Creativity Coach - Artist Desiree East

You want to THRIVE and live in the PRESENT MOMENT. You want to CREATE THE REALITY YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED through CREATIVE LIFESTYLE HABITS.You want to tap into that hidden, CREATIVE POTENTIAL that is ready to be UNLEASHED to the world. When your inner voice, your intuitive heart --- YOUR creative genius --- is nourished and pampered, you know you can create profound changes in your LIFE that is the art.

Desiree East is a Soulful Entrepreneur, Certified Master Transformational Coach, Creatively Fit Coach and Visual Artist. Desiree facilitates live creative workshops and retreats, as well as, online art programs focused on personal and professional development. She inspires her clients to create meaningful change in their lives through creative ritual, using art-making as a modality for creative wellness and deep transformation (no art experience required). 

Filtering by Tag: Surfing

weekly photo challenge: threshold

bali surf and exposed reef by desiree east Threshold - noun

  1. a strip of wood, metal, or stone forming the bottom of a doorway and crossed in entering a house or room.
  2. a point of entry or beginning.
  3. the beginning of an airport runway on which an aircraft is attempting to land.
  4. the magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction, phenomenon, result, or condition to occur or be manifested.
  5. he maximum level of radiation or a concentration of a substance considered to be acceptable or safe.
  6. a limit below which a stimulus causes no reaction.


I immediately thought of this photo of How I Brought in the Balinese New Year in 2012.

As surfers, we have this hungry anticipation for playing in the ocean's waves like you wouldn't believe. Our hearts' start to pump, and our eyes start to dilate, as we scan the horizon for energetic lumps of salty goodness forming into the perfect platform for gliding to freedom.


And at this point in my life, it very much reminds me of the anticipation of building my dream business. One of my online colleagues and surfer friend, Srini Rao of The Unmistakable Creative Podcast (formerly BlogcastFM), happens to use surfing as a metaphor for life and business quite often, which I love. In fact, one of his biggest dreams of hosting a live, yet most intimate event is happening, as I type these words. Check it out: The Instigator Experience. Go Srini!

If you've been following me for the last couple of years you already know that I am also at the threshold of bringing my dreams to light as a creative entrepreneur. And it really does feel like I'm about to paddle out into some of the biggest waves I've ever paddled out into. The courage and confidence that I've gained in the last few years, especially in putting myself out there --- no holds barred --- has been incredibly thrilling, scary, exciting, humbling, liberating and freeing.

All while trying to be as focused and grounded as possible.  

Very much like paddling out into the ocean, I feel like I'm on the verge of having the best surf session in my life, with many more waves to come, in all different sizes, shapes, and forms. And I definitely feel like there is more to come on the horizon.

HERE'S THE THING: Experiences like this just don't fall into our laps. It takes knowing and identifying what you really desire in life. And, just like learning how to surf and getting used to an environment you may not be used to, it takes knowledge and practice. AND, more importantly, to cross that threshold, you must surround yourself with support, so that you're not doing it alone.




Is what you are about to do truly in alignment with your higher calling/purpose/soul's work? If yes, then fantastic, you'll be happier knowing you're on the right path. If not, change course.


To cross the threshold, educate yourself and take action by practicing the thing that you want to become. The more knowledge you have, the more comfortable you'll be.


Once you cross the threshold, connect with other people who have the same values and who are doing the same things that you doing, for support, accountability, and sharing challenges and celebrating successes. Having a sense of love, safety and belonging (our three basic human needs) makes a world of a difference.




vision board dreams with desiree east If you feel inclined to join me and other WordPress bloggers for weekly photo challenges, please do. Just follow the prompts for this week’s theme here: WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. You have until the following Friday to share what you’ve come up with…Happy Shooting!

i finished a painting marathon...whew!

Yay! I finished a painting marathon! Never thought I'd say that, but boy was it fun. That was about 3-1/2 weeks of painting straight. You can read more about how my painting adventure unravelled in these two posts:

Have You Ever Tried Painting, Marathon Style?

Totally Addicted

And tonight, I am prepping for an Art Show. I have lots to do, so I am going to leave it at that. If you live locally, I would love to see you and chat about how I can coach you through the next Painting Marathon. Crossing fingers that it doesn't rain, as I plan on doing some live painting demos and inviting YOU to help throw paint on the canvas!


dec 1_art show_sandbox coffee house_desiree east_charney and friends

it's official...we're in love

I'm gonna keep this one short. But, by all means, please keep the questions and emails coming. Our friends and family have all been asking if we've settled in; if Bali has been what we expected; if it's all that we've hoped for; if it's getting easier... Our two-month anniversary of living in Bali is here, and I can definitely say that we have found our groove.  A routine, if you will, and a very nice one. It almost deserves a Marvin Gaye soundtrack to go with it. Seriously. And I can talk for hours on end about what we did and didn't expect. I think I might save that for another post, because I will just get all philosophical about it, because that's just how I am.

That said, I have a gazillion photos to share, and we haven't even really done any touristy stuff yet. We are just getting I will keep shooting and promise to share more later.

Besides, the truth is, we just bought a bunch of pirated DVD's for super cheap (my apologies to my brother, Kalae, but that's all they have available to sell here, in the malls and everywhere...and somehow, it's completely legal???), and I just want to veg out in front of a movie in our cool, air-conditioned studio...aaaahhhh.

For now, here are some photos. This is a typical day for us: wake up, stretch, eat breakfast, check the surf, paddle out, eat again, and work on business/creative projects at home when the waves aren't good --- maybe go sightseeing, if we feel inclined. And then, Repeat. It's going to be hard to leave, and I don't know how we're going to break it off to beautiful Bali gently when the time comes...

it's official we're in love. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

everyone wants a piece of the action. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

where are we? i think we were supposed to go over there... bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

surf check. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

surf check from the cliff. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

entrance before walking through a tunnel. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

loving the adventure. sea cave at uluwatu, bali. desiree east

yes, it was that big. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

shooting from shade. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

brendon fave empty peak. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

bigger than it looks. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

cute little side-of-the-road calf. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

balinese woman in red. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

diggin the freshly blended fruit juices. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

we like lemon iced tea, too. bali, indonesia. desiree east

 lemon iced tea. photo by desiree east

one of our favorite places to eat. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

balinese seafood satay. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

time for ice cream. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

be careful what you ask for, you might just get it

the biggest wave brendon duck dove. bali indonesia. photo by desiree east For weeks on end - no, wait...months, actually - all I've heard from my darling husband is: "All I want is to get some, barreling lefts... just a nice, clean, hollow left." This statement is almost always accompanied with him posing in a front-side stance, along with sound effects of what it's supposed to sound like when you get barreled.

"Wow, babe, you're good. You'd make an excellent sound-effects dude, too." I always told him that he could go into voice-over acting. You should hear him, he's really good.

As you know, we are blessed with a wide variety of waves in Ventura County. Well, all of California, for that matter. And Mexico. And Hawaii. And we've had our share of travelling to other states and countries, as well, to seek out fun, rippable waves. It's what we do. Mandatory.

But, what we all love (we, meaning regular footers) about California and Baja are the plethora of right-hand point breaks...makes me all giddy inside, just thinking about it. However, being married to a goofy-footer makes me realize, well, how badly I feel for all the people who have to ride back-side on a perfectly, peeling right-hand point break. Like, all the time. (Can you sense the sarcasm?) No, but really, I feel for you...

Brendon has had a taste of the Mentawais, and he's been itching to spend more time in Indo. So, after a series of unfortunate events - coupled with the perfect timing of a down economy - we decided that after all was said and done, time is more valuable than any material wealth. So, we put our rose-colored glasses on and decided to stretch our dollar in Bali...and here we are.

Several weeks ago, the Bukit finally turned on. Seasons are changing, and the trade winds are blowing off-shore on the west coast of Bali. And what perfect timing: a significant swell hit the shores of Bali.

And Brendon lived to tell about it (because it was that big).

I bribed him to write a little blog post for us, just because. So, just grab a beer and pretend like he's all salty-dogged out, and doing his usual hand-gestures and sound effects. I wish I could have gotten his reaction when he came in from the water, but this is the best I can do for now. Hopefully, next time, I'll have the video cam on stand-by...

walking out to paddle out zone. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

Guest Post written by Brendon:

I think that was the biggest wave I’ve ever duck dove.

It was my first time paddling out at this spot, and it was firing. I was watching the other people jump off at the paddle-out zone. Some of them made it out clean, without having to push through too much duck diving drama. Others were getting caught at the wrong time and getting sucked down the break, while having to duck dive, like thirty pretty good size waves in a row.

I must have calculated fairly well before paddling out, because I didn’t have to duck dive a single wave on the way out - except for the one right when I jumped into the water; the current started sucking out so fast, I ended up dry-docking it with my fingers in between the board and the reef. Great.

So, I make it out and try to find my place in the lineup and noticed, along with my now freshly sliced index finger, that there are guys way outside and some on the inside. I know there are bigger sets, but I get antsy and try my luck picking off some of the smaller, head-high ones bowling up nicely on the inside section.

perfect inside balangan. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east.

lonely guy getting barrelled. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

That was a dumb move on my part. Out the back, came one of the biggest sets that I had seen all afternoon. Shit.

I started to paddle out to meet a giant wall of water that seemed to keep getting bigger the closer we came together. At that point, I started to think to myself, "Can I even duck dive this f***ing thing, or should I ditch my board?"

It was at least triple overhead.

Usually, I would just ditch my board and swim down, but I had an old leash on (another smart move), which could easily snap. The last thing I wanted to do at that point is take the rest of the set on the head without my board.

At the very last second I decided to duck dive it.

The wave breaks about ten feet in front of me, and I had about 10-12 feet, like ceiling high or more, of white wash coming toward me. I pushed down into the water super hard and tried to time it to avoid getting annihilated. I got bounced around pretty good, but somehow managed to hold onto my board.

After duck diving the next 15 waves and getting pushed further and further down the reef, it was over.

Out of breath, super hot and exhausted, I manage to make my way back out and sit on the outside corner for a couple. I was clearly under gunned that day but managed to get a couple.

cleaner day for surf. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

simplicity. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

a balinese hindu ceremony...offerings to sea. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

The next day, was a bit cleaner and smaller, but there were still some decent size sets coming through. I paddled out with my buddy, Ken, and he makes his way up the break past the crowd. I went the other way to try and pick off one of those wide, swinging ones.

Just as I get in the line-up, the first wave of a set comes right to me, so I turn around and take it. I don’t know what happened, but I think I caught my rail when I dropped in on the wave.

Snap. There goes my leash.

I started to make the long swim in with the rest of the set breaking on me, but it wasn’t too bad. This is where a pair of reef booties comes in handy, because the reef is sharp with urchins hidden in the cracks. Urchin fest.

Some ladies kicking it in a tide pool grabbed my board.

Oh well, at least I got some exercise from the swim in. I called it a day, went in and got a Bintang and took some video footage from the warung. It's true, be careful what you ask for...

close up from warung. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

view from warung. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

How I brought in the Balinese New Year: Part One

daily surf check. bali. by desiree east bali surf and exposed reef by desiree east

Thursday, March 22nd: the day before NYEPI 2012

Today, like most days, we went to look at the surf. It was low tide. It was a gorgeous day, post rain, with bright, clear skies and fluffy white clouds scattered about. The air was still and the sun was beating down directly overhead. Buckets of sweat rolled off of my forehead from the 10-minute gander at the surf. I'm sure I lost a couple of pounds of water weight.

There was a fast, little, bowly left, about shoulder to head high, sweeping past the half-way-exposed reef. The boys decided they wanted to paddle out. Me? Well, I'm a chicken. Especially, when it comes to shallow, tide-is-still-dropping reef breaks. Thanks, but no thanks.

Even if I wanted to paddle out, I couldn't. My board was out of commission. It's in the ding-repair shop. The first day I pulled my board out of the board bag, I discovered little fragile bits of resin and a huge chunk of crumbled foam among layers of bubble wrap and duct tape. My eyes welled up in tears for about a good 5 seconds. And then, I was over it. I accepted the fact that after so many years of traveling with surfboards, I had finally become a victim of luggage-handler-brutality. I shrugged it off. I guess it comes with the territory. But, that's another story...

pathway to beach. bali. by desiree east

stairway entry. bali by desiree east

We followed a little path that led to down to the beach. A short staircase brought us to a sea cave, adorned with umbrellas, offerings, and the sweet smell of burning incense.

I could hear a woman's voice coming from behind a wall of old lava rock. She was talking to someone else, but I couldn't see them; all I could hear were soft, echoing voices.

After coming down the last step, we stepped  onto soft, white sand, and almost immediately had to crouch down and make our way under the lava rock.

The Indian Ocean greeted us on the other side. Aaaaaaah...time to cool off!

the indian ocean greets us. bali. photo by desiree east

sea caves to the left. bali. by desiree east

dreamy coastline to the right. bali. photo by desiree east

hindu offerings at stairway entry. photo by desiree east

While the boys were surfing, I found some shade under a small  cliff side. I enjoyed watching people come down to the beach to leave offerings throughout the afternoon.

When I first arrived, an elderly Balinese woman left an offering, or 'canang sari' under one of the small sea caves. She came up to me afterwards and said something in Indonesian - or Balinese (I'm not sure).

Always with a grin on my face, I replied, "Maaf, saya tidak mengerti...Saya...ummmm...saya bukan orang Indonesia."

(Translation: "Sorry, I no understand...I...ummmm...I am not a person of Indonesia.") Then, I flashed an even bigger smile, a little embarrassed in my attempt at Bahasa Indonesian.

Smiling back, she responded with something else. Surprisingly, I totally understood what she said.

Just kidding.

What really happened next is beyond me, but I kind of bowed, putting the palms of my hands together and said, "Ma kasih...Terima kasih."

I don't know why I did that. I just said, "Thanks...Thank You." It just came out, whether it made sense or not (probably, because that's all I knew how to say). I had absolutely no clue what she said to me...

She smiled back as she returned to the other sea cave that lead back to the trail.

balinese offering in a sea cave. photo by desiree east

offerings out to sea. bali. photo by desiree east

light thru sea cave. bali. photo by desiree east

The local people often mistake me for being Indonesian, usually saying, "Oh, you have Indonesian face." So, a local Balinese bartender taught me to say, "Sorry, I don't understand. I am not Indonesian." 

So far, it's helped, especially when locals approach us and immediately start having full-blown conversations in bahasa Indonesian with me (while completely ignoring Brendon). It's pretty hilarious.

Back to my story. After the woman left, I could see the offering she had left from where I was sitting, along with the incense stick that accompanied it. It was unlit. Then I thought to myself, "Hmmmmm...maybe she was asking me for a lighter...duuuh."

Perhaps I should start carrying a lighter or some matches with me, just for these instances. And for the fact that everyone here loves to smoke - the locals, the international tourists, everyone, it seems, has a stogie in their mouth, even if it's raining cats and dogs. But that, too, is another story...

seaweed harvester leaving offering at sea cave. bali. photo by desiree east

monkey prints. photo by desiree east

The Balinese leave offerings for the Hindu gods throughout the day, on a daily basis. You can see them everywhere: in front of homes, restaurants, hotels, and businesses; on sidewalks, along roadsides, in the middle of intersections, and in cars and mopeds; in the forests and on the beaches.

They leave offerings to the good spirits, so that those spirits will continue to provide prosperity, good fortune, and good health. They also leave offerings for the bad spirits to keep them satisfied and quiet, in hopes that those spirits will leave the people alone. Daily offerings are a way to thank the gods and to keep the relationships between human beings and spirits in harmony.

With Nyepi approaching, it was a busy day. As the afternoon went on, more people came to leave an offering of their own.

First, it was the woman who didn't have a lighter. Then another woman arrived, alongside her tiny boat over-flowing with seaweed. About 20 minutes later, an elderly man, dressed in temple attire, left another offering. After that, another elderly woman approached with a teenaged girl - the elderly woman dressed in traditional attire and the girl dressed in modern-day fashion. They, too, left an offering, except the girl - like all teenagers - stared out to sea, ignoring the whole offering thing, as if she was daydreaming about her friends and the evening's ogoh-ogoh festivities. Finally, before I left, a young man came to leave an offering.

I sat quietly on the beach, keeping my distance, and exchanged smiles as people came and went.

It was a beautiful thing.

two umbrellas and incense burning. photo by desiree east

balinese offerings on lava rock. photo by desiree east

my fave big sur shot

my fave big sur shot. by desiree east just got back from a little trip up the coast, and spent the summer solstice in complete quiet bliss. this photo was actually hanging on our fridge door. i forget what year this is from...but it's one of my favorites. hence, it's qualification for being refrigerator-door-worthy. hopefully i can make some time this summer to do some post-editing and upload more big sur pics - and archives of endless photos - to my portfolio. digital, film, lomo fish-eye...oh, and a million little pictures project. it's a grueling task, editing and organizing, but i love to reminisce (isn't that what it's all about?) also, a note to family and friends: please remind me if i need to send you a private link to any past events, because - like brendon said - i am as slow as molasses. stay tuned...xo

transformational creativity coach desiree east

Desiree East is a Soulful Entrepreneur, Certified Master Transformational Coach, Creativity Coach and Visual Artist. Desiree facilitates live creative workshops and retreats, as well as, online art programs focused on personal and professional development. She inspires her clients to create meaningful change in their lives through creative ritual, using art-making as a modality for creative wellness and deep transformation (no art experience required). 

desiree east - certified creativity coach - master transformational coaching method - creatively fit coaching - creativity coaching association.png

All images, illustrations, and artwork on this site are copyright © Desiree East unless otherwise noted, and may not be edited, reproduced or sold by any party without written permission. You may have permission to distribute and share posted articles and content, although credit would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to purchase or license any images, illustrations, or artwork, please contact Desirée East directly for more info.

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