Kintsugi: The art of embracing our imperfections beautifully

I heard about the art of Kintsugi today. Kintsugi, which translates into “golden joinery”

According to folklore, Kintsugi was invented in the 15th century when a Japanese military officer, Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa broke his prized Chinese tea bowl and sent it back to China to be repaired. The bowl was returned, fixed, but held together by ugly metal staples. The untidiness of the repair spurred the Japanese craftsmen on to find a more sophisticated and beautiful solution. Thus the art of Kintsugi was born. Essentially putting together broken pieces beautifully, eventually turning it into a work of art, something to be highly admired.

It has been said that when something breaks or a person changes, it is hard to repair the broken pieces or the former way of life.

Kintsugi reminds us that when someone changes or something breaks, we should work with what’s left and turn the change into something beautiful – this for me entails a growth mindset. Overall, the broken pieces will come together in the form of:

  1. A new job or career path, if a current role or profession seizes to exist.
  2. Receiving sincere constructive feedback and learning from past mistakes.
  3. You may have overcome cancer or another form of ailment, which may have cost you your hair, your life or a relationship.  Now you are in a season of recovering or you have fully recovered. You may have lost your hair or that friend, Making it through to the other side, you have now gained a new sense of appreciation for life and overall good health.

We all carry imperfections or have experienced fallbacks, though what is most important is that we don’t let those imperfects define us, but move forward in the midst of these knockdowns through intentional and constant kindness towards ourselves and others.

Life is beautiful, keep flourishing… you never know what awaits you on the other side even after your fallbacks… keep going… creative ideas or a refreshed way of approaching things often emerges after brokenness or change.



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