Monthly Archives: January 2012

This is me. Happy.

Yours truly, painting very happily in San Miguel de Allende, photo by Angie Fletchall

Collecting colors in San Miguel

orange wall with sky blue in window

When I thought of this trip to San Miguel all these months, I saw a doorway in my mind’s eye. A doorway to new possibilities, to something big and wonderful and unknown. When I strolled that very first morning out into the streets I was struck by how the entire city was a maze of colorful doorways. Gorgeous, multi-colored walls and massive wooden doors with beautiful carved hands for door knockers every few feet. I walked each cobblestone street capturing doorway after doorway after doorway.

I could have walked for hours, for days… but there was painting to do! And there was a wonderful constellation of creative women to meet, from all over the world and of all different ages. Patsy was one who stole everyone’s heart. Patsy is 83 years old and flew, by herself people, all the way from Sydney, Australia to be at the workshop. Whatever courage I mustered to take the leap and come was trumped by Patsy’s vibrant, alive and curious spirit. “We all want to be you when we grow up!” I told her. “You are engaged and curious and vibrant and so brave…” With tears in her eyes she thanked me and said, “I forget my age when I’m with you girls.”

Patsy painted beautifully, but more than anything we were all taken by her spirit. She absolutely glowed. “At my age, every day is a gift,” she said.

It was easy to feel like each day in San Miguel was a gift. I woke up each morning to a beautiful breakfast that was cooked for me (and always included bacon!) a stroll in a colorful city of cathedrals and terracotta walls and papel picado strewn across tiny cobblestone streets. I got to fling my camera over my shoulder and snip snap in the morning light, plotting my next cappuccino. I got to have mexican hot chocolate, perfect brioche and transcendent guacamole each day. I got to get my hands thick with paint in the afternoons, touching brush to canvas and exploring the colors of my heart. It was easy to appreciate that every day was a gift.

As I re-enter my life, as I hugged my boys this morning and kissed them over and over again, I felt it still. Every day is a gift. And, as if I was afraid to lose this burst of deep sustained joy, I hid from my computer that first morning back and went straight to a cafe. The one with the best soy lattes and poached eggs on toast, the one with servers from Morocco and Cuba, the one that plays the best world music, so that I can immerse myself just a few moments longer in the pleasures of the world.

I tiptoe back into my life, trying to hold onto all of the sweetness I possibly can and bring it to my boys and my home. But of course, life happens… and instead of publishing this blog post days ago, I spent the last few days in bed with a stomach flu. Every day is a gift. Every day is a gift… I kept hearing Patsy’s voice in my mind. And I tried, I tried people!

I look forward to sharing more photos and stories with you in the coming days as I feel stronger. For now, I’m excited to share some of the colors I collected while I was away. San Miguel de Allende is really extraordinary.

rusty red and yellow wall

red walls in san miguel de allende

Sponsor Spotlight: Ruby Loves Jewelry and Catherine Just

If you’d like to be a sponsor (includes your ad in the sidebar + ongoing sponsor spotlights) we’d love to have you! Just send a quick email to Dani at: [email protected] to get all the details.

Ruby Loves Jewelry

Sweet, modern and simple, Ruby Loves Jewelry is easy to wear and hard to take off.

Visit Ruby Loves artisan jewelry now at, Click Here!

Place your order by Feb. 1 for on time Valentine’s Day delivery
Free Priority Mail shipping with coupon code: RubyLovesSH


Catherine Just: Soul*Full eCourse

Do you feel valued? Heard?
Embody your potential. Capture Soul*Full images. Transform your life.
Soul*Full eCourse :: The art of transformation


Join award-winning photographer Catherine Just in her Soul*Full eCourse for women who are hungry for change. Learn the secrets of how personal growth can contribute more to your artistry than any fancy-schmancy lens ever could.

Past students have said: “… it’s been by far the absolute BEST I’ve ever taken… exactly what I needed…every week – totally spot-on…I hope you seriously consider a SoulFull 2!” Rachael F.

 The Soul*Full e-course starts THIS MONDAY January 16th!

REGISTER NOW! It’s 2 for 1 for Superheroes

Pay for one person. email me the name/email address of the friend taking it with you.
Registration closes Sunday!


Hello Soul Hello Business

This is me and my friend Kelly Rae Roberts. You might know her by her gorgeous art, inspiring blog or her beautiful book, Taking Flight.

The first time I met Kelly Rae, we were in a circle of creative women here in the bay area, chatting about creativity and money and what stops us on our journeys. It was a really inspiring conversation. Kelly Rae and I had never met before that day but she happened to be seated next to me on the couch. At some point in the conversation, a comment was directed at me that felt like, well, an attack, and I froze. Not knowing how to respond, I could feel the tears burn behind my eyes. A total deer-in-the-headlights moment.

As I tried to collect my thoughts and find my voice, I felt Kelly Rae’s hand firmly grasp my own on the couch. With this kind gesture (I can still remember it so vividly) I understood that she saw exactly what was happening, that she had my back, and that she was offering me extra courage. There was no rescuing or defending, but a fierce love. I am still amazed that I gathered all of that from one small gesture, from a stranger really, but there it was. Friends forever.

We went on to share a studio until she moved away to Seattle and then Portland, Oregon. I still miss her every day!

The great thing is that we continue to have those inspiring conversations regularly. Whether it’s about motherhood or creativity or friendship, she is one of the few people I go to for advice. Especially about business! Kelly Rae has mastered the art of soulful business, of being outrageously abundant while still keeping her heart, integrity and joy in the game. I am in awe of the magic she has created with her art and with her life.

That’s how I know her new e-course (that she co-creates with Beth Nicholls) is going to be SO GOOD!

It’s called The Business Soul Sessions, Where Passion Meets Profit and it’s all about how to create abundance in your business while infusing it all with passion and soul. It starts next Monday, January 16th. I am in! and really excited about it. Here’s what they say:

“This collaboration was born out of a shared vision to revolutionise the way entrepreneurs approach business. We want to inspire a new generation of business owners who build businesses with soul, infuse them with beauty, and have a positive impact in the world. And we want those business owners to flourish, embrace abundance, and make more money than they thought possible doing what they love.”

You can find out more here. Just had to put in a plug for a talented, whip-smart and generous teacher. It will be worth every penny you invest. Let’s make 2012 prosperous and soulful! Or, in the case of many of us, soulful AND prosperous! ;)

What do you crave?

my watercolors

What she craved

She craved paint and canvas, the white of gesso and the shock of alazarin turquoise. She craved blinding fuschia, cerulean blue and burnt umber.

She craved time. To think her own thoughts, to reflect, to stroll with no destination. She craved boredom.

She craved connection, a margarita with a good friend, a playful buzz in the early evening, a bubbly walk home at the magic hour.

She craved dark greens, but someone else to cook them.

She craved laughter, the kind where you can hardly catch your breath.

She craved a chance meeting, a foreign country, a surprise that is so unimaginably good you can only call it a blessing.

She craved a good story.

She craved clarity and sharpness, an on-top-of-it edge. She craved confidence.

She craved an opening, a lifting of the veil, of seeing the truth as it is and not what she made up.

You might remember a post from a few months ago entitled, “Have you ever said yes to that little whisper in your heart?” I mentioned a painting retreat that my heart leapt at the thought of. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. That whisper got louder and louder.

Somehow I was afraid to want it, afraid to ask for it (who did I think I was, too much time away, too much money, do you deserve this, you’re going to be punished for even asking) I noticed so much noise about this one simple desire. I watched myself become incredibly anxious over this very luxurious problem. More judging thoughts came in. (There are people dying in the world and you are having insomnia over a retreat in Mexico?)

But every thing. Every small thing and every big one, is an opportunity for growth, for wisdom and for loving ourselves (and so others) better.

I had some illuminating coaching sessions that week with my two favorite coaches, Rachel Cole and Laurie Wagner. I learned that saying yes to this was about so much more. I understood that I had to tease several things apart- There was letting myself want what I want, there was asking for it, and then there was getting it or not. (The getting it part was actually secondary)  

The real lesson was in allowing myself to feel the full breadth of my wanting. More importantly, to feel the vulnerability of wanting something and not knowing if I could have it.

What I didn’t know is that while I was struggling with all of this, my husband and dear friend were scheming to surprise me with the trip as a gift. By the time I worked up the courage to ask, my sweet husband smiled and said, “Well, I was going to wait to surprise you but let’s do it now.” On his laptop, on Skype, was my friend’s smiling face. “Surprise! You’re going to paint in Mexico!” they shouted.

I can’t adequately explain what this gift has opened up in me. It was like an enormous wave of healing washed over me in that moment. (I was elated and grinning for weeks) I saw how wrong I was about something so profound- that I was loved. That my friends and family wanted me to be happy. That whatever childhood story I made up about how unsafe it is to want, might have kept me protected for a while, but it also kept me from letting a whole lot of love in.

There’s more to this story. I can feel it. But for now, I just want to celebrate with you. I am going to Mexico this weekend for a week! To paint with the outrageously talented Flora Bowley. To stroll aimlessly through the colorful walls of San Miguel de Allende. (Insert a thousand exclamation points and emoticons!)

The trip, this gift, is a doorway. I can literally see it in my mind’s eye like a portal to bigger possibilities. Like somehow letting myself want this, letting myself ask for this, was the magic word in some cosmic game. Behind the door are fabulous prizes!

This is a story about listening to our cravings, our deep ones that are so buried we have forgotten about them. This is a story about vulnerability and how scary it feels to want big things (a partner, a family, a voice, to feel less alone, etc.) It is about the healing power of letting others in.

P.S. My friend and coach Rachel Cole will be doing a series of Retreatshops around the country starting this week. They are all about what we are truly hungry for. Her first cities are Austin, the Bay Area (I will be at the one in Berkeley!) into CO, NYC, and on and on. They will be intimate and powerful and Rachel is incredibly wise and present. You are in good hands with her.

Classes begin today!

Phone booths looks so retro now, shot with iphone 4S

A few important notes

1. If you are registered for Superhero Photo: The Basics and haven’t received your invitation to the classroom, please email me and I’ll get you right in there!

2. If you are registered for Mondo Beyondo and haven’t received your invitation to the classroom, please email [email protected]

3. There are still spots open in both classes if  your heart is whispering YES…


New Sponsor Spotlights: The Creative Explorer’s Club and TeaHouse Studio

If you’d like to be a sponsor (includes your ad in the sidebar + ongoing sponsor spotlights) we’d love to have you! Just send a quick email to [email protected] to get all the details.


Linda Matthews:  The Creative Explorer’s Club

During 2012 I’m teaching in a whole different way. Join me as I take you on a year-long adventure and interactive journey of self-discovery and artful self-expression where you can explore your creative process through a program combining the healing power of art using symbols, words and images together with systems and rituals for developing a regular and sustainable creative practice.

As a member of The Creative Explorer’s Clubyou’ll:

  •  Discover your artful and creative nature through lessons and tutorials using my favorite mixed media techniques and using my philosophy of “slow work” – working slowly and thoughtfully and with attention
  •  Learn how to create a vision for your year that makes space for creativity on a regular and consistent basis
  •  Explore a little deeper how your creativity is interconnected with your spiritual nature
  •  Connect with others on the same path and get support along the way

For full details please visit The Creative Explorer’s Club


TeaHouse Studio

Are you seeking a space to play, get messy and learn about art and dreaming big? Teahouse Studio was born out of the dreams of artists Mati Rose, Stefanie Renee and Tiffany Moore, Teahouse Studio IS that safe space you’ve been seeking. With our lineup of classes, you’ll find something awaken you to your creative spirit.

Our next 3 weekend workshops feature a New Year Journey Circle with Pixie Campbell , The Right Brain Business Plan: Turn Your Passion to Profit with Coach Jennifer Lee and a Weekend with Illustrators Sarajo Frieden and Susy Pilgrim Waters .

Workshops at Teahouse offer more than just a class: they are your chance to truly connect with a teacher in an intimate setting. They represent safety: to be who you truly want to be, to believe it’s possible to live that life you’ve been dreaming up for yourself, and to find your authentic voice.

10% off to Superhero readers, use discount code ILOVETEA at checkout.

You find beauty in ordinary things*

found in yesterday’s fortune cookie, shot with Canon Rebel Xsi

Are you trying to find the beauty as well?

I found this in my fortune cookie the other night. It made me gasp (and then photograph it like crazy) because it felt so divine, so true to what I am trying to do around here much of the time.

The camera is my way in. It’s how I’ve trained myself to find the beauty inside whatever story I am living. It’s not all roses over here and I’m sure it’s not where you are either. BUT inside every moment there is always joy and wonder to find if we are training our eyes and hearts to look for it.

Let’s do it together with our cameras in hand! Superhero Photo starts Monday! (I welcome the Instagram obsessed camera phone junkies out there. I’m totally with you)

Wanna manifest like crazy this year?

Would you prefer to clarify your dreams and manifest like crazy? Mondo Beyondo also starts Monday!

I’ll be there. Enter the code “BRAVEYOU2012″ to get $20 off.

Honored to be part of your journeys toward becoming the brightest, most alive version of you possible!

New Year’s Transmission From the Universe

Nico in his bear jacket

Don’t wait for the fear to go away before you start your dream.
The only way to dissolve that fear is to begin your adventure.
We have to act alongside our fears, in the face of our fears, or we will never start.
It’s such a paradox.

The thing that stands in the way of us creating the life we want will only go away if we start creating it.

The good news is this: You will feel empowered by your first steps and they will give you the courage to take many more.

Take heart in knowing we are doing it together.