Open Your Eyes and See Beauty

This message came to me on a day when I needed to be reminded of this. A day where my heart was taking in all of the sadness and not letting the light lift me up. I was getting closer and closer to my brother's Angel Anniversary. That is what I call it now. It makes my heart feel better, it sounds better to say it and it certainly celebrates that he was an angel on this earth and he is now an angel in heaven. So consistent that he has always been my angel.

So this day I was holding the space of sadness as my focus. Sometimes, I do think we must give ourselves permission to just go there. If we don't go there, it begins to create a place where we are forbidden. And I know we must feel all of our emotions. In so doing, we can really appreciate getting to the place of peace.

I was coming home from work and starving. Emily and I were chatting about the website needing to be updated and she was rattling off so many business ideas I thought I might have to pull over and take a nap...it was exhausting.

Well, out of nowhere I interrupted her and said, "I think I need a hamburger." I am so sorry if any of you are not beef eaters...but there is nothing like a good burger to give you a protein punch!! I do love veggie burgers, too. But, today it was a hamburger and an Arnold Palmer. I was going to shift my sadness and take this opportunity to celebrate my brother's Angel Anniversary and that was going to be my banquet!! Keith would totally approve. Actually, he would have also ordered a milk shake.

So I pull into the local eatery. Order my burger for celebration. I am barely noticing the kind man that is running out to the car to gather the money and bring my drink. He comes back and gives me the bag with the burger. He pauses and says, "Ma'am, I have to compliment you. You have the most beautiful eyes." I looked up. Truly the first moment I have taken myself out of my swirling thoughts of my sadness, and here is this precious person giving me this gesture of love and kindness.

I froze...and thanked him. And the tears began to roll...I slowly drove away and the tears came crashing down...that sweet person was my angel that day.

His words were straight from my brother and landed right in the middle of that big crack in my heart. What that message was for me was, "Come on, Corinne. Open your eyes and see beauty." See the beauty of your friendships, see the beauty of the sun shining, see the beauty of strangers that step up and say kind things. I had not seen beauty that day. In fact, I had crashed down on so many people that I had talked to and tried to force them not to see any beauty either. SOOO...I will write it and tape it to my mirror...SEE BEAUTY. I will text it to the same people that I had crashed sadness on...See beauty today.

So simple. So true. So healing. So my brother...he wants us all to see beauty.

In each other, around us, in ourselves, and others.

Thank you Michael for bringing me my lunch and reminding me what I had forgotten.

Through you I was reminded and your beauty was shining on that day!

See Beauty! Forever.



It's a little dreary today, so we thought some lightness was in order. Share the light!


Pondering Pool

This summer I was so lucky to spend some time in Black Mountain, North Carolina. The air is so crisp, the trees so green and the lifestyle so relaxed. Three of my college girlfriends met me there and we enjoyed a relaxing few days of catching up and having some "mountain" time.

One of the days we stumbled into the sweet little town of Black Mountain and had lunch. After lunch we were looking in the stores and came across a card store. Three of us ended up in front of one particular line of cards. We read every card. The illustrations were chilling and entertaining at the same time...the words that went with the drawings were so deep, so real and so touching. I actually sat down on the floor and read every card in the store...and started a stack to purchase. Something about this artist was different. The cards could tell your story. Something about the message was so raw, so touching and so personal.

I stand, I reach, I yearn, I bellow, and finally I live.
What do you do?
When I got home, I googled the name of the cards "Pondering Pool." The artist was a woman named Susan Mrosek in Arizona. I decided she needed a bracelet. Her cards felt like a person that was in the Healing Knots circle...and maybe, just maybe, she would email me back.

Present yourself -
as though you were a gift. 
I sent her a note telling her my story about finding her cards and loving them. And I shared my story of Healing Knots. It was amazing...she wrote back.

Her note was humble and thankful. She shared that we had something in common...that her company had also been inspired by losing her "soul mate" and sister. That both of us had art that was created straight from our hearts.

Sunday's Prayer
Untie my brain that it may be drop kicked into clarity;
fuse open my eyes that they may always see;
unclench my heart that it may absorb the incoming;
reprimand my negotiator for serving negativity over easy,
like and elegant Sunday brunch. 
She wrote, "I love the idea of prayer bracelets! You're right, we definitely have in common the making of art from the heart. A large part of my art is tied to healing from my sister's passing. She was my soul mate and muse, and is woven deeply into Pondering Pool, as well as my life."

This is where I begin to feel a larger force in this mission of Healing Knots. How could it be that those cards gave me this feeling of deep love, caring and connection? And that I reached out and she reached back?? This is where we can still love people. When you feel something...speak up. Send a note, make a call...your journey is filled with others that have the same experience. It just takes that moment of offering your hand...and a heart connection is made.

Susan's Bracelet
Susan has a bracelet and loves it. She says that it reminds her so much of her sister and that my story and gesture of sending her a bracelet is also just like her sister. She shared her wonderful story:

At the Heart of Pondering Pool is Hope

"Fourteen years ago, after some prodding, I took a leap and created a line of note cards, posters and a book called Pondering Pool. It turned out to be very cathartic, not only for me (and my sister/collaborator Diane Hope), but much to my surprise, people throughout the world. Its sweet characters are quite imperfect, funny, brutally honest, and in various stages of struggle and healing. They thoughtfully tell us that being different is not a flaw, but a blessing.

Diane Hope passed away July 31, 2008. It's important to me that people understand how much of the Pool is filled with Diane's heart and muse (it's not the same in here without her!) In fact, Pondering Pool was born, for the most part, in Diane's living room, kind of sideways, as a byproduct of the way she and I dealt with our challenges. How grateful I am for the heart filled years we spent together in the creative frenzies, celebrating every detail of each other's works, and laughing like we were dying from the joy of each other - we couldn't get over us.

Because of her severe OCD, Diane was unable to take her own uniquely healing artwork public. I intend to publish her works one day so we can finish what we started, she and I helping others to laugh and heal.

If Diane and I make up the heart of the Pool, my partner Bill is definitely the spine that keeps it afloat. He, too, is my muse as well as a magnanimous fortune giver, fully equipped, sometimes overstated, powerful as the wind clearing a storm."

Thank you Susan for all of your art. You are sharing so deeply and making beautiful expressions that speak to so many of us. Your sister is smiling down on you and Pondering Pool!

Your story reminds us all to live from the heart!



I have loved SARK since the 1980s when my friend, Lisa (aka Dirt) introduced me to this book, A Creative Companion.

Her ideas are so free, so fun and most of all just from that place in your heart where you know all of your most inspirational ideas sprout from. I was living in the San Francisco Bay Area at the time, and SARK is a "city girl." She tells of her magical cottage that she lives in and makes all of her dreams come true. What I would give to have had a day where I could go meet her and hang out with her to feel her loving spirit. She gives you the courage to maybe one day think that you, too, could be an artist. All of her books and posters and greeting cards are written in true handwriting...not a fancy font that you can use your mouse to pull down. It is "art" the old fashioned way...by hand.

Well, this thing we call life brings us to so many different twists and turns. And just last week a dear friend sent me a picture of SARK's Creative Companion book I had sent her years ago. She said, "Corinne, I still read this and love every page."

And, that just made me feel like I had been sent a gift. The gift of remembering that book. I immediately went to go find it...and the page I love so very much..."How to be an Artist"

How can it be as I read this book now, I can read every line and know that it is even more true than it was 30 years ago when I first fell in love with these pages, words and invitations to be playful and do art!

For now, I have had the most painful chapter of my life to push my heart wide open, flailing into an art form that has left me spinning with so much love, support, friendships and happiness. How my form of "art" has transpired into bracelets that help me heal from my brother being gone...and have found an entire community of people that feel this same connection.

A connection to something in their heart. Whether it is because of loss, celebration, a new job, a new wish, a new friend. Every bracelet that someone orders has an amazing story with so much meaning and so much heart. Sometimes as I make the bracelet, I can feel how deeply this is going to touch someone...the colors, the numbers, the patterns of the beads telling their story...a love story. The story of wanting to remember, heal and eventually celebrate that we are all here together and we have been given a new day. We must remember that, no matter how much we ache.

This is a big week for me and all of those that knew Keith Lockett Pruitt. May his presence, love and memory shine in everyone's hearts forever. May this week be one of remembrance and love for everyone who has lost a loved one.

And may we all keep love in our hearts...even when it is so hard.

Peace to all.

Art - noun
The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a casual form such as a painting, sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

The quality, production, expression or real, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter or counteract the work of nature.

The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements.


Heavenly Turq

The new favorite bracelet designed by Melinda. She is a great yoga teacher, mother and grandmother. The Heavenly Turq bracelet is in loving memory of her son Christopher's "Heaven Day!"

Some of the reasons we love turquoise:
  • Turquoise controls and heals the emotions creating emotional balance and stability 
  • It opens the lines of communication between the heart and the spoken word
  • It presents as a friendly and happy color enjoying life
  • It encourages inner healing through its ability to enhance empathy and caring
  • It is the color of the evolved soul
Happy Thursday!! Love and healing to all. 


The Real Magic is About to Begin

"At some point in the journey, we may become tired, weary, and confused. Homesick. All the mountains, the scenery, the food, the people, the experiences just don't do it for us anymore. We want to go home. What am I doing here? we wonder. Nothing worthwhile is happening. Yet another part of us knows the truth and whispers, Yes, something is happening, something worthwhile. 

Feeling homesick is part of the journey. It can mean we've reached a turning point. 'When we get to that place,' a friend once said, 'it means the journey has really begun.'

Stay present for yourself and all your emotions. You've worked through so much. Don't stop now. Getting through this place, this point, will turn your life around. You've earned and grown, you've worked so hard healing your heart and cleansing your soul. Your spiritual growth has been profound. But until now, all the work you've done has been to prepare you for where you're going.

You've seen only a little of what life has to offer. You're about to walk through a door. Now that your heart is open, you'll see, touch, and know even more of life's wonders. It's the reward for where you've been. Keep feeling your feelings and trusting your guidance.

Let the magic begin."


Silly Emails

I am not big on the "chain emails." The rules that you must send it to 8 people and then on the 4th day you will feel something happen in your life...the whole thing is a little too much for me.  Who has the time to send them, read them, and most of all burden friends with more trash in their inbox?

But, this week I hit one of those crazy exceptions. Just when you make the grand statement, "I would NEVER do that"... something makes you shift.

Sandie, Mitchell and Corinne
For most of my kids growing up years, we had this amazing neighbor named Sandie. She lived alone and had children of her own that were close to my age. AND...I was lucky enough for her to adopt me as one of her own and my children became her grandchildren. It was a match made in heaven for all of us. She was the director of the local theater, so she would wear costumes to the kids' birthday parties and play whatever role we needed to spice things up a little.

She was a birthday fairy one year, a pirate another year, always coming in full costume and character. When the holidays came and we had more visiting relatives than beds, she opened her home and we used it as the local bed and breakfast. When I needed someone to run over to be with a napping baby so I could go gather the other children, all I had to do was call and she was there. I will never understand how this angel landed in my life at the right time with all of the right skills, but she did and we all just cherished our time together.

Well, Sandie watched the movie "The Bucket List" and decided she needed to have more adventure. So she packed up her house and moved to Costa Rica. Oh, we missed her. No one will ever fill her shoes or our hearts like she did, but we still keep in touch. She is now back in the States and lives in Galveston. Going to see her is like going to see family. She also makes it to Austin every few months so we can have her over for dinner.

Sandie can tell my children more hilarious stories about their childhood than my husband and I combined. She is a treasure and a gift.

Of course, she wears a bracelet.

Yesterday I received an email from her. It was one of those silly chain emails I spoke of earlier.

This one caught my eye. Her message to me was very simple.

I want you at my table.

The email read:

Come Sit With Me
"There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all of the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you well, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living."

"Today may there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us."

Now, send this to 8 women ore more within the next 5 minutes. And remember to send this back, I count as 1. You'll see why. My table of 8.

Well, those words sit in my heart and I know those words...they are just what I feel about my life. Time is precious, our days are too full, who do you really miss and want to see? Who would you invite to sit at your table? 

An amazing question. 

Have a great day. Wear your bracelet and invite some friends to sit around your table that make you laugh! Why not?


Saturday Gift

"Present yourself - 
as though you were a gift."

Happy Saturday! Love and healing to all. 


My Friend Janie


Two weeks ago I met a new friend. Her name is Janie. I was told all summer by another bracelet wearer, Lisa, that Janie and I must meet. So after a summer of both of us missing each other we finally got to meet over coffee. We sat outside in the hot Texas air and we started to share our stories. She works with an organization in town called My Healing Place. She helps other people that are facing grief and loss in their lives. She is still healing from her own great loss and brought me a picture of her son Matt and shared her great love for him by sharing what he loved. Lisa, Janie and I all felt so safe as we sat at the table and let tears roll down our cheeks. Each of us in a different stage of grief, feeling our own story so fresh on our hearts. Mostly, the three of us knew that we could say anything to each other and be safe, loved and accepted. This is the gift of grief I am starting to know so well. People that have had to go down this path of loss are there to catch you and hold your hand as you take your steps. Sometimes our steps are forward, sometimes they are sideways, sometimes our feet cannot move. Grief does that to a person.

Janie wanted a bracelet to hold her dear son and his amazing life. She wanted to wear his story on her wrist and feel the round wood beads reminding her that his memory will be with her forever as will the love they both shared.

As I made Janie’s bracelet I was outside by the lake. I just knew this bracelet for Matt had to be made outside for that is where he loved to be. I sent this picture to Janie as I finished her bracelet. She was so happy it gave me chills to read her words, “Oh, Corinne this picture takes my breath away!”

Janie was able to share her own story. She is so brave. 


Encircling Me in Matt Memories

"One of the cruelties of losing a loved one to suicide is that their memory can become tarnished by the tragic circumstances of how they died. Even after years of healing, when someone asks me about our children and then follows my response with, “Oh, I’m so sorry. How did he die?” Matt’s story clouds the air between us and they stumble for what to say next. As a society, we don’t yet know how to offer all the compassion we feel or someone else needs. 

So, when someone, instead, celebrates and symbolizes the precious gift of Matt’s life...when someone helps me wash away any stigma that darkens his memory...I am speechless with gratitude.

My Healing Bracelet does that because it is a tribute to Matt’s extraordinary presence and the blessing of his life. 

My bracelet has 35 beads for each year he was with us. Then interspersed throughout those are special reminders...a green bead for his love of nature (he was a wildlife biologist), a white bead for his expertise and love for golf, a blue bead for the ocean where he spent hours fishing with his dad and his friends, a red bead for the depth of his heart, a purple bead for his love and compassion for his family and friends, a gold bead for the pure gift he still is to me and a black bead to honor his intense struggle with depression. Then, all of Matt’s beads are woven together with blue elastic which reminds  me of the Tenderness that holds us both...together...forever. 

What could be more healing than wearing next to my skin, the story of his life? What a beautiful way to celebrate him for who he truly was. 

Thank you, Corinne, for your generous heart, empathetic depth of your art and the healing that brings to so many." 

-Janie Cook

Janie with her Healing Knots and a photo of her son Matt

Janie, we thank you for sharing your story about Matt and your journey of healing. Thank you for including us on your path. I am so happy to have a new friend. Thank you Lisa for introducing us. You were right…we needed to meet.

Corinne and Janie holding hands and holding each other's hearts
With love and gratitude to everyone that is healing from loss. You are not alone.


Inspiration: Katrina Kenison

As you may know, we love Katrina Kenison. Her inspirational words have carried us through some of the hardest days. Corinne had the opportunity to meet Katrina a few weeks ago, and together they were rockin' their Healing Knots!

Corinne and Katrina Kenison, August 2014

Here are some of Katrina's words to get you through this Tuesday:

"Not a day goes by that I don't still need to remind myself that my life is not just what's handed to me, nor is it my list of obligations, my accomplishments or failures, or what my family is up to, but rather it is what I choose, day in and day out, to make of it all. When I am able simply to be with things as they are, able to accept the day's challenges without judging, reaching, or wishing for something else, I feel as if I am receiving the privilege, coming a step closer to being myself. It's when I get lost in the day's details, or so caught up in the worries about what might be, that I miss the beauty of what is."


Just Go Play

So for many people, school started this week. For some people school started last week. For others, it is the first time they have not been a part of the “school starting” energy. All of it creates excitement, stress, transition panic attacks, sadness that you are no longer on the school cycle, and every other emotion you can imagine. For me, it was a week that I needed to see a billboard everywhere I went that reminded me to…Just go Play!!! When Summer is over I feel like life is full of too much serious, too many schedules, too many must do’s and not enough time for nothing.

I am lucky, for some reason I have a neighbor that has these 4 letters up on a brick wall. So all I ever have to do is step onto my back porch and look to the left. AND…boy did I need those four letters this week. Even Emily needed quick reminder of the "Just go Play!"

Why is it that we forget to play? It is in our nature as humans…playing is not only for 4-year-olds. Running outside through the grass, chasing butterflies, jumping over rocks in the creek, all of this is something that we must keep doing forever. We just get these crazy ideas that we must be serious and grow up, or be competitive at all costs. Well, the brain and the body needs to play. That is a fact.

I work at a preschool that is a “play-based” preschool. In the past 10 years, we have had an increasing number of parents that will not accept that children learn best through play and they remove their kids from our program to go to the hardcore schools with academic learning as the only measure of success. Well, I was reminded today that the least expensive way to make your heart feel light is to go outside and play. We never outgrow this urge. We find ways to ignore, screens to distract us, shopping, drinking, and so many other ways to make us forget. But, go outside, move your body and play. It will make you lose the stress, the angst, the scary pit in your stomach – and bring that feeling of pure joy into your heart!

It is free, it is simple…just go do it.

Take a minute, the sun is shining, head outside and PLAY!

Wear a bracelet it makes it even more fun!


The Birthday Bracelet

"I received my birthday bracelet from Corinne in August of 2013. It was brown beads on a brown band with one green bead on it. She said, 'That is your birthday wish bead, make a wish and wear the bracelet until it comes true.' I made my wish, a few actually, and wore it for the past year. The green color of the birthday wish bead gently faded or 'seasoned' as I wore it and re-strengthened my wish. My wish did come true, so I can tell you what I wished for; I wished that I would complete my doctorate degree before my August birthday. So May 17th I walked across the stage and officially received the hard-earned title of Dr. Coffee!

Since my wish came true, I knew I needed to give the bracelet away. I met up with my mom a few weeks after graduation and she didn’t have 'any beads on' so of course, I gave it to her. She loved the simplicity and that it was already 'seasoned.' This was in one of Corinne’s first bracelet batches and the knots were less smooth so the bracelet didn’t lay flat. My mom loves that about the bracelet and that she can also wear it as a necklace. She has made her wish, or a few, and wears it now daily."

-written by Dr. Katherine Coffee
Thanks for sharing, Katherine!