Category Archives: Inspiration

Playing Big by Tara Sophia Mohr + 2 kinds of fear

I met Tara Mohr for the first time when we sat together at Spirit Rock meditation center for a daylong workshop with Rachel Naomi Remen. (We are both huge fans!) I adored Tara immediately and hoped we would intersect again. To my delight, we would continue to weave into each others’ lives in the following months and years.

Tara is wise and articulate and someone you want as your teacher. She’s got smarts and soul. And lucky for us, she put all that brilliance + heart into a book, Playing Big that you can pre-order this week.

I was grateful to get my hands on an advance copy + wanted to share one of my favorite pieces of the book – a teaching about 2 kinds of fear from the late Rabbi Alan Lew. Watch the video above! then read the rest of her post below.

Congratulations Tara! This book is empowering, beautifully written and a must-read for anyone who wants to play bigger in the world.

 

As discussed in the video, Rabbi Alan Lew explains that in biblical Hebrew, there are several different words for fear.

Pachad is “projected or imagined fear,” the “fear whose objects are imagined.” That, in contemporary terms, is what we might think of as overreactive, irrational, lizard brain fear: the fear of horrible rejection that will destroy us or the fear that we will simply combust if we step out of our comfort zones.

There is a second Hebrew word for fear, yirah. Rabbi Lew describes yirah as “the fear that overcomes us when we suddenly find ourselves in possession of considerably more energy than we are used to, inhabiting a larger space than we are used to inhabiting. It is also the feeling we feel when we are on sacred ground.

If you’ve felt a calling in your heart, or uncovered an authentic dream for your life, or felt a mysterious sense of inner inspiration around a project or idea, you recognize this description.

We often conflate or confuse the two types of fear, and simply call what we are experiencing “fear.” But we can discern them more closely, and in doing so, more effectively manage fear so it doesn’t get in our way.

Next time you are in a moment that brings fear:

1. Ask yourself: what part of this fear is pachad? Write down the imagined outcomes you fear, the lizard brain fears. Remind yourself that they are just imagined, and that pachad-type fears are irrational.

2. Savor yirah. Ask yourself: what part of this fear is yirah? You’ll know yirah because it has a tinge of exhilaration and awe -while pachad has a sense of threat and panic. Lean into – and look for – the callings and leaps that bring yirah.

 

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It’s a mitzvah for others to help.

The Morning Mantras class starts next Tuesday! Click above to hear a sneak peek into the series.

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Here are the details again:

  • Every weekday for 6 weeks, you will receive a voice message in your inbox.
  • Each message will focus on a mantra designed to awaken your courage, compassion and joy.
  • It will be a morning dose of inspiration + also a jumping-off point for discussion inside the classroom.

Some sample mantras:

Turn on the f*cking faucet. (You can listen to this one here.)
Let it be simple.
Trade your fear for curiosity.

I love imagining all of us waking up together + having a cup of tea while listening to the same audio message. Let’s explore growing our courage, compassion + joy together!

$49 Class begins next Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

 

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Morning Mantras: A brand new course!

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Are you craving deeper connection? With a tribe of superheroes?

My best work often comes to me when I am able to follow the energy that feels fresh + current for me. Right now, recording my voice has felt like the most intimate way to connect with my community (you!) and I would love to deepen the conversation.

Picture this.

  • Every weekday for 6 weeks, you will receive a voice message in your inbox.
  • Each message will focus on a mantra designed to awaken your courage, compassion and joy.
  • It will be a morning dose of inspiration + also a jumping-off point for discussion inside the classroom. (The discussion piece is optional of course, but it’s going to be juicy over there)

Some sample mantras:

Turn on the f*cking faucet. (You can listen to this one here.)
Let it be simple.
Trade your fear for curiosity.

I love imagining all of us waking up together + having a cup of tea while listening to the same audio message. Even more than that, I love the idea of us going deeper in the privacy of the classroom.

Are you ready?

$49 Class begins next Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

 

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What do you project into the silence?

 

Today I am reading from a blog post from the archive. Something I needed to remind myself about this week.
XO Andrea

Are you craving connection? Let’s Storybowl.

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Are you craving connection?

One of the things that feeds my soul the most is to sit in a circle of women + share true stories from our lives. I often fantasized about this at parties making small talk – Can’t we just sit in a circle and get to the real stuff?? I would think. And then I would immediately assume that I was just being too intense, too scorpio, too much… So I would hunker down in the corner of the party with one person who wanted to go deep.

But then one day I had a vision – A group of women seated in a circle playing a game. A bowl of prompts would be passed around and each person would tell a true story from their life based on the prompt. It would not be about performing the perfect story but about sharing a little piece of our heart.

I have now played this game with dozens of women + it is AMAZING each and every time. We get to the REAL gracefully + easily. There is a lot of laughter and sometimes a few tears. It is always rich, always connecting, always full of compassion and ultimately healing + full of joy.

Would you like to join me? Upcoming Storybowls:

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
$55 6-9pm (Dinner included)
Private home in Berkeley, CA

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Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
$55 6-9pm (Dinner included)
Private home in North Oakland

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Want to dive in a little deeper?

I will be co-leading a workshop on October 10th-12th, 2014 here in the Bay Area and it’s going to be FUN.
We will write, make art, eat great food, share stories, make new friends. More details on my site here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn on the f*cking faucet

Voice messages: My Grandfather’s Blessings

If you could come over to my house right now, I’d make you a pot of tea and read to you from my favorite book in the world – My Grandfather’s Blessings. Let’s pretend.

Gate C22 a poem by Ellen Bass

 

Gate C22

At gate C22 in the Portland airport
a man in a broad-band leather hat kissed
a woman arriving from Orange County.
They kissed and kissed and kissed. Long after
the other passengers clicked the handles of their carry-ons
and wheeled briskly toward short-term parking,
the couple stood there, arms wrapped around each other
like he’d just staggered off the boat at Ellis Island,
like she’d been released at last from ICU, snapped
out of a coma, survived bone cancer, made it down
from Annapurna in only the clothes she was wearing.

Neither of them was young. His beard was gray.
She carried a few extra pounds you could imagine
her saying she had to lose. But they kissed lavish
kisses like the ocean in the early morning,
the way it gathers and swells, sucking
each rock under, swallowing it
again and again. We were all watching–
passengers waiting for the delayed flight
to San Jose, the stewardesses, the pilots,
the aproned woman icing Cinnabons, the man selling
sunglasses. We couldn’t look away. We could
taste the kisses crushed in our mouths.

But the best part was his face. When he drew back
and looked at her, his smile soft with wonder, almost
as though he were a mother still open from giving birth,
as your mother must have looked at you, no matter
what happened after–if she beat you or left you or
you’re lonely now–you once lay there, the vernix
not yet wiped off, and someone gazed at you
as if you were the first sunrise seen from the Earth.
The whole wing of the airport hushed,
all of us trying to slip into that woman’s middle-aged body,
her plaid Bermuda shorts, sleeveless blouse, glasses,
little gold hoop earrings, tilting our heads up.

-Ellen Bass

 

Voice Memos: On Setting Boundaries

Some thoughts on the wobbly practice of setting boundaries. Give a listen and share your thoughts below!

 

 

Where You Can Get It: a poem by Maya Stein

 

where you can get it

A fire pit in Glenwood. Leftovers in Lincoln. A bike trail. A blueberry.
A tray of watercolors. A full moon. The bear hug from a kindred friend.
An offer of help. The road to Loveland. A cup of ice. A grin from Jerry.
Sawyer’s red hair. Clara’s fire-breathing dragon. The last poem at the end
of the day. Vacancy at the campground. The sighting of herons. The words
“Come in.” An old highway that takes you through a small town. A kitchen chair.
When someone understands you perfectly. A piece of pie cut into thirds. 

When it comes, tuck yourself into this brief and tender home. Lean into the air
of it, the permission slip, the romance of a moment’s sweet caress.
Grab more fistfuls of these tiny stars. You need more light, not less.

-Maya Stein

*For a backlog of 10-line Tuesdays, go here.  Or to follow Maya + Amy’s month-long tandem bike ride adventure from Boulder, Colorado to Beloit, Wisconsin you can go here.