On today’s Episode of The SHAIR Podcast we have Amanda Nelson joining us. Amanda is a Beachbody Coach, a recovering drug addict, and an advocate for sobriety and clean living. Amanda is on a mission to inspire others so they know they too can cross the bridge from darkness to happiness!!
Today Amanda records these wonderfully inspirational videos where her motto on a daily basis is to make a stranger smile. Join us now as Amanda takes us through her unbelievable battle with drugs and alcohol until a spiritual awakening brings her into recovery.
Clean Date: August 10th, 2015
This episode was brought to you by Sober Nation
Here are Amanda’s SHAIR Podcast interview highlights:
Amanda: What’s up O?
Omar: Oh, you know, just living the dream in Costa Rica.
Amanda: I’m living the dream in Tampa, Florida.
Omar: Oh, I love it, I love it. How you feeling today?
Amanda: I feel fabulous. Today is a great day.
Omar: It certainly is. Okay, let’s get started. All right folks, today we have Amanda Nelson joining us on the shared podcast. Let’s dive right in. Amanda, tell us how your life is today. Your hobbies, I know you get a lot of exercise. Take us into your normal daily routine, including recovery.
Amanda: All right, well some of my hobbies, recently I’m into obstacle course racing. I’m a beach body coach in fitness. Me and workouts are like we’re dating, man. That’s my boyfriend right now, me and my workouts.
Amanda: I get up in the mornings. Actually, January 1st was like a really big day for me. It’s like the new year just brought on a whole different mindset. Now I don’t even get out of bed unless I do my personal development. In beach body we have to do that anyway. I’ve dived into the Bible for the first time in my life. I read in the Bible. I do my personal development. Sometimes it’s for an hour. Sometimes it’s for two hours. It’s just depends on how I feel. Then I start my day. Then I feel like I can be who I need to be for the world. I mean, I go ride bikes in Tampa on the Riverwalk. I just do all kinds of things. I don’t have anything set after that workout and ride bikes and talk to homeless people. My motto is make a stranger smile. My goal everyday is to see how many strangers I can make smile.
Omar: Oh man, that’s beautiful. You know, I have you on Facebook. I have an opportunity to see your videos, to see your pictures. There’s a tremendous amount of exercise that goes on. I’ve seen it first hand, your unbelievable amount of exercise routines you have going on. I applaud you for that.
Amanda: Well thank you, thank you. I put in a lot of hard work because that’s what keeps me sober. Fitness is a must for me.
Omar: Absolutely. You were just talking about how recently you’ve dove into the Bible. Tell us a little bit about how you’re maintaining your spiritual condition, that conscious contact with your higher power.
Amanda: Well see, I grew up, my dad was a minister in music so it’s quite odd for me that I’m just now diving into the Bible. I started with Proverbs. When I first started reading it, a lot of it don’t make sense to me. Now that I’m reading it, I’m like oh my gosh. This is so crazy. It makes total sense now. I post on my Facebook, a Bible verse everyday. I try to stick with that same Bible verse throughout the day. I try to apply it throughout my day. Me and my daughter just started reading the Bible. A Bible verse together, baby steps because I don’t know enough to teach her what it all means. I’m learning too. I want her to learn. Man, ever since I did that my heart’s just been filled with so much joy. I pray all day, every day. Some of you all are talking about like praying in the shower and stuff and in the bathtub. I do that too. I actually broke down the other day because I remembered about something and I just completely broke down. It as the best breakdown ever. It was crazy.
Omar: Those happen all the time. Those are beautiful moments in our recovery, in our lives. When you can tap into something that probably provoked or produced a lot of fear and anxiety in our lives. We were able to just cathartically let it go through our tears.
Amanda: That was a very powerful moment for me. Like I said, this whole thing’s the way I’m living my life today, is a completely new experience for me. I’m loving every second of it.
Omar: Tell us Amanda, how much clean time do you have? When is your anniversary date?
Amanda: Okay, I’m going to say completely, one hundred percent with everything is August 10th, 2015. I quit drinking. I quit smoking cigarettes. I laid everything down that day.
Omar: That’s beautiful. I love it. That’s great, good for you. Quitting those cigarettes is tough. People, they hold on to cigarettes like they hold onto McDonald’s.
Amanda: Yeah, exactly. I let McDonald’s go too. I just did a completely three sixty.
Omar: Perfect. Number one, what was keeping you from getting clean or staying clean when you first got introduced to recovery?
Amanda: Myself. I wasn’t ready.
Omar: Yeah, well in a nutshell, there it is.
Amanda: Yeah. I mean there is no other, I got in my own way and that’s it.
Omar: Yeah, I got you. Number two, at what point did you have a spiritual awakening that aha moment in recovery, when you accepted you’re powerless over drugs and alcohol? For the first time had developed that hope that you could recover?
Amanda: I think that was the moment that I prayed to God on the beach. I just didn’t know what else to do. I just prayed to God. I saw a reflection of my soul in the cloud. I didn’t know if I really wanted to become a part of this network in the marketing thing. I didn’t know what I wanted. When I prayed to God, I’m like, “God, please show me a sign.” I looked up in the clouds and there was a muscle floating, like plain as day. That was my moment. I was like, okay.
Omar: That’s so beautiful. That’s so beautiful, I love that story. Number three, do you have a favorite book that you would recommend to our newcomers, that you’ve read in early recovery?
Amanda: Okay, I’m just now getting into reading books. I listen to Eric Thomas a lot. He’s a hip hop preacher.
Omar: E T.
Omar: The cussing preacher.
Amanda: I love E T. He has been my rock. I would say for me, not so much a book because I’m making myself read. I listen to his YouTube videos, over and over and over. I still do to this day. That man is my rock. He just motivates me in a way that nobody else can. E T the hip hop preacher, baby.
Eric Thomas – The Secret to Success
Omar: All right, so let’s move on. Number four, what is the best suggestion you have ever received?
Amanda: To chase my dreams. I personally believe that a lot of my addiction was because I was so unhappy. I was trying to please everybody else. I was listening to all the negativity. You can’t do this and you can’t do that, blah, blah, blah.
Amanda: When my old dealer, I guess you could say, sat there right in my face and told me to chase my dreams. Man, I took that to heart and I ran with it. That’s exactly why I’m not happy because I’m not living my dream. I’m living my life for everybody else. That’s not cool with me anymore.
Omar: No, I agree a hundred percent. Here’s the thing, there is so many people out there, that are dream crushers. The whole thing is that, it’s not any fault of anyone else except we were all raised by parents that instilled these limiting beliefs in us. You’re not tall enough. You’re not smart enough. You’re not strong enough. You couldn’t do that. We start to believe it. Anytime someone tells us you can’t do something, it’s almost as powerful as somebody saying that you can.
Omar: It’s the same amount of energy. They say whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. The last the thing that you want is somebody else, you know pissing on your dreams. These limiting beliefs that people instill in us, it’s a horrific thing. You can do whatever it is that you want to do, if you put your mind, your heart, your soul. If you follow your heart, you let God guide you. There’s a saying, if God got you to it, he’ll get you through it. I’m a firm believer of that.
Omar: That’s beautiful.
Amanda: I am too. It took me so long to finally get to that point.
Omar: Well, that’s why we’re doing the podcast. People need to hear this. People need to listen and go, wow I needed to hear that today.
Omar: The final question then today would be, if you could give our newcomers only one suggestion, what would that be?
Amanda: Forgive yourself.
SUGGESTIONS FOR THE NEWCOMER!
“Forgive yourself for everything that you’ve done. ”
Omar: I love it.
Amanda: Forgive yourself for everything that you’ve done. It’s so hard to get wrapped up on the things that you’ve done. I mean if I concentrated on all the things that I’ve done and all the people that I’ve hurt, my life would be fricking miserable still. I choose to forgive myself because I’m worth it and so are you. To forgive yourself, let go of the past. It’s in the past, you cannot change it. Learn from it, use it, your pain is a part of your greatness. I’m a firm believer. Flip it around to something positive.
Omar: Wow. That’s beautiful. Tell us again, what is that, the slogan you live your life by?
Amanda: Make a stranger smile. I don’t even remember how I came up with it. I wake up each day. I tell my beach body team. I do it on my motivational videos. Make a stranger smile. Go out of your way. Even though sometimes it’s so uncomfortable, it’s so simple. It’s simple. It’s free. It’s super contagious. Go make strangers smile. I try to make a goal, everyday I try to make ten or fifteen smile. I usually accomplish that. I’m pretty clumsy and silly out in public. If you just go out of your way, it takes a second. Like I said, it’s simple, it’s free and it’s super contagious. The feeling you get whenever you make somebody else smile, man it just fills your heart with so much joy. People don’t expect it these days.
Amanda: I think that if we all do that on a daily basis, before you know it, we’ll have the whole world smiling.
Omar: I agree.
Amanda: That would just be the greatest thing ever.
Omar: That’s right. Be the change you want to see in the world.
Thanks again for your SHAIR, Amanda!
See you then!
Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not promote or endorse any 12 step anonymous program.