Good news!

Sweet friends,

It’s my birthday this week!

And since I’m turning 48, I decided to make superhero pendants just $48 ($80) through Sunday!

Just a couple of years ago, I decided I would go on a first date on my birthday evening. The date looked promising and I thought it would be a fun little adventure on a night when I didn’t have a whole lot planned. Well… the date stood me up! First, he texted he was running late. Then he was running later. Then, I saw him coming out of the bar where we planned to meet with another girl! “Oh hey,” he said awkwardly. “Go inside and sit down. I’ll be right back.”

As I sat by myself taking up way too big table for one person in a crowded bar, I caught up with myself. Wait a minute, I thought. I don’t have to sit here one moment longer! I get to leave.

Exhilarated, I left the bar and headed toward the BART train to head home. On the way, I saw him on a street corner eating pizza with a girl. “Wait!” he said. “Yeah, no…” I began, “This is never going to work. Good to know sooner than later!” and I kept walking.

This year, things are looking up folks! I’m feeling loved up by so many people in my life. Maybe, most especially, myself. Clearly, I needed some hard lessons in this…(this was not the first!) I think that was my little birthday present from the universe that night, realizing that I was too precious not to be adored and treated with total kindness and respect. Hallelujah.

In other news, here is a preview of my new website!

I’ve been working with a genius branding whiz and designer for much of this year- Emma Brownson at Soul Stirring Branding – and feeling incredibly lucky and excited about the new website. Her tagline happens to be love-soaked visual branding identity + web design… so even though she is all the way in Australia, I had to choose her!

Here’s a peek of what’s coming soon! I pretty much squee with excitement every time she sends me a finished page. 😉

I love how unapologetically feminine it is, how it reflects the new energy I am bringing to the world. It’s amazing how visuals can give you a whole new feeling about your work.

For my birthday!

To celebrate, I am having a sale on superhero pendants. Since I’m turning 48, it seemed fitting to make the superhero pendants just $48 ($80) But just through Sunday loves!

Good news about San Miguel de Allende!

Flights from the Bay Area (and likely from lots of other places) are suuuuper cheap right now. I just got tickets for Laurie and I for our March dates for half of what we normally pay.

Message me if you want to know our exact itinerary. (We have a few spots open in both our January and March 2020 sessions!)

All to say, this is a great time to say YES to Mexico with me and Laurie. These creative retreats are the best thing that happens to me all year long. Deep connection, authentic personal essay writing, colors, textures, flavors, portraits of YOU and beauty beauty beauty.

More details here. 

I think that’ sit sweet peas!

With love,
Andrea

A new Morning Mantras class! (Pay what you can!)

21 days of voice messages right to your inbox.

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 feels like the most intimate way to connect with my community (you!)

Picture this.

  • Every weekday for 4 weeks, you will receive an audio or video 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 conversation inside the classroom.

Class begins Monday, October 28th, 2019

A sample of what you’ll find in class:

 

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?

NOTE: I’ve revamped the Morning Mantras course to include a whole new collection of voice messages so if you’ve already taken the original version, join me again! And here’s the best part:

PAY WHAT YOU CAN. (Suggested price will auto-fill)

Yep. Whatever you can swing.

If you’ve been hungry for wisdom, connection and ease… this is your class.

Big love + gratitude!

Andrea

We are settling for counterfeit joys.

During my podcast interview with the author Francis Weller, we talked about our collective grief as a culture and the loneliness (from disconnection) we are all experiencing. When he said, “We are all settling for counterfeit joys instead of real joy.” I knew exactly what he meant.

We are settling for the hit of dopamine we get when our phone dings, for likes on Facebook, for a curious hunger for followers. We are settling for distraction instead of looking into each other’s eyes more of the time. We are settling for numbing instead of feeling our full range of emotions – numbing our aliveness in the process.

We are starved for real connection.

For the material. For what we can hold in our hands. I find myself longing for the days of curly phone cords that could stretch under my bedroom door and into my bed. For the kind of boredom that leads to creative impulses. For the availability I had to serendipity and connection on a city bus- before everyone’s heads were bowed in unison, faces aglow, scrolling and tapping their approval.

When I set intentions for my time this week in Oaxaca (a little recon mission Laurie and I did so that we can bring a larger group there in 2020) I was imagining my hands in the black clay. I was imagining tasting the new flavors of chiles and Oaxacan string cheese and squash flower blossoms. I was imagining indigo dye on my hands as we learned from a master Zapotec dyer how to take an insect (a tiny grey pill bug creature) and transform it into the most glorious crimson pigment. I imagined the candy-colored walls with cracks and graffiti on them – the glorious wabi sabi technicolor of every calle.

For me, for my artist spirit, for anyone with a creative soul, this is real joy. Not the counterfeit kind, but the  kind you can smell and taste. The kind that wakes you up, the makes you remember something ancient in your bones. The kind that opens your heart.

I think this is why I’ve been writing with Laurie for so long. More than 15 years ago, she introduced me to this practice of Wild Writing, where a group of women sit in a circle and write for 15 minutes at a time from a prompt. We write as fast as we can, without the pen leaving the page. It’s personal essay and Laurie sets a high bar for keeping it real and telling the truth. She showed me the magic that happens when we show our true selves to one another. It costs us something (some courage and vulnerability) but we are rewarded with deep connection, an understanding that we are not alone and the catharsis of letting what is alive in us move through.

Not everyone wants to roll this way, but my favorite people do. We are the ones that can’t stand small talk. We are the ones want to hear each others’ stories. We are the ones who aren’t as afraid to die as we are to live without having truly lived.

I was chatting with a yoga teacher recently for 1440 and when I asked him how he got into yoga, he replied, “The usual way. My girlfriend dragged me! But at the end, as I lay in savasana, I wept. Maybe for the first time in a long while. It woke up something in me. Healing began to happen. My heart cracked open.”

There is something about getting embodied that allows for more of the real joy I am talking about. It is the antithesis of the virtual joys, the counterfeit joys, the ones mediated by a screen. It’s about being intimate with the world. Being touched by life.

How do you ground yourself in what’s real?
Do you dig your hands in the dirt?
Do you swim? Do you knit?
Are you worried about this culture of settling for counterfeit joys?
Would love to hear from you.

 

And if you’re feeling the call to wake up with me and Laurie in Mexico, we still have some spots open for our January and March 2020 trips. Wild Writing, photography, eyes wide with color. It’s a life-changing reset – a way to reorient you back to your heart and creative spirit.

Some praise from the incredible women from our last trip to San Miguel:

I won’t forget how it feels to talk to women and not talk about stuff that doesn’t matter. We have so much in common; so much to share. I won’t forget to write.  I won’t forget what it feels like to create – to go to that place where time doesn’t exist. I exist to live and love and teach and hug. Finally, permission to be me, I’m worth it. What an experience this has been. –Jan Stamos

What a magical week exploring the town of San Miguel de Allende with Laurie and Andrea, and unearthing the stories I have buried inside of me! From morning coffee on the rooftop of our amazing B&B, to a delicious food tour in this ‘foodie’ city, to finding hidden pathways rich with color, I felt my creativity come alive under the gentle guidance of these two wonderful women. I highly recommend placing this retreat at the top of your bucket list! –Beverly Ash Gilbert, Artist . Author . Color Consultant 

I love to travel.  Being in a different place wakes me up out of the routines I cling to for, I suppose, a sense of security, or maybe because it’s so hard to do plunge into something new.  Somewhere during my early morning layover in Houston after a sleepless redeye flight, I wondered, “Is a week in a new place with people I mostly don’t know going to be worth all this?” I knew the answer was YES! as soon as I arrived. Laurie and Andrea carved out a warm, safe, comfortable, hassle-free space that let me and the interesting women I’d spend the week getting to know relax, laugh, connect with a mostly dormant (for me) creative place, write (or not), and explore (or not) one of the world’s most beautiful cities.   I’ve already signed up for next year. Only this time I won’t take the redeye. –Janis Chan

More details on our trips here!

One more day! You in? Some video inspiration for you.

Hey sweet friends,

I am beyond delighted by all the folks who have signed up for Mondo Beyondo! Thank you!

You will receive an invitation to the classroom tonight!

Want to know a bit more about the class? Watch this intro below!

Just click above to watch the video!

Big love + hugs to all of you. Thank you for being my co-conspirators in making magic.

xo Andrea

CSP #47: Making Creative Dreams Real with novelist Katherine Center

Katherine Center is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away and Things You Save in a Fire, as well as five others, including Happiness for Beginners and The Bright Side of Disaster. Her fourth novel, The Lost Husband, is soon to be a movie starring Leslie Bibb and Josh Duhamel. Katherine has been compared to both Nora Ephron and Jane Austen, and the Dallas Morning News calls her stories, “satisfying in the most soul-nourishing way.” Katherine recently gave a TEDx talk on how stories teach us empathy, and her work has appeared in O MagazineUSA TodayInStyleRedbookPeopleThe AtlanticReal Simple, and others. Katherine lives in Houston with her husband and two sweet kids.