Opening the Creative Channel


Andrea + Laurie Wagner

When circles of women get together, they go deep.

And the last two weekends were no exception.

My dear friend (+ writing teacher) Laurie Wagner and I just held 2 weekend workshops in a row called Opening the Creative Channel. There were 18 of us each weekend telling stories, writing, painting, connecting. It was gorgeous + powerful.

After the first Saturday though, Laurie and I got a little worried. There were a lot of tears… more than we expected! And we wondered to each other-  Is this what they came for? Is it too intense? Are we too intense? 

But this is where we had to trust in our own creative process. It was such a great lesson to allow what was actually there be there and keep creating, keep trusting, knowing that there were no mistakes.

And then morning came and when we all gathered it was like a gorgeous storm had come and washed the streets clean. The air felt different and we all felt energized. Beautifully cleansing.

Most of the women in the room were parents of small children, and something occurred to me as I witnessed each woman drop down into themselves – there is so much unprocessed trauma in a mama’s life. There is so much we don’t get to grieve. There is so much we don’t get to feel. So when we have a chance to step away and drop down into ourselves, there is often a tender layer right there, just aching to be felt.

Just holding that was such an honor and a gift.

When Laurie and I came together to create these workshops, we realized we share something in common – we collect practices.

Practices that open us up.
Practices that allow us to hear the sound of our own music.
Practices that allow for whatever wants to come through, come through.

Writing practices, storytelling practices, gratitude practices, courage practices. They are all ways in. They are all ways to find your voice, your aliveness, your joy. They are all ways to wake up.

Some highlights from our weekends were:

1. Having the sweetest, easiest collaboration with Laurie.
2. Painting. Painting. Painting. Turns out painting makes me come alive more than anything else. (So easy to forget)
3. Meeting so many amazing women. Each unique + beautiful + tender + brave + real.
4. Our special guest, Alexandra Franzen who came by + did a mini workshop with us on how to write the best damn thank you note ever. The kind that makes you cry happy tears.
5. A fabulous photo walk with 18 women in Alameda. We were like the paparazzi.

We are already planning another retreat for 2014, so let me know if you are interested. We are dreaming of Taos + Hawaii. [email protected]


On our photo walk


Opening the Creative Channel, Weekend 2



  1. M Payne
    Posted October 16, 2013 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    I love the idea of an opportunity for all the busy, exhausted, desperate for something of their own incredible young mothers getting a chance to put themselves first for some real thinking, creating and breathing into who they are becoming. I’m going to have to join the next one of these somehow!

  2. Posted October 16, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    It was an amazing couple of weekends. How could something so simple be so fulfilling for all involved? We found the sweet spot; what makes us happy makes other people happy. To give is to receive. Muey bueno, love you deep.

  3. tina
    Posted October 16, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I’m a new mama, and I need something like this desperately. It is a relief to hear you use the word grief. I am grieving so much right now. What I wouldn’t give for a safe space to do that openly and in community. Maybe you dream of Chicago next? :)

  4. elizabeth
    Posted October 16, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    This is such a beautiful post, one that speaks to me as a mom of young children who struggles to drop down into herself….thank you for shining a light and offering hope. I’d love to learn more about the upcoming retreat in 2014.

  5. Posted October 16, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m still taking deep breaths of gratitude for this intimate opportunity to get to know you both ~ and all of the amazing ladies this past weekend. I will cherish it in my heart for always! (and can’t wait to see what inspirations it sparked become a reality…)

  6. Robin Troxell
    Posted October 16, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    The remark about mama’s having unprocessed trauma really struck a chord with me – I know that I personally spend so much time and energy on my littles (and my husband) that I don’t allow myself to even acknowlege that I deserve time for myself too, and I grieve that and also am angry (at myself? my family? ‘society’?) that I don’t prioritize myself more. I am actually taking a weekend away alone coming up and I was feeling guilty, and nearly caved into my 9 year old pleading to come – but I NEED this and dang it I will take it!

  7. Lisa
    Posted October 16, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to print out the picture of you and Laurie. I’ll look at it often and allow your spirits (which I still don’t know it’s possible for them to come through a photo…) to soothe and encourage me.

    And I vote for Taos in 2014 because I live in NM, and the sky here is a color of blue that seems it had to come from a tube of paint.

  8. Posted October 16, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    I think I shed half of those many tears just myself. So sorry if my tears caused you anxiety. XOXO Still offering up my home in the Phoenix area for next year if you want to take it on the road. ;) (it’s beautiful this time of year plus I’m selfishly just wanting to feel that kind of connection in my own space.)

  9. Erin
    Posted October 16, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Oh what a beautiful weekend it was. Lives as a treasure in my heart… thanks Andrea & Laurie for being who you are, being willing to be visible & put yourselves out there, and for inviting us into your sphere. So many layers of inspiration it’s hard to describe. Feeling full of gratitude. xo Erin

  10. Posted October 17, 2013 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    It is so true that Mamas don’t have time to process things. Normally when I get that moment where my brain is not overworking (which is rare) it is normally a collapse into tears to just feel relief from it all. Normally every spare moment is spent trying to clean, study, find inspiration, and think.

  11. Posted October 17, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    It’s so great to see women coming together and exploring their creativity! The most important support structure a woman can have is other women.

  12. Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Because of you, I enrolled in SARK’s WINS program. I had fallen in love with her books about 20 years ago, but never realized anyone could WORK with her. So thank you for that.

    The retreat sounds blissful. I am a mama of two boys – one four, one two. Totally get it about the tears. In fact, I was thinking when I first read your note about how the long and difficult 38-hour labor with my first one did not shift until I cried mighty tears. At that point, things began to open up, and my little guy was in my arms a few hours later. Never underestimate the power (and necessity) of a good release.

    Loved reading this this morning – from a fellow practice-collector in Alabama.

  13. Lori
    Posted October 22, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Oh, Andrea. This post resonates so strongly with me. I never thought of motherhood that way before, but it’s so true. Thanks for giving me that. I just love you. I come to your site when I need positivity (is that word?) and encouragement. We are lucky to have your soul in the world.

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  1. By Something Good | A Thousand Shades of Gray on October 21, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    […] Opening the Creative Channel from Superhero Life, in which Andrea Scher talks about the retreat I was lucky enough to […]

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