Embracing imperfections in the quest of happiness define Wabi Sabi, a philosophy of life originated in ancient China with its roots in Zen Buddhism. Gradually, it evolved as a movement in Japan and is linked with the land’s tea ceremony. A strange ceremony where guests invited would leave fractures in teacup as imagery that stands for imperfections which are a part of our lives.
There is no perfect English meaning to Wabi Sabi as the practice is continuously evolving for centuries. According to Wikipedia, Wabi can be defined as “rustic simplicity” or “understated elegance”, “freshness or quietness” applicable to both natural and man-made objects.
Anomalies and quirks in the construction of any object adding uniqueness to it can also be included in the meaning of Wabi. Sabi means the beauty and serenity that comes with age when impermanence of life begins to show up as a consequence of wear and repair.
Embracing flawed beauty:
Imperfections are everywhere. Look at a field of grass, all is not green. There ought to be dry yellow strands amid the lush green carpet. This is the essence of nature. Imagine a tree with branches of equal length, shape and size – Would it draw your attention? Unevenness and asymmetry are traits of nature which makes it so attractive and mysterious.
We, human beings always strive for perfection considering imperfections as scars or image tarnishing elements. In the process, we bring in stress, worries, anxieties and other related disorders that upset our wellbeing and happiness.
Imperfections do not always portray ineligibility or incapability. It is a part of everybody. There is no need to be embarrassed about this. Little imperfections make your presence authentic. It gives you an identity. Else you would look like a robot manufactured from a mass production factory. A little flaw would make you special, different and unique; it is a road to savor wellness.
Flaws that do not match with social benchmarks make us miserable:
This is where Wabi Sabi practice has long-lasting implications. Bearing with bodily flaws can be both tough and challenging. Growing up with a visible stigma invites teasing from peers and the society at large. People around judge you by the way you look. The pain of being ridiculed for looks lingers deep hurting your core.
But the beauty of it lies in how you turn it to your favor and into your strength. Wabi Sabi is a great mind healer where you slowly move into a state where you master the art of enthusiastically accepting your imperfections. It is the lean that has made the tower of Pisa legendary. It is the absence of hands that have made the statue of Venus world-famous.
How to inculcate Wabi Sabi in your life?
The practice of Wabi Sabi can be adopted on the following lines:
We learn a lot from the natural environment. Just think of seasons. They are not even throughout the year. They keep changing each having unique features. The rocks show crevices, trees have worn out barks and leaves do not have permanent green in them. Accept from nature to be imperfect is quite natural and you are a part of it.
Stop comparing with others:
Wishing you had someone’s handsome features will aggravate the feeling of incompetence. Try to focus on your plus points and be yourself. It will do you a ton of good.
Acquire what is necessary. Possessing more than what is required is root to all evil. Instead of racing for more and more try to concentrate on more practical aspects of life. The strength of character, elegance and modesty weigh more than material wealth. They are very powerful traits and would do good to wash away regrets for your imperfections.
Treat yourself well and take proper care. Pamper yourself whenever you feel like. Get a sauna or read a book for that matter. You may relax in a garden or along seaside with the wave of calm flowing in. Little imperfections make you look different. They lend you a distinctive quality. Be proud of them.
A perfect life is stereotyped and it is often boring. Go for an unstructured life where your little flaws make your presence felt in a crowd. People start exploring you and it is a darn good feeling.
Wabi Sabi helps you realize the potentiality of your offbeat traits:
Wabi Sabi doesn’t preach to accept less than what your talent deserves. Instead, the emphasis is on harmony and satisfaction rather than chasing something impossible. It teaches us to accept limitations gladly. This brings in mental peace and is a great way to attain wellness.
Introducing Wabi Sabi in your home:
For example, tea pots can be turned into flower pots. Jam tins can serve as spoon containers. A change in the monotonous scene is important. They have a therapeutic feel-good impact. You are respecting the aging of an object and appreciating it with an out of the way application.
Other ways of implementing Wabi Sabi:
- Indoor rock gardens with pebbles can be sculpted to suit your imagination and creativity.
- Preparation of herbal vinegar using basil, thyme, dill, tarragon, chervil, lemon balm and other herbs. It is a departure from the readymade stock of vinegar bought from the supermarket but brings in a change that has remedial value.
- Carve an outdoor space with native plants and materials that weather with time. There is no need to rush to clean up the dried leaves and flowers from the space. That slight blemish gives an added charm of naturalness.
- Try creating some handmade pottery. The shapes may not turn out to be perfect but the joy of creating something lingers for long.
Practicing Wabi Sabi does not mean degrading of life quality:
Wabi Sabi does not teach you to remain cluttered or untidy. Neither does it advocates settling for less. It also doesn’t advice that you should not work for improvement. It is all about maintaining balance and achieving contentment with due acceptance of your own imperfections or of those around you.
What if you don’t make a perfect student, teacher, parent or an executive? You are one of the millions in the human race. And those you think are perfect are struggling too!