense of superiority and a false sense of completion. My last relationship didn’t work because I didn’t have my own identity, my own confidence, my own opinions, my own acceptance, my own assurance, my own love and my own spirituality. I wanted my significant other to make me feel complete, I always needed assurance from him, I wanted his approval and I looked to him for an identity and confidence. I quickly realized after that relationship ended almost a year and a half ago that I needed to learn how to take care of myself, accept myself, love myself, assure myself, believe in myself and find my happiness. I had to find myself in God and use Gods Divine Super-Powers to heal myself. I had to make God my source of love and out of that abundance give love to others. Without that I was just desperately trying to take love and power from others. Take take take. But you can’t really take anything from anyone, that’s an illusion too. When you try to take love or power from another person you’re really attacking yourself. In my last relationship, being in love was a sedative that only worked for three weeks to a month. After that it went straight to hell and only came back to heaven every blue moon. Back then, I used to be so desperate for the company of others to make me fell “ok” that I would tolerate oversized-insecure egos, the constant yet subtle discounting of my opinion and an overall lack of support. I wanted to please everyone in an effort to feel loved and complete but ended up abandoning myself in the process. Once I realized my own abundance and learned how to begin loving myself I stopped being desperate for the company of others and stopped entertaining shitty relationships. When you’re alone your trauma comes out. If you can’t handle it you’ll do anything to get away from yourself and your “loneliness”. You might even run right into the arms of a friend or a lover that is not equipped to love you. These days, quite a few of the people I used to associate with are no longer with me. But when I’m alone now, I’m not “lonely” I’m enjoying myself. Even when I do feel loneliness creep in I know that it’s a false belief or trauma and I know how to cope. These days I am not generous and forgiving and accommodating because I want to please my significant other, now I love because I am loved by God first. I can tangibly see the ways God loves me and fully take responsibility for my actions. It is out of feeling so abundantly loved by God that I can give love. That’s the only time I give love. Love too looks a lot different for me these days. What I used to call love was enabling. Now taking care of myself is the way that I take care of others. Being loved by God and loving myself is the medium through with I love others

So, I’m single. I’m following my dreams, I’m honestly not ready to share my life with someone right now, I don’t want to just yet. But if it happens even so…

Fuck it.

-Amber B