Honoring Life's Transitions
with Amanda Testa
Sometimes as we move through challenging times, it's important to honor your experience, and tend to yourself as you cope.
In this episode, I'm sharing how using the power of ritual can help you in honoring the seasons of your life.
If you've been following me, you know that this past year has had it's share of challenges, and sometimes you aren't really aware of all you were holding until you are shifting into a new time, and realize the imprint the experience left on your nervous system. Today I'm sharing one of the powerful ways I move through these challenges and how you can too.
Complete Transcript available below.
In this episode you'll discover
Get a PDF copy of this ritual HERE.
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Amanda Testa (00:03):
Hello, and welcome to the podcast. It is your host, Amanda Testa, and thank you so much for being here. First of all, I just want to thank each and every one of you for tuning in and listening to the podcast, it is an honor to be able to show up for you every week and bring you guests that I hope will enrich your day. And today I was feeling this call to do an episode around honoring our cycles. And I know I've talked about this before, but in particular with regards to opening and creating a ritual around a new beginning, and today it's actually the new moon and the solar eclipse. And so it felt kind of apropos today. Cause I was doing a ritual this morning and for myself, as many of you who have been following me know it's been kind of a chaotic few months.
Amanda Testa (00:56):
I feel like I am emerging from this deep winter. And I think I realized I was in it at the time, but sometimes it's after a big wave that you're like, man, that was intense. Right? And that's how things leave their imprint on us because afterwards we feel the effect. It's maybe not necessarily the thing. It's how we and our bodies and our nervous systems respond to the thing. And I think through the storm of, you know, my husband, kind of moving through some health things and COVID, and all of it, I realized now I'm moving into this cycle to be on the other side. And it's such a powerful thing to note and realize when we have these portals, we can choose to embrace them versus fight them. And yes, sometimes it can be a challenge. I get it. And at the time it's the last thing you want to do.
Amanda Testa (01:51):
And during those times, I mean, I think even for myself, just allowing myself to be, as I was to not force myself to change, not force myself, to be inauthentic, to my experience, right. I was allowing myself to feel the feels and allow the support of friends and community and allow myself time off to just be with all the things and caregive and everything. And it felt really, really amazing. Now that I'm looking back, I was like, I'm glad this is something that years ago I probably would not have done. I would have like muscled through pretended everything was fine and not given myself or not accepted the help and support or asked for it. I even asked for the help and support, which is something that was like night and day for old Amanda. She would not have asked for help. I'm sure.
Amanda Testa (02:41):
You've probably heard the story before about when my daughter was first born and I needed to, after my daughter was born and I had a lot of bleeding still and I wasn't supposed to drive yet. And I remember I like couldn't even ask for, I couldn't even call someone to help me. And I know any one of my friends would have been there. My niece would, would've been there. My husband would have done it. I just did not think to ask. Right. I didn't want him to have to leave work and help me out to go to the store and get, grab me some pads or whatever I needed. Right. So I just remember stuffing toilet paper in my underwear and going about my day being like, well, I'll eventually get it taken care of. And that was a turning point realizing I need to learn to ask for help. I need to learn to receive it. And I need to learn to be okay knowing I can't do it all by myself. Right. I feel like in our day and age, we really have placed a lot of value on individualism, which I think is not healthy for us.
Amanda Testa (03:38):
Right. So really thinking about the whole a lot, right. We're not meant to do it alone, we're meant to co-create right? To be in a sacred relationship to all that is. So on that note, I wanted to share today a little more about, you know, moving through these cycles. I wanted to share a ritual that I really love around this because it's a simple ritual and I really feel rituals are so powerful because they can be such an amazing, an amazing way to really mark a transformation to mark a change, a Rite of passage, so to speak. And, you know, ritual has been used as a means for healing and transformation for generations and generations. And it pulls on to lots of different parts of us, right? We're able to tap into our creativity and use our imagination and really play with what we want to be possible.
Amanda Testa (04:37):
And to also remember this possibility of what we want, that wants us to right? Bringing in that remembrance of our own wisdom and our own truth. So I just love rituals so much. And I think that, you know, honoring those natural rhythms of expansion of contraction of seasons, and they don't always correspond with the actual outside seasons, right. It can be the dead of summer and you could be in the dead of winter in your own personal life experience. So I feel like this spring I was in my winter and now I'm noticing the shift into the spring and this new surge of creativity and possibility and pleasure. And I know I teach about pleasure all the time. And even as someone who values, pleasure and finds it in all ways, sometimes it can be hard to access even for me. And in these past few months it was harder to access.
Amanda Testa (05:34):
So in those times, what do you do? Well, then you try to just connect to the things that feel good, the things that are nourishing, the things that support you, whatever that looks like. Right? So maybe for me, it was taking a lot of walks with my dog. Maybe it was listening to music that I enjoyed. Maybe it was inviting in more time to lounge around and watch Netflix. We got into Ted Lasso, which was a riot. When my husband was healing, it was so fun. But you know, those types of things, you got to honor where you are and maybe full body orgasms are not on the menu that day. Okay. But the good news is, is they, they come back. Right. And if any of you have ever seen that Sex In The City episode, I know that was a show I used to watch in my day.
Amanda Testa (06:20):
We loved it, but there was an episode where Samantha loses her orgasm and it comes, it's like connected to her being in grief. And so yes, you can lose your orgasm at times and you can get it back. So I think that's, I just wanted to note that about pleasure and how the cycles can affect that pleasure too. So now, as I'm feeling the spring, coming in, I'm feeling more connected to pleasure and orgasmic pleasure, right? And so I'm inviting in this. And so this morning I did a ritual and these, you can do, I feel like this kind of transition ritual can be done at any time at any place around any real thing. Right. But creating this is just making that statement to yourself, to the universe that this is a transition point. I'm going to honor this. I'm going to honor everything I've been through.
Amanda Testa (07:17):
I'm going to honor all the experiences that I had and I'm going to, you know, kind of releasing some things here. So I made this list of all the things that I honored about these, this past cycle, all the things that I am releasing, you know, all the fear and all the self doubt, all the sadness, all the, everything,you know, really going for a couple of pages there, journaling down all these things and taking some time to let that sink in to really be with what you've been through, to be with your journey. Right? So for me, what this ritual space looked like this morning was lighting a candle and spending a few minutes breathing and then taking this time to reflect and really honor that it's been a tough time and spend some, a good few minutes, a good, you know, 15 minutes honoring that and just being with it and kind of grieving it and letting it go.
Amanda Testa (08:24):
And then I torched it, which I love to do. And then I wrote a new list this new way of being that I'm calling in for this new cycle. Right? So making that list of all the things that I am excited to be stepping into and all the things that I am calling in, right. Really stating my desires and feeling them in my body and owning that. And from that space, doing a ritual cleansing of some sort, whatever, whatever floats your boat in that area. Right? So for me, it was a ritual shower, but it could be even just, you know, doing a smudge, if that's something that is in your tradition or that you enjoy, it could be something like just anointing yourself with some oils, essential oils, or, you know, washing your hands symbolically, you know, really it's the intention we put behind the action that creates that depth to the ritual.
Amanda Testa (09:18):
So for me, it was a ritual shower. And what that looked like was I got in and I let the water flow down. I really visualized, like from the top of my head, slowly down, every part and piece that this water was cleansing me, that this water was honoring me, that this water was you know, honoring the, the journey that I've been on and welcoming in this new transition. And then when I got out of the shower, I did an anointing ritual with oil, like really honoring and welcoming this new version of me in this moment. Right. Cause we do every moment, we're evolving every minute we're changing. So stepping into this new version and that was my ritual. And so I really feel that for me personally, this day has been huge, the shift in my energy since then, and just how things kind of aligned.
Amanda Testa (10:11):
Like I was able to connect with a beautiful friend from Paris on zoom. We were able to have an impromptu family coffee date. I got called in to teach a pleasure breathwork practice for another friend in her program. So, you know, all these little things start falling into place that feel really good. And so I do attribute that to many things, but partly this ritual. And I think the other thing that I wanted to share around this today is that anything that you feel like is an important thing to note in your life is worth it, right? It can be a little thing or a big thing. It doesn't always have to be some huge anniversary or graduation or whatever it can be, you know, it's, whatever it means for you to create magic and richness and honoring for yourself and your life.
Amanda Testa (11:14):
Right? Because I think that's part of living a pleasure filled life, living a turned on life is honoring all the aspects of what life is, right. Finding that presence and potency in the terrible times, as well as, in the amazing times. Right. And I think I even wrote the day that my husband was having a surgery that was in the hospital, like how does one find pleasure in the hospital? Because I really was leaning into that. It's number one surrendering, right? You really just have to surrender to what will be and surrendering into the support of the, the staff, the nurses, surrendering to the amazing sweet volunteers that were playing piano, or, you know, checking in on you and the crappy free coffee, right. Sitting next to a window and just enjoying the, you know, hideous, the waiting room, all the things.
Amanda Testa (12:09):
Butmostly I think just being present to my experience and allowing myself to, to move through all the things and gratefully, thankfully, everything's great. He's fine. We're doing well. But that day, I just remember, you know, these are the reasons we do all this work is for our nervous systems to be resilient when times are hard so that, you know, all the pleasure in the world is it does have a purpose. It does have a point because we are rewiring our brains to more quickly access pleasure. Because as I've talked about before, pleasure and pain are both, they're both connected, right? They originate from the same place in the brain. And when we can default more to pleasurable sensations, then we are going to be able to rewire our brain to default more to pleasurable sensations because pleasure and pain, they cancel out one another. And so all this to say,
Amanda Testa (13:21):
It's a lifelong journey and I am so grateful to have you all as a part. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast, for sharing with your friends when it feels resonant. Thank you for giving me amazing reviews and if you're interested in getting a PDF of this ritual, I'll post it in the Facebook group, Find Your Feminine Fire group on Facebook. So I'll post that as an announcement and you can download the PDF version of this ritual. And in the meantime, I'll just invite you to take a moment, even just right now, take three deep breaths.
Speaker 2 (14:03):
Amanda Testa (14:12):
And just honor where you are in this minute. Honor that you matter and that you are valued and appreciated. And thank you again for tuning in.
Amanda Testa (14:30):
I hope you've enjoyed this mini episode today, and again, let's stay connected. Please join me in the Facebook group, Fnd Your Feminine Fire group on Facebook. And I share a lots of great tools and rituals and practices there. And if this is something that is calling to you, that you'd like to dive more into this around with pleasure, how is this even possible for me to change my life with pleasure? I assure you that it is, and I'm happy to hop on a 20 minute consultation with you and support you there. So you can feel free to reach out to me and my team info@amandatesta.Com. I'm wishing you a beautiful day evening, wherever you are in the world. And we will see you next week.