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Kintsugi: Applying the Japanese Art of Embracing Imperfection to Your Life

You've just dropped your favorite mug. It slips through your fingers and shatters into a million pieces on the floor. Your first instinct is to feel bad. But then you remember hearing about kintsugi.

Kintsugi (金継ぎ) is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with a lacquer resin dusted or mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of an object's history, which should be visible rather than hidden.

The word "kintsugi" literally means "golden joinery." The art form dates back to the 15th century when a shogun's Chinese tea bowl was cracked and sent back to China for repair. Upon receiving the bowl, the craftsman saw an opportunity to give the piece new life by mending it with gold lacquer. When the bowl was returned to Japan, the shogun was so pleased with how the repair enhanced its beauty that he commissioned more bowls to be repaired in the same manner.

Since then, kintsugi has become synonymous with the Japanese worldview that imperfections can be beautiful. It can be applied to anything that's broken, including you.

Here are three ways you can apply kintsugi to your life:

1. Accept your flaws and imperfections.

We are all human and we all have flaws. It's OK to not be perfect. In fact, it's what makes us unique! Embrace your quirks and imperfections instead of trying to hide them. Own them and let them shine.

2. Be grateful of your scars.

Your scars are a testament to your strength and resilience. They remind you of how far you've come and how much you've overcome. Be proud of your scars and let them remind you of your strength when you feel like you can't go on.

3. Learn from your mistakes.

Mistakes are inevitable. However, mistakes can also be an invaluable learning opportunity. Instead of beating yourself up over little mistake, use it as an opportunity to grow and learn. Remember, sometimes you win, sometimes, you learn. Losing is out of sight if you choose to keep moving forward.

So next time something in your life shatters, don't try to hide the pieces away; instead, embrace them and put them back together again with some "golden joinery."

Who knows?

You might just end up with something even more beautiful than before.


Kintsugi-Art of Repair


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