We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Winder and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
In 1975, my grandmother (Delores Winder) was 48-years-old and dying. Plagued with pseudo-arthrosis for 19 1⁄2 years, her spine was severely aged and deteriorating. In a body cast and neck brace to hold her together, doctors could actually crush the bone in their hands and she couldn’t be touched because she was too fragile. In order to kill the pain, she had four spinal fusions and two percutaneous cordotomies (where they burn out the nerve centers at the base of the brain) that caused no feeling on the whole right side of her body and on the left side up to her waist.
Well in August of ’75, through a string of God-related events, she found herself at a Kathryn Kulhman service. During the service she experienced what doctors can only explain as a miraculous healing. Running up and down the stage. Bending over to touch her toes. She had encountered the supernatural power of God, and from that day forth her life would never be the same. In the years to come, she and my grandfather traveled the world as they prayed with people, shared the love and life of Jesus and saw many miraculous healings through the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Because of this, I was raised underneath a full-time healing ministry. For those that don’t know, ministry basically means choosing to set aside your wants and desires in life to do the work God has asked of you. You don’t need a degree or certificate to be qualified, and you definitely don’t need to be ordained in a church. Instead, ministry is a Holy Spirit led operation.
So, for me growing up was somewhat different. Healing and prayer definitely intrigued me at a very young age. However, I suppose almost everyone comes to a place in their late teens and early twenties when they decide, “It’s time to stand on my own. To look outside of the principles my parents and grandparents instilled in me. To push the boundaries and see what this ‘life’ thing is really about.”
And so that’s where Cultivate Life began. My upbringing gave me a deep-seated desire to help people experience inner healing and wholeness. I longed to take everything I learned from my grandmother and remaster it for my generation. My experiences with religion left a nasty taste in my mouth, but my spirit and heart understood that there is great power contained within believing in the fullness of Jesus.
So I decided to create a business that focuses on the truth that life is a cultivated process. We don’t gain inner healing, restoration and freedom from darkness over night. Instead, we must grow in constant and continuous relationship with the Godhead everyday so that we may be refine, develop, mature and grow into all He’s created us to be.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I love my work. I love every avenue I’m led down. Even the most challenging seasons are worth navigating through because I gain so much understanding, wisdom and perspective about life and the growth track that’s available for every single one of us to venture down.
My work is very unique in the sense that I get to work in so many different arenas of the human being. Cultivate Life’s main goal is to provide a space for every person to refine, develop, mature and grow: spirit, soul, heart and body. I believe this is special because it contains the heartbeat of the gospel of Christ and the Kingdom of God, but without religion involved.
I’m always extremely proud of every client that follows the process of cultivation and lets Holy Spirit lead him/her in life. However, I’d have to say the thing I’m most proud of is seeing my sister Bridget succeed with her business Bridget Winder Art. When we were in college, I had the opportunity to help her overcome a really dark season of life. She’s younger than me by two years, so it’s really gratifying to watch her grow and mature as she picks up the application methods of cultivation and applies them. Today, I actually manage a lot of the projects her studio produces! So it’s really exciting to work together as we sew principles of Cultivate Life into Bridget Winder Art.
Another thing that really excites me is seeing my mom thrive in life. My sister and I had to move home for a year and a half after my father unexpectedly died of cancer. We honestly didn’t know how my mom would come out of the darkness she was in. It was so overwhelming. But we just continued to motivate her and stand by her side in love. I would listen to God about how to help her. How could I use Cultivate Life to help someone I loved more than life overcome such a tragedy? And He was so faithful in always providing solutions that helped us move forward. It was during this time that I learned more than anything that each and every person grows at his/her own rate with God; and that His process for gaining life is so graceful and pure. My mom is such a vibrant being, overflowing with joy today. And it’s just so exciting to think, “Hey, Cultivate Life played a part in that! And I grew and gained so many more tools to help others on their journey!”
Honestly, moving forward professionally has been a challenge. There are so many days I’ve wanted to give up entirely, but then I remind myself that’s not who I am or what I do. Instead, I keep moving forward. I persevere past the obstacles and challenges in front of me because I believe that I can. And so I do. It’s really a mindset thing. Well, a mindset and a “heart-set” thing. My human spirit is also dead focused on getting the job done. She works when the rest of me wants to lie down and completely quit. She motivates me. So I think, yeah my human spirit has kept me going. She’s strong. She’s powerful. She understands the dominion and authority she posses to overcome giant obstacles, assignments and problems that are in front of her.
I’ve learned SOOO many lessons along the way. Cultivate Life is really and truly a learning experience about life. So I have to be completely humble in my job. Which requires an extreme amount of teachability and grace for myself. I guess you could kind of think of me as a scientist/researcher of the supernatural because I take what God gives me and analyze it. I love to problem-solve complex issues of the spirit, soul and heart. I love to figure out how to bring a solution to someone that’s in need. But I think my favorite thing I’ve learned is how to walk in love and apply that love. God has taught me so much about His love. He’s extended so much kindness, grace and patience to me in every way. And so, I’ve learned that it’s just so important to extend that to others… To be a vessel of His love.
You know, a huge part of my story is that I lost 100 pounds 12 years ago and I’ve maintained it to this very day. And while it’s impressive and I am proud of it, losing the physical weight isn’t the story. The story is more so how I’ve allowed Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit to work together in healing me from the inside out. They’ve really gone in and dismantled so many structures inside of me that were languishing, dead and false. They’ve given me a solid and secure foundation to stand on.
So I want the world to know that there is a way to become healthy and whole without spending tons of money on counselors and such. There is a way to gain freedom from depression, anxiety and addiction (I was addicted to food) without relying on medicine. There is a way to truly walk in confidence and security without relying on ourselves and others as our foundational base of support. And that way… That path… It’s been blocked by so much religion and doctrine and opinion by people in “charge,” but I want the world to know it’s way more accessible than we ever believed possible. We just have to walk away from a lot of man-made structures in life to find “it,” and that “it” is just God. It’s Jesus. It’s Holy Spirit. And they are completely unfiltered and real in what they do, say and think about us and life.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
New York City is the most unique city I’ve ever lived in and I’ve lived a lot of places in 32 years. So I’d probably take my best friend to as many historical sites as possible. I love Central Park, specifically the nice walk around the reservoir. And I also love running the east side of the park, so we’d do that too.
One of my favorite things to do in Manhattan is walking the island from tip to tip. It’s 13 miles from top to bottom. I’ve done it 3 times and it’s absolutely magical because you get to explore the entire city and watch it change as you walk it! You can do it in about 8 hours. So my friend and I would take the day and do it! We would stop a long the way too because we’re definitely going to get hungry and want to take a peak inside of different shops.
Another area of the city that I just adore is FiDi. I just love the energy. And there are so many restaurants too!
I would definitely encourage them to come in the spring! I just love flowers so much! It’s beautiful here! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The foundation my grandparents laid in the spiritual and the physical is definitely the ground Cultivate Life is build upon. I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today without their example of faith and how to walk with God’s Holy Spirit.
They really taught me how to rely on Holy Spirit’s voice (yes, I hear the voice of God and I believe everyone can cultivate that ability) over all of the other voices that surround me.
So, ultimately, and it might sound different, but I credit Holy Spirit. He is the realest being I know. And, although it took a lot of time and patience to cultivate a relationship with Him, I have learned that an authentic, spiritual connection to Him, one based out of my human spirit and not religion, is the most valuable relationship I will ever have.
Allowing Him to commune with me on a regular basis has been so vital for the refinement, development, maturity and growth of my spirit, heart and soul. His thoughts, feelings and revelation about life are so unique, reasonable, loving and wise. Billions of voices cloud our minds daily telling us who to be and why we should be that way, but His voice is unlike any of the others. He offers me peace, perspective and personality that cannot be compared to anyone or anything else. He has solved my problems. He’s brought me so much love, protection and assurance when my dad unexpectedly passed away. He has brought deliverance to areas of my soul that were locked in complete torment, chaos and destruction. He’s helped me rebuild my life. All while pointing me in a direction that’s helped me mature and grow into the woman I am today.
I am forever grateful for who He is and who He is yet to be in my life.
The photo of my mom, sister and me under the bridge was taken by: Corey Rives Visual Art.