This week’s blog is by Bob Linscott
Here we are in a January, a time when many feel compelled to write a list of resolutions for the new year. These lists are often filed with strategies for changing parts of our selves or behaviors we don’t like. This is probably why your gym is so crowded in January but by late March you hear crickets in the cardio room.
What if we change this up a bit and honor those parts of ourselves that we don’t like instead of trying to alter or eradicate them? Could this become part of our practice of self-compassion?
Lately, I have been thinking about Kintsugi which is the Japanese method of repairing ceramics with gold. This practice draws attention to an object’s imperfections as a way to make it whole. It also makes those flaws a focal point of the piece. What if this process could be applied to each of us? What if we could see our ‘cracks’ as part of our history to be embraced along with those parts of us that we already cherish?
I have a dear friend who pokes and pulls at her face because she worries about her deepening crow’s feet. It is amusing to imagine her painting those lines with gold, but more practically, what if she could use those lines as part of her practice of self-compassion? Perhaps she would begin to see what those of us around her already see: that those beautiful lines are contours of experience and wisdom. They highlight the journeys, passions and heartaches she has navigated in her 60+ years.
Of course this Kintsugi-like practice would mean that I will now wear a golden cap on my head because I still lament the loss of my thick head of hair. But I am learning that the way I look is not a crack or a flaw but part of my history, my identity and a feature of my beauty.
I would love to hear from you about this. Would you be willing to share your thoughts about a part of you that needs to be appreciated more and perhaps even symbolically ‘gilded’? This could be a wonderful conversation.