In today’s world of social media and constant connection, it’s hard to not compare our behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel. Our own lives seem lacking in the face of others’ seemingly perfect lives. Kintsugi Wellness by Candice Kumai is about learning to embrace our imperfections and learning how to be imperfect.
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken things with gold. Ceramic bowls that have cracked or completely broken are sealed together with lacquer and dusted with gold, and the result is often more beautiful than the original. This is a concept that we can apply to life: we are more beautiful for being broken and putting our lives, and selves, back together. The cracks tell our story. It marks our progress, so we do not forget. It’s a continuous process; life will happen, and we might break or crack again, but now we know we can put ourselves back together. We know how to be imperfect.
Observe and accept things as they are. Stop comparing yourself, and forgive, both yourself and others. Appreciate change, and find beauty in transience and impermanence. The little things that make you less than perfect are the exact things that make you you.
Endure with patience, resilience, tolerance.
Good times do not last forever. The more you prepare for tough situations, the easier it will be to survive them. Don’t let the negative take over your life. Take action, let go, and make peace with the situation. Build the confidence in yourself that will make future situations easier to handle.
This includes mental, emotional, and physical health. Eat healthy, be active. If things aren’t how you want or need them to be, take action and change it. Get rid of what isn’t serving you. Focus on the good, and don’t worry about things you can’t change. Trust yourself, that you are on the right path, making the right decisions for you.
Do your best.
Life is not about being the best, but about doing your best. Strive to do the best you can do in any situation. If you’re prepared, if you gave it your all, if you’re improving, that’s all you need. Do your best, and wish others the best.
Roll with the punches.
Some things can’t be helped. (Sound familiar?) Don’t dwell on things you can’t change. Let it go and move on. You don’t have to fix everything. This is a crucial point in embracing imperfections, but it’s very difficult to do. Meditation can help build a strong mental fortitude for when such situations arise.
Cultivate an inner circle.
Having a strong support network is also key. Be vulnerable with others; show them your cracks. Opening up first will make other people trust you with their vulnerabilities. And make the commitment to be there for them when they need you. Show people you care, don’t just say the words.
Think of all the gifts you have been given in this life, and be thankful. Life could always be much worse, so appreciate what you have. Have respect and patience for others. Be sincere, and genuine, and put your heart into everything you do.
Be of service.
Give back. It doesn’t have to be major volunteer efforts or huge contributions of money. Help others in your daily life. Help someone grab something from the top shelf. Pick up and return what someone accidentally dropped. Let someone go ahead of you in line if they look like they need coffee more.
Share your talents and knowledge. Give people words of encouragement, guidance and assistance, compliments and acknowledgement. It might mean nothing to you, but it might make a world of difference to them. Especially with how hard it is for other people to reach out first.
This was a very interesting read. It gave me insight into a culture that’s different from what I grew up with, one I knew very little about. A lot of the concepts discussed in Kintsugi Wellness are very important to our own health and wellness; I know personally I would benefit greatly from building these habits. I’m still struggling with taking care of myself, and being more open with others to build my inner circle.
There’s also a huge section on food, complete with recipes, which I did not cover in this post. I was unprepared for a third of the book to be a cookbook. Another thing I didn’t like about this book was, the author placed emphasis on how these principles helped her through events in her life, but the examples are often vague and somewhat generic. It tried to straddle the line between something deeply personal and a self-discovery manual for others, and it falls short of both. Besides that, I do recommend reading it.
How have you mended the cracks in your life? What do you do to embrace the imperfections that make you who you are?