bigger than the sum of its parts

Denise, Swirly, Jen, Santa Monica, CA, Canon Digital Rebel Xti

I am learning that you can create so much more in collaboration than you can alone. I first started seeing that with Shutter Sisters. I’ve gone it alone with my business and site for so long, it was such a delight to be asked to collaborate. Even though I could only commit to making a small contribution, that’s exactly the point. Each sister doing one thing they do best creates something even greater than the sum of its parts.

When I was asked to teach a workshop in New Hampshire this September I was thrilled. It was an easy yes, I had so many ideas about what to teach, but I was also afraid. Me in front of a classroom? for three days in a row? I’m one of those people who gets really nervous in front of a group, my voice gets a bit shaky and I struggle to stay in my body. I was up for the challenge, but was holding this workshop as a big personal challenge, something to conquer, hopefully with grace.

Everything changed when Jen Gray asked if she could be my assistant. Really? I marveled. “All three days,” she went on. I was so delighted I wanted to shriek with joy. The thought of someone I knew and loved by my side each day changed everything. Teaching didn’t sound so scary anymore, just fun. I didn’t have to spend so much energy now on preparing my state of mind and could just focus on how magical we could create the class to be.

My aim for going to LA last week was both to see my creative girls and also to try out some exercises and ideas for the workshop. Once again, I was amazed at the support I received, how committed and focused they were on participating fully, offering feedback and giving me tons of encouragement as a facilitator. They all also said that they were going to sign up and be there with me! I had to fight that part of me that felt unworthy, that wanted to thank them over and over again or felt I owed them for how much they gave…I had to remind myself to simply receive. I also had to shake that part of me that was attached to this project being hard and challenging. I felt a little like I was cheating. You mean it’s okay to have your friends by your side? It’s okay for it to feel safe and fun?

Each one of my friends brings out something a little different in me. Some bring out my quiet side, some make me feel silly, some make me dream bigger. I noticed that spending time with these ladies made me feel more lighthearted, confident, and powerful… They brought out the storyteller in me, the wild girl, and the passionate artist. In only a few days, we created so much more than I could have imagined.

We are each so amazing, so full of gifts, stories and strength. Together we are even bigger and more beautiful. And it’s a heck of a lot more fun.

P.S. The new superhero photo challenge is up at Shutter Sisters. Check it out!

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.


1 Comment

  1. oprolevorter

    I have been checking out many of your articles and i can claim pretty good stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your site.


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