About Pushing Upward

The year is 1974

"This fascinating roman a' clef, by Andrea Adler, takes us through 21 yr-old Sandra Billings' rollicking year when she discovers the I Ching, the ancient Chinese oracle. She uses the oracle as her GPS to navigate a torrid love affair, battle with demons from her past and her life as an actress in L.A.

After consulting the oracle, Sandra places an ad in the Los Angeles Times: Drama Student in Need of Rm and Brd in Exchange for Housekeeping. She meets some dubious men, a few zany women, and ultimately Emma, a mysterious 80-year-old woman whom she moves in with and both their lives change.

Throughout the story, Sandra confronts her fears, pushes through her doubts, and experiences profound inner changes. The result is a stunning climax, where everything she has gained is challenged by a poignant and surprising twist of fate."

Pushing Upward
The Movie

Working with the I Ching

There are pivotal times in our lives when we are faced with challenging decisions, relationship questions, work dilemmas. The I Ching, the ancient Chinese oracle, can help us reveal underlying issues that relate to our concerns. It can also strengthen our sense of direction, steer us onto an inspiring path — or simply confirm what we had realized all along.

Watch Paul O’Brien talk about his awesome I Ching experience. Then, click on “View More” to watch other folks share their journeys.

Contact Andrea

To schedule a presentation or I Ching Reading


  • “We may all be searching for an oracle, a teacher, the way to free ourselves from our addictions or our past traumas. We do so through self-inquiry . . . In Pushing Upward, we fall in love with Sandra Billings and watch her painstakingly consult the I Ching with a variety of decisions and questions . . . We cringe along with her in moments of despair, humiliation, and we rejoice with her every triumph.”

  • “Not what I expected . . . it was great!”
    — NOOK

  • “Pushing Upward is brave writing, a young woman’s journey toward her dreams, avoiding traps and falling into them, slipping back and finding the grace and will to go on — and so it reflects on our own journey and makes us braver, too.”
    — Gerald DiPego, screenwriter for Phenomenon, Message in a Bottle, Instinct, The Forgotten, Angel Eyes, Sharkey’s Machine

  • “Adler gives readers a wonderful coming-of-age story set in the retro-70’s, when payphones were necessary, a call was 10 cents, and Batik clothing was all the rage. This is a story all generations can appreciate.”

  • “I relived the confusion and excitement of my twenties, the many choices, the romance, the degradation, the danger, the ecstasy, the search to find a place in the world and the answer to unarticulated spiritual questions. Pushing Upward describes with relentless honesty the exercise of courage inherent in the human condition.”
    — Ana Benscoter, teacher

  • “This book mirrored my entire life. Reading about Sandra’s tenaciousness to get to her own truth helped me to leave a relationship that wasn’t good for me, and leave a career I was unhappy with. I kept this book under my arm wherever I went. It became my best friend and gave me the courage to face my own fears and push upward.”
    — Pat Lavin, hypnotherapist

  • “Andrea is a most engaging writer. . . . Pushing Upward is a delight. I honestly had a hard time putting it down and then didn’t want to see it end. For days afterwards I found myself missing Sandra Billings and wondering what would happen to her next.”
    — Jessica Stuart Yudelson, acting and speaking voice coach

  • “Those of us seasoned in life, those of us who are mentors or potential mentors, have in Emma a role model. In Sandra, we remember our own journey and, as such, we can embrace the grave responsibility we have for a younger generation, often lost and confused. Pushing Upward is a wonderful book, clever, funny, and most of all heartfelt.”
    — Ron Bennett, writer

  • “Pushing Upward made me think about my life in a way I never did before. It gave me permission to dig down into my past where it was too painful to go by myself. The humor helped me to bring memories to the surface, and move through my own shadows in a less threatening way.”
    — Evan McCulloch, musician

  • “Pushing Upward is a power-packed page-turner –– an example of visionary fiction at its best. Adler uses her characters to show us, not tell us, how we can create conscious transformation in action . . . the way it works when used properly, the way it blows up when we ignore the signs — especially when the answers are not what we want to hear.”
    — Kay Snow-Davis, consultant

  • “Bravo! Andrea has magnificently depicted the struggle and confusion young women go through when faced with life decisions. The best part is, she has accomplished this with great humor, sensitivity and integrity. I can’t wait for this book to become a film.”
    — Sofia van Surskum, Executive Director, Durango Film Festival

  • “This love story captures the essence of a modern use of the I Ching in the most elegant and accurate way.”
    — Paul O’Brien, Divination Foundation

  • “This is one of the most heart-touching, inspirational and interesting books I have ever read. It is so unique, so original. Laced with the author’s own experiences of being and actress, journalist and spiritual women, the reader is welcomed into a world of theater and an emotional roller coaster of the drama of Sandra’s inner and outer life.”
    — An Angels Kiss BLOG – Angel St. John

  • “Andrea Adler deftly interweaves themes of love and betrayal, friendship and higher guidance, ego and surrender to create a compelling and thought-provoking read.”
    — Miriam Knight, New Consciousness Review

  • “Pushing Upward is woven together with thick texture and color; the characters are raw, real and honest. I love how Adler takes the reader on that rollercoaster ride we’ve all been on . . . the one where we believe in ourselves one minute, and then the next, search for an escape when that belief is hard to find. Pushing Upward has ‘bestseller’ written all over it. But most importantly, the lives and the minds and the hearts it will touch will be tremendous. This is a work of art — beautifully crafted and molded by every step Sandra Billings took.”
    — Holly Zubot, marketing consultant

Latest Blog Post

Pushing Upward is not a Bra. It’s a State of Mind.

What I mean by this is . . . Pushing Upward is about pushing toward a higher state of mind. Living a life that matters.

Discover the I Ching: Is Your Future in the Coins?

Whoever thought 3 coins could determine ones destiny, answer a question or steer one in the right direction?

Senior Mentoring

Sandra Billings is at her wits end. She is dying to get off the endless wheel of a 9 to 5 job.