Best. Day. Ever.

The room decorated for our guests

Deep joy

Once, while riding my bike through San Francisco in a gigantic bike parade for a friend’s wedding, I shouted at the top of my lungs, “This is the best day ever!!!” I couldn’t think of any other possible thing I would rather have been doing in that moment. I was giddy, elated, totally content.

This kind of deep joy is rare, and when it comes, it is a huge gift. But that’s how this Sunday was, during the workshop I led with Kelly Rae Roberts at the Teahouse studios.

Best. Day. Ever.

The tables from above, before our guests arrived

It began with a simple conversation. Me, calling my dear friend Kelly and asking her when she would come and teach at the Teahouse. (This is also a ploy to get her back to the bay area for a girl’s weekend) “You and Mati have both been asking me that! but I don’t really want to teach. I just want a good excuse to come see you guys and have a really fun weekend being together.”

So we hatched a scheme… and the plan was simple: We would create the kind of experience we were most craving in our own lives — Connecting with women in deep and real ways. Not on the internet. Not via text or email. The kind where you break bread and tell each other everything. We didn’t want to teach so much as share stories and connect, laugh and cry in equal measure. We wanted minimum preparation, total faith in serendipity and trust that just the right people would show up. We wanted beautiful food and even more delicious conversation.

And guess what? It was beyond our wildest dreams. It really was.

I fell in love with each and every person there. I was blown away by their stories. We laughed a lot and we cried too. We declared our superpowers. We talked about transitions and motherhood. We talked about creativity and vulnerability and finding our tribe. It was open and inspiring, powerful and brave. It was, above all, real.

I learned that if you bring the real, others will too.

Mati Rose painting those beautiful words

We also brought a lot of intention to the day. For every person on the roster, we chose an adjective for their nametag. Since we didn’t know the people who were coming, we had to intuit what they most needed to hear. We made them goodie bags and wrote them love notes. We decorated the space. Mati painted the words, “Show the world you magic” on the wall. We covered the tables in vintage fabrics. We hung up twinkly lights and tied aprons together to hang on the wall. In the end, it was like living inside of a Kelly Rae painting! And all of that prep, it felt like ritual. It felt like connecting with each soul who was coming, before they even arrived.

vintage aprons all in a row

I am still processing all of the goodness packed into that gorgeous day. For me personally, it was also a really important day of discovering my sweet spot with teaching. As I have said on this blog before, I am very anxiety prone. Public speaking gives me panic attacks and I have often wondered if the suffering I experience each and every time (often for months before the event) is worth it. Maybe there is another way?

I think I found my answer.

I teach through telling stories. I can tell a good story! It is in fact one of my superpowers. I’m not interested in giving lectures, being an expert, or giving advice. I want to share my life in a way that sparks something in you — delight, inspiration, a nugget of wisdom. I want to connect with you by showing you my real self.

I didn’t have a panic attack the night before our workshop. (This was a first for me) And I didn’t feel afraid throughout the day. I only felt tremendous gratitude to be someone who got to sit in that circle. It was pure joy, and my body knew it.

Thank you to everyone who showed up this weekend (both for Sunday and for my Saturday photo workshop peeps as well. You guys were so much fun) It was an honor. And we will do it again. I think I found my sweet spot.

Kelly Rae and me

33 Comments

  1. Posted May 15, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I loved being a part of Sunday’s workshop. I have similar fears about speaking and the entire experience helped those fears melt away. It was just what I needed when I needed it most. Thank you for your huge part in it, Andrea! I hope the universe brings us together again because I love your spirit.

  2. Posted May 15, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    This makes me smile so much over here Andrea. I can hear the joy overflowing in your words. Love this!

  3. Posted May 15, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    what a magical day. so much shared. given. such joy. such wisdom. such love.

    a day i will treasure forever and ever.

    thank you andrea! mwuoh!

  4. Posted May 15, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Ok, so I’m still wiping the tears from my eyes. Sunday, was the absolute BEST. DAY. EVER. I really didn’t know what to expect, since it wasn’t a class. I worried about what I would say to people. And then, when you extended it by an hour… But, the minute i walked in the door, I was hit with that enormous, warm, positive, open and real energy. Kelly Rae gave me the warmest hug…and I went off find you, Andrea, who I had never met before. As the day progressed, it just got better and better. Andrea, I fell i love with you, your energy, your storytelling, and your spirit…and I know that the universe will bring us together again…I just hope it’s soon!

  5. Posted May 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    The decorations you guys created look so lovely! Bright and cheerful and welcoming. I’m glad it went off so well. =)

  6. Posted May 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    YAY!!!! xoxoxo

  7. Posted May 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Sounds completely awesome!

  8. Posted May 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    The day was magical. The place was magical. You are magical. What an honor it was to witness truth unfolding and dreams unfurling. So grateful.

  9. Posted May 15, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    ah, that sounds bloody marvellous. I wish I could have been there. It also sounds like just the sort of thing I want to create and manifest and have in my life!! come to the UK!! come and visit Brighton!! ANyways. sigh. I find myself wishing I could make something just like that here. I have a wish. for something just like that. HOw come these things are so far away? am dreaming now. it will happen. something a bit like that. xx mondo beyondo …. manifesting…

  10. Posted May 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m so happy to have been a part of the magic. I loved meeting you Andrea and have been thinking about so many little nuggets of wisdom I heard throughout the day.
    Like: Use instagram! yes! or: “You know what’s great about this…?” or: be kind to yourself. All things I needed to hear/soak up and I am so happy to hear you found your sweet spot! What a gift! I truly hope we connect again. I feel such a kindred spirit in you. I love what you said above and felt like you were reading my mind…”I want to connect with you by showing you my real self” I absolutely LOVE the real you – you go girl! xoxo until next time…

  11. Sandra
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful post. Sounds like a delightful day. Here’s to finding our sweet spots! :)

  12. Posted May 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a very special day! When the time is right, I vote for another session in Portland!

  13. Posted May 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    That sounds like a truly awesome fun joyful experience connecting with kindred spirits! Love it!

  14. Giveitaway
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    It sounds truly lovely. ;) I wish I could have afforded to go. Maybe you could do something like that for free…. Like a flashmob of kindness!

  15. Posted May 15, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    So beautiful in every way. So nice to hear about it from your perspective. Wish I could have been there. :)

  16. simone
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Gah! I’m so jealous! I love it…will there be another one? Maybe I can find a way!

  17. claudia
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    your post makes want to take a plane and come right over from Europe to be there, too. Sounds just wonderful, thank you for the inspiration, especially about the teaching.

  18. Nicola
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    It sounds wonderful. I would love to share in something like this. There isn’t anything like that where I live in the North East of England. Sigh. xxx

  19. Posted May 16, 2012 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    It makes me so happy that you guys had such a beautiful day, and that you found your sweet spot. And it makes me extra jealous that I couldn’t be there!! ;)

  20. Allison
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I so wanted to be there but it just didn’t work out for me – this time. Happy to read that you hope to do it again. I will get out there one day to meet you beautiful people.

  21. Mariella Newton
    Posted May 16, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    You go, girl!! Sounds amazing…just as I expected! I will so be there next time!! xo ~ M.

  22. Posted May 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Rarely do I have such a huge smile on my face when I read posts. Joy darling, I can feel it, oh yes!

    I need to look into moving or at least getting a plane ticket for next year! Mwah!

  23. Posted May 16, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations :) I am really DREAMING to join one of these with you. Seriously! You guys rock! ?

  24. Posted May 17, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Swoon… This was on my wish list with a soul sister from the Midwest but we couldn’t make it happen. Hopeful this post means it was so joyful that you and Kelly might plan a repeat performance. I happen to think stories have more staying power and impact than lectures so you are my kind of teacher! I have been thinking of enrolling in the July Superhero class. Now I just will!

    l o v e this post. l o v e the sprinkle of joy even to those of us that weren’t in the teahouse.

  25. Posted May 17, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I came across your blog by accident(goole search)and am oh so glad that I did! Reading this post gave me goosebumps and happy tears, all at once. You are quite inspiring – keep up the great work :)

  26. -L
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Oh my goodness, I so wish I could have been a part of that magical day. It looks and sounds awesome and like something I deeply need too. Beautiful idea and beautiful people. xoxo -L Hope you do this again and I would love to sign up for it!

  27. Carole
    Posted May 21, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Andrea, I am so glad to hear that you will do this again! I ached a bit not being able to make it this time around, but really hope I can next time!!!

  28. Posted May 22, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Oh the vibes and light are reaching all the way to arkansas. i know the room was filled with so much love. hugs to you and Kelly Rae both. I have felt this immense energy before (back in 2009) and it is still creating magic in my heart!!

  29. Posted May 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I loved reading about your day. Sounds absolutely perfect. Thanks for spreading the joy.

  30. Posted May 23, 2012 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    So wonderful to read about the aspect of joy – no, the principle of coming out of joy first! So brave of you, and clearly rewarding – it comes shining through your story!

    Absolutely love how the room seem to glow with softness, strength and inspiration in your decoration.

  31. Debbi Jackson
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    Really enjoyed reading this post, being the kind of curious person I am, I clicked on the link and viewed the wedding pictures – beautiful pictures and looked a great day, I can understand why you felt compelled to declare it as best day ever, you get some really good vibes coming out of the bike picture. I love your description of it as deep joy – sounds so soul fulfilling and contented. And even better that you had another best day ever experience at the Teahouse Studios – pictures are lovely. I hope you get to experience lots more deep joy days xx

  32. Posted May 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Oh I’m so delighted to read this Andrea! No panic attack? I think you found your calling. Well, ANOTHER calling.

  33. Posted May 25, 2012 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    I adore you.
    Xo

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  1. [...] There was a FaceBook post today with a forward of an article dealing with issues and trying to rise above it and be better from the inside out. And it was a great article and this woman says authentic, cool things. I could connect to her, I think, and I absolutely loved the event that sparked the post Best Day Ever. [...]

  2. [...] in May, when Kelly Rae and I did an event at Teahouse Studios, we went around the room and posed this question. I was delighted and surprised to find that everyone [...]

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