As Told To is a recurring segment on xoNecole where women are given a platform to tell their stories in the first-person narrative, as told to a writer.
This is Amoya Shante's story, as told to Sheriden Chanel.
When I decided to uproot my life, move to Mexico, and leave everything I knew behind, I was at one of the lowest points in my life. My business was failing, my dating life was a joke, my finances were scary, and I felt like I hit rock bottom. I craved something different. A fresh start. A new beginning. The desire to move abroad and start over grew within me like a fire and after a while, I couldn’t ignore it. Nor did I want to.
The first time I moved to Mexico was after I went through a divorce. I shed the things that did not serve me by selling all of my possessions and embarked on my Eat, Pray, Love journey with my kids in tow. Traveling was a catalyst of healing and for two and half years, I ate, I prayed, and I loved. Eventually, my journey led me back home to the United States but the seed of moving abroad to Mexico had already been planted and it would continue to bloom as I was met with feelings I felt before.
I was back at square one. I was lost, unmotivated, uninspired, burnt out, and broke, and Mexico called to me, reminding me of the healing I experienced there. I started over before, I could start over again.
Courtesy of Amoya Shante
But as a single mom of three, I had hesitation. I feared Mexico originally due to the U.S. news and I was so sure that my kids would be kidnapped and harmed in some way if I went. It was through talking to other expats living in Mexico and understanding reality beyond the sensationalism of news stories that my nerves calmed a bit. Again, I sold all of my possessions and decided to take a leap of faith.
As a believer in the magic of manifestation, I believe I can do all things. I had my military retirement and an online business at the time, so I definitely still had to live paycheck to paycheck when I first moved to Mexico. But I jumped like I’ve done so many times before with faith that the universe would catch me like it always did before I fell. I set my intention, leap, and I don’t get too caught up in the 'how.' I trust and I follow that inspired action. Moving to Mexico in July 2021 was no different.
I remember arriving in Mexico at night and taking a taxi from the airport to our Airbnb which was an hour away. Everyone was so kind. I didn’t feel scared at all. Actually, I felt like I had been lied to my whole life. The energy in Mexico was different.
I felt calm, safe, and at peace.
Courtesy of Amoya Shante
Those feelings would only reaffirm my decision each day that passed while living in Mexico. I was there for all of one month before meeting the love of my life. I was searching for a photographer in one of the expat groups I was in and from a list of about 60 photographers, I somehow zeroed in on his name, Julio. I don’t know why. I was drawn to him. Even then. I went to his Instagram, checked out his work, and sent him a message.
I didn't look at or check prices with any other photographer. I just felt compelled to hire him.
Upon meeting Julio for the first time, I immediately recognized him as a soul I had already known. I initially tried to ignore the feelings he gave me but he pursued me in a way I never experienced before. From the very beginning, he felt so familiar to me. It was like we were two souls that had spent many lifetimes together. My normal energy in dating was one of anxiousness and desperation but with him, there was none of that. Nothing between us was ever forced, it just flowed.
With him, I felt calm. I felt at peace.
Courtesy of Amoya Shante
We had our differences. Julio is Mexican. I’m American. I’m 10 years older, he’s younger. Even still, he is easily the most emotionally mature man I’ve ever been with. In the beginning, he spoke very little English and I spoke very little Spanish. Cultural differences and language differences hit us right away. I believed the dating process meant dating multiple people until I was in an exclusive relationship, but in his culture, that is not a thing. They take dating seriously and only date one person at a time and then need to speak to their family before asking you to be their partner. After you are official, you then meet the family.
Julio pursued me from the very beginning and still does so today. I never had to wonder what he was doing or who he was with. I never had to wonder if he was going to write because the man didn’t let an hour go by without sending a message or a text. And despite the language barrier, he would also call, which wasn’t something I was used to. I knew he was the one early on because I was able to be my true self with him. I didn’t have to act in any way or overthink things. I could just be.
Courtesy of Amoya Shante
For a while, I felt unworthy of love because I was a single mom. In order to be ready for the love I manifested in my relationship with Julio, I had to let go of that and develop a belief that not only was I worthy of love but I was worthy of the most amazing relationship ever. I had to develop a belief that it was safe to love again after being in an emotionally abusive marriage. Not only did I have to learn to love again in a healthy, nontoxic way but I had to learn how to love myself wholly and completely so I would show up in a relationship healthy in mind, body, and spirit.
He respected my way of dating although he did not like it and he chose to remain true to his own values of only talking to and dating one person at a time. Julio was committed to getting to know me so he wasn’t letting a language barrier get in the way. I remember traveling back to the States for two weeks after meeting Julio and him FaceTiming every night where we would talk for hours. He was getting an immersive experience with the English language. In so many ways, he taught me that if they want to, they will.
Despite our differences, we are most connected over our values. We value freedom, travel, family, and spirituality.
Courtesy of Amoya Shante
Not a day goes by where I don’t feel seen. He listens to me. Not kind of listens but truly listens with his whole body and energy. He chooses our girls and me every single day and even though my three older daughters are not his, he has never made them feel any different than his own daughter. He takes care of us in every way by leading in a healthy masculine energetic way that allows my feminine energy to come out to play. I feel safe with him.
That is not something I experienced in my entire life. Feeling safe. He supports me and my vision and purpose. He is my biggest cheerleader. Julio is my balance. He keeps me grounded and calm. He is the best human I have ever met and I am so grateful to have found him again in this lifetime.
When I was at my lowest, I sought to manifest freedom, abundance, soul-aligned friendships, a business that lights me up, a chef, a nanny, a housekeeper, a villa with a pool, and of course, my soulmate. I am happy to say that within 16 months of moving to Mexico, I have manifested all of it.
Julio and I are engaged, run a six-figure business, and also welcomed our first child together, another baby girl to our family! And this is the first time I was able to enjoy newborn life because I am being fully supported and cared for.
Courtesy of Amoya Shante
However, all of the rewards that are bearing fruit in this season of my life weren’t without risk and they definitely weren’t without inner work.
I invested heavily in my personal growth and self-development. A few months prior to moving to Mexico, I became certified in neuro-linguistics programming, timeline therapy, hypnotherapy, and life coaching.
I did deep inner work. I stopped treating my business as a hobby, started charging what I was worth, set up strong boundaries, and created a product that I knew worked so it would be easy to sell. I surrounded myself with people who inspired and motivated me and held me accountable to boldly live the life I saw myself.
There is always more healing and lessons to be learned but overall I am healthy, whole, and complete and now get to help others feel the same.
Featured image courtesy of Amoya Shante
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
With two Eclipses happening this month, this is one of the powerhouse months of 2023 and one that will be unforgettable for many. The month begins in Libra Season, and with Mercury also entering Libra on October 4th. When Mercury is in Libra, the focus is on keeping the peace, creating harmony, and finding the beauty in life. Relationships, finances, pleasure, and creation are all the focus during Libra Season, and this month overall will be creating a lot of positive change in these areas of life.
What October 2023 Has In Store For Your Zodiac Sign
On October 8th, Venus moves into earth sign Virgo, and love takes on a more serious and grounded tone here. Venus in Virgo has high standards and wants the best of the best. There is a possibility of becoming overly critical in love or relationships with this energy, however overall, Venus in Virgo will be focused on letting go of unhealthy behaviors in love and creating more positive ways of relating, giving, and receiving in relationships. A few days later, Pluto goes direct in Capricorn after going retrograde in Aquarius back in May, and fewer power struggles and obstacles are more likely.
With Pluto direct in Capricorn, it is easier to reach your goals, build success, and see your own self-empowerment in it all.
On October 12th, Mars enters Scorpio, and Mars loves being in this water sign as it’s the ruler of Scorpio. Mars in Scorpio is passionate and direct and heats things up when it comes to your relationships. Mars will be in Scorpio until November 24th, and a spark is definitely being lit. A few days later, we have a New Moon Solar Eclipse in Libra.
This Solar Eclipse is creating a fresh start in love, but may also be bringing things to the forefront that are uncomfortable to see. A Solar Eclipse in Libra is relationship-oriented, and this is where you will be seeing the most impact now.
Before the month ends, Mercury enters Scorpio on October 22nd, Scorpio Season begins on the 23rd, and there is a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on October 28th. The end of October is when a lot of big moves are being made, and transformations are occurring, and it’s about letting go of baggage before moving forward again. The Lunar Eclipse in Taurus is another eclipse that has an impact on relationships, as both Libra and Taurus are ruled by Venus, the planet of love.
Through what is changing and transforming in some of your close relationships, this energy suggests there is greater love on the other side of it. Find gratitude in where you are, and stand in hope and self-belief for where you want to be.
Your October 2023 Monthly Horoscopes
ARIESAriesKyra Jay for xoNecole
Your strength is needed this month, Aries. During October, the Sun is in Libra, meaning the Sun is in your 7th house. The 7th house is the house of love and relationships, but it’s also the house of open enemies and opposition. This month, you will be finding your balance between the opening you are seeing in your life right now and what still needs to be built.
On October 14th, there is a New Moon Solar Eclipse in this area of your chart, the 7th house, and this is an impactful time for you emotionally. The intentions you have been setting in your love life and financially are creating a new scene for you. This is a good month to do more of the things that make you happy, to get creative, and to notice the beauty in your life. Before the month ends, your ruling planet, Mars, moves into your 8th house, and things get deep and even more emotional for you moving into November.
TAURUSTaurusKyra Jay for xoNecole
October is a month of reflection for you, Taurus. There is a lot happening this month and a lot happening for you personally, yet you are taking the time to tend to your inner world and recreate your safe spaces. With Venus in a fellow earth sign and in your 5th house of romance for most of this month, you will be sure to have plenty of love in your life to help you through some of the downtime you are getting in October.
Mars moves into your house of love on October 12th, and this is heating things up for you in your relationships and sex life. Fuel your passions and notice what is lighting you up inside right now. Before the month ends, on October 28th, there is a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in your sign, and you are going through some major life changes. You are closing one chapter of your life of self-discovery and moving forward with a new view of yourself and the world around you.
GEMINIGeminiKyra Jay for xoNecole
This month is all about letting go, Gemini. You are moving through a time of releasing what has been filling your world with more chaos and confusion than clarity and are paving a new path for yourself. Your ruling planet, Mercury, is in your house of happiness for most of this month, and you are really thinking of the things that your heart wants and expressing yourself through this space of openness as well. Communication channels are exciting for you this month.
On October 14th, the New Moon Eclipse will be highlighting all of the energy of love you have been feeling this month and will be helping you hone in on your creative passions and hobbies as well. This month is surprising you on how well things turn out when you let go of what isn’t working. The second eclipse of the month is on the 28th, and this one for you is about laying the past to rest once and for all and giving yourself time to heal and process.
CANCERCancerKyra Jay for xoNecole
October is an activating month for you, Cancer. There are some eye-opening moments happening, and a lot of things are coming to a head. The energy of the month is about letting things find their place and allowing yourself to be okay in the process. Venus is in your 3rd house of communication for most of this month, and you will be able to communicate more freely how you are feeling and what you need in your relationships right now.
With the Sun in Libra and in your 4th house for most of October, home is really where the heart is right now. Spending time in comfortable environments where you feel the most at ease is nourishing. Before the month ends, there is a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in your 11th house of community, and things are coming full circle for you. Lean on your support systems and community for an extra hand, and know that you deserve to take up space.
LEOLeoKyra Jay for xoNecole
This is a month of things moving forward for you, Leo. Patience is still needed, as things may not be moving as quickly as expected, however, they are moving nonetheless, and you are leaving the space of stagnation you have been feeling the past couple of months. Openings are coming into your life, and with Venus now in your 2nd house, you are able to capitalize on what you have been investing in and claim your abundance.
The Solar Eclipse happening mid-month will be awakening something within you when it comes to expressing yourself. You are breaking free from fears, limitations, and self-judgments and seeing yourself as someone who deserves to be heard. The Sun is also in this area of your chart until the end of the month, and you have all the support from the universe right now to speak up and speak your truths.
VIRGOVirgoKyra Jay for xoNecole
October is a month of blessings for you, Virgo. This year has been a year of a lot of ups and downs for you, and in the second half of this year, you really get to settle into more stability and positive fruition. You are being guided to use your instincts wisely this month, however, so as to keep blessings rolling. Your ruling planet, Mercury, will be in your 2nd house of income for most of the month, as well as the Sun, and financially, this is a really good month for you.
On October 8th, Venus moves into your sign, and you are receiving and feeling the love right now. Venus will be in your sign until November 8th, and over the next month, this is a good time for your relationships and business, receiving positive feedback, and putting yourself out there. On October 28th, there is a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse happening in your 9th house of adventure, and you could be seeing some travel or education plans coming to fruition now. You are really ready to enjoy how far you have come this month.
LIBRALibraKyra Jay for xoNecole
This month is all about creating your dreams, Libra. This is an exciting month for you and one where you are healing your inner child, gaining a new perspective, and manifesting your life. Libra Season is fully underway, and this is an impactful Libra Season for you, as there is a New Moon Solar Eclipse happening in your sign on the 14th. This Solar Eclipse is your time to shine, to bring your dreams to the forefront, and to let go of the past that doesn’t resonate with you anymore. It’s all about the vision this month; focus on the best one for yourself.
With the Sun and Mercury in your 1st house of self for most of the month and Venus in your 12th house of closures, you are finding your balance between the new and the old. You know there is a lot to release emotionally in your life still, but you are also giving yourself the space and freedom to soak in the good that has already arrived and making you happy right now. On October 23rd, Libra Season ends, and you are ready to focus more on your plans for the future.
SCORPIOScorpioKyra Jay for xoNecole
October is a month of rebirth for you, Scorpio. This is one of the most powerful months for you and one where you are starting fresh in many ways. Mercury is in your house of endings for most of the month, and your mind is focused on your spirituality, finding solutions, and letting go of perspectives and habits that don’t serve you or your health. Through the transformations that are occurring right now, new life is coming to fruition.
Mars and Mercury both enter your sign before Scorpio Season begins on the 23rd, and by the end of October, the energy moves from release to receive. You have more energy at your disposal when Mars is in your sign, and you are moving through a time of passion, action, and making things happen for yourself. This Scorpio Season for you is one where you are creating a new life for yourself and following the dreams you left to the wayside.
SAGITTARIUSSagittariusKyra Jay for xoNecole
Sagittarius, October is all about the heart and about showing up. This month for you is a time of support, friendship, and community, and a time where you are really discovering who your people are. You are awakening to what your inner child needs to heal and are seeking forgiveness this month. This is a time for you to move toward a new path in your life, one that feels more fulfilling for you and your well-being.
Venus is in Virgo and in your 10th house of career this month, and you are seeing some positive changes within your professional world. You are being received especially favorably right now, and this is a good month to ask for a promotion, network, or redefine your career goals. On October 14th, there is a New Moon Solar Eclipse happening in your 11th house, and your hopes and dreams are coming true for you. The clarity you gain this month is life-changing.
CAPRICORNCapricornKyra Jay for xoNecole
This month is all about patience, finding your peace, and exploring the world, Capricorn. You are focusing a lot on your belief systems, your intentions, and what goals you have set for yourself and your life. Venus is in your 9th house of adventure for most of the month, and you are really thinking about the big picture right now. You are doing more things differently this time of the year, thinking outside of the box and allowing your intentions to come to fruition.
On October 10th, Pluto goes direct in your sign. Pluto retrograde entered your sign in June, and you finally get to settle into the transformations that have been occurring since then. You’ve had a lot of moments of self-clarity and change, but now you are ready to live in this space and experience fewer changes to your environment. On October 28th, there is a Full Moon Eclipse happening, and this Lunar Eclipse is a time of love coming full circle for you. Relationships are developing at the end of October, and you are letting go of the past in love.
AQUARIUSAquariusKyra Jay for xoNecole
October is all about allowing life to unfold effortlessly, Aquarius. The path of least resistance is the most rewarding one, and this month, you are tapping into your inner faith. You have truly been trusting the process, and with the Sun in your 9th house for most of the month, the divine guidance is there for you right now. This month is about trusting that things are coming together for you and enjoying your life how you can right now.
On October 14th, there is a New Moon Solar Eclipse happening, and this eclipse is helping you build new foundations in your life. You have goals you want to set, places you want to see, and people you want to meet, and this eclipse is highlighting all of that for you. The second eclipse of the month is happening on the 28th, and this Lunar Eclipse is about letting things settle in, finding your ground, and nourishing your inner world. You are going within a lot this month, and through the new insight you have found, you are ready to make some concrete decisions that have been needed.
PISCESPiscesKyra Jay for xoNecole
October is a time of compassion, nurture, and love, Pisces. You are putting the love into your life and feeling this energy come back to you as well. Venus is in Virgo, your opposite sign, for most of the month, and this is good energy when it comes to your relationships and your love life. Your focus is on the people in your life and where you want things to grow in love, and you are putting in the effort to make your dreams come true for you here.
With the Sun also in your 8th house of commitments for most of the month, another love area of your chart, you can expect this to be a more emotional month for you. You are getting vulnerable, expressing where you stand, and creating a new slate for yourself in love. On October 28th, there is a Full Moon Eclipse happening in your 3rd house of communication, and the messages and insights you have been looking for are coming in.
The end of the month is a busier time for you, and you will be suddenly seeing everything you want to do and plan right now.
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Featured image by Kyra Jay for xoNecole