Don't let the birds get your papaya.

Hi sweet friends,

Here we are: the day after Labor Day. This can be the biggest bummer of a day, and while the sun is certainly shining bright and hot here in the city today, I want to keep the summer party vibe going strong. I've got big news about Restore Your Roar (in the eternal summer wonderland of Hawaii!) PLUS a special guest author: none other than Amanda Trusty!

You know that I'm a huge believer in doing it now, whatever "it" is. Amanda wrote a powerful story about what happens when you just keep waiting for, well, everything. Amanda used to be just like Ti Moune, always waiting for her life to begin (where you at, MT nerds?). She was always waiting for permission to live the life she wanted. It took hitting rock bottom and seeing that waiting also meant giving away her power for her to take the reins of her own life and steer it straight to mothereffing Hawaii. I'm so happy to share her words below, and I'm positive they will inspire you, too. 

Oh, BTW: Amanda and I are beyond thrilled because Restore Your Roar: a re-boot camp is HALF FULL!!!!! (insert party hat emoji here.) We are just so over the moon at the amazing response that we decided to keep our Earlybird Roar Rate Registration open until September 15th. We're here for you if you have questions (we've answered lots of them here), and we truly hope YOU will join us. If you're ready to say HELL YES, click here and seal the deal.

Enjoy + mahalo,

PS: Only six spots left! You are so worthy. You deserve it. If you say "yes," the whole Universe will conspire to make it happen. I promise. 

Dear reader,

This morning I went to pick a ripe papaya off the tree that stands outside my front door. See, yesterday as I left for work, I noticed the beautiful orange hue of the fruit standing out against all the other unripened green buds on the tree and vowed to pick it this morning to have over my yogurt. Turns out, I waited too long and someone else had my breakfast first. The birds are munching on the pink flesh right outside my kitchen window as I type this to you, and I'm stuck with my plain yogurt sans the strawberry papaya I was so excited about when I woke up.

I've had this happen before, you know, only it wasn't just a beautiful papaya. It was my life.

I've been letting life pass me by since I was nineteen years old. Some mornings, I would sleep in so long that I had breakfast at 6pm. Some days, I watched NCIS marathons for so many hours that I never put clothes on or left the house. Some days I was out the door by 6am, but bingeing on a pizza and a roll of peanut butter cookie dough by 2pm, after being cut from an audition. I was living a life based on events – if I didn't have an event or a date that day, the day was wasted as I waited for the next big event to come along.

I never planned vacations. What if I missed something in my world of show business and networking?

I missed four weddings in the span of two years out of fear of missing out. What if I had a callback for a summer theatre production that would pay me $300 a week?

I left OkCupid dates hanging until the last minute to see if I had a dance class to attend with an important choreographer. I bailed on friends if an important workshop with an agent came up. I skipped birthday parties and goodbye parties just in case I had an event the next morning and needed beauty sleep.

But in the meantime? In the middle of the possible events that would arise? I would do nothing. Well, not nothing. I would alternate between sleeping, bingeing, and hating myself. So I mean, I was actually pretty busy.

Point being, I was never the girl that would pick up for the weekend and say, fuck this noise, I need a break in the Hamptons for a few days, much less would I ever book a flight to somewhere beautiful or tropical or relaxing. I was too afraid to miss a fart in New York City – land of the theatre district where life needed to be.

I would see Facebook posts about my friends going away to Europe for two weeks, or Hawaii for a week in primetime audition season and think, they must be crazy going off and living their life like that! They're missing so many auditions! They won't book anything for the summer and all they'll have is their tan and their happiness and their photos with piña coladas and that's no life!

Oh my God you guys, I was so deranged.

I didn't know what living was until I fell hard, flat on my face, in this land called Rock Bottom. Most everyone's been there, or feels like they're on their way there at some point in their life. And what I wish for you, is to see that place someday. I wish it for everyone, I do. I don't want you to stay or get comfortable there, but to see it, is a great privilege. To know that it's there, is a blessing.

Why?! Because rock bottom can be, and has been, the foundation for which I built my life. And I know that it's been a foundation for many others in this world as well. Knowing that it's always there waiting to welcome me back with a bed of rock and a sky of gray, is sometimes all the jolt I need to get moving or take care of myself even when it feels like the hardest task.

Whatever I was doing prior to landing face first in the stank that is Rock Bottom, was not living. It was surviving. It was passing. It was skimming.

I didn't know that my career, or men, or my weight, was not what my life's purpose is, until I lost all of those things and didn't have a one to distract me.

My days of living event to event were no longer - because there were no more events. There was just me, sitting on my couch, calling an eating disorder clinic, and reading self-help books, grasping at straws wondering where the hell I was supposed to go next.

And that's when Kalani Oceanside Retreat showed up in my Google search.

You know how it goes. One minute you're watching a kitten fall off a kitchen counter and the next minute you're clicking on a Nikki Minaj video and the next minute you're reading an article about UFO's over New Zealand. Click after click after click of distracting internet braincell killers and the next thing you know you come across some yoga retreat in the middle of the jungle in Hawaii.

Holy shit it was beautiful. There were palm trees. There were smiling people in sarongs and sun hats. There was pineapple. The picture on the homepage was a fucking rainbow.

I felt drawn to keep clicking within the Kalani site. Workshops and hula classes and day trips and wait, what's that a.....volunteer link?

Say what?

I'm not really the volunteer type. Like, I'ma need you to pay me for all that cat-sitting, sister.

Wait, you work on the campus and get all your housing, meals, pool, yoga, spa and geckos for free? I'm so overwhelmed.

I click on “apply”. Someone up above officially has control over my fingertips as I scroll through the application and start entering my information.

“Are you mentally stable?”, the application asks. “How would you benefit from three months at Kalani? Are you willing to contribute to your fellow ohana and spread the aloha spirit?”

Mmmmm so many questions that I don't know if I can answer honestly right nowwwwwwww.

Plus, why do I deserve to go to Hawaii? I've always said I'll wait for my honeymoon to go to Hawaii. It will be so romantic. And since I have a ring on my finger and I'm getting married in 67 days at Galapagos Space in Brooklyn to the love of my life, I'll be in Hawaii sooner than I know it.

Oh wait. Oh, wait, right, I'm not even dating anyone right now because the last guy I dated ripped out my heart and tap danced on it on the corner of Thompson and West 3rd.

Well shit.

I guess it wouldn't kill me to go to Hawaii a little sooner than planned. I mean, maybe I'll meet a yoga daddy with big muscles at Kalani and we'll get matching tattoos of sea turtles or something and I won't even need a honeymoon.

Click Send.

Receive phone interview request.

Click Reply.

Confirm phone interview.

Answer phone.

Proceed with hour phone interview with an actor named Sam from London who is the volunteer coordinator who gets me so hard it's like we were born of the same brain.

Congratulations, you've been accepted to the Kalani Volunteer program.

We will see you on August 1st. Bring bug spray.

That was 2013 y'all.

It's now August 2014 and my life has taken these crazy, leopard print, masking taped, roaring turns that has landed me here – talking to you.

Inviting you to join me.

Just like the birds got the papaya before me because I didn't take two minutes to pick it yesterday before speeding off to work, I don't want a man, or a job, or an event, to get in the way of your Hawaii trip before it's too late.

What if there never is a reason to come to Hawaii? What if there never is a honeymoon, or your spouse wants to go to Alaska instead? What if you never have the money for the flight? What if what if what if what if what if what if what if?

There will always be a what if. There will always be a reason not to say yes. There will always be a voice telling you that you do not deserve a trip to a beautiful place.

Until you shut it up.

I want to help you shut it up. I want to convince you that you deserve all the riches and all the papayas and all the body love and all the beauty in the world. I want to bring you to a safe and healing place where you can cultivate self-love, intuition, and your inner roar.

And I want that place to be Hawaii. Because it's where I found my Roar, and it's where you will find yours.

I have no doubt in my mind that you belong here with me picking papayas before the pesky birds step on your breakfast. All I need you to do, is believe that you belong here too.

Believe that it's meant to be, and the flight will come. The money will come. The time off work will come. The trip can happen.

Everything you need for this dream to become a reality is inside you. You manifest what you need when you are fully committed to needing and wanting it, and not taking no for an answer.

I promise you, we will be shaking and sweating and sharing in the jungle together at some point in your life. Whether it's at the upcoming retreat in January 2015 or it's in August 2018 – five years after I found my inner roar at Kalani - we will toast with a coconut water and thank ourselves for giving ourselves the gift of peace, nature, and dancing in the jungle – possibly naked and even more possibly in the cleanest rain on earth.

I invite you to open your heart and check out some itinerary, some pictures, and some answers at where Olivia and I are waiting for your loud and proud “YES I WANT SOME OF THIS” whenever you are ready.

Aloha from Hawaii, and see you soon,

Amanda Trusty