Find beauty in the broken with kintsugi, an ancient Japanese art

(Educate Inspire Change | Michelle Estevez) Experiences shape and mold us into the people we become. Some are like blessings from up above while others come in different shapes to teach us lessons. Whether we are grieving the loss of a loved one or rebuilding strength after an accident, there is a hidden strength that comes from perseverance. The Japanese have understood this for ages and regard an art philosophy called kintsugi to embrace what has been broken and give it a new life.

You are an alchemist. You transmute and transform many times throughout your life. The situations you battled in are part of your story. At first, it may seem ugly and painful. When we create gold from lead those stories have the potential to inspire and activate ripples into waves.

How does kintsugi work?

A broken bowl or ripped pair of jeans is often thrown out to be replaced. Perhaps it’s the blend of modern conveniences and a culture of consumerism heavily ingrained in the collective. However, there is a certain kind of charm in the restitching of an old cloth or upcycled good. The people of Japan know this especially. It’s called kintsugi (金継ぎ), or kintsukuroi (金繕い), literally golden (“kin”) and repair (“tsugi”).

Kintsugi is said to have been invented in the 15th century. It is an artistic approach to repairing broken ceramics with liquid precious metals like gold or silver. The outcome amplifies what was originally a scar into symbolic empowerment.

While gold-filled cracks can be stunning, it’s just as much about the process than it is the outcome. Going through each crack, examining it, and appreciating it is its own meditation—it’s own healing.

Broken doesn’t mean weak

Rough experiences can chip away at the psyche. It can cause false narratives or limiting beliefs to form in the mind. The perception we take can make or break our structural form.

Just as a cracked ceramic bowl can be repurposed through art, so can you. The pain of a pitfall is a portal to strength. The moments that leave us feeling broken doesn’t mean we’re weak. It serves as the fuel to championing the hero’s journey. What areas in life can you pour liquid gold on?

You have the Midas touch. Everything turns to gold.

Be the artist. This life is your canvas. Whether there is a piece that has chipped along the way or a piece that has stayed intact, you have the Midas touch. Everything turns to gold. Messy can be beautiful when we appreciate the process in doing the work.

Source: Educate Inspire Change

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