Tag Archives: beauty


I posted about last week and Here I elaborate.

I believe that underneath EVERYTHING is good. Furthermore, I believe that even the ugliest appearing thing, when examined closely is beautiful.

These observations come from my experiences. I haven’t had experience with the most heinous of crimes.

Once I was waiting in line at a bank. When it was finally my turn, the teller pointed out a desk and said I had to see that person. I went to the desk and handled my business. As I turned to leave, I saw a woman sitting with a stricken look. I think she had been waiting there and I cut in. I gasped at the thought of my lack of awareness and wondered if this is how wars start. One person is just doing what they do and another takes offense because of what they think.

Another time a neighbor of mine refused to allow a friend to stay at her house. Her friend took offense. I happened to know that the neighbor’s husband was a peeping tom and she was protecting her friend.

I believe that any misunderstanding has goodness at its core. What appears to be mean and spiteful is what has become twisted.

I believe that IF we can work on keeping ourselves untwisted and supporting that in others; if we love it all and assume the best about people, THEN we would come closer to the truth.

Once in a workshop they sent us out to examine ugliness.  It was in a city and I walked around looking for something ugly. Not finding anything, I looked in the gutters at some glop. As I observed it, the colors and arrangement of it started to look beautiful. Everything I looked at, I discovered was beautiful when examined without judgment. I think beauty is in the eye of the non-judgmental beholder.

I am not saying to accept all that comes your way. Live a life of your preferences, knowing it is all good and you get to choose what works for you.

© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.


Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Abundance


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My first Saturday morning in Japan, I was scheduled to go to Tofukuji Temple. My feet hurt. After covering my blisters with band aides, I now had a second set of blisters next to the first ones.

I considered not following my itinerary and taking the day to shop. I had no idea what the places I was going to were, and didn’t know if I would like them.

When I saw that the following Monday was a whole day of shopping planned for me, (amazing planning by my tour co.) AND that Takashimaya Department store was on the way today, I decided to follow my itinerary.

The last time I went to Japan, one of the people on the tour recommended I get myself to Takashimaya Department store when they open. I did and what a thrill, it is. When the first customers walk in, all the employees are at their stations and say good morning and bow to you. I rode the escalator up and got bows along the way so much that I felt like Queen Elizabeth. I wanted to video tape the experience so I could post it here.  When I went inside with my camera running to tape the bowing and greeting; my sense was that my videotaping was a social error. Not wanting to make any more blunders than need be, I stopped taping. Here is a picture of  the welcome given by an employee just before opening the doors.

Next, I got myself to the station for a local train line. It was my first train ride on my own. When I got inside the station, there wasn’t any English. I realized to travel in another country where you don’t know the language, you have to be willing to feel stupid.

Being dyslexic, I am no stranger to that feeling. I tried pushing buttons on a machine and succeeded in having the station master come out to see what I was doing. I showed him in English where I wanted to go and he pantomimed how to buy the ticket. It is very easy once you know.

I was off and arrived at my destination station. I walked to Tofukuji. When I go to places I haven’t been before, I don’t know what exactly I am looking for. It’s all a surprise. I started by chasing down every possible turn. So, after taking three turns and backtracking, before finding the one I needed, I changed to thinking the next turns would be apparent. So now I went too far up a hill, until I found a person to ask. My feet were screaming at me.

Was it all worth it? OMG, yes. Tofukuji is a beautiful Monastery. Truth is, I was out of sorts when I got there. In a way, I am glad I was, because I got to feel more and more connected to my peacefulness as I walked through the gardens.

Shanti, shanti, shanti.

© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.


Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Abundance, garden, Japan


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My Favorite Tea House In All The World.

After my Geisha photo session, my next stop was the  Jidai Matsuri parade. I was at the far end of the parade route, and very early, so I walked toward the place the parade begins. When I got there, I was still early so I decided to stop at Somushi’s, a recommended tea house. Oh my, their link has beautiful pictures.

OMG, I am so glad I went. It is my favorite of all time. It is furnished with old Japanese mixed with contemporary wall hangings.

They had interesting teas like mugwort. I was in the mood for coffee however. I thought this cup and saucer were Bizen pottery but they are not. They gave me this name and I think it is the town they are made in -Ishii Nooto, and a business card that says Do Kka To Yu.

I love this beautiful old bill holder made of wood.

And this fabric coaster.

The checkout counter is made of stone and had this cute fabric cover.

If I could I would take my valentine here. He would like this vegetable chili. I was thrilled by the fresh taste and the variety of vegetables.

I moved a slice of lotus root to the center back of the plate so you can see it’s lacy beauty.  Under the vegetables is a mound of rice.

Enchanted, I went to check out the bathroom.

Blue ceramic urinal

The pot and scoop are to purify your hands.

Blue ceramic Japanese toilet

The bamboo pole is helpful for steadying yourself.

A beautiful old metal sink.

They have counter service and cute little tables if you like. Some are outdoors in a garden area.

I chose to sit Japanese style on the floor.

Wall hangings and antique wood adorn the place.

This one from old kimonos with Sashiko stitches, divides two areas.

I loved these beautifully sewn organza ones.

I don’t know why they have the tails? They are for sale. Maybe I could buy a small one?

Alas, too many zeros for my budget.

Well, I have my memory of this lovely place.

<p> © 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved. </p>

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.


Posted by on February 14, 2011 in Abundance, Japan, Uncategorized


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Creating Abundance – How I quadrupled my income in 6 months.


Since my husband’s workplace let 50% of their employees go, (not my husband, thank you God), I feel moved to share my secrets of creating abundance. It is my hope that they will be of use to someone out there.

I really did quadruple my income. It was easy. I was a divorcee working part time and I went to full time. That doubled my income. Then I changed my employer, (out of need for different hours) and I got better hours and double my salary.

Before you dismiss it; I don’t believe this could have happened, if I hadn’t laid the groundwork for it. I believe if you lay the groundwork, it will happen in the way that works for you. It could be winning the lottery, it could be a new better job, it could be an inheritance, or any number of ways, probably as many different ways as there are people.

If you’ve been through challenging personal relationships, like divorce, maybe you have learned like I did, that the more you evolve yourself, the better partner you attract to yourself, better partner as in better fit for your needs.

I believe it is the same with creating abundance. The more you evolve, the more aware you are of the abundance in your life.

When I quadrupled my income, I used a shotgun approach, that is I blasted ahead with everything I had. It makes it challenging to know which things worked best. That is, it was not a controlled study. Over the coming Wednesdays, I will post about each of the ways I worked my process.

For this week, write a paragraph about your financial state. You don’t have to share it with anyone, it won’t be graded. It’s just for you. Have it handy next Wednesday.

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.


Posted by on February 9, 2011 in Abundance, How to, Uncategorized


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How To Look Like A Geisha

When I left Sanjusangen-do Temple, I heard a clear loud voice chanting. It was this monk.

He goes at a fast clip.

Really fast.

I guess he goes around the perimeter of his temple complex and chants to protect the area. I enjoyed hearing it as I set off to find the Studio Shiki where I had an appointment at a –

Long-established photo shop specializing in Maiko/Geiko Transformation.

I wanted to walk because the last time I went to Japan, (for three weeks), I came home with 1 and 1/2 inches less around my waist. And that was after eating everything I wanted. So, my plan was to walk as much as possible.

I could have ridden, the streets were very steep. I went up and down the hillside a lot trying to find the place.

There were lots of students in this area, visiting the temples. Some classes wear matching hats.  It seems to make it easy for the teachers to find them.

There were lots of interesting shops along the way.

Finally I thought I found the place but it was one of their multiple sites. They sent me off to the one my appointment was with. Being compulsively early, I still arrived in time. I wonder sometimes if my compulsive earliness allows time for getting lost and if I was at the last minute, I could just skip the whole getting lost part.

Anyway, they were nice as could be. I was a little out of place with all the beautiful young women but my inner child was thrilled and happy.

I thought I was getting their Sakura plan – called their reasonable package for 6,500 yen but What I got cost 9,500 yen, (about $115). My lack of command of Japanese prevented me from knowing why.

There are additional charges for tabi socks, eyelashes and using your own hair. They will style and spray your hair dark if needed. I chose to use their wig.

Some women I heard of, kept the makeup on when they left. That would be fun, especially if you had your own long hair styled, but I chickened out had places to go after and washed it all off.

In this post, I showed pictures the photographer took with my camera. I was alone and would have tried taking some long arm shots with my own camera, but the photog kindly took as many as I wanted after my studio session.

You get to choose what color kimono and obi you wear. I was surprised that the white face makeup has a lot of pink in it and they use red around your eyes and eyebrows, in with the dark color. I felt like a princess being dressed by my ladies in waiting. Can you tell I enjoyed it?

And now without further ado, my studio shots.

Would you do this?

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.


Posted by on February 7, 2011 in Abundance, Japan, Uncategorized


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TRAVEL JAPAN — Toyoko Inn Shijo Omiya — Part III

Let me show you my cute room in Kyoto. My goal was to spend little on the room in Kyoto and save my budget for the ryokans, ( Japanese style inns).

My tour company told me if I stayed in less than a three star hotel in Japan I would be subjected to cigarette smoke. (A migraine and puking would be my response.)

The Japanese value the purifying quality of smoke, water and alcohol. To them, smoking cigarettes is a good thing. I suspect this attitude of theirs is part of the low rate of cigarette related cancers.

This room was lovely, impeccably clean and very comfortable. The front desk had English speaking people and I was very pleased. I never smelt a whiff of cigarette smoke.

There are some very clever things the Japanese have come up with in their hotel rooms.

There is always access to hot water –

This room has a pants presser –

A fancy Japanese toilet

A tub that is shorter than ours, but deeper and you can soak up to your chin –

The faucet on the sink swings over the tub or you can use the hand held shower.

My favorite innovation is that the tub sits on a tray with a drain in it. If the tub overflows no problem. I suspect they hose down the whole room and it all drains away.

I love impeccably clean. In Japanese the same word means clean and beauty.

Do I know the word? Ah no, Jen, do you know?

They provide a fresh cotton robe each day –

And fresh slippers each day, traditionally worn in the bathroom –

Amenities –

And a face mask –


Posted by on January 24, 2011 in Abundance, Japan


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TRAVEL JAPAN – The Tea Ceremony

One of the prime things I wanted to redo in Japan was the tea ceremony. Esprit travel arranged for me to attend the tea ceremony at Daitokuji Monastery.

First we went to a sub temple, Zuiho-in for an informal tea ceremony with the Abbot. It was another couple and me and our tour guides. My guide Kiyo interpreted.

Here is a photo of the Abbott. No photos are allowed during the tea ceremony.

The Abbot at Zuiho-in

The calligraphy and flower arrangement chosen for that day.

Besides the historic, cultural, beautiful and spiritual aspects, well probably because of the spiritual aspects: it is fun.

The Abbott is totally present and humorous. After serving us our tea sweets that he made with a nattokinase center, he told us about his daily routine. He rises early and chants for half an hour, then he does housework for two hours and then tea cermony and Abbot duties.

He suggested we get rid of our couches. Kiyo told me he is against them. I guess to prevent ‘couch potatoism.’

I told him if I got rid of my couch, my husband would be sitting on it.

He said I needed to make sure my husband took ten deep breaths before I served him breakfast. I didn’t tell him that I don’t serve him breakfast. He told me that I wield the ‘stick’ in our relationship. You could have fooled me.

I know what stick he is talking about. Once before when I was there, the Abbott showed our group the stick they use to whack monks who fall asleep during services. He showed us how placing the stick at your back induces good posture.

Now this Abbot he looks terrific. He asked how old I was and I gave him the age I felt, (jet lag and all), 135.

He is in his 80’s. He attributes it to the respiratory benefits of chanting and all that exhaling.

He admired my Japanese mulberry socks. I told him my grandchildren wanted them but I said no and kept them for myself.

Kiyo told me, he suggested that she take me to a certain temple. We went there but it was closed. Kiyo told me they serve a special Japanese desert there. I never got back to try it but I did buy some chocolate mochi on Saturday, in case that took care of whatever experience the Abbot suggested for me.

Zuiho-in has beautiful gardens, including this dry garden.

The gravel is meant to simulate water.

This garden has references to the cross and Christianity. This temple was founded by the “Christian Lord,” Lord Otomo Sorin.

And a new bathroom with a toilet seat that lifts up as you enter. It has all the amenities and even an uneven floor to massage your feet as you walk on it.

And fragrant plants outside the window.


The Abbot chose a blue lacquered tea bowl for my matcha. He picks a unique bowl for each participant. Usually it is tied to the seasons.

It was a deep navy blue color. I never have seen one like it. The Abbot asked me why I was there and I said I wanted to return to Japan before I was too old to get back there. My trip was consumately satisfying. I am content.


Posted by on January 10, 2011 in Abundance, Japan, Uncategorized


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