Whole-Hearted Living Retreat

In just over one week, we’ll arrive in the beautiful mountains of Big Sky, Montana, swag bags in hand, ready to welcome 10 retreaters to a weekend of whole-hearted living. Will you be one of them?

When we think of a courageous, heart-centered human who is up for a Fearless Self-Loving life, we think of YOU! You who are reading this blog, you who are ready to live a flourishing life you love:)

We, Andrea Catherine & Sara Hughes-Zabawa, would love to invite to our upcoming Fearless-Self Love: A Retreat for Wholehearted Living in Big Sky, Montana this November!  A weekend full of yoga, meditation, meaningful workshops, art and creative works, an opportunity for soul searching, hand-prepared, locally harvested food, and even better company!


Where: Nestled in the heart of the mountains of Big Sky Montana our retreat will be held at Moonlight Magic – Sara’s family cabin. For a glimpse of the cabin and it’s breathtaking views, look here. We have additional rooms for participants in the adjacent cabin.

For those planning to fly, Bozeman Montana is the nearest airport location (only a hour away from the cabin). For your convenience, drive share options will be available for those attending the retreat, therefore a rental car won’t be necessary for attendance.  

When: Thursday evening at 5pm on November 2nd through Sunday afternoon, ending before 2pm, November 5th 2017. Departure flexibility has been extended to the afternoon of November 6th for those needing extra travel time.

What: A three day weekend retreat dedicated to exploring how to embrace self-care fearlessly and cultivate wholehearted living (see detailed schedule below). Retreaters will have the opportunity to participate in a Brené Brown’s certified two day experiential learning workshop covering the 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living including:


  • Cultivating Authenticity: Letting go of what people think
  • Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting go of numbing and powerlessness
  • Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle

Each Guidepost includes creative, artistic, and reflective activities to enrich your learning experience.

In addition, daily yoga and meditation will be accompanied with wholefoods (including Ayurvedic cooking demonstrations) and wonderful company.  Meaningful wellness workshops dedicated to digging deep to identify and challenge the barriers we face in taking good care of ourselves will be offered, while education and resources will be provided to support you cultivating the quality of life you desire.


Andrea Catherine: Rooted in her personal and professional experience, Andrea builds communities of fearless self-love. Highly responsible women prioritize self-care, trust their intuition, and live energized lives they love. Andrea is a 500 Hour Professional Level Kripalu Yoga Teacher and Yoga Health Coach.

Toni Hughes, LCSW, CDWF: Dedicating almost 40 years to the mental health profession, Toni is passionate about assisting others in their healing process and believes in the power of courage, compassion, and connection. Toni has run a successful private therapy practice for over 17 years and specializes in women’s issues, sexual abuse and trauma. She is certified as a Daring Way™ facilitator. Her greatest joy comes from her family, especially her 2-year-old Grandson Noah.

Sara Hughes-Zabawa, LMSW, RYT:  There are few things as liberating and terrifying as choosing to show up and love yourself, exactly as you are. Sara believes that stepping into a relationship oneself and one’s body is where we learn to cultivate true belonging and balance. Sara is a Masters level licensed clinical social worker, a women’s studies scholar, and a 200-hour certified yoga instructor. She is dedicated to helping others cultivate holistic wellness that honors the mind-body-spirit connection.

You: Many of you will have either completed Andrea’s @ home in your body course, or are current participants, others are Yoga students, dear friends, or colleagues of either Andrea or Sara.


If we truly want to experience love and belonging, we must we believe we are worth love and belonging.”

– Brené Brown


Investing in your quality of life through gaining additional skills, strengthening nurturing behavior, and gaining the support of a like-minded community will enhance your ability to love yourself and love those you choose worthy of your time and energy.

And ultimately, because we believe that prioritizing self-love is the most selfless thing you can do!

Investment: For $599 participant’s lodging, food, yoga and meditation instruction, wellness workshops, and Brené Brown’s Wholehearted Living Workshop (normally $200) will be included.

Current @ home in your body community members receive a $200 discount (if you would like to join the January 2018 @ home in your body cohort, you can also receive a discount!)

A sliding scale fee, payment plans, and scholarships are available. Please let us know if looking into payment options would be supportive to you. A 6 month payment plan allows you to pay $105 over the course of six months.

We are eager to share this incredible experience with you. Feel free to reach out to Andrea (734.834.0172 or andrea@groundedhere.com) and/or Sara (sara.hughes.zabawa@gmail.com) with any questions or concerns.


Andrea, Toni, and Sara


Retreat schedule:

Thursday November 2, 2017 

4 – 6 pm Guests arrive and get settled

6 – 8 pm Mingle & Meal / Welcome & Grounding Activity

8 – 9 pm Evening Movement & Meditation


Friday November 3, 2017

8 – 8:30 Breakfast

8:45 – 10:15 Gentle Movement & Meditation

10:15 – 11 Intention Setting – Why are we here?

11 – 12 Wholehearted Living Intro

Lesson 1: Wholehearted Living

Lesson 2: Courage, Compassion, and Connection

12- 1 Lunch / Free-Time

1 – 3 Wholehearted Living Workshop Part. 1

Lesson 3: Guidepost 1 – Cultivating Authenticity – Letting go of what people think

Lesson 4: Guidepost 2 – Cultivating Self-Compassion – Letting go of perfectionism

3 – 3:20 Break

3: 20 – 5:30 Wholehearted Living Workshop Part. 2

Lesson 5: Guidepost 3 Cultivate a Resilient Spirit – Letting go of numbing and powerlessness

Lesson 6: Guidepost 4 Cultivating Gratitude & Joy – Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark

5:30 – 6:30 Meal

6:30 – Free Time (PLAY!)

9:00 – Evening Meditation (Optional)


Saturday November 4, 2017

8 – 8:30 Breakfast

8:45 – 10:15 Gentle Movement & Meditation

10:15 – 10:30 Break

10:30 – 12:30 Wholehearted Living Workshop Part. 3

Lesson 7: Guidepost 5 Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith – Letting Go of the Need for Certainty

Lesson 8: Guidepost 6 Cultivating Creativity – Letting Go of Comparison

Lesson 9: Guidepost 7 Cultivating Play and Rest – Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self Worth

12:30 – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 4:00 Free Time

4:00 – 6:00  Wholehearted Living Workshop Part. 4

Lesson 10: Guidepost 8 Cultivating Calm and Stillness – Letting Go of    Anxiety as a Lifestyle

Lesson 11: Guidepost 9 Cultivating Meaningful Work – Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”

Lesson 12: Guidepost 10 Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance – Letting Go of being cool and “always in control”

6:00 – 6:45 Dinner Meal

7:00 – 9:00 Group Abhyanga Pair & Restorative Yoga


Sunday November 5, 2017 

Sunrise Gratitude Practice (optional)

8 – 8:30 Breakfast

8:45 – 10:15 Gentle Movement & Meditation

10:30 -12 Letter to Oneself

12:00 – 12:30 Lunch

12:30 – 1:30 Closing Activity


Surrender is My Religion

Podcast of my Mind

About 4 years ago I walked the 2 miles from my cozy home on Ann Arbor’s north side  to Café Verde in Kerry Town to send some emails and envision the future of my business.

I was listening to the podcast of my mind. I have this ability to be completely entertained by my thoughts and even tune out music or news if the internal channel is loud enough.

You, too? Well, that day, the internal channel was a hamster wheel brainstorm of hosting my own podcast. My vision started with the idea of recording something as I made my way downtown each day, something like “Walks with Andrea” that would contain insights, guided walking mediation practices, and perhaps some resources and announcements.

Practicing Surrender

Since moving to the mountains and launching the health coaching arm of my business, I am on fire for collaborating with others to share stories of Fearless Self-Love. Living each day with the magnificence of the mountains, sky and uncertainty about how my future will unfold is a continued practice of surrender. As I surrender, more and more to the being I am when I feel most alive, the more fun I have, the deeper connections I make with others, the more possible it seems to truly thrive!

I’m thrilled to announce that as of December 1, you should be able to find my show on itunes!

I have recorded 6 new interviews in the past month and am onto editing and getting them ready for their debut. Along with interviews from folks like Sara Hughes-Zabawa, Rachel Harper, Cherie Bachman, Aria Mae, Brett Holmquist, Liza Baker, each episode will  include:

  • Fearless Self-Care tip for the fortnight

  • Courageous Art Feature

  • Live with Ease in the moment guided practice

I Recorded A Song!

As you might recall, my friend Jamie Wyman, and I recorded a song she wrote for my business. I know, right? It was crazy scary & fun. We have some more work to do on it…namely me building courage & giving it another go, but you’ll hear clips of it at the start & end of the show.

Keep your eyes peeled for a little competition that will accompany the launch of the podcast. There will be prizes (really good prizes!!) to win for subscribing to the show, sharing it & writing a review. You’ll want to do this, even if just for the potential of winning a prize (like a Fearless Self-Loving Self-Care Kit of all my favorites!!)!

Ok, folks, it’s time to edit some shows. Catch me on the show in December!!

Ready to Give In

It’s day three and I’m ready to throw in the towel.

I’ve been cleansing, as I have done for several years now, with the seasonal change from Summer to Fall (and also Winter to Spring).

I walked by the brewery and a cute guy from the rooftop was smiling at me. I wanted to go in. I was on my way to Yoga, to practice, not teach. Something I made sure to schedule in this week. The silks class was great, by the way, and exactly what I needed after a full day! Yesterday, when driving by the brewery, I also wanted to go in….hmmm…..is it about alcohol? I don’t think so, but what I notice is my desire to give in has to do with socializing.

I’m standing in the kitchen, warming my kitchari on the stove while listening to my dog eat his own dry processed food (I do want to make his own someday; it’s an aspiration without a plan). My plan to eat a mono diet for 3 or more days feels challenging this year. I scoop my supper into a bowel and silently say to my dog,

“it’s ok, I’m eating dog food, too, this week, the same thing every meal.”


Hold up! I have a choice, people.

I talk to myself as if my own crowd of witnesses! And, I have Himalayan sea salt. The vegetables I’m eating I grew on the farm where I worked summer, and my food is warm, cooked, and I actually like it!

What’s happening here is I am craving company. Cleansing inevitably slows my social calendar. My roommate is at dinner with a friend, and a part of me is envious. Another friend considered a night on the town, and my commitment to 10pm bedtime and no alcohol for these several days, stops me from joining her.

Over the past few months, I let the wind carry my cares, and now I’m intentionally getting back to business. Fall is like that. It’s a good time to recommit and settle into a groove.

What About Self-Judgment?

I catch myself though, with the judgment. I point out to myself too often where I lead myself astray. Instead, this week, I will remind myself that I am grateful. Grateful for these few days of discipline, for the great sleep I am getting, the work I am accomplishing, the complete elimination (and then some )I am experiencing (yes, we talk about poop a lot as Yoga Health Coaches!), and also the opportunity to watch my thoughts, let them go by, or catch them and ask them what they’re really trying to tell me.

My thoughts of resistance this week tell me that I’m a social being, who can benefit from a break here and there, AND that being a people person is a blessing. It’s something I love about me, not something to criticize, rather to support with ample down time for reflection, lest I get carried away and ungrounded, feeling lured into bars handsome, bearded men I might meet, rather than lured into my kitchen with the promise of my own deep and nourishing love.

It’s a journey, friends. One we are all on. When we pause to cleanse, stuff comes up. Whether it’s craving for food or friends, or back talk to ourselves about who we are or how we are taking care of ourselves, we all face it. Part of cleansing is turning the camera around to face ourselves.

It’s a true selfie opportunity, no stick required.


How to Cleanse When Menstruating

This one’s personal. Blood & Cleansing.

I planned to start my annual fall cleanse Monday. Because it’s now officially Fall. Because it’s my small gap between friends in town and an upcoming Yoga Health Coaching retreat, and cleansing is a good way to prepare for retreat. It gets me in the right frame of mind to learn, connect, and envision myself thriving. My guess is this may be why you cleanse, too! Also, because I want to be a few steps ahead of those I am guiding through a cleanse, and because I already promised my little sister (Big Brothers Big Sisters) that we could make spaghetti together on Thursday after we give ourselves manicures and pedicures. And semolina flour is not a cleansing food and I want to be able to join her, at least for a taste….but on Monday, I was bleeding.

How I Cleanse

In Autumn, I choose a 3 day cleanse. 3 days of true food simplification. I make kitchari. I favor slow evenings, going to bed and wake up early (10/10:30-6/6:30), and gentle movement rather than rigor or lethargy. I choose not to over book myself. Generally, I slow my roll on the scrolling, and opt out of excess media engagement. It’s a time for writing, listening, walking slowly in nature, and pausing longer with more gratitude before meals.

Before cleansing, I find myself nesting a bit. This go ’round I did a deep clean of the kitchen, which often includes re-organizing the pantry and scrubbing out the fridge. Sunday night, I went through all my clothing with the “Love It?” measure. If I couldn’t say “yes”immediately (or it didn’t have deep sentimental value — for I am deeply sentimental and have on occasion regretted parting from a beloved item), then it goes. I have a department store bag stuffed and ready for a Naked Lady Party (aka girls night clothing exchange post cleanse, sure to include non-cleanse food).

My room was clean, desk organized, I did my shopping. But I was still bleeding.

What About The Blood?

I have a regular cycle, but I had a busy, exciting, adventurous past month, thus started flowing a few days later than normal, and so, was still at the time I planned to start cleansing.

Many think of cleansing as a detox. When we are menstruating, our body is already doing it’s own cleanse. When I am bleeding I rest more, move less, and try to eat more mindfully, favoring nourishing, unprocessed foods. While I crave sugar and tend to give in to at least one baked good while bleeding, I know my body needs easy to digest, hearty, protein-rich foods, with ample fat.

So this week, I gave in a little, I stock-piled myself with snacks. Rarely do I snack, even when not cleansing. But I knew that having local plums and raw coconut, walnuts and pumpkin seeds on hand would support my effort to stay out of the bakery. It worked!

I also added as much oil and Himalayan Pink salt as I craved to my kitchari. I made golden milk at night.

In no way have I felt nutritionally deprived. If you plan a cleanse and happen to have a visit by Aunt Flo simultaneously, be gentle with yourself:

  • Favor nutrient dense foods like root vegetables, sesame, ghee, flax and coconut oils
  • Give yourself an out: pack healthy snacks to resist cravings for sugar
  • Slow down: favor gentle or restorative Yoga, crawl in bed early with a book, journal an extra 10 minutes

So, it is possible to keep going with your cleanse while menstruating. I would not recommend a juice fast or the master cleanse at this time. Your body needs you to show up with lots of love and support and there are ways to do that without giving in to every craving, and still getting the nutrients you need.

If you’re not sure how to do this, book a FREE strategy session with me here🙂

Still Craving Sweet?

Cleansing is a great time to practice empathy and generate sweet talk to your self. Even if you aren’t eating that brownie you’re craving, you can bring in sweet taste with:

  • Sweet vegetables (like carrots and beets), grains (like basmati rice), and oils
  • Your favorite soft, comfortable clothes and adding that fuzzy blanket to the mix with your book and tea
  • Early bedtime to rub your feet and snuggle with loved ones (pets count!)
  • Sweet words of encouragement ~ you may even choose, like I do, to write yourself a love letter to open before your next cleanse!
  • Sweet Yoga ~ here’s a free taste of Yoga with me:) –> buy my full Yoga video library here!

As you dive in, I wish you sweet nothings on your cleanse journey, whether or not your bleeding, remember why you are here. My guess is you want to feel good. Cleansing can feel good, too. Start with love, and stay sweet as you go. 


Are You Singing, Yet?

“Is It About Singing?,”

She asked me when I pointed to my throat as the place I intuitively knew I held my fear.

I recently had a reflexology session with Velvet. A few things came up: judgment and fear. These seem to be what keep me from fully stepping into my life, from embodying my dreams, from believing I have within me what I help others to find within themselves: Courage, Compassion, and Cooperation with oneself.

She said to envision a rainbow road extending from my heart. And to see myself walking along that road until I came to a stopping point. Her instructions were to trust my intuition and to go with the first answer I felt throughout the entire session. When I knew it was time to stop, she asked “why did you stop?”

“There is a wall,” I said.

“Is it a solid brick wall?”

“No, it’s made of water.”

“Can you go through it?”

“It appears as if I could, but I cannot.”

Judgment and fear were in the way. Judgment and fear were keeping me from stepping into my own life.

Judgment is at play when I predetermine what others will think of me if I do something out of character or postpone a deadline for my own self-care. Namely, I spend a lot of energy caring about whether I am living up to the standards of those around me.

There is value in admiring and respecting others, but not at the cost of respecting myself and trusting my own intuition.

Fear is at play when I hesitate to sing in front of a singer, or bite my Spanish-speaking tongue in front of a native speaker (I had some major gains with this on my trip to Mexico in February when I served as translator on our whale watch!). Fear most often manifests as talking my way out of something, like singing, that I know I could do if I just gave it a shot. And even if I don’t do it well the first time, walking through the waterfall of fear to the other side has only showed me that if I keep doing it, I get better. I slip less as I learn the terrain, and the shock of the cold gets easier every time.

Here’s the thing, these stifling emotions are just emotions. They are not brick walls preventing me from success. They are more like waterfalls. From behind them, my vision is distorted, and I am not able to see my full potential. Once I brave the cold and the possibility of falling, I, in the least, have a clear vision of the other side. I can then choose whether or not to keep stepping through the waterfall, or stay in my comfort zone.

A few days ago, my throat was throbbing before bed. I’d spent the weekend with a new friend and musician, who like other encouragers in my life, told me that in order to improve my singing (and my comfort with it), I simply needed to sing more. My sore throat has since revealed itself as strep. It’s been years since this nasty bacteria has inhabited my throat, but it was common for this outspoken young child. It has quieted me, as it actually hurts to talk & swallow. It has slowed me down to focus and reflect. It is making me wonder what I actually need to step through to believe in myself, to find my voice.

Well, friends, in a few short weeks, Surprise! I’m recording a song with this amazing human:)

It’s all about Fearless Self-Love, what it means to be grounded here & my vision for connected, kind, and flourishing communities. If you didn’t even know you dreamed of your own song for your business, I highly recommend letting the thought simmer for a while. Meeting Jamie was one of those seemingly serendipitous experiences that has been one of the greatest gifts in my recent life:) The Grounded Here song will soon show up in the intro & outro of my podcast (stay tuned as my podcast will have a new name & is launching on itunes in November!!) & teaching videos. I can’t wait to share it with you:) You can read more about our journey together here. And more about Jamie’s Custom Songs here

She’s helping me find my voice. And so are all of you. And so is the sickness in my throat that has me slowing down and diving back into my work. The waterfalls of fear and judgment will always be in front of me. If I can remember that I absolutely love water, and that it has always been worth the risk to step through what may prove chilling or slippery to see the truth, and embody my full potential, I will sing, folks. I will be spontaneous, courageous, even, for my own self-love.

I’ll start by singing this:

water, heal my body

water, heal my soul

when I go down, down to the water

by the water, I feel whole

–The River, by Coco Love Alcorn

How awesome that my last name, Bachman, means “river man”;) Well, this river woman is about to sing, y’all! After I sang Coco’s words in a recent Yoga class during shavasana, one of my students shared that she had an image of song being an integral part of my work.

Deep breath, I’m walking through the waterfall. You coming with me?

How about you? What keeps you from stepping through the waterfalls in your life?

Ode to Pleasure

Oh pleasure

Where have you been?

Have you been waiting for me all this time?

Waiting on the side of the rural mountain highway wondering when I’ll stop to smell the sage brush?
Waiting on my lover’s sunlit bed in the afternoon?
Waiting in the cool mint mock-tail to accompany my last few working hours?

Have you been waiting in the longing of my pup’s eyes for rough and tumble or a snuggle fest?
Have you been waiting on the stage in the fingers of the mandolin picker wondering if I’ll come to hear your high strung wondering perfection?
Have you been waiting in my cheeks begging me to send corners of lips your way?

Oh pleasure, where have you been I wonder?

And you, I imagine, smile and nod, un-moved

For you’ve been here all along

In the cozy woolen blanket on my futon in the thick of mud season
In a steaming mug of vanilla hazelnut tea with coconut cream on dreary mornings
In my lovers palm as it grasps mine and we walk uncertain paths with the rest of the uncertain souls who walk hand in hand, too, just as they are, right now, in love

Even more, you’ve been right here

Behind my eyes, where I envision the way these words may be read by another


Right here, in this pink mouth where words birth and there’s buzzing of what will land next on my tongue

Right here behind my breasts–

Today I can read and follow the suggestions to “Breathe in very gently, and feel life stirring in your chest,”
When just yesterday breathing into the stirring brought fear of rupture, explosion

Never guessing it would be of you, Oh pleasure

Thank you for boiling over. Thank you doing it the way you did–gently, with kindness, not worrying about the way you’d change my plans, nor causing me to question if I could believe you

May I remember that I do not have to be good
That I do not have to walk on my knees to deserve you
That I do not have to deserve you

May I remember that you exist apart from reward and punishment
And no acquisition of power, fame, money, or love could better qualify me to know you like I do now

Quietly stirring with life in my chest
Listening to children playing freely on squeaking swing sets
Amazed that you’ve been here all along, and so have I

Oh, pleasure, we’re going to have a fine time.


More Connection, Less Bull Sh!t.

A few days ago, this rad, courageous, tells-it-like-it-is friend of mine, Tracey Duncan, and I had a chat about:

Authentic Connection on Social Media

What if we approached social media with the same authenticity as we do in person? What if we stopped pretending to be something we’re not?

Standing on a Pedestal Or Sharing the Basement Floor?

She describes to me her journey from being put on a pedestal to kicking it out to stand along others on the basement floor, so to speak. On this ground level, no one stands above another. On this ground level, all get to be leader or student, to be vulnerable and need support, or to teach and offer wisdom. 

Punk Leadership

I asked her about her leadership style, and if she knows she’s one of those people others notice when she walks into the room. She’s aware she’s seen, and she sees those who see her, too. Does the attention you receive feel like power? Or connection?

You’ll just have to watch/listen if you want to learn more….

Tracey is someone who is on for going through the crucible, for entering the fire that is a transformative life. She inspires me, and I hope she inspires you, too.

Perhaps best known for her skills as a writer, story-teller and story-teller teacher, she has an online course, The Hero Course,  that’s unlike any other online course you’ve taken. She’s witty, wise, and you’ll be invited to encounter your own bullshit when you step into the realm of learning and telling your own story with her.

 A pre-req for her course & a way to get to know Tracey, is her FREE course Strategic Story Telling.

It’s conversations like these, that give me pause, and offer me the opportunity to fall more inline with my own integrity, to release my grip on the forward propelling motion of my attempt to perpetually problem-solve and fall into congruence with my mind and my heart.

If your ears want even more on that, another colleague of ours, Brodie Welch, has the podcast for you: Congruence and The Power of Choices.

We promote each other around here.

There is plenty of love and learning to go around.

We’re stronger together on the basement floor than when we depend continually on the same person to teach us the depths of our own souls.