Thursday, February 13, 2014

Wabi Sabi

Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. ~Wabi-sabi for the Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers  Leonard Koren

Wabi-[sabi] is characterized by humility, restraint, simplicity, naturalism, profundity, imperfection, and asymmetry... ~Introduction: Chanyo, The Art of Tea  Urasenke Seattle Homepage

Emerging from the 15th century as a reaction to the prevailing aesthetic of lavishness, ornamentation, and rich materials, wabi-sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in earthiness, of revering authenticity above all. ~Natural Home  Robyn Griggs Lawerence

In Japanese, wabi and sabi are two distinct, different words. Their etymology is fascinating. (see link below) In the interest of brevity, I have given definitions that serve our purpose. That is, to focus and entertain the notion of "imperfect" being beautiful. What a novel concept for those of us in the West. If you seriously dwell on the idea's of beauty and youth that Madison Avenue has perpetuated on our society, and that we have accepted as truth, it is no wonder we are as neurotic a society as we are.

Last year I addressed the reality that most people deal with deep seated impressions of not being "good enough." (10-10-12) There is a pervasive sense that I am not _______. (go ahead, fill in the blank. Tall enough, rich enough, skinny enough, smart infinitum) Your inner monologue becomes your reality. You become a slave to other people's concept of what beautiful is, what the meaning of success is, what you are supposed to be! Why?

Wabi-sabi is an appreciation for the way things are. Finding perfection in the imperfect. It is Life's gift to you today.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Japanese for, "I don't understand." What I don't understand is why no one from Japan has come onto this web site. I have an affinity for Japan that would make visitor exclusion a disappointing situation. Though we are most definitely a "small band of brother's," our list of visitors from different countries isn't unimpressive:

Australia--Belarus--Brazil--Canada--China--Columbia--Finland--France--Germany--Georgia--India--Indonesia--Ireland--Israel--Kazakhstan--Kenya--Malaysia--Mexico--Netherlands--Pakistan--Philippines--Poland--Romania--Russia--Singapore--South Africa--South Korea--Sweden--Switzerland--Suriname--Tanzania--Thailand--Turkey--Ukraine--United Kingdom--United States--Venezuela.

While there are obvious shortfalls in Africa, the Middle East, and South America, not to have Japan come aboard would be inexplicable. To that end, I will blatantly court Japan with my next few posts. (I noticed to secure Australia, it was helpful to write about the lexicon and peculiarities of that country) It is just something I feel compelled to do. Wakarimasu ka?

Monday, February 10, 2014


Dr. Phil has a saying; "you can be happy or you can be right." This is usually in the context of couple relationships and highlights the importance we (collectively) place on being right. For most of us, being right has cost us either 1) a marriage 2) a relationship or 3) a friendship. What is it about us that we will sacrifice so much on the altar of the god "ImRight?"

Which brings us to the title of today's post; yield. What an amazing word! It contains the paradox of wildly divergent meanings. Besides the way I am intending it used, (to yield the "right of way") it also means a financial "return on investment" or an orchard yielding a "good crop." But it doesn't stop there. Yield can also mean to "give up under pressure or compulsion, surrender." The context depends entirely on how and where the word is used.

One aspect of the human condition is the view that we have the right of self-determination. Though history teaches us that oppressive regimes can, and have, subverted that right through intimidation, violence, and murder, that doesn't alter the fact that humans feel they should be able to make their own choices. If you find yourself agreeing that this is true, bring it down to the personal level. Why would you ever want to eliminate that option from someone you care about?

When you find yourself opposed by some one's insistence on doing it their way, allow for it. Yield! It is their inherent "right" to go their own "way." (path) It does not mean that they are right and you are wrong. All it means is that you understand a basic human need; the right of self-determination. Most  assuredly, voice your concerns. Just don't impose your point of view. Here it is vital to make the distinction that yielding isn't in the context of surrender or capitulation. It is an awareness that your truth is yours--and theirs is theirs. (see the second to last sentence of the third paragraph in the God section)

By far the greatest teacher is experience. We learn (most often) the "hard way." Trial and error. What works, what doesn't. Is this not so? Why then, would you deprive anyone else of this knowledge?  By yielding, I believe you can realize a return on investment quite unlike any previously experienced. (be it marriage, relationships, or friendships) I believe you can be both happy and right. It is simply a matter of yielding the right of way.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


I bring you once again to the cutting edge of science; meet Kelly McGonigal. She received her PhD in Psychology from Stanford University. Feel free to watch the entire video--but if you only have seconds watch from the 3:10 to the 3:20 mark. She says; "when you change your mind about stress you can change your body's response to stress."

The rest of the talk she references studies and health science to support her claims. Bottom line: if you can view stress as being HELPFUL, your body will respond in kind and promote a sense of wellbeing, even as it experiences stress. (see; ocytocin)

If something is helpful, isn't it a gift? (full of help, helpful; beneficial, advantageous, fortunate, favorable, supportive, cooperative, constructive) To understand the distinction between possible outcomes from EXACTLY the same stimulus is the beginning of wisdom. It is the ability to "create possibilities" within a construct where your mind is already made up. "I'm stressed out! I can't handle it! Leave me alone." Ever heard those words before? Ever spoke them?

Honor your initial reactions. If you are stressed out, you're stressed out. That's fine. What you then do with those feelings though, is paramount. If your mind locks in on the debilitating aspects of stress, you will experience a manifestation (in some form) of that thought process. If you can recalibrate your immediate reaction to include the idea that stress is a gift, (however incomprehensible) you then create an entirely new dynamic of how you respond and react to the stress. Not only does your body respond differently, (as Kelly attests) so does your mind and spirit. And that is what this web site is all about. G-G-G works if you put it to work. The results you experience reveal your path. Your path is your purpose of being. Your being is an expression of God. What could be simpler?