on making a clearing*

red berries, Sonoma, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Several times a year, usually when I’m sick, I have one particular dark thought, or collection of thoughts I call the hospital fantasy. This happens when you are so overwhelmed with the doing, the worry, the speed and intensity of life that you just want to get off the ride for a while. In the fantasy, I am laid up with something (a sprained ankle?) and I get to finally rest. I am not responsible for anything and other people do things for me… I am aware of how irrational and inappropriate this thought is and I have learned to listen to what it is trying to teach me — slow down sister!

Soon enough though, I get better, the thought fades, and I go back to the way I do things, the way I’ve always done things — don’t stop, hurry up, do more, achieve, excel… And every once in a while, on a really good day, I get a glimpse of the truth. The veil is lifted and I see how driven I am by fear. I see the fire under my tail, how I will run and leap and conquer– the list, the house, even the fun, just to keep the beast at bay. And yet I am always behind somehow, reaching, reaching for something out there, some impossible thing I will never grasp.

Part of my soul work is to find balance, to create a well rounded life where rest, exercise, friends, food and joy are a natural part of my landscape. This cycle of work, get sick, fall behind on work, work harder, get sicker… I just can’t do it anymore.

And then I surf the internet and see what everyone else is doing — the blogs, (how do they write so often?) the Etsy stores, the books published… their pretty houses with dinner on the table every night… and the shame seeps in and the critical voices start howling in my ear. Hurry up, you’re falling behind, you’re blowing it, get your sh*t together…

And then I remember that wait, I am one of those people that others see this way. The superhero character that appears to have it all together, who is doing all that cool stuff (how does she have time for all of that?) and I see how all of these projections are a fiction, something I made up, something we all make up. It is the way we gather evidence, our proof that we are the ones who are not good enough.

It’s not true.

And I’m tired of living as if it is.

I’ve decided to take a break! and I am closing my jewelry shop until March (or perhaps longer) If you have taken the Mondo Beyondo course you might recognize this as my clearing. I am creating space in my life for more richness and more joy. I am creating space to create a home, to nurture myself, my marriage and my family. I am creating space to connect more with my spirit.

I am tired of being a doing machine.

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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. Candice

    Thank you for this post. I so often go out and read blogs and peoples Facebook statuses and think that everyone is out there doing so much and I’m still trying to get a load of laundry done. My downfall is comparing myself to others and even then what I’m comparing isn’t even real. Take care of yourself and all of us who love your jewelry will still be here when you decide you are ready to jump back into it again.

  2. Della

    Oh wow….I thought I was the only one who had these thoughts….it still manages to amaze me how very much alike we all actually are! Good for you for taking the time to do that. Because sooner or later, life does have a way of kicking you in the seat of the pants and you’re then forced to do it. I know I was…whether I wanted to or not. I am getting some really hard life lessons. Best of luck to you on finding your balance…isn’t that the dream we all have?

  3. cath

    Word to that.

  4. Life in Eden

    OMG, I had that exact thought today — “their pretty houses with dinner on the table every night… and the shame seeps in and the critical voices start howling in my ear. Hurry up, you’re falling behind, you’re blowing it, get your sh*t together…”
    My word for the year is supposed to be “acceptance” for this very reason. Accepting that those goals are just not possible at this moment in my life. Perhaps they aren’t real anyway.
    Good for you for maintaining perspective. I still love reading those blogs though, trying to keep inspired to try — just need to keep a dose of salt handy I suppose. 😉

  5. oregoncoastgirl

    bwooonngg…. wow, this resonantes with me so much right now. thanks. take care of you!

  6. ellie

    yep, you are one of those people for some of the rest of us! thanks for everything you write and share with us. Enjoy your break, clearing, and balance!

  7. Sue at nobaddays

    Even though we look different, I think you and I must be twins separated at birth! 😉 We function the same and I could have written this post. And I am so grateful for your wisdom today. I needed to hear it. Thank you.

  8. Michie'

    When my kids were little, if I were to busy to enjoy their bathtime, I knew things were out of wack. Now, if I am too busy to lay on the couch and watch a movie with my head in my husbands lap, I am to busy! Both of these “measuring sticks” have helped me keep my balance. I try not to compare my accomplishments to others. It only matters to the ones closest to me, that they remember that I always had time for fun! “Doing” should never tie into our selfworth.

  9. Megan

    Yes, Andrea, you very much are the *other* person – How does she do it all? Where does she get her creativity? How does she stay so fit?! This admission is good. I would not want to admire someone who is perfect.

  10. orsolya

    I’m so glad my boyfriend (and now fiancé!!!) bought me the joy necklace for chistmas… just in time.
    we’ve been meaning to thank you all along, but kept procrastinating… so THANK YOU, it is lovely and special and…
    anyway, take care.

  11. Carmen

    I love that you shared this with us. I could have written so much of what you wrote. I find myself comparing too often.

  12. Katie @ cakes, tea and dreams

    I definitely hear this…and I hope your clearing opens up wonderful spaces for you.

  13. Colleen

    First of all, I’m soooo glad you are able to recognize that you are looked at by others in this admiring way. I have wondered how you do it all! Second, I can identify very much with your need to create space. As I sit here redoing my resume, one year into a new career (which isn’t all I thought it would be), stressing about where to go next, I realize I really just want to slow down. Once again, I admire how you balance life so well. I wish you a beautiful clearing!
    PS: I’m so glad I ordered my new necklaces this week. 🙂

  14. amy

    thank you for sharing this. lovely, wise words.

  15. Jacqueline

    I think that with this constant look at what others are doing it is a bit intimidating to look within. Keeping up with the Jones-es multiplied by a thousand. Everyone has always done cool stuff, but we didn’t always know about it or feel so connected to it – I think this ads an extra dose of pressure. Unfortunately instead of celebrating all of the creativity I often (and maybe you) feel a little jealous/left out/lost. I love your last statement because you aren’t a machine at all – you are a beautiful woman with a family… and so much more. – Jacqueline

  16. Annie ~ Basic Joy

    Bravo to that! {I have had similar hospital fantasies and knew my life was out of whack when I was sitting in an MRI machine half hoping I had something serious enough to get me out of several obligations. Thought I was the only one!}
    Clearing. I like that. Wishing you lovely space for loving and thinking.

  17. Kristin

    I’m taking a big breath of relief on your behalf. I hope this turns out to be a miracle year for you, where fear really shrinks beyond recognition. Yay for spirit and being!

  18. jill

    Clear away… And I think you’re a SuperHero weather you’re “doing” or “not doing..!”
    Take it easy and we’ll all be here when you come back!!

  19. cjm

    Good for you. I subscribe to the Real Simple quote of the day and today’s was: “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” (Sydney J. Harris) I often feel like you describe in this post but I selfishly hope you’ll check in here at least a few times before March. 🙂 Rest up!

  20. Justina

    Thank you for putting into words the very feelings that have been swimming around in my head! Best of luck to you in your clearing. Looking forward to your jewelry shop opening again (so I can transition from window shopper to proud owner of one of your beautiful pieces).

  21. teachingwithsoul

    So much of what you have written is me. I feel so much like I’ve fallen behind. Will have to ponder your words. Be well as you take rest.

  22. tawnya


  23. Jen Lee

    OMG I have the hospital fantasy, TOO! That is so funny. I love this, and I’m creating my own clearing over here. Holding my little one in my lap while I knit, watching cartoons with the kids instead of running around being “productive”.

  24. Anna

    It is posts like this — actually the realizations behind them and the strength and courage to write them and then ACT — that make you my SUPERHERO — and you always will be. You inspire me on a regular basis with your ability to be human and a superhero at the same time! I carry things that you have written around with me when I am feeling especially vulnerable – so that I can put my hand in my pocket and remember…
    Take as much time and space as you need — lavish your wonderful attention on YOURSELF and your lovely family.
    I, for one, will be here when you get back.
    Sending you lots of love and best wishes for a fruitful clearing!

  25. bistra

    well maybe you should try to find yourself being in the doing thing? when you act consciously you cannot see yourself as a machine…

  26. Daphne

    I know that hospital fantasy well… however, living with someone who has a chronic illness has permanently cured me of wanting any sort of physical ailment (even just in a fantasy). Now I just want people to take care of me while I do nothing… just because. 🙂 I always feel like I’m not doing or being enough… and that’s usually a sign that I’m doing too much!! Have some fun and relish the mess and imperfection (without falling into the trap of saying of needing to create a “perfect imperfection” whatever the $^&@ that is…)

  27. KaceyJane

    It takes a lot to stop and realize that something has to give…. I commend you for actually doing it. I too slip into the never-ending cycle of “do, do, do”… it’s exhausting. But your choice today reminds me that I have SuperHero powers too! Thank you, and I’ll be thinking of you… creating space.

  28. Sheri

    a-frickin-men! thank you, andrea!

  29. pixiemama

    What a wonderful, wonderful idea. Be well.

  30. Bahiehk

    thanks for sharing the truth.
    be well.

  31. emma

    Congratulations for taking this step to nurture yourself. And I look forward to your return, refreshed and reenergized.

  32. Joanne

    Good. For. You !!! I wear one (Angel) of your necklaces every day and every other day someone says something nice about it!

  33. ciarrai

    WOW…..i always thought about how you and all the other amazing women who have these AMAZING blogs/websites/stores….do it…..and to read your blog today………It is very refreshing and REAL…..thank you for being You and honest……
    Take your time…..and spend it with your most valuable assets…….give your little one an extra big hug……He is very lucky to have a mum like you……..

  34. boho girl

    wow, a…
    i so hear you on this and because i am in a similar head space, i think it led me here today.
    i mentioned a wee bit of this on my recent post.
    we are swimming in enoughness!
    {thought that was a bit more creative than “we are enough”}.

  35. Kat

    Oh Andrea! I love your 360 degree perspective of your life, where you can recognise your own views as well as how you are viewed. We all look at ourselves and each other through our lens of perceived lack.
    I also love the way you have recognised how much you give — on your blog, to Mondo Beyondo, in your creative business — and how you are clearing space in order to be able to ask how you can receive.
    Please know that even if you closed your shop for many months or didn’t blog for the rest of the year that you would still be held by so many in love, respect and admiration.
    You deserve everything you want for yourself… and so much more.

  36. Laura

    I am taking — doing — making — not sure of the right word — a “clearing” too, apparently. Taking a break from my writers’ group in order to — hm — actually do some writing. Take care Andrea and enjoy yourself!!

  37. Yolanda

    Your piercing introspection is such a gift and I’m taking it as a gift, on today, my birthday. A day when the universe just might send you a message that you need to pay attention to. Thank you. And good luck on your clearing journey.

  38. michelle

    OMG I have had the exact same hospital fantasy! Isn’t it crazy how we get ourselves into this crazy cycle of needing to do it all. A friend once gave me a button that said “Stress is the glue that holds me together” – sad but in some ways true. I get into these cycles of just.keep.going that have a sure fire way of draining me until I just am exahusted. GOOD FOR YOU! for working to find the balance. It is such a good journey to be on – the journey for balance.

  39. Patricia

    dear Andrea – You have written words that needed to be said and created a change that is authentic to what you need. To top it all off, you share your journey with the rest of us and allow us to share, agree, learn and perhaps follow suit. Superhero indeed!
    Take care – in the best sense of the word.

  40. GailNHB

    May your time in the clearing bring clarity – deeper and truer and delightfully refreshing, beyond all you can imagine.
    Peace to you, dear and beautiful Andrea.

  41. mamie

    ahhh, thank you. thank you thank you thank you.
    i think you know that i am in the mondo class right now and believe me i am loving it. it speaks to me, it makes me look forward to the lesson because i know now was the right time for me to dream.
    but, always a but…my list made me feel extraordinarily tired when i read it last night. so much of it will take something. it will take a little more and right now, well, the right now is kicking my ass.
    you know what i love. i love this post. you are my superhero, but not in a weird elevated on a pedestal way. i have loved reading here from the start because of the vulnerability you express. it makes even a superhero human, you know?
    take your time for yourself. you give so much, you are extending so much and there can only be so much energy. do your dance with the universe and one with matt and one with ben and then one with yourself. you have permission. love. 🙂 a

  42. mamie

    and yeah, i would take a few hospital days myself if i could, and i used to work in them and know how shi**y they really are but still…remote and food on a tray? bring it.

  43. Emily Chow

    Like the rest of the people who have posted comments, I thank you for this post. It was an absolutely refreshing thing to hear because I am sure all of us feel the same way you do. I know that I go through my days thinking that I am not doing enough as I watch my college friends jet off to foreign lands to study and land sweet internships at amazing, reputable companies. I always tell myself it’s OK to slow down and that there’s never a rush to get somewhere or do anything, but there is always that part of me that nags and nags, telling me that I have to keep going and doing to keep up.
    Thank you for your words and your reminder that it is OK, even beneficial, to take a step back and breathe.

  44. creativevoyage

    WEll done for making this decision. I was unable to allow myself for many years to slow down and my body made me as I developed ME/CFS and for a year I could barely do anything. I’m much better and more careful about stepping on the treadmill.

  45. Jena

    We really do have to talk.

  46. Mary

    Oh the tears that come to my eyes as I read your post. I am sorry for your pain.
    Make more space for what you need and know that those folks who read your blog are pulling for you and sending you love.

  47. feva

    Andrea, you did it again. Your post is exactly the one I was meaning to write myself for a long time. Thanks for reminding it to me.
    You are really great 🙂

  48. Julia Jones

    Can’t wait to see what space your in come March! Have fun.

  49. Anna

    Hello Andrea, I know what you mean as I am in exactly the same space. Last year, I decided to take a year, maybe two, to just be, to return, to nurture myself, to listen to my inner voice. As we wear ourselves out, the door opens to things we don’t want… And so I am resting, relaxing, and closing that door. Good luck to you Andrea and take the time your need, it may be longer than you think…

  50. Caroline

    Hallelujah – well said; well done!

  51. sperlygirl

    you are brave and SUPER for the honesty you share here. i admire your decision. we so often forget how to (not to mention what it’s like) to completely unplug and engage (i am so guilty of this – so guilty). wishing you much peace, quiet, and comfort of family & friends. xx s

  52. Cindy

    Good for you, Andrea! Best of luck to you as you nest and listen for directions to the next step on the path. (We’ll miss you, though 🙂

  53. Kelsie

    Good for you Andrea!

  54. Jodi at Joy Discovered

    Wow, Andrea. These words hit me right at my core. I can totally identify with what you are feeling. Have a wonderful break, enjoy the clearing and Yay You! for doing what you need to keep your spirit (and home and family) soaring!!

  55. Swistle

    I have the hospital fantasy too! And also sometimes the prison fantasy: I am in solitary confinement, and the prison library cart visits once a day.

  56. nina beana

    this really struck a cord with me, on many levels. but i just wanted to say that i think you are very brave for writing down what many of us feel, but are too scared to admit.

  57. Sue

    Way to go, Andrea!

  58. Trish

    Bravo Sister.
    Between working, raising children, starting to oversee a major home renovation, moving, potentially adopting a baby, life in general. This merry go round of much to do can get hectic. I have begun to put up boundaries. No is an omnipotent word. I sink into the joy and comfort of those who make me smile. I don’t take phone calls after 8pm at night. I’ve cut out watching the morning news / evening news. I’m reading more, starting to write more. You’re part of the reason why.

  59. Trish

    Bravo Sister.
    Between working, raising children, starting to oversee a major home renovation, moving, potentially adopting a baby, life in general. This merry go round of much to do can get hectic. I have begun to put up boundaries. No is an omnipotent word. I sink into the joy and comfort of those who make me smile. I don’t take phone calls after 8pm at night. I’ve cut out watching the morning news / evening news. I’m reading more, starting to write more. You’re part of the reason why.

  60. Meg

    Good. Also, when you feel up to typing about it, I’d like to hear more about clearing idea/ process.
    You know it’s all fake right? Like really really know? Because I write a lot (obviously), but I continually feel bad about other stuff I’m NOT doing, like reading more on paper, cooking more, relaxing. Yes. I stress about not relaxing enough. And I’ve noticed that the blog world has gotten more like this, and I really dislike it. Back almost ten years ago (WHAT?) when I was just reading you, and whoever you linked to, it was this great honest medium and community. But sometimes lately it feels like bloggers are in this pitched (high pitched, literally) competition to BE MORE DO MORE BE THE BEST HAVE THE BEST HOME HAVE THE PRETTIEST CLOTHES WRITE THE BEST STUFF HAVE THE BEST MARRIAGE BE THE BEST MOMS HAVE THE BIGGEST READERSHIP HAVE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL BLOG KILL KILL KILL THE COMPETITION.
    And what the f*ck? Really? Because if the medium becomes that, then pardon me for saying so, but it f*cking sucks. It’s like digital middle school. So I’m all for LOTS of us opting out. Lets clear, and think about what we actually love about the form, and then do that, right? And ignore the noise. Sucess is fine, I’m not knocking sucess, but I am most definitly knocking the best-ness nonsense.
    Anyway, I’m glad. And if you’re not already doing this as part of the plan PLEASE do some on paper reading. It helps so much. I’m currently reading Michael Chabon’s Manhood for Amateurs, and I just finished Bad Mother by (his wife) Aylet Waldman. And they both made me think you should read them, if you haven’t. Fellow Berkeley parents and all. They are excellent. And reading anything on paper has a way of clearing.
    Anyway. Glad.

  61. amy Komar

    Rest sweet one! Cultivate and harvest your joy!
    You have a wonderful way of expressing authentically & eloquently (even the messy parts) what we all feel ! Thank you!
    As always, YOU inspire me.
    Here’s to scrumptous dinners, days lined in laughter and whole days spent on silliness and going slow!

  62. Jeanne

    Rest, relax and rejuvinate and enjoy your moments with your family.
    These years are more precious than gold.
    Take in and embrace every single minute.
    You will have lots of time to create other masterpieces, but your child is the ultimate. Do as your heart tells you to.
    With much love

  63. Jennifer

    Thank you. I needed the courage you just gave me. I have some things I have wanted to say no to for a while now, and I haven’t gotten around to it because I felt so guilty stepping away before I finished things. You helped me to recognize that leaving the work to someone more capable right now is absolutely the more powerful path, and the one that will allow me to nourish myself and my family.
    Enjoy the clearing. I have been working at it for almost 2 years now (!), and it’s an ongoing process, I think, where we winnow down our lives to their essence and make space for the important things. The peace it provides is so strengthening.

  64. Nina

    This is a wonderful step! I did this about six years ago. I let go of so many things and work responsibilities — I even packed up my little family and moved 2000 miles away. It was one of the best things I’ve done and it made so much more room for better stuff and better jobs. It does creep back, all part of having a “people pleaser” personality, but I’m able to get back to myself much quicker when I start to feel overwhelmed. (And I’ve never started a blog because I’ve never felt together enough, which I know is pure irony. Still, just saying…)
    I wish for you many amazing and beautiful revelations on this part of your journey! xo

  65. Isis

    You speak the truth sister. Thank you for bravely, unapologetically exposing these pieces of fiction – these stories we tell – for what they are. Ha.lle.lu.jah. Yes, yes, and yes. Brava.

  66. michelle

    I visit your blog often but will mostly leave without commenting because I often feel like “I am not as creative as she is” or “if she happens to go to my blog she will be so BORED compared to her life” and on and on….
    ….today I am commenting because I love your photo and I love your words…both made me feel better today…
    …thank you
    ..and I am glad your little boy is feeling better!

  67. Amy

    For years it never occurred to me that there was anyone else in the world other than me that has a hospital fantasy. On really bad, overwhelming days I daydream about a car accident while driving–but only if I am alone. Then the rational me kicks me in the ass and straightens it all out. But that fleeting feeling terrifies me.
    Reading your words, realizing that someone as inspiring as yourself feels like that sometimes too, has me on the verge of tears. Thank you for sharing your perspective. Those feelings don’t have to be scary; they *are* a sign to slow down. Breathe. Just be.
    I’ll remember that next time.

  68. Han

    I have that “fantasy” except mine appears in my dreams.
    I wake up and lie there for a few minutes and have to wiggle my fingers and toes just to make sure that I’m not in pain and that i didn’t break my arm/wrist/ankle/foot/leg which ever it appears as lol.

  69. KellyH


  70. Jillian

    Thank you for being brave enough to admit this in public.
    I always thought I was the only one with this fantasy (which initially starts with me passing out at my horrible job and winding up in the hospital with extreme exhaustion).
    I have always felt shame about this fantasy and never told anyone. Thank you. Thank you, so much for being so brave. You have no idea what mental shift I have made now that I know I’m not the only one.

  71. cindy

    I think it is good to step back and do what is right for you. We are always thinking of everyone but ourselves. I think the hospital fantasy comes to us just as you said to slow down. my motto as of this year is “To thine own self be true” we can be the best when we care for us the best. Bless you and your family cindy

  72. Jamie

    Rest peacefully, Sista!

  73. Kirsten Michelle

    i would really love to hug you right now!
    take care of you, beautiful mama…
    take care of you.xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

  74. another outspoken female

    Yeah! It’s such a good feeling when you get it, isn’t it 🙂
    (aka Gill/Blue group)

  75. Stephanie

    Way to go, Andrea!
    I am so in the same space right now you wouldn’t believe it (i am sitting here typing this with a fever after teaching for 6 hours yesterday) I am into the clearing now also – despite all of my responsibilities and the race for perfection!
    Thank you for this

  76. Samilja

    Good for you, Andrea. This post hits so very close to home. In fact, I had a big helping of the, ‘How does she do ALL of that’ question last night while reading a blog I’ve been avoiding because it tends to draw out the nasty insecurities & critical self-analysis. Then today I came here and, serendipity. Thanks.
    I’m signed up for Mondo Beyondo in March and am really looking forward to it. Until then, happy clearing.

  77. Deanna

    YAY YOU!
    I’m so glad to read this post. Not only am I glad you are taking your own wonderful guidance and using it in your every day life but glad to know that your human. That you and I are a bit more the same. Somehow this post helped me feel more human. These sides of ourselves that we expose like this are pretty amazing and its pretty damn brave of you to do so. Kudos!
    I am facing the fear of going forward with my move and sometimes the fear is great and other times its giddy. But I know no matter what, I am taking the step and that in itself is a sign of such bravery.
    (Its 8 weeks away now and pretty much everything is in place.)
    So when I let the fear go and sit back and look at what I have done and who I have become since August I am amazed. I am admiring myself taking every step moving through and past all that was keeping me still.
    Its a bit like falling of a cliff but I will be elated at where I land.
    I wish the same for you.

  78. wendy

    you go girl!

  79. Marina

    You hit a sore spot, Andrea, and I send you my support – we’d all do a lot better with just simply doing a little less a little more deeply. The thing that resonated most with me is that one about being driven by fear. Fear burns and blurs the contours of precious things. I am more and more convinced that we, and the things we do in our lives, need some space around, very much like pictures. The empty space around a picture is part of the picture itself, it is what gives it breath and accent and intensity. Wish you truly all the best 🙂

  80. Francesca Di Leo

    Hi Andrea. I had to comment. I nearly fell off my chair when I read about your ‘hospital fantasy’. I truly thought I was the only one who did that. And you do it too!! and I’m sure others do it too!! a-ha moment.. I’m not crazy then!
    Now I know why I do this. The same message. To slow down. I need to slow down. And give me some attention. I’ve declared the year 2010 as the year of ME (taking care of me).
    I am saying no to obligations I had this weekend, as my clearing. No to the things I say yes to but really wanna say no. It’ll be my time to destress, take a bath, read, and going to my ‘joy list’ which is pinned to my fridge.
    Thanks Andrea.
    I’m just now starting to pick myself off the floor… wow.

  81. Krista - Becoming Mrs. Dial

    WOW. Amen sister. Thank you for sharing this. I’m gonna do the right thing and share this with some other women I know…I’ve gotta check out this Mondo Beyondo you speak of.

  82. SaraE

    Well said. You have just written what I haven’t been able to put into words. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
    (oh – the hospital fantasy? As a new mama I’d fantasize about escaping to a nearby, quiet hotel room where I would do nothing but sleep. The fantasy of sleep brought tears to my eyes multiple times.)

  83. rachel awes

    andrea, amen to all of your words and spirit! and i was just in the hospital dec. 29/30 and in a crazy way enjoyed it for all the not doings!…in fact, i watched a number of “the office” episodes and what a luxury that was!! it is such a challenge…the more we live into our fullness inside, the more opportunities burst before us…it is such an art to create lines for our needed pasture & pleasure. i wish you deeeeeep peace.

  84. Teresa

    When did just living and being become a bad thing? When did we all get so crazy trying to do and “be” it all? Sounds crazy but I’ve been working on clearing I think for almost a year. I’ve learned to sit quietly and not feel as if I’m missing out or not living to my full potential. Not an easy task for me. Enjoy your time! I will miss your daily words, reflections, observations..photos….they bring me great joy…. but admire, understand and applaud you for taking time to just be — with your family and with yourself. See you on the flip side! 😉

  85. Belinda

    Yay for you!!! I am happy for you that you are taking action..
    I was in the hospital about 2 years ago with an unexplained purple rash and 104 degree fever. As awful as it was, it was my escape from home, my break. My body was trying to tell me to slow down too.

  86. Lisa

    Good for you Andrea!

  87. chele

    Blessings to you
    you inspire in this truth.

  88. kate

    Like everyone said, Bravo brave one.
    A book you might enjoy (library, not buy), feeding your demons. I have had such fun with the idea of transforming that which I fight against into some sort of ally. If you only read the first few pages you’ll “get it”. NO need to role play either, just ask, answer, give and see what happens.
    thinking of you,

  89. Stephanie

    I SO understand this post. I, too, have the hospital fantasy– having people help you without having to ask for it and getting a chance to just catch up on yourself without guilt. I also feel the blog guilt from grandparents and others who want to see more pics of my daughter and be in the loop on everything that’s going on. Sometimes it does feel nice to just make some space for yourself in your own life.
    Thanks for a great post. 🙂

  90. amy rehnae

    yes. i was recently forced into the realization that i had become a doing person instead of a being person. trying to be all things to all people all the time and absolutely nothing to me, while the anger and resentment grew to monstrous proportions. i am working on getting me back, and learning to just be, but i’m afraid it’s too little too late for my love relationship, which is a very hard pill to swallow. but to quote ms. oprah, “when we know better we can do better”. so that’s what i’m a doin’ now! better. and i’m actually ON the list!! i’m never been here before, but i want to say, i am soooo proud of you!

  91. betsybeth

    hi, i am so happy to read this – i am currently living the hospital fantasy (thanks for the kind message) and being forced to stop, completely in my tracks at my busiest time of the work year, when I ‘should’ be doing xyz for my stepson, my partner (and his mother, and my bestfriend (and on and on)… is amazing. Its scary but its also pretty cool. I feel like an old piece of furniture which has been painted and varnished and painted for years and day after day that paint is being taken off and i am being taken back to my natural state, what’s the real me? who i am really when i’m doing doing doing things for other people, trying to impress, making people ‘like me’?…. its hard but I also think know i’ll be a better more honest person when i’m done. So, enjoy your clearing, the world will carry on turning, thank you as always for your inspiration and generosity in sharing your story so honestly…

  92. Marianne

    Bravo Andrea. You are enough, so much more than enough. We are enough and yet still, we try so hard.
    I’m only kicking myself that instead of treating myself to a replacement Joy necklace for Xmas I promised myself one as a gift for finishing the mss and signing with an agent. But of course, I can wait til March (or later).
    That’s the revelation isn’t it? So much of what we hurry to do can wait. What really matters will still be there. The rest, we may discover, we barely even miss.

  93. debbie


  94. pixie

    YAY! this is so good to hear! i’ve just written about this very thing. the DOING. good grief, how will we ever have time for the BEING?
    how brave of you to declare this!

  95. Jen Diamond

    Oh man. Thank you. Thank you for saying how we project all these things. You are right. I project so much success on others and not on myself. I love being connected to people through these newer technological means, and I see how I haven’t created a filter to see how I alter reality for myself. Like, I know I do it with celebrities but what I don’t always hear is how I do it with the blogs I read. I think it is real that I should be able to do all the things I am not doing because someone else it. Thank you Andrea.

  96. Kate

    I’ve been on a jury for a week now. I was so irritated at first, but this week has been a blessing! I get to slow down and think in peace (there’s all that waiting around). I needed it!
    Take your break, my dear! You need it! You deserve it!

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  98. Mike

    Hey. I don’t normally leave comments, but I just wanted to say thanks for the great information. I have a blog too, though
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  99. elizabeth

    I am so glad that you are giving yourself the time you need. (I am also secretly glad that I already have my Joy necklace, which I love immensely by the way).
    And yes, it’s all projections, and it is so good to be reminded of that often. Because it is so doggone easy to forget ..
    Enjoy your clearing!

  100. Tina

    …..and I just found your blog tonight. Well then I must read backwards. Ciao just for now!

  101. k.n.

    Standing Ground by Wendell Berry
    However just and anxious I have been
    I will stop and step back
    from the crowd of those who may agree
    with what I say, and be apart.
    There is no earthly promise of life or peace
    but where the roots branch and weave
    their patient silent passages in the dark;
    uprooted, I have been furious without an aim.
    I am not bound for any public place,
    but for ground of my own
    where I have planted vines and orchard trees,
    and in the heat of the day climbed up
    into the healing shadow of the woods.
    Better than any argument is to rise at dawn
    and pick dew-wet berries in a cup.
    here is to a ground of our own … each and every one of us.

  102. melissa

    Beautifully put. So when you find out the recipe for all that you are planning to do while you take a break… PLEASE put it up on your blog. I would love t know the secret.

  103. HeidiRenee

    Oh how my heart breaks to read these words Andrea. Today last year, 365 days ago my own son was in surgery and we almost lost him. I hear the fear in your words and it echos deep in my soul. Every minute of every day while he was so sick I would have traded my own body for his – I know you know that feeling. Please know I am and will continue to hold you all in the light. He is such a ray of sunshine and I have loved watching him grow from afar. Peace on your family. So happy you found a home – nest, nest, nest.

  104. Jan

    dear andrea,
    what a brave girl you are. and bold. creating a clearing in your life the way you are is awesome…i aspire! i feel the need within me growing as well—the desire is forming…
    meanwhile, i celebrate with you!
    🙂 jan
    hazelnut cottage

  105. Mariellen

    Thank you for this true and wonderful post..and enjoy the break that you are gifting to yourself and your family.

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