Opening the Creative Channel

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Andrea + Laurie Wagner

When circles of women get together, they go deep.

And the last two weekends were no exception.

My dear friend (+ writing teacher) Laurie Wagner and I just held 2 weekend workshops in a row called Opening the Creative Channel. There were 18 of us each weekend telling stories, writing, painting, connecting. It was gorgeous + powerful.

After the first Saturday though, Laurie and I got a little worried. There were a lot of tears… more than we expected! And we wondered to each other-  Is this what they came for? Is it too intense? Are we too intense? 

But this is where we had to trust in our own creative process. It was such a great lesson to allow what was actually there be there and keep creating, keep trusting, knowing that there were no mistakes.

And then morning came and when we all gathered it was like a gorgeous storm had come and washed the streets clean. The air felt different and we all felt energized. Beautifully cleansing.

Most of the women in the room were parents of small children, and something occurred to me as I witnessed each woman drop down into themselves – there is so much unprocessed trauma in a mama’s life. There is so much we don’t get to grieve. There is so much we don’t get to feel. So when we have a chance to step away and drop down into ourselves, there is often a tender layer right there, just aching to be felt.

Just holding that was such an honor and a gift.

When Laurie and I came together to create these workshops, we realized we share something in common – we collect practices.

Practices that open us up.
Practices that allow us to hear the sound of our own music.
Practices that allow for whatever wants to come through, come through.

Writing practices, storytelling practices, gratitude practices, courage practices. They are all ways in. They are all ways to find your voice, your aliveness, your joy. They are all ways to wake up.

Some highlights from our weekends were:

1. Having the sweetest, easiest collaboration with Laurie.
2. Painting. Painting. Painting. Turns out painting makes me come alive more than anything else. (So easy to forget)
3. Meeting so many amazing women. Each unique + beautiful + tender + brave + real.
4. Our special guest, Alexandra Franzen who came by + did a mini workshop with us on how to write the best damn thank you note ever. The kind that makes you cry happy tears.
5. A fabulous photo walk with 18 women in Alameda. We were like the paparazzi.

We are already planning another retreat for 2014, so let me know if you are interested. We are dreaming of Taos + Hawaii. superherosf@gmail.com

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On our photo walk

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Opening the Creative Channel, Weekend 2

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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.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ME >

19 Comments

  1. M Payne

    I love the idea of an opportunity for all the busy, exhausted, desperate for something of their own incredible young mothers getting a chance to put themselves first for some real thinking, creating and breathing into who they are becoming. I’m going to have to join the next one of these somehow!

    Reply
  2. laurie

    It was an amazing couple of weekends. How could something so simple be so fulfilling for all involved? We found the sweet spot; what makes us happy makes other people happy. To give is to receive. Muey bueno, love you deep.

    Reply
  3. tina

    I’m a new mama, and I need something like this desperately. It is a relief to hear you use the word grief. I am grieving so much right now. What I wouldn’t give for a safe space to do that openly and in community. Maybe you dream of Chicago next? 🙂

    Reply
  4. elizabeth

    This is such a beautiful post, one that speaks to me as a mom of young children who struggles to drop down into herself….thank you for shining a light and offering hope. I’d love to learn more about the upcoming retreat in 2014.

    Reply
  5. Suzee Ramirez

    I’m still taking deep breaths of gratitude for this intimate opportunity to get to know you both ~ and all of the amazing ladies this past weekend. I will cherish it in my heart for always! (and can’t wait to see what inspirations it sparked become a reality…)

    Reply
  6. Robin Troxell

    The remark about mama’s having unprocessed trauma really struck a chord with me – I know that I personally spend so much time and energy on my littles (and my husband) that I don’t allow myself to even acknowlege that I deserve time for myself too, and I grieve that and also am angry (at myself? my family? ‘society’?) that I don’t prioritize myself more. I am actually taking a weekend away alone coming up and I was feeling guilty, and nearly caved into my 9 year old pleading to come – but I NEED this and dang it I will take it!

    Reply
  7. Lisa

    I’m going to print out the picture of you and Laurie. I’ll look at it often and allow your spirits (which I still don’t know it’s possible for them to come through a photo…) to soothe and encourage me.

    And I vote for Taos in 2014 because I live in NM, and the sky here is a color of blue that seems it had to come from a tube of paint.

    Reply
  8. Nicole

    I think I shed half of those many tears just myself. So sorry if my tears caused you anxiety. XOXO Still offering up my home in the Phoenix area for next year if you want to take it on the road. 😉 (it’s beautiful this time of year plus I’m selfishly just wanting to feel that kind of connection in my own space.)

    Reply
  9. Erin

    Oh what a beautiful weekend it was. Lives as a treasure in my heart… thanks Andrea & Laurie for being who you are, being willing to be visible & put yourselves out there, and for inviting us into your sphere. So many layers of inspiration it’s hard to describe. Feeling full of gratitude. xo Erin

    Reply
  10. Belinda

    It is so true that Mamas don’t have time to process things. Normally when I get that moment where my brain is not overworking (which is rare) it is normally a collapse into tears to just feel relief from it all. Normally every spare moment is spent trying to clean, study, find inspiration, and think.

    Reply
  11. Faith Presley

    It’s so great to see women coming together and exploring their creativity! The most important support structure a woman can have is other women.

    Reply
  12. Sharron

    Because of you, I enrolled in SARK’s WINS program. I had fallen in love with her books about 20 years ago, but never realized anyone could WORK with her. So thank you for that.

    The retreat sounds blissful. I am a mama of two boys – one four, one two. Totally get it about the tears. In fact, I was thinking when I first read your note about how the long and difficult 38-hour labor with my first one did not shift until I cried mighty tears. At that point, things began to open up, and my little guy was in my arms a few hours later. Never underestimate the power (and necessity) of a good release.

    Loved reading this this morning – from a fellow practice-collector in Alabama.

    Reply
  13. Lori

    Oh, Andrea. This post resonates so strongly with me. I never thought of motherhood that way before, but it’s so true. Thanks for giving me that. I just love you. I come to your site when I need positivity (is that word?) and encouragement. We are lucky to have your soul in the world.

    Reply
  14. Susan

    “there is so much unprocessed trauma in a mama’s life. There is so much we don’t get to grieve. There is so much we don’t get to feel. So when we have a chance to step away and drop down into ourselves, there is often a tender layer right there, just aching to be felt.”
    Yes.

    Reply
  15. Kace

    I was reading through this post with my 5 yr old daughter looking over my shoulder. When I got to the photo at the end, she said, “Wow, she has a big family.”

    Out of the mouths of babes….:)

    Reply
  16. Melissa

    Hello!!! When is the next opening the creative channel course???? How much is it?

    Reply
  17. kathleen Warner

    Yipeeeee…this just may be the most delicious way to bring on my 60th birthday!!!!! Momma more then likely will be there. 🙂

    Reply
  18. Sameer

    Psychological well being and health helnaig and coping strategies for depression)?It’s okay, I promise this read is not pointless and boring, please read if you can relate or offer any helpful adviceHey everyone (or anyone reading this) Lately I have been feeling a bit depressed and unmotivated because of the weather and lack of sunlight. I take vitamin D pills and I try my best to soothe myself by listening to soft music, breathing in and out, journaling my thoughts and feelings and even talking to my psychiatrist. On days whenn the weather is nicer, I am always doing my best to stay physically active and break a sweat haven’t been able to do so cause it won’t stop raining. I feel imprisoned because of thie shitty weather and no Sun.I have tried antidepressants and even anti-psychotics before in the past, but I had a habit of drinking on the weekends and sometimes partying, so it never fully helped me. I learned from my past mistakes and I am sober now and have been for a while, not planning on going back to those bad habits.I want to go back on medication (I am not seeing my Doc for another 2 weeks). There are so many out there and I hear that some medications dont actually help you, they just mask your symptoms. I wish I knew which ones are the best and safe ones, that won’t damage my THRYROID and LIVER/Kidneys it really friggin sucks. When you feel a bit depressed, what do you do? How can I make myself feel better cause I feel very glum and I get anxious and just mixed amount of emotions. My mind is overactive and often find it hard to quiet it down. Especially if I am feeling troubled at night when trying to sleep.I am asking nicely for some advice on how to comfortably get through this without letting it hurt me too much. Since I am not on any meds, what can i do in the meantime?If you are on meds or are not, what do you do to make yourself feel better and heal?I just don’t feel happy and I easily get miserable and sad, feeling sorry for myself that this is happening to me. Maybe I am experiencing ups and downs because I am still recovering from a past of drinking, late nights, and partying, I dont know. But at least on I am free that poison and if I do go back on meds, It will work more effectively. I also let my bf go, of 3 years for the sake of my well being (mental, physical and emotional health) to recover. The relationship had to end because if I didn’t end it the destructive cycle would never end. Almost every night I would cry feeling guilty and/or missing him, but I know I made the best decision to save my life. Letting go can be painful and not easy. Maybe this could be affecting my mental health? Or it is a combination of everything The thing is, do we REALLY need antidepressants/psychotics to heal us? I truly dont think I was born Bi-polar. I got that diagnosis as a result of smoking weed and drinking (and experimenting with Concaine) in my teenage years. I really wonder if I should believe what some say about helnaig naturally (like my Dad would tell me) or that I am damaged goods and need to repair with medication. This is so confusing. And I don’t want to be dependant on those kind of meds for the rest of my life. Also I must mention that I don’t socialize much and maybe I need more social interaction to uplift my spirits. My ex bf was like my best friend and now I have nobody. I feel so lonely.If you can reach out and help me with this and you’re understanding and have some knowedge or experience with this, PLEASE I need to hear from you! This is not easy for me or anyone (cause many of us are depressed nowadays) ..this took me a lot of courage to admitt and write something like this on here .my heart was telling me to just try thanks for taking your time to read this.

    Reply
  19. oprol evorter

    I am now not positive where you’re getting your info, but good topic. I must spend a while studying more or working out more. Thank you for magnificent info I used to be in search of this information for my mission.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Something Good | A Thousand Shades of Gray - […] Opening the Creative Channel from Superhero Life, in which Andrea Scher talks about the retreat I was lucky enough…
  2. Opening The Creative Channel Part 2: The Picture Edition » Two Poppies - […] in retrograde part. You never want to mess with the universe! While we are still a little anxious, Opening…
  3. Let’s hang out under the stars this summer! – Superhero Life With Andrea Scher - […] Opening the Creative Channel retreat this year was so incredible, so nourishing, we have decided to grow it into…

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