Category Archives: Uncategorized

On choosing ease.

In my photography courses I encourage my students to “Put it on P.” As in, put your fancy DSLR in Program mode and have a good time. This might horrify some other photography teachers out there, but I wholeheartedly believe that if we want to take better photos, it’s more about seeing than knowing all the fancy buttons. To me, it’s about being in the moment and waking up to light and beauty and color and form… and not getting so caught up in the technical aspects that you miss what’s right in front of you.

Years ago, I had a coaching client who really wanted to take photographs. It had been a creative dream of hers for a long time and she was really passionate about it. Every time we checked in however she had an excuse. “I had to read the manual… I’m taking a photography class… I’m learning photoshop…” It seemed there was always a new way to prepare. She was always waiting for the perfect circumstances to begin.

I told her to bring her camera to work, put it on P and shoot 10 photos every day on her lunch break.”I can just do that?” she asked. “I feel like I’m cheating.” But really, this was simply another way that her inner critic had very cleverly kept her from achieving her dream. Can you relate?

Here’s the question I really want you to consider: Where in your life can you just put it on P? Where can you choose ease? Where can you stop trying to do it perfectly in favor of just doing it?

I have been learning this lesson over and over for years. Just recently, I experienced a new round of this lesson. I’ve been practicing yoga for almost 20 years. Before I had kids, I went three times a week, religiously. (Oh to have that washboard tummy back again!) Things however, fell by the wayside when I became a mother. Over the years, I would go when I could, but it ended up being few and far between. Start a home practice! You might think. I could never get much more than downward dog in before I would get bored, get distracted by my dishes or the ding of my phone, and boom! off the mat and into the kitchen to make a sandwich.

When I moved into my new place last year, I stopped going to yoga classes all together. I also started having pain in my body for the first time – lower back aching as I get out of bed. Gotta get back to my yoga, I’d think.

Same went for whatever fledgling meditation practice I had started. I’d sit in the quiet for maybe a minute before I’d get antsy. And without the accountability of a teacher and other practitioners, I would give up easily. I’m such a bad meditator! I’d think. And then I’d quit.

But then I discovered the app Insight Timer recently and they have thousands of guided meditations you can listen to. You can have Eckhart Tolle, Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield right in your ear! And suddenly, it worked! I could sit through the whole meditation. I must be cheating, I thought! That was so relaxing and lovely. Then I discovered that several of my friends use the app and the guided meditations too. I thought the right way to meditate was to sit in total silence. I thought you had to sit, immobile and watch your thoughts like clouds. I thought it was supposed to be a little bit painful.

And so I started meditating! And I discovered Sarah Blondin’s meditations which totally changed my life. All because I allowed myself to not do it perfectly and just DO IT the way it actually worked for me.

Maybe I can do this for yoga too, I thought. I got a subscription to one of those online yoga channels and boom! I’m doing yoga 100% more than I was before. Is it cheating to do yoga with a video? I think not! but somehow I had to give myself permission to do what worked for me, even if it wasn’t the gold standard I held up in my mind.

Again, this is an invitation to ask yourself:
Where in my life can I put it on P?
Where can I choose ease?
Where I can choose actually doing it over doing it perfectly?

Sneak peek into the course! My first experience with everyday magic.

What is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you?

If you are lucky (and I hope you are) you will have lots of answers to this question. Maybe someone brought you dinner when you were grieving a loss. Maybe someone tucked a love note into your jacket pocket and you pulled it out at exactly the right moment. Maybe someone had just the right words for you when you needed them most.

For me, it was something my high school boyfriend did for me.

Albie had asked me to the prom and we had arranged to double date with my best friend and his. My girlfriend and I were putting the finishing touches on our makeup in the bathroom mirror when we heard a curious sound outside. “It sounds like a carnival,” she said, her brow furrowed. We ran to the window just in time to see an ice cream truck rolling into her driveway. Then we watched our dates jump out and call up to the window, “Your chariot awaits!”

Albie had hired the ice cream man to chauffeur us to the prom.

We would not be taking a limousine (totally not my style) but an ice cream truck! We piled in and quickly discovered that there wasn’t a whole lot of room to sit, but we didn’t care. We sat on laps and lounged over freezers full of ice cream sandwiches and popsicles. When we arrived at the dance, everyone cheered and applauded as we got out.

This story still gleams in my memory. First, because of the kindness. I’m not sure he did it just for me (it was likely for his own delight) but it didn’t matter. He knew I would love it. Albie was the first person to see the artist in me. When everyone else saw something more typical – cheerleader, studious, good girl, jock… he saw my artist self and always welcomed more of her to come out. On our first date, he drove me to the beach, handed me a sketchbook and said, “Draw what you see.” And then looked down and started drawing in his own book.

He took it for granted that I had an artist in me.

And his creativity awakened my own. His irreverence and imagination showed me another way to be in the world. His desire to do something special and unique gave me a story I’ve been telling my entire life.

Albie was making his own magic. And I was lucky enough to be around for some of it.

And that thing about maybe he was simply delighting himself? There’s wisdom there. When we are delighting ourselves, when we do things that make us feel alive, it ripples. 

I’m here to pay it forward. I’m taking the artist in you for granted too. I am offering this course and saying, “Make some magic. You’ve got this.”

This course is a collection of stories, prompts, worksheets and lessons that will get you in touch with your own ability to cultivate ordinary magic. It is an invitation to step into a world that is a little more colorful and a little more wondrous.

We will be waking up the creative spirit in us in service to bringing more kindness to the world.

We will engage in creative play to loosen our minds and open our hearts – which allows us to see the world through a different lens. We will connect to our joy. And hopefully, if we get it right, we will be offering our community stories that they will keep telling for the rest of their lives.

Join me for Cultivating Everyday Magic!

The adventure begins Monday, September 11th.
$49 for 4 weeks of creative play + secret missions of kindness.

Brand new class – Cultivating Everyday Magic!

Earlier this year, I taught a class called Make Your own Magic. It was possibly my favorite class I’ve ever taught because it combined so many things I love most – creative play, storytelling + secret missions of kindness. It is the way I remind myself of the goodness in the world + of my own joy.

And when there are hundreds of other kindred spirits doing it all together, it makes for a powerful circle of bright lights bringing more love to the world.

Folks in the class asked for a Part 2! And now it’s ready to launch. This time it’s called Cultivating Everyday Magic. My intention is that these practices will keep us buoyant and in our joy during these intense times. My hope + belief is that it offers much needed medicine for the world.

Here’s what  participants from the first class had to say:

“Thank you for a lovely course Andrea. Thank you for reminding me that magic is everywhere, every day, in little things. Thank you for sharing your kindness, creativity and love with the world.” -Guatyen

“I have loved this! Each day it nourished my soul, reminded me of daily magic, and I treasured have a community of other magic-makers. I got lots of inspiration here and am so sad this is ending. It has been fuel and fairy-dust. The daily magic reports have got me in a better vibration of gratitude and wonder. Thank you so much for creating this, Andrea!” -Aynne

“It’s been a dark winter in many ways, and I yearned for adding more joy. While I know the course wasn’t designed for kids, I couldn’t help but apply so many of the ideas to my classroom and school community. It’s been so neat to see the ripple effect of some of the things I tried, and how the kids are now generating their own ideas, and if they aren’t, they are asking for more ideas from me. Your class was just what I needed to reboot my own sense of joyfulness and replant some seeds of hope in my heart for the little people in my work life.” -Sarah

“Andrea. I cannot truly explain what this course has meant for me. I have always seen myself as an open, spiritual, and emotional soul, but I have been self-centered and self-serving for too long. You have opened my eyes to such kindness and empathy. My life has truly changed and you HAVE to make a Part 2! -Brian

Will you join me for some creative play + kindness escapades? The adventure begins on Monday, September 11th, 2017

With love,
Andrea

 

Let’s jam. Pop-up Sale!

Hey beauties,

It’s time again for a little laser coaching with me!

Bring me your curiosities, your stuck places, the areas in your life where you want more clarity… and I will give you my open heart + presence to help you see yourself with more compassion and with more power. We will make a little magic together.

Just $100 for a 50 minute session.

Limited number of spots available, so go ahead and nab a time now:
https://calendly.com/superherosf/50min/

I will invoice you via Paypal once you’ve booked your time!

With love,
Andrea

 P.S. Only booking through the month of September!

Workshop in Mexico with Andrea Scher + Laurie Wagner!

Dear Superheroes,

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 and friendly people and incredible architecture. It’s my favorite place in the world to collect color!

The city attracts artists and lovers of art because the light there is magic. It’s 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.


 

My dear friend + Wild Writing teacher Laurie Wagner and I are going to take a small group of creative folks to San Miguel this March 2018. 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 visit a house made entirely of mosaics, we’ll wake up early to capture the light, and we’ll follow our noses 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 and lunch will be included each day in addition to a variety of room options.

Here are the details all in one place:

Dates:
March 11th-16th, 2018 

Your investment: (Includes breakfast + lunch each day)
$1,500 for a shared room
$1,750 for a private room (limited number of private rooms available) 

NOTE: Looks like we have sold out of private rooms! If you would still like a private room, let us know when you register and we are looking into an option where you can pay a bit more to get that.

Deposit:
$500 (non-refundable deposit to secure your spot!)

Space limited to 15 lovely peeps. (Update: Sold out)
Nab your spot soon. This will sell out!

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!

P.S. We sold out! If you’d like to be on the waiting list, just shoot me an email here: superherosf@gmail.com

Part one: Journeying toward self-love.

The term self-love used to make me cringe.

In the same way that “inner child” did or any other term that made me feel vulnerable, exposed, embarrassed, seen for my wounded self. And so it caught me by surprise when I realized that I’ve been on a deep journey around self-love for the last several years. Who knew?

It feels odd to say this, but I can trace it back to the Zoloft being the first (and possibly the most profound) breakthrough. I resisted taking anxiety medication for decades, muscling through with kale and yoga and supplements, simultaneously being afraid of the drugs and thinking I was above them – stronger than that.

And so I suffered a long time this way.

Until my symptoms got out of hand. Panic attacks came regularly – first as a result of public speaking and then out of the blue with no warning. Once, while changing Nico’s diaper, I merely had the thought of going to the city for a friend’s book party and I collapsed to the floor in a full blown panic. My life became small. I was afraid to do things like drive, or go to parties, or even run into someone I hadn’t seen for a while at the grocery store (too stimulating for my sensitive body). The worst part? My boys energy was too much for me. I kept them at arms length. They were too loud, to tactile, too chaotic for my nervous system to handle. I couldn’t hold their energy.

Also, I was depressed. But I don’t think I registered that. I always thought depression looked one particular way – listless, blue, can’t get out of bed. Instead, I was jumpy, had a hard time sitting still, couldn’t sleep well, startled easily. I didn’t recognize this as depression or illness, just as my own personal failing – neurotic, wound up, anxious, too worried, abrasive, annoying… What I didn’t know is that I came by all of it honestly- my nervous system was all jacked up.

There were other factors too. I had a baby that woke up every two hours for the first year of his life. I only slept a few hours a night and still had a full time job. He started having seizures at 12 months. I was in a constant state of hypervigilance for years. It felt like an electric current was inside me, a live wire that could be activated by the slightest cough in his crib or a weird spacey look in his eyes. It was an impossible time.

What was I telling you? About self-love? Oh man, that was a lot farther out in the distance- unfathomable really. I was in deep shame most of the time. My self-talk sounded like this: Why are you such a bad mother? Why don’t you love this motherhood thing like everyone else? Why am I filled with so much rage? Why am I not motherly like everyone else? What’s wrong with me? Why does it look so easy for everyone else?

Once, very pregnant with Nico, I asked Heather Armstrong of Dooce (who I knew went through intense postpartum depression) “How do you know if you have postpartum depression? What do you look out for?”  She responded, “When you start thinking they’re better off without you, you’re in trouble.” Oh shit, I realized. I think that all the time.

Taking the Zoloft might have been the first self-loving act.

It doesn’t work for everybody (and I am not here endorsing the stuff) but for me, even trying western meds was saying yes to the possibility of getting help or of life being a different way. It was me throwing my hands in the air and saying, “I give up! I’m out of kale and I’m out of ideas.” It was a new kind of surrender. And I was lucky it worked so well for me.

It started slow. At first it was just the panic attacks that subsided and the general anxiety remained. This seemed like progress. But eventually, after about 11 weeks, something else lifted too. I felt gooooooood. Maybe for the first time in my life?

I felt like I inhabited my body again. I used to feel like I was floating upward, slightly above things, buzzing like a hummingbird. Now I was back in my skin. I could go to a crowded grocery store without freaking out. I could go to Costco or Ikea! (I had been known to abandon full carts at Ikea as I got close to the checkout stand and realized I couldn’t bear it for one more second) I could receive my boys without pushing them away. I felt heartier, like there was more of me to absorb life with. I felt grounded and calm. I wanted to shout, “Look how calm I am everybody! I can totally have a conversation with you!”

Part 2 coming soon… Let me know if this story resonates for you! I’m guessing many of us are in this together. Sending love, Andrea

Ready to rock your camera-phone? Class starts today!

Dear beauty-seekers,

Just a little note to remind you that class begins today! (Monday, June 19th) There is still room in class if you’d like to join the fun. You can register here! (Just $97 dollars)

If the above selfie makes your insides smile, I will show you how to do it! Join the party!

With love,
Andrea
P.S. If you’ve already registered, you should have received an invitation to the classroom! If you didn’t, hit reply and let me know so I can send another invitation. 

Ready to rock your camera-phone? Special price for my new course this week!

The very best camera is the one that’s with you!

In Capture Summer, you will learn to rock your camera-phone — and discover that beauty and joy are everywhere.

Here’s what you’ll discover, inside:

  • Fresh themes, every week.
    Portraits, selfies, hidden treasures, composition, color, and more!
  • No-sweat technical lessons.
    Capture Summer is focused on play & self-expression, but you’ll learn the fundamentals of composition, lighting, post-processing, printing and more.
  • Creative photo prompts.
    Each day there will be creative photo prompts to inspire you to stretch beyond the ordinary.
  • Community cheerleading.
    A warm & encouraging community space to share & admire our work.

P.S. Price will go up to $97 but you can get the EARLY BIRD price of $49 by registering now.

The Empowered Visionary World Summit

The Empowered Visionary World Summit

I’d like to invite you to a complimentary online interview series starting April 24, The Empowered Visionary World Summit that my friend and colleague, Kari Van Tine, created to allow 21 visionaries, including me, to share our stories and advice for stepping into your power, and make a meaningful impact in the world.

We’d love for you to join us. Reserve your spot here:

Shine Your Light, Live Your Biggest Vision.

If you’ve always known you are powerful but have pretended to be small and have hidden your gifts from the world, be sure to join us. Together, we’re going to inspire and help you start creating a powerful game plan, take action, and manifest your big vision in the world.

Step Into Your Biggest Life.

Whether you’re well into a big project, or you’re just beginning to think about how you can impact the world, you’ll find this summit inspiring and helpful. This is such a great opportunity for anyone in my community to join us, who feels concern and love for our world, and the pull to make a big difference.

A few of the other speakers are Martha Beck, Bernie Siegel, Susan Weed, and SARK. This is a truly remarkable lineup of incredible people! Reserve your “virtual seat” by going here: TheEmpoweredVisionary.com

 

Grief and gratitude: A sneak peek into Cultivating Courage!

Hello friends!

I’m writing to you from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where I will be attending the San Miguel Writer’s Conference! Super excited. I started the day off at sunrise walking through the quiet streets collecting color… this place is magic!

Sneak peek into Cultivating Courage

Here is a sample of one of the lessons in this class that begins on Monday, February 27th.

Just click below to give a listen… OR, you can read the transcript here.


 

FREE Manifesting/Visioning Session with me (Valued at $125)

The first 20 people to sign up for Cultivating Courage will be getting a free manifesting/visioning session with me on the phone! There are still spots open for this, so grab em before they’re gone!

Sending you all vibrant color + baby steps of bravery,
Andrea

P.S. Calling for courage stories.

  • 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!