What I’ve been reading.

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture compiled by Roxane Gay.

Intense. Beautiful writing. Revelatory. Brutal. It helped me understand my own experiences as a woman in this culture. I saw myself in so many of the stories – the way we blame ourselves, the way we tell ourselves it wasn’t that bad, the way we minimize our experiences and take on other people’s shame.

If you’re a woman, my guess is that you have a story like this too.

I have many. Starting very young. (Like five years old young) And I marvel at how that little person kept it all secret, thought there was something wrong with her, thought that she was broken and dirty and wrong. There is still some part of me (embedded deep inside) that still believes that, even though I know (rationally) it’s not true.

This book is tough to read/listen to but I found it revelatory. And like I said, helped me understand my own range of experiences. It might be medicine for you too.

You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson

I love this book. And I adore Phoebe Robinson. She is hilarious + offers so much wisdom and insight about race, feminism and popular culture. Amazing collection of essays!

How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan

Still getting through this one, but it’s pretty fascinating. Certainly an interesting read for anyone curious about this topic. Wishing it was more personal and less journalistic, but maybe the more personal pieces will come later!

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams

Hands down, one of the best books I have ever read. (I read it every few years or so) It’s a simple and beautiful guide to living well, to manifesting success + joy, while experiencing ease and flow and connection. It’s an oldie but such a goodie.

 

 

Where joy hides + how to find it.

This Ted Talk made me want to shout YES! to my little screen. Ingrid Fetell Lee deconstructs joy and helps us understand what the elements are + how we can create more of it. Mostly, she confirmed what I already know intuitively – that color and wonder and beauty can amplify and grow these experiences. Don’t miss this one.

And if you want to instantly up your joy meter this summer, take the Collecting Color course! (instant access, self-guided) $49

More details here. 

Or Capture Life, my iphone class will get you inspired + taking amazing photos this summer as well. $49

Mostly, I just want you to get out there + find the beauty that’s hiding in your world. Life can be overwhelming, social media can throw you into fits of despair.

Grab your camera. Take a walk outside. All with the intention of training your eyes toward what’s interesting and beautiful. The way the lemons juxtapose against the blue of the sky. The tiny dandelion seeds floating by. The way you feel so small in that grove of redwoods.

Wishing you beauty + color-collecting joy… amplified by sharing it.
Andrea

We’re going to back to San Miguel de Allende!

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 + friendly people and incredible architecture. It’s my favorite place in the world to collect color…. and is now my favorite place to bring a group! (We had the pleasure of taking a group this year to explore + learn and create… + it was ah-mazing)

The city attracts artists and lovers of art because the light there is magic. It is 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. (And sit in chairs with wings)

My dear friend + Wild Writing teacher Laurie Wagner and I are taking a small group of creative folks back to San Miguel this January 2019. (January 6th-11th, 2019 to be exact) 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 learn from local artisans, take a food tour of the city (total foodie paradise), take photo walks during the magic hour, and wander 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 will be included each day in addition to a variety of room options.

Here are the details all in one place:

Dates:
January 6th – 11th, 2019 (5 nights at a gorgeous bed + breakfast)

Your investment:
$2,200 (small, private room)
$2,300 (shared room, shared suite)
$2,400 (deluxe, private room)
$2,500 (supah fancy shared suite)

The price above includes:
-Lodging for 5 nights at Casa De La Noche
-Breakfast each morning
-Wild Writing class each day (sometimes we do this twice a day!)
-Magic hour photo walks + instruction
-Group art class from a local artisan
-Food tour of San Miguel (the most delicious way to get familiar with the city!)
-Shuttle to + from the airport (as long as you are arriving in Leon, Mexico (BJX) or Queretero)

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

Space limited to 15 lovely peeps. All sold out! Email us if you want to get on the waiting list.
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! 

 

This is joy.

I’ve been doing a little experiment lately. Whenever I feel anxious, stressed or just generally crunchy, I ask myself the following question: What if you let it be easy? How could this be more fun?

These might sound like ridiculous questions. Especially in situations that are absolutely not easy at all and zero on the fun meter. But you know what these questions do? They put me in a state of curiosity. They open up a space of inquiry where I am no longer thinking my habitual thoughts. These two little questions help me open up to the possibility of ease and joy without having to change my circumstances at all.

Yesterday, as I was writing for my new course Summer School (starts Monday!) I noticed I was feeling stressssssed… and crunchy and stuck. I called a friend to help me think through the flow of the lessons and the conceptual ideas behind the class. As I was giving her a monologue about ease and self-compassion, I stopped myself.

“Wait a minute!” I said to her. “I’m trying to design this class in the mindset of struggle – of trying to get it perfect, trying to prove that there is a rigor behind all of my totally delightful (and silly) prompts. I’m already coming from a place of lack. The stress is about fear… But this class is about FUN! It’s about pivoting towards ease and joy + letting go of whatever is in the way of that.”

“Problems cannot be solved with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein

I started telling her about all of the delicious things we were going to do together – The Smilympics! Paint chip poetry! Foraging for color! and when I connected to my authentic joy, I got more clear:

Play has no purpose!
It is an end in and of itself.
It’s about seeing the world again with creative eyes.
It’s about seeing your life as a poem. A story. Something juicy and colorful and worthy of enjoying.

My intention for this class is to give you an experience of creative play – a whole month of it in fact! Consider this your experiment in cultivating more ease + joy in your life. So excited to do this together. Thank you for being with me in my joy!! xo Andrea

CSP #33: Melanie Dewberry on the Power of Naming

Melanie DewBerry, has worked in the business of spirituality and consciousness for over twenty six years. Her passion community and soul work is nurtured by her Native American elders and her walk on traditional “Red Road” ceremonial way of life. Melanie is passionate about supporting people in their spiritual evolution.
She is the author of The Power of Naming: A Journey toward Your Soul’s Indigenous Nature (Hay House, 2017). A professional speaker, She has spoken around the world, including two TEDx talks in Austria and Canada. Today she creates personal ceremonies and rituals for individuals and business’ crossing those imperative thresholds of soul transformation and growth. You can catch her sipping espresso, laughing and kicking up dirt in her cowboy boots. She knew at the age of nine that she would be hired to rep. The Great Mystery; and so she does.