Monthly Archives: December 2011

Sponsor Spotlight: Stephanie Levy

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.


Stephanie Levy

Would you like an extra boost of courage to kickstart your creativity in 2012?
I’d like to invite you to join Creative Courage, an e-course about finding, following, and realizing your creative dreams. Creative Courage is a holistic guide to help you clarify your individual path, provide the tools you need to make your goals real, and connect with like-minded women.

I’m Stephanie Levy, an American illustrator living in Europe, and my next session of Creative Courage  – runs from January 9th – February 24th, 2012.

Andrea Scher  – who we all know and appreciate – plus an additional 11 international guests will join us this session for exclusive weekly Creative Courage interviews. They include: Kelly Lynn Jones, Mati Rose McDonough, Heather Smith Jones, Belinda Kemp, Jennifer Louden, Janine Vangool, Amy Ng, Amelia Critchlow, Kate Swoboda, Michelle Ward, and Jill Bliss.

This amazing group of women from around the world will share their secrets on how they have accomplished their dreams of publishing books, building online businesses, creating workshops and e-courses, and earning a living as successful, thriving creative artists, illustrators, and authors.

As a unique bonus, we will take a *virtual field trip* to Barcelona, Spain to enjoy European art, culture, and design. I’ll even send you a personal postcard featuring my collage artwork directly from Barcelona.

Creative Courage is your invitation for 7 weeks of fun, color, inspiration, and tools to begin an inspiring, new creative life in 2012.

I hope you’ll come celebrate the new year with us! Please join us here:

How choosing your word of the year can change everything

My one little word for 2011

My one little word for 2011 was thrive. It sounded so upbeat when I chose it in January, so harmless, so optimistic, so healthy! I imagined abundance in every part of my life- thriving in my relationship with my husband, thriving in my body, thriving in our financial life. I suppose I didn’t think it through completely. Perhaps it was magical thinking? I must have assumed that I would simply wake up one day and just be thriving, simply because I declared it so… without having to do anything in particular!

What I didn’t realize is that when I chose this adorable little word, that I needed to be prepared to lose everything- have everything be tossed in the air and end up in a big, messy pile on the floor -waiting to be put back together.

It has been fascinating to witness; how each part of my life systematically fell apart one by one. In January, my son Ben’s health got to crisis point and after many doctor’s visits and tests, we finally found him the medication he has needed for years. In spring, we had, er, a bit of a cash flow crisis. Yikes! This was our big wake-up call and inspired us to finally clean up our finances, look at what we were spending and make a plan to save.

Soon after, even my business got turned upside down and I realized that I had been ignoring the truth about that for a long time too- that there were changes that needed to be made and new dreams that needed to be dreamed up for my creative businesses. Out of that came a brand new photography e-course that I launched this summer that is making me really happy. I’m feeling truly alive and inspired in my work again. It seems that in order to thrive, everything had to break and be put back together again.

Trusting the Mess

But how can we trust the mess? How do we have faith when it’s all falling apart? It’s hard to keep going sometimes, especially when it looks like we’ve failed, that the mess is too big to clean up, or that we somehow blew it.

But you know what helped me?
My one little word.
That little word, thrive.

When I took a helicopter view of my life- even while it was unraveling this year- I saw one thing very clearly- that I was manifesting a life where my family and I would THRIVE. Hilariously, we even switched to Kaiser this year. This one little word kept it all in perspective, gave me faith that there was a bigger picture here, that I was part of a larger story. Most importantly, it reminded me that I had power, that I had a hand in how that story unfolded.

There is a story Ann Lamott tells in one of her books that I have always loved. She tells it below:

“Carolyn Myss, the medical intuitive who writes and lectures about why people don’t heal, flew to Russia a few years ago to give some lectures. Everything that could go wrong did — flights were cancelled or overbooked, connections missed, her reserved room at the hotel given to someone else. She kept trying to be a good sport, but finally, two mornings later, on the train to her conference on healing, she began to whine at the man sitting beside her about how infuriating her journey had been thus far.

It turned out that this man worked for the Dalai Lama. And he said, gently, that they believe when a lot of things are going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born-and that this something needs for you to be distracted so that it can be born as perfectly as possible.”

My one little word has been a gift- it has been a way that I held myself and my family more gently this year, with more compassion and more faith. It is a lens through which I glimpsed a truer story- that no matter how messy life gets, we are going to be more than okay on the other side; that we can trust what life hands us… and that sometimes when things fall apart, it’s just that something big and lovely is trying to get itself born.

In case you missed it

If you haven’t had a chance to download the “Complete Your Year” Worksheet, you can still find it here! And there is still room in the January Mondo Beyondo session. Just leave a comment and you’ll receive the secret coupon code.

*This piece was originally written for Ali Edward’s One Little Word Project. Her new One Little Word class begins soon over at Big Picture Scrapbooking.

Hanukkah Ben- 2 sides of the same coin

For Christmas, Ben got a brand new microphone to amp up his awesome singing skills. It’s from Paper Jamz (Ben got the guitar for Hannukah) and lets you sing along to songs you download or just amplifies your voice. The jury is still out on whether we regret buying it! ;)

It does make for some hilarious moments.

And the other side

Below is the death metal version of the Hannukah song, moments later. We’re hoping he’s getting it all out of his system at five.

Happy Holidays! Wishing you unexpected magic…

My friend Sasha in a pile of gingko leaves we found in the Mission, SF

Sponsor Spotlight: Hello Soul. Hello Business. and 2012 Creating My Goddess Year!

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.

Hello Soul. Hello Business.

Hello Soul, Hello Business is brought to you by internationally-renowned mixed media artist and author Kelly Rae Roberts, and award-winning entrepreneur Beth Nicholls, founder of Do What You Love. 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.

Come join us for our pioneering e-course, The Business Soul Sessions: Where Passion Meets Profit – it will be a journey like no other! Class begins on January 16 2012 and runs for nine weeks. We believe your investment in the course will be repaid many times over with an increase in revenue (and soul stirring joy) after taking this class. In fact, we’re so sure of it, your results are 100% guaranteed!

Click here to register and learn more!

2012 Creating My Goddess Year!

The 2012 Creating your Goddess Year workbook, planner & calendar  is an incredibly popular & useful tool to help you plan out & make happen your most incredible year yet. Over the last three years,  thousands of women have used this workbook with the most amazing results. It’s the best planning tool available to help you make your year more inspiring than ever.

It’s filled with over 100 pages of worksheets & a printable calendar to help you dream, manifest, set your intentions, plan & cultivate your amazing new year. The workbook has been lovingly handwritten & rainbow illustrated… perfect for you to print out, soak up the rainbow colours of & get thoroughly inspired by!

You’ll get clarity on what you need 2012 to be. What you want to create during it. And most importantly, how to make it happen.

Happy Holidays! This video will make you happy.

Mondo Beyondo New Year + FREE downloadable worksheet

Portrait of yours truly, Andrea Scher. Taken by the incredible Anna Kuperberg

Will you join me in a New Year’s Ritual?

The new year is always an exciting time for me. I love wiping the slate clean, buying a new calendar and beginning again. It is also a ripe time for ritual and from what I have seen, ritual is all the more powerful when we can do it together. Will you join me?

The surest way to start fresh and move forward is to be at peace with what came before. You might have had an incredible year, a dull year, or a truly difficult year. Whatever happened, your aim is to celebrate what there is to celebrate about it and grieve what there is to grieve… and then, as best we can, let it go.

Making room for joy

I have cooked up something special for you. It is a completion worksheet for the year. It’s where we get to acknowledge what was great, what was hard, what we’re proud of and what we’d like to let go of from 2011. It’s an opportunity to say sayonara to 2011 with integrity and a full heart. It is a POWERFUL ritual and will get your spirit primed for creating more joy in 2012. Promise.

Mondo Beyondo begins January 9th

Get your coupon!

Because the New Year is such an extraordinary time to create change in our lives, I want the January Mondo Beyondo class to be chock full of people like YOU. Why?

  • Because we want our lives to be juicy and rich.
  • We want to grow our courage and be BRAVE with our dreams
  • We want to know what makes us come alive and do more of that

Just a few easy steps

  • Tweet it, Facebook it, share it with your friends! Just give them this link:
  • Leave a comment below with your word of the year

Everyone who leaves a comment will get a $20 discount on the January Mondo Beyondo session!

Just wait for it in your inbox. (It’s also valid for gift certificates for those last minute gifts)

Excited to hear what your word of the year will be!
I’m still test driving mine, but I’m loving words like alive, juicy, fluorishing… I might have to steal yours. ;)

Nutcracker Ben*

This was the adorable Ben at Fairyland yesterday while the Oakland ballet did a mini Nutcracker performance. It was his first time seeing ballet and I think he’s a natural.

Sponsor Spotlight: 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.

Catherine Just: Soul*Full eCourse

I believe you are valuable and your stories are important
Personal Growth + Connection + Soul*Full Photos = Transformation
You deserve abundance in all areas of your life!
Why wait?!
Join me!

Join award winning photographer Catherine Just in this Soul*Full eCourse designed just for women.  Interviews with: Miguel RuizDouglas BeasleyAndrea ScherBeth NichollsSheri RosenthalAline Smithson and Susannah Conway.

We will dive into photography to help you re-learn how to “see”
Writing exercises to move more toward gratitude
Learn new ways to trust that the universe supports you
Mix all that with some healthy recipes, pampering, rest and rejuvenation and you’ve got the ingredients for a more Soul*Filled Life! Join us!

What others are saying:
I have so much more to say to you about your lovely e-course – it’s been by far the absolute BEST I’ve ever taken…It’s been exactly what I needed…every week – totally spot-on. Catherine, oh fearless leader, I hope you seriously consider a SoulFull 2!” – Rachael F.

Don’t miss your chance. Starting January 16th
Spaces are already filling up!

Register Now!



Are you ready for a digital sabbath?

What beauty are we missing that is right under our nose?

Digital sabbath

Sounds like a heavy metal band, right? But it is something I have been fascinated with for years, and have been really inspired to try.

The traditional sabbath is about setting down work, machines, cars, phones, etc. from sundown Friday night to sunset on Saturday night. It is a time and space that is carved out for family, for connection, for nature. It is a sacred space for stillness, for contemplation, for creativity. It’s a pause in the week and a powerful ritual.

Wayne Muller, in his extraordinary book Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight in our Busy Lives, speaks about it so beautifully: “There comes a moment in our striving when more effort actually becomes counterproductive, when our frantic busyness only muddies the waters of our wisdom and understanding. When we become still and allow our life to rest, we feel a renewal of energy and gradual clarity of perception.”

The modern version of this ritual is in the form of a digital sabbath. It is a space we create consciously, where we step away from our screens and our gadgetry, from our blackberries, tv’s and cell phones. It’s a time when we decide not to check our email obsessively and hopefully discover that we didn’t really miss anything anyway. Every time I have experimented with what I call a media cleanse, I have seen really miraculous things. As with any cleanse, you begin to notice when/where you habitually reach for something. What precedes the moment when I check my email AGAIN even though I checked it 30 seconds before? Do I feel bored? Lonely? Is it just a nervous tic? What’s so scary about being in the moment I’m actually in? Am I longing for connection? and if I am, am I finding it in these places? Is there more connection to be found in the woods? or at the roller rink? or inside the pages of a book?

“We have lost this essential rhythm. Our culture invariably supposes that action and accomplishment is better than rest, that doing something–anything–is better than doing nothing. Because of our desire to succeed, to meet these ever-growing expectations, we do not rest. Because we do not rest, we lose our way. We miss the compass points that would show us where to go, we bypass the nourishment that would give us succor. We miss the quiet that would give us wisdom. We miss the joy and love born of effortless delight. Poisoned by this hypnotic belief that good things come only through unceasing determination and tireless effort, we can never truly rest. And for want of rest, our lives are in danger.” Wayne Muller, Sabbath

Longing for Balance

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that this is one of my obsessions. Finding that balance between living my real life and my life online is a puzzle I am always contemplating. I am highly sensitive (so many of us are) and get overwhelmed easily. A lot of data coming at me in whatever form- advertising, radios playing, email messages, tweets, all starts to feel like noise, fast. My threshold is low for how much media I can take in.

Whenever I hear the words “digital sabbath” my ears perk up. Yes! Carving out a space like that, a sanctuary of time that is about connection, real connection– to self, to nature, to each other- makes every cell in me say yes. When I think about Ben growing up in the modern world such as it is, I get scared that one day he will forever bury his face in a screen (perhaps a video game) and forget how much he loves to walk in the redwoods or perfect his dance moves. He already prefers watching a movie over doing just about anything else. And I wonder how much I am modeling the kind of distraction I am trying to protect him from- staring at my own screen, checking my email, even taking videos of him with my phone while we’re in the park.

I heard an interview with the author of Hamlet’s Blackberry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age and can’t wait to read it.

Have any of you instituted a Digital Sabbath? How do you find balance? Do you all crave it as much as I do?

I’d love to hear in the comments.