Monthly Archives: September 2010

A Perfect Protest*

My cute husband Matt, Berkeley, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

In celebration of Brene Brown’s AMAZING new book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are we are staging a week long “Perfect Protest.” Add your photo to the collection… Say it loud and proud people!

And be sure to get Brene’s book. It is a life-changer for sure. Deep, real and extraordinary. I love the book and Brene Brown. If you are in the SF Bay area this week, come to her event at Ft. Mason on Thursday night. I will be there!

Me, hello fun, Berkeley, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Me, bye bye perfect, Berkeley, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi


Since I will be off the map soon, I am planning to book all of my sponsors for the rest of the year right now! If you would like to be a sponsor for the holiday season (the best time to advertise your etsy store, web site, or other delicious project) I am running a special!

Regular price is 99 dollars per month, but if you book with me for October, November and December you can get one month for free! (Only 66 dollars per month)

Email me soon so I can reserve a spot for you! and give you first dibs on placement. [email protected]

Even when I fall off the map, I will be posting photos and stories and using this community as one of my lifelines. It was such a gift knowing you were here when Ben was born. Thank you!!

Feelin Mighty*

Mighty Girl, Maggie Mason, Guerneville, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

I am moving slow these days… feeling mighty in spirit but not so mighty in body. I predict that in about three weeks this puppy is coming out! So if I don’t return your emails friends, know that I am probably doing some much needed lying on the couch.

I did hope that I would make it to the Mighty Summit this year though, and I did. I wished that I had been able to drink lots of wine and stay up late telling stories (maybe next year!) but I had an amazing time just the same. Oh, and I missed the lesson in opening a champagne bottle with a sword. Lucky for me I know about 25 who know how to do this. 

Things I did learn at the Mighty Summit:

I need to wear more color! and patterns and dresses, and hair accessories! Case in point, Mena Trott (pictured below) is the perfect example. She actually makes all of her fabulous dresses. And Maggie above. Don’t you just love the color?

Mena Trott, Guerneville, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

How to make smoky eyes with eye shadow. (Thanks Danielle!)

That there are so many amazing, interesting and beautiful women in the world. (Actually, I already knew this) Spend five minutes asking someone what their dreams are and an entire universe of their heart will be revealed to you.

That being wined and dined is totally marvelous. I kept feeling like I was on a game show… Look under your chair! It’s a new brand new car! Some favorite gifts were an Epiphanie bag, Tieks travel shoes, and some awesome jewelry. We also stayed at the most wonderful hotel called Boon.

Epiphanie bags are really beautiful and the most stylish gift for any photographer friend of yours. And Maile Wilson who makes them, is even more amazing.

Danielle Henderson, Guerneville, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Strolling through the 300 foot redwoods in Armstrong Woods can solve pretty much any problem. It was a drizzly morning and the air felt like pure nourishment. Almost like food. Even though I was walking (I haven’t exercised much this pregnancy since exercise gives me contractions) I felt the best I’ve felt in a long time walking through those woods.)

Get 25 women around a table sharing their dreams and you will see how much women love to help make other womens’ dreams come true.

Dooce and Margaret, Guerneville, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

lunch in the wine cave, Moishin Winery, Guerneville, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

When our picnic in the redwoods got rained out, I was amazed to see that in an hour flat, they had coordinated a beautiful lunch in a wine cave, complete with a candlelit knight’s table. Amazing! As we ate, we were instructed to look over our life lists and choose five dreams that we were ready to tackle this year. Then we went around the table and asked for help with one of the dreams on our list. It was a moving and totally inspiring process. (At the end of the meal we were each given a necklace, with five little gold rings hanging from a chain, representing each of the dreams we are holding for this year. I have been wearing mine faithfully, feeling connected to both my list and the awesome people I met this weekend.)

Most importantly, I learned that women want to help other women achieve their dreams. They really do. No matter what we learned in high school (and later) about being competitive, jealous and believing there wasn’t enough goodness to go around, the truth is that when we can create a culture of community and empowerment around our goals and dreams, women are the first ones to jump in and want to help.

Even when we can barely get out of bed.

Nicole and me, Guerneville, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Minimalist interview*

edge of wine barrel, Moishin Winery, Guerneville, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

I recently did an interview with the wonderful Robyn Devine of Minimalist Knitter. I’m going to reprint it here since my brain is going full minimalist right now! Pregnant mush brain… :)

MK: How did your passions inspire or move you towards minimalism?

AS: My passion toward minimalism probably began in a really practical way. We have always lived in relatively small homes with minimal storage space. When we were preparing for the arrival of our first child, my nesting instinct kicked in. With it came a strong desire to clear the decks, to simplify my visual landscape. There was something about the chaos of this new adventure of parenthood that I needed to balance against a simple, clutter-free home.

MK: Did you find anything change or shift with your passion once you began your minimalist journey?

AS: I discovered that I don’t need much stuff! And nearly everything I’ve given away or sold has been forgotten. There are no regrets. (Except that one pair of red platform sandals. What was I thinking?! ;)
Several years ago, I came across this quote that I love: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” This is the motto I try to live by as much as possible. 

MK: How do you nurture your creative spirit within the boundaries of the “do more with less” mentality of minimalism?

AS: I try to live by the law the buddhists call “The law of least effort.” This basically means that more effort does not equal more results, but right effort equals right results.

I don’t like to pain over my work… write when it’s not coming, sit for many hours at the computer trying to wring something out of myself when I really just need to fill the well and be replenished.

I listen closely to my intuition, live my real life as much as possible, and write in bursts from the richness of my actual life. This is how I nurture my creative spirit. I listen for when there is a story that wants to be told. 

MK: What is one thing that consistently trips you up on your minimalist journey?

AS: My desire to shop! and want things! I still want things all the time. I love clothing and fabric, beautiful color and brilliant design. I try to regularly let go of clothing, kid’s toys, etc. to keep things in balance, but that desire to want more is still hard wired in me.

I think it’s about mindfulness though. I watch myself now and ask questions: Do I need this? or just want it? It’s okay to just want it, but I want to consciously choose what I am taking in as opposed to being compulsive. 

MK: What is one piece of advice you’d share with others who share your passion and are exploring minimalism?

AS: I like the policy of the revolving door. As you acquire something new, let go of something else. Letting go is a spiritual practice… and we can practice in our physical worlds so that when we have to let go of something in the emotional/spiritual realm it’s that much easier.

Are you on a minimalist journey? Tell us about it in the comments!

Fall Dream Lab!

Me, photo by Vivienne McMaster, Canon Digital Rebel Xti

Thanks to your overwhelming response, we are so, so happy to announce Dream Lab Fall 2010 where together we’ll explore three new essential elements of dreaming starting October 4th!

This fall in the Dream Lab we’ll explore…

Courage: What if you knew you could be brave, right here, right now? Learn about where courage comes from and how you can access it, especially when you’re feeling apprehensive about what’s next. 

Gratitude. What if you knew deep down you already have everything you need? Examine how cultivating an awareness of your present day resources helps sharpen your vision for the future and deepen your capacity to experience joy right now. 

Tribe. What if you didn’t have to do it alone? What if you understood that you truly belong? Play with the possibility that you can be surrounded by the support and companionship you need when you need it the most.

To make your exploration more complete, this session of Dream Lab we’re opening up the Mondo Beyondo password protected community space for anyone who registers for Dream Lab, so you can play, learn and grow in the company of a warm, welcoming circle of dreamers just like you. This will be a one-of-a-kind session with bonus interviews from Bindu Wiles, Tanya Davis (of How to Be Alone fame) and others! It’s going to be magic!

We are so excited about what we have to share with you and feel happy and delighted to make this momentous announcement! Ready to jump in? Registration is open now! We’d love to have you!

33 weeks + Life List

Feeling HUGE these days and officially to that stage where the seas part when I walk into a room. People immediately offer me a chair, a glass of water, or request that I don’t “pop” while in their establishment.

For my last hurrah! and probably the last bit of energy I have in me for the year, I am honored to be going to Maggie Mason’s Mighty Summit this weekend! To celebrate the occasion I began writing my “Life List” which is a work in progress but I wanted to share it here.

1. Live in Spain for three months
2. Be in a flash mob dance routine
3. Make panna cotta
4. Tell a great story on This American Life
5. Have a healthy baby boy in October
6. Push the baby stroller on roller skates
7. Meet Drew Barrymore, Alanis Morisette and (re-meet )Gwyneth Paltrow
8. Photograph the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)
9. Have coffee with Rachel Naomi Remen
10. Go to Paris and visit old fashioned candy shops and perfume stores
11. Photograph the colors in Santa Fe
12. See the bioluminescence
13. Take a retreat at Hollyhock
14. Speak spanish fluently
15. Learn to cook from a Chez Panisse chef
16. Feel sexy again
17. Celebrate Day of the Dead in Mexico
18. Photograph the tomato festival in Spain
19. Learn to write as beautifully as my favorite authors
20. Love my body
21. Find the perfect boots
22. Ride in a hot air balloon
23. Feel confident speaking in public
24. Meet Elizabeth Lesser
25. Visit the baths in Iceland
26. Grow a beautiful garden
27. Teach a workshop at Omega
28. Rock it at karaoke
29. Have a deeply spiritual experience
30. Tell a story onstage at The Moth in NYC
31. Buy a bungalow in Berkeley
32. Swim with dolphins in tropical water
33. Give a Ted talk
34. Write a NY Times bestseller
35. Learn to love deeply and completely
36. Learn to play guitar
37. Learn to sing well
38. Give a HUGE amount of money to somebody who deserves it
39. Be a healing force in the world

To see Mighty Girl Maggie’s Life List click here. And if you make your own, leave a link to it in the comments!

Still room in Mondo Beyondo*

Mati Rose, her Mondo Beyondo dream is about abundance, Oregon, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

A bunch of folks have been emailing me today asking if there is still time to register for the current Mondo Beyondo course. There is! We started this week with “Week Zero” to have a gentle introduction to the mindset and concepts behind Mondo Beyondo. We will start in earnest next Tuesday (after Labor Day)!

We would love to have you!!