“It must be a fragile system if it can be
taken down by just a few berries.”

~ Katniss Everdeen, Hunger Games

From Contract to Consent

Once upon a time, I was stuck, stuck, stuck…

I had just removed myself from the toxic family system and was feeling a lot of pressure—relationally and financially.

So, I didn’t have time or space to be stuck…

But after a few useless attempts to “push through the resistance,” I gave up and picked up a book.

That’s it! I’m done! I’m so f***ing tired of this damn rollercoaster!

I slammed my laptop shut and headed for the quiet little nest I’d created for myself in our home. 

Every step between my home office and the nest was hard-won against the voices that made my feet feel like lead weights.

“Amanda, it’s all your fault.”

“Amanda, you can’t take a break.”

“Amanda, everyone needs you to get your sh*t together.”

I dropped onto the mattress and picked up Fifty Shades Freed, the last book in a trilogy that had consumed me in all of my spare moments for several days. 

I know, I know. I’ve heard it all before. 

“He’s so controlling.”

“The sex is too graphic.”

“She’s a terrible writer.”

That last one made me spit my coffee out all over the room and blurt, “Really? It was the WRITING you were paying attention to? I think you missed the point!”

“And what is the point, Amanda?” you ask.

Well, let me tell you why I think this story saved me, and why I think it sold as many copies as it did.

Spoiler alert: 

It’s not the sex. And it’s not the romance, either.

I would argue it’s THE CONTRACT.

“But Amanda, the contract is all about sexual acts.”

Well, no, not really. 

The contract was offered by a man who had suffered so much trauma as a child that he could barely function until someone gave him a way to manage his pain. If you look at the not-so-fine print, you’ll find some of the most important and most-regularly-challenged parts of the contract have to do with forbidding anyone to touch his physical and emotional scars.

“Don’t touch my scars.” 
“I don’t/can’t do relationships (hearts and flowers).”
“I haven’t wanted anything else until you.”

I can hear all of my friends that I’ve tussled with over the years right now.

“But he uses his power to lure her…”
“But he doesn’t keep his side of the agreement…”
“But why do we have to save men?”

My question for them is always, “Oh, you didn’t relate to Christian at all?”

Cuz I sure as hell did. 

First of all, let’s just start with the “strange” fact that his name is Christian, and he was saved by a woman named Grace who adopted him. 

Uhhh, any of my religious friends catch on to that one? 

But Grace isn’t enough to heal his pain, and so he turns to Elena whose name means “shining light.” 

Like the angel of light? The one who acts like the Light but ends up leading folks astray? Yeah, that one. 

This woman gives him a way to feel something other than pain AND begin to take control of his life. 

Sounds like a better option than total self-destruction, right? Yep, if it’s all you’ve got.

He takes charge of his world and becomes extremely successful. 

Yeah, I know that high-perform-over-the-pain-and-push-out-all-the-emotional-crap mechanism all too well. 

And the only thing that cracks his armor? A young woman named Anastasia, whose name means “resurrection.” 

Are you starting to wonder if this book is about more than some strange sex situation just yet?

So, it’s really a contract between a traumatized-but-successful human and the opportunity for his resurrection—a contract into which he has built a whole bunch of measures to keep himself from actually experiencing resurrection.

Yeah, I’ve done that before. 

I think the reason so many of us became absolutely OBSESSED with this story is because we all know that we need a better contract with the opportunity for resurrection. 

Would you believe it if I told you that I read this series the same year all of my family contracts were revealed—unspoken agreements that I had co-signed as a small child to keep myself safe and lived inside of for three decades because… well, I had no idea there was another possibility than giving my whole life and well-being for the sake of my family’s?

It’s true. As I read it, I saw exactly how I had to rewrite contracts with everyone in my family and reality itself.

Would you believe it if I told you that the year after I read this series, I got dragged into court when I challenged a financial contract and refused to consent to their b.s. answers?

It’s true. My Co-Author found a way to teach me the biggest contract lesson ever: “If you don’t object, you consent.”

When I closed this book, I went to work changing all of the unspoken contracts that had bound me to disempowering stories without my conscious awareness and consent. 

I started exploring my contract with my Co-Author, which had been written by my culture and my trauma (like Christian’s). Whew, did I find some crazy agreements in there! 

Once that had been addressed, I shifted my attention to my contract with my husband. Holy hell. We both used our traumas to write that one. What a hot mess.

And then I started to share the results of rewriting these contracts with the people closest to me and clients, and I realized I had to share it.

Welcome to the...

The 40-Day Quest: From Contract to Consent

[Don’t worry. I’m not going to insist you read that book.]

I’ve adapted the work I facilitate at the Contracts + Consent YCMTSU Retreat into an online writing quest that will help you identify which contract to focus on, guide you through the process of seeing it clearly, and then show you how to rewrite it.

Daily Writing Prompts

Every morning, you’ll receive access to a writing prompt (and a video to set it up) and write for a minimum of 20 minutes. If you can carve out 30 - 60 minutes, you will deepen your experience and accelerate the process.

Private Space with Allies

The more social engagement, support, and safety you experience through this process, the more we will co-create the collective energy required for true long-lasting change. We will cultivate this energy by sharing our AHAs, OH YEAHs, and ARE YOU KIDDING MEs in the group. And of course, there will be rules around the sharing because our goal is to experience and witness the process of renewal together. You'll get access to our private platform CocoonU as soon as you sign up.

Theme-Based Innerlight Sessions [optional]

You will have the opportunity to experience group energy balancing sessions.

Shift YOUR Contract AND Change OUR Story!

If you have a personal narrative or agenda that includes the mission of “changing the world by changing ____ system,” I highly encourage you to consider joining us for the Contracts + Consent retreat. There, we use a particular story that helps individuals address both the personal and collective narratives.