Mondo Beyondo One year later*

Caterpillar, Inverness, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

It has been one year since we launched our first Mondo Beyondo e-course And we are so proud of what has unfolded, both for ourselves and for our students.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Mondo Beyondo list, we make a list of the most outrageous things we can dream of having in our lives… Where would you like to travel? What would you like to learn? Who would you like to meet? What would you like to cultivate? Where would you like to grow? By stretching ourselves into new territory this way, we calibrate our sense of what’s possible and uncover dreams we didn’t know we had. The process is intuitive and inspiring and serious magic tends to unfold from these sessions. Real life magic.

Since the first session I have suggested, “have Alice Waters teach me to cook” as one of my examples of something outrageously wonderful to dream of. Her famous restaurant Chez Panisse is in my neighborhood and her renowned Edible Schoolyard is down the street from my house. We swim in Alice Waters so to speak. 😉 I was surprised when I wrote it down because I never knew that learning to cook was a dream of mine. It was one of those dreams that surfaced from somewhere deep in my psyche and I have been curious about it all year.

Lesson #1, Simple pasta, caramelized onion, garlic, olive oil, parsley, basil, Berkeley, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

A year later, a wonderful new friend and I hatched a scheme. We would do a trade. She would get coaching and I would get a lesson in canning my favorite early girl tomatoes. This plan then got a bit more elaborate when she recently offered to come to my house to teach me the fundamentals of cooking, a curriculum she is building, and one which I am grateful to be the guinea pig.

As I grocery shopped for our first lesson yesterday, I remembered that she used to be a chef at Chez Panisse, Alice Waters restaurant. My Mondo Beyondo dream had come true! in an even better package: in the form of Samin and a wonderful new friendship.

nesting dolls, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

One of the things I’ve learned in the process of teaching Mondo Beyondo this year is that some dreams live inside other dreams. Ideas that might seem outrageous or unnecessary actually have deeper, more precious dreams living inside of them. I get the image of nesting dolls. Inside my more outrageous dream of cooking with Alice Waters lived my dream to learn to cook simple, beautiful food. Inside that dream lives a dream that is about community and connectedness, nourishing family and tradition, and having more simple joy and pleasure in my life.

This Mondo Beyondo dream of learning to cook is like a missing puzzle piece… and with it, I am beginning to see the larger picture of my life more clearly. I am creating home.

Ben’s happy toast, Berkeley, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

Our fall Mondo Beyondo session begins August 30th! We’d love to have you dreaming with us! You can register here.

And if you have taken Mondo Beyondo in the last year, what has unfolded for you? New jobs? other adventures? We would love to know how you are doing!

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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. Elizabeth

    Oh, Andrea, I love this! I love the idea of thinking about some of my items a little deeper and seeing if there is something behind the item itself that I can connect with. Especially for ones that I tend to think are more in the future ..
    Come to think of it, eating at Chez Panisse would be on my list.
    I’m so glad your Mondo Beyondo dream came true!

  2. Jolie

    Yay Andrea! So fun!
    I’ve said it before, but I can’t recommend the Mondo Beyondo course enough. It was an amazing experience, and I feel so priveliged that I got to be part of the inaugural session!
    Since last August, I’ve made lots of big and small steps and I’m starting to actually really make a living as an artist– which is a huge Mondo Beyondo for me.
    Thanks again!

  3. cynthia

    yay yay yay! i can smell the deliciousness in this image and in this post.
    one of my mondo beyondo dreams is coming true, i am currently creating a clearing in my house, to sell it and move to the interior of British Columbia!
    home. it’s a biggie.

  4. stefanie renee

    So very happy for you and your cooking 🙂 and for your year of Mondo Beyondo!
    What has unfolded for me??? QUITTING MY JOB!!! yahooooooo!

  5. amy branger

    I now have a wonderful group of local friends I met through the first Mondo Beyondo class. We see each other every month and have kept the spirit of Mondo Beyondo alive here in Boston.
    Thank You!

  6. Caroline

    It took you almost 40 years to understand that home cooking is part of life? It is astonishing to me how you guys blow every normal, daily act into something special that you seem to just have discovered. All that self finding nonsense, you are just out of touch with real life.

  7. Katherine

    Yum to your gorgeous pasta dish.
    I have struggled MANY years trying to figure out my place in the working world. I knew the few things I kept trying weren’t working (each involved sitting behind a desk for 8 hrs a day working for someone else doing things that bored me). But I couldn’t figure out what I could do to get out!
    While doing Mondo Beyondo, a little dream that I was somewhat aware of quietly sat on the page amidst alot of other louder things. But one day it spoke up, louder than the rest, and as I let it take up more space in my thoughts, I realized this was IT. There were no “yeah but’s” or “nuh uh’s” or yucky gremlin slogans trying to cut me off. I finally knew what my path was to be (after 20 years of struggling)…a dog trainer is what I’m studying now to be!!! And I haven’t been THIS excited about anything in my life…ever! 🙂

  8. amy z

    Mondo Beyondo was, well, just that. Mondo Beyondo! Since the course I have found a new job (working with wonderful people in a rewarding, fun atmosphere…completely opposite of my last place) and am open to new possibilities. I am traveling a lot more, having just now discovered that I really, really love to travel. And I’ve started down the path of creating the me I really want to be…which includes eating healthier (a long-term commitment) and a great new haircut (instant gratification!). All in all, I think it’s fair to say that my life is unfolding in ways I never thought possible before, and I love it. Thank you!

  9. Carole

    Celebration and paying attention to small joys and victories are certainly not unrealistic, petty nor silly ways to live. Taking the time to criticize another person’s victories, however small, will do nothing but highlight your own bitterness and you will be a very difficult person to be around. We are not able to see what important things may be behind someone’s dream or small victory.
    Andrea, I am so happy for your discovery of your love of cooking! Just this past year I also have discovered Alice Waters and have been embracing changing how I cook. It has helped me to reach my Mondo Beyondo goal of losing 20 pounds and I am very near to finally having a healthy BMI. This is major for me as a cancer survivor and will decrease the risk of reoccurence. Already, my latest CT scan has come back clear and I have lost fatty deposits in my liver. Habits are like a drop of water – might not seem like a big deal, but keep them going, and they are able to bore a hole through stone.
    There are so many ways that Mondo Beyondo was a great jumpstart for me, I can’t post them all here.

  10. rachael maddox

    andrea~this was lovely! it’s so good to hear… i’ve been thinking a lot about a year since mondo beyondo! i wrote about my experience with learning to feel safe here:
    thanks for all you offer the world. you’re a seriously illuminating force.

  11. nina

    Love, love, love that happy toast! I’m in the middle of moving, clearing things out, making way for those Mondo Beyondo dreams. Thanks for always being an inspiration! xo

  12. Rebecca in Switzerland

    Wow! Has it really been a year? Thank you for this post and opportunity to reflect.
    The year didn’t go how I wanted it to. I wanted to do what you’re doing: make a HOME. Instead my husband left me. Ugh.
    That’s ok… he didn’t want to make a home… and he is following his own path. Now I am free to find someone who wants HOME like I do. Oy I resisted for a long time, though, and tried to make him stay (not even sure why now).
    (How’s this for a transition:)
    I went inside mainland China this year. That was pretty cool. Never in a million years thought I would do that.
    Helped Maggie Doyne raise the money for a much needed car, and connected many, many other changemakers (like Jen w/Renu & Subhash) who are now forging their owns bonds and communities. Am proud of that.
    Learned how to get major sponsors! and got really clear about who I am in the world (and who I am not). That is immeasurable.
    Some dreams take longer than others, too… the ones for me about publishing, etc. I am still not sure which story I want to tell.
    The dreams are gestating, I think. And mainly this year has been about clearing out all the NOT RIGHT things so the RIGHT things can come in.
    Thanks again for this. It’s great to look back and see what I’m learning along the way…

  13. Meg

    Remember the FIRST Mondo Beyondo lists you had us make? The ones in 2004? Well, I crossed off one of the last (!!) items on Saturday night – a trip to Italy. I think it’s nesting dreams were about rest and rejuvenation, and remembering how it feels to be really alive (and that absolutely includes some crying and mess, mixed with the amazing). And about adventuring. That might be the most important one.
    Anyway. How crazy is it that it’s one of my LAST things from my 2004 list?? That’s pretty insane, no?

  14. Sophie

    Mondo beyondo is responsible for me moving to Australia next week (gulp) to start my PhD!

  15. Mel R

    I love the idea of dreams living within dreams. So true. Wishes can manifest in many unexpected ways.
    My Mondo Beyondo was to find an agent and secure a publishing deal. I’m not there yet, but I have a full manuscript out with an agency and I’m feeling more like an author every day. Thanks for the support!

  16. Jenna

    Gosh, I can’t BELIEVE you didn’t figure out that home cooking thing yet! Just kidding! I CAN’T WAIT to take your course. I keep wondering what it is I might dream up. BUT I can’t do it JUST yet, so PLEASE keep offering sessions all year. My dream right now is to take Mondo Beyondo within the year!!

  17. LauraC

    I recently left a thank you on Jen’s blog. Mondo was a life-changing experience. I was always good at setting goals and go after the goals, but taking it to the next level has been exactly what I needed to do.
    Here is what I’ve done in the first half of the year:
    The rest of this year is crazy: two Warrior Dashes, a boudoir photo shoot in Vegas, family beach trip, and the continuation of my photography journey.
    My big Mondo is to walk away from my job and become a photographer. Before Mondo, I told myself it was crazy to give up a lucrative software career for something anyone can do. After Mondo, I feel inspired daily in my photography journey.

  18. Catherine

    ok – that dream of yours – learning to cook is one of my mondo beyondo dreams and I didn’t know it until I read yours. Seriously – I’ve been talking and talking about how to make that happen in my life and now I know – I MUST put it on my MB list RIGHT NOW!!
    I see cooking classes in my future!
    hmmmmm- my birthday is next week – That and guitar lessons are happening !
    So – for me – Mondo Beyondo was AMAZING.
    I started my Etsy site
    learned how to sillkscreen and made silkscreened journals and sold them with my prints and now I’m going to add photographs.
    It was a BIG step for me to get that going.
    I also started leading my photography retreats and had a very successful retreat in Oregon at that magical beach house you know so well! And we plan to go back next June and some of the past participants are coming back! Can’t wait!!
    The blog got revamped, I learned to nap and rest and play again, working on creating community both online and in person and finding my tribe.
    And yes I have put YOU Andrea on my list of people in my tribe. So there!
    oh that made me tear up. I am so grateful to you.
    For so many reasons.
    MB helped me to be even more transparent, take more leaps, be more loving toward myself, and give myself a break.
    I took that course TWICE – it’s THAT good.

  19. kelly g

    i took the first mondo beyondo class when i was in a rut, and not feeling good about myself, and looking for anything that would help. without really realizing it, i took the first class even though the middle week i was camping and off of the internet grid. then when we got back from camping my husband ended up in the hospital for a week with heart problems. it was a scary time, and i didn’t really think i got anything out of the class. i missed most of it, and i was overwhelmed, and felt weird and alone.
    Fast forward to today. I just happened to find my original Mondo Beyondo notebook from the class, complete with my first list, earlier this morning. and i accomplished some huge things on that list. I teared up a little as i read them. I quit my day job that was sucking the life out of me, even though at the time i never thought i could. I moved cities. I improved and deepened my relationship with my husband. I’m doing what i love, trying to start my own business, and i’m much happier with myself. I visited san francisco. i’m meeting new people, making new friends, and realizing I very much do have a tribe. I’ve really forgiven people who needed to be forgiven.
    Now granted, I still haven’t made millions, been to all of the continents, prevented AIDS in africa or become comfortable in a bathing suit, but there’s still time for these things.
    And then, i just happened to read this post today too. so thank you! and now to make another list…

  20. Bahiehk

    Thanks Andrea…
    This makes me feel like reflecting back on my Mondo Beyondo journey…
    I promise I will try very hard to make some time for it… And maybe even write a post about it.
    Thanks for the nudge!!
    And for being the awesome you that you are. 🙂
    All the way from Latin Americaaaaaa (believe me, it doesn’t get Mondo Beyonder than my recent move to Ecuador!). much love.

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