Category Archives: Courses

Serious color collecting happening over here.

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Spools of thread at the dry cleaners, Berkeley, CA

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Grocery crates, Berkeley, CA

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Spools of thread at the dry cleaners, Berkeley, CA

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Vivienne McMaster, Berkeley, CA

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Field trip to the dry cleaners, Berkeley, CA

This is quite possibly my favorite class I have ever created! We are just starting week 2 of the Treasure Hunt: Collecting Color e-course. If you want to jump in, you are welcome to join in!

 

A sneak peek of the Treasure Hunt!

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In the past week, I’ve taken myself on several color collecting field trips. And guys, you’re in for a treat! Color collecting is SO. MUCH. FUN. I had forgotten.

But that’s the thing, right? We forget. And we take classes like this so we can remember.

To attune our eyes to color.
To attune our eyes to beauty.
To attune our hearts to what is good + right about the world.

It’s like a waking up practice, a gratitude practice and a creative practice all rolled into one.

Not only will we be attuning our eyes to color, but we will be exploring what really makes color have an impact in a photograph. Also, what colors turn you on? How does composition effect the way color is perceived? How do you create an abstract composition with color? All this +  more. With some love sprinkled in.

Starting March 17th, 2014 we will spend 30 days living in full color. You can register here! (Just $49 dollars)

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Here is a sample of one of the prompts:

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Brand new course! Treasure Hunt: Collecting Color

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So excited to bring you a brand new e-course! That’s all about collecting color + bringing more joy into your life. Color makes us feel alive. And if we attune our eyes to color, we find it everywhere. More details below!

Let’s go on a treasure hunt!

Remember how much you loved treasure hunts as a kid? We’re bringing the joy of that time back. Further your creative practice with photography, get a spark of inspiration directly in your inbox each day and share the spoils of your hunts in an encouraging Flickr community for other treasure seekers.

Starting March 17th, 2014 we will spend 30 days living in full color. You can register here! (Just $49 dollars)

You will get:

  • A creative photo prompt each day
  • Creative musings & photo tips by Andrea to inspire your work
  • A warm, encouraging community space on Flickr to share your work and support your fellow treasure seekers! (I will be popping in there each day to view your work and support your practice)

Benefits of treasure seeking:

  • Jumpstart your creativity or add a new spark to your existing practice
  • Come away with a collection of creative images illustrating your life right now
  • A gratitude practice using your camera as a tool + beauty as your lens
  • A whole month of drinking in everyday beauty
  • Inspiring photos taken with your camera phone or whatever camera you love most

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We collect practices that make us feel alive.

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When Laurie + I began mapping out our Opening the Creative Channel retreat last summer, we thought about all the ways we could play and create with the participants. We could do wild writing! collaborative painting! play Storybowl!

As we listed all of the things that would delight us, we realized they are actually a collection of practices – the things we have learned to do over the years to wake up, feel alive + keep the channel open. They are what we use to keep the creative energy moving in our lives so that we have access to flow. To our voice. To our unique gifts and magic.

We also discovered that we are all about process. We love to make beautiful things but we also know that opening up + waking up is a gift in its own right. The aliveness that comes from tapping into our creativity + our joy on a regular basis is really what we’re after.

And now we are excited to bring it to you. Join us for a luxurious retreat at Mayacamas Resort in Calistoga, CA. It will be a joy-filled, creative, and deeply beautiful time.

Put down your $500 deposit today + grab yourself a spot!

Here are the details:

When: June 8th -12th, 2014
Where: Mayacamas Ranch
What: Painting, writing, NIA, swimming, story telling, hot tub under the stars, laughter around the fire pit, the most delicious food you can imagine, relaxing, creating, manifesting, sharing.
Who: The most awesome collection of women. 20 of your new favorite people!
Why: To come alive. To connect with your spirit, your joy, your voice.

Prices:

Dorm rate (limited to 6 guests): 1350-
Double rate: 1550-
Single rate: 1950-

$500 deposit secures your spot!

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Click the register button above to pay your deposit and claim your spot!

With love + joy,
Andrea and Laurie

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Some of our favorite practices that we will be bringing to Mayacamas:

Wild Writing. Laurie has been teaching a writing practice for many years called Wild Writing. (She likes to say it’s a healing practice disguised as a writing practice, and I would agree) I have been writing with her this way for almost 10 years. Every piece from my blog that I am proud of started out as a 15 minute wild writing piece.

Intuitive painting. We are going to get messy! And paint. YES. Even if you have never painted. We will show you how to intuitively move, reaching for what delights you. Hot pink! Yes.

Storybowl. This is a game we play in a sacred circle. We pass around a bowl full of story prompts + each person spontaneously tells a true story from their lives. It isn’t about performing the best story, but about bravely sharing a piece of your heart. It fosters deep connection, compassion + joy. Every story is like a little miracle.

Nia. This is a joy practice disguised as a dance class! For the first few years I did Nia, I felt SO UNCOOL. But I loved it. It helped me take myself less seriously and gave me more access to joy. We will move our bodies in joyful ways with a wonderful Nia instructor.

Photography. You know you can’t be in my presence without getting your picture taken. We will do some photo walks + get my best tips on how to take your everyday photography to the next level.

 

 

 

 

2014 Special: Bring a friend for free!

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The more the merrier!

BRING A FRIEND FOR FREE to any Superhero Life or Mondo Beyondo course!
(as long as that friend has never taken a course with me)

Mondo Beyondo begins Monday, January 6th, 2014

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Superhero Photo begins Monday, January 13th, 2014

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P.S. Just let me know your friend’s email address in the notes section of Paypal.

NOTE: If you have already registered for a 2014 course, just email me with your friend’s address and we’ll add them to the list. (superherosf@gmail.com)

 

 

Manifesting some New Year Magic: A workshop!

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Join me for some manifesting in the New Year!

We will be completing our 2013 by celebrating all that we created, all the ways that we were brave, all the places we grew… and then letting it all go. Phew!

Then we will dive into consciously creating our 2014. We will be:

  • Creating Mondo Beyondo lists for 2014
  • Getting clear on our theme/intentions for the year
  • Doing creative manifesting exercises + rituals that will gather support from your wisest self, the circle of kindred spirits at the workshop, and the Universe. Power manifesting people!

You will come away clear + energized and ready for the magic to flow this year.
(Plus! You will meet nine lovely humans who can support you in 2014 + hold your vision with you.)

Register here: $100 per person/lunch is included!

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Details:

When: Sunday, January 12th, 2014 (This DATE SOLD OUT)
NEW DATE: Sunday, January 19th
10am – 3pm
Where: Private home on the Berkeley/Oakland border
What: A day of connecting + manifesting
Bring: An open heart + a journal

The dinner nanny + other Mondo Beyondo dreams you might have thought were impossible.

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Ben’s happy toast.

Sometimes you hear a story that you will never forget. It rearranges you and changes how you think forever.

During the Opening the Creative Channel retreat in October, we played a round of Storybowl. As we passed the bowl around, everyone got a prompt to tell a spontaneous true story from their life. Nicole’s prompt was this: A wish that came true.

She thought for a moment. And then told us the most awesome story.

First, I should mention that Nicole is the mother of two small kids. She also has a big time corporate job where she works long hours and is in charge of a lot of people. At the time when this story unfolded, she was so exhausted at the end of each day she could barely move past 8pm. Some nights she would sleep on the couch downstairs so she wouldn’t have to make the trek all the way to bed. It was so extreme that she and her husband started to wonder if their was something medically wrong with her. But after rounds of tests the doctor simply said, “You have a demanding job and two small kids.” Ah yes, that.

And then she had an idea. She wrote a Mondo Beyondo list and created a new dream called “Dinner Nanny.” In Nicole’s words below:

I am a dreamer. I love to dream about my ideal life and then make that happen. All of the wonderful things in my life started as detailed dreams. Andrea and Jen’s Mondo Beyondo class made my dreaming even stronger. And it was after taking Mondo Beyondo that I created a new dream that I called “dinner nanny.” Because the #1 thing in my life that I liked to do the least was making dinner during the week. Not just making dinner but shopping for and thinking about dinner. Especially thinking about dinner.

I thought, what if I hire a culinary student to plan and shop and make our dinners during the week? But then I pushed the dream further. What if I hired someone to take care of dinner and the laundry? What if I hired someone to take care of dinner, the laundry and tidying the kids’ rooms after school? Who could pick up the kids from school when I’m traveling for work and give my husband a break? Who could allow us to go on a date night once a month? Who could dogsit when we’re out of town? Who could drop off the library books and dry cleaning? Who could get the oil changed on the car every 3 months? Who can water the plants so they don’t die in the summer? Who could ask me if I ate lunch that day or exercised?

I made a list. I showed it to my husband. He said “There’s no way you can ask someone to do all of this.” I said, “Let’s see what happens.” I posted my job description on a site called Barefoot Student, which is like Craigslist, but for college students.

I hired the first person I interviewed. Her name was Deirdre and she had worked in a restaurant. Deirdre knew her way around the kitchen. Deirdre made delicious food. Deirdre was really great with my kids. Deirdre instantly made life better. Our friends said, “You look different.” My husband explained, “It’s the dinner nanny.”  

The dinner nanny transformed Nicole’s life! It freed her up to play with her kids when she got home. It gave her more energy and vitality. It allowed her to be more present for the parts of her life that mattered most.

The dinner nanny has become a symbol of ease for me.

Of asking for help and actually receiving it. Of allowing ourselves to imagine what we might need, articulating it, and possibly even getting it. But you know what? Letting ourselves want what we want is its own muscle. Can we allow ourselves the full breadth of our desire?

Getting it or not is an entirely different matter.

Can we allow ourselves to want what we want, whether we get it or not? This is a big edge for me. And probably why this story inspires me so much.

Maybe having a dinner nanny for you is someone who comes in to cook dinner twice a week. Maybe it’s deciding to have pizza delivered every Tuesday night so you can play with your kids. Maybe it’s just having company more often so that the evenings are more fun…

Dinner nanny has simply become shorthand for, how can I bring more ease + joy into my life?

Kids or not, where would you like to invite more ease + joy into your life? What would your version of the dinner nanny look like?

 

P.S. The next session of Mondo Beyondo starts January 6th! Join us.

 

 

 

Let’s hang out under the stars this summer!

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Andrea Scher + Laurie Wagner, your guides

With 20 other awesome women we have collected.

Our Opening the Creative Channel retreat this year was so incredible, so nourishing, we have decided to grow it into a longer, more luxurious retreat this summer in Calistoga, CA. We have booked a gorgeous retreat center in wine country for 4 luscious days of creativity, connecting, relaxing + playing.

Picture this.

  • The most delicious food you have ever eaten. (That you don’t have to cook! Hallelujah.)
  • Swimming in the pool by day + hot tub under the stars at night.
  • Wild writing + photography.
  • Storybowl.
  • Playing with paint. (You don’t need to know how)
  • Nia dancing (A joy practice disguised as a dance practice)
  • Organic mattresses + sheets (The rooms are eco-yummy. Good soaps. No tv.)
  • A new tribe of beautiful souls to make your own.

Here are the details:

When: June 8th -12th, 2014
Where: Mayacamas Ranch
What: Painting, writing, NIA dancing, swimming, story telling, hiking, hot tub under the stars, laughter around the fire pit, the most delicious food you can imagine, relaxing, creating, manifesting, sharing.
Who: The most awesome collection of women. 20 of your new favorite people!
Why: To come alive. To connect with your spirit, your joy, your voice.

Prices:

Dorm rate (limited to 6 guests): 1350-
Double rate: 1550-
Single rate: 1950-

$500 deposit secures your spot!

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There are only 12 places left (The rest were swooped up by attendees from last session)

Click the register button above to pay your deposit and claim your spot!

With love + joy,
Andrea and Laurie

P.S. The balance on your tuition will be due by February 25th, 2014. If you decide to cancel at that time, you will forfeit your deposit. Which stinks! So join us. :)

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The pool at Mayacamas

The courage to believe there is room for everybody.

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Launching this course was a huge act of courage for me.

I had been designing the curriculum for Cultivating Courage last year and was getting really excited about the idea of a 30 day courage challenge. One day I googled “30 days of courage” (what I was originally going to call the class) to see if anyone was doing something similar. I was shocked to discover that not only was someone already doing a course by that name, but it was someone I knew! Someone in my creative circle who I have always adored and admired – Marianne Elliott. Crap! I thought.

While we hiked the following week (she happened to be visiting the bay area from New Zealand) I brought it up: “Marianne, you won’t believe this, but I have been creating a curriculum for a class about courage and just discovered that you already launched one! I would never want you to think I was copying you.”

She laughed. “That is hilarious! Kate Swoboda just emailed me about the same thing. She is launching a 30 days of courage class also!”

My heart sank. Another person in our circle offering a 30 days of courage class as well?! This was getting to be a bummer. And I was launching last, I thought. It was going to look like I copied.

Even though Marianne was relaxed about it, I was catastrophizing back at my desk.

  • They’ll probably do it better than me.
  • Look at Marianne. She was a UN peacekeeper in Afghanistan! What do I know about courage?
  • Kate’s whole website is about courage. Maybe this is her terrain and not mine.
  • They’re going to think I’m copying.
  • I have nothing unique to say.I suck. I should just quit.
And then I got a note from Marianne.
She said: “I’ve had friends totally freak out when they see someone else doing something similar to what they are doing – either because they assume they are being copied (which I think is very rarely the case) or because they think they’ll be competing.
 
I’d love to find another path through this, I think it’s magical that you and Kate and I are all in the same space geographically at the moment so we can meet in person and talk about it. And I really do think there is some powerful learning in here, learning worth sharing once we get there.”

And that’s when I had a revelation — that there was an opportunity for us to decide, collectively, that there was room for all of us. That we didn’t have to compete but could support each other instead.

I was nervous when I got to the restaurant. We chatted about life in general for a long time, then I shyly brought up the courage courses. We each took turns describing what our courses were like and we started to see what I sincerely hoped was true — that we each had our own unique voice. That our approaches were different. That there was no way anyone else’s course could be like mine, because I am the one writing it!

I also remembered that I have my people and they have theirs. And that our people wanted us. They wanted our voice, not somebody else’s.

In the midst of this conversation, I also remembered my first art wound. I was in the 4th grade and we were told to write an essay about something we were afraid of. The teacher gave the example of being afraid to drive Highway 17, a dangerous highway near our home where people had accidents regularly. I have the same fear! I thought. What a coincidence! And so I wrote about that.

The next day she held up my paper in front of the class and read the first paragraph. “What’s wrong with this paper?” she boomed.

“She copied you!” the kids shouted.

“What grade do you think this student should get?”

“An F!” the kids yelled.

I was aghast. And crushed. And humiliated. And wanted to die.

To this day, I am deeply afraid of anyone thinking I have copied them. I try hard to be unique in everything I do and feel horrified (the same horror as that day) if anyone says my work is like someone else’s. I was careful to not even read the sales pages for Marianne or Kate’s courses lest I inadvertently be influenced in some way by what they were creating. Crazy, right? This wound has held me back in countless ways, often paralyzing me even before beginning. (Why bother? Other people have already said it or said it better) 

As I shared this with Marianne and Kate, I could feel a new layer of that story was being healed, right there at the restaurant. We actively decided that we would not compete with each other, but would be allies instead. We decided to be examples of a different way through. That instead of feeling threatened by each other, we would choose to support + celebrate each other’s work. 

In a world where we are all vulnerable to the comparison game, the not-enough game, the there’s-no-room-for-me game, this felt like such a sweet victory.

In the end, I decided to change the title of the course to Cultivating Courage (hooray!) so as to not create confusion. This felt good and right. The whole process though was, you guessed it! an exercise in courage:

  • Courage to keep going anyway.
  • Courage to keep writing in the face of my very active gremlins.
  • Courage to trust myself–trust that I had something to say and would say it in my own unique way.
  • Courage to believe that there was room for everybody.

I’m so glad I did. This course has been such a bright spot in my life.

This is one of the many stories in the Cultivating Courage course. I would be so honored if you would join me!

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The next session begins on Monday, November 4th, 2013. Cost is $79

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When I exercise my courage muscles I feel alive.

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If you were the bravest version of yourself, what would be possible?

Our creative superpowers are like muscles we can strengthen. When we flex our courage, we are rewarded with aliveness. As we build our capacity to be brave, we discover our confidence and our mojo. We trust ourselves more. The world opens up to us in new ways.
In this course, we will do one small thing every day that feels brave. No heroic feats of courage necessary, just simple, everyday courage! Things like:

  • Making the phone call
  • Smiling at a stranger
  • Asking for help
  • Trying something new

Our edges will be different. What requires courage for me will be a piece of cake for  you. For some of us, going to a movie or restaurant by ourselves will be an edge, for others, trying yoga or throwing a party would be a bold move. You get to decide what your bold moves will be.

The way the class works is simple:

-Every day for 30 days, you make one conscious, brave choice.
-Record your brave move in your Courage Diary
-Tell us about your brave move + join in the discussions in the private discussion area

Daily drops of encouragement will come right to your inbox as our 30 days unfold. You will receive:

  • Stories from Jen Louden, Julie Daley, Laurie Wagner, Alexandra Franzen + other Superhero readers who responded to the call for courage stories.
  • Lessons in courage.
  • Dares. Juicy ones. Totally optional. Think of them as courage prompts, ways to be brave that can support your journey.
  • A Courage Interview for you to fill out
    A Ways to Be Brave poster
    A Courage Diary to record your brave moves over our 30 days together

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Better together

You will have access to a warm, private community reporting on their brave moves each day. This space will encourage you + inspire you during your 30 days (and beyond!)

As we build our capacity to be brave (in small, everyday ways) we prepare ourselves for the bigger leaps we are asked to take in our lives. When that moment arrives, we will be more fit for the job. We will feel stronger and more confident. We will have practiced.

The next session begins on Monday, November 4th, 2013. Cost is $79

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“Andrea has taught me so much about the power of intuition and the importance of being present. There’s amazing clarity in the way she communicates vulnerability and joy in her stories and in her photography – it’s the best kind of truth-telling.” – Brené Brown, Author of Daring Greatly