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Movin’ On

Life simply takes my breath away with its fast pace and constant change. My family and I have made the decision to move back home to Lake Charles, Louisiana. And after 17 years of being in orbit around Realtors, I have made the decision to license and to pursue my life as Amanda 2.0, directly on the front-line of selling & buying with clients.

Our life is in transition now: selling our home in Beaverton, OR, packing everything up, sending my husband ahead as the advance team so he could start his new job, keeping children entertained, studying for my Broker’s license and doing more praying than I ever have before.

Seriously, letting go.
I’ve let go of my job with great income, status and connections.
I’ve let go of my ego that took a lot of feeding & care.
I’ve let go of our home that we brought our two babies home to – and raised them in.
I’ve let go of STUFF. Lots of stuff.

And while my arms have been wide open in surrender, I’ve received more blessings of the heart & soul than I can convey here.

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I’ve Joined M Realty LLC! (by Amy Munsey)

Here is a success story from an agent I know & ADORE:  Amy Munsey. Yaay team!!!!

I’ve Joined M Realty LLC!.

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Why I’m at M Realty

The M Realty LogoJanuary 2012 was a month that changed the trajectory of my life. After her long battle with Alzheimer’s , I lost my Mom, my hero. I gained an incredible clarity of purpose that had not been there before. Grief-stricken, I re-evaluated my life and surrendered to the pruning that ultimately led to me leaving my job of 17-years. As my focus sharpened on the next step, all I could think about was becoming part of something meaningful, deep, creative & unique. I found this community with M Realty via Garron and Alicia Selliken.

They took a chance on me and on my reputation & abilities in our real estate community. My heart is that of a teacher – so who am I to go out and spread the word about how awesome and different things are here at M? How do I tell the story of a brokerage built around the needs of the agents? How can I articulate and help those on the outside understand and appreciate what a ground-swell of personalized support is happening here? I cannot. All I can do is point to agents who have succeeded because of the support and tell the stories over and over again.
My eyes, ears & heart are open keenly searching for the Realtors I can and will help next. Guide, educate, advocate, empower and encourage are just a few of the things I do for our agents here at M. With such a gifted, graceful & generous group, growth is inevitable! It is music to my heart to walk an agent through the tools and steps here to get him/her to the place they WANT to be, but previously couldn’t put the puzzle pieces together.

Our industry is constantly bombarded with tools, apps, systems and shiny things all promising to make Realtors more productive, profitable and desirable! However, the mere acquisition of these puzzle pieces does not create a focused picture of success.

At M, I’m able to sit down with Agents, and help them put their puzzle together – one that is unique to their voice and sphere. It’s incredibly gratifying and a wonderful next-step in my growth as a coach and trainer.

It is my hope that you’ll read this and respond to ask me out for a cup of coffee to talk about what is happening in your business and in your heart. Where are you on your journey? What’s your next step? I seek those who are seeking.

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Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Mom & Mandy

Happy Times on Mom's Lap

In the wee morning hours of Sunday, January 22, 2012, my Mom died.  She bravely endured dementia and Alzheimer’s but her little little body finally gave out and God took her home to be whole again.  Even though I knew it was coming, I’ve never endured such a searing and painful loss in my life.  I wasn’t ready to lose her yet, even though her mind had been gone for quite some time.  Her physical absence is harder to cope with than I thought it would be.

As much as life needs to get back to normal, it’s not.  I forget things I used to just naturally remember.  I walk in circles a lot.  My brain operates in a different mode now – not that it’s altogether bad.   I’ve never experienced grief like this before –  physical, emotional, social and spiritual.   The toll it has taken and continues to take has been a bigger mushroom cloud than I thought it would be.    But this I know:  pain = growth, right?  Please nod your head, ‘yes’.

Oh, and there is the crying at wholly odd times.  For example, we used to give Mom a hard time for using too much toilet paper.  Yep.  She was guilty of ‘THE MIT’ for even the lightest of tinkles.  So the other day I burst into tears in the toilet paper aisle at the grocery store.  She loved Neil Diamond, so listening to ‘Sweet Caroline’ in the car Tuesday prompted me to have to pull over.  Sheesh.  Ironically, Mom was a nurse and one of her many specialties was dealing with death & dying.  She’d do work to prepare the patient and then would walk the family through what to expect.  Oh how I wish for her now – for some of that wisdom of how to lose her – gracefully.

But angels are all around.  I am so grateful for the caring support of our tight family and the shoulders of precious friends that don’t mind tears and a tiny bit of snot on them. The flowers, calls and cards have been a groundswell of love that make me – well – cry.  Again. 

I have found healing and solace in curating the beautiful photographs that were taken of her & by her over a lifetime.  I’m preparing a memorial ‘Lyn’s Life in Pictures’ for her memorial service and I’m strongly pursuing the best avenue for this.  Animoto?  I am not sure yet – it needs to be able to support the pictures & accompanying music and possibly text on the pictures…

Not-so-brilliant discovery:  It is going to take time to accept this loss – a lot of it. 

Mom & Mandy 2007

On our way to the 'Golden Scholars' lunch

Brilliant discovery:  there is no RIGHT way to grieve.   Conversely, there’s no wrong way either. 

I have two older sisters and we are all processing the loss differently.  This grief, pain and loss has made me love deeper and to be more compassionate of the challenges in the lives of the people I know and love.   It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, “Be kinder than necessary.  Everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle.” ( It’s attributed to both T. H. Thompson & John Watson.)  I find that I look at people with a sweeter love filter now because honestly folks – we have no idea what others are enduring at any given moment.   

Here are a few Apps (don’t be too surprised)  I found that actually offer support without having to go to a group, read a book or otherwise do something that is outside of my pain-zone: 

  1. Grief Support ($0.99) – Created by Joe Prainito, who is a Pastor, Grief Counselor & author, he offers audio, video, blogs and discussions on the many faces of grief.  There is a companion book for those who want to go even deeper.
  2. Discuss Grief   ($3.99) – this is a walk through the grief process of one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis.  He wrote a book by this title after his beloved wife died.  The creator of the app has really made this a study one could possibly lead later on.  In the meantime, it’s just good soul food.
  3. Talk Life (free!) – I like this one because it aims to help you through tough stuff in all areas of life, not just losing your Mama. 
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What social media concerns do you have a

What social media concerns do you have as a parent?

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My Vow of Electronic Abstinance

My Sweet Peeps

Here we are & not an Apple product in sight! Miracle.

I’m returning to the ranks of a traditional scheduled existence after a blissful spell of vacation with my sweet family.  We traveled to Hawaii to see my Dad, who is recovering (beautifully I might add) from a prize-fight with sinus cancer.  It was a time of re-connecting, seeing places from my childhood, and learning that I did not have to be engaged in 5 different conversations online at once, in addition to trying to carry on a coherent communication with my company at the time.  It took me days to decompress from the self-imposed anxiety and stress that I carry around like a big Hefty bag.

So here is what I did:  I deliberately left my iPad, iPhone lap top at home in Oregon.  This was HARD. My name is Amanda and I am addicted to information and electronic engagement.  Granted, it’s part of my job, but your mind gets wired for a certain amount of stimuli, and I starved it out.

It was actually really refreshing and fabulous:  I think I was a better wife, daughter and mom during my vacation because of this decision.  I actually focused on the fun, laughs and moments at hand, and I was startled and a bit grossed t that I had become seemingly numb to matters right in front of me up to that point.  My mind wanders, so I had to corral it back in. I am now more aware of my behavior and will take measures in this brand new year to be more aware of my actions.

Are you i-Dicted to your devices?  Are your kids?  Let’s remember that irreplaceable human touch as we move forward into this amazing New Year.

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Chance Encounter With an Old Friend After a Blogging Webinar – Aloha!

Aloha, awkward youth!

Boarding Hawaiian Airlines bound for The Mainland

This morning started in a very normal manner:  wake up, check my iPad, make the coffee and kiss my husband ‘bye’.  Drop off the kids off at school & head into work – and directly into a huge surprise.  I had planned to get some education this morning, and was THRILLED to learn more about Advanced Blogging.  The name of the Realtor-presenter was Rich Jacobson (hmmm – sorta familiar…), and he did an AMAZING JOB.  

But I digress.

I sent him a  note at the end of the webinar to thank him for brilliant, relevant and immediatelytips that I plan to employ in my teaching. 

THEN SOMETHING MAGIC HAPPENED. 

Rich Jacobsen remembered me…from the very early 80s…when I was a kid in Hawaii and he was the youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Honolulu.  I still cannot wipe the smile off of my face!  He dated one of my sisters too – haaahaaa!

Oh Life – your little circles make me dizzy and happy. 

I have a point, and it is this:  don’t ever forget that all of your blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, LinkedIn and other social media activity is virtual, but THE RELATIONSHIPS ARE REAL.  My friend Sara said that, and it just couldn’t be more true.  It’s so special and precious.

It takes people to power these engines – people with wonderful imaginations, visions, funny stories, compelling information, quotes that inspire and chance reunions that reaffirm that  ‘See you later’ is much more appropriate these days than ‘good bye’.  

Rich Jacobsen is now a successful Realtor in Silverdale, Washington with a big beautiful family.  Due to technology that we could not have even imagined back in 1983, I have subscribed to his blog, following him on Twitter, and of course we’re friends on Facebook. 

Cyber sigh!  What fun.  I’ve got about 243 questions for him about blogging, Hawaii, Active Rain stuff, why real estate and how on earth he remembered me.

Let me know your fun chance encounter story!

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