7 Life Tips for 2020 Inspired by Floral Artist Azuma Makoto

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By Jill Brooke

There are many life lessons to be learned from flowers. They have superpowers.

What else is a go-to for comfort or congratulations, scientifically heals and provides bursts of joy? Another magic trick is flowers help you deal with fear. As well as enhance patience, love, appreciation, curiosity, fun and perspective.

It only happens though if you observe and listen carefully.

Nothing gives me more pleasure than helping translate, decipher and display the joys, fun and wisdom of flowers for you. After all, we look for the soulful meaning of flowers.

There are many flower whisperers I’ve found as well as masters of their craft that we can’t wait to continue sharing with you.

Some of my favorites are botanical sculptor Makoto Azuma and photographer Shiinoki Shunsuketo, the partners behind the Tokyo floral shop Jardin des Fleurs. The studio has been compared to Jurassic Park meets Willie Wonka.  Like Dr. Dolittle talks to the animals, Makoto communicates with flowers. The Japanese have always been masters of floral design through their ancient roots in ikebana. In fact, all generals had to learn flower arranging to calm the mind and clarify thoughts. Of his generation, Makoto Azuma is a floral rock star – he actually started wanting to be a performer – and now creates inspiring botanical sculptures that have a cult following on youtube and Instagram.

So here are some of my thoughts for next year and how the work of Makoto Azuma and Shiinoki Shunsuketo express life lessons through flowers. It is also worth considering buying their book, Flora Magnifica: The Art of Flowers in Four Seasons.

7 Life Lessons for 2020

Makoto Azuma floral art
Photo Credit: Shiinoki Shunsuketo

Tip #1 — Never love someone who doesn’t love you back.

Let go of who doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. There are plenty of other beautiful flowers in life’s garden. Just look for them with an open heart and your personal sunshine. ⁣

Tip# 2  —Maybe it’s time to thaw some of those ideas that aren’t serving you well. 

Makoto Azuma floral art
Photo Credit: Shiinoki Shunsuketo

Are you too rigid in your thinking?  Even a beautiful idea won’t bloom if strategies are frozen in how things were done at another time. Be open like a flower blooming to the environment around you and how it operates. Plant new seeds of how you can do projects better which will result in better outcomes. Sometimes in the garden of life, it’s just a little bit of tweaking and nourishing that can make all the difference.

Tip# 3 — You don’t have to follow the crowd. Trust your instincts and integrity even if that means going out on your own. 

Makoto Azuma floral art
Photo Credit: Shiinoki Shunsuketo

You don’t have to fit in to stand out. You can agree to disagree respectfully. There is immense beauty in finding people who share your own values. As time moves on, you realize the merits of being narrow and deep with your friendships and colleagues. Cultivate the ones who are caring, kind, curious, loyal and supportive. There might not be as many of them, but bud vases with several blooms can be equally as beautiful as many flowers in a vase.

Tip# 4 — Bury all those thoughts and fears that you aren’t good enough or smart enough.

Makoto Azuma floral art
Photo Credit: Shiinoki Shunsuketo

Focus on what you can do and not what you can’t. That moves you forward and helps you find life’s treasures. 

Tip #5 – May the tears you shed in 2019 water the seeds of possibility and perspective for 2020


Makoto Azuma floral art
Photo Credit: Shiinoki Shunsuketo

Here Makoto Azuma took 10,000 flowers and created a circle symbolizing how flowers bud, wilt,  decay and reblooms into the earth. A metaphor for our own life cycles.  The secret is enjoying the moments when life is in bloom and planting seeds for tomorrow. Learn from your losses. Love and appreciate what you have.

Tip #6 – Respect the process

 Makoto Azuma floral art
Photo Credit: Shiinoki Shunsuketo

Flowers bloom when they are ready. They aren’t in a rush. Patience is essential to success as well as recovery.

Tip #7 – Even rainbows know the sky’s the limit. Be both a pragmatist and a dreamer.

Makoto Azuma botanical landscape
Photo Credit: Shiinoki Shunsuketo

Shoot for the moon in your goals, but be realistic about how long it takes and what is needed.  For your 2020 mantra, think of Katy Perry’s lyrics:

“Do you know that there’s still a chance for you – ‘Cause there’s a spark in you.”

Just like the brilliant Makoto Azuma found ways to reimagine flowers, reimagine how you want your life to be this year. Oh what fun you can have.  

Makoto Azuma botanical sculpture
Photo Caption: Shiinoki Shunsuketo

Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD.

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