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, 

No comments:

Post a Comment