Mondo Beyondo 2009

Vision graffiti, Berkeley, CA, Canon Rebel Xti

I’ve been hiding, it’s true.

And I’ve totally been holding out on you on the Mondo Beyondo thing. My apologies! The good news is that it’s not too late! And if you are like me and you haven’t come up with your list yet, or if you made your list and haven’t looked at it since, then the timing is actually perfect, isn’t it?

The truth is, I haven’t felt all that magic lately. And I wondered how I could talk Mondo Beyondo with you all when I was feeling so unmagic myself. I can see now that it really is okay to have a little cynicism, wonder about your power to create your life and fall down the gremlin rabbit hole once in a while. This stuff still works anyway.

Perfect example: Just a few weeks ago, I finished reading Peggy Orenstein’s beautiful memoir about her infertility quest, Waiting for Daisy. Her story resembled my own in so many ways: the obsession, the unimaginable lengths you are willing to go, even down to some of the doctors she saw (who I recognized immediately even though the names were changed) She had a much better sense of humor than I did, but I felt a kinship with her and a comfort in reading her words that I treasured. I thought, Wouldn’t it be fun to meet her…

This became a little game I played, looking for Peggy Orenstein. Since she spoke about living in Berkeley at the time she wrote the book, I would be walking through the aisles of the Elephant Pharmacy and think, maybe she’s right around this corner! On a long walk on a fire trail the thought would find me again… What if she walked up this hill right now? Then I started interviewing myself, What would you say to her? Why do you want to meet her? What is important to you about it?

And then, two weeks later, the email came.

A friend who I hadn’t seen in a while asked if I wanted to take her ticket to an event that coming weekend. She had unexpected houseguests and couldn’t make it. Would I like to meet Peggy Orenstein?

You should have seen my gleeful, shocked, delighted, amazed face as I stared at my computer screen. The event was a book club night with five women and Peggy Orenstein talking about Waiting for Daisy at a private home in Oakland. I must have done some kind of ridiculous happy dance in my office.

I got my mojo back people.

As I contemplate this inauguration day, I see how it is the ultimate Mondo Beyondo moment. Was this ever literally on Barack Obama’s list? Was it ever written down, or was it daydreamed and imagined on walks in the woods, or chatted about in hushed tones in a cozy bed at night with his beloved Michelle? Was it in the wild imagination of a grandmother or a friend? or did this wish grow in the hearts of the people who had a vision for him that he didn’t fully imagine himself?

As we celebrate today, let’s allow it to remind ourselves that so much more is possible than we ever imagined. Let’s have this year be the year that we imagine it, and create even more extraodinary lives. Jen Lemen and I have a Mondo Beyondo surprise for you that we’ll announce in the coming weeks. If you are inspired though, we’d love to see you begin your lists right here in the comments. Perhaps you would like to choose a word or phrase as a theme for your year.

Happy Inauguration Day! Yes we can…

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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. Trish

    Sweet Andrea,
    I’ll be the first to post. Gladly. The word that immediate comes to mind for me in 2009 is renewal. I’ve been on the pursuit of a second pregnancy since July 2006. Three RE’s and clinics later, a multitude of acupuncture appointments, a miscarriage and a vast sea of tears I’m still standing convinced that I’ll conceive this child and soon. I don’t know what propels me forward. A friend who has counseled me just emailed me this poem:
    Wide eyed
    Wide eyed
    and hopeful
    that my womb
    will bear
    untold treasures
    Wide eyed
    and hopeful
    that I will feel
    the sweetness of love
    Wide eyed
    and hopeful
    but sure
    that I will know
    the dawn
    of a new creation
    by Milliande
    My friend Maria wrote me: “If you can dream it, it can happen – there is always hope
    You have my continued love,

  2. siobhan

    A beautiful post Andrea! Although a Brit living here in the depressed and beaten down UK, I avidly watched todays momentous events and when my boys came home from school we talked about life and opportunity and the power of dreams.
    I want my boys to have that fantastic American can-do attitude, it’s coming sure, but shaking off that British reserve isn’t easy 🙂
    I’ve read them your post and we’ve decided our theme this year is going to be Live Every Moment.

  3. Jolie

    I was wondering what was happening with Mondo Beyondo. I’m so glad to see this on this day of all days. Posting my Mondo Beyondo list here ties me to everything else that’s happening today… to this “era of responsiblity” that we’re embracing as a nation.
    Ok, so here goes. My “Mondo Beyondo” for 2009
    Make a soul tribe in a new place.
    Become a vegan (or at least veganish)
    Deal with some of my ever-present issues in new ways. (I’ve titled 2009 as “the Year of Self-discipline.” Meaning, I’d like to acquire some. )
    And my most Mondo Beyondo goal…
    To be a real live working artist by the end of the year.
    That’s a scary thing to put out there. I’m clicking the post button before I can delete this.

  4. Sandra

    I KNEW you had been hiding 🙂 I’m glad you’re back. It’s interesting to me how such things can come across even to people who don’t know you, and in print.
    My words are FRIENDS, because I want to make some new ones this year, and SASS, because that’s the word that conjures up how I feel when I’m at my most creative and most myself.
    I’d also like to travel to Mexico, go to Squam, and paint, sing, dance and write lots (more).
    I’d also like to eat more veggies 🙂

  5. Belinda

    My mondo beyondo list, which appears to change rapidly every year, is:
    1) Become self-sufficient entirely – grow my own food, generate my own energy, make all my clothes, furniture etc. The direct association of living life to keep alive keeps intriguing me when I am looking for a purpose.
    2) Eat entirely healthily (helped by number 1), don’t think of cake as a staple food group.
    3) Sail to Canada on my own boat. Become a yacht-master.
    4) Sing in public for the first time and enjoy it. [This correlates with my MB list from 2008, which I’ve just found!]
    5) Go mushing.
    6) Become an artist…mentally or physically – preferably both. Send piece of art to Andrea Scher to thank her.
    7) Say goodbye to a lot of heart-ache from the past. Start afresh.
    And just because it is today: Can I do all this? Yes, I can!

  6. Jen Diamond

    Hey you!
    May I be so bold as to assert, you never lost your mojo! Sometimes though we don’t feel it’s presence as much as other times, thus creating a challenge for us to live inside of said magic. However, when one points her mojo in a direction the mojo abides as it always will. You are the creator, even when you are in the hole, no? The hole is yet another opportunity to reorient ourselves where we are right now! You are the Mondo Beyondo Magic Maker. Thank you for sharing even when you aren’t present to it. It is those moments that show us how you get yourself back and light a way for all of us.
    So much love for you!

  7. Mel

    LOVE Mondo Beyondo and still loving your blog after reading it for 4 years.
    I have two aims in 2009 – to obtain a publishing contract for my novel(s) and for my loved ones and I to have a happy, healthy, successful year.
    Best of luck to all you superheroes out there.

  8. mamie

    would it be weird to say here that i am not quite ready yet? things are swirling and stewing and shifting and i cannot pick where to start. but the list will come, soon…

  9. Rebecca

    Well then, ok. What a perfect day for Mondo Beyondo!
    2008 has been pretty mondo beyondo anything I would’ve guessed at a few years ago. This year it is time to:
    – sign an agent that’s really right for me and launch a couple of big writing projects.
    – to spend weeks and weeks in a dry climate. Cyprus? Arizona? Dubai? Boulder? Don’t know yet. And have it be a biz expense. I see a workshop, consulting gig or writing contract coming up!
    – re-create communities of women friends. I just sent in my Squam app and a friend of 15 years will apply too. It’ll be her first trip away from her baby and the first time we’ve spent quality time together in years and years. What a treat!
    – to get in great shape and nurture and care for my body. I will join (and got to) a gym and probably a detox/cleanse in Switzerland or Austria…
    And the really, really Mondo Beyondo: by this time next year I want to have money and clarity enough to either initiate adoption proceedings or be complete that I will not have children.
    Ugh. That last one caused a sharp intake of breath.
    I see healthy women creating in 2009! Thanks!
    Rebecca in Switzerland

  10. rowena

    I think I’ve been afraid of this list, too, as I avoid it every time it comes up, so here goes.
    1. Finish my book, get an agent, a publisher and a three book deal.
    2. Find home, preferably one with a great creative neighborhood, an enclosed yard/garden, a w/d, a dw, and room for a studio.
    3. Be a part of a vibrant creative community and have a circle of soul friends again.
    4. Have my esty shop up and running and profitable and otherwise make real money out of my art.
    5. Get a grant to continue my art, writing and teaching.
    6. Begin creation of my own creativity retreat. (this is the long range, big goal, and I’m putting it down for 2009, because it’s mondo beyondo.)
    My word for this year is BUILD, with a secondary word of ABUNDANCE.

  11. tanaya

    Remarkably, I put my list together this afternoon. After the inauguration, but before reading your post!
    I can’t wait to hear what surprise you & Jen have in the works. My list (as of today):
    ~This is the year that I will write my book (that is the first time that I have EVER admitted that “out loud”).
    ~I will find a way to photograph my soul.
    ~Someone will describe me as both elegant and eloquent.
    ~I will re-define life, as you know it.
    ~This year will include laughter and dancing.
    ~I will lose my fear, my inadequacies, my inner-cynic and my hesitation.
    ~My “tribe” will begin to form. They will find me and we will stir something in each other.
    ~This year will become the foundation in which my future is built upon.

  12. Jen

    Mondo Beyondo… what a wonderful concept.
    took me about 15 minutes just to get these first words down.
    these are very mondo beyondo
    – I will look into someone’s eyes, see their soul, and tell them I want to be with them always, while they are doing the same back to me.
    – I will I will help people for my job, my business, my very own company.
    maybe not so mondo, but feeling beyondo at the mo…
    – I will do what I need to do for myself, to make sure I’m healthy. I will listen and act on the “good mom” in me.
    – I will feed myself. but not just feed, nourish, really nourish myself with food and love and creativity and just being ok.
    Wow. I hadn’t realized how the word “feed” would hit me.
    thank you so much for this amazing opportunity, and for your honesty and truth and love.
    As my wonderful friend Jacqueline said; “Here’s to a super-fine 2009!”

  13. Puanani

    Wow on the manifesting meeting Ms. Orenstein! Well done, you.
    Okay, here goes:
    Start an art program for children in Africa or India
    Found a small Waldorf school by the sea
    Live in the moment
    Spend a year painting in Italy
    Find a community service project/job that inspires me
    Paint more and for a living
    I know how you were feeling before and I was feeling the same way, sometimes I still do. But I am painting and creating now and feel better…

  14. celisa

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this as well…in the recent years i’ve been learning, growing, branching out…so my theme in these years have been about being more creative, living my truth, being brave, etc.
    This year for me is about bringing all of those things together…integrating them all to become this beautiful mosaic piece of art so to speak. to take my past, my present, and my future, and just let them be what they were, are, and will be. i plan on taking what i have learned and running wild with it…being colorful, silly, embracing what i love….who i love…this life and those in it. this year more than any other i feel more connected …more aware of being intertwined with those around me…and i’m more open and willing to share who i am and who others are. so i suppose this year will be about me taking more of an active role in living, not just for myself but for those around me. integrating myself and what i believe into a bigger community.
    2008 brought my 30th year of being alive, several moves to new homes, a newly elected hopeful president (yay!!)…so much. so hopefully 2009 will be even more grand!

  15. kim

    I will be inspired by hope rather than fear.

  16. Brian

    I started to think about making my list a couple weeks ago and to be honest, it scared me. How could I think about goals and the future when I don’t even know what I want for dinner.
    When you hadn’t posted about it, I thought I was off the hook and could bury my head in the sand for 2009.
    But here we are. Andrea, I am SO glad you did post Mondo Beyondo again. It is just what I needed.
    Thank you.

  17. Anshu

    my phrase for the year is centering circles. i love the idea of full circles and i believe when we have those “full circle” moments we are centered.

  18. creativevoyage

    I’m sorry you lost your mojo and glad that you have got it back ! I used the idea of the mondo Beyondo in my creative coaching group (crediting you of course!) and it went down a storm.

  19. Dreamy

    I feel so hopeful and full of inspiration just reading this post and all the comments. Thank you all for lifting my spirits and spreading the magic! My word for 2009 is honesty. To be very truthful to myself and others and make decisions and set goals without letting the ego get in the way.
    I started out this year with a long list of everything I wanted to do in 2009. Then two days ago I removed all the points except for three: complete my PhD, get control over my financial situation, travel to another country at the end of the year with my beautiful friend. It is so easy for me to think that I have to take 10 steps forward (if possible at the same time) to make up for lost time, when in reality one step is enough. One step in the right direction. This year is about taking one step. Of course I want to write and make art and play with my camera and learn another language and do lots of yoga and educate myself in so many different areas and get involved in community service…and I may still do all this – after all, it is how I relax and have fun – but not to a point where it takes the focus away from the one step that I really need to do to move on with my life. I am so excited about freeing up this space! I already feel lighter:)

  20. Dreamy

    woops…I submitted the wrong email adr when I posted my previous comment… 🙂

  21. Heather

    My word for the year is “fearless” and my Mondo Beyondo list is on the little video on my blog.

  22. D

    So glad you got your mojo back. It’s not good to be without it for too long. But often good to loose it for a bit so that you appreciate it when you get it back.

  23. stacy

    you definitely have some mojo, mama.
    i actually did a mondo beyondo list early this month. a crazy one.

  24. sara

    1. get a job that uses my talents (please let it be going to grad school and getting a counselor degree!)
    2. take care of my body and celebrate its beauty
    3. do what makes my heart happy
    4. create a loving network of support and creativity
    5. say yes more
    my word for the year is “fearless”

  25. sara

    1. get a job that uses my talents (please let it be going to grad school and getting a counselor degree!)
    2. take care of my body and celebrate its beauty
    3. do what makes my heart happy
    4. create a loving network of support and creativity
    5. say yes more
    my word for the year is “fearless”

  26. Glad Doggett

    I love the Mondo Beyondo idea. Thanks for letting me play:
    It is my intention to find people like me from all over the world and connect with them in meaningful ways.
    It is my intention to exercise my body and eat food that helps me stay healthy and in shape.
    It is my intention to find my calling and love it, believe it and live it.
    It is my intention to live a life of joy, abundance, success and peace.
    My word for the Year is “Abundance.” It’s already revealed itself to me in so many small, yet amazing ways.
    Blessings ~~ G

  27. Pina

    I have chosen a word ‘completion’ for this year. I made no plans, I will appreciate every single thing that will be accomplish this year.

  28. Esther

    Beautiful post!
    I think my word for this year is JOY.

  29. happylittleatom

    True. That’s my word for the year. I’ve really enjoyed your posts, lately, as I am also reconfiguring my creative life, trying to figure out how to earn money, should I do the MFA, what is my true work, etc. This year, I’d like to not only have amazing goals, I’d like to also make sure they’re true. Authentic.I can crank through anything. But can I stay true and do the work that really matters? (Yes, I can!)

  30. Sara Ellen

    I’ve been waiting for you to blog about Mondo Beyondo because I finally mustered up the courage to write one this year! Here it is:
    Be my own boss. Open a greeting card shop and craft workshop. Visit all 50 states. Run a marathon. Live in a loft in a major metropolitan city. Take last minute vacation deals seriously. Learn to play piano. Learn to speak three languages fluently. Retire in a villa in Mexico. Camp in the many National Parks. Finish the renovations on our Arts & Crafts style house. Never stop learning. Be grateful for what we have. Enjoy each day to the fullest. Give as often as we can to needy causes. Inspire others to do their best.

  31. Elizabeth

    wow– Andrea– this was the EXACT thing I needed to read today as my mojo has been MIA, also. thank you so much for sharing the gamut and the details! SO helpful. Totally uplifting!
    Bisous, Elizabeth

  32. Surcie

    This topic has always been my very favorite thing about your blog. Thanks for not giving up on it. I’m glad your mojo is back!

  33. Vela

    I love the Mondo Beyondo.
    1. To give birth to a beautiful, healthy, happy baby in May.
    2. To stay open and patient to all Motherhood and Parenthood will bring.
    3. To find a way to still sneak creativity into my days.
    4. To feel inspired to finish the book dummy this baby inspired even before he/she was a reality.

  34. Vela

    I love the Mondo Beyondo.
    1. To give birth to a beautiful, healthy, happy baby in May.
    2. To stay open and patient to all Motherhood and Parenthood will bring.
    3. To find a way to still sneak creativity into my days.
    4. To feel inspired to finish the book dummy this baby inspired even before he/she was a reality.

  35. Anita

    I can’t wait to see what you and Jen are announcing! I have been fascinated the last couple of years how writing my list has given me proof of the power of prayer (which I believe my list is – the little written prayers of my heart).
    Two of the things on my list this year are already coming to pass…the launch of my new brand and helping others do the same…and to that end there is a contest on my blog right now where the prize is a new logo design for the winner!
    Thanks for all you do! You ROCK!

  36. dani keith

    i aspire to find grace, that is definately my word for the year. i hope to find in great and small things and most importantly within myself.
    thanks for all of your inspiration!

  37. Laura Neff

    Why is it that the things we hold most dear and want so badly can also be the things about which we are most terrified?
    When I read your Mondo Beyondo post from last year, the line that jumped out was “Are you nervous? You should be. This list should be a bit dangerous. It should make you feel a little shy and excited. Butterflies abound.”
    My intention for this year is to get pregnant, carry to term, and be a mom with my amazing husband by my side, being the amazing dad he’s ready to be.
    Eeeeeee-ow that’s so scary to write, and I’ve got a lot of gremlin work to do around it. We’ve been on this journey toward parenthood for six years now, and the gremlins have made up their minds that it’s not happening.
    But maybe…
    This is the year. Mondo Beyondo! Towanda! Carpe Diem!!!
    Thank you, Andrea, for creating a space here where such sacred things can be whispered, admitted, and shouted from the rooftops.

  38. Vivienne

    I adore you Andrea. You are magic and just made me FEEL on this VERY super cold morning in Edmonton, Canada. Thanks. 🙂

  39. Marianne

    Yay! I love that story and I’m so glad that it came at just the right moment for you (of course they always do, don’t they, if we are willing to let them?)
    I’m taking an especially non-linear approach to my wild dreaming this year, a lifetime of being an overachiever on all my lists has generated some kind of internal rebellion just for now. But gently, quietly, today reading you post I realise that I can make the list, as long as it doesn’t become a task master or a rule book.
    Thanks, as always, for your truth. x

  40. Laura

    this is my year of conquering fears. thank you for giving me the opportunity to say it, acknowledge it, and begin the journey of living it.
    it’s never too late to start the day over. or the year. happy new year!

  41. jenn

    thank you…

  42. afteneinc

    Hello !!!
    check this out my notgeile nutten
    Best Regards from Italy

  43. afteneinc

    Hallo !
    check this here privat chat
    Kind Regards from europe

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