Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sprout online magazine: AWAKEN

Are you ready to fall back in {wild} love with your "ordinary" life?

Sprout: Awaken overflows with delight, inviting you to fling open the windows of your daily existence. Walk barefoot through the grass of today. Let a divine breeze kiss your startled skin and ruffle your (too-combed) hair.

Life is waiting to enchant you. Will you say yes, beloved?

Explore the everyday sacred with us in Sprout: Awaken, singing our once-numbed lives back to heart-thumping joy. We are awake. Alive. Aware. Tune in through Awaken's sixty pages of vibrant handpainted backgrounds; scribbled love notes, from me to you; heartfelt interviews; thought-provoking creative prompts; life-affirming art, poetry, and essays; and more, all in PDF instant download.

Purchase your copy here (only $6):

Issue 30 (Awaken) $6:

Awaken + subscribe to upcoming issues:

What if this moment matters?
What if, when we look closely enough,
we find magic waiting--right here, right now?

"Trust your soul, and your feet. Follow that winding trail for as long as it makes your heart thump . . ."
--Beth Morey, Thrive feature interview

Awaken yourself with Beth Morey's intimate Thrive interview, where she spills secrets about grief, hard-won joy, and feeling it all. Travel a so-called ordinary day with suzanne l. vinson, who still feels "these glorious butterflies" with her loved ones, even among the routine mess. Live "fully alive" with passionate and color-loving artist Mary Wangerin. Rediscover an unexpected (and vital) love with our creativity coach, Natasha Reilly. Trust your wings to air in "the flutter of this moment" with poet Jenna Whittaker. See "meteors write poetry across heaven" with Joan McNerney. Peek into the delicious dailiness of shared life with Sprout kindred. And much more.
Awaken (Sprout online magazine's 30th issue) calls you back to life:

+ 60 full-color pages (PDF instant download)
+ original mixed media painted backgrounds
+ handwritten love notes from me to you
+ art, photography, poetry, essays, prompts, interviews
+ interactive features honoring our #sproutmag gathering (celebrating messy joy, simple goodness in our everyday life, & artistic exploration)
+ creative prompts to cultivate awakening in everyday life
+ Amanda Fall: creator, editor, publisher (otherwise known as: gatherer and curator of delight, co-conspirator of joy, dream-believer & heart-on-her-sleever)

Guests in this issue:

Beth Morey, Mary Wangerin, Jenna Whittaker, Joan McNerney, Mary Quillin, De Jackson, Natasha Reilly, michelle gd, Julia Fehrenbacher, suzanne l. vinson, and Maureen Helms Blake

Thrive interview series: Beth Morey
Community Garden: Joan McNerney, Mary Wangerin, and michelle gd

"I notice a sheer, unbridled sense of joy when I listen to and follow those internal nudges . . ."
--Mary Wangerin, Community Garden interview, page 53 of Awaken

 Sprout is designed to uplift & inspire,
celebrating hope & healing even among life's bumps & bruises.

May these love-filled pages bless you. 
"Can you feel the flutter of this moment
opening itself to your weary heart--
the way it perches upon a branch
and holds you with inquisitive eyes . . ."
--Jenna Whittaker, "Trusting Air," page 16 of Awaken

Purchase your copy here:
Issue 30 (Awaken) $6:

Awaken + subscribe to upcoming issues:

NOTE: If you subscribe (thank you!), future issues will be sent on the 15th of each month to your PayPal email address unless you specify otherwise under Special Instructions: Note to Seller.

Sprout makes a great gift. Buying for a friend or family member? Purchase as usual, then wait for your email with download link (should arrive within a moment or two after completing payment), and forward that email to your recipient.

If you prefer the gift email to come from me, simply add Note to Seller on PayPal with your recipient's name, email address, and when you would like their issue delivered (immediately or on a certain date). If you purchase a gift subscription, I can also email your recipient and let them know details (again, leave Note to Seller). Thanks!

   Problems? Questions? Email me at SproutOnlineMagazine (at) gmail (dot) com and I'd be delighted to respond.

Join the conversation at our Facebook page, or connect with our life-affirming #sproutmag gathering on Instagram.

Monday, April 7, 2014

love or fear? :: the "Give Your Dream Wings" blog hop

"How do you give your dream wings?" asks Andrea Schroeder, of the Creative Dream Incubator. I'm honored to share my response as part of her blog hop, celebrating tomorrow's launch of her free new e-course: Give Your Dream Wings. You'll find more information about her course and the blog hop at the bottom of my post.

How do you give your dream wings?

When Sprout magazine was still a blue-sky idea (just a wisp of possibility) over three years ago, my dreams were far from flying. I was so bogged down by fear and doubt that my dreams were stuck in cement.

What if I fail? What if I have no idea what I'm doing? What if I make mistakes? What if nobody wants to work with me? What if nobody wants to read Sprout? What if I have nothing to say?

I've always struggled with anxiety. It's often a scared-little-girl presence in the back of my mind, but when I'm considering a new beginning? Oh. Epic fear. The little-girl-me gets frantic, wringing her hands, wailing that everything will go wrong (probably all at once). I get so stuck in a storm of never-gonna-happens and what-ifs that I become paralyzed.

Even though the dream of Sprout magazine had traveled in my heart since my teens (although it began as a much more dot-matrix vision), this fresh digital possibility scared the daylight out of me. Why? Because it could finally be real.

Sprout wasn't just a dream anymore. It was a calling. An insistence, deep within. A whisper growing loud. A beating beneath my heart.

I knew, in my gut, I was meant for this. I was called to create a gathering of creatives and dreamers of all kinds, celebrating hope and healing in our everyday lives through color, beauty, and meaning. But as this mission grew more insistent in my mind and heart, fear started to sneer. I tried fighting back with everything I could think of: research, planning, brainstorming, scribbling piles and piles of notes. But instead of my dreams growing wings, they were getting more and more stuck.

Fear was a giant, and I was still little-girl me, cowering in the corner.

Finally, a braver voice within--below the fear, below the worry, below the doubt--whispered to me: Are you going to live from love or fear?

Love. Or fear.

What was my motivation in creating Sprout? What would guide me in her creation? Where would I find comfort and support?

Love. Love changes everything.

Suddenly, my what-ifs that had once paralyzed me . . . offered hope and strength:

what if I can bring joy? What if Sprout can speak to other seekers, dreamers, Spirit-breathers? What if we can find sanctuary together--misfits, wanderers, truth-speakers, heart-on-your-sleevers? What if our community of healing will grow and thrive? What if pages of color, beauty, and meaning will change lives? What if Sprout can whisper love in our ears?

Love. Love. Love.

Love became the heartbeat of what I do. Love is the why, the when, the how, the where, the who, the what of Sprout--and of me, the way I want to walk in this world. With you.

As Sprout's thirtieth issue nears release, my dreams--my blue-sky beaming, my passion, my calling--finally have wings.

The community I dreamed of is thriving and expanding every day. I've been honored to work with creative peers, mentors, and even people whom I've followed and admired for years (including Andrea Schroeder, in her delightfully fear-busting Thrive interview in our Possibility issue). Every month, we gather within the vibrant pages of Sprout to cultivate goodness in our lives (like courage, authenticity, and surrender) . . . and we meet, too, off the pages (including Facebook and Instagram), carrying Sprout's mission of hope and healing into and through our daily lives. One dear reader recently told me that she prints Sprout's pages and collages pieces to rocks and driftwood, leaving bits of artful hope at campsites throughout her travels.

If I'd let fear win, I would have missed this magical mission coming to life--living, breathing life, filled with love and hope and kinship and healing.

Dear one, what dreams beat beneath your heart? What whispers are growing loud?

As you lean into embracing your holy yes--the dreams that make you come alive--ask yourself: are you centering yourself on love or fear?

Choose love, dear one, and you . . . and your precious dream . . . will fly.

With deep love and respect,


The Give Your Dream Wings Blog Hop is a peek inside the process of how inspiring people make the magic happen. We've got some of the internet's most inspiring bloggers sharing how they give their dreams wings - what they do that supports, nurtures and encourages their tender dreams to come to life.

This is happening in celebration of the new e-course of the same name by Andrea Schroeder of the Creative Dream Incubator. The Give Your Dream Wings e-course shows you how to nurture and grow YOUR dream, for free, in only 10 minutes a day. You do not have to wait until you have more time or money!

Click here to find out about the free e-course, and to read the other (crazy inspiring!) posts in this Blog Hop.

Friday, April 4, 2014

of cranes, cars, and cornfields

Hello, April. Hello, you!

I'm singing to Connor Garvey today, windows open wide, sun shining in. Spring may just be on her way to South Dakota. I can see grass where snow was recently thick. Tulip greens are hanging on, hanging on, hanging on.

Me too.

Recently, my husband, mother-in-law, and I dodged the snowstorms and set off on a quick road trip to Nebraska. Nebraska in March? Yep, if you didn't see it on the news, Nebraska's a hotspot this time of year . . . when a huge percentage of the world's population of sandhill cranes pause on the Platte river during their migration.

Oh. Gasp. Yes! It's as magic as it sounds.

It felt so good to roll along the prairie, nothing but open sky and cornfields to keep us. After a stir-crazy winter, soaking up all this openness--not a wall in sight--was just what I needed. And the cranes . . . oh, my goodness, there are no words for the otherworldliness of their calls to one another . . . the way they swooped, swirled, and swarmed . . . and finally gathered in one great singing mass over the river as the sun sank below the water.


And, of course, we can't forget the stops along the way--greasy spoons, random strange bathrooms (like one in the back room of a hardware store, the only open building we could find), vibrant murals, photo ops (bless you, my travel partners, for your patience), cornfields of cranes, and . . . my surprise favorite . . . Carhenge!

There's nothing quite like a road trip to widen your horizons . . . literally. Where have you wandered lately, friend? What favorite memories do you have from being on the road? Any plans to hop in the car and go somewhere this year? I'd love to hear your stories in the comments.

With love,

PS: Road trips and random fun adventures are one way to juice up your thirsty spirit. We're celebrating REVIVE month at Sprout magazine, digging deep to explore what feeds us, fills us, saves us, soothes us. Revival may be closer than you think. Come along, beloved--you are so worthy of care. Let us nourish you, through sixty soul-satisfying pages of poetry, handpainted backgrounds, scribbled love notes, heartfelt interviews, and more.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

gather the good

Lighting up my screen today:

+ wonder, wander, and every other bit of beauty created by loud nonsense, whispered truths

+ erica simpson's creative kindred conversation with Beth Morey (two of my favorite people under one virtual roof): "Creativity matters. Art heals, grows, guides. Words nourish, excavate, expose."

+ this enchanting video:

+ rachel's newly released book, diving in!

What's delighting you this week?

With love,


We're celebrating REVIVE month at Sprout magazine.

Discover the inspiration behind diving in with rachel awes in our Thrive interview. Tend your wounded and tired places with Beth Morey. See "clearer than ever" with Nolwenn Petitbois.

Reviving your parched spirit is simpler than you think. You are worthy of care, beloved. Nourish yourself with us.