emotions, truth and chinese finger traps*


The nature of emotions is flow… I heard this the other day on a book on tape. And like a song that gets stuck in your head, it keeps coming back to me again and again. The nature of emotions is flow… And so I have been noticing how this is true, that if I can allow the big emotions in and not resist them, I can also allow them out. The same mechanism allows for both.

This has been my practice this week. The tide of hurt, sadness, fear, rushes in, sometimes in a roaring, deafening wave, and then flows back out. I notice that when I am trying to hold it together, to be strong, to “pull myself together” (was anyone else told this as a child?) the monster only gets bigger. It hardens and changes form. Instead of being like water it becomes more like sap, corrosive and sticky– and the flow is lost. This is when I become grumpy with the people I love… not soft or gentle, but pent up and anxious.

Earlier this year, I had a session with an extraordinary body worker. She is also an intuitive and gets most of her information from working on your body. This means that while you’re getting a wonderful massage, she simultaneously gives you the download on your life. More importantly, on what your spiritual work is at that time.

When I saw her months ago, she told me that my work is about honesty. I was surprised, thinking, “I’m honest. What gives?” but then she explained. “I mean emotional honesty. I mean telling the truth to people you love even when you’re afraid, even when they might not like it or disagree. It’s allowing your feelings to be valid, to matter. It’s standing in your truth even if someone pushes back. You need to learn that in holding someone else’s truth, you don’t have to abandon your own.”

And since I didn’t get it the first time, my therapist alerted me to this last week as well. Almost verbatim.
One of the things that moved me most about Jen Lee’s voice course is the part where you explore voice injuries. We all have them, but since I am fairly self-expressed in my creative life and able to be vulnerable in my emotional life, this showed up as a blind spot for me.

How much of our truth are we willing to tell? Especially if it’s bad news? Is there a way to tell your truth with fierce love in your heart?

I feel like I’m being handed my mission from the Universe and I have been trying to wrestle it to the ground. I see how I want to quit instead, forfeit, avoid, hide, talk myself out of how I feel.. and because this is old wound territory, it feels like my survival is at stake. I suppose in a way it’s true. There is some part I am ready to let go of. Some way I have always been that might not survive, but (hopefully) I will. Something new might be born. It is a risk to grow, but I am reminding myself that it is a risk worth taking.

Jen and I always joke that we can’t escape being students in the class we are offering. We are immersed in the content of each course whether we like it or not. This Dream Lab is no exception– it is about clearings, about making space and letting go of what no longer serves us. It is no accident that I am being called to do this work now. As scary as it feels though, I know that on the other side lives deeper connection, truth and real power.

I have had insomnia on and off for weeks now. The image that continues to find me in those wee hours, (literally sitting right behind my eyelids) is of one of those chinese finger traps. Do you remember those? You put an index finger into each end and the more you pull and pull, the more you get stuck. There is no way out except to do the most counter intuitive thing — you push your fingers further in, thereby loosening the grip of the toy. Only then can you take your fingers out.

I suppose the message is clear. Relax, allow… let go. There are gifts on the other side.

Follow on Facebook Follow on Instagram Follow on Twitter Follow on Pinterest

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. Kimberley McGill

    Your courage inspires me. I thought I’d learned how not to get my fingers stuck in the trap – but here I am again! Thanks for the reminder.

  2. sue at nobaddays

    Relax, allow… let go. There are gifts on the other side.
    Ah! So need to release into this!

  3. Lindsey

    Wow – this speaks so profoundly and directly to where I am right now. For me so much of the work is about efforting less about trusting (my word of the year), about letting go (the necklace I wear around my neck says that).
    Thanks for being such a continued source of inspiration.

  4. linda

    Wow. The Chinese finger traps. Perfect example.
    (Thanks for the great post.)

  5. Michelle

    So well put – I think we are all told so much in our childhood that plays into who we communicate (or not) in our adult lives. A few I heard growing up:
    – “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all”
    – “He was just mean to you because he likes you” (Gosh has that put a bad expectation in our heads as women)
    – “Sometimes we all have to do things we have to do, not because we want to do it”
    I am sure we all have our list. I am glad you have people connecting you to you as an adult!

  6. Dr. S

    Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Yes. Let it in, and let it go.
    My teacher told me recently, “The thing about practice is that it opens the back door so that we can let everything in the front door without having to keep it all.” I’m still working on opening that back door–and the front one too, I think.

  7. Marloes

    There is love in being in scared. There is love in being angry. There is love in being happy. There is love in being sad. Because that what happens right now, (fear, anger, or else), is you. It’s not neccessary to avoid it, because then you avoid your self, then you avoid what God or the Universe wants you to be. You can relax in your fear. Just be scared then. That’s faith (great trust). (And you’ll see, you won’t die. 😉
    You won’t even need to let it go. It will let go of itself.
    With thanks to my beloved zenteacher, who’s name is (also) Nico.

  8. melissa

    yes, allowing emotions to flow, the tsunamis of pain and the tidal waves of ecstasy. accepting,embracing, surrendering and letting go. to hide/dim less (protection) and be seen/heard more (vulnerability). thank you, andrea for lighting the way and being on the journey with us.

  9. kristy


  10. Anna

    as always … just what I needed… wishing I had time for meditation or other self care, but this post will do… thanks!

  11. sara

    Yes…and, I thought of you reading a beautiful book this past week, “Hope Will Find You,” by Naomi Levy. My hunch is that you’ll love it. And, I love you!

  12. nina

    Yes. Yes. Yes. I so get all this. Truth is my word this year. There are times when I remember with longing the year when my word was shine — it seemed easier, lighter. But I have to admit that standing by my truth this year has been a lifesaver. I really think I was about to drown in all the muck that I hid behind a smile. The only thing is controlling the tidal wave — there are times when I think I’m really freaking out my family. There is light at the end of this, I just know it. Thanks again and again, Andrea!

  13. moyra

    someone told me once, “the only way out is through”. Ain’t that the truth. xxx

  14. Ilias

    Pienso que no sois derecho. Lo discutiremos. Escriban en PM, hablaremos.

  15. Elisa Mikiten

    I don’t know. I can’t be a cheerleader for bravery all the time. You’re afraid. I’m afraid. Terrified, in fact. For you. For me. For Eli. For Ben. For my soldier brother. For my old dad. For my stupid, beloved dog who barks at pit bulls. For every mere mortal.
    Let’s go hiking. Sundays are best for me and Eli. Maybe we’ll get lucky and face down a rattler or a mountain lion, and feel brave and smart and powerful, and sleep well for just one night. Or maybe not. Maybe we’ll just watch ducks.
    Speaking of watching ducks, have you read The Wind in the Willows to Ben yet? You might like it. Such a sweet story, full of love, tenderness and loyalty, as well as foolishness and peril!

  16. Debora

    Thank you so much for this post. It is extremely useful to me at this very second.

  17. izzi

    your courage inspires me so much. and may i ask who your body worker was?

  18. Jo Finney

    Yet again you’ve told me what i most need to hear. Thank you so much.

  19. ellie

    wow, so many things you wrote are things i have been learning, forgetting, and relearning… and need to be reminded of again & again, daily it seems. Thankyou

  20. Lolly

    Wow, that?s a raelly clever way of thinking about it!

  21. Kylia

    Very true! Makes a change to see somonee spell it out like that. 🙂

  22. pgxxdfnjlft

    8MYqCn smmibgzkfzys

  23. onjugczayq

    tjjbTf pdbwwpdfhlzy

  24. Armena

    Didn?t know the forum rules allowed such birllinat posts.

  25. sujbsbvb

    yv0oLM odarwhwapmrl

  26. kyzszqqyfq

    hgKHB3 izsgowqedbqw

  27. kitchen design

    Appreciating the difficult work you put into your website and in depth information and facts you give. It is nice to come across a blog every when in a while that isn’t the exact same out of date rehashed information and facts. Excellent read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  28. howdens kitchens

    Only wanna remark that you have a particularly nice website, I appreciate the design it truly stands out.

  29. kitchen cabinets

    Howdy! I simply wish to give a enormous thumbs up for the excellent data you will have here on this post. I will most likely be coming back to your blog for alot more soon.

Ready for your next creative adventure?

Download the Mondo Beyondo dream generator!

Latest from the blog

CSP #82: We Should Get Together with Kat Vellos

CSP #82: We Should Get Together with Kat Vellos

Listen in to this great conversation about adult friendship with expert Kat Vellos! Kat Vellos is a trusted expert on the power of cultivating meaningful friendships. She’s a speaker and author of the book, We Should Get Together: The Secret to Cultivating Better...

read more

self guided e-courses

Choosing Ease

30 days of ease, joy and cultivating wonder

I believe that when I’m creating from a place of ease and buoyancy I am actually in flow – in alignment with myself and the Universe.

Capture the Magic

Rock your camera-phone - and discover that beauty and joy are everywhere.

The very best camera is the one that’s with you! I’ll show you how to get on your own path of joy and delight while learning photography skills along the way.

mondo beyondo

What does your heart truly want in 2020? 

What if you could name your dreams and desires for 2020 and create a plan to make them reality?


Get your FREE guide to experiencing more wonder + joy!

Hop on my mailing list to get weekly-ish inspiration, updates and your free downloadable PDF: 9 ways to experience more wonder right now. I'm so glad you're here!

You have Successfully Subscribed!