What’s in a Name?

People ask me all the time where the word Satori came from in my business/blog name. Let me explain…

Satori Design for Living Logo

It’s a word that isn’t used very often in the English language and it isn’t related to anyone I know. Although it has its roots in Zen, its relevance to me comes from a journey I took to finally launch my design and decorating business in 2008.

A few years back, I was reading a book and the word “satori” was introduced to me. At that time in my life I was at a crossroads in my career. Should I continue down the path of teaching or take a leap of faith and follow what had been tugging at my heartstrings for as long as I could remember? Life certainly is an unclear journey sometimes…

I had always dabbled in interior design. In fact, as a kid I remember rearranging my bedroom on Saturdays for fun and my Christmas list always included decor items. One year I remember getting a forest green wall mirror, peach ruffled cushions, and eyelet curtains (I know what you’re thinking, but they were stylish for the time). I constantly drew floor plans for what my someday house would look like.

Later, my university studies included courses in textiles, design principles, colour theory, and art history. I loved everything about it, but the practicality of this field didn’t weigh heavily enough to warrant a career for me, so I thought.

Fast-forward a few years later, with a loving husband and son, plus a teaching position in a rural school. Blessed, yes, but I still found myself obsessed with design.

As a result, most of my spare time and money (what little we had at that time) was spent on something to do with home improvement. Each home we lived in received a good dousing of paint, wallpaper, garage sale items, closet organizers, and whatever else fit the budget.

In 2004, my husband took a job in Calgary and we set up roots in a nearby community. I stayed involved in teaching and volunteered regularly at my son’s school, but there was something telling me that it was time to stop pretending that I had this “calling” to interior design and decorating.

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

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Finally, I put my compassion for learning to use and began taking courses in design, colour, and organizing, and eventually attended several business and marketing classes. At the same time, I began reading a book called A New Earth, which was suggested by Oprah. I found myself mesmerized about the ideas of “awakening” and living your life “authentically.”

In a moment I had reached satori, which is “the brief stepping out of the voice in your head, the thought processes, and their reflection in the body as emotion. It is the arising of inner spaciousness where before there was clutter of thought and the turmoil of emotion.”

Basically, it meant all the puzzle pieces were jumbled and all of a sudden they were not.

It wasn’t apparent to me at the time that this was the perfect name for my business. I had come to the realization that I wanted my work to be centered around a purposeful framework of helping people create spaces of beauty that reflected their true selves.

Then it dawned on me that satori could be used to describe a once cluttered, jumbled, messed up space that is now reclaimed, revitalized, and personalized- a literal translation of the word.

What’s in a name? Now you know.

Interested in this book? You can find the anniversary edition on Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by!

Shauna at Satori Design for Living Blog - Home Decor, DIY, Vintage Finds, Recipes


  1. What a great story behind the name! I love that you pulled inspiration from  A New Earth. It’s one of my absolute favorite books!  Have you read The Power of Now?  

    1. The book, A New Earth, is still one of my favorites because it changed the way I perceive things now that I’ve read it. I think it’s fitting that it inspired the name of my business. I haven’t read The Power of Now, but it’s definitely on my list.

  2. Love the name you picked, it works perfectly! I also recently resigned from my teaching position to pursue a life of art and design, and can relate to the feeling of “satori.”

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