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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

January 8th Challenge: Wabi Sabi Wednesday

natural cycle of growth and decay
Today's Tiny Resolution is to intentionally look for imperfections and find the beauty within them.  This is know as working with wabi-sabi.  From the web:  Wabi-sabi is a way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay.”

That's some heady stuff.  We can easily get caught in not-enough thinking:  not good enough, perfect enough, big enough, small , prestigious enough blahblahblah.  Wabi-sabi reminds us that the beauty is IN, not in spite of, imperfections.  Think of traditional native basketry, where intentional differences are placed in patterns if they didn't occur naturally in the weaving, as striving for perfection is vain and foolish. Think of the mug you've used so long and caressed so much that the glaze is worn off part of the handle.  The jeans whose use shows because you actually wore a hole in the knee, rather than paid for a new pair that was "pre-distressed" (as if life requires PREdistessing).  The funky pair of shorts you made in sewing class.  

wabi-sabi mutant mushroom
Wabi-Sabi is beautiful because it tells a story of the object:  that is it old, or worn, or made by hand. That's it's connected to a person somewhere in its history.  

Pay attention to the beautiful ugly and the stories that brought them to their wabi-sabi state.  Inventory what is wabi-sabi about your own body, personality, household and where you can see the beauty in that difference.

When we can truly see and accept things as they truly are, we free ourselves from resentments, judgment and impossible illusions that distort of true appreciate.  

Scars are some of my favorite examples.  They remind us of mortality, transience, resilience and healing.  They map our lives.

Aging hands tell stories of where they have been, what they've done, what they've survived.

Take a few moments to do a wabi-sabi survey of yourself or your surroundings.  What imperfections can you learn to see with new eyes and appreciation?

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