Today I am delighted–thrilled beyond words–to share energetic space with Andrea Maurer!
I love Andrea’s work because she writes and shares from inner core–her words invite us to exercise our faith in bold and daring ways, and then she will gently ease us into a vulnerable space, and invite us to soar on our way out. Wow. Reading even one Daily Love Letter is empowering, reading an entire week’s worth inspires me beyond words!
I had placed Andrea on a peer pedestal (her way, and her words–you’ll see as you read this interview!) until we connected through Soul Caller circle and I had the honor of getting to know the Andrea behind her work. Still a potent combination of bold and vulnerable, yet also most real to me. She lives her message and that inspires me to keep living mine.
Andrea Maurer: Writer, Coach, Artist,
Spiritual and Personal Development Junkie
J: Thank you, Andrea, for sharing energetic space today. May you share with us a bit about your vision for your site…the feel and the message?
A: Thank you, Joy. Your enthusiasm for this work is so helpful and I am beyond grateful for it. I truly am. I’ve been at it for five years now and my site and the way I write has changed many times over.
I didn’t start writing at all until I turned 40. The blog was my first crack at it. At first, I wrote nothing but humorous pieces about life in the burbs with two kids. As I got braver, so did my writing. It wasn’t always good… for a very long time, I primarily wrote (whined) about my struggles, ad nauseum. I also used to write very long, over-explanatory posts describing in detail how I knew what I knew.
Where ever I’ve been personally and spiritually over the last five years, my blog has been a very accurate reflection of it. This most recent version is no exception. I am stepping into my purpose more fully than I ever have and I think it shows. I want people to find inspiration, hope and acceptance on my site and everything I do is geared toward that.
J: Your tagline: Writer. Coach. Artist. Spiritual and Personal Development junkie. What do you feel is your ultimate purpose? And, what inspires you as you create and connect?
A: I feel that my ultimate purpose is to help people get out of their own way so that they can realize their highest potential and live lives that make their hearts sing. That’s the change I want to make in the world and every time I learn a new way of doing that, I can’t help but be inspired. It’s what totally lights me up.
My creative gift is that I think in metaphors and analogies. I’m constantly trying to find the connection between things. When I make those connections, it opens up another path for me to serve my purpose. The more connections I make, the better I am at what I do.
J: In your about page, you mention you “hit the wall in a dramatic fashion” then had “a Big, Shiny God moment”. In a journey of faith, do you believe there is one pivotal moment, or multiple significant moments strung together?
A: I think it can be both. For me, I had a pivotal moment followed by a whole bunch of significant ones. The journey is different for everyone and it never ends. We’re always finding our way back to ourselves. How could that not be a journey?
J: May you share with us a bit about what would you consider is the source of your ‘power’?
A: On the day of my Big, Shiny God Moment, I understood, with complete clarity, a few key things:
- We are perfect, just as we are. We don’t need to do anything or be anything or learn anything to earn our worth. Our worth is inherent and the only thing that can get in the way of that is us and our beliefs about who we are. You can’t screw it up. You can only forget.
- We are spiritual beings having a human experience. We are love. It’s only when we forget that, when we close our eyes to the truth of that, that things get sticky or prickly or downright excruciating. The love is still there… always. It hasn’t gone anywhere and it will never stop trying to fold us back into its arms. It’ll never stop helping us remember who we are. It’ll never stop being love and neither will we.
- EVERYTHING is exactly as it should be. Life is the perfect teacher and uses whatever necessary to lead us back to the Truth of who we are. We’re not cursed – We’re not unlucky – We’re not being punished. We’re being taught. Life will use whatever it has to use to do that. It would prefer to use joy (carrots), but it has no problem with using pain if necessary (sticks).
- Everything starts with us… forgiveness, improvement, acceptance, etc. You can’t do anything good out in the world until you get square with that person in the mirror. You can’t accept or forgive others until you accept and forgive yourself. You can’t be at peace with life until you’re at peace with yourself. It all starts with you. The world, your life and everyone in it is a mirror, reflecting how you feel about yourself right back at you and giving you yet another chance to love what you see.
- We’re all connected, we’re all the equal, we’re all important. Period.
(Note from Joy to reader: see what I mean–Andrea writes in such a way that each sentence resonates; a paragraph inspires; multiple paragraphs move you beyond what you thought possible from reading words!)
J: When doubt surfaces (does doubt surface) what resources do you rely upon as you continue to create?
A: Oh, doubt surfaces… daily! Sometimes I get so mired in it that I shut down completely. I’m no different than anyone else.
I am an inspiration junkie. I have a lot of resources to rely on because I need them. Some things work sometimes, other things work other times. Nothing’s a sure thing. Prayer is probably number one. I sit and I talk to God like I would a friend or a therapist. I complain, a lot! I’m pretty sure he or she is quite sick of me, actually! I try to meditate but I am a very verbal person. I find spirit through words… writing, talking, song lyrics, etc – so silence is rough for me. I am also in a spiritual development class called Soul Caller with Amy Oscar. This has been a very valuable resource in terms of support and learning. Mostly, I meet doubt with faith that all is as it should be. This too shall pass. It always does.
J: I love to receive your Daily Love Letters each morning in my in-box. May you share with us, how did the idea originate and what is your intent in writing them? What would you like the reader to receive from them?
A: Thank you. I’m so glad they resonate with you. The Love Letters originated from a desire to more regularly tap into the divine wisdom that I often feel when I write. Most artists know what I mean… it’s those times that you’re “in flow” or you feel as if your work isn’t coming from you but from a divine source. You’re just the conduit.
Anyway, I had a conversation with a fellow Soul Caller who suggested that I sit down, invoke a request for God to speak through me and then just simply put my fingers on the keys and see what came of it. WOW! Right out of the gate, it was a pretty magical experience. And it didn’t take me long to realize something really funny (in a not so funny kind of way)… the messages I was typing each time I sat down were, first and foremost, FOR ME. Inevitably every single one of them are designed to teach me something first. For my readers, I only hope they find them as helpful and as loving as I do. That’s why I’m passing them on.
J: What appeals to me about your energy and your work is that you explore vulnerable spaces that others often shy away from. What inspires you to explore these spaces, and what practices do you vest in encourage your self to enter these spaces?
A: Well, here’s the thing, I’ve had a lot of challenges in my life…. A LOT. Some were thrust upon me and others (most) were self-inflicted. I reached a point where all that baggage finally got the best of me. I couldn’t go on. I was so exhausted from dragging it all with me, while simultaneously hiding it from the rest of the world, that I just collapsed. I was out of energy, hiding places and ideas. I saw the writing on the wall. I was going to crash and burn. One more misstep, and I was convinced that I was going to lose everything. It was like getting a terminal diagnoses from the doctor.
And that’s when I had the Big, Shiny God Moment, when I gave up. It was sort of like a near death experience without actually dying. I felt like I was done for but not necessarily in a physical way. And then everything changed in an instant. I “came back” from that experience a changed person. And I KNEW that I had to help other people with all I’d learned… not just from the BSGM but also from everything that had led up to it. That requires some exposure and it’s taken me a long time to get courageous enough to step into it– it’s been NINE YEARS since my BSGM. My practice seems to be to move slowly. You take a step forward, stand it in long enough to get comfortable or retreat, and then try again in the future. That’s all I know to do.
J: As you know, I live and facilitate practices of presence. I believe this is why your message resonates so strongly with me, you often look into your life to identify the places you may be hiding, then reflect them to us (the reader) so we may look into our own lives. I wonder, where do you feel the “biggest hiding spot” is? And, might you share your opinion on why people are deciding to step out of their hiding spaces.
A: I think perfection is the most common hiding place. We all put so much pressure on ourselves to do it all, be it all, know it all, etc. But we weren’t meant to be perfect, we were meant to be ourselves. That is perfection but we can’t see it, not while constantly comparing ourselves to everyone else.
I think the relentless pursuit of perfection is killing us – individually and as a people. When you get to that point, you’ve got two options: you can withdraw or you can look for some imperfection partners. You can’t find those people by hiding. So, we’re out tracking our people, searching for our tribes. And it’s working.
J: I am so excited about your new program”We Need to Talk”. May you share with us, how did this idea originate? What is your overall intent for the program? And, what might participants “expect” as they embark upon this journey with you?
A: We Need to Talk is a response to a call to begin expanding my work from just writing to speaking. The written word can only take us so far. In order to really connect, we need to talk and listen to each other. We need to be heard and seen. We need to tell our stories so that we can realize that we’re not alone.
At the end of the day, we really are so very much alike. But we hide from each other out of fear… fear that we’re too weird or too flawed to too whatever. We’re not too anything. We’re just right. It’s only when we can stand in our own truth and be seen that we really grasp that. We’re all scared. But if we hold hands and move out in the world together, we can get big enough, brave enough and comfortable enough in our skins to begin living the lives that we feel called to live. If people will simply show up, let their guards down just a bit and be themselves, we will all gain something invaluable. Just try it. It’s that simple and that complicated, all at the very same time.
Note from Joy: The first calls are free and will take place Thursday March 28, 2013 from 1-2p (est) and 7-8p (est) (you choose the time). Please follow this link for more information and to register: We Need to Talk. I am registered for the first time period.
J: In closing, is there anything you would like us to know about you, your vision, your voice?
A: Lord, I think I’ve said enough. Ha!
J: And, one last question that I am asking in all interviews in 2013—Please answer this question: If someone ‘really knew me’, they would know these two things about me:
A: Let’s see… they would know that I am an avid, if not rabid, sports fan and that I’m addicted to humor. Both are incurable illnesses that bring me a lot of joy.
Thank you, Andrea!
And, to you, dear reader, I would love to know, as you absorb the feel of this interview, what is something that speaks to you? When you share, we learn!
Much peace and abundant love,
Reminder: Linger. Savor. Relish.