Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Decide. Set the intention. Ask. Be open. Take the next step.

The Quiet Voice Inside: Following Inner Guidance

I'm learning that the way toward manifesting anything in my life are a "simple" 5-step process.

Step 1: Decide on what I want to be, do or have.

Step 2: Set the Intention = Imagine it vividly

Step 3: Ask = "I ask to/for [be, do have]..."

Step 4: Be Open = be receptive and allow whatever comes. (Suspend "the cursed hows" as Mike Dooley would say. Don't be concerned about HOW what you want to be/do/have is going to show up.)

Step 5: Take the Next (Guided) Step = Pay attention to the inner nudges and outer synchronistic events. These will unfold exactly as they are intended.

Oh, and did I mention that this involves a great deal of TRUST?!?! Holy Moly does it!

In Wabi Sabi,

Monday, August 18, 2014

Little Bits

Creating Art Can Come in Little Bits

I have to remember that although I'm intending to carve out blocks of time to create art that sometimes I just need to be creative about when that happens.

For example...

Last week, I was asked to stand guard over lunches and backpacks left on picnic tables by a group of high school students. At first, I paced and enjoyed a "walking meditation", then an idea flashed to take natural materials around me and create something. I created the rough shape by shuffling my feet, pulling leaves in to an edge. Then I saw mushrooms that had been knocked over, and pine cones in the underbrush and sticks all over. 

My heart sang as I gathered materials and placed them around, then within the shape. It took probably fifteen minutes at the most... 

A few days later, I was rifling through a shed, in search of a piece of equipment when I saw a piece of wood cut in what has become one of my favorite shapes:

Finding this piece of natural art was such a treat! 
It reminds me of the watercolor hearts I love to paint.

This was a collage I created for Amy Frost's Guided Imagery CD.
The names of the tracks are included in the piece.

So wabi sabi, too.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A New Phase of Life

About REALLY Stepping into Art, Creativity and a Wabi Sabi Life

Below, I've included a piece I wrote when I first discovered wabi sabi -- it's on my website ( and is fitting for the beginning of this new blog:

In January, 2012, I was introduced to the Buddhist-derived Japanese philosophy, wabi sabi. The phrase has many definitions and interpretations, but the one that resonates most for me is by Robert Powell, who said, “[Wabi sabi] nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect.” Add an element of finding the mystery and magic in everyday life and it’s right up my alley in my creative work and what I seek in my daily life.

This Japanese art form of Wabi Sabi seeks to honor and celebrate the beauty and perfection in what's natural in pottery – drips, cracks, flaws and all -- as well as honoring what is authentic. I realized I was a creative person when I took a pottery class as I was in a doctoral program, continuing my education as a counselor. Handbuilding came naturally for me. I loved the process of creating a slab, cutting it to the shape I wanted and working quickly to form it. My instructor, seeing how well I was doing, urged me  to spend time throwing on the wheel. The thing was, though, sitting at the pottery wheel, trying to form a pot was frustrating to me. And I already had enough frustration in my life from being a student in a doctoral program, so I chose to honor my own authentic urge to do what I enjoyed.

Nothing lasts. Even the most challenging events end at some point. To view life through a wabi sabi lens offers a perspective, a focus on gleaning something good from the messiness and imperfections of our experiences. Often I will start a creative project with something -- a very strong image -- in mind, but I can't seem to create it as I've seen it in my mind's eye. What I've learned is to use the internal inspiration as a starting point, allowing the project to unfold, rather than fight how it's manifesting itself.

So, what if WE learned to prize the imperfections, cracks and mistakes in our own messy lives and creativity? When I can remember (which requires a shift in awareness) that nothing is perfect AND those imperfections are actually beautiful reminders of just how HUMAN I really am, I feel more calm and at peace.

My wabi sabi message here is that life is full of irregularities – unexpected events – the ones that tend to be most challenging can offer the greatest sense of grace and beauty IF we take the time to shine the light of awareness on them. It is through the ongoing practice of wabi sabi that our lives can be filled with joy, wonder and authenticity.

A New Business Card and Logo

I painted the ENSO (circle) with water colors and a touch of sparkle. (I LOVE my sparkle!)

What's an enso?
From Wikipedia: "In Zen Buddhism, an ensō ( , "circle"?) is a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create."

Symbolism of the CIRCLE:
The circle itself can represent the universe and everything in it. Circles suggest wholeness, power, perfection, , healing, unity, completion  and eternity. They are also universally connected to the practices of meditation, healing and prayer. It represents the beginning and the end.


For the past couple of years, I've off-and-on written a blog, "90 Wabi Sabi Days". It eventually morphed into something I didn't intend. (Nothing stays the same, right?) As my career has shifted, so am I and I'm wanting to return to the simple focus that is genuinely wabi sabi. 

That's where this blog comes in.

With so many things going on in the world, I want this space to have a simple focus on authenticity and simple principals. Wabi sabi is the theme. Art (and creativity) is the focus. 

I hope you'll join me.

Wabi Sabi Artist,