Around here…

Heart-shaped hole in the fence, shot with iphone 4S

These days I am…

Feeling… a lot of anxiety. Reverberations from a panic attack last weekend, still trying to get a full breath. This one snuck up on me.

Reaching out… to friends who will understand. Who can coach me through the rough parts, who can help me find the bigger picture, who give me permission to take care of  myself.

Writing… about courage! For the upcoming course and getting really excited. It’s such a juicy topic and one that touches all of us. The stories that have come in have astounded me with their beauty and truth.

Practicing… gratitude with a friend via email. Every night, just 3 simple lines.

Appreciating… the sweetness of Ben. How he runs to the bus stop every morning, pants falling low on his hips, backpack bobbing up and down, wildly excited about the big yellow bus that collects him.

Noticing… my fear of misusing my power. That because grownups misused their power with my young self, I am tentative about asserting myself with the littles. Exploring the art of using my power responsibly and with love.

Loving… these videos from two amazing men in the world. Halcyon’s Ted Talk: Gratitude, Gifting and Grandpa and Ze Frank’s An Invocation for Beginnings. Both genius.



  1. Posted September 21, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Take good care of yourself Andrea – I am so impressed with how bravely you share your stories.

  2. Posted September 21, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    You never cease to bring the awesome, Andrea! Sending you love and light for healing breath. My favorite books on parenting are by Becky Bailey, check her out if they aren’t already in “your mommy toolbox”.

  3. Posted September 21, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    strange, I had a anxiety attack yesterday that left me completely wiped out today. I couldn’t even get up and go to work, a place I actually enjoy most days. Right now I am fighting the urge to crawl back in bed. I NEED to go to the store, but leaving the house seems overwhelming at the moment. Thank you for sharing your struggles and reminding me it happens to everyone, even super heroes. :)

  4. Posted September 21, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    I have those too Andrea. It started about two years ago. Now I can catch it more. I take as deep a breath as I can, and say what is the real reason I am upset or what triggered this? You are an amazing woman and I would bet there are many a times you don’t give yourself that same view and or loving light you give to others. Time to keep the fire burning for you and only you!

  5. Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Oh how I love your courage! Sending you prayers of peace amidst the anxiety and that the deep breath you’re looking for would find it’s way in.

  6. Posted September 21, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Love this. And that video brings me to tears every single time. I often watch it to steel myself to go out into the world! xox

  7. Stephanie
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Thank you…for all of this. I think your greatest Super Power is your humanit. Showing us all it is ok to be the flawed and fabulous humans that we are. YOU ROCK and so does this video…it made me cry…in a good way. Wishing you a peaceful weekend with pockets of joy.

  8. Tracey Miller
    Posted September 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    You have no idea how comforting it is to know that you also understand anxiety. I was hesitant to sign up for the courage course, but your own vulnerability gives me confidence that you know what you’re talking about! A week before the course starts I am flying to a distant city to undertake an intensive meditation course to help deal with agoraphobia. I start your course the day after I get back. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. I have gathered many tools over the years to help deal with my anxiety and agoraphobia, but two things I have learnt that help the most are these:
    We all have limits, some of us just have more than others.
    It’s a time thing. (My family says this all the time). And it’s true. In a couple of days/weeks/months (depending on what it is), the situation won’t be so raw. Time smooths the edges and rounds out the corners. We just need to remember to give it to ourselves.
    Love to you.

  9. Posted September 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    pure kismet today…loved your honesty and the videos. sat watched, giggled, shed a few tears, shared with those i love and felt connected, andrea. grazie mille! xx

  10. CLH
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I superlove Ze Frank & badly needed this video today. And, like, three years ago. Ten, even.

    Miss Andrea, to me there’s nothing more consoling in this world than someone being brave and true. I know you can comfort yourself, and let others comfort you, the way you comfort so many of us by being who & how you are.

    Also, are you goofing off enough, dear? For those of us critters who are a lovely & potent mix of serious and searching and emotional and smart and practical and creative, I sometimes think we need to consciously . . . ventilate . . . more than the average bear. In unlikely directions. For me, it turned out to be gardening. (If you knew me, you’d know just how counter-intuitive that is.) I’m also thinking roller derby classes might be an unlikely enough aeration system. Like that, I mean. I guess it’s a way of taking to heart that Mary Oliver poem. You know the one. Those first lines that can make us choke up immediately:

    “You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.”

    Mostly, I’m giving your hand a little squeeze.

  11. Alexandra
    Posted September 23, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s inevitable that parents misuse their power sometimes. The parents that seem to do harm are the ones where that becomes the norm, and who seem to be unwilling to really look at themselves, take feedback, and responsibility. That’s obviously not you! (-:

  12. Michelle K
    Posted September 23, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    I, too, struggle with the power and the little ones. It helps to reflect, review, and recognize that perfect never happens – for you or them.

    Being the single mother of one son, I often tell him when we’re in the middle of a battle that we’re both going to get this wrong as much and as often as we will get it right. That I love him enough to set limits and boundaries that he might not like and again that I love him, imperfections, rebellion, and all.

    I also remind myself that his behavior is entirely age appropriate and so is mine.

    Just tips, take or leave them.

    Just know that there is a sea of mothers who look to you in admiration of your ability to put into words what we’re feeling.

    Much peace from SF to you.

  13. Posted September 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Sending love to you, Andrea. And gratitude for being exactly who you are.

  14. Posted September 24, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Andrea ~ sorry to hear about the panic attack. I had one “sneak up” on me too a few weeks back. I was drinking a lot of caffeine – brand new coffee machine & I do believe it had something to do with it (also being vunerable). I love the links – zefrank is always wonderful & complex, but the John Styn talk really moved me. My Grandpa was just like that too! Thank you for that, what a gift & I will pass it on. You’re a very special person, touching people around the world.

  15. Posted September 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    {{{{andrea}}}} you are such a bright light. I’m so sorry that you are feeling fragile right now – just know that I still see you glowing in the west! There are going to be days like this and that my friend is when self-care is so necessary. Loving you through it all. and thank you so much for the John Styn TedTalk I’m in love. totally. my thanks always …xo

  16. Posted September 25, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    These videos made my day today. thank you.

  17. Robin Troxell
    Posted September 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    your practice of gratitude reminds me of Ann Voskamp and her 1000 Gifts

  18. Crissy
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Hugging you hugging you hugging myself too!
    You can do this life! You can!
    Thank you for sharing these links!

  19. Quigley
    Posted October 3, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    How do you do that?! Talk about bravery! Being able to WRITE about the wobbly times.. WOW.. now that is courage – well done and thanks for inspiring all of us. Anxiety is also a pre-menopausal symptom (amongst other things) – but knowing this has helped me … so, I thought it might help you :)
    sending lots of healing holding love your way Andrea! xxquigley

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  1. By perfectionism may look good in his shiny shoes, but he’s a little bit of an asshole on September 24, 2012 at 8:21 am

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