The magic medicine of the camera.

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Sometimes they overstimulate me completely.

The noise, the rowdiness, the fighting, the constant fingers in everyone’s butts. My HSP little heart starts to lose it. After being very shouty (which didn’t work) I pulled out my camera and let them go nuts on the bed while I took photos.

And the camera provided just enough distance. Just enough of a buffer that I could take them in. I could see these little faces with kinder eyes.

It made me remember (again) the magic medicine of the camera.

How it has saved me over and over again- allowing me to be more present, more connected, and able to weather whatever heartache I am experiencing with more ease.

It’s my greatest tool for healing.
It puts me in touch with wonder.
It reminds me of the beauty everywhere.
It shows me that underneath the mess, everything is miraculous.

Will you join me for Elevate the Ordinary this summer?
It starts Monday, June 29th.

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Just enter the coupon code: SUMMERJOY to get $20 off

 

 

 

 

 

Want to launch your e-course this fall?

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Photo by In Her Image Photography

Join me for the 2nd session of E-course Bootcamp!

We had the most AMAZING group of women (and a few men) join in for the inaugural session of bootcamp and it was the most incredible experience. I’m so inspired by all the beautiful projects + brilliant hearts out there.

Here are a few things the participants in the course are saying!

Having the E-Course Bootcamp container to work within helped me focus my energies and move the course from my head into something real. You have provided us with a delicious mix of practical, creative, and encouraging wisdom for running a successful online e-course. I will be recommending it to all of my fellow coaches and soul-preneurs who are interested in developing their own courses! -Victoria Smith, Softly Wild E-course

I am so happy to have you as a guide here. To be honest: I have had a lot of training and workshops online and I have gotten allergic to strategic plans and funnels and ‘growing a six figure business’ and ‘almost a 7 figure business’ and the ‘5 reasons to avoid this’ and the ‘7 mistakes you can make in that’….So hallelujah for Andrea! You are real, you walk your talk + you are present. You bring in techy and sales issues, but what I really needed was your voice and truth now. THANK YOU. -Marijke

This has been a really excellent course. Your simple, creative and revealing exercises have been extremely helpful. Having a small window into how you bring out the beauty, the essence of a course has been so lovely to experience. Your gentle way of requesting that we step into something powerful in what we are sharing/offering is wonderful. It’s actually really hard to explain you and that of course is why you are amazing to work with. You are just lovely and dynamic and creative and spacious. Thank you. -Katie Maclain

It has been such a valuable and enlightening experience… a perfect balance of the creative and technical aspects of designing a course! -Lara Newell-Barette

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Register early to get a $100 discount!

Just enter the coupon code “EARLY100” to get $100 off. Offer expires June 30th!

The fun begins Monday, July 20th, 2015

P.S. If you would prefer to do a self-paced version of the course, hit reply! and I will get you set up.
Not sure if the course is right for you? Ask me anything! Or go here for more info.

P.S. My heart grew several sizes reading your generous comments on my last blog post. Thank you for all the love notes + kind words. It made all the difference.

 

My plea to the Universe: Show me that I’m not alone.

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Photo by In Her Image Photography

There is a soft, green, velvet couch in my living room. Last year, you would have found me there each morning with my hands to my heart, chanting a prayer. Every day I said the same thing through salty tears – please show me that I’m not alone. Please show me that I’m not alone.

I wish I could tell you exactly who I pray to- I could call it God, my guides, the angels, Spirit. It doesn’t really matter. Only that it helped me to do this one small thing. It didn’t take more than a few seconds for the hair on my arms to stand up, for the tears to start falling down my cheeks. It didn’t take long to feel connected to whoever and whatever was guiding me forward. As I contemplated the unraveling of my marriage, I would say, “If I’m going to do this, I need to know you’re with me. I’m not doing it alone.”

Every once in a while I would get little messages, like the day I sobbed outside a bakery in Berkeley while chatting with a friend. Where are we going to live? What am I going to do? How am I going to make it? She listened and soothed me with kind words and when I hung up, I looked down at my boots. Right below my shoe was a tiny discarded fortune from the Chinese restaurant up the street. It said, “No need to worry! You will always have everything you need.” I gasped.

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I took off my ring on the Bart train when I was riding to my friend Laurie’s house. I was nervous, so I did it quickly and zipped it into the coin section of my wallet. I looked down at my bare hands, which seemed so conspicuous. They seemed to glow bright with emptiness. I half expected someone to say, “So, you’re not married, huh?” (Which of course, no one did.)

I shopped for rings for months, searching for something that felt like just the right weight, had just the right stone. I wanted a ring that would be like an anchor to ground me, so that I wouldn’t float away. I decided on turquoise. And when I looked up the meaning it rang true – power, protection, intuition, healing.

I could tell you about dating and what these connections have awakened in me. I could tell you about the way I inhabit my body now and how I never noticed that I didn’t before. I could tell you about the days when I didn’t think I would survive it – the dissolving of my marriage – how I would call my friend Brigette (sometimes hourly) and cry, It’s too much. I don’t think I can do it…” and she’d say, “But you are. You are doing it. This is it.”

I heard on a radio interview that if someone is traumatized (like say you are kneeling next to someone who was just in a car accident) that it’s good to say things like, “You’re alive. The worst is over. Help is coming. Help is on its way.” As opposed to, “Don’t die on me!” like they do in the movies. This is apparently the worst possible thing you can say because all the person hears is “Die! Don’t die! Die, die, die!”

And so when people say, “My god. How will you manage? Are the kids going to be okay? If my partner left me I think I would die!” I want to grab their shoulders and say, “The worst is over. I’m happy. I’m alive. Help is on its way.”

 

The strange pull of what you really love.

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“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray.” -Rumi

The 2014 World Cup changed our lives.

Nico started watching with Matt, peering over his shoulder on the couch, asking about various players. Which guy is the fastest? What team is the best? Is Messi the goodest? He started playing soccer constantly. Talking about it obsessively.

He started wearing shin guards every day to school.
He wore cleats to bed.
He didn’t want us to cut his hair.
He put on his Messi uniform every day even if it was filthy.
He instructed me to write a number in Sharpie on the back of every single shirt he owned to make them “soccer shirts.” Otherwise, he refused to wear them. (I totally obliged.)

Years ago I read a story about Alfred Steiglitz, the renowned photographer from the 1930’s who was married to Georgia O’Keefe. In the article there was a photograph of Steiglitz at maybe 4 or 5 years old. He had fashioned a necklace out of a photograph and wore it around his neck.

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.

When I think of my life as a treasure hunt it makes a bit more sense- the way I am always feeling my way toward the light. The way there are people and colors and joys that are like sparks for me and I remind myself that it’s okay to not know exactly where I’m going. That I can get all the way home, even if my path is only lit a few feet in front of me.

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I’ve been painting lately. Little studies here and there. Strolls through the aisles of the art store. My heart skips a beat when I smell the oil paints and see those spectrums of color on the wall. The other day, I bought a big block of cold pressed watercolor paper and lots of paint – expensive, but I didn’t care. I lay all those tiny tubes of pigment on the counter with a hunger I haven’t felt in a long time. The way the bristles feel when they brush against my palm, the way the pigment bursts on the toothy paper like a shooting star with just a drop of water. It’s a kind of bliss for me, one that I forget is available as I opt for more practical things like laundry and email.

I write this as a kind of reminder to myself and also to note that there is something about color and paint and using my hands that has everything to do with where I am going.

What is the strange pull in your life?

I heard a great interview with Maria Bello yesterday on Fresh Air. She was on track to be a women’s rights attorney when she took an acting class. She knew instantly that was what she wanted to do. She went to her friend + mentor Father Ray Jackson in tears and said, “Father, I don’t know what to do. I thought I was supposed to be of service in this world; acting seems like such a selfish profession.”

And he said the words that would set her free: “Maria, you serve best by doing the things you love most.”

What have you always loved? 

 

Shake it Off: Ben + Nico