Wabi Sabi: finding beauty in imperfection
Wabi Sabi. No, it’s not the green stuff you put on your sushi. It’s a Japanese word that can’t be translated directly but is a philosophy around finding and accepting the imperfect, the transient, the impermanent. Seeing the beauty in the normal. I know some of the type A personalities out there might start to sweat at the thought of this, but it has so much merit. While I was doing a guided meditation the other day, this idea of Wabi Sabi came up and it sparked my interest. We’re often so focused on trying to make everything perfect and having everything in a row, that we forget that the beauty in us and in the things around us is because of the imperfections. We are all beautiful because we are different.
Accepting who we are just the way we are is something that, I believe, is no easy feat. I have always admired those that do, and ironically, find that is a flaw of mine. Focussing on my faults and being in constant desire to be a different way or look a certain way has been a recurring issue for me along the way. But as time goes on, I’m learning that firstly it’s a big waste of time, and secondly, it’s the differences that make us beautiful. Things would be really boring if we were all the same. As a parent, I’m really mindful not to pass this onto my kids and have them striving for perfection that in the end isn’t so.
Widen your view
Instead of thinking about the things you don’t particularly approve of in yourself, widen your view a little (or a lot!). Make a list of all your talents and qualities, good or bad. If your nose is a little bigger than you’d like, or you say ‘like’ a million times a day, or you can’t make it somewhere on time to save your life. Write it down. If you crawl into a ball when you get home after being in a social situation, if you’re really good at parallel parking, or your left boob is bigger than your right. Write it down. See them as a whole and appreciate that the combination of these things is what makes you unique.
The home trend
You might have heard of Wabi Sabi being embraced as a trend in interior design too. It incorporates items that don’t match or have scratches. Irregular lines and imperfect pieces. Instead of buying all new cushions in matching colours, try leaving one of the old style cushions in the mix and see it’s beauty for what it is.
Give it a go. Look at yourself and your surroundings with this philosophy in mind and it might help you to feel less stressed. It immediately releases the need to worry about how something should be and brings peace in taking things as they are right now.