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Monday, March 28, 2016

Facing My Past; Beginning Anew

Hey Beachonista! Last week, my sister and I zipped out of town to visit family and meet our new nephew. It was a short 3 hour road trip up the coast of California. We packed my truck with paddle boards, puppies, and an abundance of optimism as to how great our trip was going to be. 

I had no idea what I was really in for...

Every Mile a Memory. Every mile driven up north, my vision became peppered with long forgotten memories. The same way a familiar scent ushers in millions of memories in the matter of seconds. Suddenly, I was struggling to catch my breath.  With heavy emotions rising beneath my chest, I became resistant to inching any closer to our destination.  

My mind raced. All I could think in response to this anxiety was,"What was happening? Why is this feeling getting the better of me?"  Then it became past found me. And it wouldn't let me escape...

The Past.  The last time I visited the central coast was with my husband (at the time) and my mother. The two most important people in my life. 

I was married for 5 years to a man I believed to be my dream. We had been making each other happy for 10 years.  Ever since I was 21, we spent our days under the sun laughing together,  getting to know one another and making lasting memories.  Deep in my bones, I believed our bond was unshakable.  But with time and the journey of marriage proved to be very weak.  In the end, our missing piece was: knowing thyself.  With zero wisdom at the time, and being in love with the same man for a decade, there was very little room to realize that my life vision mattered too and was sorely missing.  But it was no one's fault.  We were just kids in love wanting "happily-ever-after."  

"""Sure, recalling memories of a lost love and a lost dream was like looking down the barrel of a loaded gun.  But also remembering forgotten pieces of my mother was even more heartbreaking.  My mother passed away 3 years ago.  It was sudden and it was shocking.  The "first" moments without her are still aplenty. The effects are strong  enough to make me want to stay in bed and "unfollow" life.   It has been a part of my journey but I am working through it. I have good days and then I have days (like this) when I'm trying like hell to fight back the terrible memories.  Remembering the times I watched her life slip away.  Witnessing her struggle during our last trip due to her declining health.  We didn't know she was terminally ill - not even her doctor.    

Tidal Wave. The rage made me feel like I was going to explode. The intensity frightened me. Nothing could pull me out of it.  Not even my fail-proof "go-to's" like: a warm hug, gazing at the sun-shimmering ocean, or listening to my sister's silly laugh.  I couldn't shake the tormenting sadness that was encompassing my insides.  

Barely standing, I fought through it. At first, I felt powerless amidst the tidal wave. All I could do was float on my back.  Laying and breathing beneath the sunshine somehow soothed and centered me. Eventually, I found a few oars to wade through this choppy sea of emotion.  Meeting my new nephew and seeing my cousin become a wonderful mommy once again anchored me with serenity and some hope that life couldn't be this fucked up. Getting upside down into "wheel pose" strengthened me against the swell.  Losing myself in nature, cruising on my bike, and listening to music relieved the ache in my stomach.  

The Beginning.  The invisible storm lessened as our trip came to an end. We arrived back home. I finally found footing on the proverbial dock, realizing the magnitude of the storm I just crawled out of. In contemplation, I found several fresh pearls of wisdom to show as a result of what I went through.  

The Pearls. Deep down in my soul, I believe loss connects you back to your true self.  With the breakdown of my marriage and losing my best friend, I found the gift of time and authenticity.  Investing in things that make my soul sing; surrounding myself with people I love; telling people how much they really mean to me; is what's most important to me.  Through it all, I discovered a truer sense of who I am, a stronger direction to where my heart needs to go, and an engaging connection to something that feels more meaningful to me.  

That's what brought me here. To this blog. To a business that allows me to give back to the world in a way that helps, not hurts.  There's too much pain in the world, we need to see more beauty. We should do things that make us happy.  

Doing things that are meaningful to you are important to me also. This blog is important to me. My journey to making my passions come to life are important to me.  That is something I hope you nurture in yourself too.  

Thank you for opening up your heart and taking the time to be here with me.  I hope you wear your heart on your sleeve more often this week and dive into the ocean to find your pearls that help you create the life of your dreams! I would love to hear what that looks like for you by leaving a comment below! Or as always, you can email at 

Much Love to You,
Your Beachonista 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

New Addition to My Family!

Hey, Hey, Beachonista!! 

Exciting news! A wonderful new addition to my family (or should I say: my dream?!) just happened Saturday. I bought my very own Boardworks Stand Up Paddle Board!  This means a lot to me because: 

1. I'm one step closer to teaching Stand Up Paddleboard lessons & 

2. My yoga moves can finally improve! 

LOL ;)  

(It's the little things, right??) 

Where It ALL Went Down. With the help of a charming surf and Stand Up Paddleboard shop called Nikau Kai (located in heart of downtown Manhattan Beach; staffed with warm and highly knowledgable sales associates) equipped me with all the information I needed to make the right purchase.  

I walked into this process feeling overwhelmed with options.  I've owned one board my entire life. I hardly felt like I could make decisions in this field on my own.  I needed an expert.  Enter: Rob from Nikau Kai.  He helped me wade through the endless options so I could feel extremely confident putting students out in the water with the utmost care. 

Why Boardworks Works. 
The first time you learn how to paddle board, the most important aspect to success is: balance.  Balance is what will allow you to stand up and paddle through the water, even when it gets hectic.  Having a wider board will ensure steadiness.  

I can't get on "board" unless the surface of my SUP feels comforting.  That's why this board won me over.  It has a great soft top feature that provides cushion for your feet and knees.

Keep in mind, when I say "soft" I don't mean slippery.  There will be ample traction on the surface to keep you safely balanced.   

Lastly. Did you notice the size of this freaking board? I mean. How could you not?  It's basically the size of two of me put together (as you can see in the photo pictured to the right)! But, yes. There is a good reason I chose a larger-than-life SUP.  It helps increase stability. Kind of like a big ship anchored in the middle of the ocean.  The stability factor is greatly improved with this size board. 

SUP'ing is a Family Thang. All in all, Lady, Tucker and I are VERY excited to introduce this new addition to my family! Keep an eye out here or on my Instagram page with these two fur balls getting out in the water with me!  

Wanna SUP?? If you're interested in booking lessons with me, I'm officially opening my schedule mid April 2016!  Email me if you'd like to book a private or group (up to 3 people) lesson this spring or summer! amanda (at) thebeachonista (dot) com.  

Other than that, we wish you a wonderful week! 

Until next time.... xx

Your Beachonista 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Two Weeks Notice

Hey Beachonista!! I've been putting off this blog post for the past month.  ((But, umm. If we're going for total honesty here: 2...and a half months is more accurate.))  Should "Procrastinator" be my middle name?  Um. YES. FOR SURE. 

Why Procrastinate? Without realizing, I thought withholding my journey from you felt safer than putting it into words.  Boldly claiming my desire to give my two weeks notice and leap onto a path that doesn't offer much guarantee is frightening because I  

Oh, then watching that fear triple in size when confronted by many (well-meaning) folks, like my former boss and security-driven Grandfather with looks of bewilderment.  As if I said I was joining the circus. 

My favorite question: "You're abandoning your security??" 


Risk-taking is the juice. Am I rebellious? Not really.  In fact, I'm the last person who throws caution to the wind. However, the pursuit of a meaningful dream (with a handy plan) is where the magic lives. Am I guaranteed a happy ending? No. But none of us are...especially when we fall in love.  It's a chance you have to decide is worth taking or not, even if it's against all odds. Besides, if we aren't doing something for the love and joy of it, what's the point of life? Just paying your bills and then dying?  No thanks. 

Hello New Chapter. 

Welcome to my new adventure. The kind of adventure that was worth giving my two weeks notice for in order to get off the comfortable "9-5pm merry-go-round."  How this will look to you is that now I will be sharing another fulfilling facet of life with you: Yoga. Don't be surprised when you see it's mostly on a Stand Up Paddleboard.  Expect to see more posts about yoga poses that I'm happily going to break down for you to try, if you're so inclined!  In addition, I will share my personal favorite fitness styles as well! 

In closing, I just want to say how letting the cat out of the bag has filled my heart with joy.  I am excited to open up this new area for us to try together.  As always, I love hearing from you.  If you're also on a journey like mine where you need some extra support, please don't hesitate to reach out below! Or, if you have any input on what else you'd like me to emphasize about yoga, please also share!

Until next time, wishing you a fabulous week, Beachonista!! 


Your Beachonista
Amanda :)
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