wabi sabi beginnings

i struggle with beginnings. with first introductions, with hitting the call button, with reaching out to people whose work i admire or who i’d like to get to know better. i struggle with blank pages and blinking cursors. i struggle with signing up to courses, with walking into an unfamiliar office or cafe or yoga studio. i struggle with looking foolish, or awkward, or not-good-enough.

i am a perfectionist.

i keep things to myself. in my head, or in my journal. i write dozens of blog posts that languish, unpublished, on my hard drive or the cloud. they could always be a little better, more succinct, funnier, more insightful. even as i write this, i’m pushing past the resistance that screams “you could do better” or worse still, “someone else could do it better, so why even bother?”.

that little voice, that constant comparison with others, has kept me quiet for most of my adult life so far. always dreaming, never doing. consuming but not creating. being a passive observer, admiring those with the guts to put themselves out there through writing or art, photography or videos, craft or design.

this stops now.

i’m embracing the japanese concept of wabi sabi, and learning to accept transience and imperfection. i’m embracing being a beginner again and all that comes along with it.

in the end, this blog may not be perfect, but it’s mine.


  1. Joann May 14, 2015

    I totally resonate with what you are saying. I too am just starting to put myself out there having lurked for a good long while. Daunting isn’t it but exciting too. A lovely post.

  2. Wendy May 14, 2015

    Fantastic beginning! it is so hard to let go of that inner critic and nagging voice inside that says “could be better.” Congratulations on taking that big step and putting yourself out there. Good luck with your new online home. I’m sure it will become a cozy place for you, like putting on a cozy sweater and saying what’s on your nind, rather than putting on your best suit, and heading out to work.

  3. Jen Erbe May 14, 2015

    What a beautiful start! I often feel the same way, sitting in the sidelines and waiting for something. Thank goodness we have the little nudge from Susannah to help us along!

  4. Angela May 14, 2015

    I can completely relate to the inner voice of perfectionism that you are talking about. Brene Brown’s work on courage and overcoming perfectionism has helped me tremendously in practicing small acts of courage and tolerating the vulnerability that comes with being an imperfect human. 🙂

  5. Kim May 15, 2015

    Lovely beginning! This resonated with me too. Beginnings are so hard! I’ve been wanting to return to blogging for a few years now, but a lot of the feelings you voiced above kept me from starting. I’m so glad we have the gentle space of the course to help us along. I look forward to reading more from you!

  6. Kim May 15, 2015

    PS~I just took a look at your about page and saw that you’re a “semi-reformed stationery hoarder.” I’m a completely unreformed stationery hoarder. 😉 but I’m interested in minimalism though I haven’t actually moved beyond reading about it. haha!

  7. Lola May 15, 2015

    Joann: The first one is SO daunting, but it feels so lovely once you get it out there and it’s done! then it’s onwards and upwards, eh? I love the art in your banner – hope you post more of it soon : )

    Wendy: Thank you! That’s a lovely way of thinking about it.

    Jen: I’ve come to think of it as the Disney Princess Effect – knowing you’ve got something in you, but waiting for the fairy godmother or the prince or some catalyst to propel you to where you ‘should’ be. Thank goodness I woke up from that daydream! And yes, thank goodness for Susannah, too. Sometimes a nudge is all you need…

    Angela: I’ve watched Brene’s TED talk so many times, and it loses nothing on repeat viewings. Such an important message : )

    Kim: Getting off the starting blocks is the hardest part. There’s always a reason not to begin – it could be written better, the blog layout needs tweaking before I share it, it needs pictures, and on and on it goes. Sometimes you have to just start, imperfections and all, and build from there. And as for stationery, I’m still learning not to over-purchase. Mindful spending, mindful ownership. Even settling for Minimalism Lite takes effort, with so many lovely things out there!

  8. Janet McQueen May 15, 2015

    You have written down everything I wanted to write, but couldn’t – everything I’ve felt about creativity all my life! Such a brave and beautiful post, I love it! Thank you for expressing so perfectly exactly how i feel!!

  9. ot4peace May 15, 2015

    Wabi Sabi is a great concept for those of us who struggle with our inner critic. You are off to a great start with your blog! Looking forward to hearing the inner wisdom that your perfectionist side has kept hidden from the world. I’m sure there will be lots of beautiful gems that will emerge. I look forward to seeing them sprinkled throughout your blog.

  10. Tina Zarlenga May 15, 2015

    what a beautiful first post. It felt like you were describing me and so many others! Bravo

  11. Barbara May 16, 2015

    lovely! your honesty is deliciously refreshing, like an ice cold G&T on a summer’s day. thank you!

  12. DAl May 16, 2015

    Here, here! Honest, truthful and soulful. I’m glad the little voice is starting to gently roar and the words are out in the world. So many of us feel like how you’ve described but don’t dare put it out there. Keep flowing and glowing sister. namaste x

  13. Kerry tynan May 17, 2015

    Brilliant post, really enjoyed how you expressed yourself and felt you could have been describing me on so many occasions! It is great that through susannahs gentle guidance and the supportive group here created, we can all take more confidently thoses first scary but wonderful steps, to put ourselves bravely ‘out there’ come what may!!

  14. Becky May 18, 2015

    Oh, I totally get this. I’m the person that starts every sketchbook on the second page so I dont “spoil” it. I think I will go with the spirit of your last line as a mantra for the day – I may not be perfect but I am ME, Thank you x

  15. Claire May 18, 2015

    Well, I’ll echo many other comments here and say what a wonderful beginning and really important concept you’re exploring here. Welcome to the blogosphere!


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