A WABI SABI LOVE “intervention”

January 2nd, 2013 by Arielle

This young couple found themselves bickering over an issue they couldn’t find a solution for.

Watch as we discover together how to create Wabi Sabi Love quickly!

And, if you would like Arielle to do a skype session with you, go to Contact and send an email.


Wabi Sabi Marriage Saver

October 18th, 2012 by Arielle

Ten years ago Barack and Michelle Obama’s marriage was about to crumble.

Michelle told her mother she wasn’t sure their marriage would survive.

Barack told his grandmother that Michelle’s constant nagging was driving him crazy.

They were drowning in debt from the Ivy League law school loans.

Michelle was the major breadwinner with her high profile, corporate job and two young girls to care for and she felt fat, unseen and unheard.

With Barack’s busy travel schedule, they barely had any family time. And she was tired of picking up after him.

One morning Michelle woke up at 5am. Barack was gently snoring next to her. All she could think about was getting out of bed and going to the gym….it had been months! Part of her resisted going….the girls would soon be up and would need to fed….but the other part of her thought, Barack’s a smart guy, he’ll figure out how to feed them.

Once she arrived at the gym she got on the stairmaster and quickly had a Wabi Sabi epiphany.

She realized she had been WAITING for Barack to make her happy.

BUT, she now saw that it was up to her, to make herself happy.

When she got home, she found Barak and the girls at the breakfast table were she announced the NEW RULES of the Obama household.

First, she was finally going to take her mother’s offer to begin helping out with caring the kids.

Second, every night that Barack was in town, the whole family would eat dinner together at 6:30

Third, Sundays are family day. No exceptions.

And finally, a weekly date night would be put on the calendar.

Today, as we all know, The Obama’s have a fabulous relationship and they and Michelle’s mom, are all happy together in the White House. And, they just recently celebrated their 20th anniversary.

By taking personal responsibility for your own happiness, and making space for your partner to be who and what they are, magic can and often does happen. It’s when we are blaming and shaming that no progress can be made.

Wabi Sabi Love offers ways to turn conflict into compassion and create a more loving relationship…..with yourself and your partner. The simple act of being WILLING to find the beauty and perfection in our own imperfections and especially the imperfections, quirks and weirdness of our partners, that is the essence of Wabi Sabi Love.

Wabi Sabi Aging

August 24th, 2012 by Arielle

Recently I heard that Horshack died. He was only 63.

No, I never knew him personally, he was an actor named Ron Palillo who was best known for playing a nerdy guy on the TV show Welcome Back Kotter that I used to watch in the 1970’s.

63….wow that’s young.

He wasn’t much older than me……

How in the world did I get to be an age where nearly every day I read about someone dying and my first thought is,

“Oh my, they were too young to be dead?”

25 years ago if you had asked me to make a list about what “old” people talk about it would have looked like this:

1) their aches, pains and general health conditions

2) who was dead or about to die

3) money and the rising cost of everything

4) the way things “used to be.”

If you woke me up in the middle of the night and asked me “how old are you?” my immediate response would probably be, “I’m 36.”

And, therein lies the disconnect.

 I am 59 ½. I added the “half” recently because I found out that

a) this is my exact age and

b) I can now take money out of my IRA without any penalties.

I am on the cusp of being “old.” And, I don’t know how to “hold” this.

Or be with it.

Or wrap my head around it.

How can I be “old?”

I don’t feel old, I don’t think I look old,

I don’t want to be old!

Last night I was talking to my friend Nancy who is 90 (and ¼). Yes, Nancy is old. And yet she’s not. Not in the way other 90 year olds are old. She still works ( she reaches meditation in her home). She still travels (just got back from 5 weeks in Hawaii) She still hikes up and down the hills in her home everyday. Her biggest complaint is that the DMV won’t renew her drivers license. (long story, I think they are agist profilers)

Nancy is definitely my role model for living a long, relatively healthy life (in spite of several surgeries and bouts with cancer she always bounces back). Observing her closely for more than 20 years, its clear to me that her positive attitude, endless curiosity, meditation practice and deliberately healthy lifestyle are her formula for success.

So, when I am talking to Nancy, I am aware that I am not old yet.

But I’m close, very, very close.

For months now I have been thinking about this. You might even say I have become obsessed with trying to figure out how to come to terms with aging.

I want to figure out a win/win solution here.

How do I age gracefully and still be active, have fun, look good, feel good, be productive, and not be in denial?

What is the wabi sabi of aging?

Your comments are needed and most welcome.


Wabi Sabi Humor: The Perfect Man

August 13th, 2012 by Arielle

Original List: (age 22)

1. Handsome
2. Charming
3. Financially successful
4. A caring listener
5. Witty
6.. In good shape
7. Dresses with style
8. Appreciates finer things
9. Full of thoughtful surprises

What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 32)

1. Nice looking
2. Opens car doors, holds chairs
3. Has enough money for a nice dinner
4. Listens more than talks
5. Laughs at my jokes
6. Carries bags of groceries with ease
7. Owns at least one tie
8. Appreciates a good home-cooked meal
9. Remembers birthdays and anniversaries

What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 42)

1. Not too ugly
2. Doesn’t drive off until I’m in the car
3. Works steady – splurges on dinner out occasionally
4. Nods head when I’m talking
5. Usually remembers punch lines of jokes
6. Is in good enough shape to rearrange the furniture
7. Wears a shirt that covers his stomach
8. Knows not to buy champagne with screw-top lids
9. Remembers to put the toilet seat down
10. Shaves most weekends

What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 52)

1. Keeps hair in nose and ears trimmed
2. Doesn’t belch or scratch in public
3. Can tow a Caravan
4. Can cook a BBQ
5. Doesn’t re-tell the same joke too many times
6. Appreciates a good TV dinner
7..Helps with the housework

What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 62)

1. Doesn’t scare small children
2. Remembers where I have put things
3. Can still tow a van without causing chaos on the road
4. Only snores lightly when asleep
5. Remembers why he’s laughing
6. Is in good enough shape to stand up by himself
7. Usually wears some clothes
8. Doesn’t notice my facial hair and wrinkles
9. Remembers where he left his teeth
10. Stops trying to tell jokes

What I Want in a Man, Revised List (age 72)
1. Breathing.
2. Doesn’t miss the toilet.
3. Remembers where we both live.

Send this to the women who will enjoy reading it and to the men who can handle it!

Is your marriage good for your health?

June 10th, 2012 by Arielle

When it comes to the link between marriage and health, the newest research indicates that only one question really matters:

Is your marriage good for your health? 

While it’s true that marriage boosts health at a statistical level, as an individual you only get that health advantage if your marriage is a happy one, recent research shows. A stressful marriage may in fact cost you your health. In a New York Times magazine article, Tara Parker-Pope cites study findings that correlate the heart-damaging effects of a bad marriage to those of “a regular smoking habit.”

Summarizing multiple studies, she adds, “a number of epidemiological studies suggest that unhappily married couples are at higher risk for heart attacks and cardiovascular disease than happily married couples.”

Marital strife also appears to weaken immune response. In two studies at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, immune response, monitored with blood samples, was consistently lower in couples when they were discussing “hot button” issues like money or in-laws. The couples with the highest levels of hostility toward each other demonstrated a weakened immune response over a two-day period, suggesting that the strain of a conflict-ridden marriage has lasting effects on your body’s ability to defend itself against infection, germs and disease.

A separate study at the University of Utah found that bad marriages are especially dangerous to women’s health, putting unhappy wives at greater risk for metabolic syndrome, a scary cluster of high risk heart symptoms (high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure coupled with abdominal fat and more). Similarly, a Swedish study that tracked 300 women hospitalized for chest pains or heart attack found that those who reported the highest levels of marital stress were almost three times as likely to have another heart attack or require bypass or some other procedure.

While heart disease wasn’t consistently linked to men in bad marriages, in multiple studies unhappy husbands (and wives) were more likely to demonstrate symptoms of depression.

For better (or worse), these findings are just the beginning. The volume of research on the health-depleting effects of a bad marriage is considerable, begging an important question:

If a bad marriage is so damaging to your (and your spouse’s) cardiovascular and mental health, how do you keep your own marriage healthy?

One answer is to embrace Wabi Sabi, an ancient Japanese aesthetic of finding beauty in the flaws, imperfections and inconsistencies, of ourselves and our partner. In Wabi Sabi Love (and marriage), you learn to shift your perspective around the things that might frustrate or annoy you. When you practice Wabi Sabi love you become willing to see your mate’s behavior through a new, gentler, and kinder lens. Chances are you see their behavior as “wrong or bad.” But, imagine for a moment that this behavior exists solely to teach you how to become a more loving, compassionate person. Can you find the gift of that behavior?

Even at its most Wabi Sabi, however, marriage involves some conflict. Living “happily ever after” every second of every day is a fantasy no one can sincerely live out. Not to mention, a study at the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that “healthy anger” may be a scientific reality. It’s when anger is at either end of the spectrum, whether it’s withheld (not expressed) or raging too loudly too often, that it appears to increase the risk of heart disease, particularly in men.

The answer to the riddle of whether your marriage supports your health, then, isn’t pretending that you and your spouse will spend the rest of your days in the warm glow of marital bliss. Rather, a “healthy marriage” means learning to express anger respectfully while also deepening your connection and sharing your lives—and your home, families, money, careers, and bed sheets—in more loving and supportive ways.

To help you navigate conflict healthfully, here are some Wabi Sabi tips for having constructive (as opposed to destructive) discussions about your “hot button” topics:

1.   Try to fight fairly and openly. According to research at the University of Utah, the emotional tone of your fights really matters. For women, even small signs of affection, like a gentle touch or term of endearment (as in, “Honey, stop being such a nag!”), allows wives to process their husband’s anger in a way that doesn’t damage heart health. For men, heart health was jeopardized when fights turned into battles for control.

2.  Have a little laugh. Chances are, for every time he’s put your delicates in the dryer, you’ve misplaced the car keys. Remember, too, that he was trying to take care of you by helping with the laundry—and dryer or not, clean skivvies are better than dirty ones!

3.   Pause before you “drip, drip, drip.” Constantly subjecting your spouse to negative comments, insults and criticism puts both of your health at risk. Next time you’re tempted to bemoan the forever-drifting toothpaste cap, remember that she neglected to put the cap on because she was rushing off to work to help support your life together.

At its best Wabi Sabi marriage (and love in all forms) is about embracing the imperfections in each other, and in your life together. It’s the art of welcoming each other as human beings—flaws, foibles and all—to make room for deeper love and connection. It’s also, recent research suggests, a need so basic, your very health may depend upon it.

Finding examples of Wabi Sabi in your every day life brings peace in the midst of your current challenge?  Click here to download my newest Wabi Sabi Love Feelingization.  I will send your recording right to you.


The Feline Practice of Wabi Sabi Acceptance

May 31st, 2012 by Arielle

Yoda is taking time to catch up on his reading on a lazy Saturday afternoon. He's a big fan of the work of Jon Gordon!

Wabi Sabi Cat

April 30th, 2012 by Arielle

Felix Catching Up With His Reading

Is Wabi Sabi Helpful For Singles?

April 23rd, 2012 by Arielle

In a word, yes.  Looking back I can see that coming to peace with my singleness, broken and imperfect as I felt, was the springboard for meeting Brian.

Accepting imperfection with grace is the heart of Wabi Sabi and choosing this mindset continues to have a ripple effect in my life and my relationship with Brian.

Single men and women, who have read my book The Soulmate Secret, and are actively seeking to manifest the love of their life, often ask me if I can share with them the secret to speeding up the process. They tell me they are tired of waiting, wishing, hoping and yearning for the day the One will arrive.

While I know and believe that you can consciously manifest the love of your life. (I’ve done it as have thousands of my students around the world) you don’t get to choose the speed at which it all comes together.

I believe that “savoring the waiting” is an important part of the process.…this is where you get to really enjoy your last days of being single, a time where you can relish the journey and joyfully anticipate your soulmates arrival.

You can choose to allow yourself to feel desperate and alone or you can choose to feel happy and blessed. One way to adopt the “happy and blessed” mindset is to understand the ancient Japanese aesthetic known as wabi sabi which honors all things old, worn, weathered, imperfect, and impermanent. In fact, it seeks to find “beauty and perfection in the imperfections.”

You can now choose to adopt a wabi sabi perspective to your final days as a “single”rather than choosing to succumb to weeks or months of simply “enduring” the wait.

Think of it this way: when the seeds of a flower have been planted in the ground and the first leaves begin to sprout, the gardener does not tug on the leaves every day to make the plant grow fast. He trusts that Mother Nature will play her role and then when the time is right, the flower will blossom. Like a gardener, you have planted a seed and invited love to unfold in your life.

Another benefit to practicing wabi sabi is that it will become infinitely beneficial once you are with your beloved. I call this the practice of Wabi Sabi Love.

Why would you take the time to learn how to apply Wabi Sabi Love to your relationship? Because 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second marriages and 74% of third marriages all end in divorce!   We aren’t born with the innate knowledge of how to “do” relationship. Even worse, we’ve been brainwashed by modern day society to look for and seek perfection, which leads to an ongoing state of frustration and dissatisfaction.

In truth, we all know that perfection is not possible. But with Wabi Sabi Love we can come to appreciate our own and the other’s imperfection, and can actually experience a more natural state of grace than we thought possible.

By learning and practicing Wabi Sabi Love you begin to accept the flaws, imperfections, and limitations – as well as the gifts and blessings – that form your shared history as a couple. Acceptance and its counterpart, understanding, are crucial to achieving relationship harmony.

It’s is sacred love, the highest form of love, and like most things worth striving for in life requires patience, commitment, personal responsibility, and practice. Imagine how great you will feel when you know your partner accepts all of you, all the time? The good, the bad, and everything in between!

My soulmate of fourteen years, Brian, and I credit the success of our relationship to applying Wabi Sabi Love to everyday life.

If you are savoring the waiting and Divine Timing is stretching your patience I encourage you to order this book right away so you can start practicing your Wabi Sabi mindset before your partner even shows up! (http://thewabisabibook.com ). There are several terrific free bonuses that come with it including audio workshops from John Gray, Harville Hendrix, Alison Armstrong and more!

What is Wabi Sabi iPhoneography?

March 29th, 2012 by Arielle

Today I am featuring a guest post from Paul Cutright on iPhoneography with Teri Lou .  Love the idea of taking the limitations of cell phone photography and making art from it.  Be sure to stop by Teri Lou’s site and check it out. Enjoy:

"The Last Red Leaf" Photo by Paul Cutright

Wabi-sabi is a Japanese aesthetic arising out of the Zen tradition. It is a celebration of the beauty, harmony and authenticity of the imperfect, mundane or often overlooked. It concedes that nothing is permanent, nothing lasts and nothing is perfect.

And in that lies a unique beauty for the discerning eye. While the iPhone camera and iPhoneography itself may be considered a medium of expression of those very same wabi-sabi values, it flies in the face of the often fanatical pursuit of image “sharpness” that accompany more traditional forms and tools of photography.

According to writer Patricia Ward, “Wabi, sabi, and suki are important yet illusive concepts that explain the notion of Japanese beauty. Wabi denotes simplicity and quietude and incorporates rustic beauty, such as patterns found in straw, bamboo, clay, or stone.

Wabi refers to both that which is made by nature and that which is made by man. Sabi refers to the patina of age, the concept that changes due to use may make an object more beautiful and valuable. This incorporates an appreciation of the cycles of life and careful, artful mending of damage. Suki means subtle elegance referring to beauty in accidental creation or unconventional forms.”

Japanese architect Tadao Ando says, “Wabi-sabi is underplayed and modest, the kind of quiet, undeclared beauty that waits patiently to be discovered. It’s a fragmentary glimpse: the branch representing the entire tree, shoji screens filtering the sun, the moon 90 percent obscured behind a ribbon of cloud. It’s a richly mellow beauty that’s striking but not obvious, that you can imagine having around you for a long, long time . . .”

I believe the iPhone with its multiplicity of apps, produces all kinds of imperfect yet beautiful images, both by professional photographers and novices alike. And I observe so many of these “iPhoneographers” having a blast playing with all the creative possibilities that are contained right within the tool itself!

 And let us not forget that iPhoneography is photography and those who use the iPhone are making photographic images. As odd as the name “iPhoneography” (kind of like “Nikonography” or “Canonography”) sounds, it exists in a long tradition of technical and aesthetic practices and distinctions. And, at the same time, appears to be producing both a revolution and an evolution in the art of photographic image making. There are growing numbers of mobile phone art exhibitions in galleries and museums all around the world.

"Three Doors" Photo by PaulCutrightPhoto.com

If the notion of wabi-sabi appeals to you I encourage you to explore the idea for yourself. Go on a photo art walk around your home, your yard or neighborhood as a kind of meditation, moving slowly and allowing your unconscious to lead your eye and perhaps direct your gaze toward some previously unnoticed scene; gardening utensils lying haphazardly on a worn table or bench, blossoms in a state of early decay, some object out of place or set askew. Remember, you are looking for the imperfect, the worn and well used or ordinary and often overlooked.

See if this kind of exercise brings some new awareness and sensitivity to your image making with your iPhone. And thus producing images of exceptional beauty “that you can imagine having around you for a long, long time . . .”

About Paul Cutright

Paul is most well known as a relationship expert in creative partnership with his wife, Layne. (www.paulandlayne.com) Together they have authored books, audio and video courses and trainings for creating conscious, evolutionary relationships.

He has also been a fine art photographer for about 40 years with his images published in books, magazines and displayed in art galleries. Paul earned a BFA in Fine Art Photography at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1973 where his life-long passion for capturing the beauty and wonder of light through the lens of a camera began.

Paul explains that having found the accessibility, speed and creative tools with the iPhone has rekindled the sense of joy, passion, sheer fun and creativity he experienced in art school.

You may see more of Paul’s images at his website – www.paulcutrightphoto.com and his blog – http://wabi-sabi-iphoneography.blogspot.com

Paul Cutrighth



Finding examples of Wabi Sabi in your every day life brings peace in the midst of your current challenge?  Click here to download my newest Wabi Sabi Love Feelingization.  I will send your recording right to you.

Wabi Sabi Monsters

March 11th, 2012 by Arielle

Last week I attended an event where the indomitable Lynne Twist was speaking about commitment and compassion.

She spoke about the Hunger Project work she did in Africa and some of the surprising and disappointing things that happened while working in Zaire during the regime of Mobutu. Mobutu is considered by some to be one of the most cruel, brutal and reprehensible dictators in history.

Understandably, Lynne considered him to be a monster.

During this time she was invited to attend a state dinner in Tokyo. It turned out that the guest of honor was the evil perpetrator Mobutu. She found herself standing in a long reception line (with all the other guests and dignitaries) waiting to shake his hand.

Deeply conflicted, she debated whether to stay in line or risk offending her host (and one of her largest donors) by leaving the line. Just before it was her turn to shake the hand of the monster, Mobutu, she had an epiphany…she realized that something very terrible must have happened to him as a child that had him turn into the villainous man he became. And with that she was able to find compassion for the innocent child in him and shake his hand.

Hearing this story triggered my own memories about stories of a monster and despicable human being I grew up hearing about.

Until I went away to college, we spent every Sunday visiting my paternal grandparents in Miami, Florida. My Grandma Mae would make a big Jewish feast of brisket, noodle kugel, and other delicious food and delectable goodies and treats.

At least once a year we would be joined by our cousins from New Jersey…Al and Carol Lipson…they were holocaust survivors. Every visit they would share the story of how they endured the horrors of the concentration camp, they would show us the numbers tattooed on their bodies, they would tell us about the dozens of other relatives who died in the camps, and then their gripping story would end with the miracle of how they were reunited after the war.

After hearing this scary story, year after year, I asked my parents why they always talked about it and revisited the unfathomable, inexcusable horror. My parents told me if was very important that we never forget how Hitler killed millions of Jews. I grew up with a deep knowing that there was evil in the world and that evil is called Hitler.

A few years ago we were in Venice, Italy with my sister Debbie and several friends and we went to see a contemporary art exhibition featuring the collection of Francois Pinault (Salma Hayak’s husband). It was in a gorgeous palace known as the Palazzo Grassi and it included works by Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Maurizio Cattelan and others.

I enjoy seeing these works but I don’t pretend to understand the depth, nuance and complexity of their meaning.

After viewing the art of the first floor, we began walking up a marble staircase to the next floor. Halfway up there was a landing and I noticed what looked like a young boy kneeling, in prayer position, facing the corner.

Images source: Färgfabriken Maurizio Cattelan, Him, 2001

From the back the boy looked to be about 12 or 13 (the same age as my nephew Beau was at the time) and he was wearing clothes from the early 1900’s. He had brown hair and for a moment I thought – “that looks like it could be Beau.

There was something still and serene about this boy in the prayer position. I walked to the side to see the boy’s face and Debbie and I were completely shocked and surprised to see the face of the adult Hitler, moustache and all.

I suddenly remembered that Hitler’s father had unexpectedly died when he was 13 years old and in that moment I felt a wave of compassion run though me. Hitler, the monster was once an innocent child. (and yes, I still consider him a monster and this experience in no way minimized for me who and what he became.)

I tried to take a picture of this statue but security guards quickly stopped me.I asked why there were two guards…was it just to stop people like me who wanted to take a photograph? The guard who spoke English told me that many people had such a negative reaction to the art that they would try to spit on it or harm it in someway. (that was certainly the immediate reaction of sone of my friends who were with us.)

Maurizio Cattelan Him 2001 "Divine Comedy" Sotheby's New York

Just as Lynne found compassion for Mobutu, I found that a work of art became a life-changing experience for me….I learned that even in the most horrific of circumstances, compassion can be found.

Being able to open my heart and find compassion for a monster is a dimension of Wabi Sabi Lovethe art of finding perfection in imperfection that I never anticipated. This experience became, for me, the next level to grow a generous heart and to discover the depth and range in terms of love, compassion and appreciation within myself ,when I am willing and courageous enough to explore these potentials.

Where or when have you found compassion for the impossible?