It has been quite a hectic few months for me, started a new job and moved to a new home all in the matter of 2 months. Needless to say there are still boxes stacked in different places around the house, areas that still need to be sorted and that feeling of being “home” to be found once again. I have found myself frustrated with having to start over again at the age of 35 because of how life is “supposed to be” by the time a single mom of two reaches this age but after reading about and trying to adapt to the concept of Wabi Sabi, I have found my life to be quite delightful actually.
I’ll be perfectly honest here, my job started out reaaaally slow and the pay is definitely nothing to write home about but I am a 30 minute walk from home! I work within the publishing industry and am surrounded by what I love all day. By embracing the imperfection of my financial situation and balancing it out with the perfection of logistics, I have found myself smiling and listening to the birds chirp on the way in to work in the morning.
Wabi Sabi is the ancient Japanese wisdom of finding beauty in imperfection and simplicity in nature, of accepting the natural cycles of growth, decay, and death. Enjoying the simple, natural, and uncluttered, Wabi Sabi reveres authenticity above all. It celebrates cracks, chips, and other marks of time, weather, and use. Once we see the beauty in such “deficiencies”, we can learn to embrace the flaws—the wrinkles, rust, and frayed edges, and all the imperfections in our lives.
How to Be…. Happy
So what does Wabi Sabi tell us about how to live? Developed from Zen Buddhism, Wabi Sabi is a path to enlightenment. It is a practice, a lifestyle of living modestly, simply being satisfied with what is.
People who live a Wabi Sabi life come to a gentle acceptance of the imperfection in their lives. They accept the mistakes, the disappointment, the broken promises. And even eventually, if lucky to live long enough, they accept the liver spots, the gray hair, the wrinkles. They see the beauty even there. They embrace it all.
Finally, it is about us. We are all imperfect. We are all flawed. Being human, we strive to live up to our expectations. Then we fall short. We make mistakes. No one is perfect. We are as we are.
We wish our circumstances were different—a better job, more money, a partner, fewer problems. But this is our real life. It is what it is. And yet, nothing is permanent. This is just what’s so.
Now, go and be happy.