We are all a pain in the ass. ❤️

This might sound like an unlikely love note, but hear me out. I’ve been in a new, blossoming love relationship. It’s rainbows + hearts and all the delicious things! And, as is inevitable, we’ve also recently stumbled into a patch of real. That crunchy place where two people come together to do their soul work. That moment when you realize, oh right, there is some healing we can do together here. Crap. I mean yay!

That moment when attachment styles get triggered – one pulls away, the other gets scared and reactive. Preferences don’t align. Wounds collide and call us forth to be higher versions of ourselves. It can be painful.

My own work is a lot about using my voice and speaking my truth, even when I wish my truth was different. I want to be easy. I don’t want to be too much for someone else, or god forbid, NEEDY. For me, having needs is soooooo vulnerable… to be perceived as weak or a pain in the ass is totally mortifying. Plus, I am afraid that once someone sees what an anxious pain in the butt I am, they will run for the hills. Can you relate?

As I shared this with a friend this morning, she said, “But wait, is HE easy?” I thought for a moment. “No!” I said with glee. “He’s not!” And you still love him, right?” she pressed. Now I was getting it. “Everyone’s kind of a pain in the ass!” I exclaimed.

We are all complex creatures – messy and beautiful and wounded and powerful and brilliant. All at the same time. We are not easy and that’s okay. We don’t have to be easy to be loved. We don’t have to pretend we’re strong when we’re not. Having needs and being needy are not the same thing. We can allow our real selves to be seen. #the100dayproject

 

 

CSP #45: Little Panic: Dispatches From an Anxious Life with Amanda Stern

Amanda Stern is the author of the novel The Long Haul, the memoir Little Panic: Dispatches from an Anxious Life, and eleven children’s books written under pseudonyms. She founded the popular Happy Ending Music and Reading Series in 2003, which had its final show at Joe’s Pub in June 2018. She lives in Brooklyn with her daughter Busy, who just happens to be a dog.

 

Oops! + a way to make your photos look more magical. (Sneak preview of my new course!)

Maybe it’s spring, but holy moly, I have been in a creative frenzy lately! Have you been feeling it too?

For me, it started with a week of intense anxiety that I was having trouble managing… nothing was working! All my usual self-care tricks like walking, talking with friends, meditating couldn’t even touch it. I started to wonder if my trusty anxiety medication wasn’t working anymore! And then… I listened to that quiet voice in me that kept whispering, Paint. Paint.

Within 45 minutes of swirling colors around with my brush, the anxiety had lifted. I was fully present again, in my flow and my joy. I was a bit shocked. And I remembered that this is precisely how I survived my 20’s and 30’s. Before I started Zoloft, I painted. Nearly every day. It has always been (since childhood) the way to calm my nervous system.

And now I’m a painting machine! I can’t stop.

Mother’s Day Oops!

A client just let me know that it said sold out for the Superhero Bullseye pendants! But there are still more available + they are up in the shop now! Last call for Mother’s Day orders! (+ free shipping included)

Here’s a sneak preview of Intuitive Photography! A little post-processing tutorial to get you inspired. If you’re ready for more, click here for more details about my upcoming Intuitive Photography course!

Have you been following me on Instagram? I’m doing a #100dayproject!

I had this one all wrong as a kid. I had collapsed lovability with performance, perfection, getting it right. There was little room for error. In this world, any criticism is a threat to your survival- and all you can do is defend or be crushed. 

What I know now is that we’re all just messy, beautiful humans trying to survive and get love and not get left behind.
I think today is supposed to be day 28 of the #the100dayproject but I am on Day 21. I decided not to worry, just let myself skip days as necessary, because I know that if I think I’ve blown it, I’ll quit. Zero sum game. Old paradigm. And so I’m letting it not be perfect in order to keep going. #the100dayproject

 

What your mama really wants for Mother’s Day.

I went to a birthday party several years ago for my dear friend Laurie. Since she had been going through some major transitions, we wanted to gift her something really special and from the heart. Sherry Richert Belul suggested we all make her a Love List!

A Love List is pretty simple.

1. Write down 10 things you love about this person.
2. Tell them what you admire about them, what you appreciate, why they inspire you. (The more specific, the better)
3. Read it to them in person, over the phone, or put a stamp on it and send it off with love.

As I wrote my love list for Laurie, I was filled with gratitude. There was so much to love about her! and I felt so lucky to be counted as one of her dear ones.

She didn’t know we wrote these lists. We surprised her by reading them out loud, one by one after dinner, and watched the tears fall from her cheeks. She received each gift so beautifully… and we were all a puddle by the end. It was a gift to all of us.

If you are a Bay Area person, you can join me at Sherry’s book party on Saturday, May 11th from 1-4pm in Alameda! We will be celebrating her brand new book – Say it Now + Sherry will lead us in a Mini Love List Workshop as well. Such a sweet way to spend the afternoon!

Superhero bullseye pendants are also a great way to tell the mama in your life she is amazing! Just $79 and FREE SHIPPING for Mother’s Day. Order now for shipping by Mother’s Day!

Did you know I have a brand new class for you?

Low Tech, High Vibe

Yep, you read that right. Low on the technical mumbo jumbo, high on the magic. This is the photography class I always wanted to take! My eyes have always glazed over during lessons about F-stops and shutter speeds… (you too?) It seemed like something I was supposed to master, but honestly, I just didn’t want to put my attention there. So after decades of being a professional photographer, I finally figured out what I’ve been doing all these years – intuitive photography. 

Intuitive photography gives us permission to let go of taking a technically perfect photo in favor of moving toward the things that matter even more to us – moving with aliveness, curiosity and joy. Connecting with delight and what feels resonant in us when we are shooting. Seeing the world through creative eyes. It’s presence, it’s embodiment, intuition and connection.

This means that we will (mostly!) let go of shutter speeds and F-stops in favor of putting our attention on other things – making photography a practice that honors our intuition + results in vibrant photos.

More details here… 

Class starts May 13th, 2019 | You can get the early-bird discount now!

P.S. EARLY BIRD COUPON code for being on this list! Enter the code: WONDERSEEKER to get the course discounted from $179 to $149!

P.S.S. What if there’s nothing to fix about you? 

Intuitive Photography! + other things I am very excited about.

Low Tech, High Vibe

Yep, you read that right. Low on the technical mumbo jumbo, high on the magic. This is the photography class I always wanted to take! My eyes have always glazed over during lessons about F-stops and shutter speeds… (you too?) It seemed like something I was supposed to master, but honestly, I just didn’t want to put my attention there. So after decades of being a professional photographer, I finally figured out what I’ve been doing all these years – intuitive photography. 

Intuitive photography gives us permission to let go of taking a technically perfect photo in favor of moving toward the things that matter even more to us – moving with aliveness, curiosity and joy. Connecting with delight and what feels resonant in us when we are shooting. Seeing the world through creative eyes. It’s presence, it’s embodiment, intuition and connection.

This means that we will (mostly!) let go of shutter speeds and F-stops in favor of putting our attention on other things – making photography a practice that honors our intuition + results in vibrant photos.

Some of the “rules” of Intuitive Photography:

This is a come as you are party. You get to come with all that you know + don’t know about photography. you get to come with your crappy camera or your awesome phone. Guess what? Whatever camera you carry with you is the very best camera!

There are no mistakes here. We trade our fear for curiosity. We try new things. We wonder aloud, what if I did it this way?

We follow our delight. This is how we find our voice friends. We follow the aliveness. The resonance. I will show you how.

We cultivate our intuition. What draws you in? Is it a particular juxtaposition of color? Is it the inside of a flower? Is it old toys at the antique shop? What makes your heart leap a little? What makes your breath catch?

The very best camera is the one that’s with you! (So yes, you can use your phone!)

Here’s what you’ll discover, inside:

  • Fresh themes, every week.
    Portraits, selfies, hidden treasures, composition, color, and more.
  • No-sweat technical lessons.
    Intuitive Photography is focused on play & self-expression, but you’ll learn the fundamentals of composition, lighting, post-processing + 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.

What is intuitive photography?

It’s an approach to photography that’s not about taking a technically perfect photo, but capturing something vibrant and alive, something that lights you up.

It’s about presence. Landing in the moment more fully and noticing what’s around us.

It’s embodiment. It’s noticing what makes your body light up in aliveness.

It’s about curiosity. It’s about trading your fear for curiosity. It’s about seeing the world through curious + creative eyes.

It’s about play. You can’t do this wrong. It’s all a big experiment and the stakes are low. There’s not even film to buy! Let this be the place you are willing to make mistakes, do it badly, have it not turn out how you want. Practice being messy and curious and alive in a creative process.

Class starts May 13th, 2019 | You can get the early-bird discount now!

P.S. EARLY BIRD COUPON code for being on this list! Enter the code: WONDERSEEKER to get the course discounted from $179 to $149!

P.S.S. Let the mama in your life know she’s a superhero! I’ve ordered a new batch of superhero pendants for the superheroes in your life – which of course is YOU TOTALLY ARE. Free shipping for Mother’s day.

P.S.S.S. I’m ROCKING this #100 day project! Which mostly means that I have been loving it and keeping it up. I’m also planning to turn it into a deck! Follow me on Instagram to check it out + help me come up with a title for the deck. All ideas welcome. 🙂