Meet MoMo!

Have you experienced a time when you felt like something was missing in your life? In my younger days, I remember that I wanted to adopt a child who was living an unstable life without love, care, or compassion. I wanted to provide a life for this child that is filled with stability, daily routines, skill-teaching, and guidance. I was not able to go forward with this because I had a full-time plus hours that I needed to spend to build my business, plus taking care of a daughter with a head injury and a son who was shy. I didn’t have a minute of time to give to anyone else at that time.

Now, years later… I started to get the same feeling again. For the last four months, since my dog Max passed away, I’ve been thinking that I want to give a new beginning to an animal who is living under the hands of human cruelty. I searched and searched, trying to find a dog who needed a new start in life. I went through so many disappointments that by the end of April, I decided to give up on looking for a dog. I felt like the universe was harshly telling me to give up because this is not what you should be doing at this time of your life. So I decided to let go because it just wasn’t meant for me and that there was nothing I could do about it.

Have you experienced something like this in your life? After trying and trying without any results, you just throw up your hands up and let the idea go?

Well, I should have known. This is one of the most powerful mindsets that we are able to practice. Lo and behold, once you let something go, a window opens and a pleasant surprise came flowing in!

Take a look, this photo was sent to me by Ginger’s Pet Rescue. The note said, this dog was rescued from a Korean meat market camp and living a life under cruel treatment.

Breed: Terrier / Sapsali

Age: 3 years old

Sex: Female

Weight: 31 lbs.

If adopted, she can be flown from Korea on Cargo. Pick-up date: April 7, 2021.

I immediately answered, YES, I want to adopt this dog. Let’s begin the paperwork!

I waited on pins and needles for the time to arrive and went to meet MoMo (the name I gave her means PEACH in Japanese) on April 7 at 1:45 PM. She survived her 19 hours of a flight packed in a kennel with another dog. She was so scared that she didn’t come out of her crate for a long time. She was finally coaxed out by a volunteer who worked for Ginger’s Pet Rescue. When she made her first eye contact with me, my heart melted. Her eyes were hidden behind tufts of shaggy hair and her body shape covered by overgrown fur was not even detectable. She looked bewildered and sad, not knowing where she was.

I wanted to hold her to let her know that everything will be fine. Sian, the lead intake coordinator from Ginger’s Pet Rescue said, “No, not yet. You have to take care of the paperwork first”. After going through the paperwork came a lecture on how to be a responsible owner of a dog who has been through brutal handlings in a Korean dog camp. I then realized that these dogs need very special handling skills to get them acclimated to their new life in the US. “Remember, everything is new to these dogs, new smells, new language, and new people. Please guide them slowly with understanding and compassion,” she said.

Finally, it was time to go home together. Momo did not want to come with me. I gently pulled her to my car and opened the back door and asked her to get in. She pulled away from me and the open car door and tried to run in a different direction. Two volunteers helped me to pull MoMo into the back seat of the door. She sat on the seating shaking like a leaf. When my husband, Tom started the car and drove towards our destination, she got very scared even though I was there in the backseat with her, gently rubbing her back to calm her. The photo below shows how scared she was. She laid her head on my lap and remained very still during our 40-minute drive back to our condo.

What happened when we reached home? Please stay posted and I will continue to share MoMo’s Journey.

Give Small Gifts…Kaizen

Today I want to share with you the Kaizen philosophy that I live by every day. Kaizen is a Japanese business/life philosophy that means, Life-long learning in small incremental steps. The six to-do lists for the Kaizen philosophy are 1. Take one small step.   2. Ask small questions.   3. Solve small problems  4. Take small actions   5. Give small gifts  6. Enjoy small moments.

My favorite is 5. Give small gifts.

Do you know why? Because I love making small art treasures and give them away to create a happy day for the others in this world. 

This is why I like to encourage you to make your own small gifts to make others happy…especially during these COVID months where people need encouragement from others. One thing I know for sure, people love receiving hand-made gifts.

If you haven’t signed up yet for my upcoming Zoom workshop, do it today. It’s coming up in a few days.

I guarantee you will love this workshop! Did I tell you it’s simple?

Sign-up here.

What is Your Next Big Thing?

When I have downtime, I create things. That’s exactly what I did between January and February. As I studied the Kaizen/Ikigai philosophy of gift sharing, I wanted to get something out in the world that I felt would cause transformational mindset change that people would benefit from. The title of my brand new training workshop is “WHAT IS YOUR NEXT BIG THING?” How to discover your hidden gifts and build a plan to monetize your knowledge and skills … ONE SMALL STEP AT A TIME.

Please see all the details about my webinar workshop. This workshop is being hosted by Small Business Administration’s Seattle SCORE program. As a SCORE Mentor, I help hundreds of entrepreneurs, want-to-be entrepreneurs, and life-long learners every year to guide them through reaching their dreams and goals in life and careers. You can register here. I hope to see you there! SCORE offers this class for a low fee of $35.

Spring Has Sprung!

Are you ready to celebrate more daylight and warmer weather in spring? I am for sure. I’m dreaming of giving brightly decorated Easter Gift baskets filled with little tiny surprises to a few of my special people. I love to surprise people and bring smiles to their faces. We need more people smiling in our world right?

I’m inviting you to join me on Zoom on March 27th to make hand-made baskets, flowers, and sweet bunnies… plus practice self-care for yourself.  You will love making these colorfully decorated spring gift baskets from the comfort of your own home. So simple and affordable.

Don’t wait, register here today: https://bit.ly/3cDYi2Q

Sign up here:

https://bit.ly/3cDYi2Q

https://bit.ly/3cDYi2Q
https://kayhirai.mykajabi.com/Spring%20Gift%20Baskets?cid=6708c266-e8a0-4f6f-98be-7bd02eb254f6

Remember the Good Times

My Jack Russel Terrier, Max passed away three months ago. It’s hard to live with an emptiness in my heart … the pain feels worse during this COVID time. I try to remember the happy things Max and I did together. One of the happiest times we spent together was driving out to the country every week to take our agility lessons. Watch a video of Max running an almost perfect course. It may look easy to the person watching this video, but it took years of practice and working together as a TEAM for us to get to this point.

Here are some tips I learned in Max and my agility classes. I hope you will agree that these handling skills can be readily transferred to the people in your life. In the end, I think that we can all become better leaders if we follow these tips.

Dog Training 101

Be clear and specific. Your voice should be clear and upbeat so your dog can understand you, and don’t forget to keep a smile on your face.

Be consistent. It will confuse the dog when you don’t use the same words.

Keep it simple. Use only one command at a time. Say “Sit down” instead of “Sit there, wait and come here.” 

Be gentle and kind. Let your dog know that you are trying very hard to understand their point of view.

Gain loyalty by being fair. Dogs notice if you are not fair. Be compassionate and truthful. Do not use physical violence. Instead, show them respect.

Be confident. When giving dogs a command, show confidence in your body language, tone of voice, and facial expression. 

Give feedback.  If you don’t get the appropriate response, give feedback immediately. Be patient and keep teaching until you get the response you’re looking for.

Praise all the time. When you get a correct response, praise immediately and give a small tidbit of his favorite treat. Yes, do this every time!

Positive ending. Never finish your training time on a negative note, instead, make sure that it ends with one positive behavior performed by your dog. Praise by saying “Yay, good job!” Give ample treats and a slow pet on their head.

Now, does these sound any different than how we should treat the people in our lives? Our relationships with the people we care about will improve if we apply these age-old dog training methods in our daily lives. I guarantee that you will see an improvement in your relationships with co-workers, friends, and family members!

Celebrate Young Entrepreneurs

I remember so well, when I was trying to start my business many years ago, I was not able to get a $40,000. business loan. I got turned down by every bank that I submitted my business plan to. When I was just about to give up on my idea of starting a business, an acquaintance told me to go and talk to a SCORE business mentor at the Small Business Administration. To make a long story short, my Mentor helped me to get the financing I needed, called the SBA Guaranteed Loan. My SCORE Mentor held my hand and guided me through the ups and downs of the beginning years of my business.

Well, things have a way of reaching a full circle. I became a SCORE Mentor two years ago because I wanted to give back to the Small Business Administration. Now I volunteer to meet and counsel young entrepreneurs who have dreams of starting their own business.

Watch me celebrate Fan Hong’s recent success!

If you liked Fan’s hand-made Initial Stamps, you can reach her here FantasticGifts2020@gmail.com to place your order. She will custom make one just for you.

Phone Number: 984-439-4935

Instagram: @fan.tasticgifts

Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/FantasticGiftsCo

Facebook: www.facebook.com/FantasticGiftsCo

Hearts, a Meditative Practice.

Today, we in the Pacific NW are celebrating a snowy Valentines Day. Being stuck at home is not a bad idea. I’m at home practicing how to water color loose and flowy HEARTS. Anyone can do this. It’s so intuitive, using no brain power. Just get yourself a cup of hot tea, sit in your favorite corner of your house, dip your brush in the water, drop some color in the puddle of water, and get lost watching the flow of the water on your paper… so meditative.

This is my Ikigai. Enjoying small things, being in the moment, and know that this particular moment will never come again…. breath, breath…

Wishing you all a heartfelt Valentines Day! YOU ARE LOVED!

Just an update on the Artful Giving Community. The members enjoyed two Valentines workshops this month. It was so enjoyable to gather with the members on Zoom and enjoy few hours of self-care, where we let creativity flow. Want to come and join us? Contact me!

The Power of Small Steps

Wow, I’m still coming down from the Kaizen-Ikigai Seven Day Journey that we just finished on Sunday. The lessons were presented in small bite sized videos plus doodling and writing. I was so pleased to meet people from across the continent as well as throught United States. I received many positive feedback from the people who traveled the Seven Day Journey with me. Here’s one from Alice that surprised me but made me happy.

“I never thought washing dishes, cleaning the house and other mundane tasks would be anything more than I wanted to get over them quickly so I can do other things. Learning about the Ikigai philosophy, I now perform those tasks while really enjoying the moment. Just imagine, getting joy out of how sparkly and smooth my dishes look after I wash them with care and love. I say to myself, enjoy this because this moment will pass quickly and never return again”.



On our seventh day, we got together on Zoom and had fun talking, drawing, cutting in a very safe environment. Everyone made a vision board that was very personal to each. I was amazed at the creativity and the affirmations that were placed on each of the vision boards! Here is the one I made as an example. I’d like to show what others made, but decided not to because vision boards are very personal to each one.

The Wait is Over, Artful Giving Community is accepting new members!

Why you should join a community of like-minded people?

You will experience:

  • The joy of being a part of something bigger than yourself.
  • The joy of working towards a common goal of life-long learning.
  • The joy of building skills in art, positive mind-shifts, and making friends.
  • The safety of being vulnerable and navigate challenges together.

Learn more here.

As a member of the Artful Giving Community, these are the things you can expect:

  • Monthly “Make by Hand” art workshops
  • Weekly Inspiration times where I will share with you ideas and projects straight from my art table.
  • Guest appearances of women doing great things in the world.
  • Show and Tell from the members.

Come and join us. Wonderful members are waiting for you inside!

Registration will close on Friday, Feb. 5 at 10:00 PM (PT)

Learn more here.