Breezy Bay Morning

The sun, barely ripe on the bay’s horizon, offers the promise of warmth later in the day. The morning is still cool with a hint—an afterthought, really—of remaining mist. Hugging oneself in the muted hush of dawn’s solitude, we revel in the bone-deep pleasure of having the porch almost to ourself. The only other occupant are clothesline thoughts that open their souls—slowly—as mussels do when steamed.


I’m struck by the clarity with which my dear friend, Canadian artist Terrill Welch has captured the moment in Breezy Bay Morning on Saturna Island, a 36 x 36 inch oil on canvas painting that offers a private view where we inhale the glory of brine-tanged air, take in the contours of the land and distant bay, and if we’re willing, allow nostalgia to sweep through us, carried by a wave of retrospection.

Perfectly set at arm’s reach, the pulley allows us to retrieve memories, much like scenes in a play. Some evocative and positive, soaked in the freshness of purifying sunlight; others flap and snap in the gust of pre-storm turbulence. Seasoned, those of us who’ve lived any life know that reminiscing is often a bittersweet experience.

The world is chaotic. The serene setting in Breezy Bay Morning on Saturna Island offers a gentle porch view.

Every clothesline tells a story—even the one in our mind’s eye. What’s yours?


Mary Poppins-esque

My friend, Canadian artist Terrill Welch, periodically gifts her readers with step-by-step photos of a painting being born. So revealing, those posts are among my favorites.

With that in mind, I’m sharing with you the behind the scenes “magic” of what took place to capture a photo of me — Mary Poppins style — for an up-and-coming event.

Using the camera in my iPhone 5S, Len was the photographer. As you know, we have loads of fun together. Sometimes we even get carried away; in my case (almost) literally:

Select a location site


Insert prop into the scene


Wait (and wait and wait and wait!) for photographer to get ready


Catch a gust of wind


Erase prop — Voilà!


Coming to a night sky near you


When was the last time you got carried away?


© Laurie Buchanan

Find me on Twitter @TuesWithLaurie
Find me on Facebook


I’m fortunate in that I get to rub shoulders with some tremendously interesting people—people who are outstanding in their field because they consistently (1) show up, (2) put their best foot forward, and (3) apply themselves fully to their craft:

Sandi White — Master Gardener
Terrill Welch — Impressionist Painter
Debbie Jacob — Psychic
Sam Juliano — Teacher and Film Critic
Heather Shumaker — Author
Jeff Stroud — Photographer
Sibyl English — Vocalist
Kathy Smith — Film Director

And while this photo is of Len Buchanan out standing in a field, he’s outstanding in his field as well—technology.

Click on Photo to Enlarge

Are you outstanding in your field, or out standing in your field?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” — Laurie Buchanan

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2013

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence
Find me on Facebook

Rain Retreat Meditation

In the Buddhist tradition “Phansa” is the rainy season—typically July, August, and September. During this window of time, monks stay indoors to study, meditate, and teach. This practice stems from when Buddha stayed inside to avoid stepping on and killing insects and seedlings.

I’m fascinated by this tradition. However, with owning a healing practice and teaching, taking a three month hiatus simply isn’t prudent.

Last fall Terrill Welch over at Creative Potager posed the sprout question, “Where are you finding sublime bliss today?”

Shorty thereafter, Catie Manning over at As Told by CatMan – The Rose Bandit asked, “How do you get rid of stress?”

My answer to both was the same—in the shower.

It’s here that I take a mini Rain Retreat. Pulling in a Rubbermaid footstool, I sit with my back to the shower-head, and wholly relax as the hot water pelts my neck and shoulders, washing any physical tension right down the drain. The emotional tension melts away as I practice my personal version of metta:

I visualize myself as a smooth pebble that’s been tossed into a still pond. The pebble—me—produces a gentle ripple effect on the calm surface. The first time I say the metta, I start with myself. Then each consecutive time I replace “I” with the next person in my life—the next ring out—and so on.

It looks something like this: me, Len, our son, Kayley, individual family members, individual friends, neighbors, clients—you get the idea—until I end with,
“May all beings…”

May I live in safety
May I be healthy—body, mind, and spirit
May I live with ease
May I listen more than I speak
May my motivation be positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing
May I interact with kindness and respect
May my constant companions be peace of mind and joy
May laughter reside in my heart

Where do you go to retreat?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan

Please visit HolEssence and our Facebook page

© 2012 Laurie Buchanan– All Rights Reserved

The Sky is Falling!

You remember Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Foxy Loxy, Turkey Lurkey, and Goosey Loosey. Well…

Monday afternoon I shared with Terrill Welch over at Creative Potager:

Acorns are falling—thump, thump, thump—and the chipmunks are packing their cheeks as fast as they can and “squirreling” them away. Their faces are so fat it looks like we’ve got a mumps epidemic on our hands!

I thought it would be fun to try to capture a photograph of an acorn-laden chipmunk face so I laid down under the oak tree in our front yard—camera at the ready.

Just as I got the feeling that I was being watched, a load of acorns rained down on me. Looking up into the tree, here’s what I saw looking back (click on the photo and it will enlarge):

Look in the dead-center, and slightly to the right

Shortly after that, I received an email notifying me that my friend Jeff Stroud of The Reluctant Blogger, had tagged me in a comment on Facebook. So I toggled over there to view a wonderful 8-minute video clip of Zen Master John Daido Loori, author of Zen Photography. Not quite halfway into the clip he said:

“The moment is where our life takes place. We miss the moment—we miss life.”

Hearing that made me doubly glad that I’d taken the time—the moments—to try to see the world from a chipmunk’s point of view, and was instead rewarded with a raccoon smile.

What was the last moment you truly savored?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
                — Laurie Buchanan and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

What’s Black and White and Red All Over?

Recently I found a brown-paper wrapped package in our mailbox. The return address indicated that it was from my friend Terrill Welch—the inspirational force behind Creative Potager.

Gingerly cutting away the outside wrapping, I discovered a decal-decorated inner package with the following handwritten messages:

     Precious cargo
     Caution—contains addictive substance
     Handle with care
     There is no going back
     Open carefully

Ever so cautiously I removed the inner wrapping and much to my delight discovered two boxes of PANDA All Natural Raspberry Licorice.

Pandas are black and white; raspberry licorice is red, hence the blog post title—I crack myself up!

Pandas are black and white; raspberry licorice is red, hence the blog post title—I crack myself up!

For those of you who’ve known me for any length of time, you’re aware that the ensuing cartwheels and Snoopy Happy Dance were a spontaneously-combusted result of red licorice being my all-time favorite decadent indulgence! 

What indulgence best satisfies your sweet tooth? 

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
                — Laurie Buchanan and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Listen with your Heart

Whether I am at the end of a paper letter or email correspondence my signature signoff is always “Listen with your heart.” 

It is my perspective that the heart is the intersection of thinking (logic) and feeling (emotion).  When these two powerful aspects of self are healthy and used in conjunction with each other, we function from a place of wisdom—the heart.  This brings clarity in decision-making, removes drudgery and adds exponentially to joy in the abundance factor.  


Cliff Echo Bay by Terrill Welch

Cliff Echo Bay by Terrill Welch

On February 20, 2010, I received the following email from my friend, author, photographer and artist, Terrill Welch:

On Sunday, February 14th, a circle was called here on Mayne Island (BC, Canada) for World Sound Healing Day. I thought of this thread part way through the prayers, songs, and chants that accompanied each person as they walked the portable labyrinth. The chants changed as those around the circle listened deeply and intuitively to what was needed for the person walking. This wasn’t discussed, explained or even anticipated by those holding the circle.

Laurie, because of you – I had a name for what was happening. In thinking about this experience this morning I decided to come by and thank you.

This photo is the latest heart I have found in nature… I hope you can find it on the cliff rocks. This photo was taken in Echo Bay on Saturna Island, BC, Canada.”

Terrill’s email continued … “It was an absolutely sacred place where the energy flow immediately aligned within me without any effort. The sensation was enough to want to drop to my knees in tears. A geographical place with this kind of open-field-of-energy is not something I experience everywhere (Haida Gwaii and Machu Picchu are two other places)… though, the whole of Saturna Island seems to have a kind of sacred hum. Over 50% of the land on this island is now part of one of Canada’s newest National Parks. About 250 residents live there full-time. The island has very limited services and the people, on the whole, are minimalist. They recently raised $5,000 for the Red Cross efforts in Haiti under the banner of — From one island to another.

You are cordially invited to enjoy more of Terrill’s work:

Visit Terrill’s blog Creative Potager — where imagination rules. Be inspired.

Visit Terrill’s photography at her online gallery.

In October of 2009, I had the privilege of writing a review for Terrill’s book, “Leading Raspberry Jam Visions: Women’s Way – an inside track for women leaders.” You can read it here.