Honoring Woman’s “Rites of Passage” with The Desire Map Workshops & Retreats

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“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.

Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

― Rumi

My baby boy just turn One year old few weeks ago.

365 days where Mother Earth rotated around the Sun .

As I reflect back on the year that went by (so quickly), I also feel the importance to welcome and release the fear his first moments being my last ones. His first time drinking out of the bottle being my last time nursing him. His first time (finally) sleeping through the night being my last time walking him endlessly on the balcony at night watching the moon reflecting on the lake.

Once I realized those moments were gone,- blame it on the changes in hormones level – I felt so sad, helpless. Mind you, I am not sad to finally sleep at night, but I feel melancholic about those moments that I may not have treasured “properly”. Those life changes need their very own rituals.  They need to be seen as the stepping stones of our current evolution, seed of our growth. So I did a ritual to welcome the change and let go of the past.

Like many of you, I went through  many massive life changes.

Nothing really life threatening.

Quite possibly life strengthening.

The followings life events were kept private (within the group of closest friends). But I need to release them to be recomposed in the Universe into something better. At age 44, I still carry the burden of some of them and this affects my parenting, my being in this world. Those life changes created a shell, an invisible wall to protect me to not feel pain anymore.  But I now understand better that this is not the way it works.

So here we go: To my fearful inner child, I let go of this event:  age 8 a battle field called divorce (not mine. My parents: me as a young child stuck between ugly battles). Followed by what I  now call  The lost of innocence : a tragic “simple” ski accident that changed for the worse my mum’s life when she was 33 / erased my “traditional” faith in church / turned my life inside out  forever (she ended up in hospital for almost a decade with heavy symptoms and handicaps). To my brave self young adult: at age 30 my chosen expatriation (despite what was calling me to stay) from France to California (my very own first grown up choice. I will do it all over again) But still quite a challenge and massive life change. Age 31:  A double-bind decision (the worse of many)- the one that what ever choice you make,  you lose. My mother asked me  to give her  “permission” to  “let go” of her own life. I can still hear myself saying that I understood and respected her choice (crying writing this).  An almost simultaneous arrival and departure of a “soul” (lost my mother few weeks before getting pregnant with my first born).


In those difficult  transition times you can hardly see what you truly want as you are mostly driven by fear and anxiety. You need to be re-acquainted to your authentic self. But when you don’t know how- well, you can drift for a long time.

As I said, when my mother past away, I had just moved from France to California to be with my fiance (who became my husband for now 13 years). Our first baby girl was born 10 months after my mum’s funeral. There was so many shots at that time that I could not connect : being a first time mum as I just lost mine was a vulnerable point for me for many years. As an expat and a first time mom, I was trying to connect with like-minded women. Luckily, leaving in the USA  I discovered the power of women circles,  friends and support groups lead me powerful books discoveries. It was a time where I started a journey to re-discover my  muted artist’s voice creating intuitive and mixed media paintings, making “raku” and ceramic wares to celebrate and treasure the union of the handmade with the daily sacred. I was fighting the best I could the layers of  grief,  emptiness, powerless feelings. Thankfully lovingly “covered” by warm layers of love from my father, my husband and my baby girl.

At that time, I often danced between inspired, intuitive bursts of positive and über creative energy when things flowed easily the way I wanted. Or, the complete opposite when grieving felt unbearable and whenever life seemed to “get in my way”, taking all my vital energy and sending me spiraling down an endless road of semi-depression and loads of confusion. Over the years, I also came to understand that grieving is the ground for growth.

I now know that those stages in my woman’s life were ideal period of times to transform my life. In deep.

Transition times are initiation time awaited to be claimed. Time to be bold and face your fears, your dreams, your desires.

We are all at some point in our lives <<Goddesses of the Unfurling Unknown Path>> ahead.

Both welcoming the changes, still mourning the past and dreading the future.

Here’s when synchronicity happened and where Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map came in (along with other life changing books and many aha’s moments).

It was one of the catalysts for the change that I needed.

I realized that I was not a problem to be fixed. 

I understood that I did not have  lost access to yourself. 

I witnessed that I had what I needed inside of me.


So I wonder : what need to be healed, heard, for you? Have you been practicing rituals to celebrate your your current or past Rites of Passage?

If you are so inclined, please share your story or anything you wish on my Facebook.

My posts are currently closed to comments to avoid spammers.

Thank you for your openness and your courage to voice your truth.


I’m currently going through another layer of deep transformation as I transitioning from one status to another. I can’t say much more here and now. But it’s deep and raw. What I wrote one year ago still resonate and vibrate with every cell of my body. I can’t say enough how important it is to honor your life rites of passage.


  • Spiritually : connect with your soul friends / your feel good communities / cook / danse / paint / attend classes, workshops, lectures that will lift your spirit. 
  • Schedule time for you. Just for you. I started taking a beautiful 10 days Kundalini meditation introduction with #AnnapurnaLiving and I love it so much ! The chanting for me is my favorite part.
  • Try something new. Expand your comfort zone little by little. Raw Food . Meditation. Digital Eco Art Therapy. Be open to signs.
  • If you live on The French Riviera , France: Stay tuned as I am getting ready to release my first Retreats and Workshops serie as a Licensed Desire Map facilitator in this area!

Click on Templeformappingyourdesires  as it is the sacred place to go to register. 


Self-love: happy Valentine’s Day to your great self !


<<It’s not your job to like me. It is mine. >>

Byron Katie


self-love (sĕlf′lŭv′)


The instinct or desire to promote one’s own well-being; regard for or love of one’s self.


is what you too should say today…

We all need a space for ourselves to feel safe, nourished and creative.

One great way to take care of yourself is to create a space in your home that is nourishing to your heart, mind and soul.

One of my word for this part of the year is:


Self-Love is also know as self-care.

Self -care is about taking care of ourselves on a regular basis so we can be at our best when helping/ serving / working with others.

It can be anything: cooking / journaling / hiking / reading / knitting/ painting / singing / praying. But also having a manicure / a massage / a coffee with a good friend / But it has to happen on a regular basis. I like using an “app” called “Teuxdeux” to schedule (and remind me) those precious Me-Time during my week. It is very interesting to see how Me time moments can be squished or even brutally crushed under more important tasks like “grocery shopping”, picking up dry cleaning or returning books to the library.

As Marie Forleo says it over and over: when it is not scheduled, it is not happening.

And that works also with Self-Love.

While self-help books all advise building self-love in order to be happy, a surprisingly low number of people truly love themselves. The good news is it’s never too late to begin to love you.

An excellent way to begin to love yourself is to do something loving for you.


When you treat yourself with kindness, it makes you feel good.

The more you feel good, the more you want to treat yourself with kindness.

Each loving act, however big or small, is a brick in the foundation of self-love.

Here are some jewels gathered from books and online articles.

From me to you.

Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU!

Self-love involves the following:

  • Self-care.Self-care means you treat yourself just as kindly and thoughtfully as you would anyone else. If you are uncomfortable doing something, then you don’t do it and that’s OK. Just because somebody might be disappointed that you didn’t help him or her, that’s his or her choice to feel that way.
  • Considering your needs.If that means others don’t get all of you, all the time, then that’s also OK. People can learn to adjust and be responsible for themselves.
  • Caring for yourself with the same level of effort that you do for others.That might mean you don’t always fulfill your goal of helping others because you’d prefer to spend time doing something for yourself. That’s not selfish.
  • Accepting yourself for all that you are — both your positive aspects and your human fallibility.You cannot be all good all the time. That’s OK. You can work on self-improvement, but that doesn’t mean you discount the parts of yourself you don’t like as much. Those aspects are still part of your whole.
  • Saying no to others’ requests.That’s OK. You are not totally responsible for everybody else’s needs.

Working toward self-love and acceptance can take time. If you are somebody who has little regard for yourself, then you might want to start with self-like-a-little, working up to self-like. In time, you’ll learn to self-love and accept yourself for all that you are.

The following  is my personal “playlist” (from books / quotes / mentors ) to remind me of the baby steps that I need to take every time I realize that I  am out of synch with  joy / connection / gratitude.

I know that I need to find my way back to MY SOURCE.

1 Nurture yourself.

Self care is very important. Set up some time to be by yourself, just by yourself. Do something that gives you peace, love, and joy with yourself. You can nurture yourself physically by exercising and consuming healthy food. You can nurture yourself emotionally by listening to love songs, painting, or helping others in need. As you give yourself to others and offer help, you receive the gift of love back. You feel good about yourself because you live your life on purpose. You can nurture yourself mentally by reading your favorite books. You can nurture yourself spiritually by doing meditation.

2 Treat others with love and respect.

Bringing joy to other people’s lives will help you find joy in your own. In addition, those that you treat well will likely repay you with the same kindness. Gradually, you will start to feel your worth through the smiles of gratitude.

3 Create goodwill and thankfulness by practicing random deeds of kindness.

Share your being with others in many ways. Share your knowledge in nice ways, or make a small donation to a needy person or an unfortunate child.

4 Express yourself: Create art 

Surround yourself with meaningful words or picture that will lift your mood.

You may need to get feelings out, but not on your friends!



Thrive on creativity. We are all remarkably creative, but our originality may be stunted by external factors. For example, your job may not allow you to express your true ingenuity. Our imagination allows us to manifest our most brilliant ideas to life if only we can open the inventive doors inside. Incorporate your creative tendencies into everyday life, from the way you dress, speak, decorate your home, etc. Expand your creative potential to reach its peak in time.


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5 Learn to let go of past events.

You deserve a fresh beginning! There are a lot of people out there that have had hard lives, bad beginnings/moments. Don’t close yourself out of grief, disappointments, or fears of future ridicule. Acknowledge your feelings, but work to put them behind you. Cherish what you have learned from your challenges, and how you have changed and grown from them. Forgive those who have done you wrong. Most importantly, though, forgive yourself.

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Put positive statements up some places where you will see them each and every day. 

“I am beautiful.” or “I have the courage to love.” Write notes that remind you of what you love most about yourself. Read them out loud, every day, at least once, ideally at least ten times each time you notice one of them.

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7 Try to look past “material” objects and feelings

We all want a nice house, nice things, someone to share our life with, etc. Find your true wants objectively. Do you crave power, a religion, or simply a motive? Sometimes it’s easier to hide the truth from yourself, but figuring out what you really want will help you know yourself better and hopefully aid in answering important questions you often ask yourself.

8 Don’t define yourself by what you’ve done. 

Celebrate your accomplishments, but let go of the things you haven’t done…yet? Remember that success is not a destination. Success is making progress (towards the desires of your heart). Accept yourself, and others will follow your lead. You are not your deeds, appearance, or bank balance.


9 Be who you really are. 

Express yourself, laugh, play, or sing. Be crazy. Don’t be afraid of what others think. They feel the same way and want to express themselves, but are afraid to show it, too.



10  Trust yourself. 

Don’t just follow other people’s suggestions blindly. Learn to trust who you really are.



11 Think of five positive words that describe you. 

Try not to use words like ‘pretty’ and ‘nice’. Aim for a nice variety. Take your time and dig deep.

Mine could be:

caring / inventive / reliable  /initiator /communicative.

Your turn.

12 Practice receiving love. To truly love is to be able to receive it.

When someone loves you, does some kind deeds to you, says kind words, gives you gifts, or gives you compliments, embrace it.

Allow yourself to feel the love that has come your way. Know that you are worthy of love.

13 Do what you love. 

Make yourself happy.

What do you love to do?

If you could find something that you love to do and spend time doing it, you will experience love, joy, and happiness in your heart. That is when you truly connect with your authentic self. As a result, you become happier and more loving. Do something you love each day.

When was the last time you did something you truly loved? Our ambition is admirable, but our lives have become so busy that we often dismiss simple pleasures to take care of business. Whether it’s a hobby, talent, or special craft, take thirty minutes out of your day, each day, to practice what nourishes your soul.

Everything can wait while you indulge in your beloved self @unlieusurterre ( and yes, it is  a “tweetable”)



14  Stop comparing yourself to others. 

Everyone on this earth is unique. We all have different gifts. When you compare yourself to others, it makes you feel bad about yourself. When you compare yourself to others for what they have, whether it is a car, a house, a mate, children, money, or a job, it makes you feel low self esteem, lose your confidence, and perhaps depressed, envious or jealous. A way to stop comparing yourself to others is by focusing on your own strength. Get to know yourself, and discover what your greatest gift is that you are meant to share with the world. Another great way is by practicing gratitude. Be happy for what you have. Really be grateful about everything that you have; people in your life, job, relationships, material, etc. Gratitude keeps your heart open to love. No one is quite like you. Just be you. Be grateful for being the wonderful you. Do the best you can. Be the best you can and love yourself more. Then, you have more love to give to others.

Recognizing your strongest traits endows you with deep knowledge of the self, a precious tool you can use to cultivate your best assets. Understand what are your shining qualities and showcase them with beaming confidence. Once you acknowledge your strengths, you can raise your standards in all elements of life. The moment you begin to believe that you deserve better is the moment you receive better.

Celebrate your worth. It’s easy to become distracted by potential achievements and neglect past accomplishments. Celebrate your personal triumphs, both big and small, and let every former victory be a fervent reminder that future wins await, too. Don’t be afraid to raise your glass and toast to that amazing person who’s conquered their every challenge: you.



15  Stop trying to be perfect. 

Stop criticizing yourself for being less than perfect. Always do your best, but not reaching perfection is not failure. Just follow all the steps above, and don’t let anyone’s expectations of you put any pressure on you. Remember that no matter what, you will always be perfect just the way you are, flaws and all.


16  Forgive yourself.

 Every one of us makes mistakes — in relationships, finances, personal decisions, and so on. Mistakes can be costly reminders to think before we act, but they are also encompassed by greater lessons. Remembering this can help us forgive our former failures and discern their higher purpose. When we forgive ourselves for our shortcomings we can redirect our attention to new efforts that produce new results.

17 Put yourself first.

There lies beauty in sacrifice. But when you constantly put yourself second, you set up an inevitable pattern of behavior. In time, you settle for second place in more than one area of life. Reevaluate what it means to put yourself first: engaging in your interests, pursuing your ambitions, and ensuring your well-being. Practice this mantra in all difficult situations: If it doesn’t bring me good, it isn’t worth my effort.

Extending too much love to others can leave us lacking in love for ourselves. We must walk the fine line of attending to others and tending to ourselves, all the while never falling second to the needs of another. Because to love ourselves is to know ourselves, and to know ourselves is to recognize the full spectrum of our powers.

Cut out all negative influences. Make a list of the people in your life who have no place being there. You know who they are — those who drain you physically, emotionally, or mentally, who take advantage of you or cause you any form of stagnation. Literally cut your list in half and let this be reflective of the way in which you will trim away these negative influences in real life.

18 Say I love you.

Speak it to yourself every morning; look in a mirror and say “I love you” in a loud voice. We automatically critique, blame, and fault ourselves for nearly everything, rarely acknowledging the things we do well or those we ought to be proud of. Show yourself daily doses of well-deserved appreciation.

Release love to yourself. We hoard our abundant love of the self within us, as if waiting to release it to the right person. In reality this love was meant to be released only to ourselves. Allow your self-love to flow freely by eliminating criticisms, insecurities, and doubts. The attention you should show another person is secondary to the attention you should show yourself. Why wait for someone else to love you when you can love yourself first?




Time to re-frame your thinking about Valentine’s Day :

  • Make a “Happy Bubble List” : what would you love to do this week.
  • Schedule it. Share about it.  When you share about it: it becomes real and people will help you remembering with their friendly natural questions  (How is your Happy Bubble List going?)
  • Learn to drop the “should” and “must”
  • Enjoy the feeling of being more aligned with yourself


And I will always try to make it easy to do it for you!

Share this blog post on Facebook following the easy link right below. I love to read your comments, so don’t hesitate to do so on my Facebook Page on how you practice self love and your secrets, recipes for keeping them in focus all year long.

Un-ravelling :: to a new year (Part One)

Unravelling  part one



1. a. To undo or ravel the knitted fabric of.
b. To separate (entangled threads).
2. To separate and clarify the elements of (something mysterious or baffling); solve.

On January the 19th, I transitioned from 42 to 43 year old.

Just a number out there.

A silly two digit number that to me feels a little different this time.

Time for some real change

Time to reflect deeper on why I am on this planet, besides taking care of our expending family.

I am happy to be a mama.

But I  deeply know and therefore want/need “more”.

“More” in a sense of more spiritually connected.

More than ever need to nurture and develop my self awareness /

my consciousness to my leadership skills /

My soul need to shine ever more who I am and take it out to the world. Further more.

My soul need to unravel the fabric of my  life to discover more of my inner wisdom.


That need to start TODAY.


“The most creative act you will ever undertake is the act of creating yourself.”—Deepak Chopra


And today will be  a longer post.

We will be talking about unravelling the fabrics of our lives.

So grab a cup of Chai tea, make yourself cozy and …. enjoy

I “missed” 3 weeks of posting with the Holiday season and a growing belly requiring me to simply lay down and read or sleep…

But I am  here now and I have a lot to share.


And for some of you that need to go to the “bottom of the matter”, right away:

{Discover my core desire feelings all the way down the page. Beautiful pictures with my words  that you can pin for your own inspiration. I share also with you my “soul playlist” that help me connect with those feelings}


(some days are just more packed than others. I totally understand)




until you come across the word “Nourished”






A new year has just started.


But we know the drill: on the beginning of every year we face the challenge of the [insert your choices] : dreaded / welcomed / silly / useful time of our resolutions for the new year to come.

  • What do I want to put out in the world this year?
  • What are my “projects”? Or “intuitive big or little desires”? It is usually both personal and business related.

We all have our techniques  [vision boards, meditation, creative  visualization, list on paper or digitally with the help of  so many apps].

We are all full of hopes and possibilities <<This time, I will…>>and usually by March we are back in square one…

It turns out there is a science behind “New Year Resolution”.

To be honest with you, I stopped taking New Year Eve resolutions many years ago, as I found them meaningless and depressing!

They were all falling short. Like an empty promise to yourself. My list were usually too long and not sustainable in the end. By the end of February I was usually totally off of the wagon. Life caught up and my first attempt to make me feel good was making me feel like a failure… Not so good.

I could tell that I needed somehow a “filter” to help out not feeling like a failure and still enjoying the natural process of having dreams for the new year to unfold.

I was looking into spiritual ways to get there. Creating altars, mini shrines, writing my dreams on paper and having  minimalist but meaningful rituals to sent them out to the “Universe” somehow.

This was all in my “B.C.” years (read: Before Children). Besides finding goals settings depressing on the long run,  I  also became a maman and somehow those rituals were slowly being replaced by others (bathing/feeding/caring/nursing/rocking…).

I was [temporarily] not the centre of my  own universe any more.

Few years back, as my children were at an age where things get more manageable and where they also could “participate”, I tried to re-implement some of those new years resolution rituals. I am a believer in the Waldorf philosophy so we used to have Waldorf activities our new year days. We made mini boats  with walnut shells, and set sail at night time with tea candle on mini island made with upside down  cereals bowl : all of this fitting nicely in a big plastic tub…  It is a great activity for little ones as they are ask to say  “wish/fortune” that will be written on the sail.

A premise of “goals with soul”… Or finding  the contour of your life purpose…

It is never too young to start asking some philosophical questions…


Fast forward years later : a year ago  I start shifting my thinking  again about New Year Resolutions when I came across  a book called  “The Desire Map” from Danielle Laporte.

Her way of dealing with “goals setting” has been said to be revolutionary by so  many people and media. I love the energy and creativity of this beautiful talented woman. She is so inspiring in so many ways.

As I was reading it along with her first book  I remember something in the same vein that I have been reading also  “many moons”  ago (in 2002 to be precise when the book was published) in a great book called “Moon Mother / Moon daughter : Myths and rituals that celebrate a girl’s coming of age“. You may or may not have read it. If not, let me introduce you to it.

 Moon Mother / Moon Daughter by Janet Lucy and Terri Allison.

I re-open this book after all those years, on January 1st 2014,  as I was  in my New Year cleaning/sorting-out-fever (probably also due to the pregnancy well know symptoms called “nesting”) but also to make mental and physical white space around me: more on this in the next week post).

But as always, -I should know it by now-,  books don’t fall upon my lap “by mistake”. This happens in my life quite often whenever I need them to read/re-read them. As by Esther and Jerry Hicks says it : <<Ask and it is given>>.  I sometimes need to remind myself to trust the Universe a lot more.  Hello,  Ser·en·dip·i·ty ! I have been missing you.

I needed to re-read this book for two reasons ::

1/ our older daughter is entering adolescence in her pre-teen years.

2/ the confirmation [if needed], that I was on the right track with simplifying my new year resolutions thanks to great minds like Danielle Laporte and Janet Lucy + Terri Allison.

In her first chapter she talks about “Moon Wisdom” and how she taught her daughter and her friends around the Winter Solstice to have a more meaningful Holiday and celebrate the end of a year and the beginning of a new one : She wrote

<< We planned to plant seeds of intention to represent this new year >> (page 11). She says << Since Christmas time is about wish lists, I decided to borrow from this theme (…) I invites them to make a list of anything they would love to do, be, have.>>One of the girl in the assistance asked a very interesting question << CAN IT BE A FEELING?>> (Page 12)

The author goes on with an great example :

<<Let’s say I wish for a sporty little car (…) it is more about what the car represents for me (…) being carefree,  free spirited >> (Page 13) It turns out that the teenage girls <<loved finding the essentials meanings behind their words and pretty soon they all had a clear understanding of the deeper desires behind their wishes>>.

Bingo ! << If they focused on the essence rather than the specific form, their wishes might show up in many unexpected way>> (page 13)

In a word:: you don’t find your purpose but your purpose finds you through your passion, your desire .  DO WHAT YOU LOVE DOING : these are your new year’s goals and purposes!

This is what Danielle Laporte calls “CORE DESIRED FEELINGS” or CDF for the insiders and dear followers of Danielle Laporte !

As Danielle writes it :

<<You’re not chasing the goal itself, you’re actually chasing a feeling.>>




Nourished :

My need to be even more eco-focused / eco-minded / self cared.



My great soul mates “PLAYLIST”  for NOURISHED:

Kris Karr /

Green Sisterhood /

Food News

FoodBabe /

ZeroWasteHome /

Skin Deep /

(to find out mean ingredients in your beauty products)

Sleep /


My need to be nomad all over again to connect to my inner wisdom.


My great soul mates “PLAYLIST”  for WANDERLUST:


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(I am fine, thanks – movie trailer)

Worldette /

Living off the grid /

Live your calling /


Numinous :



    My great soul mates “PLAYLIST”  for Numinous:

     The Female Grail /

    Danielle Laporte /

    Catherine Just /

    Abraham Hicks /

    Byron Katie /

    Eckhart Tolle /

    SuperSoulSunday /


    Raw & Bold


    Connect with who you deeply are.


My great souls “PLAYLIST”  for Raw & Bold:

Brenee Brown /

Danielle Laporte /

Mastin Kipp /

Sally Hogshead /



  1. fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative.
  2. create (a feeling, esp. a positive one) in a person. Inspiring people through my own creativity.
  3. animate someone with (such a feeling).

My great souls “PLAYLIST”  for Inspiring:

Danielle Laporte /

Catherine Just /

Ted Talks /




We all want to learn how to trust the direction of what you are here to share with the world comes from what inspires you most and make you feel the best possible you. Walk your talk and inspire others.

  • What do you love to do?
  • What brings you joy?
  • What can I do that I love doing to serve others?
  • Give yourself permission to start from a clean slate and start all over
  • Find few words to guide your journey and your “desires” for the year.

Lots of tools out there!

My favorites besides Danielle Laporte books are:

 Do what you love and her great free Pdf for 2014 //

For word lovers :: A little word //

For photo lovers : In plain sight //


Psst #1:

your purpose does not need to be a business related, as we usually go for right away.  It could just be “simply” being a great human being/friend/sister/mother. 


Psst #2:

pick only ONE tool or TWO at the most if you don;t want to be  overwhelmed and back to Square One at feeling like a failure again…

You don’t have to make it all happen now. Take simple steps to re-align your growth and your trust to own your “power”.




be human kind2_ram_revG

<< Remember that you will at time loose connection with your inner guide.

Once stepping on a spiritual path, it is about the journey and  the daily repetition / mantra .>>

Keep them on focus


And I will always try to make it easy to do it for you! Share this blog post on Facebook / Twitter /Pinterest by  following the easy links right below. I love to read your comments, so don’t hesitate to hop onto my Facebook Page on how you plan to  unravel the fabric of your life in 2014.



I will go deeper into how to create WHITE SPACE around you to support your daily mantras.



Minimalist with soul: celebrating Christmas in a mindful organic modern way.



 The spirit of wabi-sabi  & simplicity can feed both our souls and memories.Reverence and respect for things that are handmade ;  finding new meaning and purpose for discarded objects ; and the presence of nothing more than is necessary, meaningful or beautiful (and the wisdom to know the difference) are defining elements of a wabi sabi.

Christmas is just around the corner. But, pretty please first take a deep breathe with me and feel a sense of calm.

Relax your mind and re-center on the moment.

I know you likely have a to-do-list that goes to the moon and back : but try to think about Christmas / Winter Solstice time in a much less agitated way. Recenter on the way you want to feel and experience this celebrating moments rather than follow the craziness around you.

This post will help you create a more meaningful way of hosting your guests and bringing soul to your Christmas / New Year Eve table setting. Time to create your own personal Holiday Spirit !

To make things easy for you I rounded up some simple ideas that are festive yet bring mindfulness with an organic modern  look to help inspire you.

This year dare the mindful  minimalist organic table look !

It is ALL about understanding what TRULY winter is.

Three words:


Once again, Scandinavian and Wabi Sabi will be my guide for this table stetting eye candy  special blog post.

Wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and insight from nature. Wabi (harmony) and sabi (simplicity) chooses humility over ostentation, asceticism over extravagance. When you embrace this way of living, you naturally choose handmade / vintage objects made with wood, clay or textiles over those manufactured with plastic.

Reverence and respect for things that are hand crafted ; finding new meaning and purpose for discarded objects : this is what Wabi Sabi is all about.

Sadly, by looking at people shopping around me these days, you can tell that some kind of Christmas fever caught on fire for the past 3 weeks : multitude of holiday-themed paraphernalia and more plastic and  soul deprived objects than I could even imagined (and I did not dare to venture in toys stores).

In the story of Stuffs, Annie Leonard writes in this blog post about “Reclaiming the Holidays”

“Minimalist Holiday Celebration with Soul is experienced, hand made, home cooked rather than purchased.
It helps us to create a “white space” in our hearts, minds and calendars in order to experience this lovely time of the year.
But let’s not  forget to let our own personality shine through!
Bring on your creativity and your out-of the-box-thinking!”

This should also reflects in our home and on our festive table.

How do you incorporate rustic or reclaimed materials into your home?

Easily as long as you are ready for a bit of a mind shift if you this has not been your traditional way of celebrating so far.

As I mentioned in this blog post “, all we need need is tune in with Mother nature around us and bring some of her simple beauty and colors inside.

Both Wabi Sabi and Scandinavian consist of rustic beauty, for things both manmade and natural and to the idea that things become more beautiful and valuable over time. Cracks in the rough grain of a wood tabletop and natural hardwoods; the asymmetry and irregularity of mix-matched vintage chairs; and soft, earth-toned paint palettes are imperfectly perfect examples of the wabi sabi style.

Worn, weathered decorative pieces full with personal meaning; ornamentation reclaimed directly from Mother Nature ; and an eternal sense of modesty and humility that gives a living space a special intimacy . This season, let’s embrace the mindful wabi sabi way of design and table setting.




In a nutshell, you will:

Candles /old crates (wintertime is the perfect time for candle light therapy)

Tree branches / pine cones / red berries / small trees

Terracota / ceramics / vintage touches (family heirloom)

Wooden table / mixed cozy chairs (and yes even Ikea…!)

Earth tone colors palette, grey +white+ black accents.












What part of Holiday Seasons (Winter Solstice/ Christmas/New year Eve) can you improve?

  • Is it cooking from scratch some family recipe with very few ingredients only bought at the farmer’s market?
  • Is it re-using, “tinkering”, “hacking’ complicated, expensive, stressful  family traditions for your table setting and your meal planning?
  • Is it lovingly teaching your family and children that this year you are going to try have a greener and more soulful Celebration time  ? 
  • And remember from  a previous post  about the value of the Wabi Sabi philosophy :

<< When the Japanese mend broken objects, they believe that when something suffered damage and has  a history,  it becomes more beautiful>>


And I will always try to make it easy to do it for you! Just click on the quote below to share it on Twitter.

Mindful Holiday Celebration with Soul is experienced, hand made, home cooked rather than purchased @unlieusurterre #simplicity #Christmas2013 #Decorate 

Share this blog post on Facebook following the easy link right below. I love to read your comments, so don’t hesitate to do so on my Facebook Page on how you plan to have a more mindful and meaning Holiday Celebrations this year.




Thanksgiving : the Wabi-Sabi way

“We feel Wabi-Sabi at Thanksgiving, perhaps more than any other time of the year.

The farms and fields are combed of grain and produce, the dormant ground appears

as rich as potting soil andthe trees revealtheir branchy bones and wounds

and marks of years of sylviculture.”

Wabi Sabi Simple: Create Beauty. Value Imperfection. Live Deeply – By Richard R. Powell


It is fascinating to notice the contrast of what our holiday seasons have become compare to the ones, for instance,  our great grand parents used to have. In the old days, the focus was the quality of the food, the time spent together and was certainly  “lacking” of perfectionism that our modern world impose upon us.

As much as I am deeply drawn to scandinavian simplicity – which some of you might object and  define as “perfectionism”-, to me it is the beauty in the simplicity, the absence of too “muchness”, the clean, un-clutter, natural, raw materials used throughout the home.

I am drawn the same way to this beautiful Japanese way of living called Wabi-Sabi.

Wabi Sabi celebrates the beauty of the imperfection. It is actually an art form.

Wabi-sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfection: it values simplicity, uncluttered, underplayed, and modest surroundings. Authenticity is key to wabi-sabi philosophy: <<the presence of cracks and scratches in things are considered to be symbolic of the passing of time, weather, and loving use>>.

Wabi-sabi decor inspires minimalism that focuses more on the people who live in the space than anything else. Possessions and other items are pared down to the essentials based on utility and simple beauty.

It is such a contrast with our modern and western view of the Holiday seasons !

Just by taking a brief look into the shopping malls, catalogs, magazines and you will be overwhelmed by intricate home decor “made in cheap” that will last you about a season until it breaks or is out-of-trend.So much to “choice” from and add to our natural stress level of the holiday season.

In the end it does not add, it depletes you.

With this post, I hope to inspired you to look at what you already have and use it is a different way, bring nature in, make some easy crafts, share some simple and homemade  food (yes, all made from scratch). Dig into your old family recipe that takes no more than 5 easy ingredients to make. Don’t over do it. It does have have to be gourmet, nor does it have to look like a picture perfect  as the great Martha Steward (love her dearly but she a whole team working for her!).

I used to love creating the same sort of home decor and the perfect  Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, parties, etc. As much as it was rewarding in the end to have something looking like what you had envisioned it was also very stressful and not always enjoyable.

I am slowly learning and reminding myself that perfection is not ideal when stress is fueling it. It is a huge mind shift for me as I have to un-teach myself that in the end it is all going to be fine and friends and family won’t know what was planned “in my mind” compare to what is “on the table”.

Keep it simple and enjoy a lovely Wabi-Sabi Thanksgiving filled up with joy, mindful moments, gratitude shared with friends and family.


The Wabi Sabi art of living focuses on living a life based on “being enough”, living modestly.

In terms of “style” It reminds me a little the Shaker style : white and earthy tones palette, natural, raw materials (wood, natural fabrics,


wabi sabi lead

EIGHT easy steps to simplify your Thanksgiving  table setting :



First gather everything that has a worn wooden look to it (bread cutting boards, wooden bowls, wooden plates, etc.)



Then gather everything that is made of simple white  porcelain ( coffee cups / plates / bowls )


If you have  and can borrow some of your grandma silverware, sprinkle some in the mix.


Take a nice relaxing walk and gather meaningful rocks, branches, acorns, pinecones, dried leaves that you could use in small amount to naturally invite the beauty of the season to your table.


Create some simple and yet thoughful place mats / mini decor to have your guests leave comments, thoughts on what being Thankful mean to them. I gathered many beautiful examples on my Special  “MINIMALIST THANKSGIVING” Pinterest Board right here.


Bring some twinkling lights in with recycled mason jars, and simple tea lights to bring lights to your table.


Have your children, grand children write the menu on a chalkboard.



Breathe :: your Thanksgiving is going to be perfectly “imperfect” and beautiful. Enjoy and make yourself a nice cup of tea with your handmade tea bags.














[ More gorgeous pictures on my special Pinterest Minimalist Thanksgiving  board ]


What part of Thanksgiving Day can you improve?

  • Is it cooking from scratch some family recipe with very few ingredients only bought at the farmer’s market?
  • Is it re-using, “tinkering”, “hacking’ complicated, expensive, stressful  family traditions for your table setting and your meal planning?
  • Is it lovingly teaching your family and children that this year you are going to try have a greener and more soulful Thanksgiving Day?
  • And remember from last week post the value of the Wabi Sabi philosophy :

<< When the Japanese mend broken objects, they believe that when something suffered damage and has  a history,  it becomes more beautiful>>


And I will always try to make it easy to do it for you! Just click on the quote below to share it on Twitter.

perfection is not ideal when stress is fueling it @unlieusurterre #simplicity#thanksgiving

This speaks to you too?

Please tweet that !

SHARE this blog post on Facebook.

Please don’t hesitate to COMMENT below or  Facebook on how you plan to have a Wabi Sabi Thanksgiving this year.

Thanksgiving Mantra DIY tea bags tutorial.



 ⩔What you will need

Bits of organza fabric

The provided PDF template or your own design for the tea bag and its tag.

Sewing machine or a simple needle and some thread

Printer to print your tea bags tags.

Some of your favorite organic loose  tea 

A small funnel to fill the tea bags.

A container (Mason Jar, craft paper bag, hand sewn fabric bag to bundle your lovely handmade tea bags 

Masking tape / paint  / stamps to decorate your container 








Thanksgiving Tea Bags TEMPLATE PDF


✚ Use this template to cut your tea bag in your organza fabric .

✚ Cut it twice for each tea bag.

✚ Hand sew it along the edges, leaving one of the “roof” side open.

✚ Fill your tea bag with your beloved loose tea with the help of your funnel.

✚ Finish the tea bag by hand stitching with your embroidery floss the remaining open side.

Don’t forget to leave a long tail to attach your double-sided tag to it !

::TAGS ::

TRIM : cut to your desired size. I trimmed mine to one inch and 3/4 square (4.5cm)

 PAIR : Choose which tags you would like to pair together and glue them back to back “sandwiching” the black tea tag thread in between.

 GIVE : Find a pretty up-cyled mason jar or your preferred recycled box.

With positive thoughts, fill your container with your handmade Thanksgiving Mantra tea bags.

With simple  and natural materials (twigs / acorns / dried leaves / kraft paper / muslin fabric, etc…) decorate your  container.





::Here are some ideas from Pinterest ::


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