What if?

What if?

I didn’t know
I could

I didn’t believe
I would

I hoped
but never thought

The stairs are
and winding

When I look
I get sick

What if I fall?
What if I fail?
What if I can’t hang on?
What if it destroys me?

What if?
What if?
What if?








Don’t look down
Don’t look back

Blinders on
Goal in sight

Focus Forward!

Can you live
with a lifetime
of regrets?

What if
you find peace?

What if
you find joy?

What if
you heal?

What if
it’s everything
you wanted?

Don’t wait
any longer

Start now!

Amberley Charlotte ©2022

Photo Cred: Nick Fewings: https://unsplash.com/@jannerboy62

Brain trauma, Tests, Chocolate & Superheros!

It’s 9:00 AM. I have my first Chocolate tasting Level 1 exam on Monday, and I’m terrified! But I believe when we share, we heal, and maybe someone reading this will feel seen and heard.

I’ve been putting off talking about this on the blog, but lately, I seem to be telling total strangers, so what the hell!

For as early as I can remember, my teachers would start their sentences with:
“She can’t comprehend,” “She’s off in her own world,” “She doesn’t apply herself,” “She can’t pass this class,” “She won’t pass this grade,” “She’s not trying.” And the one teacher that I adored said: “It’s a good thing you’re pretty because this world will be hard for you.”

This type of wording beats a child down! It leads people like me down a rabbit hole of quitting because we begin to feel useless, thinking we’re not going to succeed anyway, so why try?

It wasn’t until my best friend, who was an educator at the time, explained to me what she believed was happening. Her words soothed me and brought so much clarity, hope, and freedom. Because of her, I realized it wasn’t how I learned; it was how they taught. I accepted my different abilities, loved myself through the challenges, stopped blaming myself for things I could not do and cherished the gifts I was given.

We need to listen to our children! They need to be heard, seen, and loved for who they are and not criticized for what they cannot do, or the abilities they don’t have, but instead loved for what they offer this world and the beautiful, intuitive, creative, emotional beings they are!

Years later, as an adult, I had dizzy spells, and after a brain MRI, it was confirmed that I had brain trauma. The neurologist asked me to write down every time I had an accident or trauma to the head. And I made a list of the bicycle accidents, the concussions when I was knocked unconscious for long periods at a time, the car accidents, the “accidents” from a “boyfriend” beating the shit out of me, beatings from a traumatic childhood, the emotional and physical trauma that your body, mind, and soul holds onto and it all became clear. Still, I felt broken, damaged, and stupid.

Until I realized that I’m a fucking superhero! My little brain survived all of this and is still intact!

And now there’s Chocolate, something I have loved for a long time and has loved me back. But this time, I’m not eating the chocolate; I’m tasting it. It’s healing, meditative, calming, and almost like therapy. There’s a beautiful sensory aspect to tasting chocolate. It’s almost otherworldly and euphoric. I am loving it. I am invested. I’m excited, and I want this so badly!

This exam is not open book. It’s multiple-choice, but I’m relying 100% on my memory, and for me, that is the ultimate of tasks!

But I am doing this to prove something to myself.
Every person who said that I couldn’t…was wrong!

Because those with brain injury, learning disabilities, and different abilities are capable, able, talented, creative, worthy, wanted, and loved!

I may not be the most educated person, but I’ve got compassion, empathy, and love for others boiling out of me, and I want to share it! I know I feel things deeper than most, at an almost painful level, but I accept it’s my gift. I love hard. I work hard, and I never quit!

But anxiety got the best of me; the old voices came into my head, and I kept saying what if I fail? What if I don’t pass? What if I’m not good enough?

And then, don’t laugh, I tasted a piece of chocolate. Because that’s what you do when you’re filled with anxiety!

And it calmed me down.
And I realized just how much I love this medium.
I love learning.
I love learning about chocolate.
I love teaching people.
I love the people I’m meeting, and I love the journey I’m on.

So what if I fail?
I tried!

What if I don’t pass?
I’ll take it again and again until I do.

What if I’m not good enough?
By who’s standards?
No one gets to tell us if we are good enough or not!

I can do this!
Will I do it on Monday? Not sure, but I’m going to try!
It may take me a little while to get there, but I will get there!

I don’t need hits or views on a blog post. I know who is meant to see these posts will see them. I just want to be a little light in a dark world. I hope this gives you the strength to fight for yourself. I hope it gives you the courage to step out of your comfort zone and be who you’re meant to be. I hope you can silence the voices of those who hurt you and realize the only voice and the only opinion that matters is yours!

If you’re a parent, please love your little Superhero today! They may be struggling, you may not understand why, but love them, support them, and guide them through it, and you will be their Superhero!


Amberley Charlotte

Photo Cred: yulia-matvienko-ArA3S3k0wTU-unsplash.jpg

Welcome Home Amberley!

In the meditative world, I’ve seen the terms: “Welcome Home” or “Come home to yourself.” and even though I never knew what it meant, I didn’t want to be the odd one out, so I would nod, smile and hope no one quizzed me on it.

But I’m beginning to realize what that phrase means. At least what it means to me, and this is what I’ve got.

Welcome home: you’re safe here.
Welcome home: you don’t have to pretend anymore.
Welcome home: you don’t have to hide anymore.
Welcome home, honor the unique qualities that make you magical, cherish the quirkiness that makes people laugh, the empathy that makes people comfortable with you, and the kindness that brings people close to you.
Welcome home: even when the introvert needs her space, wants to be alone, and screams for peace and silence, you’re still loved. 

I may be wrong, but I see it as a transformative process, a type of redemption, a healing process. Coming home to your true self, loving and acknowledging that person as loveable, worthy, valuable, and meant to be, and that’s been hard for me. 

This crazy experience with Chocolate is opening me up, helping me accept all of me, not just the parts I want the world to see.

The education through The International Institute of Chocolate and Cacao Tasting is invaluable. The courses are fun, engaging, well thought out, and strategically planned so anyone can feel welcome here and do well.  

But for me, the transformative process started with the chocolate tastings, the magic of the flavors, the textures, the aromas, the lessons, stories, and the calming sense of peace I feel when I am tasting these amazing creations that are made with love from some of the most talented chocolate makers. My eyes have been opened, my taste buds blown away, and my life changed.

I came in here with a plan, but now my heart is open as I wait to see where this journey will take me.

With everything I’m learning and the life-changing experiences I am being given, for some reason, the chocolate is speaking to me and welcoming me home.

Welcome, Home Amberley!

I’ve missed you!

Photo Cred: jullliia-vLhJglizAeU-unsplash.jpg

Chocolate: Magical, Mystical, Intriguing Chocolate

I close my eyes
bring a piece of chocolate to my nose 
deep breathe in
ahh heaven

I place a piece of chocolate on my tongue
it begins to melt
colors floating in my mind


The past, the present, and what could be
Feeling words
Seeing moments
Fragrant flowers
Vibrant fruits

Notes I’ve never smelled before
I’m peaceful

I’ve got to get it out
I’ve got to write it down
I don’t want to forget a moment

What am I seeing?
Where are these beautiful visions coming from?
What are the flavors, aromas, and feelings that overwhelm me?


A gift to the senses
Peace to the brokenhearted
Healing wounds
Opening hearts
Changing lives

If life could be as beautiful as what I see
If life could be as peaceful as what I feel
If life could be as fragrant as what I smell

We would be changed forever
and the world would be a safer place
for all of us


(Photo by https://unsplash.com/@foodistika)

Quitting, Trying & My Passion For Chocolate!

Are you happy, or do you feel like something is missing?

Have you found what sets your soul on fire?

Do you dare to try?

I live with PTSD, chronic pain, and brain trauma. Some days feel like a constant battle to wake up, be positive, and attempt to live life fully, not fearfully. But I honestly believe we’re put on earth to find our passion, figure out what sets our soul on fire, and chase after it with our hearts wide open and a childlike wonder. 

We need to acknowledge that a fire is burning within us. While wondering what could be, we seek to understand our fears and what’s holding us back. 

When they told me I had cancer, a list of regrets flashed in front of my eyes. Not one of them was a material item. I took stock of how I was treating others, the many ways I failed myself, and everything I wanted to do but was too afraid to try.

Why was I scared? Why did I believe I wasn’t worthy of self-love? 

My favorite quote is: “Don’t quit five minutes before the miracle happens.”
But, sometimes, we have to quit to find what lights a fire in us. 

I see life as a large basket filled with opportunities. I put things in, pull things out and try them on. Sometimes it’s a great fit, sometimes not at all. But every time, I learn something new.

Who says we have to play it safe?
We learn by trying!
We learn by living!
We grow by trying!

When we don’t try, we miss out on so many possibilities. When we find the courage to put ourselves out there, we heal, fall in love, and experience joy, excitement, and contentment. 

I’ve earned many certifications from online schools and educational establishments and never started a business, but the education was amazing! 

I’ve worked with developmentally disabled children and adults and was paid nothing, but those moments were life-changing!

Does any of this make me a quitter?
No, it means I figured out what I wanted and what I didn’t.

Life is a lesson in exploration. When we explore, we learn, but we stifle our creativity and growth when we hold ourselves back. 

In a few weeks, I am going on a new adventure!

I will be taking an 8-week chocolate tasting course with The International Institute of Chocolate and Cacao Tasting. https://www.chocolatetastinginstitute.org/

This is in addition to the chocolatier course I took many years ago with Ecole Chocolat https://www.ecolechocolat.com/. My education with Ecole Chocolat was thrilling, but I learned with brain trauma, becoming a chocolatier and having my own business was not in the cards for me. I had to recognize my different abilities and accept them, but in that course was a module on chocolate tasting and it would bring blessings I never expected. 

If I give my family a piece of chocolate, tell them to place it on their tongue, let it melt, and explain what they taste, they will say: “Chocolate!”

But to me, one tiny square of chocolate slowly melting on my tongue is a life-changing experience. I never know what flavors will grace my palate with their presence. Keeping my mind and heart open, I could feel a gush of smooth, velvety, fudgy chocolate or flavors of sweet berries, tangy citrus, honey, cinnamon, or hot peppers. 

With my eyes closed, I might taste sweet cherries or tangy mango, or the flavors could be bitter, flat, and hard to swallow. From wine flavors to earthy tones, my adrenaline is rushing at the possibilities of what this chocolate bar can bring. 

When the chocolate melts, it hits the front of my mouth behind my teeth. It might feel cool, crisp, and sweet. As it travels to the middle of my tongue, I might taste herbal flavors, it might warm the back of my tongue, and when I swallow, the flavors and feel could change altogether or stay the same.

The experience of chocolate tasting can change your life and your perspective of what chocolate is, how it’s made, where the bean originated, where the bar is made, and how many people are involved in the journey from cacao bean to chocolate bar.

I admire the farmers who work to remove the cacao beans from the trees and process them. I support the small bean-to-bar companies working tirelessly through the pandemic, trying to keep their small business afloat, all for the love of chocolate. 

I stand in solidarity with the community of chocolate-tasting educators who educate and share their passion for learning how a little cacao bean can transform into a tiny piece of heaven when in the hands of passionate business owners.

I’m intrigued by the healing properties of chocolate. The growing research on mental health, using it in meditation, reducing inflammation, improving cognition excites me because of my health issues. With brain trauma, memory issues, and carrying the Alzheimers gene, getting this evil disease is a frightening possibility for me and so many others. Chocolate could be life-saving!

This chocolate tasting course is eight weeks, and I need to pass two tests to receive certification. I’m used to having help with testing. The school administrators tried to find a suitable solution, but due to circumstances beyond our control, I had to choose to take the courses without testing and not receive certification, or take the tests and possibly fail.

Do I quit?
I believe if I take the course without tests, I am giving up on myself, and I won’t do that. Even with medical documentation, we truly do not know what we are capable of until we challenge ourselves, and I want to know what I am capable of. If I fail the tests, I retake them.

In closing, I want to challenge you to be like a child.
Children dream! They believe they can do anything. They won’t take no for an answer, and they wouldn’t listen if you told them they were incapable of doing something they wanted to do. We encourage kids to take chances, experiment, and explore. We get excited to color or paint with them, but we won’t make time to do it ourselves.

So let go of what weighs you down and be like a child!
Let’s fill our hearts with wonderment and plan what we will do next!

Are you truly happy? Or is something missing?
You can find what sets your soul on fire!
But you have to dare to try!


Amberley Charlotte

Photo Cred: Tijana Drndarski