The Power of Performance

When my body was suddenly covered in goosebumps, I knew I was on the right topic with my tea date. After nearly 2 hours of talking about life, career, parenting, politics, we came back around to performing, something that I know deeply, both as a performer on stage and as a person “performing” in life for love and career and social acceptance.

The world is our stage, and we can either sell our soul trying to appease this audience or that audience. Or, we can be authentic, and find that instead of feeling depleted, we are left overflowing with joy.

Have you ever been to a performance where the artist somehow brought you closer to yourself? Where you found yourself more deeply connected to your own body and sensations and emotions, and those of everyone around you? Where the light, the air, the sounds, are almost palpable?

I know that feeling, and I relish that feeling. It’s called being connected, and I witnessed it yesterday in untrained dancers “performing” in a Tantric Dance of the Sacred Feminine at Inlakesh Festival. After getting in tune with our bodies, eyes closed, we all formed a circle and held space for 2 dancers at a time. They kept their eyes closed, and just let the movement come, big or small. Amazingly, the smallest movements were certainly the most powerful. Why? Because they came from the center of their being.

Couple one was a large man with a sarong draped like a cape across one shoulder, and a petite woman, both of them coincidentally Asian. The man was quivering, so large and powerful, yet obviously intensely sensitive and sensual. The lady was very reserved at first, yet it wasn’t long before she was overtaken by something glorious, sensuous, powerful. Afterward, shaking and eyes alight with wonder, she said it was like the heavens poured into her.

Couple two was a younger girl, strong and pretty, who shook her hips and arms like one would “expect” to the music she was given. The other lady was tall, full-bodied with voluptuous hair well past her waist, a classic face with rosy high cheeks, an absolute pleasure to look at. When she danced, it was like watching Kali. She was soft and sensuous, yet in her dance was fire and brimstone, earthen love and watery seduction.

Fast forward to African Dance later that day, where the heavens again poured into and through me, and my movement became pure devotion. I reached a point in my dance where only the intent drove the movement, my body lit up with an electrical charge, and I had seemingly boundless energy that I poured right into the other dancers. At the end of a full and energetic (and SUPER sweaty) class, we took turns performing improvised solos. One of the movements of the class is deeply devotional and exuberant. In a gesture of bringing my hands close to my heart, and collecting all the joy therein, then offering it forth to each and every dancer in the circle, one at a time, I poured my heart and joy out, shared my love, and channeled an immense amount of energy. I looked directly into the eyes of each of them, some alight with wonder, love, awe, and some with uncertainty. They felt it. I gave all I had to them, and in that exchange, I filled up with more love and joy than I can imagine on a daily basis. 

mansare dance class

(Photo from ….Sarah Mansare is the teacher and the person that really turned me onto this dance, this culture, this amazing affirmation of our potent life force and capacity for joy and giving)

I leave these experiences transformed from the inside out, each time more and more certain of why dance means so much to me, why and how it can be good for others, to connect to themselves and therefore to others.

There is little (or nothing) more vulnerable and empowering than dancing our truth, and in that instant lies the power of the heavens and earth combined.

Everyone can have that.

I hope for everyone to experience that interconnectedness, to realize that authenticity is the true pathway to connection.



What I want from you

‘It’s easy to reach out to someone who is loving you, because it relieves you of the duty of loving yourself.’ ~Amy Baker

I stayed away from intimate relationship for nearly a year for a reason. It’s hard. And not in the effort way. It’s hard because it brings up your shit. Insecurities and fears that lie dormant while you are single and taking good care of yourself suddenly crop up. And being in relationship is also EASY because when it’s good, we don’t have to give ourselves the loving we need to feel good. But that filling up from someone else’s overflowing cup is unsustainable. 

Conscious intimate relationship is incredibly hard, because it demands that you own all your shit, that you allow your vulnerabilities, and that you take full responsibility for your happiness. Therefore, you must get to know yourself. So, in a weird roundabout way, conscious relationship requires plenty of alone time to get to know oneself.

I have been thinking hard about what I want in relationship, and what kind of relationship I want, if any. I realized so many things these past two weeks, pondering over stuff while the man …shit, I don’t even know what to call him. I was calling him my beloved, but things changed in me recently, and I think they changed in him, but we haven’t had time to talk about it. I may have screwed up asking for an open relationship. What people don’t realize when I say I want an open relationship is that I am NOT asking for something flippant or on the side. I AM saying I want a relationship. It just is going to have different boundaries than the typical monogamous relationship.

And I actually realized that I don’t necessarily so much want an open relationship. I want the communication that I feel is necessary for that type of relationship to occur. So what I really want is someone and something REAL. I want to give my partner enough freedom so they can feel comfortable being themselves so I can see who they really are. I want to get to know the real person. And yet, it ends up backfiring. I guess I will have the same issues regardless….but I digress.

I have been feeling like I need to fix myself, like I can’t be broken in front of anyone, and that I only deal with my shit on my own, and there is a lot to be said for taking care of your shit on your own. But I think there is also a lot to be said for accepting that we are imperfect, and we have pasts that shape us in many ways. While we try to overcome those shadows, some we aren’t aware of yet, and others we just aren’t clear of. And that’s O.K.

For me, things get good, and I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop. I recognize it every time, and just because it’s familiar, doesn’t make it easier. It’s often hard to tell how much is intuition, and how much is reactive programming.


So, some things about me that I am accepting and telling partners about:

  1. I want and need open, honest, regular communication. Openness and honesty create intimacy with me, which creates trust. Lack of disclosure about who a partner is spending time with is pretty much a deal breaker. Is this largely due to being cheated on by my ex husband the whole 6 years we were together? Perhaps. But it’s what I want and need to feel emotionally safe and close to someone. If someone wants to get to know me, then they need to be open, upfront and honest about everything.
  2. I want to be wanted. It’s important to me that you want me in your life. If not, then why spend time together? I don’t believe in just filling an empty space. You know those sweet things that you did in the first month or so? Don’t stop. We aren’t done courting yet. Thinking of me? Please let me know. It feels good to know someone is missing you.
  3. Vulnerability is sexy, so long as you are owning your shit. So is knowing and expressing what you want. I strive to do that and don’t always succeed. You know what else is sexy? Admitting you were wrong. That is so hot!
  4. I like touch, and cuddling and sweet, tender kisses and hugs. I am not a sex object, and while I have a sex drive to match or beat yours, that is not the only thing on my mind and it doesn’t fill my heart like tender caresses and holding me like someone who is cherished. If you want to keep me around, be tender more than you are horny.
  5. I have fears. Despite all of the work I have done on myself, and all of the years of counseling, the fears come up. When things get really good and beautiful, I start waiting for the other shoe to fall. I don’t know how to stop it. I just know what it is and try my best not to react to those negative thoughts and feelings. It’s really more a sinking in my gut and a low-level vibration of panic. I fear that the one I am loving will not love me once he sees all of me, that somehow I am not lovable as I am. SO, I am working on loving all those pieces of myself. I actually like myself a lot, so not sure why this comes up so much.
  6. Just once, I would love if a man could see me falling apart over a fear (no matter how stupid), and just hold me and love me for being vulnerable, for doing my darnedest to work through all the mental crap I have dealt with over the years. If they only knew how much I have overcome. Love me for my weaknesses as much as my strengths, for my strength is born out of allowing and dealing with my weaknesses.



It’s not that I don’t want you

To my current and future lovers…..

It’s not that I don’t want you, that I wouldn’t welcome calling you mine. Au contraire. I want nothing more than to be someone’s beloved…. to be held deeply in the heart of one I call my beloved.

It’s that I don’t want the relationships I have had, and so in order to not fall into those patterns again, to create something I don’t fully know yet, I must break the mold and start anew. Crush the clay and rebuild. 

And so I risk losing you so that I can avoid losing myself in you, for surely if that happens, I have lost you already, or will lose you soon. No, I would have lost you from the beginning, for if you stayed, it would be for the wrong reason, the wrong person, like so many others in my past.

Yes, I risk losing your love so that I may ensure I stay whole in myself, for then I have all of me to give to you. And if you leave a whole person, then surely it was not meant to be and I will have nothing to lose, for I kept myself whole.

What a beautiful thought….2 whole people merging to become more than they are alone…. yet staying separate and whole throughout it all. I want to know that I have given all of me to you, in those moments of merging. And I want to receive all of you.

That is beauty.

That is truth.

That is what I want.


I told my mom tonight I am putting myself in the fire (of relationship). I am not sure how or if I can handle the person I am with being with another person intimately. I don’t know that I can handle being with more than one person intimately. It’s not really about that, to be honest. It’s about being in that uncomfortable space, that place that causes so many of us to dive into the “comfort” of monogamy. It’s predictable, or so we think.

I told my mom that I have jealousy issues that come up when I am in a monogamous relationship. Yes, I have jealousy issues, so I have decided to put myself in relationship where I may be sharing my partner. Why?! Because it is the only way I can get over it.

For me, it is about communication, about allowing myself the time to experience what comes up for me with the space to work through it. I know flirtation happens, and affairs happen, and people are attracted to each other for whatever reason. Sometimes, we confuse emotional or even cerebral attraction with sexual. Sometimes, drawing that boundary around the relationship creates a tension that actually draws a person more toward what is “forbidden”. Take away that invisible boundary, and the tension dissolves. Then, you can see the attraction/energetic pull for what it really is.

What if we allowed ourselves to have whatever connection felt right with someone, and did not stop it because of fear of what our partner may or may not think? What if we were supportive of the other having these relationships?

I love knowing that my current partner and I have options to be with other people and still spend precious time with each other. There is never obligation, only desire and enjoyment. I love that. We allow each other choice, with compassion and forgiveness, every day.

He owes me nothing, and I expect nothing. I want honesty and openness and will draw the line there, but I can’t expect it of him. Just one day at a time. It’s scary, because my fear says he will not find me interesting enough to stay….Yes, the tears on my cheek as I type tell me this is true…that I have this deep-seated fear that I am not lovable. That can’t be true, since I had 3 men want to marry me. I just was with men who didn’t love themselves, and I did not love myself enough to stay whole. Everyone is lovable. Everyone deserves love.

It’s time to come together with someone in a whole-hearted, whole-bodied manner.

So far, it’s going great.

Not always comfortable, certainly not familiar, but most definitely right.


The Heavens Opened Up and Poured Into My Heart

**This post is 2 months old, and I thought I had to write everything before posting….silly me

Joy is timeless, so InJoy!

I don’t know how to assimilate all of the goodness that is flowing into my life.

I opened the doors to what I want, and it’s all flooding in at once…. conscious relationships, dance, community, career success, financial stability, and something I never imagined….. having my whole reality shattered by a weekend of African dance.

Sounds odd, but bear with me, and you will understand.

Sometimes, I can’t tell if written words or spoken are better. Here is my Bathtime Musing #5, in case you prefer to listen:


Bathtime Musing #4- Beautiful Men

So much goodness in my life, reflected in the people I am meeting, especially in the quality of men entering my life.

Thanks to my ability to be fully me, they now have a vessel to give to.



Bathtime Musing #2: The Fall of Exaltation

You know the post-performance (or post-project) blues? They hit me within hours of the end of my first weekend of performances in 11 years. Here are my thoughts on that…. direct from my watery tub.tub

While I wanted to edit this one, I didn’t. Please pardon the abrupt ending.




Turn of the Tides

I had my heart opened up.

Just enough to let the light in.

He didn’t try to do it. He didn’t do anything but smile, dance, and then hold me sweetly. My body remembered the sweet grace of a warm embrace, the mutual sigh of contentment, if only for that one shared moment.

And right on the heels of the night, Doubt came galumphing along. Doubt is an insidious character, the elephant that never forgets an infraction by anyone (real or imagined).

Doubt lacks compassion. Doubt assumes the worst. It’s a real downer.

And Yearning also popped in for a visit, which only made Doubt more insidious.

Tired of the chatter and confliction, I went for a walk in the park, something I had not done for much too long.

Walking along the creek, something softened in me. That sound, that rushing, undulating current of water always softens my edges, washes away my crusty armor, and leaves me naked, ripe for the taking, if only I allow it time to work its magic.

The water surged, welling up in my eyes, across my forehead, and deep into the belly.

“What on earth am I sad about?”

And at that moment, it was clear. I was mourning the loss of Nature in my life, of MY nature…..the familiar turn of the tides in me that I have turned from in an effort to be strong, to leave the painful past behind, to turn my intention to the future, toward stability and growth.

I have made it so I don’t have time for my dear friend and confidante. I shunned her because she washes away my armor, she opens up my soul and leaves me naked, bared to anyone who can See.

It’s scary being vulnerable, being true and open and honest. It’s scary opening up after a heinous divorce and then being let down yet again.

It’s scary to trust myself, knowing I have let mySelf down so many times.

My friend, no matter how long I neglect her, is there, reminding me to remain sensitive, to trust in the evolution of process. She is there in my orchids that took 18 months to bloom, and Oh! How they bloomed! And she is in my herbs, and drooping plants, and bright plants, and in everything that grows and dies in my life.

And she spoke to me at the park.

“Stop, and listen. Hear the creek, the rhythm, let it beat upon your back. Let the air rush through your lungs. You are alive as you can be. Isn’t it glorious?!”

And she showed me her treasures….tiny flowers nestled in the knot of a tree, nature’s flowerpot, mini worlds of fungi, lichen and moss, solo flowers standing proud, and then a tall, smooth tree that beckoned me with it’s quiet, unassuming strength.

And I laid my face upon its smooth skin and let my tears fall, and it held me.

No judgement, no expectations, no words of advice. It just held me, supported me and welcomed my tears. And I wrapped my arm around the trunk, so thankful for the unconditional and ever-present love, support and acceptance of my dear friend.

“It’s been too long, my friend, too long.”


A Year To Clear, Day 25

Ok, it’s actually day 54 or something, but I haven’t been doing my daily “drip” of information. I could beat myself up about it, but I am not. That’s not what it’s about.

If you are already lost, I am doing A Year To Clear by Stephanie Bennett Vogt, an online program that gives daily tidbits, thoughts, videos, etc on clearing stuck energy in your life, typically in the way of clutter.

Today was a video talking about the sh*t that comes up when we try and clear clutter. It doesn’t always feel good.

I love when Stephanie said, ‘It’s not about getting it done. It’s about getting it!’

She talked about taking a clothing item that we haven’t worn for whatever reason but still hold onto, and just holding it in your lap for one minute. With compassionate awareness, notice what sensations and thoughts come up.

Well, the first thing that came up for me was that I was resistant to doing this, to meditation. Evidently, a lot of stuff from my divorce has not been processed, and I am not really interested in processing it. Yet, I keep getting signs from the universe to go there.

Next, I thought about time, and I had this dread of adding a task to my day. So, I thought to my closet upstairs and pictured a yellow, Indian style flowing dress that I have had for many years and never wore. Immediately, it was clear to me that this yellow dress represented a side of me I was afraid of losing.


I realized in that instant that I was afraid of getting rid of the dress because that would mean losing that flowing, feminine, gypsy side of me, that free-loving wild soul from San Francisco that I so miss and adore.

Of course, that’s absurd, but we make these odd connections to our STUFF. Evidently, in order to be able to clear the stuck energy around this dress, I need to first be aware of this relationship, and then I need to allow myself to be that free-spirited gypsy girl more often. yellow dress

Compassionate Awareness leads to Unstuckness.

Amazing how all these years, I go through my closet to see what to get rid of, and in the TASK and DOING, I never made the energetic connection to why I was actually holding on to it. And the best thing about this exercise, is I never even had to go upstairs and into my closet. It helps, but an energetic connection does not need physical connection.

I would love to hear if you try this, and what happens for you. If you are interested in the online course, go HERE.


A Year to Clear

As is par for the course on a New Years Day, I slept in. Thankfully, I remembered to turn off my alarm, and at 10am, I awoke, with crusty eyes, swollen hands, and an internal panic of all that I “have” to do.

Insert big EXHALE here.

Let me start over. I know 2016 is going to be big. 2015 was huge. I let go of a lot and brought in so much that I now don’t have enough hours in the day to do all that I brought into my life and would LOVE to do! It’s a real problem, folks.

I wake up, and my mind starts with, you “should” do yoga. That’s a healthy way to start the day, every day. You shouldn’t drink coffee. It’s hard on your adrenals. You really should go play on your pole. Don’t sit down on the computer right away without stretching and being active first. And on and on… I think I have an internal mother on overdrive.

And then I think of all that I want to DO in my life.

  • I want to dance more, like full dancing, with jumps and leaps, and performing, and pirouettes, and floorwork, and all the pain and beauty I remember.
  • Oh, and I have a pole downstairs that I want to learn to use, but for some reason am not.
  • I want to write more, so I think a daily blog again would be good.
  • I started a fellowship, so I know I need to study.
  • Of course, I want to somehow turn that into a business where I actually help people be healthier, vs. approve medications that are prescribed by other people and that I know are making them sicker.
  • Oh, and I want to be healthy and strong, so I want to keep up the workouts in the gym, and of course the meal prepping.
  • Perhaps I might do a figure competition as well.
  • Somewhere in there, I really want to have more close relationships with people. Yet I am reticent to have a relationship outside of myself. I want to let people in….slowly.
  • I want to clear the clutter in my home….starting with the file drawer full of things to file…and I need to download my quicken for the YEAR and figure out what is biz and not…and organize so I can study, so my heartrate doesn’t quicken in panic every time I walk in the office….
  • And all of those things take Time, …and Focus…. and Presence.

And yet, I am remembering going through some of my old posts last night after coming back from New Years festivities. So many of the posts are about Surrendering to the unknown, to letting the current image of things as we think they should be fall away. They are about Trust, Self Love, and BEing.

So, I sit down with my coffee, open up my computer, and this page is looking at me (which I opened last night)

A Year to Clear What is Holding You Back!
Premium on-line course by Stephanie Bennett Vogt
(9,538 people have taken this course)

This is a 365-day on-line course available from Stephanie Bennett Vogt. We will email you when your new lesson is available and you will be able to login and read each lesson on-line or print as they become available and click to listen to the guided audio meditations. Your first lesson will be available immediately after you enroll.

“The journey is the treasure.”-Lloyd Alexander


Well, I took it as a sign, and I signed up. Part of me thought, “Amy, there you go committing to yet one more thing,” and the other part of me said, “It needs to happen. It will help me focus on what is most important each day, help me in seeing that I don’t have to do it all every day, that it’s ok to let some things go so other things can come in.”

So, no New Years Resolutions, except maybe to ALLOW my Self to be all that I imagine and more, or less than I imagine, and to trust that letting go of what I imagine will allow something I cannot imagine because it is a whole new way of being.

I like the sound of that!

What is on your mind as we head into 2016? 




I am not what I was

I love how clarity just happens, often when we aren’t seeking it. I was sitting on the couch the other day, pondering the concept of being triggered. It has become more and more evident how our triggers can either block us from living life or lead us to greater clarity and self-compassion.

And it dawned on me. I am not a wounded person. I am whole.

Suddenly, I had flashbacks to so many times I reacted based on a story in my mind, how as proud of being independent and positive I was, I still put myself in the victim role with stories of being wounded. Those stories suddenly didn’t matter. They were just….stories. At that moment, I didn’t identify with them. What happened next was a big, full, ecstatic and life-affirming inhale as my chest softened and let life in.

Does not being wounded mean we don’t get triggered? Hell no! What it means, for me, is that I have another chance to undo a negative pattern and redirect it through truth seeking and self love. I can get triggered, but not identify myself with the stories that caused the patterns.

I am not what I was.

I am.