What is Deesigns by Harris? Who am I? What is my purpose?

I have spent the beginning of this year on the business-side of Deesigns by Harris.  I have taken online classes, read a wealth of information, listened to many a tutorial, and done heaps of homework.  I have learned that in order to run a successful business, I must first know my “why” and my “who” with whom I would like to connect.  Here is what I have learned thus far…

The What and Why of Deesigns by Harris

Deesigns by Harris is a business that offers inspiration, hope and motivation to you via the empowering art of artist and owner, Dee Harris.  I am Dee and I create art for you!  My purpose is to  remind you that at this very moment everything is perfect just as it is.  YOU are perfect.  Life is perfect.

My passion of choice is stained glass.  Glass has a life of its own and I use this vivacious media to create works of art that will touch your heart, to let you know that that everything will be okay, that you are awesome, that life is good..  Not always easy in this hectic world bombarding us with chaos, negativity, and the busyness of life.  But just for a moment, be in the now.  All is as it should be.  All is perfect.

My Purpose:  To share my experience, strength and hope with others to bring hope, optimism and light into their lives.

Who is Dee and what makes her tick?

I remember my counselor asking me who I am when I was in rehab.  I thought for a moment and responded, “I’m a mom.  I’m a wife.  I’m a grocery checker.”  “No.  You are not.  Think harder.  All these responses can change in a heartbeat”, she replied.  “You are a woman.  You are of Chinese descent.  You are an alcoholic.  These will not change.”

It was during these 28 days in a treatment program for alcohol abuse that I started to really think, more so, to really feel.  To start  having moments of clarity.  To begin my journey in learning who I really am and what I really stand for.  Yes, today I am still an American woman of Chinese descent.  I am still an alcoholic in recovery.  I am gratefully still a mom and wife, but am no longer a grocery checker.  Today I am an artist who offers emotion.  Heart-felt emotion from the core of my being to the core of your being that we can share.  Together we can share our experience, strength and hope.  We can love and appreciate each other for who we are with all our flaws and defects and insecurities, knowing that we all have our own unique gifts that we can share with the world!


While in rehab one of the exercises we did every morning in Community was come up with an affirmation (noun:  1 an affirmation of faith: declaration, statement, assertion, proclamation, pronouncement, attestation; oath, avowal, guarantee, pledge; deposition; formal averment, asseveration. ANTONYMS denial.) and recite that affirmation every morning to the group.  My affirmation was (and still is) “I am a good person.  I am a whole person.”

Coming out of a pretty heavy alcohol addiction (dabbling with other substances as well leading up to that point) I felt anything BUT being good and whole.  I had no purpose.  I was a waste of  space on this planet.  I would look in the mirror and see “LOSER”.  I hated myself and who I had allowed myself to become.  Repeating this affirmation every morning allowed me to have hope, to have vision. to “fake it ’til you make it”.

One day at a time I began to feel more and more like a good and whole person.  I began to learn about the disease of alcoholism.  I began to learn about myself via the Twelve Step of Alcoholics Anonymous.  The door was open and the seed was planted.  I was a sponge excitedly learning who I am, like a baby adventuring out into the real world.  And to this day I awake excited every morning to experience what the day, what my Higher Power, has in store for me to learn and expand my horizons.

My Mission:  To remind you that you, too, are a good and whole person. 

I shall create art that brings out your emotion…good and bad emotion…but taking you to that place of gratitude and humility.  I shall create art that reminds you of living in the NOW, to feel proud of who you and and where you came from, about what matters and what doesn’t.

My Unique Value Proposition:  Create art that makes you feel, that brings you back into the moment, to appreciate who and what you are.

Human beings (not human doings) on a spiritual journey whose  lives can be enlightened by the message of Experience, Strength and Hope represented in my art.  My target market is people who care about mankind, our planet (plants and animals) and, most importantly, themselves and sharing their message of hope and light.

My Target Market:  Adults living a full life who need to be reminded of their gifts of self, their priorities, their journeys and accomplishments.

The Mana of Hawai’i

The honu, the aina, the aloha, the healing and nurturing, the people, the calmness, they all beckoned me to Hawai’i.  I am  blessed to live on the Big Island living a calm and peaceful life of joy and contentment, of service and passion.

One of the joys the islands have brought me is weaving lauhala.  When my husband and I were unexpectedly care-flighted to Oahu for my husband to have an immediate bypass surgery, I found a Pandanus tree on the hospital grounds from which I plucked and prepped her lau to weave some bracelets.  This was a very trying time with just the clothes on our backs, but I was able to stay calm and in the moment by weaving a ton of lauhala bracelets.  I was able to be present and nurturing for my husband, while the island was present and nurturing for me.  (My husband and soul-mate has  recovered beautifully, by the way!)

Healing Hands

For as long as I can remember hands have talked to me.  They are so powerful and magical and strong.  They are so healing and loving, protective and nurturing.  This is the reason I create so many pieces of art with the Healing Hands, hands that carry a message that words could never say.

The fun and imaginative part of creating this pieces is that one never knows whose hands they are.  I leave that up to the recipient and where that recipient is at that moment in time.  Do these hands belong to our kupuna or our keiki?  Are these God’s hands  or those of our elders?  Are they yours and mine?  You choose.  The hands and message will change as you change.


Currently the only show I am committed to is the Pure Kona Green Market which is the most awesome, feel-good market around!  Many vendors share our hand-made and -produced local art, organic produce, baked goods, Kona coffee, and healthy foods with you.  It’s such a fun market with live music I could listen to all  day.  And the people who attend and allow me to connect with them enrich my days…and my life!  This market is held every Sunday at Amy Greenwell’s Botanical Garden in Captain Cook, Hawaii, from 9am – 2 pm.  The rest of my sales come via my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com, Facebook at facebook.com/DeesignsByHarris, or word of mouth.


I have been approached to teach classes in stained glass, mosaic making and lauhala weaving.  It is my hope to someday soon be able to offer small and intimate classes in which I can share my passions with you.

I have put mosaic and lauhala bracelet kits together which I shall soon offer on my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Before I post these though I would like to put together tutorials with fun and easy to use instructions.  Please bear with me while I get my  act together.  I’ll keep you all in the loop!


Another suggestion I learned from my recent business classes is to put together videos.  I now have a wealth of information to use so that I can use videos for my social media, blogs, newsletters, etc.  I know I’d much rather watch a 3-minute video than read, read, read.  How about you?


Healing Self-Judgment


(From Deepak Choprah and Oprah Winfrey “12-Become What You Believe”)


Glenda the Good Witch said to Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, “You’ve always had it, my dear.”  The divineness of who you really are you’ve always had.  That divineness is your belief in the truest YOU… the YOU that is free of limitations, judgment, resistance, and doubt.  True belief and pure awareness is generous and accepting.  It can heal us; it uplifts us; it frees us from struggle, and that which holds us back.  Allow it to flow freely.  Healing comes when we recognize our true self as wise, joyful, and loving.  When we release resistance we invite the power of the Universe to affirm our truest, deepest, purest beliefs.


Everyday involves many situations that require decisions.  So why do we sometimes allow and at other times resist?  The answer is that we either face resistance and obstacles or expect resistance and obstacles.  Beliefs are expectations.  Most obstacles and resistance we expect, and then we have to face them.  What needs to change, therefore, is expectation.

Let’s examine the belief “I am fulfilled and whole.”  In wholeness there is no resistance.  Instead harmony and an effort flow prevail.  The opposite of wholeness is separation.  We all have aspects of ourselves we want to be separate from.  These are the paths we judge against.

If you look inside, which aspects of yourself would you like to be separate from?  They’re not difficult to find because we apply emotional tags to them…tags like “bad”, “guilty”, “shameful”, “embarrassing”, and “failure”.  These tags are the actual obstacles of self-judgment.  The self chooses to reject, avoid and hide from the feelings we just listed.  Much effort is wasted in the process.  Guilt and shame remain no matter how hard we avoid, fight and resist.  But unless we overcome self-judgment we can’t allow life to flow the way it wants to.  We are too anxious about having our weak spots exposed.  The answer lies in strength of self.

Yourself is more than what you feel, and far more than what self-judgment is trying to make you feel.  Everything about self-judgment makes you feel weaker and smaller.  But you do not have to adopt the role of judge.  You can adopt other beliefs.  To feel fulfilled and whole you must take any moment of self-judgment and turn it around.

Let’s say you have a guilty moment.  Your natural reaction is to blame yourself, which is a judgmental, negative self-belief.  Pause instead and ask yourself this question, “What feeling do I actually want?”  No one will say the feeling they want is blame and judgment.  Even so, we inflict it time and again.  You can begin to phase out this activity by telling yourself, “I don’t want blame and judgment.  It has never done me any good.  It is not doing me any good at this moment.”  This is a message from your true-self.  You will be reinforcing your wholeness every time you meditate and every time you remind yourself in your daily activity that self-judgment is totally unnecessary.

I joyfully accept myself.


As I listened to this meditation this morning I was reminded of my life journey…of who I was and who I am today.  The biggest life-changer for me was admitting that I am an alcoholic, then accepting it, and then embracing it.  That is when the self-judgment began to subside.

I always knew “I am a good person and a whole person,” but when in a 28-day treatment program for alcoholism I chose this affirmation to repeat daily in our community meeting as I felt anything but good or whole.  The disease of alcoholism thrives on self-judgment and negativity when active.  Only when I surrendered did love of self slowly begin to surface.  Yes, I’ve always had it; the disease smothered it.

And when I started to do…to live…the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous was my spirit lifted to new heights.  I began to be and to live the person I always was meant to be.  Yes, I’ve always had it; the Fourth Step of Alcoholics Anonymous brought it to the Sunlight of the Spirit (made me see it! and feel it!).

Here is a blog I kept written by turkeyboneheaven on April 2, 2014, explaining our Fourth Step…

Facing Our Darker Side 

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 

By the time we get to the Fourth of the Twelve Steps, we are ready to face our darker side, the side that prevents us from loving others, from letting others love us, and from enjoying life and ourselves. The purpose of Step Four is not to make ourselves feel worse; our purpose is to begin to remove our blocks to joy and love.

We look for fears, anger, hurt, and shame from past events – buried feelings that may be affecting our life today. We search for subconscious beliefs about others and ourselves that may be interfering with the quality of our relationships. These beliefs say: I’m not lovable . . . I’m a burden to those around me . . . People can’t be trusted . . . I can’t be trusted . . . I don’t deserve to be happy and successful . . . Life isn’t worth living. We look at our behaviors and patterns with an eye toward discerning the self-defeating ones. With love and compassion for ourselves, we try to unearth all our guilt – earned and unearned – and expose it to the light.

We perform this examination without fear of what we shall find, because this soul searching can cleanse us and help us feel better about ourselves than we ever dreamt possible.

God, help me search out the blocks and barriers within myself. Bring what I need to know into my conscious mind, so I can be free of it. Show me what I need to know about myself.
From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publisher

What I learned from my Fourth Step is that I have lived my life fear-based.  I was so fearful of what you thought about me.  I lived for your approval.  Why?  Because I did not love myself for who I was, who I am.  I did not feel good in my own skin.

Alcoholics Anonymous has given that to me.  I finally love myself for who I am, defects and all.  I can accept myself for who I am and accept that is okay that you don’t.  That was not my purpose.  I realize now that my purpose is to help those around me love who they are, to accept themselves for all they have to give, to embrace themselves, to embrace life at this very moment…this very “perfect as it is” moment!  Yes.  We all have our own special gifts.

This is why I have finally found contentment.  I knew what happiness was; I’ve had happiness.  But I never realized that I wasn’t content until I had it…I felt it…that freedom…that weightlessness…that peace.  It’s awesome!  I love it!  I want to share it!  I want everyone to have it!  That is my purpose given to me from the Higher Power of My Understanding, another great gift I received from the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Today I continue on sharing this gift, this message, to all who enter my life, my circle, my bubble.  I am grateful to be an artist who can share this message via stained glass and mosaics and lauhala and whatever other medium that comes to me throughout each and every amazing day.  I am grateful to be an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous.  I am grateful to be a a loving family member and dear friend.  I am grateful to be alive and to give back that which was so freely given to me when I needed it most.

Dee Harris


20 Things People Won’t Tell You about Starting a Business


As the entrepreneur of my own stained glass business, I am always studying and researching ways to improve not only my business, but myself as well. I have just read an article, 20 Things People Won’t Tell You About Starting a Business. Here are some of the highlights I gained from this piece that may bring some insight to other new entrepreneurs.
People often say that if you make it five years in business, you’ve beaten the odds. What they don’t often share with you are the things that happen in those first five years that contribute to the high number of people whose businesses don’t make it. I’m here to tell you about the personal hardships you’re likely to face in the early stage of business ownership. [I started my business full-time just over three years ago. I had read elsewhere that if I don’t make it in the first three years, to give it up. I’m glad I’m not giving up as things get better, not easier, as I progress. Yeah! this article gives me two more years!]
It’s lonely. Whether or not you have a partner, it can be lonely starting a business. Your hours will become nontraditional, you may be working out of your home or in a small office, and you will focus your attention on work. [I’ve never worked traditional hours being a grocery checker in a 24-hour grocery chain, nor have I ever been a “traditional” person. So this works great for me, especially at my “later in life” phase with the kids gone and on their own. And there is no place I rather be than in my home studio working on what gives me joy and peace. This is my happy place. This is where I thrive!]
Business partnerships are hard. Just because you are “best friends” or have “opposite skill sets” doesn’t mean you’ll make ideal business partners. At the end of the day, treat a business partnership with the respect you’d give a romantic partnership. [I don’t have a business partner, but I am so grateful to have a husband who takes care of my bookkeeping. He keeps me on a straight path financially, gives me lots of constructive criticism, advice, and business savvy. At first I took it personally and copped a pretty poor attitude. But when I turn it into a positive, everything is perfect! Today I value everything he shares.]
You will be poor for a while. In the long run, this will help you make savvy financial decisions. But while you’re in it, it won’t be easy. Hopefully you’ll remember these tough times and be careful with your earnings. [I don’t remember ever having the luxury of not counting pennies. However, I do not have that weekly paycheck any longer so being financially mindful is vital. I’ve adjusted my lifestyle to live more simply, but enjoy living my passion!]
It’s way less sexy than you think it is. We see a lot of images of cool entrepreneurs who made it big. Most of these business celebrities went through hard times but don’t get the opportunity to talk about them in the media. [Sexy is not my game at age 61. Happiness and purpose is my game!]
You will doubt your abilities. Your business will challenge you. You’ll face forks in the road you could have never predicted. Ultimately, you need to be your biggest cheerleader. You will think you are the only person who has gone through this. Let me be the first to assure you, many have been through this before. Many have failed. Hopefully they got back up and tried again with something new. Many have succeeded, too. None of it matters if you don’t work hard for it, so keep moving forward and find someone who’s more seasoned in business to mentor you. [This one I can really relate to. That self-doubt. It’s ugly. It’s harmful. But I’ve never given up. I’ve had to step back awhile, rethink and recenter. But then move back into my heart and remember my purpose…to share hope that at this moment, everything is perfect. To remind ourselves to get back to what is in front of us right now and be grateful for what we’ve been through and who we have become.]
You will cry. People often compare their business to children. When your baby has a good day or a bad day, you might find yourself crying.  It’s OK. Feel it and move on. You will never know what to expect. Address the issues, make a plan and execute. Don’t be afraid to take that next step. Mistakes are inevitable. If you fear mistakes, you’ll never make progress. Do your best to trust your instincts, ask for guidance from trusted sources when you need it, and keep moving. Don’t make the mistake of inactivity. [Again, the ugly face of self-doubt rears its self-destructive presence. I love in Don Miguel’s book, The Four Agreements, not to take things personally. Some will; some won’t; move on and forward. I also have on my Vision Board a quote from Steve Jobs that keeps me centered, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be fully satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it”.]
Don’t compare yourself. It’s natural to want to benchmark your success against peer businesses. Be wary of doing this. Regardless of how successful they are or are not, be the best you can be and don’t waste energy comparing. [I have learned on my journey through life as a recovering alcoholic and active member in A.A. that I cannot do this alone. I have a fellowship of peers who genuinely want the best for me, and me for them. I treat fellow artists in the same way. We are all trying to live our passions for art and earn a simple living. We support each other and share our experiences, strengths and hopes, just like in A.A. We can’t do this alone…and why would we?]
It may not work at all. There is a strong possibility that your business may fail. This is simply a statistical reality. If you’re not afraid of failing, then keep going. If you are, you may want to reconsider being self-employed. [I have reconsidered being self-employed, but not today. Today I still believe in my dream. It may not be with stained glass. There might be another avenue for me that holds that same passion of giving hope and living a positive and loving life. But I know in my heart that when one door closes, another opens, and that’s pretty darned exciting!]
You have to have a marketing plan in place. Execute it daily to be sure customers are finding you. [I have created a marketing plan and this publication has reminded me that the bedroom wall is not the place to have it displayed. I’m moving it out to my studio space today so that I can be reminded of where I’m going and what got me here.]
You can’t have black without white. Without bad, it’s tough to appreciate good. Take the hard moments and remember them in the good moments. It helps to give you perspective and be grateful for successes, big and small. [Yes! Yes! Yes! This is me! This is my brand! This is my purpose! I still and always will attend regular A.A. meetings to remind myself of where I came from and who I am today. I will share my gratitude, my experience, strength and hope with whoever needs a smile today or words of encouragement.]
If this doesn’t scare you, congratulations: You’re likely meant to be an entrepreneur. Just remember to pay it forward to other entrepreneurs and share your stories with them, too. [Know you are not alone and that you are right where you need to be right now. Don’t give up on your dreams!]
20 Things People Won’t Tell You About Starting a Business Written By Darrah Brustein | Young Entrepreneurs – Mon, Feb 3, 2014

Bring Light into the World

wedding-dove-stanton-copyShed the weight of mind, body and spirit and live with new lightness and energy. And with this transformation comes the motivation and generosity to bring more light into the lives of those we love. What we all know in our souls is that we’re not alone. We’re all in this together and the potential for transformative joy is unlimited.

Use the wisdom from this experience to help just one person shed one small burden. Share a piece of your light. Your transformation will deepen by this sharing; it will escalate. And that’s how we lift up the world around us.

Your energy has transformed through this experience. Your vibration has transformed. And that transforms the collective energy of the world. Even though we might not see it reported on the evening news, but I do believe that all of us coming together, the energy that we brought to ourselves and collectively with each other, we made the world a little

better………………………………………………………………………………………..Oprah Winfrey


We have joined in a journey of transformation, shedding the burdens that have made life seem limited and full of struggle. Such a journey lasts a lifetime because there is unlimited potential for joy and love that naturally unfolds day by day. You are poised to have small victories and breakthroughs everyday. If you can shed even a small burden everyday and drop even one small piece of self- judgment, you will achieve something great in time. And the time won’t be long.

The secret is to have your vision before you, letting it inspire you to be your true self. With transformation comes the desire to bring more light into the lives of those you love and are close to. This isn’t a solitary journey and never has been. When you carry excess weight physically, mentally, or spiritually, life feels very lonely because no one can carry your burden for you. It becomes a weight, a demand forced on you, that you never wanted. As you experience changes that feel very positive to you, you will have influence in the people in your life you are closest to. But your personal transformation will also have the effect of making the world a better place…a lighter, happier place.


For those close to you who welcome your changes and feel happy for you, now is the time for greater closeness and intimacy. The most important aspect is emotional. You can open up to these people, fully express your newfound lightness and joy and let them share their inner world with you. Everyone’s journey is helped by having a trusted confidant and, perhaps, a sole companion. But your transformation into a lighter, happier and more aware being will help others across the globe even if they are not near you and you have never met them. This is because as we move closer to our core consciousness we are more similar to each other than we are different. As we learn to shed our weight by choosing new perspectives and identities, we create new pathways of transformation in our collective, shared consciousness, making it a little bit easier for anyone else in the world who want to change to follow that pathway. Each conscious step toward lightness we take helps all those who are ready to take their next step of transformation. This is how we each can support the transformation of the world.

I offer my light to everyone…………………………………………………………Deepak Chopra

I have been doing a lot of studying and research lately for my business, Deesigns by Harris, specializing in inspirational stained glass art. I have revamped my brand, my mission statement, my long- and short-term goals. How odd that these all all follow suit with me, Dee Harris, and my mission and purpose and goals.

As I listened to this meditation by Oprah and Deepak, Shedding the Weight, which is actually about the battle of losing weight physically, I realize that it applies to any burden with which one is battling. It really hit home with me and my battle against alcoholism. I am so grateful to have found that I do not have to go this alone; I am not a loser with a self-control issue; there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I came from such a dark purposeless existence to reaching out for help, then, one day at a time, finding I did not have to drink every day; I once again had a choice to pick up or not. And with each day of recovery came that clarity of mind and purpose I must share, I want to share with those still struggling against their demons. If I don’t give it away, I cannot keep it. And I want so badly to keep it, my recovery, as with alcohol, the obsession to drink has now been replaced with the obsession for recovery, and the freedom, love and hope that comes with it.

So what does this have to do with my art? Everything! My art is me, my emotion, my message. Everything happens for a reason and my journey has brought me to a place of gratitude and humility and getting out of self. That is what I strive to share through my art…that everything is perfect just as it is, that you are perfect just as you are. So I try to bring a ray of light, that light at the end of the tunnel, to whoever comes into my bubble today. That is my purpose…………………………………………………………………………………………Dee Harris



Carry the Message of Hope

Oftentimes it is hard to stay positive in a world that seems inundated in negativity.  Where does this negativity come from?  We hear about it from others.  We witness on the news.  We here the sirens.  We see the blight.  It’s overwhelming.  Many of our thoughts end up coming from experiences and opinions from others.

But that is what sells news.  How boring would the news be if it focused on all the good humanity has to offer?  So we remain getting drowned in a sea of hopelessness day after day.  I do still feel that most of us humans living on this planet have a good heart; we just hear about the others.

But we have a choice on what we’re going to believe and how we’re going to look at the world.  Negative and bleak? or positive and hopeful?  I choose to see the good in people and I am fortunate to surround myself with genuine folk who want nothing for me but my well-being.  I choose to shut off the news and surf by the endless gossip and bad will that is on the internet.  I also choose to not believe everything I read or see because I know in my heart we are only exposed to what “they” want us to be exposed to.  There is so much going on in our government and in this world we are not privy to.  And for that I am thankful.

Today I choose to carry a message of hope, that most of us are still here for one another.  We still have compassion and empathy.  We still choose to laugh and be kind and be respectful of one another.  We still care about our planet and other countries.  We are all human beings.  Period.  We are mankind.  Period.

So I choose to express my hope through my art.  I am fortunate to be a stained glass artist who tries to create pieces that are thought-provoking and that will get your emotional juices flowing.  The good juices.  You still have them.  I try to create pieces that when looked at you can enjoy and get re-centered and be hopeful.  Yes!  There is hope for us!  There is light at the end of the tunnel!  We just have to not lower ourselves to a level that is beneath us.  Remain strong!  Open that door for someone.  Give them the eye-contact they deserve when you speak to them.  What about a smile or a greeting or, damn, how about a hug?  Who knows?  You might brighten someones day and, if the pay it forward, when you might be down someone just might brighten your day!

Much Aloha!  Dee Harris