Monthly Archives: September 2012

Super Sponsor Spotlight

Ready to take that leap into starting your own business or following your creative passion? Our sponsors this month are offering the tools you need to do just that — and even more! So take a moment to check out the three amazing opportunities brought to you by our September Superhero Sponsors. Also, if you’d like to see your e-Course, Etsy shop or blog on the sidebar or in an upcoming Sponsor Spotlight, we’d love to have you. Just send a quick email to Amber at: [email protected] to get all the details.


Sonya Coates

The “Keeping Calm – How to Carry On” workshops consist of a series by Sonya Coates. Starting October 1, two online workshops will begin. Has anyone noticed that our generation is exhausted? The first workshop will focus on women who are struggling to keep it all together – career, motherhood, relationships and the plethora of other things that cross our paths. Topics will include how to identify when things need to change direction, cultivating your dreams, and defining “you”.

The second is geared towards women who are caregivers or have a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. Topics will include Seeing What You’re Made Of, Defining Your Journey, Finding Peace in the Storm, “This Is…” (telling the story of your loved one), Life Happens – But Why Me?, and Carrying On.

To register, simply send an email to coates.sonya@gmail – mention this blog and receive a 20% discount off the $99 rate per six week workshop. For more information, visit


Stephanie Levy

Are you looking for an extra boost of creativity, courage, and motivation?
I’m Stephanie Levy, an American artist/illustrator living in Berlin, Germany, and I’d like to invite you to join Creative Courage an inspiring e-course about finding, following, and realizing your creative dreams.

During our next session, September 24th – November 3rd (starting soon!), you’ll get weekly videos, guest interviews, practical business tips and tools, plus encouragement and support from an international, creative community of women.

As a special bonus, twelve exceptional guests from around the world will join us to share their exclusive secrets on making art, publishing books, building online businesses, creating workshops and e-courses, starting galleries and how to thrive as creative artists, designers, instructors, and authors.

Creative Courage is your personal invitation to 6 weeks of fun, color, inspiration, helpful tools, and resources to kick start your creative life. I hope you’ll join us for this unique, creative adventure here.


Chris Guillebeau – The $100 Startup


Imagine a life where all your time is spent on things you want to do.

 Imagine handing a letter to your boss that says: “Dear Boss, I’m writing to let you know that your services are no longer required. Thanks for everything, but I’ll be doing things my own way now.”

In The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau shows you how to lead a life of adventure, meaning and purpose – and earn a good living too. Here, finally distilled into one easy-to-use guide, are the most valuable lessons from those who’ve learned how to turn what they do into a gateway to self-fulfillment.

You don’t need an MBA, a business plan or even employees! It’s all about finding the intersection between what you love to do and what other people will pay for.

The $100 Startup is packed with 300 pages of action to get you on your way. Or come meet Chris and a fun group of independent-minded people in a city near you on The $100 Startup Tour. There may even be cupcakes…

Creative Superheroes Interview: Rachel Cole

So delighted to introduce the latest creative superhero to this series- Rachel Cole.

Every once in a while, you meet someone and you immediately think, “I want them to be my friend…” This is precisely what happened when Rachel and I met for the first time a couple years ago. A mutual friend hooked us up to talk about life coaching training, which I had completed some years back. Before long though we were talking about everything– our favorite books + websites, our dreams, who inspired us… it was an instant connection.

As we got up from the table I think I flat-out asked her if we could be friends? I’m assuming she said yes, because here we are! Rachel is wise and fun, whip-smart and full of passion. She tells it like it is, always offers a keen perspective and loves in a beautiful, fierce way. I highly recommend her as a coach and if you are lucky enough to be in the Bay Area on September 23rd, she is currently registering for an in-person workshop at Teahouse called Hunger Stories. It is a collaboration with my writing teacher Laurie Wagner and is sure to be a rich and soul-shifting kind of day.

Happy to introduce, Rachel Cole!

What is your superpower?

Phoenix Rising.

I have a remarkable ability to go into the darkness and depths of life, be turned and taught, and arise having really embodied and gained clarity around whatever core spiritual lesson was wanting to work me. One of my superpowers lies at the crossroads of resilience and transformation, like a phoenix rising.

Helping women name and come into a trusting relationship with their truest hungers. Which of course, leads to a more well-fed life.

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

  1. Gathering women together. I live for the magic that happens when I can lead a circle of women into deeper connection with themselves and a fresh look at their lives. In the coming year, you’ll see me hosting retreatshops, retreats, workshops, and more because it’s where I shine and what I love.
  2. Being a lady of leisure. I live for long afternoon naps, lots of daily servings of pleasure, sunshine, unhurried living, and sensuality. I often work out of my bed and in relaxed clothing. Rarely schedule myself to the point of stress. And try to take time in the midst of running my business to tend to my hungers.
  3. Style & Design. Since I can remember I have been “aesthetically sensitive.” Frustrating my ever-practical mother’s declarations regarding my fashion choices and bedroom decor. Today, though, it comes in handy. Beauty matters greatly to me and I am skilled at quickly seeing how to present something in way that evokes a desired feeling. Or rather, the way I like to present things (my apartment, myself, my products, my website) naturally gives rise to feeling at ease, safe, inspired, spacious, and connected.

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

  1. Do it your way. There is no mold or ‘right path’ other than to follow your intuition, stay true to yourself, and feed yourself before you feed others.
  2. Know what your work is in service of, beyond your bottom line. What is your medicine for the world?
  3. Radiate you. This is the best marketing advice I can give. Just be as much yourself and as rooted in your own genius as possible. Then shine.
  4. Never take off your student cap just because you put on our teacher cap.
  5. Authentic, effortless design that is inviting makes a difference. There’s a lot of creative entrepreneurs that lack design period, but worse are those who’s work is overdesigned, gimmicky, unoriginal, and aggressive. Knowing and using your personal style is everything.

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

I think it takes courage to take people’s time and money. As women we’re told that we’re too greedy/needy/hungry from a young age. We’re told to put everyone else first.

As a business owner, when I was first starting out, it took a deep breath of courage to take valuable and precious time and money from my clients in exchange for my services.

Now, I see it as a service. I know that an hour (or more) with me is life-changing and I know that when I take money (which I need to sustain my work and life) I am ultimately giving back…the money enables me to give my medicine to the world.

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

Being yourself and sharing yourself with the public is inherently vulnerable. Sharing this post on the importance of crying in public, or rather, on not suffering alone, was a very vulnerable act. The gifts? Well, just read the comments. I was left with beautiful connection and the knowing that I’d given other’s important invitation to share and feel what’s true for them.

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

  1. I own my own business and I’m wise way beyond my years.
  2. I drive really fast and have a hard time coming to a full stop at stop signs.
  3. I have never smoked anything. ever. nor have I had the desire to.
  4. I sometimes fantasize about being reincarnated as a makeup artist.

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

  1. That I’m unlovable and not enough. (Turns out, most people think this and isn’t true for me or them…life is pretty nice free of this belief!)
  2. That you can change other people. (Talk about wasting precious life energy. Giving up changing other people transformed my relationships)
  3. That life got less fun and harder as you got older. (Kids! Listen Up! It only gets better and being an adult is such a good time!)

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

This changes somewhat frequently, right now it’s “You have the opportunity to try something different.” To me, this is about getting out of habitual patterns and the boxes that fear and our stories trap us in. We think just because we had one result before that we’ll always have that result. Or just because we have been doing (or not doing) something that we can’t change course. I love challenging myself to try something different…we are all so much freer than we think.

Rachel Cole is a certified life coach, celebrated retreat host, instigator of ease, and hunger-satisfier. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, she spent years steeped in the vibrant Bay Area food community while earning her MA in Holistic Health Education. Rachel is on a mission to guide women towards knowing and feeding their truest hungers. Through all her varied endeavors, Rachel continues to be an inimitable inspiration for each of us to feast on our lives.

Important-er than a diaper

Ben, photo by Jen Downer (

He was crying on the green couch the other night.

I had yelled- don’t remember why — something about the bathtub and the Oreo cookie Nico had snuck into it and then submerged, little spongy bits of Oreo floating throughout the tub.

But I think it was later, when I tried to put Nico in a diaper, chasing his warm, pink, little naked body around the house. My meager attempt to strap on the diaper before he did his ritual, stealth pee somewhere in our home. It’s a lucky day when it shows up on the hardwood floor (less lucky when he makes it to the rug) and I can usually clean it up before he does another lap around the house and slips into said pool of pee, careening across the living room floor.

It sounds funny, right?

But I could feel it, the rage increasing, the boiling blood, the out-of-control feeling. I could feel it in the way I pinned him down, harder that I wanted to, to get the diaper on, while he wriggled out of my grasp.

And all the while, Ben was whining from the tub crying out for me, “I want to get out!!!” and I’m calling back, “Just a minute!” all sweet and crazy-mommy like, “just a minute honey…” but then I abandoned that nonsense and started barking, “Just wait a fricking minute!!! I’m trying to get Nico in a diaper!”

Sweating, I finish sealing Nico — who immediately sprints off — and I come to collect the whining Ben out of the tub. I wrap him in his favorite towel and mutter something about how I need to take a breath and how I just got really frustrated back there. And now he is sitting with me on the green couch and crying because I’ve yelled at him. Did I mention that? I yelled at him somewhere in there and now I am holding him and apologizing and feeling terrible and he is saying, “But I’m importanter! I’m importanter than a diaper!” and I’m nodding “Yes, yes, you are right. You are much more importanter than a diaper.”

And then I see Nico, naked, running by.

And I can either laugh or cry. And I really wish I could tell you I laughed, but I did not.

And thank god children live in the moment, because they will have forgotten about this mess, this yelling, while I will hang onto it, measuring, judging, weighing — Am I a good mother? Can I yell and still be a good mother? Is it okay if I apologize? Have I already blown it? Is Nico going to remember, somewhere in his tiny cells, all those times I shoved him into the carseat?

This is what I am learning to be with these days. How incredibly flawed and human and not-at-all perfect I am. I’m learning to have compassion for myself and how hard this is and how to make amends and show up again and again. Heart full of love, wanting to do my best.

What’s Your Superpower?

Ben arms wide, Angel Island

What’s your superpower?

Back in May, when Kelly Rae and I did an event at Teahouse Studios, we went around the room and posed this question. I was delighted and surprised to find that everyone had an answer! (I was imagining a lot of pushing and prodding, coaching people into defining their particular strength)

Instead, everyone knew. And they were all unique. And pointed to something that lit them up, that made them come alive. Not only is your superpower something you are good at, it’s something that gives you deep meaning and joy. It’s something you offer the world as a gift.

I am a wise listener.

I bring the humor and fun.

I can see the big picture.

I connect people.

I can make a space beautiful.

Some responses from my tribe

To celebrate the new site, I asked some members of my tribe to answer the question, What’s Your Superpower? Here are their wonderful answers, in blog form!

SARK Superpower: Joy

Marianne Elliott Superpower: Caring

Karen Walrond: Superpower: Cheerleader

Laurie Wagner Superpower: A digger

Jen Downer Superpower: Photography

Hannah Marcotti Superpower: YOU

Catherine Just Superpower: Willing to be transparent

Mati Rose Superpower: Choosing color

Susannah Conway Superpower: Truth-telling

Jen Louden Superpower: Cheerleading

Sherry Belul Superpower: Celebration

Design Mom’s Gabrielle Blair Superpower: Recognizes beauty

Your turn

Now I want to hear from you! What’s your superpower? Leave it in the comments below.

P.S. If you want to put your name in the hat for the big giveaway, go to this post!

I’ve got some BIG news!! + a DSLR to give away

rainbow buddhas, Anado’s studio, San Miguel de Allende

Superhero Life

So I’ve had a little secret for over a year now.

After 10 years of blogging (can you believe it?) I have finally created a new home for all things Superhero – Superhero Life!!

When I began the design process I thought it would be quick and easy. Hire a talented designer and spiff up the place, right? Little did I know, the design process would ask SO much more of me. The gift was that it allowed me to step back and look at my creative work from a much wider perspective. Rarely do I step back and look at the big picture (Who am I? What do I offer? Where am I going?) but this process really required it.

Simple questions like, What’s the site called? or What’s your tagline? became BIG. Like, What’s your message for the world? A bio page became an opportunity to answer, Who are you? Not just what you’ve accomplished, but who are you for real?

These questions took TIME. And Alexandra Franzen. And a patient designer. And a lot of soul-searching. I interviewed readers, friends, and anyone else who would listen. What are my gifts? What am I all about? What have you learned from me? It has been a rich process of self-discovery and I’m grateful.

And can you believe how it looks? I have been doing cartwheels over here. Isn’t it beautiful?

Enormous thanks to the talented people that made it happen

  • Teresa Aguilera for her gorgeous design work. And for tolerating many rounds of back + forth.
  • Anna Kuperberg for taking the bio photo at the top of the Meet Andrea page.
  • Jen Downer for taking the other two bio photos on the Meet Andrea page.
  • Alexandra Franzen for her genius wordsmithing help. Do you realize I have never had a bio page until now?

Now for the prizes!

Books to inspire you
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
The Beauty of Different by Karen Walrond
Expressive Photography by the Shutter Sisters
Elevate the Everyday by Tracey Clark
A one-of-a-kind Celebration book by Sherry Belul
Daring Adventures in Paint by Mati Rose McDonough (2 winners)
Signed matted prints
from Kelly Rae Roberts (5 winners)
Don’t Miss This by Jena Strong
This I Know
by Susannah Conway
Brave Intuitive Painting by Flora Bowley

Spots in these incredible e-courses:
A spot in Jen Louden’s TeachNow course
A spot in Marianne Elliott’s 30 Days of Yoga course
A spot in RE-Connect: Get Unstuck and Find Your Magic with Mati Rose + Willo O’Brien
A spot in an upcoming session of Laurie Wagner’s Telling True Stories
A spot in the Making Space Cleanse with Hannah Marcotti
A Home Study Program from Bari Tessler/Financial Therapist
A place in Vivienne McMaster’s Montage course
A SARK-In-Your-Pocket Audio/Visual Program
A spot in SARK’s Three Part Harmony course

And to make this giveaway Mondo Beyondo… A Canon DSLR!!!

Have you been wanting to graduate to a DSLR? The Canon T3 Digital SLR is an incredible camera and will take you far. It comes with an 18-55mm zoom lens and even shoots in HD!

One lucky winner will get this awesome gift. (I will be jealous of the person who wins this!!)

And finally, since a girl still wants to look good when she’s out shootin, an Epiphanie camera bag! (The winner will get a bag of her choice) Don’t you love these?

Here’s how to win

1. Leave a comment on this post
2. Join the Superhero Life Mailing list! (even if you are on another list, please join this one to be included in the drawing) You can sign up here.
3. Extra chances to win if you spread the word and Like the page on Facebook, tweet it or Facebook it.

*Doing steps 1 and 2 put you in the hat for the prizes!

Everyone who gets on the Superhero Mailing list will get:

The Superhero Manifesto
The Mondo Beyondo Dream Generator
+ The Complete Your Year Worksheet!

Winners will be chosen at random and announced next Tuesday, September 18th!

What it looks like around here.

mommy's little superhero.

There is a reason I haven’t been around here much lately. All will be revealed next week! Stay tuned… You’re gonna love it.

In the meantime, here are some really good things I’ve discovered lately:
1. This video by Charlie Kaufman: What I have to Offer
2. This quote by Kris Carr: “I used to believe I could have it all. I just couldn’t have it all at once. I don’t want to believe that anymore, because I now feel like “all” is just too much. Spaciousness is far more nourishing than “all.”
3. Fly London shoes. Instant, crazy fan over here! In the midst of working on the “Big Project” I’ve been googling these shoes like crazy. Hard to find around here, but they are on my list.
4. This dress by Synergy in red. Can you see I’ve been hankering for something new? ;)
5. Candy Chang’s Ted Talk.


Creative Superheroes Interview: Tara Sophia Mohr

Hey Superhero readers,

This interview series is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to do- share the work of my Superfriends with you. Turns out there are so many talented women in our midst!  And Tara Mohr is no exception.

I met Tara for the first time when we sat together at Spirit Rock meditation center for a daylong workshop with Rachel Naomi Remen. (We are both huge fans!) I adored Tara immediately and hoped we would intersect again. To my delight, we would continue to weave into each others’ lives in the coming months.

Tara is wise and articulate and someone you want as your teacher. She’s got smarts and soul. And great taste in shoes. ;)

I look forward to taking her course Playing Big sometime soon. (Next session begins in October) If you are wanting to play a bigger game in your life, check it out here. In the meantime, check out her Creative Superheroes interview below!

What is your superpower?

I think we all have many. Here are a few of mine:

Fusing left-brain/linear/logical/organized thinking with the swirling inner world of the heart and spirit.

Calling women into playing bigger.

Dancing with the divine through writing.

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

  • Putting the heart back at the center – of everything. Using the mind in the service of the heart, rather than putting the mind in charge.
  • How women hold themselves back and how we can stop. How women’s long-marginalized voices can bring our world back into balance. How women have gotten cut off from our bodies, how higher education tends to shred women’s confidence to bits, and what we can do about all that.
  • Compassion as the natural expression of wisdom.
  • Creative expression as a fundamental part of being human – not as something special only for “artists.”

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

1. Feed your creativity, give it space, and show up at the blank page/canvas/dance floor every day, and the creative wellspring will never run dry. But you gotta show up, and play around for at least 15 minutes for the waters to start flowing.

2. We are naturally drawn to teaching what we need to learn-not what we are already perfect experts in.

3. I, and most women I know, underestimate our “readiness” for that next bigger step. We are better off if we stop assessing, “Am I ready to….appear on that TV show, write for that publication, give that big speech?” and instead follow our creative impulses and aspirations. Those desires will take us places our egos are sure we aren’t ready for, and we’ll do just fine (actually way better than fine) when we get there.

4. I need a lot of community and allies to sustain my ability to do solo work.

5. The joy has not come from external success milestones –– celebrities loving my work, media appearances, hitting the right numbers, or even heartfelt notes from readers. Always, always, always, the joy comes from the work itself.

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

Going on the The Today Show. Going on LIVE television in front of 2 million people will get your inner critic talkin’. I was flooded — FLOODED — with fear. I was sure the hosts wouldn’t get my work and they’d be critical of it. I was sure my message wasn’t honed enough. I was sure my wrap dress was going to come unwrapped.

Because I had the tools for dealing with the inner critic and fear-the tools I teach in my programs-I knew the voices of the fear weren’t telling the truth. I acknowledged the fear, waved hello to it, and was able to walk forward onto that stage, where I got to talk to 2 million women about their owning their brilliance. Oh 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?

Pressing the “publish” button on the essays and poems I write is a near daily practice in vulnerability. For years, that vulnerability felt like too much. After years in highly critical university writing workshops, where creativity was subjected to grades and competition (both creativity-killers, of course), writing felt too vulnerable, unsafe, to the fragile artist inside of me.

Over time, I nourished that fragile artist back to health enough that she could begin to conceive of writing again, and even conceive of sharing her writing.

Now she gets to write almost every day, and she is happy and well cared for and feels safe again. The way she handles the vulnerability of sharing her work is by knowing that in the end, it doesn’t matter what they think. She is writing for the joy of it. She is writing for the communion with that thing larger than herself that runs through her fingers when she writes.

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

Most of the things I believed as a kid I believe now too: the mega healing power of love and compassion. The utter insanity of war. The pathological marginalization of the heart in our culture, and its many costs.

10 years ago – I couldn’t have said that I still hold the beliefs I held as a child. But I’ve spent the past few years reclaiming my childhood ideals – ideals I got talked out of in years of fancy college education and graduate school. Maybe this is an arc we all travel in life, leaving and returning to the truths we knew in childhood.

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

Breathe & observe.

When I hear in my head those old familiar negative judgements about myself or other people, I try to step back from the thoughts to an “observer” place inside, and watch them. I might say to myself, “Oh, there it is again-that old feeling of being an outsider.” Then I breathe and watch it and experience it – but as the observer of it, as a person in a chair watching a movie in front of them. This is classic mindfulness work, and it helps get us out of our old unhelpful thought patterns.

Tara Mohr is an expert on women’s leadership and wellbeing. She’s the creator of the Playing Big leadership program for women, the new session of which begins in just a few weeks. A columnist for Huffington Post and the author of Your Other Names: Poems for Wise Living, Tara’s work has been featured on The Today Show, USA Today, Ode Magazine, More Magazine,, Whole Living and numerous other publications. Click here to get her free download, the 10 Rules for Briliant Women Workbook.