You get to have this.

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Oh my goodness friends, I’m moving. (I’ve been looking for almost a year in this crazy Bay Area housing market)

It feels like a miracle of endurance and faith and letting go.

It’s not fancy. In fact, it’s modest and the kitchen is tiny and the roof is pitched and the walls curve at funny angles. But I love it. Outside every window, all you see is trees… it has a big deck and two bedrooms with plushy carpet throughout. It’s cozy and feminine and feels like a treehouse. It has good mommy energy – like the redwoods surrounding it – feminine and powerful.

I feel safe there.

And the best part? There is another single mama who lives downstairs. Her girls are the same age as the boys. It’s the mommune I’ve always dreamed about! We have autonomy with our own apartment, but with another family living downstairs. We can share meals and play and look after one another. Plus, they have cats! Adorable cats!

When I did a walk-through with the mama from downstairs, my eyes pooled with tears, “Do I get to have this?” She beamed, “Andrea, you get to have this. What else do you want?”

And that made me think of you and us women in particular, and how our wants tend to go offline, how they get set aside in favor of other peoples’ wants. And we do this because we are kind and because we want to do right by our people and because we want everyone to like us and because we are afraid.

And after a while this becomes a habit… and we can’t even ask ourselves what we want without all the noise rushing in – what other people want, what we think we deserve, what’s practical, what we think we can get. It gets all muddled in there and you can’t tell what’s what anymore! or if you are worthy of any of it.

Is there something you want? A tiny thing? A big thing?

Close your eyes and imagine whispering it in my ear right now. “I want… (fill in the blank).”
Then imagine me looking into your eyes and saying, “You get to have that. What else do you want?”

Heart full of gratitude,
Andrea

P.S. Brave Blogging is going swimmingly! It is such a good class.
If you’ve been wanting to write more, please join us! It’s not too late.

Finding your creative gold.

Dear Friends,

My incredible writing teacher and friend Laurie Wagner and I are co-leading a workshop this October 7th-9th! And it’s all about Waking up the Wheelhouse and finding your creative gold.

We’re going to help you find your sweet spots — the places in your spirit that are so natural to you they are like breathing. The part of you that moves through the world in your own home groove- feeling relaxed, natural, intuitive and attuned to your inner knowing.

Life is so much easier when we are operating from what comes most naturally to us! We don’t have to work so hard or fight ourselves anymore. We are trusting ourselves.

Our days will include: Wild Writing, art-making, cooking, sharing + other juicy delights. You can read more about the workshop here.

P.S. Super bonus! You will get professional portraits done with me… at a very fun little Portrait Party session on Sunday afternoon! This makes the workshop almost free! 🙂

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Other little nuggets of gold:

The Agape Prayer Line: (Dr. Michael Beckwith and friends) So I’ve never called a prayer line in my life, but push was coming to shove and wow… what a gift! Totally non-denominational goodness: (310) 348-1270

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton (just got it from the library, can’t wait to dig in!)

The Wild Edge of Sorrow by Francis Weller (I can hardly get through it because it is so dense with beauty, wisdom and poetry. I’ve earmarked nearly every page)

The Park(ing) Day Book!  Remember way back when, Matthew Passmore (my baby daddy) created this little thing that turned into a BIG THING called PARK(ing) Day? And now there are these things called Parklets cropping up in cities everywhere? They are celebrating with a book. I’m really proud of him. Please contribute! Even a tiny donation is so appreciated and helpful!

Brave Blogging is when you’re afraid to push publish. Like today.

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I painted yesterday. As soon as I got a taste, I wanted more. I can feel it even as I type- I’m craving those colors, wanting to dip my fingers into cobalt, phthalo turquoise and yellow ochre. I want to squeeze those tubes of hot pink into my mouth.

Hiking has felt that way too. Anything that makes me feel better – sweating, creating, connecting, it all feels like the most potent medicine. I am like a starving person. None of it is lost on me.

Lost.

That’s part of this experience too. Where do I belong? Who do I belong to?

When the man I’ve been seeing for the last year broke up with me recently, I cried in my friends’ arms. My sweet friend that insisted on spending the night, who heard my voice shake and texted a few moments later: “I’m coming over right now and staying the night.”

She arrived with strawberries and whipped cream, wine, chocolate and two lottery tickets. And when the grief was overwhelming, she held me while I wept – a cry from such a deep, old place I hardly recognized it. A child’s tears… and I found myself saying: “He didn’t choose me. He didn’t choose me. I want someone to choose me…”

I want to know who I belong to.

“You belong to your boys,” the intuitive bodyworker said to me years ago. “You will always have your boys.” This is before I decided to leave, before I said those words: I can’t do this anymore… before everything unravelled.

Lost. In limbo. In between. Wobbling about.

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“That hurt we embrace becomes joy. Call it to your arms where it can change.” I read this line in a Rumi poem recently. I think he’s talking about self-compassion and the alchemy of grief. That’s the water I’m swimming in folks. I know I’m not alone.

 

 

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P.S. This is an example of Brave Blogging! Will you join me in doing more of it? Class begins on Monday!

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E-course Bootcamp is now on demand!

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Some exciting news!

I am now offering E-course Bootcamp in a totally self-guided, instant access format!

This means you can go through my simple, elegant (and even fun!) process of creating your e-course totally at your own pace. Take it week by week, or go through all of the material in one weekend! Whatever works best for you.

And the best part? Right now it’s only $299- for this version!

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Some resources:

1. To learn more about E-course Bootcamp, click here. 

2. Ruzuku (the platform I use to run my classes) has two great resources for you right now:
The 30-day Course Creation Challenge and
Roadmap to Your First 5k in Revenue. Both are free!

3. Listen to the Be a Media Darling podcast as we chat about course creation, marketing, and more.

 

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And one more exciting thing:

I’m offering a limited number of spots in my one on one E-course mentoring practice!

5 private sessions with me where we take your e-course from idea to completion. Ready to launch! Boom.

Here are some details:

-5 one-hour sessions with me in person or on the phone.

-Email support from me between sessions.

-Instant access to the class materials in E-course Bootcamp.

-Your investment: $750 (I’m confident you will get your investment back + more after the first time you run your course)

-A list of the things we will cover!

I have a limited number of spots so please let me know if this feels like a YES to you. Or nab your spot here.

Excited to help bring your magic into the world!

Andrea

 

 

 

 

We all want to be seen.

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As you might know, Juna and I took 10 ladies to Bali this year. We ate beautiful food, went to magical places, did powerful rituals, and connected in deep and unexpected ways. But one of my favorite parts of our week, was the closing circle.

Here’s how we did it:

We sat in a circle around a flower mandala that was made for us each day by the staff at the retreat center. It always felt like stepping into sacred space each morning when we would see it.

After going around and generally sharing what we learned and what we were coming away with from our experience, I invited the women in the circle to go around and do something wonderfully intimate. We would begin with one person in the circle and we would all focus on her – just beaming pure love at her in quiet meditation.

Next, we would think about what we appreciated about that person and who they were at their essence. (We had built so much intimacy and connection throughout the week that this felt effortless. The love cultivated between these women who didn’t know each other before Bali is what I am most proud of + excited about when I think of this trip. But I digress!)

After a minute or so of that, we would go around the circle one by one and offer a word (or sometimes two) of acknowledgement:

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Wise Warrior
Bright light
Sexy earth mama
Lovable
Joyous expression
Open heart
Deep knowing
Mystical

It was an intuitive and beautiful process. Whatever words came, we spoke them and the person simply received the words, said thank you and let them seep into their bones.

After we all offered our words I would pause, turn toward the next person in the circle, and say their name aloud. It surprised me how potent this particular moment was each time. I could feel their name vibrating in the room as I said it- Meredith, Jamie, Carol, Alicia, Cynthia… It was as if their name was infused with all the love in the room and I could see something shift in them as I spoke – Mayra, Clare, Jenny, Susan, Juna…

And then I felt it when my own name was spoken aloud. It had a vibration all its own as well. It reminded me of Romper Room… remember that show? and the way the announcer would look straight into the camera (right at you!) and say, “I see Tony and Elizabeth and Paula and George…” and you would wait at home expectantly for your name to be called. You wanted them to SEE YOU! You wanted to be seen!

I think that’s what made the exercise so powerful. It was confirmation that we saw each other. It was a celebration and honoring of this beautiful truth.

I just had a conversation with a friend this morning who is planning on changing her name. This inspires me and I am in awe of the courage it takes- you mean you can just do that? Change your name? Holy smokes. You mean we get to choose the name that suits us if the one we have doesn’t fit?

The paralegal just emailed me this week asking if I wanted to go back to my maiden name. I said yes, but even as I typed the words I knew they weren’t 100% true. What’s more true is that I want to go back to my original name but give myself a new middle name- one that perhaps no one will ever know about except the DMV! Almost like a secret line of code infused in my name- an intention, a blessing for the future, and honoring of who I am at my essence.

Have any of you ever changed your name?

Tell me about it if you have! XO Andrea

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P.S. Juna and I will be going back to Bali in May 2017. We would love to have you in our sacred circle of sisterhood!