Wabi-Sabi, what is it?
“Wabi-Sabi,” originating in Ancient China and rooted in Zen Buddhism, although has no direct translation, is to do with recognising the beauty in imperfection. It’s about appreciating nature and acknowledging that much in life is transient, ever-evolving and constantly subject to change.
Wabi-Sabi could be a battered suitcase, a well-thumbed book, a cracked vase or a threadbare slipper. Wabi-Sabi is about bringing natural colours into your home, seagrass, apple blossom and slate grey. Organic materials feature – if you want to introduce Wabi-Sabi, try exploring a blend of different woods, stones and fabrics, oh and don’t forget the flowers.
So, aside from valuing the joy of well-used and natural, what could embracing the principle of Wabi-Sabi bring to your life?
You are who you are and with time you and your world will change. Accepting that change is an inevitable part of life may encourage you to embrace all that is positive and acknowledge that time is a great healer.
Appreciating yourself, others and the beauty of nature can be a real tonic. Our world is a phenomenal place…diverse landscapes of land and sea, the sunrise, sky and stars. Art, music, literature, culture, buildings and all that breathe – take a moment to stop, reflect and wonder. What will you notice and appreciate, perhaps the intricacies of a spiders web or complex harmonies trilled by a bird?
Being grateful with what you have is not about accepting your lot in life – it’s about appreciating the positives. There are many things in life to be grateful for. If you are currently struggling with this – watch the world news. Sometimes actively choosing to acknowledge the plight of those less fortunate than yourself puts things into perspective. If you are unable to be grateful in life, are you setting yourself up for a life of discontentment because you, in your eyes will never be or have enough?
Allowing yourself to be content within any given moment is a real blessing. In a world infused with stress, worry and striving to “keep up,” sometimes contentment is put on hold, it becomes a distant ideology – something you’re working towards. If you can learn to be content within the simple act of enjoying a hot chocolate, listening to the birds sing, see shapes in the clouds and appreciate that you are a living, breathing wonder – you will realise that contentment is there for the taking, here and now.
A new perspective
Acknowledging your own personal imperfections, be that, for example of selfishness, jealousy or being mean, allows you to recognise those traits for what they are – a part of human nature… Identifying your triggers may help you better understand yourself. You could work on being kind to others, this positive personality trait is good for you and the recipients!
Read our post on showing kindness here.
Become an activist for change
In our consumer-driven, throw away society, where there is always something better and seemingly “perfect” to be had – appreciating the value of those things you already own is the perfect antidote to our materialistic, “new” obsessed world and much better for the environment…
Wabi-Sabi as a way of life
Spending time in nature, appreciating who you are, being content and showing gratitude are all part of Wabi-Sabi. So too is accepting that change is inevitable and acknowledging your imperfections. It’s about embracing and valuing all that has brought you joy in your life. To me, Wabi-Sabi is about living in the moment and paying attention to all that is good. It’s about the value of contentment and fully appreciating the gift of life.