Calling for courage stories.

Hello sweet friends,

It’s been an intense time in the world… and we are all doing our best to respond in the best way we know how. For me, that means listening to my inner wisdom and asking what would nourish me most- what would help me stay buoyant and vibrant. Energized by life and not depleted by it.

And this is the place I most like to create from – a genuine hunger in me that becomes medicine for us both. My best work is always offering the medicine that I myself most need.

So in the spirit of that, I would like to offer a brand new version of one of my favorite classes – Cultivating Courage. This class is a 30-day courage experiment where we do one tiny brave move each day (and share with each other in the classroom) while reading courage stories to keep us feeling uplifted, inspired and connected to one another.

Practicing courage (in small ways every day) takes me farther than any other practice I know. Not only will you feel connected and inspired, but you will start seeing real change in your life and feel more alive and lit up than before. And the world needs us to feel alive and lit up.

Free Manifest session with me!

The first 20 people who sign up (early birds rule!) will get a 50 minute Manifesting session with me on the phone. This is where we get together + consciously create your year… we look at your values, your limiting beliefs, your desires, and get you on track to be the bravest possible version of you.

 

I need your help!

  • Do you have a story about a time when you had to call on your courage?
  • What happened? How did you transform?
  • Was there any magic on the other side?

These stories can be short and sweet. (And no heroics necessary. We’re talkin ordinary, everyday courage)

Details:
400 or 500 words max.
DUE: February 19th, 2017
Email your story to me here: superherosf@gmail.com

A collection of these stories will be published in the upcoming courage class.

*Everyone who sends me a story will get a discount code for the upcoming course. Those whose stories get published, will get the course for free. Can’t wait to read your stories!

P.S. I shot this photo of Brené Brown several years ago and love it so much. She is such a great mentor for courage and vulnerability, which are really two sides of the same coin.

 

When we choose to say yes.

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When I had my 40th birthday (5 years ago now!) I thought long and hard about how I wanted to celebrate. I felt like it was my permission slip to do something that my spirit really wanted… not because it was practical or related to work, but purely because I knew my soul needed it.

But when my friend Kelly Rae Roberts told me she was going to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for a painting workshop with Flora Bowley all of my inner wisdom went out the window. My only thought was “Why don’t I get to do things like that? I’m SO JEALOUS! I wish I could go!!”

I had been following Flora for years, oohhing and ahhing about her paintings and wishing I could get back to my own painting practice after years of letting it go. And San Miguel de Allende was my spirit place! I had spent a couple of months there when I was in my 20’s, learning Spanish and taking metalsmithing classes while living with a family. It felt like an enchanted city – incredible food, cobblestone streets, gorgeous architecture and every wall a different shade of ochre. My heart ached to go back.

This ache kept me up at night for days on end… the agitation of this desire that I was too afraid to say out loud. The critical voices kept coming in – You don’t have money for that. That’s too much to ask. That’s too much time away from the boys. 

But then a friend told me something I never forgot: “Andrea, I want you to let yourself want this. Feel the FULL breadth of this desire – don’t cut it off. Wanting it and having it are two completely different things. Have a conversation with Matt. You may or may not get to go. But it’s enough to let yourself want it.”

As you might have guessed, I did get to go. In fact, Matt and Kelly Rae secretly hatched a scheme to gift me the trip and surprised me with airline tickets! Amazing.

I painted for an entire week and learned so much from Flora… not just about the craft of painting, but how painting is really an access point for all of the things I want to cultivate in myself – how to be more brave, trust my intuition, see where I get stopped, how to reach for my unique gifts to help me through stuck places and ultimately how to express my own unique voice in the world.

I’m going back to San Miguel next month – this time for the San Miguel Writers Conference. It will be another time when I say yes to my inner wisdom, even in the face of the critical voices that tell me I have no right to go – You’re not really a writer… Can you really afford this? Who do you think you are? And by the way, you’re not a real writer.

Yeah. All that. Do you recognize those voices too?

Instead, I’m saying yes to adventure.
Yes to pleasure.
Yes to learning.
Yes to my spirit.
Yes to my intuition.

P.S. And by the way, here are some adventures you might feel called to jump into. If your heart is a big YES, note that and let yourself feel that desire.

 

Waking up in Bali: I will be co-leading a retreat in Ubud, Bali this May 8th-15th with Juna Mustad Milano. We took an incredible group of women last year and it was SO MUCH FUN, we decided to do it again. There are 3 more spots available. And guess what? Flights right now are as low as 650- roundtrip!

Here is what one of the participants shared about the retreat:

Juna and Andrea created a supportive and safe environment for women to learn more about and to share their authentic selves, to heal, and to celebrate their lives and themselves. There was a lovely mix of intuition, movement and creative exercises. The combination of activities, outings, daily circle meetings in the yoga studio, and the magic of the island itself provided to be restorative and transforming for all the participants. As a result Bali has become part of me like no other place I have visited, and the circle we created with stay with me forever. I went away feeling more open, breathing easier, and like I have fresh soil in my soul. 

One of our main themes this year? PLEASURE. How much pleasure can we take? We’ll find out. 🙂

If you are considering the trip to Bali but need to chat, just hit reply and I’m happy to help you see if it’s a fit for you.

Sending you all so much love,
Andrea

Flora Bowley’s Creative Revolution E-course starts soon! (Early bird pricing ends tomorrow, Wednesday, January 25th) This course is not just for painters, but anyone who wants to enrich their life with creative practices that nourish in big ways.

Creative Revolution E-Course

 

 

 

My new obsession: Miracle Mornings!

Here is a link to the Miracle Morning website. Thank you Hal Elrod!

Gate 4-A (poem by Naomi Shihab Nye)

 

Gate 4-A by Naomi Shihab Nye

Wandering around the Albuquerque Airport Terminal, after learning my flight had been detained four hours, I heard an announcement: “If anyone in the vicinity of Gate 4-A understands any Arabic, please come to the gate immediately.” Well – one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate.

I went there. An older woman in full traditional Palestinian embroidered dress, just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly. “Help,” said the Flight Service Person. “Talk to her. What is her problem? We told her the flight was going to be late and she did this.”

I stooped to put my arm around the woman and spoke to her haltingly. “Shu dow-a, Shu-bid-uck Habibti? Stani schway, Min fadlick, Shu-bit-se-wee?” The minute she heard any words she knew, however poorly used, she stopped crying. She thought the flight had been cancelled entirely. She needed to be in El Paso for major medical treatment the next day. I said, “You’re fine, you’ll get there, who is picking you up? Let’s call him.” We called her son and I spoke with him in English. I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and would ride next to her – Southwest.

She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for fun. Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and found out of course they had ten shared friends. Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian poets I know and let them chat with her?

This all took up about two hours. She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life, patting my knee, answering questions. She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies – little powdered sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts – out of her bag – and was offering them to all the women at the gate. To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the mom from California, the lovely woman from Laredo – we were all covered with the same powdered sugar. And smiling. There is no better cookie.

And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers and two little girls from our flight ran around serving us all apple juice and they were covered with powdered sugar too. And I noticed my new best friend – by now we were holding hands – had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing, with green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought, this is the world I want to live in. The shared world. Not a single person in this gate – once the crying of confusion stopped – seemed apprehensive about any other person. They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too. This can still happen anywhere. Not everything is lost.

 

 

[audio] Always we hope

 

Always We Hope — Lao Tzu

Always we hope
someone else has the answer,
some other place will be better,
some other time,
it will turn out.

This is it.

No one else has the answer,
no other place will be better,
and it has already turned out.

At the center of your being,
you have the answer:
you know who you are and
you know what you want.

There is no need to run outside
for better seeing,
nor to peer from a window.
Rather abide at the center of your being:
for the more you leave it,
the less you learn.

Search your heart and see
the way to do is to be.

Abide at the center of your being.