Workshop in Mexico with Andrea Scher + Laurie Wagner!

Dear Superheroes,

If you’ve been following me for a while, you already know that San Miguel de Allende, Mexico is one of my favorite places in the entire world! It’s full of beauty and art, warm and friendly people and incredible architecture. It’s my favorite place in the world to collect color!

The city attracts artists and lovers of art because the light there is magic. It’s that painterly sort of light that exists in a handful of places in the world and it always fills me with awe. It’s a place where you want to drink in the terracotta walls, walk for hours on the cobblestone streets and peek into hidden artist studios. It’s a place where you want to create.


 

My dear friend + Wild Writing teacher Laurie Wagner and I are going to take a small group of creative folks to San Miguel this March 2018. We will be exploring, writing, storytelling, taking lots of photos and having one of the most creative and delicious adventures we’ve ever had! 

Our days will be a perfect blend of Wild Writing, creative photography exercises, storytelling and exploring this magical city together. We’ll visit a house made entirely of mosaics, we’ll wake up early to capture the light, and we’ll follow our noses to the town square where celebration fills the streets at night.

Bring your walking shoes, your favorite camera and a notebook and we’ll take care of the rest! Spaces are limited to 15 – we want this to be an intimate gathering. Our group will be occupying an entire bed and breakfast right in the heart of downtown San Miguel. We’ll have walking access to galleries, restaurants, shops and historic sites. Breakfast and lunch will be included each day in addition to a variety of room options.

Here are the details all in one place:

Dates:
March 11th-16th, 2018 

Your investment: (Includes breakfast + lunch each day)
$1,500 for a shared room
$1,750 for a private room (limited number of private rooms available) 

NOTE: Looks like we have sold out of private rooms! If you would still like a private room, let us know when you register and we are looking into an option where you can pay a bit more to get that.

Deposit:
$500 (non-refundable deposit to secure your spot!)

Space limited to 15 lovely peeps. (Update: Sold out)
Nab your spot soon. This will sell out!

You will come away with:

A Wild Writing practice: Something that has sustained me and my creative life for more than 15 years now. It’s how I create every blog post + learned to tell the truth in my writing. It’s one part creative practice, one part healing practice. If you know it, you already love it. If you don’t know it, you’re in for a treat. (Led by Laurie)

A camera (or phone!) full of glorious colors + amazing images: And skills that will take your photography to the next level. (Photography led by Andrea)

15 new friends for adventure + support + connection: We will create a gorgeous little tribe for the week. We trust that just the right constellation of people will show up for a really magical time.

A fun + easy creative adventure where you get to learn + grow + play + explore. We can’t wait to be with you!

 

Click the button above to pay your $500 non-refundable deposit + secure your spot!

P.S. We sold out! If you’d like to be on the waiting list, just shoot me an email here: superherosf@gmail.com

Life-shifting books I am reading right now.

The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul by Danielle Laporte

The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You by Karla McLaren

Boundaries & Protection by Pixie Lighthorse

Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence by Esther Perel

 

CSP #15: Boundaries + Protection with Pixie Lighthorse

Pixie Lighthorse mothers the nurture-deficient world by teaching Earth Medicine theory and skills. Her educational programs are used by helpers and healers to advance in their fields of study, as well as by individuals in the self-healing process.

She is the author of the Prayers of Honoring series, written to restore the bonds between people and nature while healing spiritual trauma. In 2017, she completed her third book, Boundaries & Protection.

She has created and taught over forty online educational courses applying integrative shamanism, animal and plant studies, and the Medicine Wheel. She also developed a shamanic painting course entitled Visual Quest for online and live audiences.

She defines Earth Medicine as the accumulated learnings modeled by nature: the creatures, plants and geology which make up our world.

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Part 2: Plump with love.

Note: Thank you so much for the warm + generous response to Part One: Journeying towards Self-Love. I thought it would be more of a linear story to tell, but the story is emerging in just the way it wants to. Here is Part two… Enjoy! and as always, your responses mean the world to me! If you haven’t read Part One, best to read that first.

This is the image that was shown to me in Bali: My future self. Bigger than I am now. Plump. Eyes closed. Smiling like a happy buddha. My co-leader at the retreat Juna led us through a visualization, and in it we were to ask this future self a question- What do I need to know to get to where you are now?

As I looked at her, she seemed so hearty to me.
Resilient.
Wise.
Loving.
I wanted to crawl into her lap- the safest possible place to land. She was plump with love.

“Ground in love each day,” she said. “Ground in love before you pick up your kids. Ground in love before you talk to your clients. Ground in love before you walk out the door and into the world.”

I didn’t know exactly what she meant. I could feel the truth of it, but I wasn’t sure about it’s practical application. How was I supposed to do that? But I was drenched in tears by the end of the visualization and didn’t care. I was just so moved by the possibility that I could be this person – grounded, hearty, resilient, wise. Plump with love.

When I got back home after the trip, I decided to continue meditating each day like I’d been doing in Bali. I had been using Insight Timer (the best!!) and loved their guided meditations. This time I decided to use their search feature. I typed in “self love” and the very first meditation that popped up was this one: Live Awake with Sarah Blondin: Loving and Listening to Yourself. Sounds about right! I thought to myself.

I had no idea this meditation would bring me even deeper into my healing. Deeper into this experience, this practice of self-love I was cultivating. I didn’t know it would be another part of the medicine.

The meditation started out this way, with Sarah’s gentle and powerful voice saying: I love you. And I am listening. Tears immediately sprang to my eyes. I listened to her beautiful piece and was astounded by what I was hearing. I was sure she had me in mind when she wrote it. It was as if she was speaking directly to my heart.

Tears poured down my cheeks.

And then she said those words, the same ones from the visualization in Bali: We become round and plump with our own love.

And I gasped.
And opened my eyes.
And cried more.

I listened to that meditation every day for weeks. I made a habit of putting my hand on my heart at random moments of the day and saying to myself: I love you and I am listening.

Sometimes it felt neutral, like a fact.
Sometimes it felt potent and painful, for all the ways I don’t love myself.
Sometimes it felt silly, like why am I saying these things to myself?

But mostly it felt nurturing. And it was a practice. I was increasing my capacity to love myself.

And it was my how I grounded in love. Before I picked up my kids, I would put my hand on my heart. I love you and I am listening. Before I got on the phone with my clients, I love you and I am listening.

As I write these words I am wondering, am I saying these words to myself or my kids? To myself or my clients? But I think it’s both. I am saying those words to myself and therefore to everyone I encounter. My capacity to love myself is the capacity I have to love others. That’s the way it works.

If love is too strong a word for you, replace it with compassion. The degree to which you have compassion for yourself is the degree to which you have compassion for others. The places in yourself where you lack compassion, the places in yourself that are hard for you to embrace, will be the same places that are hard to love and embrace in others.

That’s what makes the work worthwhile.
That’s why self-love is not selfish, but self-less.

That’s why this is a bottomless practice. It is a lifetime of softening towards ourselves and the world. It is a healing… and as we know, healing isn’t linear, but winds around and spirals back. Sometimes we think we have landed at square one again, but we are always somewhere else on the spiral.
Always ascending.
Always softening.
Becoming round and plump with our own love.

 

Part 3 is coming soon…

Another note: I asked Sarah Blondin if I could interview her for my podcast and she said yes! Our intimate and wonderful conversation here.

Part one: Journeying toward self-love.

The term self-love used to make me cringe.

In the same way that “inner child” did or any other term that made me feel vulnerable, exposed, embarrassed, seen for my wounded self. And so it caught me by surprise when I realized that I’ve been on a deep journey around self-love for the last several years. Who knew?

It feels odd to say this, but I can trace it back to the Zoloft being the first (and possibly the most profound) breakthrough. I resisted taking anxiety medication for decades, muscling through with kale and yoga and supplements, simultaneously being afraid of the drugs and thinking I was above them – stronger than that.

And so I suffered a long time this way.

Until my symptoms got out of hand. Panic attacks came regularly – first as a result of public speaking and then out of the blue with no warning. Once, while changing Nico’s diaper, I merely had the thought of going to the city for a friend’s book party and I collapsed to the floor in a full blown panic. My life became small. I was afraid to do things like drive, or go to parties, or even run into someone I hadn’t seen for a while at the grocery store (too stimulating for my sensitive body). The worst part? My boys energy was too much for me. I kept them at arms length. They were too loud, to tactile, too chaotic for my nervous system to handle. I couldn’t hold their energy.

Also, I was depressed. But I don’t think I registered that. I always thought depression looked one particular way – listless, blue, can’t get out of bed. Instead, I was jumpy, had a hard time sitting still, couldn’t sleep well, startled easily. I didn’t recognize this as depression or illness, just as my own personal failing – neurotic, wound up, anxious, too worried, abrasive, annoying… What I didn’t know is that I came by all of it honestly- my nervous system was all jacked up.

There were other factors too. I had a baby that woke up every two hours for the first year of his life. I only slept a few hours a night and still had a full time job. He started having seizures at 12 months. I was in a constant state of hypervigilance for years. It felt like an electric current was inside me, a live wire that could be activated by the slightest cough in his crib or a weird spacey look in his eyes. It was an impossible time.

What was I telling you? About self-love? Oh man, that was a lot farther out in the distance- unfathomable really. I was in deep shame most of the time. My self-talk sounded like this: Why are you such a bad mother? Why don’t you love this motherhood thing like everyone else? Why am I filled with so much rage? Why am I not motherly like everyone else? What’s wrong with me? Why does it look so easy for everyone else?

Once, very pregnant with Nico, I asked Heather Armstrong of Dooce (who I knew went through intense postpartum depression) “How do you know if you have postpartum depression? What do you look out for?”  She responded, “When you start thinking they’re better off without you, you’re in trouble.” Oh shit, I realized. I think that all the time.

Taking the Zoloft might have been the first self-loving act.

It doesn’t work for everybody (and I am not here endorsing the stuff) but for me, even trying western meds was saying yes to the possibility of getting help or of life being a different way. It was me throwing my hands in the air and saying, “I give up! I’m out of kale and I’m out of ideas.” It was a new kind of surrender. And I was lucky it worked so well for me.

It started slow. At first it was just the panic attacks that subsided and the general anxiety remained. This seemed like progress. But eventually, after about 11 weeks, something else lifted too. I felt gooooooood. Maybe for the first time in my life?

I felt like I inhabited my body again. I used to feel like I was floating upward, slightly above things, buzzing like a hummingbird. Now I was back in my skin. I could go to a crowded grocery store without freaking out. I could go to Costco or Ikea! (I had been known to abandon full carts at Ikea as I got close to the checkout stand and realized I couldn’t bear it for one more second) I could receive my boys without pushing them away. I felt heartier, like there was more of me to absorb life with. I felt grounded and calm. I wanted to shout, “Look how calm I am everybody! I can totally have a conversation with you!”

Part 2 coming soon… Let me know if this story resonates for you! I’m guessing many of us are in this together. Sending love, Andrea