Wabi sabi is a concept I came across more than 10 years ago and it has guided my life ever since. How can you forget wabi sabi? It dances across my tongue and leaves me with a satisfied grin. You know how words can be positive triggers? This is mine. Here’s how wikipedia defines it:
Wabi-sabi (侘寂?) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience. The phrase comes from the two words wabi and sabi. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” (according to Leonard Koren in his book Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers).
To me, it is a constant reminder to find the beauty in imperfection.
You see, I am a recovering perfectionist. When a teacher reprimanded me in the 4th grade for doing something stupid, this left a lasting mark on my psyche. My breaking point was when I left school. When I saw the rules had changed– the expectations were jacked up–that’s the first time I realized I wasn’t going to always get straight A’s. I found myself frozen, unable to cope because I didn’t know what to do with real criticism, no matter how constructive.
I realized something had to give if I was going to find happiness and reach my dreams. I had to learn how to fail (in a big way), get back up and keep going. I had to move forward with my writing and share it, rather than editing again, seeking perfection.
Yoga and its teachings offered me answers: Life is not a performance, it is a PRACTICE. Within the practice, day in and day out, that’s where you find the beauty in every moment as it unfolds.