Sunday, April 9, 2006

Lifestyle Coach

It's not every day that you run across an article that literally (as opposed to figuratively?) changes your life. I found such an article in Korea Times, aptly titled "Flowers, Nature Make the Man."

This is an article on one Lee sang-il (affectionately known to others as 'Lee Sang-hae'), a hair stylist, interior designer and 'total lifestyle coach.'

Here's the first piece of advice from the total lifestyle coach:

'When a person is feeling down or lonely, I suggest that they touch and feel flowers.'

Now that's what I'm talking about. Don't just make time to stop and smell the roses, get some fondling time in as well. After I read that, I just knew Sang-il had something say that we all should listen to.

ManflowerHere's a picture of Lee Sang-il kickin it with the very flowers that have made him the man he is today. According to his pool boy, Sang-il's wife was unavailable for the photo.

More about the man that nature and flowers hath wrought:

Lee’s childhood was in the small, country village
of Tangjin, South Chungchong Province: ``A place where there was only
one commuter bus a day.’’ But it is memories there _ gathering
shepherd’s purse and wild rocambles to put on the dinner table and
picking azaleas that were exchanged with lady-finger cookies with the
old man at the brewery _ that drives his creative side.

Gathering flowers for the dinner table, now that's one sure-fire way to make any dad proud. And that's a real sweet story about trading flowers for lady-finger cookies from an old man who works at a brewery.  Don't we all have fond (and/or blocked) memories of the old guy in the neighborhood we grew up in who used to give the little kids candy in return for various fun favors? You know, the kind of guy who had nicknames like "Mr Tickles" who always seemed to find time to hang out near elementary schools and parks? I bet Sang-il and the 'old brewery guy' used to play that cute little game where the old man would hide the sweets in various places on his person and Sang-il would have to go and find them.

An interesting choice of childhood memories to mention as a life-forming event, no?

Let us return to the words of wisdom and inspiration from our new lifestyle coach. 

``One should not be so fixed on having a formula
or a set theory in designing flowers,’’ Lee said. ``A formula can make
you rigid. Confidence is what you need, to go along with your
inspiration of the moment.’’

Truer words have never been spoken. How many of us, in our never-ending quest for the ultimate flower arrangement, have been needlessly bound to formulas and inhibiting traditions? It was just the other day that I was slaving over a classic tulip and dogwood arrangement, when the craziest thought occured to me: why not throw in some begonias just shake things up? But then, before I even dared to follow my whimsical muse, I discarded the notion as foolish and returned to the classic pattern. Every time I look at that arrangement now I can only wonder what might have been...

Perhaps, one would argue that it is easier for
Lee, as he is an artist/designer, to ignore the rules.

Too true. Just follow your own inspiration and whims when designing dining room flower arrangements for a Sunday brunch with friends, knowing that one mistake could spell disaster? Far easier said than done I'd say!

But ask anyone
with an iota of sincere interest in flower arrangement and they would
say the same thing: Go with what you feel. can I argue with that? I know in my heart it is true. It's time for me to stand up to that big bully Fear and just follow my heart and not my head. I've been denying myself far too long. If I don't find my courage to arrange flowers as my heart and soul dictate, how can I ever become the man I know I can be?

Here are some random pics from Hancocks' Dafodil Catalogue (where you can make your own magical spring garden!).

Sang il is quite the total lifestyle coach, is he not? He can give guidance on everything from how to arrange your flowers to....hold on, let me read over the article again....ah yes, to how to arrange your flowers. Oh wait, Sang il also seems to have some good advice on how to spend your money:

He did not disclose a specific figure as to how
much money he spends in providing flower art in every corner of his
beauty parlor: ``I would say about 5 percent of what each customer pays
goes to these flowers.’’ His assistants gave a rough estimate of about
400,000 to 500,000 won per week.

400,000-500,000 won makes up 5% of his weekly take?  Pardon me while I step out of character and say,  Damn, that is one rich fruitcake. 

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

And honestly, if you had an extra 400,000-500,000 won (400-500 US dollars) a week to blow on anything you'd like, who here would NOT spend it all on flowers?

Comments on original post

thank you for celebrating this wonderful man.

Posted by: Paul | April 08, 2006 at 10:28 AM

Thanks, Poop. You know I've been feeling pretty down lately. I think I'll put on a mask and go outside to caress a flower. I might even go to the flower market by the bus terminal. I know I'll be okay now.

Posted by: wanderer | April 08, 2006 at 03:25 PM

What a great sounding 'pick me up' - all that pollen - runny nose, itchy eyes... Hayfever heaven!

Posted by: leone | April 08, 2006 at 08:36 PM

LOL--"lady-finger cookies"

I'll be they played "hide the pickle" too.

Posted by: Giant Panda | April 09, 2006 at 07:13 PM

Another post proving why we worship the Pooper.


Posted by: Kevin Kim | April 09, 2006 at 10:48 PM

"One should not be so fixed on having a formula or a set theory in designing flowers," Lee said. "A formula can make you rigid."

Hunh, hunh. He said "rigid"!

Posted by: Iceberg | April 10, 2006 at 10:44 PM

Classic, classic, classic.

Remind me next time NOT to read your blog while drinking coffee (or any other beverage). My keyboard and monitor can't take the abuse :)

Posted by: Nomad | April 10, 2006 at 11:46 PM

Hehehe Mr. Tickles. Bet there's more to Pepperoo day than just plain eating...

Posted by: littlebrownasian | April 11, 2006 at 01:16 AM

Looking at his picture I just got to ask this question. What the hell do you need chaps for to do flower arrangements?

Posted by: Curious | April 11, 2006 at 02:45 AM

"What the hell do you need chaps for to do flower arrangements?"

Hmmm...let me guess...titillation...*cough!*...I mean, inspiration?

Posted by: littlebrownasian | April 11, 2006 at 04:15 AM

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