Category Archives: Good things

My BIG SALE of the year! 72 hours to get an amazing collection of courses + e-books.

Dear Creative Friends,

I’ve curated a FANTASTIC sale happening for the next 72 hours where you can get one of my newest creations (Choosing Ease: 21 days of letting go of struggle and finding your flow)  + a huge bundle of other courses (ie. Kelly Rae Roberts, SARK, Christine Mason Miller, Mati Rose + Faith Evans Sills,, Laurie Wagner, Flora Bowley, Jennifer Lee + many more!) for just $97.

It’s a great way to experience a lot of beautiful work for one nifty price.

You can check it all out here!

The sale ends in 72 hours! so don’t miss it. 🙂

 

 

My form of spiritual bypass – magical thinking.


If you have taken Mondo Beyondo, you know that one way we prepare for our dreams to come our way is to make a clearing. A clearing is a wide open space that tells the Universe you mean business. It is a space that you make in your heart, mind + home for the dreams you would like to manifest.

Even though I have been teaching this course for years, I forget how important this step is. Clearings can be anything from a de-cluttered closet to clearing your schedule for the weekend. It could be learning to set good boundaries (and saying no to activities that drain you) or having a big garage sale.

This summer has been a season of clearing. Big time.

Usually, when I make a clearing, it’s about de-cluttering, getting rid of the dust bunnies and getting all the schmutzy fingerprints off the walls. It’s going through the junk drawers and letting go of toys and clothing we don’t need.

This time though, my clearing looked a little different.

This time I needed to ask myself: What have I been afraid to look at that’s been getting in the way of my dreams coming true? The answer came immediately – money.

This was the thing I was most afraid of going into single motherhood.
I live in the Bay Area.
I’m an artist.
How the heck was this all going to work out?

And so I did a form of spiritual bypassmagical thinking.

For me, this looked like saying things to myself like: It always works out. You always figure it out. You’ll just earn more to make up for your new expenses.

As a mindset, this is actually totally reasonable! And on some level, absolutely true.

But without looking at the numbers, without creating a solid plan, my magical thinking could only get me so far. After two years, my little ship seemed to be sinking… so I called in an old photography client who is a financial advisor. As I told her my story + admitted how afraid and lost I was, I began to cry. It was the shame of putting it all out there, it was the admission of a kind of defeat, it was the vulnerability of asking for help.

She responded,”Oh Andrea, first of all, I’m so sorry. Second of all, we’re going get you through this. And you’re going to thrive.”

Through my tears, I heard one word that went straight to my heart – we. That little word assured me I had an ally in this lonely place – someone who had expertise, experience and lots of compassion.

Since then, I’ve been going through my numbers with a fine-tooth comb and really understanding where where my money is going. I’ve been looking at my numbing behaviors – media and the like – and noticing what my triggers are. (Loneliness, fear of big swaths of time without my kids, etc.)

I even created a gigantic post-it note that I see each day that details each credit card where I owe money + each place money is flowing in so that I am conscious of where I am. Each time I knock off a bit of debt it is so satisfying to cross the number off in black Sharpie and write a new one!

Mostly though, it’s bravely putting my attention on things that I’m not always comfortable looking at… seeing where I’ve been hiding + putting my head in the sand.

And here’s the best news: I’ve been feeling less afraid + more powerful.

Working with the truth has its own magic. Whatever you are hiding from, whatever truth is hard for you to face, is draining your energy. Looking at it with courage (and support) has a way of diffusing its power over you.

 

If you’re thinking about taking Mondo Beyondo, we start tomorrow! Even if you don’t take the course, consider making a clearing now. I am already feeling the transformation peeps!

P.S. If you are a Mondo Beyondo alumni, you qualify for the alumni rate! Just hit reply for the coupon code!

 

Don’t yuck my yum.

“Don’t yuck my yum!”

I told him this in the middle of our first Rummikub game. I had found an old set at a garage sale – the original kind from the 70’s like my grandparents used to have. I still love how the tiles feel in my hands, kind of like mah jong tiles but with numbers instead. It’s always been my favorite game.

“It’s stupid. Boring.” One of my children (who happened to not be winning at that point in the game) grumbled.

“Hey,” I said, “this game is meaningful to me. I loved it as a kid. I was excited to share it with you. It actually hurts my feelings when you say you hate it.”

“I like it!” the other one chimes in, trying to make the peace.

Maybe I shouldn’t have taken it so personally. He was tired. He likes to win (who doesn’t?) He’s just a kid after all. But it’s funny how when people yuck our yum it can hit us in an emotional place.

I had some fantasies about parenthood involving my kids painting, cooking and doing crafts with me. But alas, they would prefer to throw a football around, trade Pokemon cards or play video games. Not being a fan of any of these things, I probably yuck their yum too.

We want people to love what we love. Our joy is amplified when we share it. I think that’s why it feels so personal – like a rejection of some intimate part of ourselves.

But here’s the thing: The more we learn about something, the more curious we get about it. The more we know, the more we realize what we don’t know… and that’s where things get interesting.

This happened recently with the concept of Wabi Sabi. I thought I knew what it was – an honoring and celebration of the imperfect. You know, like the crack in the bowl and the gold filling in the cracks. But as I read Beth Kempton’s new book about wabi sabi (and interviewed her for the podcast) I started to understand how layered and complex it is. SO much more interesting and textured than I knew! In fact, it’s so complex (and woven into the fabric of Japanese culture) that even Japanese people have a hard time putting words to this concept.

There is a joy in discovering where our minds have been closed – shut down to things because we think we know… and dismissed out of hand. Football, for example. Honestly, I know very little about the game. I bet if I learned more about it, actually paid attention, (without glazing over) I might get more curious + even more interested.

Today, the invitation is to consider some of the things we’ve closed ourselves off to. Maybe something our partner loves that we scoff at? Karaoke, poker, jogging, that show on Netflix about desserts? It could be anything, really.

How would life be sweeter and more rich if we got curious?

P.S. I have 2 spots left in the project mastermind. (Starting September 7th) If you have a project you want to get done before the end of the year, this intimate coaching group will be great support! Just $350 for six weeks of group coaching.

“Andrea has a secret superpower.  It is the ability to take your tangled, disjointed, messy, rambling ideas and thoughts and give them back to you. Whole, clear, ordered and clean. Delivered in safety, with compassion and warmth.  If you are lucky enough to be a part of a mastermind group with Andrea, please don’t think about it too much, jump in and watch your dream blossom.” -Elizabeth

“I’ve been a fan of Andrea’s work for nearly two decades and have mostly admired her talents from afar. In the mastermind course I discovered yet another gift she possesses: community-building for creativity & productivity, creating a warm, supportive, and fun context to empower folks to set & achieve their goals. In a matter of minutes, we were transformed from mere strangers to advocates invested in helping each other succeed. I can’t wait to participate again.” -Kristin

“This is truly a life-changing experience, a chance for dreams to come to life, to take shape and form, and to come into concrete reality.  I can’t say enough how this Project Mastermind and Andrea’s creative coaching bring life and joy and possibility!” – Chris

 

 

New dates for San Miguel de Allende!

Hey Friends!

Great news! Laurie and I sold out our January 2019 session in 48 hours! So we decided to add another session!

The dates for this workshop will be May 7th-12th, 2019.

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 May 2019. (May 7th-12th, 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:
May 7th – 12th, 2019 (5 nights at a gorgeous bed + breakfast)

Your investment:
$2,300 (small, private room)
$2,500 (deluxe, private room)
$2,600 (fancy private room)

$2,200 (shared room)
$2,300 (luxury shared suite)
$2,400 (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. 
Nab your spot soon. This will sell out! (First session sold out quick!)

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! 

 

Sunday delights.

As the summer comes to a close, just wanted to give you a list of things that are bringing me joy. The first as illustrated above – running into my dear friend/mentor (Frentor!) SARK in the grocery store!

1. Books on Audible.
I’m finally getting through books! It’s a miracle. And there are so many great ones that I’ve been devouring lately. Here are a few titles to get you started:
The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery
The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer
and Creative Quest by Questlove.

2. Playing with color.
I couldn’t resist! I busted out the beads and started making a tiny batch of superhero necklaces. Just a handful in stock right now, on sale this week for 20% off. Yay!

3. Seatbelt Psychic
Omg. Binge-watched this show. Incredibly talented medium poses as a regular Uber driver + gives people readings. So good! 

4. Portrait Sessions.
I got a fancy new lens folks + LOVING the images I’m taking in portrait sessions these days. If you are in the bay area + want to get in front of my lens, let me know! $100 off this week if you are on my list!

5. Upcoming podcast episodes:
In September, the podcast will start back up again! So far, I will be interviewing:
Elizabeth Rosner talking about her new book Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory
Kristine Carlson, author of From Heartbreak to Wholeness: The Hero’s Journey to Joy
and Beth Kempton, talking about her brand new book Wabi Sabi: Japanese wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life

Be sure to subscribe on itunes so you don’t miss it!

6. Project mastermind groups. (Small group coaching circle focused on a project)
In case you missed it, I have a new offering starting September 7th, 2018! Small groups of 3-5.

This is not so much a course as a way to get support + accountability and advice around our respective projects – ie. blogs, books, podcasts, e-courses. I want us to have a space to create MOVEMENT and flow around whatever little seed of a dream is stirring in our hearts. To not wait. To be supported in beginning and have a place to keep celebrating the process and encouragement to keep going.

For more details click here.

7. And finally, thank you for all the warmth + support after my latest blog post. Your comments and emails reminded me why it’s good medicine to be brave with our stories. I so appreciate your wisdom and love in receiving mine.

So grateful for you,
Andrea

 

Do you have a secret project in you?

We all have secret dreams. Secret little (or big!) projects that no one is waiting for, that we wonder if we are crazy to imagine, that we talk ourselves out of on the regular.

It’s that book that’s been stirring in your heart, that blog you’ve been wanting to be faithful to, the podcast idea, the e-course, the paintings you want to make into greeting cards…

What is your secret project?

Maybe you haven’t even spoken it aloud.
Maybe you initially shared it with the wrong person!
Maybe you need a safe place to get the nurturing, support and love that project needs. Maybe you just have no idea how to begin!

Earlier this year, I started a tiny project mastermind or a group of totally delightful creative women. We all have different projects (myself included!) + we met on video every week to check in, to share, to break through the stuck places, to celebrate. It was the best part of my week.

That group will be continuing! But I’d like to create a new circle + include YOU as well.

Sessions begin Friday, September 7th, 2018 at 10am PST

Fridays for 6 weeks: 9/7, 9/21, 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19
Time: 10am -11:15pm PST
Investment: $350-

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is not so much a course as a way to get support + accountability and advice around our respective projects – ie. blogs, books, podcasts, e-courses. We will do some writing together + sharing.

I want us to have a space to create MOVEMENT and flow around whatever little seed of a dream is stirring in our hearts. To not wait. To be supported in beginning and have a place to keep celebrating the process and encouragement to keep going. Still sound good?

If so, click the link below:

Big hugs + love to each of you,
A
P.S. Not sure I mentioned, but these masterminds are tiny… 3-5 women in each pod with me. You will get a lot of coaching + attention + clarity for your project. These spots will likely go fast! So let me know if you have any questions…

Wabi-Sabi + a sneak peek into joy-seeking class. It starts today!

Day #3:
Wabi-Sabi

The imperfect bowl. The chipped blue nail polish on her fingers. The withering zinnias making a perfect dusty rose. Have you noticed that things that are imperfect are so much more interesting?

I love the following definition found on Japanology:

Wabi-sabi might be the Buddhist view of the facts of existence: Both life and art are beautiful not because they are perfect and eternal, but because they are imperfect and fleeting.

Whereas classical Western aesthetic ideals were of beauty and perfection, of symmetry and a fine finish, wabi-sabi is hard-nosed and realistic: Nothing lasts, nothing is perfect. Accepting these hard facts opens the door to the realistic appreciation of a deeper beauty.

I try to remember this when I am humbled by my own imperfections. When I am caught in the storm of my own inner critics telling me that I’m flawed, not good enough.

Seeing the beauty in the imperfect is a great practice. One that helps me bring more compassion to my fragile ego and tender heart.

 

Above is a sneak peek into the Joy-Seeker’s Treasure Hunt course! 30 Days of creative photo prompts to fill your inbox with inspiration, photo tips and bursts of joy. Just $49.

Class begins today!

P.S. If you are already registered, look out for your invitation arriving this afternoon! If you don’t receive it by tonight, hit reply and message me!

Tooting our own horn + the concept of mudita*

One of my favorite words in the world is mudita… It is a Sanskrit word that means sympathetic joy or vicarious joy.

It’s the genuine pleasure we get from celebrating others.
It’s the deep joy we experience when someone we love is happy.
It’s the vicarious joy that arises when someone shares about something great in their life.

As an example, imagine a big fluffy dog that just arrives at the beach. Can you imagine the glee with which they run toward the water and all over the sand? Did the mere thought just bring a smile to your face? This is mudita. Isn’t it wonderful?

Recently, a friend prefaced her share with, “Not to toot my own horn but…” and then went on to talk about something totally wonderful that happened to her! We have grown up thinking that it’s impolite to share about our successes and victories. Women especially. We feel that we need to dim down, not get too big for our britches, not brag... or people won’t like us.

This might keep us safe, but it also keeps us small.

This is one of my biggest core wounds. You know how it goes. My two best friends turning against me in grade school very suddenly in a one-day-you’re-in-the-next-day-you’re-out kind of abruptness. Without any explanation, I was left to come up with my own – Don’t shine too bright or people will hate you. They will turn against you. Stay small.

Ugh. It’s hard to write these words. My inner critic is having a field day – Are we not over this yet???!! That happened in the 5th grade! Are we still talking about this??

Apparently we are. Ha!

But back to mudita. Cultivating mudita is a buddhist practice… it grows our compassion, it opens our hearts, it leads to wisdom.

I actually love it when people toot their own horn. They/you should do it more often. I want everyone to toot away! I want you to toot right now. Let’s create a culture of mudita where we delight in each other’s happiness. Where we celebrate each other’s success. Where your joy is my joy and your success is mine too. Let’s inspire each other + lift each other up, shall we?

Tell me, what small or large thing are you celebrating right now? What are you proud of?

I’ll start. One of my photographs was in a fancy pants magazine this month!! Lapham’s Quarterly!

I’m also very proud of my most recent work in black + white. I’ve been breaking some new ground with my portrait sessions and feeling excited and inspired! Toot! 🙂

What are you proud of friends? Could be anything – personal or professional. It all counts.

[Video] What is it to be a joy-seeker?

Hey friends!

I just recorded a welcome video for my upcoming course – The Joy-Seeker’s Treasure Hunt – and thought it was a great way to introduce you to the class itself. If you are thinking about joining in, this will give you a sense of where I’m coming from!

I hope to have you! The class begins this Monday, July 30th, 2018.

The Joy-Seeker’s Treasure Hunt!

Art has always been my native tongue. It helps me elevate my sense of wonder, attune my eyes for delight and connect with my heart. It is also the surest way for me to buoy myself and get out of whatever funk, despair or loss of perspective I might have. Walking with my camera has always been my medicine. Maybe it works wonders for you too?

After watching that Ted Talk about joy I mentioned in my last post (Where Joy Hides and How to Find it) I had a light bulb moment – this is what I do! I am a joy-seeker. I find little sparks of delight and joy through my camera! And this is what I always hope to bring to you as well – an accessible way to pivot toward joy, to put our attention on beauty and color and things that remind of the goodness in the world.

What I want is to open up. I want to know what’s inside me. I want everybody to open up. I’m like an imbecile with a can-opener in his hand, wondering where to begin – to open up the earth. I know that underneath the mess everything is marvelous. I’m sure of it.

I know it because I feel so marvelous myself most of the time. And when I feel that way everybody seems marvelous… everybody and everything… even pebbles and pieces of cardboard… a match stick lying in the gutter… anything… a goat’s beard, if you like. That’s what I want to write about… and then we’re all going to see clearly, see what a staggering, wonderful, beautiful world it is.” -Henry Miller

If it feels like this is good medicine for you too, let’s do the Joy-Seeker’s Treasure Hunt together! 30 days of photo prompts that will train our eyes toward what’s good in the world.

The fun begins Monday, July 30th. Just $49 to get your joy on!