Inhale Wabi-Sabi and Exhale Churn-n-Burn

Recently, I was in traffic here in Austin, Texas. Over the past decade the roads have has exploded here with cars due to the non-stop flow of new Austinites – last I heard 150 people move here each day.

With this considerable influx of people and cars I must leave earlier, be more strategic, and be on much higher alert to awful drivers to ensure I am on time and still alive for an appointment or to meet up with friends.

Why am I talking about boring traffic? Because I had an epiphany while in Austin traffic about how we can lead our creative businesses in a new way.

Chose A Better Route 

You’d think the freeway would be faster but I-35 is packed almost always. So, on this day I chose to go a route that had a lot of traffic lights but according to Waze it would be less time to get there.

As I was keeping pace with the traffic the upcoming light had turned yellow. You know that split second when you have to decide if you are going to stop or push through with the rest of the cars?

At that moment I said to myself “Let those other cars just go on their merry way. I don’t want to keep up with them. I’ll just calmly stop at the yellow light and enjoy the freedom of being first to set the pace when the light turns green.”

Right then and there I realized I want to do more of that in my life and business. I want to let go of the unnecessary churn-n-burn pace and instead take a breath, lead my own pace, and allow for more wabi-sabi.

What Is Wabi-Sabi?

Wabi-Sabi represents a centuries-old Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”. Over the centuries it has come to mean in the modern world as “wisdom in natural simplicity” and in art is typically defined as “flawed beauty.” [read more here]



Bees | Artist, Michelle Lohr | available on


I find wabi-sabi a welcomed conceptual guide for me as I develop my business. I too easily accept the stress of and feel muddled when I unconsciously take the freeway thinking faster is best or push through the yellow lights along my journey just to keep pace with others. I want to take more moments to see if that’s the right move for me personally and professionally.

I aim to build more than a business after all. I want to lead, grow and mobilize a movement that supports me in all ways — personal fulfillment, creative interest, general well-being, financial health, positive impact on individuals, and cultivating community.



Enjoy The Yellow Lights & Choose Your Best Path

Now I will relax in the trancsience of the moment and the beauty of my imperfect path ahead. I can inhale my wabi-sabi and exhale the churn-n-burn around me to increase mental acuity and focus.

This puts me in a receptive and open state of mind to dreamstorm my way forward. I say dreamstorm versus brainstorm because dreaming is an unfiltered, unfettered, and uncensored state to fully envision your life, art, business, community, and movement.

You and I have passion-driven work to achieve in this life. Let’s give ourselves every chance to bring our passion to the world around us while creating our fulfilling creative practice and life in our own wabi-sabi way.


BG Circle

Bonnie Glendinning, Founder of The Thriving Artist, is a Branding & Community Strategist for Artists. With her professional artist programs, she empowers artists to live and work prosperously. Join Bonnie and other artists in her Thriving Artist Path global community, on Periscope @thriveartist, and here on the web.