Turn on the f*cking faucet, my new mantra

andrea_blue_dress_600.jpg
Feeling free, photo by my friend Kelly Rae Roberts, Manzanita, OR, Canon Digital Rebel XSi

I have been writing myself notes these days. I tape them on my computer, simple little mantras I need to remember. I think of it as a subliminal message or a subtle reprogramming of my brain. The first index card said this:

“You can want what you want” (That stayed up for months)
The next one said, “There is plenty of time. One thing at a time.” (I highly recommend that one)
My newest sign says, “Turn on the f*cking faucet!”

This is shorthand for: Stop holding back sister! The time is now. Let it pour out… There is a way that I can be tentative, inhibited, afraid to write/say/create something that is less than perfect. Of course, it’s always less than perfect… It simply is what it is. But this fear makes me stutter and stop, express myself less and paralyze myself more. I want to give myself permission to simply create, without so much concern, without trimming and whittling down at every turn.

I want to edit less and say more.
Use my voice without as much reservation and concern.
Stop trying to craft that perfect thing and simply create.
I want to feel free.
Can you relate?

What is your mantra? What do you need to tell yourself? Grab an index card and write it down. Tape it on your computer and let us know what it is in the comments.

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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.

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37 Comments

  1. Jennifer

    As I approach 50 — with a sense of utter and complete bemusement that so serious a number could actually apply to ME — I’ve been thinking a lot about whether or not I have changed over my years. I think I’ve arrived at believing that I haven’t changed so much as I’ve just gotten a lot more comfortable being who I am, and by feeling comfortable I am much more able to open myself to other people. So what’s changed is other people’s experiences of me, essentially — I’m not afraid to let people know who I am. Your comments about learning to open up, to be less tentative, to be willing to make mistakes resonated with me….

    Reply
  2. Amelia

    YES!!!
    Right now I have this on the chalkboard in our kitchen: “If you’re really clear with yourself about what you want out of life, chances are, life will give it to you”. And as I want to make it very clear to both myself and LIFE that I want to be a happy soul, this is a great way to remind myself to be putting that message out there loud and clear.
    My other favorite, which I taped to everything in preparation for an unassisted birth a couple of years ago, is “what you resist will persist”. That mantra brought a baby boy into the world.
    Love that faucet. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Karine Ardault

    Go!
    I have been holding back for years my dreams, my passions, and who i really am I think. But, it’s finished, i want to leave my dreams and I work hard to live a life of my choosing. It is a lot of work but I am enjoying myself… finally!

    Reply
  4. Jennifer W. McCullough

    That’s a good one 🙂 My mantras seem to be in the form of questions this summer – like, “Am I for fear or am I for faith?” or, “Am I about fear or am I about love?” These are the questions I ask myself when I’m uncertain about allowing myself to be FREE.

    Reply
  5. amber

    excellent post. perfect reminder to me- i might have to adopt and turn on my own faucet! i have been in a mary oliver moment as of lately, as well as a line from this post:
    http://publicbookstore.blogspot.com/2011/07/friday-happiness.html
    that i have read over and over:
    “what did we picture ourselves doing,
    when summer came around?
    i’m going to think on it,
    and then
    i’m going to do it.”
    it has become my morning ritual. what is it i would have wanted to do when i was thinking of the future last year at this time? ok, now go!

    Reply
  6. sperlygirl

    okay, can i just say how much i love the faucet mantra! came across this one the other day and love it ‘speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.’

    Reply
  7. Danielle

    I love this! Miss you so much. 🙂

    Reply
  8. kazari

    I have two for hard times:
    So what? I’ll cope.
    and
    I only have to cope. I don’t have to cope well.

    Reply
  9. Beth

    Andrea – you are awesome! Your thoughts are contagious and your smile glows warmly. 🙂 My mantra has gotten louder each day I get closer to 50 years old – “go, do, don’t wait another minute!”
    Thank *Y*O*U* for being a bright light on the path of life!
    blessings,
    Beth

    Reply
  10. Anna

    I have been keeping handy a little piece you wrote on 2/1/2009. I might need to shorten it to just “you are enough” though I am really feeling your faucet for lots of reasons.
    I started a week long writing boot camp today… and I really do need to get that faucet going!

    Reply
  11. kb

    I can, I am, and I WILL.

    Reply
  12. tina

    if not now, when?

    Reply
  13. Kylie

    focus on the now.
    but “There is plenty of time. One thing at a time.” is pretty perfect for me right now, im off to write it out now …

    Reply
  14. suzanne

    I once saw an interview with Joe Strummer and he said-It has less to do with talent and more to do with perseverance and determination–When you do something everyday you can’t help but to get better at it….So this has really stuck with me and is a mantra I say to myself daily!

    Reply
  15. Alison

    love you, andrea!
    working on my mantra, but for now I’ll steal some of yours!

    Reply
  16. TJ

    I love this post, especially your latest mantra!
    I worry all the time about how I formulate my words and I hold back a lot in fear of saying it wrong, coming across wrong, or just plain getting it all wrong.
    ‘Turn on the f’in faucet’ makes me SMILE, enough to finally speak up and leave a comment!
    Thank you for sharing this, and I love your blog.
    Best wishes from germany, tj

    Reply
  17. Kate D

    Love that mantra!!! Let it flow!!!

    Reply
  18. Miriam Daniel

    Andrea–
    This speaks to me so much.
    My current little mantra is, “Feel the fear, and do it anyway!”
    Thanks!

    Reply
  19. Tiffanie

    I am so grateful for this post! Several things you’ve written lately have been right what I needed to read when I needed to read them. I dedicated this post to you. http://tiffanie-moment-by-moment.blogspot.com/2011/07/return-of-dancer.html
    A few of my mantras:
    Yes. (my major one lately!)
    I am enough.
    I can let go.
    Allow.
    What Would Integrity Do?
    that f*-ing perfectionist has been on my shoulder my whole life, too. i’m feeling bolder and bolder as i realize there’s no one better fit for the job of living my life than i am. i’m not waiting in the wings any longer.

    Reply
  20. nina

    “The universe knows how.”
    I was at B&N and opened a Notes From the Universe book to that page. It was just what I needed to hear.

    Reply
  21. janet

    Mine is, “You CAN, you ARE!”

    Reply
  22. Jennifer

    Mine would say “you know exactly what you are doing”

    Reply
  23. amy j.

    I wanted you to know your post about panic attacks really meant something to me. We’ve had some major family stress lately…I had a full out panic attack the other evening while I was hear alone. I remember your post…how you talked yourself through it and it eased up. I did just that and it helped SO much. Thanks for that!!

    Reply
  24. jenn

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this photo of you! I can actually feel the joy leaping out from you.
    you look happy and lovely A!
    my mantra, let go, have fun, relax

    Reply
  25. susanne

    dear andrea,
    i am reading and loving your blog for a long time now, even sometimes it’s difficult for me to understand because i am german. but all your wise words, your lovely pictures and your story of life brings joy to my heart. 🙂
    i really like the idea with the notes on the pc and your question about our mantra.
    i love most all quotes of RUMI (do you know him)? so my personal mantra should be : OH SOUL, YOU WORRY TOO MUCH!!!
    i tell me this time and time again but it’s hard to feel and think with the heart and let things just flow…
    i wish you all the best.
    susanne 🙂

    Reply
  26. pippin

    progress not perfection

    Reply
  27. Stacy

    A few years ago, I bought a chunky silver ring from an Etsy shop, had it engraved to read “believe in yourself,” and began wearing it every day as a reminder. HUGE inspiration. I’ve gotten through the rough spot that led to the ring but still wear it for a reminder of the inspiration it brought and the happiness that followed.

    Reply
  28. debbie

    “I dont see why not”. my friends and I came up with this one – we can seem to talk ourselves out of things and we need to say yes more.

    Reply
  29. Sophia

    My current mantra is actually the blessing that you guys taped under my seat at WDS. It said “stop second guessing and trust your intuiton” it has been perfect for me right now!

    Reply
  30. Suzette

    You can let go now.

    Reply
  31. jen

    what timing, just started this one a few days ago:
    i. trust. myself.
    love this post; thanks!

    Reply
  32. suzanne

    My mantra:
    ‘I know I can. I know I can and I will. I am willing to move out into the unknown at the risk of my physical existence because I am totally committed to my belief.’
    Trust me, it helps!! Suzanne xx

    Reply
  33. CLH

    I agree, there’s something very special going on in that picture of you!
    My current mantra was handed to me from someone else: “You know who you are. Now just relax about it.” I reach for that phrase regularly.
    In steady rotation, also: “That that is is.” (Shakespeare) Need that for when I’m overusing my, um, warrior energy.
    Also: “Tout et rien.” That one I consider my bad Buddhist mantra, and it’s for when I need to remember balance or perspective, and that all of this is kind of fleeting, yet meaningful — but not dire, not singular. It helps me hold things a little more lightly.
    Also — admitting this for the first time out loud (internal anxious drum roll) — I send cards to myself, IN THE MAIL, WITH A STAMP, when I need more encouragement or kindness or a little extra acknowledgment. It feels so nice, tho, to be that gentle & thoughtful with one’s self. To give myself what I need (and to relax about that, too, ahem!).

    Reply
  34. deb taylor

    ~make more stuff…touch less keys~
    I wanna get creative with my hands again without plastic keyboard alphabets

    Reply

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