I’ve always found the Japanese culture simply fascinating. They have such a
disciplined and respectful nature. Also, they have an incredible knack for making everything beautiful. I mean look at their gardens! Today, I want to focus on the Japanese art of Kintsugi.
When a dish or plate breaks do the Japanese throw it away? No, they piece it back together using liquid gold or silver. They work to save the ceramic piece. They make it whole again and honor the broken places. The result is an entirely new plate, dish, or vase. An entirely unique piece of art. There is respect for what it once was, respect in the repair, and respect in the final piece. And where there was perhaps a beautiful vase, there is now an even more beautiful vase. The vase, even though it experienced a period of brokenness, was always valuable. The Japanese demonstrate such an ability for patience and recognition that while something is in need of repair, it is still worthy of respect and love.
If the Japanese take this much care with an inanimate object, imagine the kind of care they practice with each other. With themselves! I think they truly practice mindfulness from birth.
When we experience bouts of anxiety and depression, we feel a bit broken. Because we are. We are working through a period of illness. During these times we often feel less worthy than those who do not experience these challenges. Yet, maybe we could take the perspective we just need a bit of self-care–liquid gold!
While we repair remember to focus on self-love and know that, yes, we are most definitely worthy! Each time we bring ourselves through this repair, we are creating a more unique and beautiful version of ourselves. -Namaste
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Since it’s Valentine’s Day I’d like to reflect on love. Seems appropriate doesn’t it? How do you feel about the word love? It certainly brings up many preconceived ideas. Romance, affection, loyalty, honesty, trust etc. Who do we love? Families, friends, our pets, our husbands, wives, or life partners. How do we demonstrate love? Hugs, a kind word, encouragement, trust, honesty, and even just being there.
What about ourselves? Do we practice self-love? What does it mean? I’m talking about being kind to yourself, knowing yourself i.e. your strengths and weaknesses, respecting yourself, and taking care of you. Erich Fromm wrote about the concept of self-love in 1956 in a book called The Art of Loving He postulated that in order for one to express love to others, one must first demonstrate love to themselves. This is different from selfishness or arrogance.
To me it means eating right; taking time out for our health. If you think about it we are no good to anyone else if we are not healthy ourselves first and foremost. Also, knowing how we want to be treated by others and letting them know is another way to express love of ourselves. I am not so good with this one. There are a couple of people in my life who need to treat me better. I know this, maybe they know this, but I have not made it clear to them so the status quo remains. The take home message for me is that I need to stand up for myself better. It’s a work in progress. We may all have works in progress going on. The main thing is being aware. At least I am aware, right?
So, a few treats for ourselves from ourselves today might be:
- Create a self-love ritual: this may be something such as taking a bath with Epsom salts and your favorite essential oil. One of my favorites is lavender.
- Build a community: build a community or network of positive people. We need those who are positive and encouraging to lean on when times are tough.
- Create a “What’s Working For Me” list: jot down all the things that you do which are positive.
- Respect your body: eat nutritionally and mindfully. Nutrient-rich foods will get you feeling great.
- Clean out your closet: this is something I need to do. Get rid of the clutter and make space for new and positive adventures.
- Don’t compare yourself to others: this is incredibly hard because there are things which we could compare ourselves to everywhere! However, this will only invite negativity. We are where we are and who we are and we need to accept this and be grateful for what we do have.
- Explore your spirituality: build faith in something. Having faith in something helps with intuition and gut instinct.
- Do something you are good at: the best way to build self-esteem! If you aren’t feeling so great pull out one of those hobbies and lose yourself in it for a few hours. By the end you will have created something and feel great.
- Find your happy place: maybe it’s sitting in the back yard with a good book. Perhaps it’s gardening, watching a movie, or meditating.
- Learn how to let go: some days it’s easier than others; and some situations are tougher than others. However, holding on to past hurts keeps us locked in the past. Focus on forgiveness and let go of these things.
(This list was evolved from an article found on the great website MindBodyGreen).
Here’s to much love and happiness to you on this Valentine’s Day.
To your health,
Image credit: google.com