A 10 minute walk can do wonders*

hot pink dahlia, Berkeley, CA, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

I’ll admit. I was a bit of a curmudgeon during our Indian summer heat waves here in Berkeley over the last few weeks. I am 37 weeks pregnant and my body is like an incinerator. I can’t even sleep next to my husband anymore! I’ve taken to sleeping out in the converted garage with all the windows and doors open and sometimes a fan going as well. If there weren’t so many raccoons in the neighborhood, I would probably just sleep outside. Anyway, I have been delighted with the coming of fall and the crisper air it brings.

After a long day at my desk yesterday, I realized I hadn’t been outside yet and it was almost 5pm. I grabbed my camera and started walking (I can only go around the block these days but it was wonderful!) The air was cool, the magic hour light was dreamy, and the dahlias are still blooming. It was literally, like a 10 minute walk, but it changed my day. It was a gift.

One of the things I remember learning when I became a new mom was that I wasn’t going to have big sprawls of time anymore to indulge in my creative life. It would have to be in little bursts, an hour here, 45 minutes there. And I learned that that was often enough.

Don’t wait until you can paint all day. Don’t wait til you have time for a long hike. Don’t wait until the perfect moment. Just get outside, even for five minutes. Even right outside your door, right in your neighborhood that on the surface looks very ordinary and unexciting. Bring your camera (or your most awake eyes) and find what magic there is to find. It made all the difference yesterday.

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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. sue at nobaddays

    Thanks for the reminder … and that’s one lovely dahlia!

  2. Megan

    I often send myself out for walks, with the instructions ‘…and don’t come back until you’ve changed your perspective!’ It usually only takes 15-20 minutes of steady walking to do the trick.

  3. Carrie Hamilton

    Love this post Andrea. Thank you for the reminder. You are so right about that!
    Beautiful dahlia as well.

  4. Jennifer

    I love the picture!!! I love the spider webs in the flower the most…it’s stunning alongside the colour of the flower.

  5. cjm

    So true. And I’m super jealous that dahlias grow there. I put some in the garden just on the off chance that they’d grow here. The plants got big and tall and then fell over without flowering. 🙂 This pink one is just lovely.

  6. heidi

    a great reminder! Enjoy those last few days as a family of three…

  7. playcrane

    Yes, yes. Thanks for the reminder. I even chose to walk to the class I teach today rather than drive. Glad I made this choice.

  8. Catherine

    a perfect message for me today. I was noticing a leaf on the ground outside our bedroom door in the backyard. It had big drops of water glowing on it from the rains last night. I kept thinking ” I must get out there and take a photo of that – even with just my iphone” I waited all day and now when I am ready to go – I look out and the water drops are all dried up. No longer the magical leaf I had found this morning. The moment is gone….I learned my lesson. If you see it – TAKE A PHOTO!!!!

  9. Leslie

    Thank you dear Andrea….I needed that push

  10. Misti

    After walking 2,000 miles this spring and summer I find it difficult to go many hours without getting restless for the outside. And the cooler air is just so soothing!
    Hope the rest of your pregnancy is smooth!

  11. Francine

    Lovely post. When I became a mother 18 months ago I also learned this lesson. I do forget and get frustrated at times though, so thank you for the reminder!

  12. Julia

    Thanks for the reminder that even a short walk can do wonders. And thanks for the lovely picture of the dahlia. So beautiful.

  13. Katherine

    Thank you for the reminder…

  14. Carole

    Thanks for this beautiful post, Andrea. I keep scoffing at the idea of writing 15 minutes a day because I feel like it takes me that long just to hit a rhythm of writing…but then I don’t write at all! Not very fruitful! Thanks for reminding me that the minutes truly count and that even a brief creative moment is a valid investment towards realizing my dreams.
    I am so excited for you to welcome your new little one! I’m checking every day to see if there’s a post about his arrival! By the way, when my daughter was born and we came home, I had mommy-Adam “dates” for a half hour – 1 hour every day (even just a brief walk or visit to a garden, or concentrated play), which really helped him adjust, and I really treasured that time with him. Just sayin’, in case that might be helpful for you!

  15. nina

    I love the 10-minute approach..and that dahlia! (10-minute naps are good too!) I remember being super grumpy during those last weeks of pregnancy, mostly from lack of good sleep and then realizing it was just a primer for the all the sleep I was about to lose. I used to get up in the middle of the night and sit outside staring up at the sky. Enjoy these magic days…

  16. Jenni

    Wow. Talk about the right message at the right time –I’m freaked out (in a good way)! Thanks so much for all you share.

  17. Jenni

    Wow. Talk about the right message at the right time –I’m freaked out (in a good way)! Thanks so much for all you share.

  18. Kate D

    Thanks for this! I’ve been beating myself up for not doing the art/photography that I had planned to do on my holidays from work recently. How is it that I can have full days free…yet still can’t seem to get around to what I want to do? I think the lesson for me is realizing that it doesn’t have to be large, planned chunks of time…the inspiration doesn’t just come when we plan for it. Instead I am going to try to carve away small bits on a daily basis…and be more organic about it.

  19. Dreaming Bear

    That is a very lovely and important reminder. Thank you!

  20. federal student loan

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  21. Rob Hiffy

    hi – this is really nice. I stumbled across your blog too, and have had a great time reading your musings. Great blog, keep it up.

  22. chase internet banking

    @Markus I get your drift on where you were going there. I often think of my past and use it as a means to analyze where I am and where I want to get to. Where I struggel is balancing it all out. How do you guys balance things out?

  23. chase online banking

    That was a different thought track. I like your quality that you put into your post . Please do continue with more similar to this.

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