Everyday Goddesses is a series of posts profiling women who embody strength in everything they do- on and off the mat. One of the most amazing things about the modern age is that I'm able to make new connections and friendships across the globe every day. Through my Instagram I met Amanda, a fellow yogini and inspiration to myself and many others. Amanda dropped me a message one day sharing her story, and I knew I had to share it here as part of my Everyday Goddesses Series.
Amanda Arrfors is an eighteen year old girl that is based on the west coast of Sweden. She has been a dedicated yoga practitioner for three years, and is currently studying yoga philosophy to later on be able to become a yoga instructor.
Besides her yoga practice, she is a devoted writer and reader who loves any kind of expression through text. Her passion for writing have made it possible for her to publish articles at websites such as DoYouYoga, as well as Swedish newspapers and magazines.
She loves connecting with people all around the world, and to spread happiness and joy in all kinds of ways.
What is your story? What led you to become the person you are today?
I have always been that kind of person who would do everything I possibly could to make other people proud of me. Others acknowledgment of my existence and accomplishments were the ones that I lived for to achieve. I made sure to listen to everyone’s opinions about me, and did everything I possibly could to change my body and mind in order to please them. At the end of the day, it really didn’t matter what my thoughts about myself were, as long as I satisfied someone else.
This way of thinking have always been the biggest struggle of my life, and have led me to a lot of negative and even toxic paths in life. Starting off with OCD when I was as young as five years old, to anorexia, self-harm and depression in my early teens, I have learned the hard way that my self-love never depends on someone else.
Now don’t get me wrong - I do not believe that these illnesses changed and shaped me to the person that I am today - though I do believe that an awakening from those diseases, were big parts in the journey of self-discovery for me. Without this part of my life, I would simply not know the truth of who I want to become today.
How has yoga factored into your current lifestyle and sense of self?
The "cure” for my illnesses were really like a bolt from the blue. One day my mother made me go to a center and try yoga for the first time. At first, I was really skeptical, and never really understood what it could do to help me fight the illnesses I was struggling with. But as soon as I stepped on the mat, it turned into the place where I could finally let go, and the place where I remembered to breath.
The mat have been my sacred space ever since that day, and have taught me things that I never thought I could learn in a lifetime. Through the yoga practice I have finally been able to feel, with my whole body. I know what’s the best for me, simply by letting myself step on the mat, and listen to my body’s needs.
Yoga have made me realize that I only wants to do things that makes me feel as good as I do on the mat - I want to do things that makes my heart pound a little harder, my excitement rush a little more, and my life a little bit more worth living. I have realized that there’s no need for me to live as a shadow to other people’s expectations, but simply letting myself be my own light and guidance in everything I do.
By always maintaining the mindset that I have on the mat, I am able to do get rid of obstacles and self-doubt that usually would only prevent myself from the life that I wanted to live.
How do you view strength in relation to femininity?
Strength is the power that comes from within, and the ability to make a change in any form - it’s one of the most powerful tools a human being could ever have. Unfortunately, expressing female strength is often limited by standards, norms and simply - in-equality. Though it’s important to remember that a woman’s strength is always existing, even if higher powers, and society might try to silence it. The history proves that a female’s will, hope and power will always be present, and that we always maintain our strength in times of neglect and overthrow.
How would you describe the fearlessly authentic you?
I am always striving to be honest, truthful and loving. When I am able to maintain this, I reach a peace of mind that is fearless. I will vibrate every time I breath out of pure happiness, I will believe in eternal love, and I will smile to the smallest signs of success in life. I am always loving myself no matter what, and is able to share the love with other people as well. By loving and listening to myself, I am prioritizing things that makes my life more worthy - for me, this can be something simple as helping someone else, or just practice yoga or write since these are the things that I love doing. The fearlessly authentic me is never having time for regret or neglect - but simply for just acceptance, love and peace.
Read more Everyday Goddesses here.