It had been a long few days and I wasn’t really in the mood for networking, but something inside said to go.
In Los Angeles to help promote International Mandela Day, I found myself on a windy rooftop in Malibu at Creative Visions, a fantastic non-profit that uses visual media and storytelling to spark social change.
That night, I met Andrea. We were introduced and immediately shared a kindred spirit. A feeling that we were mirrors of each other, except with a thirty year age difference. Andrea shined as she shared her story and listened to mine. After five minutes, I declared my love for her and she insisted that I read her new novel, Pushing Upward. We made plans to have lunch that coming Monday.
In LA, everyone says “let’s do lunch,” but saying and doing are two very different things. So when I called on Sunday, I half-expected to leave a message never to be returned or make plans only to be cancelled at the last minute.
To make a long story short, we ended up spending five hours together at her home in Santa Monica, talking about the challenges of running our own businesses and throwing the I Ching (what’s this you ask? keep reading).
My time with Andrea provided a much-needed boost in my belief in the path I’ve chosen, which has been hectic and challenging these past few months. We now speak weekly and she’s coming to San Francisco in September.
Well, I tore through Andrea’s novel Pushing Upward which dived deeper into the I Ching while using funny and candid snapshots from a period of her own life to illustrate the book’s takeaways. I’ve never written one before, but here is my review of Pushing Upward which I highly recommend.
Take a Step Forward in Your Life, Read Pushing Upward!
Inspiring and insightful, Pushing Upward seemed to come into my life as serendipitously as the elderly Emma responded to Sandra’s fateful ad in Andrea Adler’s tale of transformation.
Sandra’s entertaining story isn’t just for the young twenty-something looking for direction; it’s for anyone who has let doubt derail their dreams and is open to examining themselves, just as Sandra does on her journey.
The novel is a cautionary story of how we let our past hold us back, how we use excuses to prevent us from acting in the present and how to positively embrace what our future holds. Uncertainly is expected, the test is how we respond to it!
Incorporating the I Ching, an ancient Chinese divination system popular in the 70s, Pushing Upward introduces a tool that readers can use to better reflect on the big and small questions in our lives. After reading Andrea’s book, I bought the I Ching and its millennia-old wisdom is a helpful sounding board and guide.
For the people who give us strength and guidance, Andrea and the I Ching remind us to value them. And, more importantly, to be a source of strength and support for others – no matter how consumed we become in our own lives.
Pushing Upward is a lesson to be open and realize that “every encounter, every experience teaches us something.” People come into our lives for a reason – to help, to test, and to teach.
Pushing Upward helped me to overcome my own uncertainty and reluctance to ask for help, and appreciate those that offer it. Andrea’s book and the I Ching taught me to “not allow daggers of doubt to puncture your heart” and that with patience and effort, success is what you make of it.
NOTE: I have not received any compensation for this recommendation. It’s all from love! Now share it : )