Monthly Archives: March 2013

The crime of outshining


One of my biggest, most formative wounds happened when I was in the sixth grade. I was part of a triad of friends, three besties that played together every recess, went home together after school and told each other every last secret.

Until one day when everything changed.

I arrived at school to find these friends had gone cold. When I asked what was wrong, they simply declared that they weren’t friends with me anymore. That was it. No warning, no fight that preceded it. Just a simple fact: You’re out.

I was bereft and grieved hard. I wondered what I did wrong. I wondered what was wrong with me. I wracked my brain trying to figure it out.

A few days later, they started calling me names – saying I looked like a monkey, mocking me for wearing designer jeans. It was an incredibly painful time and it wounded me deeply.

But here’s the thing – the damage to our spirit always lives in the story we tell ourselves.

Shit happens. People behave badly. They bully, they call each other names, they act unskillfully. People do what they do. What we decide about ourselves in those moments is what matters most.

I could have decided a lot of things that day – that it wasn’t safe to make friends, that I was a terrible person, that I was ugly.

What I gathered instead was that they were envious — that the boys gave me attention, that my mother bought me nice clothes, that I got good grades. The message I got was clear- Don’t be too much. Don’t be too smart or too pretty or too sparkly. Keep your head low and people won’t hate you. Don’t outshine your friends or you won’t have any.

That story has haunted me. And crept its way into every aspect of my life. There is a ceiling on how much success I allow myself to have or how much I allow myself to enjoy my success. If I do achieve a big win, I find myself talking about how hard it was, or how it took a lot of work and struggle. I want people to know it didn’t come easily, that I suffered. I’m often afraid others will feel diminished by my success.

Years ago, at a women’s creativity group, we did an exercise where we had to go around the circle and “brag” about our creative successes to date. I was terrified… and had a FULL ON breakdown during my turn. I sobbed and couldn’t even get the words out. They had to skip me. Hello emotional landmine!

I can see now that I have been trying to heal this wound for so many years.

Part of my healing process has been to surround myself with circles of women who want me to be big, who want me to shine, who want me to be the best version of me. They want this because it inspires them, it lifts them up, it gives them permission to be big as well. They want this because they know that keeping me tethered keeps them tethered too.

Sometimes we have to do a big re-wiring job on our brains. We have to first notice those limiting beliefs- the ones that hold us back from being our true selves, our deepest selves, our shiniest selves. And then we have to say, No more! That belief no longer serves me. It no longer keeps me safe, it actually keeps me down.

And then we write a new story.

Mine is this: The more I shine, the more others shine in my presence. The more success I have, the more I inspire others.

Does anyone else relate to the crime of outshining? Do you have a new story you need to write?



Playing Big with Tara Sophia Mohr


Just a little plug for my pal Tara Sophia Mohr’s wonderful class, Playing Big!

It’s a powerful course if you are ready for big transformation.


When there’s black Sharpie on your computer screen, you might as well throw your hands in the air.

Nico and his mop

I called out the other day from bed, feeling so horribly sick (the worst sick in years) and said to Matt, “Honey? Is there anything you could bring me that would make me feel better?”

As soon as I said this, I knew that there probably was not, but what I was really asking for was his presence, an I’m so sorry you are feeling so bad… but what was so terrible and comical is that he didn’t hear me at all! I saw his figure move across the hallway, iphone earbuds engaged, and the sound of the door closing as he went to pick up Nico at school.

I could make this moment mean something and feel really sorry for myself or I could just laugh and surrender.

That’s how I felt yesterday morning when I heard Nico calling to me: “Mama! You help me? Mama come!”

I wandered into the living room, still doubled over from the stomach flu and saw that he had climbed up on my desk. As I lifted him off, I noticed the marker in his hand and the BLACK SHARPIE covering my computer screen. Yep. You read that right. Black Sharpie all over my beautiful 27″ imac screen. All those irritating smudges from gummy fingers, stray bits of peanut butter and yogurt, seemed like nothing now. Black freaking Sharpie!

But these last few days have clearly been about surrender, about things being as they are and not as I want want them to be.

Like on Wednesday when I had to cancel my very first Storybowl because I was puking my guts out. Even while it was happening I wasn’t sure – is the lesson to cancel and know that no one will die? or is it to show up and be less than fabulous, imperfect, human? Or, like the Sharpie debacle, does shit just happen? and it’s not a lesson at all.

I Googled “Sharpie on computer screen” and saw endless entries in discussion forums about 3-year olds destroying computer screens across America.

We are not alone people. We are never alone. So that’s comforting.

I am grateful I let myself cancel the event. (I promise to let you know the new date Storybowlers!)
I am grateful that no one got mad at me.
I am grateful that it’s not the end of the world.
I’m grateful that I can still use my computer, that only the right half is covered in Sharpie and I can still see the left half clearly.
I am grateful that in my weakened, flu-induced state, I didn’t even feel angry. I just sighed and picked Nico up and we carried on.

I think that’s what you call surrender and I must have needed some practice in it.

UPDATE: One of Ben’s 7-year old friends suggested I trace the Sharpie with dry erase marker and then erase it. It worked like a charm! and didn’t harm my screen one bit. ?

Let’s retreat! October 4h-6th, 2013

Let’s hang out in real life!

I’m beyond thrilled to announce a LIVE in-person workshop coming up in October!

Opening the Creative Channel is a gathering of kindred spirits who will share stories, gorgeous food + creative exercises. We’ll write, we’ll pull out cameras and pens, we’ll put words to paper, play with color and even take a field trip, all in the service of opening the creative channel and waking up our intuition so we can hear the sound of our own music. Only 20 lucky peeps!

I’ll be collaborating with my dear friend and writing teacher, Laurie Wagner. Besides being a great teacher, Laurie is also a coach, author of 7 books, a mixed media artist and a mother of two. She is also one of the kindest + wisest people I know. It will be love at first sight, promise.

Here are the details:

When: October 4th- October 6th, 2013 October 11th -13th  Saturday and Sunday
[9:30]-4:30pm each day.
Bonus: Friday evening we’ll meet up in for an opening circle + tea + cookies

Where: Laurie Wagner’s gorgeous home in Alameda, CA (close to SF + Oakland) See photo above…Doesn’t it make you want to pull up a chair and a make a friend?

What: A gathering of kindred spirits for sharing stories, gorgeous food, and creative exercises.  We’ll write, we’ll pull out cameras and pens, we’ll put words on paper, play with color and take a field trip to a magical place, all in the service of awakening our intuition and our joy.

Easy Peasy: No previous experience or expertise required. We are not here to create brilliant art. This workshop is about opening ourselves to the creative channel that lives inside each of us, and which, when we tune into it, allows us to hear the sound of our own music, find our authentic words and ultimately be free to live with more creativity, intuition and joy. You just need to bring an open heart + a willingness to share.

Your guides: Andrea Scher + Laurie Wagner

Who: Only 20 lucky peeps! Register now!

Cost: $450 This includes Friday evening + all day Saturday and Sunday. Catered lunch is provided + all the coffee, tea + snacks your heart desires. Plus, 20 of the most lovely humans you just met!

Why: Because we’re so much more alive when we’re turned to the channel of our own intuitive magic. To connect with other women in a fun, cozy and creative environment.

Refund Policy: The bottom line is we want to play with YOU! If it turns out your plans change, please know that your ticket is non-refundable, but you can always transfer it to a friend.

Where to stay? Any hotel in SF, Oakland or Alameda will be great. We’re happy to send over some suggestions.

We promise: Deep connection, creative play + lots of laughter. We hope to have you!

UPDATE: 2 spots are now available for October 4th- 6th.

We have sold out for October 11th-13th

To register for the weekend of October 4th – 6th, click the Register button below!





I’m actually not that busy.


This is my new mantra: I’m actually not that busy.

It doesn’t sound spiritual or like something you heard at your yoga class. It might not even feel true the first few times you say it! But it’s changing my life.

My aha moment came when I saw this graphic above on Facebook. Moments later I heard Brene Brown talk about how we glorify our busy lives, how we actually think that if we’re not busy our lives are less important or have less value. It’s subtle, but always saying we are busy is another way we reinforce our not-enoughness.

When people ask you how you’re doing, do you do what I do? Do you say, “Oh fine, crazy, busy as ever!” or “Really good… super busy!”

But what is busy really? but something we tell ourselves.

I practiced it this morning when I dropped off Nico at school. As I signed him out, I heard that familiar refrain, Okay sister, you better get going now and get to your desk… But then I stopped myself and said, I’m actually not that busy! and let myself stay a few extra minutes building a tower of blocks with him.

It was just a few more minutes but it felt spacious, like I got to decide that I have time for everything. I felt myself writing a new story: that there is enough time for what’s most important in my life.

If you see it all as part of the creative process (and I do) — the daydreams, the walks, the lying on the couch, the spontaneous lunch with a friend — it starts to make sense. My best work is done this way- not when I am pinched and constricted but expansive and present.

So yeah, the more I say it, the more it feels true. I’m not that busy people! and it’s awesome.

Will you try this with me?

The next time someone asks you how you are, I dare you to say: Great! I’m actually not that busy.


Super Sponsor Spotlight

Superhero Journal sponsors are, well, super! So take a minute to check out all of the amazingness they are offering up in March. Also, if you’d like to see your e-Course, Etsy shop, blog or business on the sidebar or in an upcoming Super Sponsor Spotlight, we’d love to have you. Just send a quick email to Amber at: [email protected] to get all the details.


Inner Moves — Maureen Clancy


Deep down you’re sensitive and brilliant, but you’ve been playing small … especially when you feel “I’m not good enough.”

When the part of you that feels not good enough comes up, you try to get rid of it. You try lots of things: ignoring it, stuffing it down with food and other things, going shopping. But these things don’t work for long.

Imagine How It Would Feel To:

– Create a new relationship with your “I’m not good enough” part.
– Have specific tools to use when this part gets loud, so it can no longer rule your life.
– Stop holding back and live the life you were meant to live.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve seen miracles happen with my clients as they shed their negative self-talk and step into their brilliance. Rather than hating that part and pushing it away, you’ll begin to look at it with understanding and compassion.

Join me for Inner Moves, and I’ll show you how.


Creative Money — Mindy Crary


Mindy Crary is a certified financial planner & wealth coach who thinks that budgeting sucks. Plain & simple.

As the maven behind Creative Money, she advocates “conscious spending” — a fresh approach to financial clarity, organization and independence.

And for financial newbies, she’s offering three stellar freebies: Getting Started With Conscious Spending (a 50 page e-book); The Mini-Mint Video Series (an introduction to the ever-popular money-tracking site,; and on March 18th, she’s hosting a free call that explores how you can feel more connected to your money so you can make more-and keep more-of it.

Hop over to Mindy’s online world to grab the tools, for free.

Get clarity around your cash flow.
Get educated about your money.
And get more satisfaction from every dollar.


Live.Life.Wonderful — The eCourse


Live.Life.Wonderful. – The eCourse: 30 days of thought provoking words, images, and activities to get you thinking, dreaming and scheming about ways to bring more wonderful into your life. This course will guide you in ways to manifest a mindset of positive thinking, gratefulness and abundance. Designed for those in transition; the soul searchers and the seekers; feel good junkies, and those in need of inspiration and affirmations that life is indeed, pretty darn wonderful.


Kelly Rae Roberts

You are not broken

I’m Kelly Rae Roberts. I’m an artist, author + a Possibilitarian.

I believe that art has the transformative power to heal (both the maker and the receiver of that art).

I believe that we get to make the rules, that we get to choose, that we get to craft the exact life that has been waiting for us. And when we do, we become fully alive.

I also believe that we are meant for the complicated journeys of brokenness and wholeness, vulnerability and courage, wisdom and silliness. Sometimes all at once. But more on that, later.

An Accidental Artist

I spent my early career as a clinical medical social worker — counseling broken hearts, and helping others through the fights of their lives. It was powerful, important work — but my heart began to grow restless.

Until . . . I started playing with paint, at age 30. And everything shifted and changed and opened up. A new way of experiencing, translating, sharing & being in the world was born.

Come say hello at

Thank you

A big thank you to everyone who registered for Storybowl! Those tickets went quick!

I’m so thrilled that it resonated so deeply for you… and I have more plans coming soon. If you missed it this time around, stay tuned! There will be more.

And those of you who are far away, I have plans for you too.



Let’s connect in real life, shall we?

During my writing class last year, we read a poem called The Bowl. Although we were supposed to be writing, my mind wandered into a daydream instead. I saw a small group of women seated around a table. There were bowls of beautiful food and in the center of the table was a bowl of story prompts.

Storybowl. I heard the word enter my mind.

A few months ago, I made my vision real. My dear friend Laurie hosted it with me and we each invited a handful of women to come eat food, drink wine and share stories.

The vision was simple — a way to bypass the small talk and connect in real, deep and rich ways with women in our community. This wasn’t a place to perform, but a place to share. No pressure for the stories to be spectacular, just a beautiful way to allow people to share the treasures inside them. It was one of my favorite nights of all of 2012.

Are you craving real-life connection? (me too!) 

If you live in the Bay Area, please join me for an intimate gathering (no more than 10 peeps!) in Berkeley.

Here are the details: (New dates just posted here)

Thursday, April 25th, 2013 6-9pm

When: Thursday, April 25th 6-9pm
Where: Lara’s house in the Berkeley hills
Price: $55 (Dinner included)
Who: Only 8 spots available. Just for the ladies this time around. gb.php?c=cart&i=1230609&cl= 74538&ejc=2

Sunday, May 5th, 2013 10AM -1pm

When: Sunday, May 5th 10AM – 1pm
Where: Jenny’s house in Berkeley, CA
Price: $55 (Brunch included)
Who: Only 8 spots available. Just for the ladies this time around. gb.php?c=cart&i=1218645&cl= 74538&ejc=2

We all have beautiful stories to share. I can’t wait to hear yours.


Creative Superheroes Interview: Matthea Harvey


The first time I heard about Cecil was over 10 years ago. My friend Matthea, who was visiting from NYC, told me she planned to write a children’s book about a little girl with a pet glacier named Cecil. I was captivated and continued to pester her about Cecil over the years that followed. Have you written the story about Cecil yet? This character captured my imagination long before the story was written and the book itself is even more wonderful than I could have imagined!

Matthea is a poet in every sense of the word.

She has published several books, teaches at Sarah Lawrence, has published poems in the New Yorker, but also in the way she lives her life. For example, Matthea’s wish when she got married was to have a striped dress, a striped cake and have topiaries all around the wedding site. For Halloween one year, she dressed as a bruise. Her cat is named Wednesday.

See what I mean? Her life is poetry. She is one of the most brilliant humans I know, and she is also one of the kindest. I love Matthea and I am a huge fan of Cecil the Pet Glacier. You will love them both too!


What is your superpower?

Making dogs in the city stop and pull their owners towards me. This is a very useful skill since I love petting people’s dogs! Also, making robots out of things I find on the street.

What are your obsessions and how do they make their way into your creative work?

If you look at my children’s books and photographs, apparently I’m obsessed with ice. I wrote Cecil the Pet Glacier (illustrated by Giselle Potter), then The Little General and the Giant Snowflake (illustrated by Elizabeth Zechel) and for years I’ve been freezing miniatures in ice cubes and photographing them, but it was only last year that I noticed those connections.

Often it’s the reverse of how you framed the question—my obsessions make their way in sneakily from my creative work into my life! I’ll write a poem about something (say, robots or mermaids) and then those things come into my life, so it’s almost the reverse. After I wrote “The Straightforward Mermaid”, I was invited to go to the first international mermaid conference in Las Vegas, so I found myself at a pool party with lots of people wearing tails!

Other things I’m obsessed with: graphic novels, my cat, silhouettes and most recently, embroidery. I wrote the text for a soundwalk, Telettrofono, and in it one of the characters, Esterre Meucci, was sewing handkerchiefs, so I started embroidering what I thought she would embroider (real and invented patents by her husband, like a wave metronome or a bone xylophone).

What are the top 5 things you’ve learned so far as a creative entrepreneur?

1. If you love someone’s work, tell them. I dithered for about a year before I contacted Amy Jean Porter to see if she would do paintings for my book of erasure poetry, Of Lamb, and she’s now a dear friend and collaborator.

2. Do projects you love even if you they don’t make you any money.
3. Sometimes you have to say no to protect your time—I’m still working on this one.
4. If an artist or musician you respect asks to use your work, say yes! Ani Simon-Kennedy made this film inspired by my poem “The Straightforward Mermaid” and I adore it!
5. When writing or making things isn’t going well, go to a museum, walk around the city or get into bed with a book.

Tell us about a time when you had to practice courage.

This is something I have to do every day. Right now I’m finishing a book of poems, titled If the Tabloids are True, What are You? In it I combine text and image in a number of ways (photographs as titles, silhouettes as illustrations)… It’s scary to put myself out into the world as an artist as well as a writer, but I’m about to make the plunge! Joseph Quintela offered to make me a dress out of my book, Of Lamb, and I was both terrified and excited by the prospect (I usually wear all black and I don’t like being photographed). I screwed up all my courage, and said “yes.” He and Gabriel Don (who took photographs), came over, we drank some wine, and the result can be seen above! I’m so glad I said yes.

I believe that vulnerability is a superpower. Tell us a story about how embracing your vulnerability. What were the gifts on the other side?

I recently discovered that a children’s book that shaped who I am today (Fantastic Toys by Monika Beisner) was written by a school friend of my mother’s in Germany, so I was able to get her address—I used to lie in bed at night deciding whether I’d rather have wings, a glowing teddy bear or a heated sheep toboggan. I wrote her an effusive fan letter and sent her my recent books. When she wrote back to me I felt completely starstruck. She sent me her phone number and after a lot of deep breathing and battling of shyness, I called her and we had the most wonderful conversation.

What are a few things people wouldn’t know by looking at you?

That’s hard to say—I feel pretty transparent. Let’s see…I dislike the adjectives “quirky” and “whimsical” because they seem to only ever be used to describe work by women and gay men. Also, it might not be apparent that I’m a huge tennis fan or that I recently watched all the episodes of Torchwood. In one the first episodes, you meet “the last human being” and she’s had so much plastic surgery that she’s basically a pink trampoline with eyes and a mouth.

What did you believe as a kid that you no longer believe?

That I could shrink things with my eyes.

What is your current mantra? Tell us about the last time you used it.

In the midst of writing a series of poems called “The Future of Terror,” this line appeared: “I invented / a motto for myself: Never Say Mayday / While There’s Still Marzipan.” The other day was National Marzipan Day, so I thought of it then!

matthea_dress_300Matthea Harvey is the author of four books of poetry, most recently, Of Lamb (an illustrated erasure with Amy Jean Porter), and Modern Life, as well as a fable for children and adults, The Little General and the Giant Snowflake, illustrated by Elizabeth Zechel and a picture book, Cecil the Pet Glacier, illustrated by Giselle Potter. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and Wednesday the cat.


5 healers who have made a difference in my life.

heart in the sand, Manzanita, OR

Right now I’m listening to my Angel session with Laurel from Illuminating Souls. Laurel and I met through SARK several years ago and then reconnected at WDS last year in Portland. Recently, I couldn’t get her out of my mind and knew I needed to book a session with her. It was quite extraordinary and I am still taking it all in. She gave me deep insight about my guides + my work in the world. Thank you Laurel!

Although I have cultivated a strong intuition and trust it deeply, I often feel lost + confused. Especially when I am in a transition. That’s when I reach out to one of the many talented healers that I know. I always leave feeling empowered and clear, hopeful and strong, confident that everything is unfolding perfectly. It’s a great source of comfort and an important part of my creative process.

Since I know so many talented people in this realm, I want to share them with you:

1. Angel readings from Laurel Bleadon-Maffei at Illuminating Souls. She channels angels. How awesome is that?

2. My longtime spiritual advisor Lauren Miller. I have been having sessions with Lauren by phone for over 15 years — since we met in New Orleans in 1995. She is kind + wise + highly intuitive. She has guided me through many passages in my life. 985-727-0071

3. Theresa Reed (aka The Tarot Lady): I had my first reading with Theresa last year and was super impressed. She works fast and gives you great insights about where you are in your life and what’s coming. I highly recommend her!

4. Bodywork with Satyam: If you live in the Bay Area, you are in luck! Satyam works out of her studio in Mill Valley and is one of the most incredible bodyworkers/healers I have ever known. She gets all of her information from your body — your body will literally tell her what is going on with you spiritually/emotionally and otherwise.  She is clairvoyant + wise, nurturing and insightful. A spiritual reading while you are getting a full body massage. What could be better? 415-302-0497

5. Cowrie shell divining with Mbali Creazzo: The book 29 Gifts is about Cami Walker who, at 30 years old, could barely walk and discovered she had MS. During a long, difficult depression that followed, Cami spoke to a shaman (a neighbor who happend to live next door) The shaman gave her an unusual prescription — she told her to give something away every day for 29 days. Cami did and it transformed her life completely — both physically and spiritually. It even launched a whole giving movement.

Inspired by this book, I went to see the shaman — Mbali Creazzo. Our session was very much outside of my realm (more woo-woo than I usually go) but at the time I needed a type of healing that bypassed my intellect. A healing that was so outside my realm I couldn’t even begin to understand it. She rolled cowrie shells and spoke to my ancestors. They gave me messages. They told me exactly what I needed to hear. I left her house feeling lighter than I had in years. I still don’t quite understand what happened in there, but I trust Mbali.

What healers + intuitives do you have in your pocket?

Let us know in the comments below.