Macro to Micro.

The best way to spend the day- wake up early, pack a picnic lunch, and share the day with someone special in nature. Cataract Falls was the perfect place to experience the magic of the wild outdoors on a grand scale, all while noticing the tiny miracles of life hidden close to the ground.

Have you seen Ladybird? There's one line from the movie that I absolutely love:

Don't you think they are the same thing? Love and attention?

So here's to being out in nature. To paying attention to the world and everything in it. That, my friends, is love.

Cataract Falls

Cataract Falls

Lush waterfalls after the recent rain.

Lush waterfalls after the recent rain.

Life exists on the macro and micro level. 

Life exists on the macro and micro level. 

The Art of Consistent Action.

Celebrating nine months of picking up the watercolor brush and reclaiming my love for art.

Celebrating nine months of picking up the watercolor brush and reclaiming my love for art.

As a naturally wired Type A, goal-oriented person, I love deciding what I want to accomplish and doing whatever it takes to get there. For Ironman training, this meant waking up at 4:45am to fit in a trainer workout or swim before work. It meant saying no to social functions because I had to sleep early to prepare my body for a long bike or run the next day. It meant saying no to a lot of things that would take me away from my training. I was laser-focused. I knew my goal, and understood that these sacrifices were all a part of the journey. After nine months of solid training, I triumphantly crossed the finish line. I knew that was the destination I was seeking to reach, and I got there. 

Day 1 of #the100dayproject. April 4, 2017.

Day 1 of #the100dayproject. April 4, 2017.

Even though now I still have my big dreams and goals in visible sight, I've learned to relax more into accepting the gifts along the journey. To live and experience different paths along the way with eyes wide open, finding the hidden treasures that each one holds.  These past nine months have been all about enjoying the process. And I've learned these lessons tangibly through the instrument of art. Watercoloring, to be exact. What began as Day 1 of #the100dayproject on April 4, 2017 started a daily ritual of painting. Painting something. Anything. It was a means of self-expression, self-discovery, and becoming childlike again. Giving myself permission to play, to not have the answers, to try new things. 

Experimenting with indigo...

Experimenting with indigo...

We face a blank canvas everyday and it's up to us to decide what we want to create with our lives. Throughout #the100dayproject I tried a lot of things. There were days when I wasn't extremely proud of my work (hello, DAY 1!!) but promised those in my tribe that I would show up anyways. Some days I discovered new techniques, and made more of that. There were plenty of times when I felt stuck and wanted to quit. But I kept going. And now, exactly nine months later, I've found that the feelings and the art inside of me are better expressed through my watercolors. The creative gap (the space between what you want to create and what you're currently creating) is slowly shrinking. And it happened by being consistent, giving myself enough grace and space to create, and to play.

The last painting I completed on December 31, 2017. 

The last painting I completed on December 31, 2017. 

Why am I writing this? To share that growth and transformation happen slowly. But it does happen with consistent action. Perhaps it starts by drinking water instead of soda. It begins by meditating for 5 minutes in the morning. It begins with one brush stroke, a dab of water and paint, and childlike faith. It begins with deciding that you are an artist, and it's not too late and you're not too old to change your life.

Framed jellyfish 5 x7" original watercolor is now available for purchase in Kanzaki Shop.

Framed jellyfish 5 x7" original watercolor is now available for purchase in Kanzaki Shop.

I've been enjoying doing customized designs recently, so contact me if you'd like a certain design or quote painted or hand-lettered!

 

Abundance.

May your cup always runneth over. (Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park)

May your cup always runneth over. (Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park)

Abundance. This was one of my core desired feelings for 2017. Knowing I was leaving a full-time, steady-paycheck job (aka. a financial security blanket) to build my own private practice, I knew that I would have to shift around certain material possessions in order to fund my dream. So 'abundance' landed on that list of desired feelings, mostly in a one-dimensional way of Dear God, please let me earn enough to pay my bills and eat. 

While reflecting upon this past year, I realized that I experienced abundance on a variety of levels. Thankfully, my basic needs were met and the bills got paid. But now more than ever, I understand that an abundant life is one where I can live and do what makes my heart sing, have creative freedom, healthy and positive relationships, gratitude, and good health. An abundant life is one where there is no lack of potential, no creative cap or ceiling in terms of what I can envision and make, and one where joy is sparked in nature, in laughter, and in new experiences.

I learned this lesson this year: When you adopt a mindset of abundance instead of scarcity, you move from a place of fear to a place of love. An abundant life means intentionally choosing to live with the belief that there is enough for you. Enough for me. Enough for all of us.

Message on a Bottle.

It was the middle of June. I was deep into #the100dayproject at this point, watercoloring illustrations of journal entries that I had chosen to share with the world. During this time I was also doing The 90 Day Impact Challenge- inspired by Don Reed- which involves not having any refined sugar or alcohol. So naturally, kombucha became my 'drink' of choice. 

I love GT's kombucha, and often noticed they had a special 'words of enlightenment' section on the bottle with inspiring quotes. One day I was painting and thought, "Wow, that would be really awesome if MY quote could be on a bottle!"

And a tiny voice whispered, "Why can't it be?"

The quote was taken from a journal entry I'd written back in February- "There's no reason to feel stuck. Good ideas are like the sunrise, they happen everyday. I just have to wake up, know which direction to look, and notice them." 

The quote was taken from a journal entry I'd written back in February- "There's no reason to feel stuck. Good ideas are like the sunrise, they happen everyday. I just have to wake up, know which direction to look, and notice them." 

So a few months later when Don and I went to Safeway and I turned the bottle of GT's Raspberry Chia kombucha around in my hand and read my quote there, it was a completely surreal moment. He looked me in the eyes and said, "This is manifestation in its clearest possible form. You can apply exactly what you did in this situation to larger and bigger things in your life."

This is true for you as well. What you envision and imagine and take action towards can, in fact, become your reality. Try it for yourself.

New Beginnings.

#kanzakicards

#kanzakicards

A lot of people (myself included) are entering a new season. For some, it's a new beginning involving a career or work project, and for others it may be motherhood or relocating to a new city. Some are beginning a new relationship, others are entering into a new season of singleness. There is magic in each one of these new beginnings. Look for it, be grateful for it, trust it.

I created this card to celebrate this season, the magic it contains, and the beauty of new beginnings. Available for purchase HERE.

Giving an A.

My favorite scene in Avatar is when Jake puts his hand on Neytiri and says, "I see you," And she smiles back and looks him in the eyes and says, "I see you."

What does it mean to be seen? Or better yet, to be seen in our best possible light and our highest potential? People who see us in this way are called Believing Mirrors. They're the ones you can tell your most tender, nascent ideas to. They hold them safely and securely, and encourage you to follow and pursue those dreams. They see you as you are now, love you fully in that light, but also hold space for you to grow.

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I wore this necklace and two strangers complimented me on it. I explained the significance and symbolism of the binoculars. It was gifted to me by my Believing Mirror, and it's a symbol to stay the course even when I'm scared or afraid. Instead of seeing life from a murky perspective, it's a reminder to see myself as my Believing Mirror sees me. From his perspective, it's all clear. Things line up. Closed doors are just signposts to move towards the right path.

What if we all saw each other in the best light? I guarantee that we'd more willingly step into that potential. If we viewed ourselves from the perspective of our Believing Mirrors, self-doubt and negativity would fall away and we'd shine in the way that we were meant to. That's a powerful mental shift. And it's a gift we can give each other, as well as ourselves. Another way of viewing this is through the lens of Boston Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Benjamin Zander. He calls this concept "Giving an A."

I've applied this concept of "Giving an A" to my clients. To individuals who are really, really hard to love. To myself. It's been transformative. Who can you give an A to? What would that look like?

All Things New.

I can be nostalgic at times, often allowing the question "What if?" to cycle through my mind. Sometimes it can be healthy; oftentimes it's not. This year especially was a breakthrough year for me, one where I finally released an outdated framework of how my life should be according to the standard of others. It's been freeing, to say the least. Everything difficult and challenging that's ever happened to me has served a greater purpose in my growth. Now, I appreciate how all of us have colorful stories threaded together by love and loss, hardship and triumph. The most inspiring people I know have walked through difficult times that have forged them into who they are today. Wouldn't our stories be boring if everyone followed the 'traditional' path scripted for them by society?

Returned from Bali to find little magical notes of inspiration placed all over. Ready to embrace the magic and channel it into new projects for the future!

Returned from Bali to find little magical notes of inspiration placed all over. Ready to embrace the magic and channel it into new projects for the future!

So here's to all things new- leaving behind the framework, individuals, jobs, and habits that prevent us from being everything that we were created to be, and walking towards all that inspires, intrigues us, and sparks curious joy.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia

What are you leaving behind? Where are you heading towards?

Close to Nature's Heart.

Keep close to Nature’s heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
— John Muir
Secret Garden of Sambangan, North Bali.

Secret Garden of Sambangan, North Bali.

One of the main components of The Kanzaki Method is getting outside into nature. Breathing fresh air, seeing new sights, and moving your body outside. It's important for our mental and physical health to disconnect from our devices and experience the world in a tangible way. How can you get close to Nature's heart this week? It may be as simple as taking a walk outside during lunch, playing with your kids at the park, or hiking on the trails instead of going to the gym. Stay close to nature, and you'll find yourself more physically and mentally refreshed.

Bali.

Yesterday I rode for two hours in the pouring rain on a motorbike through the winding roads of North Bali to reach waterfalls I had only seen pictures of. My new local friend and I, thoroughly soaked upon arrival, hiked down long and steep flights of stairs, crossed through small rivers, climbed over rocks, and marveled at the sights before us. 

Sekumpul Waterfalls in North Bali.

Sekumpul Waterfalls in North Bali.

Standing barefoot at the top of rock with the water pelting down on me from the sky and from the waterfalls surrounding me, I thought, "I'm WAY out of my usual element here. But this- THIS is my TRUE element." Nature. Water. The wilderness. 

This past year I've tried many new things and stepped outside of my comfort zone in my work, my art, and in my relationships. But Bali has challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone in a different way.  A few weeks ago after getting physically assaulted by a random stranger while riding BART, my defenses were WAY up. I became distrustful of people and was on-guard at all times, not wanted to engage or make eye contact with anyone for fear of  what they might do to me. 

Last Friday, a local driver picked me up at my guesthouse. It was 1:45am. It was a 1.5 hour drive to the base of Mount Batur. I slept in the car while a stranger drove me in the dark to a location I was unsure of, to meet a local guide who I'd never met. We arrived, I was greeted, handed a walking stick and a flashlight, and we started up the mountain in the dark. The path began to get very steep and slippery, so my guide held my hand 80% of the time during the uphill trek so I wouldn't fall backwards. I placed complete faith in a stranger who was true to his word and kept me safe. This was blind trust at its finest. 

At the top, I was escorted to a warm tent, where water was boiling and I was served hot Balinese coffee, banana sandwiches, and fruit. Someone was playing "When You Say Nothing At All" on the guitar, and we sang and harmonized together and watched the sunrise. It was because of the kindness of these locals that I had even safely made it up here and able to experience this magical moment.

Sunrise at the top of Mount Batur.

Sunrise at the top of Mount Batur.

The crater rim of Mount Batur.

The crater rim of Mount Batur.

Sights from our descent as the fog lifted, revealing Lake Batur.

Sights from our descent as the fog lifted, revealing Lake Batur.

Being here in Bali has opened me up again to trust people. The locals here are friendly, generous, and smile first. Not knowing my way around town or where to go, I had to depend on the help and kindness of strangers to keep me safe, take me on adventures I'll remember for the rest of my life, and open me up again to the world, and to myself.

Words of Enlightenment.

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During #the100dayproject, I became used to sipping on GT's kombucha while painting. I noticed each bottle had a special "Words of Enlightenment" section that included quotes ranging from Henry David Thoreau to everyday citizens who were inspired to share their thoughts. I stared at the bottle and imagined my quote on the bottle. What would it look like? What would it say?

As a result of #the100dayproject, I became used to sharing my innermost thoughts with the world. Phrases pulled straight from my journal entries were paired with a watercolor, and I shared each one consistently for 100 days. 

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I'm so thrilled that my quote will appear on the Raspberry Chia flavor hitting the shelves very soon! This quote was part of a longer journal entry that was written when I felt particularly stuck and frantic being newly self-employed. It was a reminder that opportunity and new ideas are always there, just like the sunrise. We just need to see and notice things and make sure that we're always looking in the right direction.