Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Unconditional love

I have been inspired by Val’s devotion to her lovely kids. I have noticed that she is radiant as sunshine when she talks about her kids. We mothers, have these feelings: strong unchangeable love for our children :)

I’ve heard before that real love never increase or decrease, and I remember I felt it’s perfect. Val describes her feeling as “Shining diamonds that I like to polish”, and I think it might be like saying "love", which shines brightly when we give it out. When I think of this, I feel peace of mind.

I also feel this love in nature: trees, plants, flowers, breeze…etc.
In Japan, cherry trees are in full bloom now. Their flowering period is so short, but they always  brighten me up. Let me share some photos here. Love is everywhere, right? :)

The first one is Shidare-zakura and the second one is Somei-yoshino: both are Cherry trees.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A little pretty something

One of the things I'm doing every day of my life is working/slaving/toying/crafting/fidgeting/building, well, making things large and small, usually small, that look beautiful to me. Things that look hopefully beautiful to the ones I love.
A day that goes away without the possibility of making a pretty little something is a day that doesn't sound too good to me. A day with too many worries, or too much work, a day that doesn't allow me this moment of pause when my mind elaborates in concert with my hands.
I have like many of you a busy life, I can't scheme huge plans all the time. But I can do this pretty little something very often.
And it boosts my energy. Brings a smile to a dear one. Adds a little light in a corner of my home. Gives a positive touch to my surroundings. Eases my feelings. Comforts my babies. Cheers up my man. It means a little satisfaction. A little touch of beauty in a world that rushes and roars too often.
It is sometimes the smell of pancakes whipped up at the last minute. The flickering light of a scented candle. The touch of fresh clean linen. The look of a clean counter top. The innocence of a small bouquet. The vivid colour of a fruit salad arranged in a tiny cup. The neat look of a meal  lovingly prepared for the whole family.

Sometimes it takes on the grandeur of a project coveted for months. Like, say, the celebration of a birthday. Why on earth should I spend evenings preparing a simple birthday. Craft late into the night? But there is no complication in that. Only fun. Passion. Expectation. Love. Beauty.
I have a blast preparing the birthday of my kids. While I am sure the real meaning of an event like that is the time we spend together, the affection and tenderness, the gratitude for being all together alive and well, I reach a climax of happiness making this event as beautiful as I can. Again, the real beauty is what we share and have. I think it lies also in the devotion we show to our loved ones, in the efforts we make to show how much we love them.

It is about simple things from the heart. Shining diamonds that I like to polish.

That's how I find and see beauty in the big and small events of my life. There might well be no small events, because a simple evening with an improvised 'tartine' of grilled cheese eaten while watching a surprise movie is a beautiful treat. A treat as valuable as any other treat I'll prepare for my family. Or for friends. Or out of kindness for someone who's not friend or family. My day shines when I can manage to do something beautiful, maybe helping an old person pick up her bag, or hold the door to my neighbour, or saying a nice compliment to a workmate who can't repress a smile. Beauty!

And there are those dense, more solemn moments. I cherish celebrations, they make my heart race, they create dancing lights in my kids' eyes. That's why I can give the appearance of working when I am actually having so much fun. Like for this birthday, recently. Based on the theme of Harry Potter. Soon to be a post for our craft section.

I'd love to know if you do pretty little somethings...sometimes...all the time...every now and then? I wish you to enjoy a pretty little something today, whether you do it or someone does it for you!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Beautify and Pacify

Beauty and peace…
These are things that we already have because of our nature. We simply forget about them. We have made ourselves complicated by comparing ourselves to others, desiring too much both spiritually and materially, and so on.

I would like to invoke Wabi-Sabi and Zen here.
Well, in my understanding so far, in a Wabi-Sabi world, there is beauty in simplicity. Getting rid of having too many things will help us reach this beauty. Also in a Zen world, concentrating deeply inside ourselves and trying to move the ego out of the way will bring us to reach the state of emptiness and nothingness (mushin in Japanese). Reaching this state, we feel PEACE of mind and also LOVE or supreme devotion, which is what we really are.

I have written other blogs and in the blog I wrote about what I had learned or recognized.
I feel those are also some of the keys for beautify and pacify. So let me share them here again.
“In looking at things through my heart’s eyes, I can change even negative things to love. It helps to see the problems behind the negatives and to understand and accept them.” 
“It’s likely that we came into this world to experience both good and bad, to confirm that we are love itself, and to deepen it. Without objects, we can’t see the love.” 
“Nothing is worthless. Like lights and shadows, everything plays a role in making this world beautiful.” “Looking deep inside myself is always important to keep this idea working.”

There is a chance to find the beauty and peace everywhere. Sharing is absolutely food for enlightenment. So when Val offered me to share this space with me, I felt so honored and pleased. At the core, we are all oneness, regardless of any nationality, age, or gender. I am so happy to share and also to learn from both Val and you.

Lastly, let me add something else.
English is my second language and I still have some problems in writing in English, so please forgive me for my writings being unnatural or difficult to understand. Thank you.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Know yourself

I really don't know where this blog is heading to, but I love the idea of writing about how and where I find  beauty in life.

If I ask myself what is beauty, I won't be able to give a proper answer. Because Beauty, after all, will be different for each of us. Different, and yet with a common grasp of the basic things that mould and shape our lives. Call them love, friendship, emotion, passion, growth, motivation...

But really, beyond this common grasp of things, it all gets haywire, ecclectic, blurred, it is all funky, isn't it? If we want to find beauty in our lives, we've got to know what matters for us. And that is the trouble sometimes, beause we don't always know what really matters for us, until it is gone, or until a great shock makes us realize it, or until we get much older.

It takes, I believe, some serious thinking. And it also requires to follow one's instinct and inspiration. It calls for reading, discussing with other people. It takes curiosity and imagination.

This is something I want to pass on to my kids. 

I try to be very ecclectic in the way I raise them.. We listen to many different sorts of music, we dig classic and hip hop and country and this and that. We tune in to English-speaking radios and sometimes other languages too, so that we are aware of the music of other languages. We read comics, novels, articles, magazines. We talk and talk and talk about various changing subjects. We try to learn and get interested and open to other ideas and forms of knowledge and interest. I try not to shut my kids away from the world, I strive not to be 'anti' or 'pro', even if I, too, have my strong opinions :) I like to remember and tell my kids (well, the eldest at least) that there are, for example, several religions, and also the possibility of no religion, and that it is okay, as long as it resonates with what you feel, and as long as it does not hurt anyone. I like to remind my kids that they are allowed to enjoy and like things that I don't like or enjoy, because well, we are family, but we are all different too. And we are all entitled to be just what we are. Not what anyone else woud like us to be.

And so day by day, I find beauty in knowing myself better, and in doing my best to help my kids know themselves better too.

I picked this image from this place, and I love the way it inspires you not to give up on yourself. Not easy sometimes, but worth the effort.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


After all, life is this amazing succession of events that leaves you breathless, exhilarated or battered, depending which phase of this life you are currently going through.
It is in turn sweet, tough, puzzling...but when I look for instance at this, I remember once more that everything is important, yet few things really matter.
It is about the people we meet and love, the places we go, the things we achieve and experience, the choices and memories we make. It is about enjoying and growing. One of the things that have always mattered to me, along with all these, is Beauty. Or maybe Beauty defines all the things I have just mentioned: the beauty I see and feel, the beauty I develop, the beauty of all small things around me, the beauty of the material world but also and most of all the beauty of the heart and mind. I have always felt the urge to acknowledge the beauty of the universe, and to beautify my environment whenever possible or needed. Like a gold digger. Like a beggar. Like a thief. Like a poet.
I have written other blogs before, never really knowing exactly what it was I needed to express: my love for photography? Writing? Crafting? Philosophy? Cooking? How daily life is so deeply entangled, with all its petty bumps and detours, with the conditions of our happiness and peace, with our intellectual and spiritual self?
I've felt the growing need to share my vision of life on this beautifying journey. I'm happy to open this little space where I'd like to share all the possible ways of seeing beauty where it is, showing it when it hides, creating it if I have to, whenever the days are getting darker, hunting it down when it seems to flutter away.
In the blogging world, I have had the pleasure of coming across the path of people who seem to focus on the same thing: what do I do with this life? How do I make it beautiful? Peaceful? Happy? I believe it starts with a choice, even if chance has its say. I've chosen to see beauty. But this blog is also named 'Pacify', as a dear friend of mine is going to share it with me. She has chosen to see and look for peace. She will soon present herself. Let me just add for now that I live in France and she lives in Japan; we both are women and mothers, friends and bloggers. We both want beauty and peace.
I can't wait to share this space here with her, and you!