Thursday, March 23, 2017

gratitude list #1



Revisiting the stories of my childhood.
True friendship.
Holding on to love.
Dogsaversary (that word should exist!).
Favorite soundtracks (on top of my list).
Just a little change at a time.
Unknown children's honest smiles in their baby carriages.
The sunrise.
Amazing parents.
The courage to say "I'm sorry".
Repetitive rhythms of the urban life.
Refuge to the serenity of rural existence.
Contrast.
The flexibility of my body.
Cruelty-free eating habits.
Jumping in spring puddles.
Spiritual guidance.
Seeing a new born lamb.
Cinnamon.
My rose quartz palm stone.
Sweetest memories.
The ability to remember.
Midnight thoughts.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Zsemiversary


So here we are again, after yet another year giving grace for existence. We might be a couple kilos heavier :)), but just as happy as the year before, celebrating life in all its skins and layers.
Her rough start turned into something truly wonderful and I am thankful for having her near.

Monday, March 20, 2017

a new cycle



I knew it then, but I see it clearer now than ever, that 2016 was about understanding my life, my heart, my world and my soul more deeply. It was about growth. Growth that was faster and more painful than the pain of growing bones during childhood, more than the pain of loss, more than the hurt of the ego. And at the end of the year when I determined MY word for the year, I chose "butterfly".

A few months into the new year, I smile at the accuracy of that word, at the perfection of each piece of the puzzle, at the beauty of my unfolding story... 2017 is about commencement. It is about trusting the perfection of the unknown. It is about miracles in the making. A fresh start.

The dreams I see... The scents I am able to smell.. Even though there is no rational explanation for them... I can remember the last time this happened so clearly. It was six years ago, and I was jogging in a field of canola in the north east part of the U.K. Thought seized and feeling took its place. Feeling... most vulnerable. Feeling and acting before thinking is the most beautiful and most honest experience of the soul.

Fast forward to 2017.
It was precisely on the 8th of March. On international women's day.
I cried. And my heart longed to meet itself. To truly look into its inner the mirror and see its reflection for what it truly is. Have you ever missed yourself? Have you ever felt a deep longing to become who you truly are? Who you know yourself to be? Or who you never thought you were? And yet, you are...

This year is pivotal. I don't know what it holds. All I can feel with every fiber of my being is that it is entirely different. It is decisive. Like the tuning-fork. It sets the tone for the coming years. And even though I have never sang this song before, I seem to know the melody deep within. The notes... the notes will reveal themselves. In perfect time. I trust my soul's spontaneity, its receptivity and the tiny voice within.

Do you?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

two questions

Over the years I have been working on becoming more of a morning person, and for the most part I love it a lot, but when it comes to getting something done I am most effective from 7pm to midnight. It is just how I am wired, I suppose. If for some reason I need to finish something important before noon I transform into my schoolgirl self having to deal with her math homework. Back when that dreadful thing was a must, I would drive my mother out of her mind, while I desperately fought to find even the most remote of activities (because clearing out the closet was exceptionally important), just so that I would postpone (and prolong, I might add) the torture of numbers.


I was working late the other night on an urgent project.
Focused and exceptionally productive.
I usually like to have monotone background noise, which makes for a nice rhythm to paint to and helps me stay present. Youtube is convenient and I usually just set some podcasts on shuffle.
At one point I became aware of the subject, like I was woken up from a repetitive dream all of a sudden. It was a ted talk of a young woman, called Kalina Silverman, who had filmed people while they were answering some of her questions. I definitely recommend it.

Whenever I find myself at crossroads and don't know the way forward, I do nothing. Well, I do something, but it does not require any action at all. I learned to grant myself time and patience. Patience.
It has not come naturally when I was younger (holler if that sounds familiar!) , but the more life I get to live, the more I value my time, and so I see the importance of taking a conscious step back from the "line of fire" and breathe. Surrender...
I've been feeling the urge to de-clutter and clean. Spring clean. Deep clean. Simplify.
Not so much my outer environment, more so my inner world.
In times when I manage to thoroughly line up with a decision, however I proceed it becomes a success. But the challenging part is arriving at that firm, unshakable decision. That is truly the tough part.

Kalina asks two exceptional questions in her project to open up truly meaningful conversations.
What do you want to do before you die? and What if you found out you would die tomorrow?

I had put down the paint brush.
I closed my eyes. And I could feel silent tears sqeeze down my cheeks. Not sad tears. Grateful tears. Because at that very moment in time, no silence would have been as powerful as that second question. And while the answer to that question might not constitute the building blocks of a decision concretely, it sure points out a powerful direction in my life.

Only a handful of things matter in the end.
I have two I'd like to do on my last day here.
What about you? What would you do, if you found out that you were about to die and you had one, ONE last day?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Spring

Today...was one of those beautifully rare moments in time, when a scent took me far away, to times long past, to redream and redeem reveries I though I'd long forgotten.
Today... I heard that tune, that made my body shiver, my stomach contract to the rhythm oh so familiar and similar to the beating of my heart. That tune, that makes all those butterflies spread their wings in the very same time, causing an entire whirlwind in my soul making me forget for one fraction of a second how disciplined I am about redirecting my thoughts and energies. Forget. Forgive and start again.

Today is one of those rare days when Venus shines the brightest in who knows how long, and the sky is my witness to how much I love darkness and the night, the silent truth that comes once night has fallen, which sets my soul free of conscious restrictions, unnecessary taming...

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sacred Geometry - hand illustrated porcelain jewelry


I probably say this with each new piece of jewelry I create, but it is true. These are definitely my current favorites. Especially this dangling two-piece stud-type design. They are light weight, despite being a statement piece and they have volume and movement, which makes them super fun to wear. Fun, in a dreamy and sexy kind of way.

These pieces are hand crafted of French-quality porcelain clay, covered in either sheer, black or cobalt glaze and hand illustrated with genuine gold in a liquefied form. Each piece is fired in a professional kiln three times between all of the phases above. 
The work process is just as intricate and awesome as the result, I assure you.

I also added a total of five new "Waves" ring designs to the shop, so go check those out too.
To see all of my earring designs visit the shop and let me know what you think.






b

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Life


My heart is filled to the brim, and yet words escape me. They have been avoiding me for the most part over these past months and I feel how their heaviness starts weighing down on me. Do you ever feel like something is building up around you (or within), some invisible creative energy that is about to burst into your life and into your reality, but it is not quite there. I imagine this is sort of what standing on the very edge of a cliff must feel like, as your heel is still pressed into the certainty of the hard rock, while your toes are already sensing the newness of the air in the rift bellow. Though eager with anticipation, the breeze is not yet strong enough to generate enough impetus for the leap...

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The old, and the new!



I find it funny how in the beginning of a year we tend to be so full of hope, full of energy, feeling strong enough to move mountains should it come to it to achieve our dreams...to keep crossing things off those resolution lists. And by the end of the year, when it is time to sit down and measure how far we've come we are left powerless, lacking much motivation and positive light over it all, we raise our shoulders, twitch the corner of our mouth and conclude that it is, what it is.

Rarely do we measure our emotional evolution. Just weighing progress by the seeming reality around, the tangible, the attainable. And it took me 28 years to realize that I have been going at it in all the wrong directions, taking score far too soon.

And yet there are moments when I feel like standing in front of the mirror of Erised (I clearly overdosed on Harry Potter audio-books during those pre-holiday work nights) seeing that which I truly wish for in life, not only for myself, but for the world around me, and the world in general. I used to chase away these moments, but I now close my eyes and allow myself to dream. Even just for a little while. It is important not to escape reality, but reality can only be altered by believing in our dreams, so those silent moments of allowing our imaginations to show us the way is that which expands the universe.

And those dreams stem so far from one another, because on the one hand I hope to one day grow most of the food I consume, live happily with a loving human and tiny humans together with cats and dogs saved from the streets, learning something new each day, slow and steady without societal pressures, and on the other hand I hope to travel the world with a backpack, help children in need and just live from one day to the other trusting that each day possesses everything one needs to exist. Which life is for me, between those two? Which of those two very different people am I?
Well, both.
At the very same time.

And only time will tell which it the stronger voice within.
So for now I rest calmly, knowing that when the time is right to act, I will know it in my heart. And until then I am praying for a miracle.

Dear friend, I hope you had a great year so far, and you will not rate it according to what went down during 2016, but who you have become as a result. I wish for you to greet the new year ahead with curiosity and the courage to enliven those fierce and beautiful dreams from the depths of your heart and to know when the time is right for action.
I wish you love.

From my heart to yours.

Monday, December 26, 2016

merry and bright

Last night, as I stepped out my parents' door I turned back and kissed my mother again, thanking her for the past nearly 30 years of fabulous food and nurturing every single Christmas eve (and not only). She is the mom kind. Mother material. You know? Real mother type, whatever that means to you. You know that feeling when you meet a woman or a man, about your parents' age, and you just feel a mom/dad kind of vibe? Well, my mother has a mom-vibe, sweet, silent and kind. Her presence is not felt because she is all over the place, acting out. Her presence is felt, because she IS there. She participates. She does. She does not talk about what she is doing. She just does, and everything is tended to without boasting. She is the kind of woman who makes it happen and makes it all look easy. When in fact it is not.

So, today, I am grateful for the things and most of all for the people I often take for granted in my life. Because these are the people and the events who truly make MY world go round.

And that is one hell-of-a blessing!

So take a moment this Christmas to count your blessings, there are more than you'll ever know...

I hope you find the way to your heart not only now, on Christmas day, but every single day over the coming year!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Holiday order DEADLINES


Days fly away quickly once we get to the second part of November and most of us start secretly humming Christmas carols. I just wanted to quickly let you guys know, that shipping deadlines are approaching in a very fast pace, so if you planned on placing an order in my SHOP, but have been postponing it, please look at the dates bellow to see the details.

Holiday Order Deadlines

Custom requests: 25 November (i.e. cat portraits)
Christmas gift deadline: 1 December (Worldwide)
Christmas gift deadline: 16 December (within Romania)


If you don't mind receiving your order in January, you can place your order any time you wish; the dates above refer only to before Christmas delivery. As a heads up, please keep in mind, that if you would like to order a custom piece after November 25 (cat portraits, special cake toppers, made to order pieces etc), I will not start working on it until after the holidays.

Thank you for considering shopping from small businesses and surprising your loved ones with hand crafted items  this year! You are awesome!



Wednesday, November 2, 2016

November, hello!


After the timelessness of October, November brings movement, like it always does. It breaths life into what is left of the year, like one last deep breath before it all comes to an end. It feels a little bit, like sitting around and just being -a state that resonates so well with October's sun-lit energies- is no longer enough, it feels as though it demands action, motion, clarity and agility. Not in a restless way, oh no. In a focused and intentional manner.

And as always, I hope you enjoy my insta-snap summary of this past month. If you don't follow me on Instagram yet, make sure you hop over to @jasminblancstudio and tag along, as I post almost daily of my studio activities and pet adventures. If you love animals and clay, you will feel at home, I promise.

Monday, October 17, 2016

A week in silence


I will not enter into great detail, such as how much relief and energy the moon - which was by the way the most beautifully glowing, orange colored wanning gibbous I have ever seen in my life - gave me in the toughest of moments, or how sensationally the sky was lit up by the stars that night, or how when the last tear snuck out a star fell...
I will not go into all of that. Because if I would, this post would become so long I'd have to publish it in a book.

But I decided still, even though it isn't easy to find the right words, to share some of my thoughts and a tiny part of my experience of a week spent in silence on the hill of Taize to perhaps inspire you to try something of the likes of it, or to at least offer some form of consolation in that you are not alone in your quest for the truth, or in your intention of finding your place in the world through the moments of joy and those of pain, but mostly through all that space of presence in between.

Monday

I woke rested and centered. Saturday's seminar in Rome continued to pulse in my veins, and I had the powerful intention to nurture that crisp energy that it went on feeding to my soul. Lighthearted and smiling, I walked back after the morning prayer to the house we (and by that I mean all the girls) called home for the week ahead of us. About half way between Taize and Ameugny I saw my roommate (whom I have already met the day before and surprisingly discovered  later that we were to live in the same room) standing there smiling at the sun that winked out warmly from among the airy clouds.
When we met on Sunday evening, rainy and cold weather was threatening the days ahead, and she wasn't too hopeful of any kind of change in that regard. I told her, that tomorrow, when the clouds part and the sun will shine, she will smile and will remember me...

-

A holiday spent "alone" in silence is hardly your typical dream vacation, yet to me it had such a magnetic pull. I felt guided to do it, even though I have no real answers, not even now, as I am typing these paragraphs. Lacking the serious reasoning behind this call within my soul, I playfully decided to name the search for a blue butterfly the core of my very purpose of being there... A thought silly enough to raise no resistance and a fun enough task to delight my creativity.

-

I was eager to take a walk along the Voie Verte to meet my friend, Pierre. I first met him, or her, I never actually checked, a year ago. Just when I needed a friend the most, he happened to walk my way.
In the afternoon I went for a long walk to find reasons to feel grateful and to meet him. I reached the house he lives in, but saw no sign of him. I called out several times to no avail. Finally I just accepted that he wasn't there, and let go of the preconceived idea I had visualized, so I walked on. Suddenly I turned right, just in time to see him running among the cows, wanly meowing and trying to look for a hole in the thick green fence to come greet me. He managed. Ran up to the walking path, put down the mouse he was carrying right after he squeezed it between his teeth a little more, making sure it would not run away. Ever. Again. And then finally ran to me.
Funny, isn't it? Humans often hold on to what they want so tightly, that they can hardly see the forest from the tree. And the moment you let go of controlling your experiences is the very space where dreams can come to reality.

Tuesday

I have found a secret place today.
In fact it is hardly a secret at all, except in my own experience. There is a bench, just down the road, behind a line of trees, overlooking cows feeding down in the valley. It happens to be the most perfect of benches I ever sat on; high enough even for my long legs not to touch the ground, but to playfully bounce back and forth to the rhythm of the tiny waterfall across the main street.
I closed my eyes to better enjoy the silence within.
I must have stayed like that for quite a while, when from the quiet thoughtless space the idea of a squirrel emerged. I could feel one being so close by. Just a few moments later the noise arrived too, and not long after as I opened my eyes and turned back, I gazed the tiny soul on the tree right behind me.



Wednesday

So what do you do when you can feel yourself falling? Nothing. You do nothing.
You just hang on tight and hope it will be over soon. The more you try to fight against the crash on landing, the harder you hit yourself.
Most of the time we are unable to recognize the fall before we actually crash.
Not this time. The truer part of me was standing by, smiling and dwelling firmly in the knowing of the process. So I let myself be drawn into the tornado that swirls up in life every now and again. I took on a different road then ever before and surrendered to allow it to gently carry me to wherever I needed to go.

I just turned the corner as we parted, looking up to the sky. Never have I had tears burst out so unannounced, from such a deep space within; one I hadn't known existed. Not shaking, not trembling. The silent kind, that builds up in the eyes and gently starts to descend on the cheeks.
Yet sadness takes up a different meaning when it is forgiven. When it is not withheld, repressed. When it is not shoved under the rug or it doesn't constitute the building blocks of the walls that were recently so magnificently torn down.

And so I can only ask this: if there were no questions arising even in the midst of a peaceful and balanced time, would there be any new answers? Are these contrasting times not an invitation to deepen our trust and nurture the tiny seed that has always been planted in our hearts, the little seed that is ready to sprout whenever we allow it to...

After all, it is not every day that I sit face to face with the soul dearest to my heart and in the same time the one I must accept living without.

Thursday

There I was, walking into the calm of Thursday morning, marvelling at the beauty and complexity of our world, with a heart filled with questions that lack the very words that make them up. And then a blue butterfly fluttered its sky-blue wings in front of my nose.

I can hardly expect myself to figure out the path to which I am guided toward in the blink of an eye. And I am hardly more capable of convincing my heart to abandon a feeling, than my ability of using logical reasoning to persuade the flames of a fire to cool down. Recognizing that going down that old path of sadness no longer suits the intention I hold up for myself in life was such a discovery!

So for now I rejoice in the sole quest of the discovery of blue butterflies.

-

Halfway through our week; and by the time the night had settled in, I could feel the depth of the purpose of my choice to spend this week in this manner so vividly -and yet so very mysteriously- widening.

After taking a shower in the afternoon, I made myself a -what I like to think was the thousandth- mint tea, and went out to the back wall of the "Silence House" property, sat under the tallest walnut tree to dry my hair in the fading sun. It got me thinking, how a life such as this may be appealing. I have always enjoyed living in community with people, while living in different volunteering sites; but a spiritual oriented community living is truly something else. Life's pace, and orientation of self... like one no longer belongs to oneself... tending to the common life first and foremost naturally returns to fulfil one's own journey. And I cannot help but contemplate the possibility of such a way of life, in colors, building a family rooted in letting go of personal ambitions and instead surrendering to a higher purpose.

Later that evening I remember standing in awe, witnessing the most breathtaking, vibrantly sharp pink reflection of the setting sun on the horizon contrasted by light blue and rich ash grey -a swirl of colors which seemed to match the depth of sensations I was about to experience within-, that a feeling came up in my heart out of the blue. A feeling so powerful and revealing that I could feel my whole body trembling in excitement on the inside. Like it was the answer for my existence, the very purpose for everything that I am and all I will ever be.

Friday

There are so many things we think we know, just to realize we never really did. So much of what constitutes our knowledge is conditioned; planted into our unconscious from a very early age by the environment we live in, by the society we actively or passively participate in, by the experiences we create. How much more valuable is the knowledge that is born from a reversed process, from the inside out? So the next time you find yourself having a very strong opinion about something, ask yourself where it comes from and how does it make you feel. Your soul will always guide you to the truth within.

Towards the end of the week people start to understand each other. Not through the superficial means of words, but on a deeper level. Where knowing your grandmother's name is entirely irrelevant to truly knowing you (read that with a hint of irony). You tend to open your senses to receive emotions just by carefully observing, and thus getting to know a perfect stranger you've been living with for almost a week now so much better than you would through conventional communication.

-

There was a silent agreement among the girls to meet after the evening prayer and walk those two kilometers to the house back together. Some felt a little bit uneasy about having to walk alone in the pitch dark. But I've always enjoyed to spend time alone in the resting nature.
Later that night as I laid my head on the pillow of my sleeping bag I exhaled and felt my heart overflow with gratitude, for there is this place in the -often considered harsh- world, where a woman can still walk alone in the middle of the dark night of the country side, waltzing her way back home to the song of night-bugs, with her head among the stars and her arms wide open, and be safe without a trace of fear.

Saturday

The alarm in the room next door went off. I could hear it clearly even through my earplugs.
I sat up and quietly turned to the side of the bed, searched for my glasses with my eyes still closed and placing them on my nose I looked around in the room. There is hardly any furniture. Just the three beds, three chairs and a desk. I have my luggage at the end of the bed I'm sleeping in, and my roommate has her backpack at the feet of the bed next to the window. The bed in the middle of the room is empty, so she stacked her clothes neatly on top of it.
There I was, by then fully awake, contemplating how little we really need.
Much of my adult life was spent living out of a suitcase. Only in recent years have I been offered a lifestyle which allows for cupboards and drawers.
All the stuff we tend to gather around us, properties, furniture, appliances, clothes, gadgets and more... I wonder how much we truly need. Or want, even.

The more I silenced my mind, the more my heart spoke out. It is the inner space that needs nurturing, not the surrounding environment. The latter will naturally be tended to when the former is the priority.

On the last full day of the week in silence we had a small sharing in the morning where each of us was invited to share, in just a few sentences about our discovery, direction, conclusion or whatever words came up after such a reflective week.  A little over 15 young women living under the same roof for a week, sharing meals, sharing time and space, smiles, chores and priceless moments of silent acknowledgement of each other's existence... And while I was fully aware that each of them had a world of their own, the moment one of them had whispered the simplest words of her discovery to trust, I felt a warm glow in my chest, felt my eyes fill up with tears and my heart with the deepest kind of gratitude, and stood there, marveling at how beautiful they all were in their quest of finding their way in this magnificent univers. Being there with these young women is silence, in words, in prayer and in presence was, without a doubt, the biggest gift this week had in store for me.

Our true potential, as human beings, has no limitations. And the moment we understand that the challenges we face do not just happen to us, rather they appear in our life for us is when a shift begins to come about. Once we truly get that, we not only rise above the problems we face, but we use them to guide us on our journey.



Sunday

That early morning air, that freshness caressing my bare arms, the gentle scent of fall entering my lungs and my entire body... As though there is nothing before or beyond that very moment in time.

I walked through the field to the back wall one last time to face the rising sun. And in that space of clarity I heard the voice of a man I once met on a plane saying, that on the threshold of a new era in life I must always remember to set an intention and allow it to guide me.

The fullness of that moment is indescribable.

I intend to let love guide my entire existence. I intend to be a prism of God's love. Always. Under all circumstances. And forgive myself when I fail to become it. I intend to rise from that moment of failure, I intent to rise above it and return to a state of joyful, compassionate and loving center. I intend to be more forgiving not only with the people around me, but also with myself. I intend to speak from a space of love, and act from it. And mostly I intend to dwell in that space even when I am asked to lower to be with someone outside that space. I intend not to go there with my emotions, but listen, and then through my example I intend to lift others. I intend to allow life to happen, instead of making it happen. And I intend to be persistent in my commitment to deliberately return myself to my foundation.

***

Now some of you may be inclined to wonder what the purpose of - foolishly- rambling about clouds, cats, benches, butterflies and who knows what other non-sense I went on and on about in great detail is. I was after all spending an organized week in silence in a christian monastery, praying three times a day, asked to reflect on Bible texts and pray with verses, meditate with them. And here I am sharing my experience and basically all I can recall is how different acorns were from the ones I collect at home. So what about all that spiritual revelation I at times refer to and refrain from elaborating?

I could do that. But as I said when I started this post, I fail to see the point. My discovery is mine to hold onto. It is my responsibility to nurture it and keep it alive and active. After all, the abundance of words I could ever find would never really educate, but actively living what I speak might...
Yet if I were to suggest anything, it would be for you to never cease to explore the variety of options God lays out before you to fulfill the assignment you were given. And remember, that the very purpose most people are so diligently seeking for their lives is to trust. Yes. To trust. We might think we know a concrete purpose every now and again, but we never truly ever do, because it is always changing, always unfolding, always becoming. And in the ever changing scenery our life unfolds in perfect orchestration. Our only task is to trust and allow that which we could never even be able conceive to manifest.