In this episode you'll discover
Amanda Testa, is a Sex, Love, and Relationship Expert who works with busy professional women and couples to feel incredible in their skin, tap into abundant energy, take sex from a "to do" to something they look forward to, and enjoy better connection and fulfillment in their relationships. She’s also a mama to a gorgeous 8 yo girl, wife to her sexy hubs, and new puppy Aspen. When she's not working, she's snuggling with her loves, playing in nature, or howling naked at the moon.
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Amanda Testa (00:01):
Hello everyone, and welcome to the Find Your Feminine Fire podcast. This is Amanda Testa, your host, and I am so thrilled to be welcoming in this new year with you. Oh, welcome. 2021. Let's just tell 2020 to peace on out now. Hehehe. What I wanted to dive into today is how to create a recap and ritual around this shift from one year to the next. This is something I've been doing for years and years, and there's so many ways to go about this, but I wanted to share with you how I go about this and how I work with my clients. Kind of to do a ritual release and moving through all the things that happened this past year, and then as well to kind of create some intentions for the year ahead. And actually next week, I'm going to talk a lot more about planting your seeds of desire for 2021.
Amanda Testa (00:53):
But this week, what I really want to dive into is why it's so important to do these little rituals, because I think often in the chaos of the year, and especially with 2020 being what it was, really taking time to kind of go back and review and see: what were the things that happened each month, what were the things that worked well? What were the pleasurable experiences that you had despite all the chaos? What did you learn? All those things. There's so many lessons we can glean as we reflect on our experiences. First thing - I'm going to let you know that I am going to share in the show notes how you can download the Year in Review Planner- so you can get that and actually work through this with me. Know that if you have any questions, I'm always here for you. You can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can support you.
Amanda Testa (01:41):
So, as you set about to do this ritual review, one of the things I also like to invite in is to create a sacred environment. Maybe that looks like cleaning out your space. Maybe that looks like lighting a candle. Maybe that looks like playing some music, maybe that looks like putting on something that makes you feel beautiful. Maybe that looks like spraying some essential oils or, a perfume you love. Maybe that looks like just creating this environment that tells your brain, That's the one thing I love about rituals. It speaks to a primal part of your brain that lets it know, ‘Oh wait, there's something special happening here. So I better pay attention.’ I love starting this ritual review with that in mind. Once you have your space set up, there's a couple of ways to go about this.
Amanda Testa (02:36):
Maybe you take some time and look back through your pictures of the last year. Maybe you take some time, look back through your calendar, look back through your journals. But one of the things I like to do is to reflect and celebrate, see what worked, what needs to be left behind. I don't ever do resolutions. I think that they're kind of set up for failure, but I do like to come up with a few intentions. And so, again, taking the time to gather all the things that kind of called to you this past year, and maybe think about the times that really stood out for you, right? Maybe some real challenging times or maybe a real celebratory time. And I love to start with a celebration. You know, I think we so often focus on what's not working. So to kind of retraining our brain to focus on what did work, the celebrations, what did you accomplish?
Amanda Testa (03:26):
What are you proud of? All the things that you did? Well, you can take some notes on that. One of the things I love, one of my mentors, Rachael Maddox talks in archetypes and one of the archetypes I feel like comes in here is the Groundskeeper. If you think about a groundskeeper, you're going in and you're tending to your needs. Basically, there's a mantra that she's created around this, which I love and it's called, “I am fertile ground. I am fertile ground. I tend to, all of me, I move things where they need to be. I weed and water accordingly.”I think that's the big thing as you do these reviews, you know, that's kind of what creates this
healthy groundskeeper, right? You're taking out what doesn't go. You're weeding the things that need to go and.
Amanda Testa (04:14):
You're watering the things that are working well. And when you do this, it can help create the sense of internal order within you. No matter what's going on outside, it can give you the capacity to bring things into order on a regular basis, not like being obsessive about it, but finding the rhythms and work in the tides that worked for you. This is why at this big cusp for moving from one year to the next, I find it is a great time to do this because I might not be great at doing it all the time, but there are certain times where I do feel it's much easier to do this. And this time of year is one of those. It brings in this clean, fresh energy, this opportunity to really look at what's working and create this connection with the rhythms that support you.
Amanda Testa (05:05):
So as you review throughout your past year, you can see, what are the rhythms that are supporting you daily? What are the rhythms that supported you weekly? What are the rhythms that supported you monthly, seasonally, annually, tuning into what helps cultivate the most vitality, regeneration and aliveness? As you take a look back through the year, you can note those things, what needs to be taken out, maybe the things that need to be weeded removed or cleansed or cleared. What are the things that need to be watered? What are the things that need to be nourished, that need to be fed, that need to be given more time and space too. Another thing you can think about is what might need to be repotted . maybe something that's worked well, but it needs to be moved to another place. Another time, another arrangement. I'm really kind of tuning in to those questions. At the level of physicality, at the level of your mind, the level of, you know, spiritually, just kind of tuning into those.
Amanda Testa (06:06):
I'm going to walk you through a few prompts that you can think about, and you can get a pen and paper and jot these things down when you have a chance, or maybe you can just listen and kind of note what comes to mind for you. But again, as you review your year, starting with the celebrations- what's working, and then also what were some of your favorite moments? As you take time to review those favorite moments, really taking the opportunity to feel into them, even on a deeper layer, what made them great, who were you with? What were you doing? Drop into the sensations you were feeling and really revel in the experience again. This is a beautiful way to re-live those positive experiences in our lives. It’s a little hack for our brain to bring in more pleasure and joy, and then you can check into as well, What was one of the most sensual experiences of your past year? What was one of the most, if you're in a relationship? Well, it was one of the best times you had with your love, perhaps what was your best sexual experience and what made it great?
Amanda Testa (07:12):
The more we dive in and review what made these situations enjoyable, the more you can intentionally create the environment to bring in that in the future. Going through what worked well, business wise, family wise, relationship wise, tapping into each area of your life and reflecting on what worked well. How can you bring these into 2021, noticing what needs to shift and what are your ideas to make those changes again, noting what didn't work and why, and remembering that everything that happened this year happened to bring you deeper into your own power and wisdom. You can choose to see everything as an opportunity for your empowerment. And even though sometimes that feels so challenging and you might not be in a place yet where you're like, ‘Oh no, F you Amanda’, but you know, no matter what you've been through, it's possible to cultivate wisdom and power in the face of traumas and challenges. So know that's available to you. And if you ever need additional help with that, you can always reach out to me. Another question I love to ponder is what did you learn? What did you learn this past year and possibly what would you do differently moving forward?
Amanda Testa (08:27):
And then what would you like to leave behind. Perhaps, is there a ritual you can create around letting go? Some rituals, I really love around this are perhaps writing down the things and you can kind of create a ritual where you perhaps even have a funeral for these things. So gathering all your emotions around it and really giving yourself an opportunity to grieve and to release, and then perhaps burying this paper in your backyard or burying it in a place that you enjoy going, perhaps burning it. And as you let that go, kind of then taking time afterwards to call in the emotions, the experiences that you do want, you know, as you clear that space out, what would you like to replace that with?
Amanda Testa (09:19):
Another beautiful ritual around release I love is simply just, you can always make it simple, right? You can always even just take a shower. And as you shower ritually release all the things that need to go and just allow them to flow down the drain, asking the spirit of the water to cleanse you. You can do the same with the bath. You can do the same as like a ritual walk, where as you walk, you speak out loud, all the things you're leaving behind. And even as you walk, you can perhaps like, just throw them out, like take your hand and pull them out and throw them as if you're actually tossing them out, leaving them behind you.
Amanda Testa (09:56):
And as you walk and as you completely release everything, then you can tune into again at the end, all the things that you do want and then moving into what are your desires and goals for 2021. And just let yourself have fun with this part! I'm going to talk more about this in next week's episode. But the other thing that I invite you to consider is what were some of the most supportive things that you did for yourself in 2020? Were there certain rituals or practices that you did on a regular basis that created these rhythms of vitality, of health, of liveliness, of stability, of support? Tuning into what those practices were and then noting, what practices do you want to continue, or what practices do you want to bring in to support your growth next year?
Amanda Testa (10:51):
And I always love this quote by Diane Ackerman- I'll share. “I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well. “ And for me, that means truly enjoying all of the aspects of being in this divine physical form and this human body, really reveling in all the different flavors of emotion, all the different layers of our physicality, all the different layers that we can experience here on this earth. That’s why I'm such a big advocate for pleasure, because pleasure and pain are created from the same spot in the brain, the nucleus accumbens, and knowing that, you know, you can train your brain to move towards pleasure. And when you do that, what it actually is doing is creating more safety and more support in your nervous system.
Amanda Testa (11:41):
Because the more we have the stable base of support in our nervous system, which I've talked about before in previous episodes, the more we can handle the ways and the challenges that come our way. So I will, again, I put the PDF of where you can download all these inquiries in the show notes. You can always go to Amandatesta.com/yearinreview. That is where you can find these show notes and download your copy of our journal, your copy of all these questions to think about for yourself. Also know if you feel like you need additional support in this area, or you want additional support in creating your goals and desires for 2021. If you want help in creating these rituals that will help nourish your daily aliveliness, then feel free to reach out to me and schedule a free activation call. You can go to Amandatesta.com/activate, and we can work together to create your most amazing year yet. So, wishing you all a very, very happy new year full of all the things you want. We will see you next week!